Our Bible study is currently doing a series called Knowing God by Name. The idea here is that God has called Himself various names throughout the Bible and these names point to who He is. Our hope is that as we begin to see Him more clearly, we begin to see us more clearly because we are to be a mirror of who He is ( 1 John 3:2). Throughout the series, one of the things that kept coming up was the question of how familiar we are with God’s word. God basically lays out the blueprint of who He is from Genesis to Revelation and I felt like I wanted to read the whole Bible – a chapter a day starting today. Below are some insights from Genesis 1:
Genesis 1 starts out by stating that the earth was formless and empty and there was darkness over it. And yet, out of this darkness, out of this formlessness and emptiness, God calls out light, God calls out structure (water, land and sea), God calls out fruitfulness (plants, animals and man). From something that seems hopeless, God calls out and creates hope. The first name of God we learned during the series was God as Elohim – The Creator. Elohim – the One who calls forth something from nothing. It is like God is saying no matter how bleak, hopeless, dark or formless you or your situation may seem, I am the God who formed the world from nothing. I have creative power. I can turn it around. I can call forth light from your dark places. A friend of mine once told me that everything we humans create is based on something e.g. airplanes being based on birds but God had no blueprint. He literally created something from nothing. He essentially did a 360 turn on the world and made it everything it was not. He made it beautiful and He can do the same for you. You will notice that many of the pictures that accompany my blog posts seem a bit random. They are actually pictures I have taken of the island where I currently reside (#nofilter). If God can take a formless world and create such breath-taking beauty as is found on this island, imagine what He can do with your life. Get excited. Don’t let the darkness get you down. It is the canvas on which He creates His masterpieces.
Another interesting thing to note in this creation story is that when God creates light, He does not eradicate darkness (Genesis 1:3-5). When He creates land, He does not eradicate water (Genesis 1: 9-10) . He re-purposes those things that already existed to act in tandem with the new things He creates in order to form a viable ecosystem to sustain life and promote fruit-bearing (Genesis 1:11-13; Genesis 1: 20 -25). There is purpose to the dark places of our lives. If yielded to God, He can re-purpose (not eradicate) them to bring forth environments that sustain and nurture life.
As I reflect on the ability of God to turn nothing into something, I realize that one other thing to take away from Genesis 1 is the issue of perspective. In the beginning, the earth looks shapeless and formless but God sees the possibility in it and is able to call it forth. What if we see through God’s eyes? What if we are able to adopt His perspective? Will we then be able to envision sky and earth and plants and animals when faced with formlessness and darkness? Will we be able to see streams in the desert and paths in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:19)? To see the new things God is doing and can do in our dry places? To have expectant hope in those dry places because our God calls forth fruitfulness from emptiness (Genesis 18:10-14)?
He is Elohim. The Creator who formed something out of nothing. Is there anything too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17)?