Friday, June 13, 2014

Spirit of order

"Creation of Light"
- Woodcut by Gustave Doré

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 1:1-2:4a

TO CHEW ON: "The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." Genesis 1:2

What is an earth "without form and void"? The Hebrew uses two rhyming synonyms "tohu" and "bohu" for "without form and void." A sidebar article in my Bible defines them:

["Tohu" - a formless chaotic mess, a waste, a worthless thing, emptiness and desolation, for no purpose, for nothing. Tohu and its rhyming synonym bohu are coupled to describe a scene of disorder, confusion, and lack of arrangement. Elsewhere tohu refers to a howling waste, a trackless wilderness, a scene of utter disarray, desolation, and barreness. Tohu suggests 'sheer emptiness' as opposed to order and balance" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 927.]

And who was there "hovering" over that chaos? The "Spirit of God" that same Spirit who came to inhabit individual Christians on the day of Pentecost and who comes to lives in us when we are reborn.

My Bible's notes on Genesis comment on the word "hovering": "Hovering connotes sweeping or moving rather than staying stationary. The Holy Spirit is the 'executive arm' of the Trinity so He was quite active as God spoke each word" - R. Russell Bixler,  New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 4.

A grand account of creation follows. It's a marvel of writing, really, if you think of how much the verses of today's reading describe.

It's also a majestic display of the Trinity working in harmony.

God: "In the beginning God created..." Genesis 1:1.

Jesus: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" John 1:1-3,14.

Holy Spirit: "And the Spirit was hovering ..." Genesis 1:2 — sweeping, moving, and executing the Word.

If we bring together these thoughts about the Spirit, we have a wonderful promise to take into the day:
  • God the Holy Spirit can bring order to chaos.
  • This Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • We can trust Him with the chaotic messes, the mysteries and confusions of our lives. He can order them into something meaningful, beautiful, and fruitful;  make out of them something that could be described as "good."

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this account of You working in creation, Please bring order to the confusing, disordered, chaotic parts of my life. Help me to cooperate with You in this. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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