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"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved/brooded upon the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light:' and there was light." (Genesis1:1-3).
All of creation has something to tell us about the character of God and I want to unpack some of Genesis 1 and give you a glimpse of who our God is; the God whose likeness we share and are urged to exhibit.
The root of the word that has been translated as 'and void' can also mean and 'alone, perishing, lost, an undistinguishable ruin or emptiness.' So what did God do faced with this dark, lonely, perishing, lost and formless place? We are told He moved over it. He certainly didn't try to avoid it. The same root word that has been translated as 'moving' here has been translatted as 'fluttering' in Deuteronomy 32:1:1 "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings."
How similar this situation is to that in Genesis. It tells us something about the character of God. God cares when He sees the empty and wasted. He broods and speaks life to the 'void.'
We know from a range of Scripture passages that God cares so much for the world. In some places we are told He cares for His people like a mother for her children. In Luke 13:34 God in Jesus cared like a mother hen. So maybe the word that is translated as "moving" meant that God kind of embraced the heavens and the earth in a protective way; something like a mother hen brooding. Whether it was like this or not, God cared deeply and spoke words that would cause the state of things to change. His word has the power and authority to bring about change, and so God spoke and the heavens and the earth responded. It began to 'fill up.' God 'fattened' up the heavens and the earth like a banquet, making a place that would exhibit God's character and be a place of abundance for the creatures who inhabited it.
The heavens and the earth were no longer alone. God was there. God was with the heavens and the earth and not only with, but God cared so much he came into the world. He was not like an absent landowner who left things to themself or like someone who prefered to be far away from that which was so different from Himself. God did the unthinkable. He took the risk and came into His lost and perishing world in order to save it. He walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. He sent His son Jesus as a human being into the world as "Immanuel," God with us even though he knew it would be a painful experience. And now His Spirit has been poured out upon all flesh. He is in His people. He is the closest He can be, but more of this later. Let's go back to the beginning. God 'moved' and spoke and the first thing He created was light.
If all creation tells us something about the character of God, what does light tell us? There are many aspects of light I could mention. Recently I was told on a TV program that light travels by propogating itself. It doen't need anything like "ether" to aid it's travels and it can travel through a void faster than air. How amazing. Even the first thing we are told God created for the heavens and the earth, has the ability to propogate and perhaps that is one of the characteristics of all living things. They have cells that replicate in order to change or move, to grow and be seen.
Does this mean that God propogates Himself? In a sense we can say yes. God propogates Himself by giving life to His children, by giving His Holy Spirit to those who respond to His word receptively. God wants and is making a family exhibiting His likeness. Perhaps we could summarize the character of this life in the word 'Love.' Love that cares like a broody mother hen; Love that goes after the lost and saves; Love that is with the lonely so they know they are not alone. Love that fills the emptiness.
In Psalm 26:1 David says, "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?" David experienced these characteristics of light in the Lord and we can too.
Feeling empty is not a thing to despair about. Jesus talked about it being a blessing. It means you have recognized your need and are in a place where God can fill you. If you feel as though you are like the heavens and the earth were in the beginning, then this can be a new beginning place for you. Ask God to fill you. God longs to fill you. God also longs for you to experience the light that comes from His words. Listen and seek out His voice.
In Exodus 13:21 we read "the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night."
We are told in 1 John 1:5 that God is light. Jesus also said, "I am the light of the world," letting His disciples know that He and His Father are one God. The children of God also have the family likeness. They are called to be the light of the world too. They have the power and the calling to move in a way that dispels the darkness of emptiness, aloneness, feelings of being lost and perishing ... and if we, His children walk in the light (that includes doing what we hear God say), we will have fellowship one with another. We will know we are not alone.
References in brackets come from the King James Bible.