by Allen Clupny
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“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Then God said, “Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness… Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1 NKJV)
As I read your Word Lord I am overwhelmed. It is like an umbrella that is more than a stick in my hand. When open, it is blown from here to there, turning me in innumerable directions with Your Spirit’s gust. I want to hang on… I hope to. Sometimes Father, most times Father, I have to let go. Your Word is too vast for an image of you to contain all that you are. But I pick it up again and again and hang on as long you allow. I have tasted and seen that you and your Word are good (Psalm 34:8) and it blesses me as it lights a path for my feet (Ps 119:105) that you might teach me (2 Tim 3:16).
When I read about the creation of Adam and Eve, I picture them as an integral part of, even the purpose of the universes existence. With a supporting cast of living and inanimate pieces revealing some aspect of your character (Rom 1:20), ending with man created in your likeness (Gen 1:26). And though like in appearance and character traits, we are not in nature. No created thing is more than a reflection of your character and humanity is a living image of you surrounded by constant reminders of you.
I don’t know your mind. Your reasons for choosing to create time out of infinity and beginnings and endings out of eternity are yours alone. But if I may… Perhaps, art (Psalm 94:11). Perhaps you simply desired to manifest a thing of beauty to enjoy and be glorified by. Does that sound too human? I picture you desiring to manifest yourself, through yourself, to yourself, that in all ways by creation you would be glorified and could be seen. (My umbrella has opened.)
You set limits to reveal the limitless to the limited so we might consider the unlimited. You created boundaries to contain the boundless. You defined the undefined and spoke definition into existence. “… God created the heavens and the earth.” (The wind has changed direction.)
Lord, I don’t know if life exists outside this place spinning in the blackness. I can’t say if you made thinking creatures like or unlike humanity, placed them light-years away from us, or if they wonder and ask the same questions I do now. What I do know is that… it doesn’t matter. The vastness of the universe pales to the extent of your thought. The appearance of limitlessness as I look out in space is only a shadow of your infinite existence. If other thinking beings are pondering, searching to know you… they are as busy as I am. Either way, you are the center of their and my existence and sustenance as are the spinning balls you have placed us on. The heavens and the earth were just the beginning of your plan to create a place for this likeness to exist.
Father, did those dwelling with you cover their eyes when you spoke, “Let there be light.” Were the creatures that worship at your throne, “Still and know that “You are God (Isaiah 46:10) as you spoke?
When Moses wrote the word ‘light’ I understand him to mean ‘glorious.’ Were you creating this omni-directional energy to reveal your radiant glory? Could it be that this spectrum of frequencies, that only a small range can be seen, show us that your glory is only partially revealed? That to look fully at the sun is a symbol of how Moses would have been affected had he seen more than just your back? (Exodus 33:17-23) Man is a fortunate being. To be cared for so much that he might have a constant reminder of whom you are simply by lifting an eyelid. But to prepare a place to co-exist with you is more than we could hope for. Yet today, men hope for that very thing. And that is what all who receive what you have done through Jesus Christ will have on the last day.
Reading further I see the scope of our existence slowly narrowing. An orb hangs in the blackness of space by all the laws you engineered. Only water covers the earth. Waves crash against each other, currents cross one another’s path and the water above gently blends with those below. No creature stirs a pristine pond or schools in the warmth of equatorial water. There is just this ball of swirling fluid. But you didn’t intend for me to walk on water. Did You? (Matthew 14:28) “Let there be an expanse between the waters…” and “… call the expanse sky.” Is the water above representative of the water Jesus spoke of to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well? (John 4:10)
Lord, is it hindsight for me. I know that you were preparing a place for us to live. But did your angels know? Did you announce your plan to them before you spoke the heavens and earth into existence? Did Michael or Gabriel know you were going to put your likeness between the water above and those below? Was this part of the reason the ‘Angel of Light’ rebelled? (The wind has changed again.) Whether they did or didn’t, whether he did or didn’t… what a view they all had. Were they giddy, anxious, and even jealous to see what you were going to do for frail humanity?
I imagine them sitting, watching you put on the show of shows as you called light day and darkness night, then create a tumult of waters only to say, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”
Did Michael whisper into Gabriel’s ear, “How will this being look that it might live on or in the water? And what is ground?”
Wouldn’t it have been great if you looked over at them, smiled and said, “Michael. Gabriel. Watch.” Suddenly, no quicker, “… in the twinkling of an eye,” earth changed. Like man will be changed from mortal to immortal (1 Corinthians 15:52), earth was painted from your limitless pallet as you brushed the soil with your words. “Let the land produce vegetation.”
I see Gabriel turning to look at Michael who is staring in amazement. His eyes wandering from color to color, looking at varying texture of flower, fruit and leaf. Then Michael turns to Gabriel and points toward a land being prepared and their eyes meet. Both are speechless but their eyes say the same thing. “Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.” (Psalm 150:1) Only the acknowledgement of your greatness is enough to define the intricacy and variety of plant life now before them.
