Listening or seeing – which is more important?
How special are human beings?
It was a match made in heaven … literally. It was beyond our wildest imaginings, way further than the furthest reaches of our intellects. And it was described beautifully in the first few verses of the Bible. Let’s investigate:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth … (Genesis 1:1)
The Hebrew word for ‘God’ here is Elohim, which is actually a plural word, yet the word for ‘created’, which is bara, is in the singular. What does this tell us? It tells us that God is One … but also many!
… 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.
And here is the Spirit of God. But where is the Word? Just about everywhere else!
And God said … (verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26)
God spoke His Word and, working in harmony with the Spirit, achieved great things. Acts of creation, through the first six days. Light, sky, waters, land, vegetation, sun, moon, stars, living creatures … and man. On every day, God examined His handiwork and declared it good, but on the sixth day, culminating in the creation of man …
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
We are very special to God, even now when we’re making a complete mess of this World He created for us. Here’s how our journey started:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)
Again God speaks His Word and again we see God expressing Himself as ‘many’, speaking of our image and our likeness.
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:6)
The Hebrew word for ‘breath’ here is neshamah. It is often paired with the word ruach, which usually means ‘spirit’, for example in Job 33:4:
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
So, in Genesis 1:26, God speaks His intention and then breathes life into man, by His Spirit. The Word and the Spirit working together in harmony.
But we can go deeper still, especially when we often see Jesus spoken as the Word of God. What does this mean and how does this fit in? More next week.