How God Meets Us In Our Darkness
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"If we understand that God has no beginning and has no end, why would he begin his opening line like this? Because he cares for us"
1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Today we look at the Genesis of Genesis. Chapter 1. In chapter 1 we are given simplified yet dense information about how everything came to exist. God even chose to give hearers an analogy that our brains can contextualize. Remember that with God he is limitless, outside of space and time and has always ‘been’, unlike we.
“In the beginning”
If we (attempt to) understand that God has no beginning nor end, why would he begin his opening line like this? Because he cares for us. He cares about how we as creatures understand our own existence and relate to one another. There is a start and a finish to anything as we undergo the story of our life.
In the beginning… I was born
In the beginning… going to school made me nervous
In the beginning… I couldn’t wait to start my new job
In the beginning… our marriage was stressful
In the beginning… The kids did not sleep well in their own bed
We may not say all or some of these in this fashion but everything must use the same premise. It’s beginning. These are statements of origin and raw starting point. Some of the first lines from some famous movies start like this instead…
Star Wars: “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…”
Goodfellas: “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster…”
Full Metal Jacket: “I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be ‘Sir.’..”
The Bible never starts like any of these great movies. There is no vagueness or extended imagination needed, nor a blatant introduction to somebody. It is stated as if the reader is to accept its claim that God simply ’is’ and that there simply ‘was’ a beginning. Fact.
Revelation 1:8 ESV
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
The other territory we must cross bridges with is that trouble and adversity is as about as normal to us as the sky is blue. In many cases people describe difficult seasons of life as dark times. The great shadow that casts its broad net over our life without little explanation or regard for timing. Navigating the correct response in such times is difficult and the pressure builds as inaction goes on longer. We hinge on the hope of a miracle breakthrough, the kind word of a friend, the confidence of somebody else to be your strength. No matter what walk of life we come from we have all pondered what powers above us are watching. Whether or not a sovereign good exists, a transcendental ruler actually cares or we are just matter in motion in a cosmic vortex of planets.
“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep”
In the beginning of the creation account there was no light (with exception to him being light by nature) until he spoke it. He is sovereign over all the physical light we witness warmth today and is the same when the skies darken by night.
“And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
I wish not to stretch the text further into metaphor territory than what keeps me honest, but I think this gives us a glimpse into the nature of God’s Spirit in our own dark times, based on where he was in Genesis:
Hovering means: to remain in one place in the air. To remain poised uncertainly in one place or between two states.
God stays present though it be dark. This should give us great comfort in our own dark times. God is hovering over all the good and all the bad times, whether you feel it or not. You only need to read through the many chapters in Psalm to see examples of people complaining to God (on the brink of blasphemy) about his lack of felt presence. Interesting.
This is how the God of the Bible meets us in darkness… he hovers above the circumstance with a presence that never left. He is still there just like he was over the voids of the earth and the oceans deep, before you or I, Adam or Eve had their beginning.
Be encouraged and reminded of this truth every time the heart despairs and our hopes dwindle. There is nothing we go through or trouble that surprises us that God cannot deal with.
I leave you with this passage:
Job 42:1-6 ESV
“Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.””