I started back through Genesis today, and I decided to really devote myself to the principles of Scripture interpretation that I talk about all the time. It made for a very short but very pleasant reading of only a part of Genesis chapter one.
In its early days, the church taught that Jesus came to fulfill the Law in the sense of “expand” or “bring to fullness.”Â The Law given to Moses was necessarily limited because it was given to a fleshly people, not a spiritual one. When Jesus came to change us, giving us a new heart and pouring out his Spirit on all flesh, then the Law could be brought to its fullness.
What does that mean?
Well, one of the things that it means is that when the Scriptures address split hooves and the chewing of cud, we can forget about pigs and cows. As Jesus said, nothing going into a man can defile him. The food God really cares about is his Word, for man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
If you wish to be clean, this is what you must partake of. You must fellowship with those who meditate on the Word of God and who separate from the world. (This tie between meditating on the Word and chewing the cud used to be well-known enough that the word “rumination” still means both things.)
Genesis One and the Creation
So when I opened to Genesis chapter one this morning, I was not looking for a step-by-step, scientific description of the creation of the world. I was looking for the things God really cares about … spiritual things.
The stage opens on this world with the Spirit of God hovering over the face of a massive sea. There is not emptiness. There is the Spirit of God hovering. God waited no time at all to begin his work. He has been watching and setting the stage from the very beginning.
On day one, the very first thing that God creates–though water already exists and, seemingly, a globe as well–is light. God separated the light from the darkness, and he called the light day and the darkness night.
Day and night and light and darkness are constantly used in Scripture to represent the conflict between God and satan and between knowledge and ignorance.
God set up this battle in the very beginning. The very first thing he created was the conflict between light and darkness. He made the light, and he saw that it was good. He doesn’t say the darkness is good. Nonetheless, he doesn’t banish the darkness. He keeps it. He separates it from the light, and he calls it night.
I learn from this that God meant for this earth to be a place of battle. There is a kingdom of light, which is the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and there is a domain of darkness. That is not an accident. God meant for that to happen. In fact, it was the very first thing he meant to happen. He created that battle on day one.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Evening and Morning
What else is interesting is that God created evening and morning the first day.
We Americans consider the day to start in the morning. A Jewish day, however, starts with sunset. The night is the first part of the day, and the day is the last part, pretty much opposite from us.
God set the day up to be evening first, daytime second.
This is because the light delivers from darkness. It is darkness that comes first, then the light comes to rescue us.
All of us began in the domain of darkness. We did not begin in the kingdom of God. We’re children of Adam first, and only after does Jesus Christ deliver us from the death of Adam to be children of life and light.
Well, that’s my take on day one. Hopefully, I’ll get day two up tomorrow. I hope God gives me something! Waters above and waters beneath? hmm …