Most folks can quote the first few words of the Bible. “In the Beginning…”, but those words carry a subtle nuance we can miss due to our translation.
“In the Beginning” in Hebrew is one word, pronounced “Brasheet”. Stay with me now people, this is cool.
The first letter of that word is the Hebrew letter Beit, equal to our letter B. In ancient pictographic Hebrew it symbolized a house on a hill. The idea is all of scripture is flowing out of a home. In pictographic languages, words create pictures for the readers as well as have their meanings. Our language isn’t pictographic, so we miss the symbolism. But it gives depth to the scriptures when we understand it!
Who lives in the house scripture starts out with? The answer is in the word itself. When beit and resh, the second letter, are together, they form the word son. And the third letter is the letter aleph, which signifies God the Father.
So, out of the house comes the Son of God.
It is a picture of the living word of God giving us the written word of God. THIS IS HOW THE BIBLE STARTS!!!!! I love it! When we can see scripture in the culture it was written, it connects with us on an even deeper level. What do you think about God’s word flowing out of his home into ours? What a great way to start of the Bible, eh?!
Sticking with the Genesis 1 theme, I also wanted to address something we glaze over because we’ve heard it a million times – the creation account. Before we discuss, lets put some things out of the table I think we all can agree on.
- God is not trapped or controlled by time. He is infinite.
- He made time, and he lives outside of it.
- The Creator controls the created.
Knowing these three things, I think we could agree some created cosmic fireball is not going to limit God to a time table. Nothing can limit God because He is… well, GOD.
Here are the facts according to scripture:
Day one, God created light and dark. Awesome.
Day two, God separated the waters and created sky. Love it.
Day three, God created land, seas, and vegetation. I’m a fan.
Day four, God created the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Our sun wasn’t even around until day four. Now, could God, if He so chose in days one through three, given Himself 24 hours just for fun to get it all done? Absolutely. He is God. It also says God spoke the world into creation. It was easy for him. What if it only took what we would classify as seconds? Could he do that?
He is GOD.
I guess how long it took is a great question to ask when we meet Him someday. On this side of heaven, we will never know. The point is, we should not try to define God by assumptions or human terms.
Moving along – what stuck out to me in Psalms 1 was verses 1-3, “How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners… his delight is in the Lord’s instruction and he meditates on it day and night…”. To meditate on scripture is to let it roll around in your head for a day, week, or even month. Have you ever picked a passage and done this? What result was it? If not, you should try it… the depth of wisdom you can get out of one “living and active word” is pretty crazy.
Finally, (and man is it hard after five days to pick a few things to discuss!!!), the last thing I want to emphasize is the NT reading of Matthew 3:8,10. “Therefore, produce fruit that is consistent with repentance… every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut off and thrown into the fire.”
The Bible talks a LOT about the importance of Obedience, and living out our faith. If our relationship with God is real, we should be different. Kind. Forgiving, because Christ has forgiven us. We should love the unlovable and forgive freely because Christ modeled exactly that. When we repent we don’t live in what Bonhoeffer called “Cheap Grace”, but instead realize what Christ did for us on the cross was incredibly costly. To take that gift and blow off would be cruel. To live our lives as a sacrifice is what being a Christian is all about.
(Since this is our first official blog, let me remind you to respond if something popped out to you in this weeks readings, or the blog. There is SO MUCH we covered in these first five days there’s no way I could write down everything that touched me. So… what has God been teaching you? Simply put your curser on the title and click. This opens up the blog on a different page. At the bottom, there is a place for a reply. Fill in what you’d like to say then post your comment. After I check it and make sure it’s not spam it will be posted!)