Having just witnessed Vignette #1 of Acts 1, Scene 1 of God’s One Big Story, and while waiting for the curtain to go up on Vignette #2, let’s take advantage of this brief interval in the action to reflect upon what we have learned thus far.
As you may recall, at the beginning of Vignette #1, we were told that the events about to take place were intended to do at least three things for us–they would…
- Teach us important Life Lessons, or principles which would help us live more Godly and fruitful lives here on the Earthly Stage of life;
- Contribute something to the Story-behind-the-Story that would be taking place on the Heavenly Stage above us; and,
- Provide us with treasures on an Eternal Level in the form of otherwise unobtainable Revelations of God.
Therefore, in thinking about what we have just seen, let’s do so with these three levels of application in mind.
Ordinarily, when looking for Life Lessons within the context of the scriptures, we would be studying the actions of the human characters involved in the Story. Although there were no human actors on the Stage in Vignette #1, let’s not take this to mean that there aren’t any Life Lessons to be learned. In fact, there are several important ones that can be learned here and nowhere else; lessons such as…
- Time, space, and matter all originated with God and are limited by the boundaries imposed upon them by Him—meaning that, because He is “bigger” than any of these things, God remains in complete control of all of them at all times;
- All forms of life were the creative handiwork of God. While separated by Him into distinctive groups, which were then ordered in increasing levels of complexity, they were also designed to be interdependent in much the same way that a body was designed to be–meaning that if something happens to one area of creation, other areas will also be affected by it;
- Light is the prerequisite for Life, with the source of that Light being the Word of God. Therefore, because…
…God is light and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5)…
…God alone must be the source of all Life;
- Life would be measured by Seasons during which all of God’s Creation would be expected to bear fruit—fruit which would be judged by God, just as He had judged His own work at the end of each day.
From these few but important lessons, we can know for certain that:
- God had a purpose in creating the world, and it was not the result of some random cosmic collision;
- Every part of God’s creation was designed to fulfill a specific purpose–and, because everything was designed to reproduce “after its own kind,” nothing in it “evolved” from one thing to become another thing through an eons-long “survival of the fittest” contest;
- The same Word which spoke Light and Life then, will also be our source of spiritual life and enlightenment now;
- Seasonal change is a necessary part of growth, maturity, and productivity; and,
- The same One who separated, divided, and judged things at the beginning of time will also be the One who separates, divides, and judges all things at the end of time.
Contributions to the Heavenly Story
Given the awe-inspiring events that we have just witnessed, it would be easy for us to become so engrossed in them that we fail to see how they add to Heavenly Story the Bible is trying to tell us. To help us in this regard, we must go back to God’s motivation for creating the earth in the first place. In the video, The Bible: The Story Behind the Story, we learned that it was His desire for a family which motivated Him to create a race of people so much like Himself that they could be adopted into His family. Before this could happen, however, He first had to make a place for these people to live, which is what we find taking place in Vignette #1.
In His creation of the earth, God was not only supplying them with the physical, material place where they would live and be sustained, but He was also setting up the Earthly Stage upon which all future human drama would unfold. Likewise, in His establishment of the heavens, He was erecting the Heavenly Stage where His Story of Redemptive Love would be acted out for all creatures, in all ages, to see. Finally, in His placement of boundaries upon time, He was putting bookends into place that would define the beginning and the ending of His One Big Story.
Revelations of God
When it comes to discovering how God reveals Himself in this or in any other part of our Story, there are four things that need to be taken into consideration:
- The names God uses to identify Himself…
As we have already learned, the name by which God was identified in Vignette #1 was Elohim—the plural form of El, a word used throughout Scripture as a designation for “god,” and one derived from the Hebrew root meaning “might, strength, and power.” It describes a God who is the Sovereign Creator of the universe; and, as the plural subject of the singular form of the verb create, it tells us that the Godhead is made up of more than one Person, acting in unison to accomplish His purposes.
- The things God does…
Based upon what happened in Vignette #1, we now know that…
God is and He is Everywhere;
God is All-Powerful and All-Knowing;
God is a Moral Being as well as a Judge;
God is Triune in His Person—that is,
He is God, He is the Word, and He is the Spirit.
And based upon what He did, we also know that…
He creates from nothing;
He speaks and His Word is powerful;
He sees or evaluates everything He makes;
He has authority to name;
He orders, organizes, and controls everything—even the darkness and chaos; and,
- The ways that God relates to His creation…
In this first segment of our Story, we find God relating to His creation as the transcendent or over-and-above-it-all God of Creation. As the Divine Designer, He is busily engaged in every aspect of His creative work, making sure that even the smallest detail of His plan is carried out meticulously—and, at every stage of its completion, He expresses approval and delight with what He has accomplished.
- The things that God says about Himself…
While God will, on occasion, reveal things about Himself through His own verbal descriptions, in this instance, God has absolutely nothing to say about Himself; all of His Words are reserved for the purposes of accomplishing His work on the earth, and then blessing the work that He has done.
Already, in just this first vignette, we have learned so much about God, and yet, these revelations are just a preview of the God we will come to know more deeply and meaningfully as our Story progresses. As we move on to Vignette #2 and the Creation of Man and Woman, a completely different part of His nature will be revealed to us as He becomes intimately involved with those He has created as The Capstone of God’s Creation.
With that being said, let’s get comfortable—because that part of our Story is about to begin.