The Word in Genesis 1-3

ImageGenesis 1-3 is one of the most important passages in the entire Bible. It is one to which we must return again and again. Recently I walked through the text observing everything I could about the Word of God in these three chapters. I came away amazed and encouraged by the wonderful and omnipotent word of our God.Here are some of the things I found.

  • God creates ex nihlo with his word (Gen 1:3)
  • God transforms what he created by his word (Gen 1:9-13)
  • God commands his creation to work with him in the continuing process of creation (Gen 1:24)
  • God divides by his word (Gen 1:6, 14)
  • God declares good, not good, and evil with his word (Gen 1:3, 13, 18, 21, 25, 31, 2:16-17, 18)
  • God’s word is omnipotent, guaranteeing no lag between the command and action (Gen 1:3)
  • God does art with his word (Gen 1:1-25–note the diversity, creativity, and wonder of all that God created; his word is never boring but lively and exciting)
  • God blesses with his word (Gen 1:22, 28–note that blessing gives purpose and ability to fulfill that purpose; blessing has to do with vocation in its first occurrences in the Bible)
  • God dialogues with himself by his word (Gen 1:26, 3:22)
  • God shares by his word (Gen 1:28 –note how gives dominion and authority to the man made in his image who is given a voice with power, authority, and impact)
  • God works with his word (Gen 2:3)
  • God commands with his word (Gen 2:16-17)
  • God warns with his word (Gen 2:16-17)
  • God’s word can be twisted, distorted, and disobeyed but never rendered impotent (Gen 3:1-6–note that the fall, sin, and judgment are all tied to this fact; messing with God’s word has devastating consequences, his word will do as he says no matter what we think or do)
  • God questions and probes with his word (Gen 3:9-13)
  • God judges/curses with his word (Gen 3:14-19)
  • God promises with his word (Gen 3:15–note that as early as the third chapter of the Bible we see God’s gospel word of mercy and victory)

As you can see the word of God is robust and dynamic in the first three chapters of the Bible. It is an omnipotent, creative, relational reality. It is certain and strong. It creates and it crushes. It promises, threatens, judges, and saves. Watching the word of God in action should produce in us confidence, hope, fear, joy, and gratitude. When God speaks things happen—this is always true. This should affect our thinking and practice with Scripture, teaching, preaching, and evangelism. If I really believe all these things about the word of God my life will demonstrate it. If I don’t really believe this about the word my life will also make that clear. A high view Scripture is not demonstrated through word but deed.

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