From Lifeless to Life
Genesis 1:1 - A God Who Acts
Genesis 1 is a beautiful story. It is a story that evokes emotion and helps the reader to encounter God. In the beginning we see how God brought something from nothing, something ugly transformed into something beautiful, and life from lifeless.
Creation is the first time we, as humanity, see the heart of God act and begin to understand who he is and what he is capable of. When God began his Van Gogh of masterpieces, his eyers were fix on earth as a farmer gazes upon an empty field or as a home designer contemplates an empty room: with hope and joy, with excitement and love—with vision. Fingers aching with creativity to produce a magnum opus and eyes set on a canvas ready to come alive. To flourish.
Going back to creation gives us a rich insight into who God is and what he values. However, the beginning of Genesis can feel both clarifying and confusing. Leading us to easily miss the biggest question of all in the creation story, “What does this tell me about God?”
Together, let's ask: What does the creation story tell us about God?
In Genesis 1:1, Moses begins with God's first brush strokes on his magnum opus. Creation is the first time we see God ... act. It says God created the heavens and the earth. It is interesting, that from the beginning God made two worlds—the spiritual world and the earthly world. Why two worlds? Are they separate worlds?
If we where to look ahead in Genesis 3, when Eve talks with the serpent, she says, "God did say..." From this, we learn that God spoke with her and Adam in the garden. Also, in Genesis 3:8, the Lord God came to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden. Therefore, God was not a stranger to earth. It was a place he spent time.
Though God made two worlds, they were not made to live apart but in unity. God and humanity were meant to live in harmony; humanity made to walk in God’s presence. The spiritual world and the earthly world are ruled together by one King.
This speaks hope and life into today. For the oneness of the two worlds and the unity of relationship with God--was, and is, and will be; God dwelling with humanity and humanity dwelling with God. Though, right now there is a physical separation between God and humanity, we no longer walk with him in the garden, there is not a spiritual separation from him. As children of God we still dwell in unity with Him today. Despite Satan's best efforts .... God lives and acts in us and through us, now.
This also gives us hope for the future. I love John's words in Revelation 21, “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ’Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’” When God brings the new heavens and the new earth, the spiritual world and the earthly world will again be fully united. On the new earth, in our new bodies we will again walk with God.
Today, we stand in a spot able to look backwards and forwards. We see how God has continued to be in union with humanity. We see this in the cloud God uses to lead the Israelites, Jesus talking through the burning bush, the Spirit's work in the prophets, Jesus' death on the cross, and the Spirit given as the gift to dwell in us. God acted in the beginning and continues to act. And as God acts, we are draw into unity with him. Unity with God, is not a thing from before the fall or something available after the resurrection. It is available, Now. We are meant to flourish with God now.
The first words in the creation story tell us that God's desire is for the earthly world to flourish in unity with God's heavenly kingdom. We, as God's children, are made to flourish in this unity.
Let’s strengthen our unity with God by enjoying the Word and enjoying it together. This month, as we wrestle with Genesis, I encourage you to read it along with me. Genesis has 50 chapters. Reading two chapters a day will have us through it within the month of December. Together, let’s find out what else Genesis tells us about God.
Comment or email if you are up for reading through Genesis with me!
 Douglas Mangum, Miles Custis, and Wendy Widder, Genesis 1–11 (Lexham Research Commentaries; Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Ge 1:1–2:3.