Good morning and Happy New Year!!! Welcome to day one of our year long journey of a lifetime as we read through the Bible, one day at a time. For many, today's reading was familiar. These are the tricky passages to read because we know the stories. And it is easy to sort of skim the reading. But there is much to be seen here in these two chapters of creation. So, let's begin.
For me some of the most powerful words come right off the bat in scripture. In fact, the first four words speak volumes. “In the beginning, God.” This is not some science experiment. There was no Big Bang, no asteroids crashing together. There was God. The one true God. He exists as three persons, the Holy Trinity. This does not mean that one God manifests Himself in three different forms, or that there are three Gods. It means that one God exists in three Persons who are equal in their attributes and yet individual and distinct in their offices and ministries. And we see all three persons in the creation account in Genesis 1. We see the Spirit hovering over the face of the deep...the chaos that existed before God separated light and dark, land and sea, sky and earth. We see God the Father, speaking creation into being. When we read John's gospel, John takes us all the way back to this time and he calls Jesus The Word. So, creation began with God the Father speaking through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. You will not find the word trinity anywhere in scripture, but you will see the Trinity in action. We do not see the Trinity much in the Old Testament though because the emphasis here is that the God of Israel is One God, uncreated and unique, the only true God. And both the Israel and the gentiles needed to learn that.
As we read Genesis there are four main events, all of which deal with humanity in general. We see creation, the fall of man and its consequences, the flood and the rebellion at Babel. Some say Genesis 1-11 is a record of failure, but with the call of Abraham in chapter 12 God made a new beginning. We see here the power of God. When He speaks, something happens. The writer of Genesis uses action words when describing God. He speaks. He creates. He separates. He fills. And in chapter one we find 32 times when God, in the original Hebrew, is called Elohim, a Hebrew word that emphasizes God's power and majesty. God created by merely speaking the word. He spoke!!! He did not use matter because matter is not eternal.
God brought order and beauty out of chaos, fullness out of emptiness. And the cool thing is, God can still do that today in the lives of any of us who choose to yield to Him. In the first creation account, Genesis 1:1-2:3, there is a distinct pattern, a rhythm to what God does. First of all, God forms and then He fills. We see three distinct places of activity, the heavens, the land, and the waters. And then He filled these places with the appropriate forms of life.
How many of you notice right away God said ”let there be light and there was light?” But it wasn't until day four that God created the sun, moon and stars. The light in the beginning came from God Himself. In John 1:4-5 we see that God is light and Jesus tells us in John 8:12 He is the light of the world. In Psalm 104:2 we see that God wears light like a garment. And in the Book of Revelation, again we see that no longer will the sun, moon or stars be necessary because Jesus will be all the light needed in eternity.
So, God provided the light in the very beginning. But after he created the animals and plants then He created light that would help His good creation flourish. And we see that God saw these lights as good. Often in scripture light is associated with Jesus Christ, the Word of God...Psalm 119:105, God's people...Matthew 6:22-23, and God's blessing...Proverbs 4:18.
Here is one more thought for today. In Genesis 1:5 we see God call the light day. Day is a reference to the portion of time when the sun is shining. It can also refer to an entire period of 24 hours that is comprised by evening and morning. Sometimes we find in scripture day used to describe a longer period of time where God accomplishes a special purpose, like the day of the Lord or the day of judgement. So, let me leave you with this verse. It is Psalm 118:24. ”This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W