SoulBreaths

God’s Story Lens: Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 1]

By SoulBreaths Author [ 1 year ago ]

 

Genesis 1. God, the master storyteller of truth that your soul needs, delivers factual accounts enveloped within His mystery. From a beginning of beginnings of beginnings to a particular love-fueled purpose behind His creation story.

 

This series is related to a spiritual call (started in the early 90s) for me to walk a bridge—from the Judaic camp reaching out to the Messianic/Christian camp and then vice versa—crisscrossing it, realizing and later sharing who and what the real bridge is. Walk with me to discover God’s revelations and passionate plan for our souls.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

READING TIME: 4 MINUTES.

 

INTRODUCTION TO SERIES

 
 

Like any good story, it’s best to start at the beginning. The beginning moment that will lead to or expose a protagonist’s unmet desire. But with God’s masterful storytelling, it’s not always that simple.

 
 

The sheer epic size and generational expanse of His story (the Bible) may appear to be a maximal approach. But in reality, it’s minimalistic, razor-focused on a single, eternally driven thread.

 

We read about what was, what is, and what is to come. But the exactness of time remains hidden. He talks of times but defies time, because He created time and exists beyond this physical dimension . . . yet all the while intersecting and embodying it.

 

He is the ever-present, omniscient “character” in His unfolding story.

 

GENESIS 1:1 INTENT

 

But it’s God’s opening line that gets us, capturing, enticing, pulling us. Those famous first words beg to be unraveled.

 

We sense that they’re the gateway to something immeasurably higher, deeper, beyond ourselves.

 

Rashi, the famed biblical and Talmudic commentator from the Middle Ages, said that those initial [Hebrew] words of Genesis scream for explanation. (Okay, my word choice, but he did say it “calls aloud” for explanation.)

 

The next post in this series more closely explores God’s intro line—but let’s take this step first.

 

Homiletically—per commentary notes in the Stone Edition of The Chumash (an orthodox commentary on the first five books of the Bible)—the first word of this creation process b’reshit can be stated as . . .

 

“The world was created for the sake of [for the things that are called] beginnings.”

 

Stone’s commentary equates that to “God brought the world into being for the sake of things that are of such basic importance that the Torah calls them reishit (ראשית), meaning first or beginning.”

 

That is, the world was created for the sake of bringing forth Torah (the Law).

 

But that for-the-sake-of-the-Law beginning unleashes two other critical “beginnings”:

 

(1) The Law reveals the basics, the reflections, of what is good in God’s eyes while exposing the beginnings of humanity’s self-desire nature .

 

A desire that, from the get-go, will fall short of His righteousness, His holiness—and launch a devastating spiritual rift, a broken bridge, between God and humanity. Because nothing is the same after the Garden of Eden rebellion.

 

(2) But even before the creation process, the impending God-humanity chasm would ache for restoration and grace .

 

So in those beginnings within beginnings, God brings forth another for-the-sake-of layer that trumps all others.

 

An indescribable love-move created for the sake of something eternally driven.

 

The world was created for REDEMPTION—hands down, God’s foundational story thread throughout the Bible.

 

MAJESTY DISPLAYED

 

The first word of Genesis 1:1 creates time and sparks its motion, establishing order and setting the stage for God’s breath-defying, mysterious creation work to unfold, revealing even more of what’s to come.

 

Mind you, that beginning-within-beginnings opening comes . . .

 

#1

 

Before God’s unrivaled, unimaginable might and presence hover over the “astonishingly empty with darkness.”

 

An earth that was “desolate and void” (Hebrew tohu va-vohu, תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ) with darkness on the “face of the murmuring deep,” a “wonder and astonishment”—that would leave us aghast at the sheer emptiness (bohu) of it , per author Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg (The Murmuring Deep, quoting Rashi and author Stephen Frosh).

 

God’s boundless power—reflected in the peals of thunder, lightning flashes, and deep rumblings around His throne (“the life source of the universe” as Dr. Ed Hindson had called it)—and the immeasurable weight of His glory move over the chaotic, the tehom, Hebrew for depths, subterranean waters, and even suggesting a deep soul-to-soul groaning.

 

It possibly is what Zornberg’s book suggests: God is cutting through the chaotic, the deep murmuring—”primal noise”—to form a “creative silence,” a clearing for His creation words to come forth.

 

We witness a similar process when all of creation groans under the chaotic darkness birthed from sin.

 

At the appointed time, God again arises, His presence now hovering over our souls’ darkness, its chaos, its captivity , to break through and silence our noisy, subterranean murmuring, our aching soul-deep calling unto deep—tehom to tehom, תְּהֽוֹם־אֶל־תְּה֣וֹם ק֖וֹרֵא (Psalm 42 ).

