Genesis 1 - Creator
During this fast season we are exploring - through what we read in a chapter a day of the Bible - who God is and what He is like.
1. Pray and read - preferably together
2. Pray and share
Genesis means “beginning” and chapter 1 shows us God as Creator. Beginnings matter. They determine how things unfold. Even in the creation story we see the natural world developing, but the starting point is dramatic: “In the beginning, God…”
We can hardly imagine what it must be like to be outside time. Everything we experience happens at a point in time. One thing follows another even if they are not related. The clock does not dictate what happens but it records what happens, one second (or hour or millisecond) at a time. Day follows night. That is how God arranged things to be in this temporal world.
But what is it like to be outside time like God is? Maybe we shall know in eternity, because we are born again by the Holy Spirit when we encounter Jesus and make Him Lord.
What we do know is that God was in existence before time. In fact we know from other scriptures He has always existed and always will. He is infinite and all powerful. But what we learn from Genesis 1 is - among many other things - He is eternal and He is the source of all things.
In Genesis 1 itself we meet the Spirit hovering or brooding over the waters, ready to act when God speaks the Word. The words are “Let there be …” but we also see the eternal Word (the one who revealed the nature of God as spirit - “God is Spirit” not human John 4:24). There is a further hint of the Son’s presence at creation in Proverbs 8:22-31. He is the wisdom behind the creation’s complex design.
Father Son and Spirit are all intimately involved in the Creation story. Later we see all involved in each major event in the salvation story. For now, let’s ponder the “Let us make …” and the fact that we humans are made in God’s image. God’s fatherhood is a key image in the Bible to understand what He is like, but God is beyond gender. Both genders are needed to reflect God’s image: Gen 1:26-7. There is community at the heart of God’s being and nature. Community shows us what He is like because the other key statement about the nature of God (in contrast to statements about what He is like) is “God is love” 1 John 4:8 & 16. Without community there would be no love, no need for love and no possibility of love!
Both genders are needed to enable humankind to fulfil its mandate: Gen 1:28. In fact, the whole human community in obedience to God is needed to fulfil the mandate given at Creation, to multiply and fill the Earth and govern it well (the language used is language of stewardship and good governance not of domination).
The mandate is to be creative, to be fruitful and to care for the Creation. In fact, it is a mandate to be like God, who can make choices, be creative, produce fruit and rule wisely.
3. Pray and act
- to be fruitful
- to make wise choices
- to live as people made in His image