In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1, NLT
The first book of Bible (the book of Genesis) begins with that sentence. And in fact, the word “genesis” means beginning. And there are lots of firsts and beginnings found within this book!
But the one thing this book is NOT a beginning of is God. God has always existed. He was, He is, and He always will be! And if we are going to get anything out of the enormity of that statement, we need to understand two things about Him.
First, God is transcendent, this means that He is not limited by time, space, or matter. This is very hard for us to understand and get our heads around, but it is true, and if we believe in God, somehow we have faith in our belief that HE is indeed transcendent.
Yet God is also immanent. Let us not confuse that with eminent – which is someone of importance (i.e. Your Eminency) or with the word imminent, which means something that is about to happen. Immanent means to be fully inserted into something, existing within something in every aspect. We also believe THIS because we believe in and can sense God’s presence in the world around us in things big AND small.
So while Genesis isn’t the story of the very beginning of God and His existence, it is the beginning of His story and interaction with His creation – including us.
And speaking of US, take a look at this:
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27, NLT
You know when God repeats something back-to-back in the same verse He wants us to pay attention, right?! And this particular verse is a doozy because He repeats Himself with TWO things.
First, the phrase God Created/He Created is repeated three times. DO NOT MISS THIS. You are GOD created. Every single thing about you He created. His love for you is such that this world would not be complete in His eyes without you. This theme of His overwhelming, amazing, reckless love is transcendent and continues forever! I never want us to forget that, even though I know there are days when it feels either far fetched or even like a bold-faced lie. Stand on that Truth, sister friends!
The other “repeat” lesson here is that you and I are created in HIS image. His OWN image. And here’s the cool part – that word “image” is translated from the Hebrew word t’selem which means “a visible representation of the invisible”. (New Testament spoiler alert – this is the same verbiage used to describe Jesus by Paul several times in his letters to various churches!)
YOU GUYS! We have been created to be the “face” of God. His visible representatives, mirroring His goodness and character back to all of creation! And why does that matter? Because it is WHO WE ARE. And what we do should naturally flow from who we are.
When God created you, He knew the world would need your exact, detailed, unique concoction of DNA, personality, quirks, and beauty to reveal and represent yet another holy facet of Him that could not be made visible without you. How awesome is that?!
Genesis begins with the beginning of the story of YOU and a God who SO wanted you to be His. As we journey through this study together, I pray that Truth really does sink in and transforms you more and more each day in His image.
And speaking of our study, if you are following along with us at home, take time this week to read Genesis chapters 1 and 2 in your favorite Bible translation! Just let the wonder of it all wash over you as you read it! Next week, we’ll jump into Genesis 3 with Angie Smith and the beginning of Seamless!
This week, I’ve been listening to Lauren Daigle’s new album, Look Up Child, on repeat! Here’s a link to listen to the title track! ENJOY!
Peace, love, and JOY!