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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth….

One of the most well-known phrases in the Bible. The start of it all. “The Message” puts it like this: “First, this: God created the heavens and the earth – all you see and all you don’t see.”

Much has been debated among believers about the Creation. The details of Creation end up being a stumbling block, as various teachers, pastors, and laymen argue about when Creation happened, how long it took, even if God was actually there for the whole thing. Do I think the answer is important? Yes I do. Do I think it’s worth seeing Christian A and Christian B tear each other (and the Church) apart because they can’t agree? No I don’t.

I listened recently to a pastor whom I respect speak about the reasons to believe that the Bible speaks of a literal six-day creation and a 6,500 year-old Earth. I read another pastor whom I respect explain why the Bible’s creation story must mean something other than a literal 6-day creation because of the knowledge that God has given that supports a much longer, more evolutionary track of creation.

I respect both of these pastors, and value their teachings. I feel that both are strong men of faith, and that they are both men of God. I would not stop seeking their teachings and guidance on any topic of the Bible. But I would not savor the idea of putting the two of them in a room together and having them discuss Creation.

While the debates rage on, I think that all sides sometimes lose sight of the awesome work that God does in Genesis 1. And since you asked, I believe that scientific “evidence” seems to indicate a billions-year-old earth. I also believe that God is quite capable of creating His universe in six days. I am just in awe that He did it at all, and that His purpose for creating was to have a relationship with mankind.

And the earth was formless and empty, darkness was on the surface of the deep, AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD HOVERED OVER THE WATERS.

The word translated as “hovered” means “fluttered” or “moved.” Sometimes it can mean “trembled.” I picture the flutter of anticipation as the Spirit anticipates the first Word. In a very human sense, I think of my kids on Christmas morning, anxiously waiting next to the presents for my wife and I to arrive so they can year into the packages in front of them.

Then I think about the Spirit hovering over a person in the moments before he or she accepts the gift of salvation from God through Jesus Christ. The moment when the dead, lifeless soul of that person comes vibrantly alive as a “New Creation.” The moment when we confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we are one again faced with that glorious command within our soul, *LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

Genesis 1 is full of the miraculous work of God, His Word (Jesus), and His Holy Spirit. We see how He put into place a vast system of water, light, vegetation, and animals, and we see WHY He did the work.

Let us make mankind in our own image, and our own likeness, that he may rule [over the earth and its plants and animals]… and God blessed them…

We shall see that God didn’t just leave the man and woman alone and take a long vacation. He planted a garden for them to tend and to live on. He moved among them, and spoke to them. He gave them every good gift, and asked for (but never demanded) obedience to the one rule that He laid down for them.

“In the beginning” all was “very good.” God was in a loving relationship with mankind. It is all that God wanted, for Himself and for us. It is still all He desires. His Spirit continues to hover tremulously over us today, awaiting the moment when we invite the Light to shine through the darkness.