Setting the Stage

The Stage is Set

The Earth is the Lord’s Stage


In the short amount of time that we have been meeting, we have learned some very important things about God and the Bible.  In Let’s Suppose…, we learned that the God of all creation recorded His Story of self-revelation in the book we now know as the Bible.  And in Some Bible Basics, we learned that the Bible is really a book of books which has been divided into two sections, the Old and New Testaments—with these sections marking out two unique periods in human history and in God’s relationship with mankind.

What makes this information so significant to our study is this…

  • Because the Bible is a story—it will have an identifiable cast of characters, plot, and theme, just like any other narrative; and,
  • Because the Bible is divided into these two sections—it will provide us with a ready-made timeline and structure for the entire story.

Such a structure is essential to our understanding of God’s One Big Story because it will serve as the framework upon which everything else will rest.  As with any other construction project, once a foundation has been laid (in this case, the foundation being the Word of God), a sturdy framework must be erected to support any future additions (in this case, the additions being the plot, theme, characters, and action of the story itself).

In order to illustrate what I mean, let’s go to the very first verse in the Bible—the foundational one that sets everything else in motion—and see how it and the framework we have just described work together to advance our story.  In Genesis 1:1, we read…

…In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This has to be the most profound statement ever uttered or recorded because it tells us that before Time even began, there was an eternal, all-powerful, everywhere present, and all-wise God who, for His own purposes, stepped out of eternity and established the framework of Time during which His One Big Story would eventually take place.  It tells us that just as Time had a beginning, it will also have an ending—as will our Story. If effect, Time became the x-axis for human history, marking out the lateral dimension and direction for our Story’s action and plot.

This verse goes on to tell us that with Time in place, God proceeded to create the heavens and the earth. The word for create here is the Hebrew word, bara, which means to make something out of nothing.  In other words, out of nothing that previously existed, God made the heavens*—using them to mark out the y-axis or vertical dimensions of our Story–and the earth which He then placed in the heavens.

In reality, what we find taking place here in Genesis 1:1 and in the verses that follow in this chapter, is God setting up the stage upon which His Story will be acted out—a beautiful terrestrial stage set against the celestial backdrop where all human history will take place. This was accomplished over the course of six days as God spoke every element of His creation into existence—merely giving the commands that brought light and life into being at every level!

Of course, there is a lot more to learn about this stage and its construction, but those details will have to wait until later, when we can get into the real meat of the story.  Right now, our focus is strictly on getting the Big Picture Perspective of the Bible, so that we will be better able to understand—and appreciate–those details when we finally get to them.  Toward that end, here is a simple illustration that should help us put into perspective what we have just learned.


The Framework for God’s One Big Story


With the Stage now in place, we are ready to move onto the matter of the Cast…


*Note that there are more than one—something that will become important later on.



Leave a Reply