“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 upon the face of the waters.”
In this lesson we will find more answers to the questions “Who is God?” and “What is He like?” We have taken a panoramic view of Creation (just like someone taking a flight over London), and realise that we must delve further by getting down to the grass roots. Our future studies will be like taking a tour bus ride around London, so at certain times we will stop to investigate important truths more deeply in the same way as a tourist would visit an important building.
In other words, we need to take a closer look. This involves word studies so that we can rightly determine exactly what the Bible is saying. The Hebrew words behind our English translation can often offer valuable insight in our study Creation; this is especially true as we highlight the role of the Godhead in Creation.
The book of Genesis was originally written in Hebrew. In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning God…” The word for God is ‘Elohim’ in Hebrew. Each of the names and titles the Bible uses for God teach us something about His character and who He is. The word ‘Elohim’ is used whenever the power of God is revealed. Therefore, it was Elohim who spoke the universe into existence.
This name is very special when considering who God is. It is a plural word, which means ‘more than one.’ It is significant because it speaks to of the Godhead (Trinity is a uni-plural word rather than the idea of three Gods) – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Genesis chapter one tells us that the Godhead was involved in Creation, but the rest of the Bible reveals what each Person was doing.
The Holy Spirit in Creation
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Here we find that the Holy Spirit ‘moved’ upon the face of the waters. This is obviously a creative act, therefore the Holy Spirit is God. The Hebrew word for ‘moved’ is ‘rahap’ and means ‘to flutter’ or ‘vibrate’. Vibration is energy. It was the Holy Spirit who introduced energy into the formless void.
What happened after the Holy Spirit poured His energy into the earth? Genesis 1:3 says, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Light is a result of energy. The original light that illuminated the earth was the power of the Holy Spirit. His energy filled the void.
Jesus Christ in Creation
According to John 1:1 the Lord Jesus Christ is “The Word.” When God the Father spoke it was His Son Jesus who acted. We can truly say and prove from Scripture that Jesus is the Creator (within the concept of the Godhead). We need to go outside of Genesis to determine this truth. Colossians 1:15-16 reads, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Jesus is the creator and sustainer of all things.
The Father in Creation
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Father made the worlds through or by Jesus Christ. This brings to neatly back to the opening statement about Jesus being the Word of God, for in Hebrews 11:3 Paul writes, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
It is important to note that each member of the Godhead acted in unity together in bringing about Creation. As we have seen, ‘Elohim’ is the word used for ‘God’, yet it denotes ‘more than one.’ As Christians we do not allow for three Gods, three Divine Persons in the Godhead. If we understand the roles of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Creation our next two studies on ‘Creation Week’ will be of greater edification to us. Time and space forbids an in-depth study of the Trinity, but this is something we can do in our own time.
MS Word version of this study