Genesis 1:1-2 In the Beginning


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The beginning is not God’s beginning, because God has always existed. The beginning is the first mark of time. Time was not accounted for before the creation. There was only eternity.  The Hebrew word translated as “beginning” is reshith (רֵאשִׁית),  which in addition to meaning “beginning” can also mean “chiefest”, “firstfruits”, and “choicest”. These latter definitions relate an exceptional quality or perfection. It can therefore be derived that this work of God, was perfect.

God is the subject. This story is about God, for his glory.  God created.  The Hebrew word used here is bara’ (בָּרָא) which means to “shape” or “create”, but also to “choose”. The creation was a willful, intentional action. It was not a byproduct or accidental occurrence.  The “heavens and earth” encompass all of the universe. God created all that exists.

The initial condition of the earth was not in its complete state. The earth was without form. The elements were there but they were not yet shaped into the earth. The word used here for “without form”  is tohu (תֹּ֫הוּ), meaning “waste”, “confusion”, “emptiness”, and “meaningless”.  The word used for void is bohu ( בֹּ֫הוּ), meaning “emptiness”. Both words relate to chaos, but equally significant is the description of  emptiness. There was no light, as light was not yet created. Darkness covered all things in the vast emptiness. Water was present, but not in an organized capacity.

The Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit, present at the creation as part of the Trinity.  The word for Spirit is ruach (ר֫וּחַ), also meaning “breath” or “wind”. It is consistent with the New Testament as Jesus described the Holy Spirit as wind (John 3:8) and is equated with the “breath” of God (John 20:22).  The Spirit was hovering or moving but it was not acting in the creation, as the creation commenced with the spoken word of God. The Spirit is however a witness to God’s greatness.

As creator, God is worthy of worship. God created the world intentionally for a purpose.  As the earth was empty and void before God shaped it, so is human life. We are empty and confused without God. Without God, we are only a shadow of ourselves, because we were designed to commune with God and fellowship with Him.  Through belief in Jesus Christ we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), as children of our creator (1 John 1:12). No longer are we empty, shapeless, or without form. Instead we are transformed (Rom 12:2). The Holy Spirit no longer moves outside of us,  but dwells within us (1 Cor 3:16).

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