Originally posted on tayibs.com
I was looking for another bible book to study, and my search led me to the beginning, the book of Genesis. Many have attempted to put their own spin on the creation account, but as believers, our primary responsibility is to remain consistent with what the Scripture teaches. I was looking for a good exposition of this book when I came across Dr. Baruch Korman’s Genesis study, which I decided to share on the site. I hope you find it useful as we embark on this journey. Today we’ll start with Genesis 1:1-5.
The Creation Account
The Scripture: Genesis 1:1-5
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
- Verse 1
It is very clear in this opening verse that God, who is the creator of all things existed before all things. There is a strong connection between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-3,
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Clearly, the apostle John is teaching us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the Word was ( was in existence, already existed) in the beginning. We also learn from John 1:1-3 that the Word ( Jesus) was one with God the Father. When I say One, I’m talking about One in essence ( the same Being). We also learn that Heaven and Earth and all things were made through the Word, and that all things that came to be ( created) , came to be because of Him ( the Word).
Basically we learn from Genesis 1:1 that God is the author of all creation (all creation is summarized by all things in heaven and on earth). God himself is not part of the created order, HE is the creator, He is Holy ( in the sense that HE is set apart from His creation). There is none Holy like God ( the word Holy doesn’t just refer to His moral perfection but also refers to His Eternality). God is eternal, there was never a time where HE didn’t exist, if that was the case, nothing could ever be ( could ever exist), because nothing can come out of nothing. For there to be something, there has to be God, and Genesis 1:1 confirms this objective truth.
- Verse 2
According to Dr Baruch Korman, whom I believe is a legitimate expositor, there is a conjunction between Verse 1 and 2 in the original Hebrew language, in which the book of Genesis was written. This conjunction ( the word vey in Hebrew) was there to put an emphasis on the continuation between verses 1 and 2. This is to completely reject the notion that there is a gap between Verse 1 and 2 ( a theory promulgated by those who believe in an old earth).
We find in Verse 2 that initially, God’s creation lacked order, His order. He created all things, but creation did not reflect at that time His will, but He was not done yet. We have to remember that the purpose of creation is to reflect the glory of God. But why was the earth formless, void and why was darkness over the face of the deep? The verse is there to teach us a very key truth-when God’s presence ( His light) is not in our life, when we’re not walking in the light, everything becomes out of order. That’s one of the applications for us as readers. We have to be extremely careful to grasp that which is being conveyed by the words empty, void and formless. This doesn’t mean that matter has not been shaped or that the cosmos described is empty of matter. What we are learning here is that the cosmos was empty of purpose, meaning and function, a place that had no order or intelligibility. Darkness being over the face of the deep teaches us that the elements of chaos are not negative realities but ambiguous ones. There is nothing sinister or menacing about this lack of order ( chaos) in Genesis; it is simply an indication that God is not finished with His work yet.
How are we to see the sudden involvement of the Spirit of God in verse 2 of this chapter. I don’t want to be dogmatic about anything but to properly interpret it, we need to understand how the Jewish readers interpreted or understood the phrase” the Spirit of God”. The spirit of God was an extension of Yahweh’s power and authority, not a separate entity. In the sense, it was understood as the “hand of the LORD”. And we see in verse 2, the spirit of the Lord was hovering over the face of the waters, and we need to know why? To bring God’s purpose, order and meaning to the current void, emptiness, purposelessness of the cosmos. Because it is the Spirit of the Lord that brings about the word of God into action. The hovering conveys the thought of inspection, analysis , preparation for an action.
- Verse 3-5: Day 1 ( refer to the video above for these verses)
On none of these comments that I’ve added am I trying to be dogmatic. I will just invite you to read the text carefully and let the Bible be its own interpreter. We already mentioned that God’s original creation was not tainted by evil; the void, emptiness and darkness mentioned in verse have to do with the creation of God being a state of chaos ( not chaos in the evil sense), but as having no function just yet. In other words, God hadn’t given it a purpose just yet. Verses 3 through 5 show how God begins to give purpose to His creation. He start with creating time as He separates light ( Daytime) from Darkness ( Evening).
Verse 5 says the following, in portions of it,
5 God called And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Notice how the transition occurs when evening comes to pass, in other words, there was light ( daylight) until God decided to separate it from darkness, hence the evening.
All I can tell you is that without God’s order, our life is empty, void and without a purpose. It is the light of God, the life of the Messiah Christ that brings about order in our life. When I say I mean Kingdom purpose, that which brings honor to the name of God. Listen to what 1 John 2:11 says,
But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
Without the light of God, we live our lives purposeless, void of true meaning, empty.