 

The silence He created was witnessed on a rocky hill outside of Jerusalem, two thousand years ago. His deep (His Word) transformed the silence into a glorious work and bore the weight of our chaotic sinful state to bring forth the way, the truth, and the life of God’s redemption plan.

 

#2
And the Genesis opening comes . . .

 

Before His kingship calls forth a curious mergence of darkness and light from His unique environment . . . and separates the two independent entities (darkness/light).

 

Neither elements are “dependent on the lights created on the fourth day” and yet they “exist in hidden places [of the heavens] dedicated to them (Job 39:19-20),” per biblical commentator Moshe Weinfeld.

 

#3
And it comes . . .

 

Before He commands water to separate from water—the puzzling upper and lower waters, placed above and below the sky (heavenly) and earth expanse—creating space and order . . . and before He places luminaries in the sky: sun, moon, stars. God’s light-source timekeepers for seasons, days, years, and signs for appointed times.

 

IT’S ABOUT HIS WORD

 

God created (ex nihilo) this dimension—this beginning of beginnings—with a WORD. Per rabbinical teaching, the WORD God spoke in the creative process performed the creation.

 

What or who is that WORD?

 

The next two posts explore more of the wording beneath Genesis 1:1 and the what/who WORD question.

 

READ THIS NEXT: Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 2]

 
 
PHOTO CREDITS for this three-part post:
CREDITS: Steam Punk Minister w/Bible by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash.com
CREDITS: Steps with child by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash.com
CREDITS: Follow the Line on asphalt photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash.com

CREDITS: Woman in jeans with Bible by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.com
 
 
RESOURCES:
(1) The Stone Edition Chumash, the ArtScroll, Series, published by Messiah Publications, ltd, September 2005 edition, Parashas Bereishis/Genesis, p 3
(2) Sefaria.org
(3) The Murmuring Deep, Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. Schocken Books, New York, 2009.
(4) Moshe Weinfeld quote: TheTorah.com

God’s Story Lens: Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 3]

By SoulBreaths Author [ 1 year ago ]

 

Continuing the story dig. After reading Parts 1 and 2 of this “beginning within a beginning” blog series, jump into this Part 3—walking the bridge from Genesis 1:1 to its messianic connection.

 

This series is related to a spiritual call (started in the early 90s) for me to walk a bridge—from the Judaic camp reaching out to the Messianic/Christian camp and then vice versa—crisscrossing it, realizing and later sharing who and what the real bridge is. Walk with me to discover God’s revelations and passionate plan for our souls.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

SUGGEST READING THIS FIRST: Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 1] and Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 2]

 

READING TIME: 4 MINUTES

 

From page one of the Bible, God is on the move. His love revealed. He speaks forth creation for the sake of His redemption story . . . for a humanity who has yet to be created.

 

A humanity who will rebel against His ways, refuse to surrender to Him, and recant their promises to Him.

 

And yet, His mercies endure forever. His love, the motivating factor in all that He does.

 

With a WORD, God created His story, this dimension, space, order, time, this beginning within a beginning. This beginning that is unfolding, contracting, stretching out and beginning again. Our sovereign God who loves to create . . . who desires to continually bring forth new things in line with His purpose and holy desire.

 

Rabbinic teaching says that the WORD God spoke did the actual creation. But this WORD did more than tell His story . . . it came from WITHIN Him, embodying and performing both the creative process and the world’s REDEMPTIVE process.

 
 

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,

and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;

he puts the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;

let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!

For he spoke, and it came to be;

he commanded, and it stood firm.

Psalm 33:6-9

 
 

By faith we understand that the universe was created

by the word of God,

so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

—Hebrews 11:3

 
 

But who or what is this WORD that “came from the Father”? And since creation is part and parcel of God’s redemption story, what part does this WORD play?

 

Let’s continue strolling both sides of the bridge to discover God’s mystery and riches in the WORD, in the one whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

 
 

 
 

WALK WITH ME: AND HE SPOKE

 

Just so we’re clear. We’re not talking about some mere vocabulary word used in the creation process—or even some everyday Joe who was a decent guy who God used down here to do the redemption part of the work.

 

Uh-uh. We’re talking about God Himself bringing forth from within Himself—the essence of Himself manifested in the WORD.

 

Therefore, the WORD is and was and always will be one with the Father.

 

So much so, that when the WORD would later come forth from the Father and manifest down here in the flesh for the sake of humanity’s redemption, he’d be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9).

 

And called . . .

