Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Beginning

What better place to start than in the beginning. The start of the prologue of John is in a way a parallel of the beginning sequence in the book of Genesis. The story is very popular; God created the earth in six days and “Rested” or “ceased” on the 7th. By looking closely at Genesis 1, we can see that God did not just randomly create as He went along, but He followed a structured Plan. When Jesus was teaching His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-14), He said “Your (God’s) Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. This was the Master Plan God had for the earth when He created it; to be modeled after Heaven, where Order and Perfection rule.

Back to the story; God created the heavens (not Heaven; see note)[1] and the earth. At this point, the earth is without form or content, except for waters. And the Spirit of God is walking through the entire earth, surveying it and ready to unveil the Master Plan. God’s famous First Recorded Words: “Let there be Light” and there was light, and God separated the light from the darkness calling them “day” and “night”. Why did God create light first? The Bible says somewhere in Psalms (no, I don’t know the entire Bible from A-Z or the precise location of all the verses. Don’t tell my Christian brothers or they’ll be on my case too :p[2]) “In Your (God’s) Light may we see Light”. In Heaven, God’s Radiance is the Source of Light; Light is not only beneficial for seeing physically, but for spiritual illumination of who God is. By creating light on earth “as it is in Heaven”, God was placing a sign to remind His creation of who God is, by pointing to the Source of the light, that as they seek the light they may also seek the Source. And “God saw that it was good”. This was the first day.

On Day 2, God created an expanse or space between the waters, to separate them. This he called “sky”, with the waters on either side being clouds and seas. “”And God saw that it was good”.

Day 3, God creates dry ground by gathering the waters to specific locations that there may be land. With dry land, God was able to create vegetation on the land, trees and plants of all kinds. ”And God saw that it was good”.

Day 4, and God creates “lights” to separate day and night, more specifically light bearers or channels through which the light could shine on earth. They also serve as “signs to mark seasons and days and years”. These were the sun, moon and stars which still serve as signs today. ”And God saw that it was good”.

Day 5, God created living creatures in the sea and the air. Here also, we have the first recorded Blessing given by God in verse 22, to be “fruitful” and “fill” the waters and sky. “And God saw that it was good”.

Why, are we told at the end of each day that God saw that it was good? You would think that an all Powerful God would be able finish creating in less than a day. Why then did He space it out? Here we see one of the Qualities of God, His Patience. It also shows His Order, in that He does not just randomly set out to do as much as He can each day, but for each day He has made, He also has a Structure or Plan for that day, a Specific Purpose or Master Plan without deviating. Consider days 1-3, light and darkness, sky and waters, dry land and vegetation; things are formed. In days 4-6, the formed things are filled; light and darkness with sun and moon, sea and air with birds and sea creatures, and dry land with land animals and man. This clearly shows an orderly plan. Not that He would have in any way been overwhelmed, but that He is content and of an Inflexible enough Mind to stick to His Order. It also shows that “it was good”, i.e. it was done on earth “as it is in Heaven”.

Lights – sun, moon and stars
Sky and Sea
Birds and Sea Creatures
Dry Land and Vegetation
Land Creatures and Man

Day 6, and God creates livestock, reptiles and wild animals to fill the entire earth. Having created everything needed to live, God creates the centrepiece of His creation. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our Image, in Our Likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground’”. 

God already Rules over Heaven, with the angels and creatures serving Him, and He has now chosen to make man in His Image, i.e. bearing His Radiance in bodily form  and possessing and dominating the earth, for his(man’s) benefit and pleasure. Compare this with the image of the Radiance of God also being made manifest in Jesus' bodily form from the previous post “Who is Jesus”. This also corresponds to the "Light" and "lights", showing that God is the "Light" and man, being made in His Image is intended to be the plural, "lights", through which the Glory and Radiance of God is fully displayed. As Heaven is the throne room of God, for His Benefit and Pleasure, so was earth modelled after Heaven that God may transfer His Sovereignty and Nature unto man on earth.

By the 7th day, God had finished creating all His creation, so he "rested" or "ceased". And sure enough, as it is in Heaven, God blessed the 7th day and made it Holy. It was a day in which man was also to find rest in God and be blessed for his "work" in and through this rest; the "work" in this case represents the Will of God done in/through man. Contrary to popular belief, this day was Saturday, not Sunday, but we shall discuss that later on. What is important to note for now is that this day prefigured something greater; the Rest which Jesus Christ would later provide. Before Jesus died, He said "It is Finished", an echo of the blessing of the 7th day in which the "Work" of God was "finished". So Jesus is saying the Work of God is "finished" in Him, (cf. the Fulfillment of the Law in previous post) which transcends beyond just a day, but becomes a way of life, and indeed, a Way to Life. We will come back to how and what Work Jesus finished through His death later on; in the meantime, you can read Hebrews 3 & 4 for more info on this "Rest".

Also, notice that God says “let Us”, “Our” etc. We know from the previous blog entry that the “Word” was with God, and the Word was God, “in the beginning”. Here we see the Person of Jesus Christ present at creation, as John 1:3 says, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made”. So we see here the evidence of the Divinity of Jesus “in the beginning”, the same One who would later repeat the creation sequence by donning the nature of man to display the Radiance and Sovereignty of God on earth, so that He could once again finish the work of God on the "7th day".

In the next entry, we shall look at how this Perfect Picture was corrupted which should bring us closer to why there was the need to “re commission” man, if you like, through Jesus, to dominate the earth again.

[1] The universe aside from the earth, i.e. planets etc.
[2] It’s actually Psalm 36:9. I found out later on by going online :D. For a good online Bible with multiple translations, try www.biblegateway.com.

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