Tuesday, January 8, 2019

In the Beginning

Of course, if we're going to dive into the story of God and the Scriptures, there's no better place to start than in the beginning. In the beginning, we're told, everything was formless and void and there was God and the Spirit hovering over all things until He speaks the Word and substance starts to take shape. 

That right there is enough to talk about - all three persons of the Trinity present at Creation - but it's not day zero that ought to tease our imaginations about the beginning; it's day two. 

On day 2, God separates the waters with an expanse between them, and the waters below, He calls earth and the waters above, He calls heavens. And then, by Genesis 1:8, we completely lose track of the creation of the heavens, though we follow closely the filling of the earth. 

See, the creation story goes on to tell us about land and sea, about birds and fish, about animals that move along the ground, and about man - and then woman - all the way through to the seventh day, when God's work of creating was finished and He rested. But come to day 7, and an interesting little factoid surfaces - God had not just finished the creation of the earth, but the creation of the heavens, as well. 

By day 7, both are done, but we know only the story of the earth. 

There are two theories we can have, then, about the heavens. The first is that they remain waters. That having separated them out on day 2, God was finished with the heavens and left them just as they were - waters above the expanse of the sky. Waters separated from the earth. Simple waters above, in stark contrast to the more developed waters below. After all, maybe God doesn't require a lot in the heavens. Maybe He doesn't need as much stimulation as we do. Maybe waters are fine for Him and His angels. 

But maybe...

But maybe the heavens are just as full, or fuller, than the earth. Maybe for every move that God made on the earth, He made a move in the heavens, too, and created in them a landscape and a biosphere and a fullness as diverse and rich and wonderful as that of the earth. Maybe fuller, richer, more wonderful than we could even imagine. 

It's so easy for us to get this image of the heavens where we'll all floating around on clouds, wearing robes, and playing harps, and in this cartoon, it certainly seems like maybe the heavens are just waters, just expanses above the sky. Empty and void and null except for worship. But man, that's just so hard to believe. It's so hard to believe that God wouldn't make them full and wonderful, just as He made the earth. It's hard to believe that God wouldn't make the heavens glorious

Genesis doesn't tell us a lot about the heavens, except to say that God created them and that God finished creating them. Bookends on another world we haven't seen yet, but enough to tell us that it's there. Not only is it there, but it's striking. It's brilliant. It's fully formed...and full, teeming with life and love and glory. 

Doesn't it make you wonder? Doesn't it make you want to know? I want to know. I can't wait to see. The heavens in all their glory, from the very beginning of it all. 

From day two, day two, God was preparing a place for you. Ain't that somethin'? 

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