Did you look at them and nod your head in agreement for their insight of praise rather than their wonder of your work. It must have been very cool Father.
Darkness begins to move over the ball. “Lord?” They asked. “What is happening?”
“Look.” May have been your reply as you opened your cradled hands and showed them a glowing mass of stars. “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night.” Did you fling them into their places or were they carried on your breath? What was once a veil of black became dotted with points of light. There seemed to be no order and yet perfect order exists. Each shimmering dot brilliantly appearing as a reminder of your glory even in the darkness no matter our time of life. “… And let them serve as signs to mark seasons.”
Seasons? Lord, what are seasons? Father, were you continuing to define patterns for man. Are we so incapable of understanding the infinite that only with the repetition of change, could we have some understanding of you?
“Michael,” Gabriel might have said, “this being The Almighty will form must be awesome and wonderful. (Psalm 139:14) Look at what God has done before it even is made. How wise and mighty is the Lord. Let us ascribe to the Lord, … the glory due His name. Let us worship Him in the splendor of His holiness.” (Psalm 29:1,2)
Lord, up till now You have made the heavens, the sky separates the waters above and those below, dry ground has appeared where only swells roamed, and the display of plants fill the air with what remind You of the fragrance of the future prayers of Your people (Psalm 141:2).
What can I see of your character in the plants? What kind of God would create a forest of pine trees that can only release their seed if the forest is destroyed by fire? Which of Your attributes do you reveal when the stem of a rose is covered with thorns? What are you showing us with the barrel cactus filled with water, yet living in an a dry land? Father, your ways, your thoughts are too high for me (Isaiah 55:9).
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known to the nations what He has done and proclaim that His name is exalted.” (Isaiah 12:4)
And God said, “Let the water team (bring forth abundantly) with living creatures.” The seas were to be a harvest of creatures massed together in a serpentine motion. Were they for the benefit of all men to see the richness of your bounty? Or to see great design so distant from our own; unthinkable complexity ending in unimaginable simplicity (Matthew 13:13a). “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak.” (Psalm 6:2) Lord, I’ve lost the umbrella.
The stinging jellyfish that paralyzes its prey and yet gracefully propels itself through the shallows. The lumbering Manatee slowly foraging in the fresh waters, but migrates through the oceans. Lord, what of the dolphin that seems to smile with his eyes and chatter in a tongue only you can know? Are you helping men to hear your laughter? I hope so. Perhaps instead the giddy bottle nosed mammal simply speaks what David later wrote? “I will praise You, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:1,2)
“… And let the birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky… and every winged fowl after his kind.”
Father, birds are contrary creatures. They are more at home in the air than on the earth that is their home. One of the meanings of ‘bird’ is obscurity. Now that is not something you would fill the skies with and yet it makes perfect sense. ‘Bird’ is also defined as ‘withdrawn from the center of human activity.” (Lord God Almighty, I have picked up the umbrella again, but the Spirit is blowing mighty gusts.) Are the affairs of men so… foolish, that you need to remind us of your grace (divine influence) through a contrary thing? (Psalm 2:4a)
“And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the sea, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”” Could it be Lord that no matter how we interfere with your will, your (contrary) ways will be manifest on earth? “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:13)
““Let the earth bring forth the living creatures according to its kind; cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind.” And it was so.””
Father, I have been here before. I don’t know the mode of your creative capacity except that you spoke and a physical realm as I could know it… now is. These creatures; sheep, cattle, the water-buffalo, they plod, they are foolish and weak-minded. We often only see them as something to consume even to despise. Yet there is something about them that we must observe. “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things that are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen.” (1 Corinthians 1:27,28) “And God saw that it was good.” (The winds have settled except for a cool breeze that blows from the east.)
Mighty God, You have done a marvelous thing. Earth hangs from a thin line of wisdom. Oceans roar with the sound of your holiness. The rocks and soil are as firmly placed as the throne you hold. Life is carried on the ever-moving breezes as they gently lift plants seeds and places them on your chosen spot. Sea creatures dart from one another, school with their own kind, inch along the oceans bottom, and poke their heads out of holes. Birds soar, dive, and glide. Animals run, scamper, jump, and walk; each is animated uniquely to touch the life of your final creation in men’s Genesis experience. Each is delightfully created to remind us of who you are. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness.””
You must have had a great time walking with Adam through the garden watching him name the creatures of the earth. I know you miss walking with your likenesses. But one day again we will see each other face to face. In your time. For now…
Lord you have made me to be like you. You have made me to love you. You have made me to serve you. You have made me to be a temple that I might worship always in your presence. “… I will come into your house in the multitude of your mercy; in fear of you I will worship toward your holy temple. For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb, I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made marvelous are your works, and that, my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 5:7, 139:14)
I’m tired Lord. I think I’ll put down my umbrella for now…
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