God’s Synopsis

Derek Ouellette —  November 25, 2009

1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

The temptation to rush through the first chapter of the bible is too often too great to ignore, and a second temptation is to get bogged down in the nitty gritty of the science behind the creation days. But one day as I began to read the bible afresh, a whole new dimension – for whatever reason – was realized in Gen 1:1-3.

What I realized was that these powerful verse operate as God’s synopsis to the entire bible read – as it is intended to be read – as a story.

The first verse tells us unequivically that God created the heavens and the earth, and we know by jumping a head that he created it “good” [Gen 1:31].

We quickly discover though – and without explanation – that something went terribly wrong [verse 2]. The terms “formless”, “empty” and “chaotic” are all fitting descriptions of our current state of affairs where the world is full of “darkness”. But amidst this seemlingly hopeless situation we are told that the Spirit of this good creator God began to move over the surface of the deep. We might suppose this to mean that he is working, wooing, preparing for something, though in this second verse we are left breathless and asking “to what end?” Like a good movie trailer we’re hanging on to the edge of our seats in anticipation!

Then two powerful and explosive events take place. The first is that  God Spoke – the significance of which we’ll soon see, and the second is that Light came! Alluding to this very passage John tells us: “In the beginning was the Word… all things were made through him… in him was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” [John 1:1-5]. And Paul is even more explicit in applying this text to the Gospel Story: “the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers… [but] God who said, ‘let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” [2 Cor 4:4-6].

So the Apostles Paul and John both understand Genesis 1:1-3 to be more then a mere statement about creation, for indeed in those three opening verses we are given a synopsis of the Story.

[1]  God created everything good. [2] Creation fell into corruption. The Spirit graciously began to move and prepare the corrupted creation for the Word (prevenient Grace). [3] This Word would come and restore the Light and Glory of God in and to his creation back to its original state.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.