“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
God said. The Voice said. The Logos said. The Word which was God said.
So, the beginning of the beginning was not the moment the Voice spoke light into existence. The beginning of the beginning was when all that was out there was utter darkness and this massive entity only identified as the Logos—the Word—which John 1:1 says was God and all that He encompasses.
Then, in order to launch time itself, in order to give humanity a starting point, the Voice uttered words aloud. Was it still and small? Was it loud and thundering? It could have been either, for the Bible speaks of both. But in my mind, I imagine it as described in Ezekiel 43:2 when he said, “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.” Can you hear it? Can you close your eyes and imagine utter darkness and hear that huge, cavernous, thundering Voice crashing through space like Niagara Falls as it says “Let there be light!”?
Out of the mouth of the massive Voice came streams of light cascading and tumbling and arcing down through space. Colors of crystal clarity collided with sparks and showers and rivers of hues and shades and glowing, illuminating brilliance. Glorious light divided the darkness.
In the first act of Creation, the God of glory gave us what was to be a foundational part of His relationship to humanity—at first, spoken from mouth to ear, then as His creation became more adapted to life, written with quill on animal skins and parchment. In the telling and re-telling of His ultimate story, our understanding of that phenomenal Voice was reduced to mere human words, then ink on skins, papyrus, cave walls, and scrolls. The Voice became ink on onion skin bound in covers of soft leather and electronic images on a blue screen.
You have a copy. How many copies? Shelves are lined with them, and version after version is on the microchip. How ironic is that—God on a microchip! Do you have so many copies until they no longer evoke awe in your soul?
I love what Eugene Peterson said regarding this thought: “Print technology—a wonderful thing, in itself—has put millions and millions of Bibles in our hands, but unless these Bibles are embedded in the context of a personally speaking God and a prayerfully listening community, we who handle these Bibles are at special risk. If we reduce the Bible to a tool to be used, the tool builds up calluses on our hearts.”
And that is the core of the matter. What is this Book? Yes, a guide. Yes, a record of what was. Yes, a foretelling of what will be. Yes, poetry and songs and rules and love letters and grand dramas with miracles transcending far past where our imagination can carry us.
And yes, it is the Word of God. Really, though? Word as in word as we know word?
Yes, really. Although we tend to forget it and dilute it and diminish it and explain it away, it is still Word—Logos—sound wrapped around a God-concept, spoken from the very mouth of God Himself into the ears of more than forty-four different writers.
But in a little plot twist of this cosmic story, Genesis 2:7 tells us that “God formed man of the dust of the ground.”
After five days of speaking and creating, designing and implementing, imagining and forming, the sixth day dawned as the birthday of humanity. The origin of you and me—the day our original ancestors came into being.
Genesis is quite clear in telling us man came into existence in a much different way than the rest of Creation.
There was no “and God said” when it came to the creation of man. He created man with dust and God-breath. He fashioned him. He shaped him. He formed him.
Why didn’t God just “say”? Where is the “and God said”?
What if it all has to do with the Voice? What if God gave the power of choice to man so that man could choose to align his voice with The Voice and greater things than we can ever ask or think could come into being? What if the eternal Word of John 1:1 who was God and is God is actually allowing us to become one with Him on such an intimate level that we can share in the creative, victorious, eternal power of the Word?
Can it be if “and God said” would have formed man, there would have been no way to connect with the very essence that is God? Can it be God wanted man to choose to say it and become it and align with it and identify with it and house it? Could that be why there is such power when we choose to allow our hearts and minds and souls to embrace His Word? Can that be why the very molecules of the air shift and change when we join with the ancient words declared so many centuries ago, breathed from the mouth of God into the ears of man and passed to us through ink and paper?
The power of the entire universe is resting on the table by our easy chairs, waiting patiently for us to dive deep into the pages and realize who we are, who He is, and who we can be. Waiting for us to choose to align our words with His Words and walk in power through life and into eternity.
Jeremiah challenged us to eat it.
So maybe the greater question is not: How?
Maybe the greater question is: Are you hungry?