Look Ma, No Hands!

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Observation: God’s Book is off to a good start, indeed! In these ten first words it tells us the when, who, and what of how we came to be. It is worth noting a few things with a bit more care than a casual reading of the familiar affords. For example, the phrase in the beginning refers not to the beginning of eternity, for by definition eternity has no beginning; rather, it speaks of that moment in time when we can imagine God first having genuine fun as He began creating things.  This creative deity, known here as Elohim, is a plural word, setting us up to anticipate the Trinity. Additionally, it should be of interest that heavens is plural and earth singular, as opposed to the preference of modern secularists who insist we spend billions searching for extraterrestrial “earths” while denying the existence of even a single heaven. And finally, we are drawn to the word created to describe His activity.

Application: There is in this usage of the word “created” no suggestion that He worked with pre-existing materials, for there were none. Besides, He had no reason to labor over creation like the carpenter whose belt is laden with all the latest tools and gadgets for measuring, cutting, joining, and hammering. Can you imagine God’s needing a shim to square something He had created? Instead, He sets us up to appreciate the power of the spoken word. All the creative energy applied in the next verses—creating light and darkness, dry land and sea, days and nights, and man himself—was accomplished without lifting a divine finger. No trips to the lumberyard, no sweat, no exertion, just “Look Ma, no hands!” as He playfully spoke His way through the creation story, and all that is came into being. 

Later, we will learn that the Word of God, this creative countenance, was Jesus Christ Himself, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14). For now, it is enough to focus on the thought that spoken words are powerful indeed. Having been made in His image, I should not find it surprising that the creative mechanism God employed is hard-wired into me as well. I contain the nature of His power to speak, and I resolve to use words only as He has modeled, to bring blessing and life.

Through words lives can be nurtured and hearts encouraged. Vision given voice is sufficient to marshal armies; ideas turned to words in the Continental Congress were powerful enough to create never-imagined new systems for governing. 

Prayer: Father God, I pray that Your life would so fill me that all my energies would be focused on sharing that life with those around me. Let only blessings flow from me, Lord, that You might be pleased today with this particular lump of clay.

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