We are here at Stage #1 of God’s One Big Story, where the first of the Nine Vignettes of Acts 1, Scene 1 has just been presented to us. While we wait for the curtain to go up on Vignette #2—The Creation of Man and Woman—let’s take advantage of this brief interval in the action to reflect on what we have learned thus far.
As you may recall, at the beginning of Vignette #1, we were instructed that the events about to take place were intended to do at least three things for us. We were told that they would…
- Teach us important Life Lessons, or principles which would help us live more Godly and fruitful lives here on the Earthly Stage of life;
- Contribute something to the Story-behind-the-Story that would be taking place on the Heavenly Stage above us; and,
- Provide us with treasures on an Eternal Level in the form of otherwise unobtainable Revelations of God.
With this in mind, as we reflect on the actions that have just taken place on the Earthly Stage, we will do so in keeping with these three different levels of application.
Ordinarily, when looking for Life Lessons within the context of the Scriptures, we would be studying the actions of the earthly characters involved in the Story in order to identify any principles of right living that could be applied to our own lives today. However, because there were no human actors on the Stage in Vignette #1, let’s not take this to mean that there are no Life Lessons to be learned from this particular part of the Story. In fact, there are several important ones that can be learned here—and nowhere else; lessons such as:
- Time, space, and matter all originated with God, and are limited by the boundaries imposed upon them by Him, indicating that just as there was a beginning, there will also be an ending. This would also mean that because God is “bigger” than any of these things, He remains in complete control of all of them at all times;
- All forms of life were the creative handiwork of God. While separated by Him into distinctive groups that were then ordered in increasing levels of complexity, they were also designed to be interdependent in much the same way that a body was designed to be–meaning that when something happened to one area of creation, other areas would also be affected by it;
- Light is the prerequisite for Life, the source of that Light is the Word of God, and because “…God is light and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), God alone must be the source of all Life;
- Life would be marked and measured by Seasons, during which all of God’s Creation would be expected to bear Fruit; and,
- Just as He had judged His own work at the end of each Day to assess its value, when Life’s Seasons were over, God would also judge the Fruit produced by His creation during those times to determine its value.
From these few but important lessons, we can know for certain that:
- God had a purpose in creating the world, and it was not the result of some random cosmic collision;
- Every part of God’s creation was designed to fulfill a specific purpose and because everything was designed to reproduce “after its own kind,” no one part of or creature in it “evolved” from one thing to become another thing through an eons-long “survival of the fittest” contest;
- The same Word which spoke Light and Life into the natural world then will also be our source of spiritual life and enlightenment now;
- Seasonal change is a necessary part of growth, maturity, and productivity; and,
- The same One who separated, divided, and judged things at the beginning of time will also be the One who separates, divides, and judges all things at the end of time.
Contributions to the Heavenly Story
Given the awe-inspiring events that we have just witnessed, it would be easy for us to become so engrossed in them that we fail to recognize the part that these events play in the One Big Story that the Bible has to tell. Additionally, when we consider the fact that this Big Story is one that had its origins in Heaven—meaning that it is one that must be spiritually rather than physically discerned—it becomes all the more difficult for us to see how events taking place in one realm could possibly impact the Story taking place in another. And yet, if we strive to keep in mind God’s motive for creating the world, the contributions that the creation events make to the One Big Story will become much clearer to us.
As for the reason behind God’s creation of the world, this was spelled out for us in the video, “The Bible: The Story Behind the Story.” It was there that we learned of God’s desire and determination to have a family of His to love; a desire and determination which would lead him to create a race of beings—human beings—so much like Himself that they could eventually be adopted into His family.
Before these beings could be created, however, there would first have to be a place to put them. This is what we see God doing in Vignette #1; He is creating the ideal home for His future family. In doing so, not only is He creating the physical, material place where they will live, but He is also setting up the Earthly Stage upon which all of their future human drama will unfold. Likewise, in His establishment of the heavens, He is actually erecting the Heavenly Stage where His Story of Redemptive Love will be acted out for all creatures, in all ages, to see. Finally, in His placement of the boundaries upon time, He is really putting bookends into place that will mark off the beginning and the ending of His One Big Story.
Revelations of God
When it comes to looking for how God reveals Himself in this, or in any other, part of our Story, there are four things that we need to take into consideration:
1–The names God uses to identify Himself…
As we have already learned, the name by which God was identified in Vignette #1 was Elohim—the plural form of El, a word used throughout Scripture as a designation for “god,” and one derived from the Hebrew root meaning “might, strength, and power.” It describes a God who is the Sovereign Creator of the universe; and, as the plural subject of the singular form of the verb create, it reveals to us that the Godhead is made up of more than one Person, acting in unison to accomplish His purposes.
2–The things God does…
Based upon what we experienced in Vignette #1, we now know that God is, that God is Everywhere, that God is All-Powerful, that God is All-Knowing, that God is a Moral Being as well as a Judge, and, that God is Triune in His Person—or, in other words, He is God, He is the Word, and He is the Spirit. And based upon what He did, we also know that He creates from nothing, He speaks and His Word is powerful, He sees or evaluates everything He makes, He has authority to name, He orders, organizes, and controls everything—even the darkness and chaos, and He blesses.
3–The ways that God relates to His creation…
In this first segment of our Story, the way that we find God relating to His creation is as the transcendent, or over-and-above-it-all, God of Creation. As the Divine Designer, He is busily engaged in every aspect of His creative work, making sure that even the smallest detail of His plan is carried out meticulously, and at every stage of its completion, He expresses approval and delight with what He has accomplished.
4–The things that God says about Himself…
While God, on occasion, will reveal things about Himself through His own verbal descriptions, in this instance, God has absolutely nothing to say about Himself; all of His Words are reserved for the purposes of accomplishing His work on the earth, and then blessing the work that He has done.
Although we have learned quite a lot about God already, these revelations are but a preview of the God we will come to know more deeply and meaningfully as our Story progresses. When we move on to Vignette #2 and the Creation of Man and Woman, we will get to see a completely different part of His nature, as He becomes intimately involved with those considered to be the “Crown of His Creation.” That part of our Story is just about to begin, so get situated in your seats…the lights are going down once more.
Please enjoy this musical reflection on the Names of God…