Do you ever question God’s love for you? Do you ever wonder if God loves you—but he doesn’t like you? If so, then you’ll appreciate today’s reading from the Bible.
Welcome to the first day of our year-long journey through the life-changing word of God. Thank you for participating in our community!
Insights Into Today’s Reading
- Genesis 1 and 2 are really separate accounts of creation. Notice that Genesis 1 refers to “God” while Genesis 2 uses the phrase “LORD God.” Any time you see “God” in the Old Testament it usually refers to the Hebrew word Elohim. “Lord God” almost always refers to the Hebrew word Yahweh. Here’s a tidbit of interesting information: the word for God in Arabic is Allah, which is very similar in pronunciation to Elohim.
- The Bible begins and ends with references to the tree of life: Genesis 2:9 and Revelation 22:2, 14. However, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—from which Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit—does not appear in Revelation.
- The use of Adam’s rib for the creation of Eve appears in ancient Sumerian texts. The Sumerian word for rib is ti. Interestingly enough, ti means “life,” just like Eve does in Genesis 3:20.
- Note how the beginning of Matthew highlights the presence of questionable women in Jesus’ genealogy (Matthew 1:3,5,6).
You know, deep down, I think many of us assume that God doesn’t really like us. He tolerates us—begrudgingly—but he’d prefer NOT to hang out with us. Why? Because we have sin, vestiges of darkness in our lives.
Today, I began our first day’s reading…and couldn’t move past the first two verses. Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV) tells says:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Notice that the darkness was hovering over the surface of the deep. And what does the passage also tell us was hovering over the dark waters? The Spirit of God.
God wasn’t repulsed by the darkness.
All my life, I’ve assumed (at least subconsciously) that God reacted to the dark places in my life like two positive sides of the same magnet. But not only does he thrive in my dark places…he’s at work. In those places where I think he doesn’t exist, he’s there. In those dark places that I hide from him, he’s there. He’s unafraid and un-repulsed by my dark areas.
It reminds me of Psalm 139:7-10:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths,a you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
A few other insights that hit me about Genesis 1:
- God’s power. Whatever he speaks, happens. He says, “Let there be light”…and there is light.
- God’s character. Everything God creates is good. The New Bible Commentary points out that ‘Create’ is something that only God does (the verb is used only of God in the OT).
- The interrelatedness of God’s creation. We share a common creator as creation. Obviously, we’re different because we’re created in God’s image. But we’re related to his creation and given the charge of taking of God’s creation. Genesis 2:15 affirms this.
- What does the creation passage tell you about God?
- Do you long for anything that was present at creation and lost as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin?
How is God speaking to you today through today’s reading?