I’ve been telling stories from the book of Genesis to my church lately and I wanted to share some things I have learned. I spend an inordinate amount of time talking about who God is as opposed to what He does. Now, that’s cool because I get to explore such difficult concepts as how perfect justice and perfect mercy can live in the same perfect being. it also gives me plenty of opportunity to write about Jesus and how He incarnates the personality of God. But Jesus made it a point to show how what He did flowed out of who He is, and ultimately, who God, the Father is. Who God is…..
This is pretty important to us because it lets us tell truth from falsehood in terms of those people who claim that the preposterous and evil deeds that they perpetuate on the planet come from God. If I know that God is love, then I know that God doesn’t hate (insert most annoying group of sinners here). If I know that God is just and no respecter of persons, then I know that celebrity x and celebrity y were not told by God to leave their former spouses to find true happiness in each other despite years of faithful love and devotion in their first marriages. God is who He is and the Book states pretty clearly, if you actually read it, what He really cares about.
But I think it is just as important to know what God is doing so we can join Him in that work and not waste a lot of time wondering what I should be doing.
In Genesis, God creates the cosmos and the earth. (I’m not interested in a science argument here, I don’t find the argument very compelling and frankly, Genesis doesn’t say what most Christian think it says, so save your breath either way0. As I was saying, God creates everything. Why? This important question drives the rest of the story of God, and although we don’t get to know the whole truth (yet) we can ascertain some things about God’s work, the Day Job that He has chosen for Himself.
Scripture tells us that the Earth (everything) was formless and void. There was nothing but chaos without structure and emptiness. God starts with light because it fills darkness. Darkness could be considered the natural state of emptiness, real darkness is empty of light. So God fills the darkness with light. I believe that God self-defines Himself as light and then was light. He formed light out of Himself. And then He went to work on the formless chaos of Earth-that-would-be (Shout out to all you Whedon fans!).
God formed everything into a working structure and system, by the end of the “week” (stop it! I mean it!) He has creation itself imitating it’s Creator by bringing forth life. All of this formed out of empty chaos by the hands of the Potter. He goes on to form us. He gives Adam the Image Bearer, and Eve the Mother of Life, the job of naming and tending to the garden and filling the Earth. God passes on His Day Job to us. So what is it that God does? He forms and fills.
He forms everything out of nothing and then fills it with light and life. He forms the Sphere of Earth out of empty organics and commands it to bring out plants and animals, filling it. He makes Image Bearing Man out of clay, forming him into the most complex of physical entities and fills him with spirit; and then, when the free-will that was a necessary gift of love to the man and woman mars everything in its choice, He immediately acts out of His love to form the plan that will save man from himself and fill all men who choose that salvation with His Spirit thus forming a Kingdom, a rule, a spiritual structure, that will be filled with grace and love and abundant life.
This is what God does: He forms and fills. He uses His own hand, circumstances, our choices, our successes and failures, our glory and our sin, and other people’s sin, to form us; and then, when we are formed, again and again, He fills us with more of Him, His light, His heart and, lest I forget…..
Life. Real life. Abundant full life. He pulls us, oh so slowly it seems, from the mire of our self-doubt and loathing, from the fear and darkness that we have either chosen or been forced to live in, from the emptiness inside of us that sucks us inward like a dark singularity. He forms and He fills.
You may have faced some darkness in your life recently, I have, and it has been comforting to note that God has been using my circumstances to form me and to remind me of my job of bringing order to chaos. He is forming you, my dear friend, and He will fill you as well. Rest under His hand and choose to follow His way. Life and freedom and courage all lie at the end of that road. I hope you can find them.