 

a great light—no end to his kingdom (Isaiah 9)

 

the son given—the Son of God (Isaiah 9, Psalm 2)

 

having righteousness as the belt of his waist—and faithfulness the belt of his loins (Isaiah 11)

 

the healer of the blind, the mute, the lame—and the one cleansing lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the good news of heaven (Isaiah 35, Isaiah 61:1-2, Matthew 11, Luke 4:16-19, Luke 7:20-23)

 

the promised King, Messiah—bringing salvation, righteousness, humbly riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)

 

the reflection of the Father—the exact imprint of His nature (Hebrews 1:1-3, John 14:9)

 

the Word that became flesh—and dwelt among us (John 1)

 

Faithful and True, The Word of God, and be clothed in a robe dipped in blood symbolic of the redemption completed (Revelation 19:11b, 13)
 

I will tell of the decree:

The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;

today I have begotten you [brought forth, per Hebrew]*

Psalm 2:7

*Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon’s meaning for “begotten”
 

Long ago, at many times and in many ways,

God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,

whom he appointed the heir of all things,

through whom also he created the world.

He is the radiance of the glory of God

and the exact imprint of his nature,

and he upholds the universe

by the WORD of his power.

Hebrews 1:1-3

 
 

IMPACT: HIS COMING FORTH

 

BACK IN THE LATE 90s/EARLY 2000s . . . I was still struggling at times with the Father and Messiah (Jesus) relationship. So one day, I’d asked my friend’s Greek husband to give me the 4-1-1 on John 8:42—translating the scripture from the Greek since the original language of the New Testament was written in Koine Greek.

 

He said it read that Jesus “came up out of the Father” . . . and that it was similarly written in John 16.

 

That image changed so much for me. It took time, but it began to unravel some of the mystery hidden within the WORD, the Messiah—one that actually mirrored rabbinic thinking about the WORD doing the creation.

 

It also furthered the understanding of God creating the world for the sake of redemption.

 

The fog was clearing for me. The Hebrew in Psalm 2 and in many other Judaic messianic-related passages was echoed and manifested in the New Testament’s factual accounts of the WORD that dwelt among us.

 

The Messiah was with and in God eternally—had come up out of Him—was one with the Father yet distinct in person, and was brought forth by the Father from within God Himself for the sake of the world, for the sake of God’s redemption story.

 

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father,

you would love me,

for I came out from God and I am here.

I came not of my own accord, but he [God] sent me.”

—John 8:42

 

[Jesus said]: “For the Father Himself loves you,

because you have loved me

and have believed that I came out from God

and have come into the world,

and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

—John 16:27

 

Not only is Jesus the WORD that came out of the Father and was with Him in creation . . . but God’s glory was fully on the Messiah—before, then, and now.

 

We’ll explore this more and other God-nuggets throughout this unfolding bridge series . . . and witness how the narrative, promises, and fulfillment of both the Judaic and Messianic/Christian sides are mirrored. A wondrous plan of God.

 
 
QUESTION FOR YOU:

Is there a MESSIANIC/GARDEN-OF-EDEN connection?

 

ANSWER:

Yep. That thread is part of an upcoming post in this God’s Story Lens series: Trees, Serpent, Lies.

 

Got more time now? Check the scripture list below related to this post.

 
 
 

 
 

GOT MORE TIME?
SCRIPTURES FOR YOUR REVIEW: THE WORD AMONG US

 

JESUS: THE WORD THAT “CAME UP OUT OF GOD”

 

Two Jewish disciples of the Messiah Jesus (part of the original twelve) give a factual, connecting the dots for us. One is John (not John the Baptist/Immerser) and the other is Matthew, a tax collector-turned-follower.

 

John 1:1-5 and John 1:14

Matthew 3:16-17

 
 

Pharisee-turned Believer, Saul Paulus (Apostle Paul), later wrote . . .

 

1 Corinthians 8:6

 
 

JESUS: GLORY BEFORE CREATION EXISTED

 

Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:16-19

John 17:1-5

 
 

JESUS: IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD

 

Isaiah 11:2 and Isaiah 11:5

Zechariah 9:9

Colossians 1:13-17

 
 

JESUS: THE WORD, THE NAME, I AM

 

Revelations 19:13-16

 f

Compare the Revelations 19:11-21 description with the one in Daniel 7:9-14 (the Son of Man, everlasting dominion, glory).

 
 

God told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” [I will be what/who I will be.]—Exodus 3:14

 

Jesus/Yeshua repeatedly spoke of his eternal relationship with the Lord—his coming out of the Father, being one in essence with the Father, and returning to the Father.

 

John 8:54-58

John 18:2-6

John 10:30-38

Philippians 2:9-11

 
 

JESUS: THE REDEMPTION PROMISE TO YOU

 

Isaiah 9:2-7

Matthew 4:16-17

John 1:1-5

John 1:14-17

2 Corinthians 5:17

 
 
 

PHOTO CREDITS for this three/four-part Beginnings series:

 

CREDITS: Steam Punk Minister with Bible by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash.com

CREDITS: Steps with child by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash.com

CREDITS: Follow the Line on asphalt photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash.com

CREDITS: Woman in jeans with Bible by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.com

 
 

RESOURCES:

Sefaria.org

Journey on