In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth became waste and emptiness, and darkness was on the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was brooding upon the surface of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)
Many Christians consider the record in Genesis 1 and 2 to be merely a story of creation. However, a careful reading of these chapters show that God’s purpose is revealed in this record. Genesis 1 and 2 should impress us with life—the plant life, the animal life, and the human life (1:11-12; 19-24; 26-27)—indicating that God’s intention in creation was centered on life. In fact, God’s work was to set the stage for life to be produced.
John 10:10 says, “I have come that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” The Lord Jesus’ words here indicate that God’s work for the generation of life takes place not only in the Old Testament for the old creation but also in the New Testament for the new creation. Moreover, the apostle Paul’s speaking in 2 Corinthians 4:6, which says, “The God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” indicates that our Christian experience of salvation mirrors the process of creation in Genesis for the generation of life. Therefore, we may consider the record of Genesis 1 and 2 in light of the New Testament experience of God’s work to bring forth life.
Genesis 1 and 2 reveal three principal requirements for the producing of life—the Spirit, the word, and light. First, the Spirit came. Genesis 1:2 says that the earth became waste and emptiness, with darkness on the surface of the deep. However, in the midst of this situation of death and darkness, the Spirit of God came to brood upon the surface of the waters (v. 2). The Hebrew word rendered brood in Genesis 1:2 is the same as the word translated hover in Deuteronomy 32:11, which likens God to an eagle hovering over his young for the purpose of producing life. Before we became Christians, we were in a situation of death and darkness; but, at some point in time, the Spirit of God came to brood over us so that that we would receive the Lord as our life.
The second requirement for the producing of life is the word of God. Genesis 1:3 begins with the words, “And God said,” indicating that God spoke. God’s speaking, His word, produces life. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:63 that His words are spirit and life. Hence, when we hear and receive the Lord’s words, we are inwardly filled with spirit and life, and we are strengthened to progress in the Christian life. Today, our enjoyment of and growth in the divine life depend on our prayerfully receiving God’s speaking to us through His Word, the Bible.
The third requirement for the producing of life is the light. God’s Word, the Bible, and light are closely related (Psalms 119:105, 130). God’s Word, taken in the proper way, always brings us into light. Then, when we see our true condition in the light, we are able to confess our sins and shortcomings to the Lord. As a result, we are brought back into the fellowship of life with the Lord, which causes the divine life to increase in us (1 John 1:7, 9).
Hallelujah for the Spirit’s brooding! Hallelujah for the Word! Hallelujah for the light! As these three requirements of life are fulfilled, life is produced in us, and we can progress in our Christian life.
Witness Lee, The Central Thought of God, Chapter 1 (Print).
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)