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

Tightrope Walker: Three Hours Of Silence

By SoulBreaths Author [ 7 years ago ]

Come up to the mountain and stay there. God said that to Moses. But what does that mean for you and me? A lot, as it happens. Like listening, obeying, waiting . . . and possibly some spiritual tightrope walking to boot.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

READING TIME: 4 MINUTES.

 

Sswimming in God’s murmuring deep . . . that’s the real desire. Speaking with Him soul to soul. Listening for our Redeemer’s stilled, small voice.

 

But I’ll be honest—there’s a cost. A wrestling within. An off-the-grid trek. Taking you beyond your version of things to a place guaranteed to ruffle your comfy feathers.

 

When His voice calls you to go higher so you can go deeper, it’s not about pitching your tent in the lower mountain places. Because a change in the physical moves the spiritual . . . and a shift in the spiritual births breakthrough in the physical.
 

Soaking in His presence is the launching pad: separating time (marking it as holy, set apart for Him) , moving away from the world’s noisy, pushy, self-focused gravitational pull, so you can drink in God’s ways, and then drink in, drink in, and drink in even more.

 

Here’s a quick story of what my friends and I experienced via a surprising God-move that caused us to wrestle through the process as it took us individually to new territory in Him.

 
 

 
 

STEPPING ONTO THE HIGH WIRE:
THE MOSES MOUNTAIN

 

The Lord had led three of my friends and me on a joint spiritual journey back in 2009—a year filled with soaking-in-His-presence lessons that, personally speaking, catapulted my walk into new directions on many levels.

 

It all started with our hanging out at His well (in prayer, seeking His face, desiring to go deeper). Although we had different backgrounds and approaches, we were one in Messiah, Jesus, honoring God and His Word.

 

We had agreed to meet weekly via phone for prayer and subsequent God-called fasts. The actual parameters of each fast differed and intensified per the individual intercessor—but the leading of the “when” and the “how long” always fell in absolute unison.

 

The Lord had impressed on me that some of the things He had me fasting from would last more than an appointed number of days—they would become my way of life going forward.

 

Throughout that first year, we had ascended from group prayer time to a higher level of God-led intercession and onto prophetic intercession, visions or words given, hearing His voice of what to say or do (or not) as we spiritually swam in His murmuring deep.

 

Key lesson—obedience is birthed out of love for Him.

 

THE SHIFT

 

On May 25, 2009, we’d entered our regular time for intercession via phone. But there was nothing regular about this special God encounter.

 

We started with worship and praise as individually led.

 

But then . . . without any of us discussing it or sharing what we were experiencing at that moment, we simultaneously entered a stillness.

 

No words were spoken.

 

His Spirit had fallen over us, silenced us, and impressed on us individually not to speak.

 

We’d learned from prior group experiences to hear and heed. And now we were taking a mini test.

 

Would we obey even if we felt the need in the natural to speak or explain? I have to tell you, despite prior learning to follow His lead, my mind still had moments of wondering . . .

 

Am I the only one hearing this? (Nope, as it turned out.)

Did my phone drop the call? (Not in the least.)

Should I explain what He’s directing me to do? (Nope again . . . this was a faith test for each of us.)

 

Despite each question I wrestled with in the natural, my soul was at peace with the stillness, marveling at it and sensing things from Him through it. And He assured me, impressing on me to not be concerned about explaining things to the others but to remain silent, still, and wait.

 

At one point, the Lord highlighted my dog, a sweet-but-feisty English Cocker (Avigail) who was lying calmly at my feet through it all. God was affirming His lesson . . . just relax, trustfully wait, rest in Him, something like the restful devotion my dog was giving me.

 

Determined to not lose my balance on this undulating high wire, I wrestled against natural inclinations and waited (and waited even more), humbled by His His divine royalty, powerful presence and authority, love.

 

Three to three-and-a half hours later . . . He lifted the silence.

 

Amazing.

 

We all had remained on the phone in obedient stillness, not knowing what our intercessory partners were thinking, doing, or if they had hung up or given up.

 

All we had was our personal command for silence before Him. The wrestling through it all was similar, but the lessons may have been different.

 

Why three plus hours? Don’t know. But what I can share is two things.

 

We had entered a whole new level of not pitching our tent in the low places and learning (by His grace) to go farther up the mountain,
closer to Him, deeper in Him, trusting the climb, the silence,
the unexplainable, the waiting
. . .
 
Obediently resting in His Presence,
in His holy bridal chamber
.

 

HE ALONE IS KING . . . the GREAT I AM.


HE ALWAYS WAS AND WILL ALWAYS BE.

 

And that SECOND takeaway?

 

After the Lord had broken the silence, my intercessory partners immediately asked, “What was that?” and started sharing the experiences and wrestlings they’d had during the wait.

 

Here’s what God had imparted to me during those hours and what I basically had shared with them:

 

He is King. K-I-N-G. Yes, we have access to His Holy throne room through our Messiah—but He wanted to take us to another level of His Lordship, majestic royalty . . . not move in presumption.

 

Similar to ancient days of earthly kingships, He wanted us to bow to His Lordship and obey . . . speaking only when He, the King, directed. And in that time of silently waiting for His nod to speak, we were to rest attentively to hear His voice within our souls.

 

How does that roll? Well, if you’re willing to surrender to His lead to get your spiritual ears recalibrated, there will be times when He’ll direct you to sit before Him and learn by just being in His Presence.

 

Other times, He’ll direct you to only worship Him—no prayer lists, not even a deeper-level intercession. But what songs would He like to hear—something honest and spontaneous from your soul, a melody from His heart to yours, or a worship song you often sing?

 

Or He may not want songs or soulful melodies but instead desire praise and thanksgiving. Or He could lead you into intercession where you’ll speak His Words, often praying from scripture, doing battle on behalf of others, world events, things to come according to what He is showing you.

 

There will be times for prayer lists/requests/concerns, but He just might want you to set all that aside, trusting that He knows the list, and instead go higher on the mountain, spending that time solely loving on Him.

 

Adonai said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there . . . Then Moses went up the mountain and the cloud covered the mountain. —Exodus 24:12-15

 
 

My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from him.Psalm 62:5(6).

 
 
CREDITS

Photo credit: Feet on a tightrope by Barguti on iStock (Stock photo ID:158772733)

Photo credit: Whisper by Kristina Flour on Unsplash.com

 
 

[Expanded from a 2009 post about Feasting within the Fast; revised January 2015 and re-released 2022.]

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