In the Beginning


Genesis 1-2


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”


Ten simple words that introduce the most widely read book of all time. Ten simple words that tell me much about God’s nature. Ten simple words that whisper to me how deeply God loves me.


Like the Prologue in a great Shakespearean drama, these ten words set the stage for us to be eyewitnesses to a most exquisite unfolding of the account of Creation.


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”


Whether you interpret these two chapters as a strict 7-day history, or lean more toward a God-initiated big bang that resulted in a slower appearance of landmass from water, species from species, may I encourage you to reread these two chapters with fresh eyes?


With no preconceptions. Just a desire to listen.


I am struck at once by the orderly, almost methodical nature of the verses as they gently unfold one after the next. Perhaps this is because I too am a person who seeks order.


I like order in my home. I seek out patterns and rhythms to help me understand life. Perhaps my father, the CPA, is to blame; or maybe I just like to know what’s coming next.


And there in the Great Prologue of God’s narrative to mankind, I see that God likes order too.


A vast Emptiness precedes The Beginning. Separation of sea and sky precede the formation of land out of that vast, deep sea. Vegetation sprouts and grows mature before the creation of birds and animals whose lives depend on its abundance.


My father, the CPA, has always been able to relate to this God of order.


If truth be told, more often lately, while I look for patterns and structures to order my world, I also yearn for the messy unpredictability of the creative life. Less left-brain and more right. Can I still relate to a God of order when I fear too much structure will dry up my soul?


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”


And as I listen to the story afresh, I realize that these same verses that are so full of order and structure are also incredibly lyrical and melodic. The verse “Let there be” is followed by the chorus “and it was so”. Let there be…and it was so. Let there be…and it was so. Over and over again these majestic words are sung in the round, proclaiming the splendor of the creation and the pleasure of the Creator. Six times the melody is sung and repeated, until the Master Artist rests from the creative work of his hand.


And I discover that my God is at once orderly and creative. Equally at ease with the accountant as with the artist. And my soul rejoices.


The Beginning shows me not just that God can relate to the artist as well as the accountant (and everyone in between!), it shows me that God wants to be in relationship with us. With all of us.


The Beginning declares that every living creature sprang to life by the mere spoken word of the Master Creator. Every living creature, except for man. To create man, The Beginning declares that God breathed into Man the breath of life, the sacred breath of God Himself so that God and the Man and the Woman could be in relationship with one another. And then, in an outright rejection of all we think we know of what a “god” should be, we read that God would walk with the Man and the Woman in the garden in the cool of the evening.


Such audacious love.


God’s written revelation to us ends in the Book of Revelation where it begins in the Book of Genesis: in Paradise, with a river, the tree of life, the Creator God, and those who love Him. The entire narrative in between those two books is quite simply the story of God’s relentless pursuit to be in loving relationship with His people.



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