This week our topic has centered on Middle Eastern creation or origin stories including the Genesis account. Although an origin story may be an ancient one or a modern one influenced by scientific discoveries, no origin story claims it was directly witnessed by a human.
So how do we determine if one account or another is authoritative? Where should Jesus’ followers rank the Biblical account? At least we should regard Genesis 1-3 as a revelation of God’s character. Here’s the opening statement in Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV):
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
The image “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” shows a facet of God’s character that is peppered throughout scripture. Here’s one example:
like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft. (Deuteronomy 32:11 NIV)
The Hebrew word translated “hovers over” in Genesis 1:2 and in Deuteronomy 32:11 is “rachaph” meaning to hover, to brood, to be tender. This is Our Creator in his helicopter parent mode.
That same or similar concept appears in several other places (1) the cloud that accompanied Israel during their 40 years in the wilderness, (2) the Cherubim over the ark of the Covenant, (3) the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and (4) the Glory of the God of Israel.
All these descriptions point toward a highly involved and personal God – one who has given us our very being and sustains us. Failure to understand God’s hovering care can lead either to independent leaning on our own understanding or apprehensive passivity. Are you trending toward one or the other as you start today? (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Look at this video of an eagle involved in her eaglet’s first flight and meditate on God’s desire for you – knowing his tender care enables you to soar above issues that may seem insurmountable.
(1) Exodus 33:9, Numbers 9:19, Numbers 10:34, Numbers 14:14, (2) Exodus 25:20, Exodus 37:9, (3) Isaiah 31:5, (4) Ezekiel 10:18-19, Ezekiel 11:22