The Louvre in Paris is perhaps the world’s best museum. Years ago, I spent one day there, and it overwhelmed me with its treasure troves of delight. I could have spent weeks and not seen it all. It would take a lifetime to fully appreciate it.
Genesis 1:1-5 is like that for me. It’s a text of simply 52 words in Hebrew, but its beauty is in exhaustible.
For one thing, it presents a God who can speak things into existence. “And God said . . .” is a simple phrase in Hebrew, “vay-yomer Elohim.” Yet the result is an elegant, awe-filled universe with myriad trillions of stars. All of it is the product of a powerful mind who can will things into existence.
Whatever faces me this week, there is a God who created all, and He has infinite power. I should always think, “Is anything impossible with God?”
But it isn’t just that God is creator, it’s that Genesis 1:1-5 connects so many other texts in the Bible. Consider Isaiah 9:2-6. Just as God created the world and then He let the light of Himself drive out the darkness, so too, one day the Messianic Child-king would shine His light. In fact, the Child-king is El-Gibbor “God Almighty” in 9:6 which is God’s own name in 10:21.
In Genesis 1:1-2:4, God creates the world with ten words, “And God said . . .” (10x).
Just as he revealed his law in the “ten words” at Sinai, so too He created the world with ten words.
John 1:1-5 also connects with Genesis 1:1-5. John tells us about the true Word, the Logos. He is more than God’s communication to us; He is God and is the one through whom all things exist. He is with God, and at the same time He is God. This is interpreting the Elohim (plural, many times translated “gods” in other contexts), yet here it must mean God (singular) because the verbs are singular “He created, He said,” etc. Genesis 1:1 presents a “He” who at the same time is a “they.” His plurality does not compromise His unity, and His unity does not compromise His plurality.
Genesis 1 is more than simply telling us about creation. It certainly does that. But notice that John sees theological significance as well. “In Him was life (Zoe) and the life was the light of men.” Just as light came into an otherwise dead world, so too true life comes into the spiritual world of people to transform them into the true sons and daughters of God.
I hope that you will explore Genesis 1:1-5 this week. May its treasures fill your heart with joy.