The Beginning, Time, and Obedience

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 7.46.45 AMMost 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.

  1. God is not trapped or controlled by time. He is infinite.
  2. He made time, and he lives outside of it.
  3. 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.

Bingo.

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?

Absolutely.
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!)

4 thoughts on “The Beginning, Time, and Obedience

  1. I just joined this, but I got caught up today! woohoo. I don’t know much about the Hebrew and such of the original text, but God is speaking in a super way to me through the Psalms. I know I’ve read these before, but I find myself laughing with joy out of the victory that even just the first 3 chapters proclaim. For instance in the second chapter it says the Lord scoffs at the nations conspiring and peoples plotting in vain. He laughs at them. He is still seated on the throne, and he says today I have become your Father.

    In chapter 3, David cries out “how many rise up against me. Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you are a shield around me, O Lord” Even when the people around us say theres no hope, or even when we begin to believe that, He is a shield for us. He answers and delivers us. He sustains.

    I also for the first time noticed how many times the phrase “and it was so” is repeated in Genesis 1. I counted 5, could be more. But I just think that is such an awesome reminder. He simply speaks..and it was so. He carries so much power just in his words that life comes into existence. Relating to our lives now, He speaks, and diseases disappear, demons flee, problems fall away. The Lord speaks, and and it was so.

    Very cool stuff!

    • Love your thoughts AnnaBeth!!! Also, the same Psalm that stuck with you spoke to Tara S. – But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high… that “one who lifts my head high” is talking about God giving Dignity to David (and to us!) when times get tough. He lifts his head because he does not have to be ashamed. I love that, and thought you might also!

  2. Loved the faith of Christ’s disciples in Matthew 4:22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus. I know from one of Cory’s small groups he taught on how this is what the disciples “trained for” for lack of a better word to study under a Rabbi, but to not once turn back and leave everything you have known is amazing. I want to be like that!!

  3. This is so exciting to me because I always like to talk about scripture when I read it so this is really going to be great! The first thing I kept thinking in reading was, “when the heck did Eve die?” It kept going on and on about the men having all these children and “then they died”…I know that is crazy but it made me think of Eve and at what point in the story did she die. I love the creation story. No matter how many times I read it it aways awakens my soul to think about what God created for us. I want to find God in nature more. I think I am always going so fast through life that I take for granted the world He created for me. I also loved the obedience of the fishermen. I like to imagine that they just threw their stuff down, with no hesitation, and followed Him. I want to live my life following God, without hesitation.

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