What Happens When The Spirit Of God Moves

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2)

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2 KJV)

Without form. Void. Darkness. God had created the earth, but He sure wasn’t done with it yet. Here we have the earth as an empty canvas, waiting for the Spirit of God to begin “applying the paint” to it.

The words that are used to describe our planet in its initial stage are quite interesting. It was “without form”, it was “void.” It was “dark.” These terms conjure up the image of an uninhabitable chaos, a world that lacked order. The description in the original Hebrew is so dark and vivid that some have interpreted this to mean that the world must have been judged and abandoned by God sometime between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

But isn’t this really just an appropriate description of anything before God moves upon it? The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and brought order out of chaos. The dark, formless, void we see in verse 2 will be declared “good” in verse 31. What a beautiful picture of what happens when God gets a hold of something!

What about your life? Is your life void and without form, filled with darkness, or has the Spirit of God moved upon you?

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 8, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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God Is The Only One Who Can “Create”

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

God created the heavens and the earth. But what exactly did God create the heaven and the earth from?

We talk about people “making” things or someone “inventing” something. Sometimes we even credit another person for “creating” something new. But mankind is forever limited to the materials that already exist in order to make anything. We can certainly arrange various metals, stones, and woods into everything from buildings to computers, but we can never truly “create” something from nothing. God alone can do this.

Our minds can scarcely fathom the idea of God existing before and apart from the Universe that He created, but there was a time when He did. Before anything else existed, God existed. And every single ounce of material that would comprise the entire Universe was created from nothing by Him. Not only did God create the Universe itself from nothing, but He alone has created the bulding blocks within it that would eventually be part of everything else that would ever be made.

Mankind can make things, but the ability to create belongs only to God.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 5, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

The Bible Is Not A Scientific Textbook

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

If we are to properly understand the Bible, we should understand the purpose for which it was written. The purpose of the Bible is to tell us what we need to know in order to be reconciled to our Creator. The Bible was never intended to be used as a scientific textbook.

Certain believers and unbelievers alike suppose that God has revealed more in the account of Creation than He really has. The first chapter of Genesis is merely a very brief summary of what God did in creating our world and all the life in it. It doesn’t give us all of the details nor does it answer all of the questions. There are less than 800 words given as we  quickly move through that very first week, which forms  the background for what the rest of the Bible has to tell us.

The Bible’s account of Creation serves to set the stage upon which the story will unfold. It is not the story itself. Like the opening phrase, “In the beginning…God”, the fact that He “created the heaven and the earth” is stated without effort to convince or persuade. You either believe it or you do not.

I wonder what Moses himself would think about all of the people who viciously attack the words he wrote in Genesis because they do not line up with conventional “scientific” theories. Or how he would feel about those who stretch, bend, twist, and torture every last syllable in an effort to make them say something which they do not. I wonder if he ever imagined that so many people would get hung up on these first 800 words, debating and fighting over them the way that they do. Would he tell them that it was never the Lord’s intention to reveal to man all of the details of Creation, or would he simply shake his head in disbelief over the hardness of their hearts?

Obviously, the credibility of the Bible rests upon its complete accuracy. A Book that claims to be the very Word of God should, by definition, be inerrant. But to presume that lack of information means misinformation is a false conclusion. The Bible was given for every person regardless of  the time period they would live in or the culture that they would be born into. It was written in a way that would be understandable for the scholar and the uneducated alike. It’s intent is to tell of God’s Redemption of mankind, not to satisfy the intellectual musings of the modern man who has already rejected Him.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 3, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

The Bible Begins with God

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

The very first sentence of the Bible begins with “God.” Since He is the Subject of the entire Bible, it is only appropriate that He is the Subject of the opening statement.

In a day when there is much debate and controversy over whether or not God even exists, it is interesting to note that the Bible does not really attempt to provide any evidence to prove His existence. There is no argument presented to persuade the skeptic, no overwhelming logic offered to remove all doubt . The Word simply states, “In the beginning…..God.”

Where God came from and precisely when this “beginning” occurred, we are not told. We are simply told that at the very beginning, God was already there. Before the “Heaven and the earth” existed, God was there. This very first statement in the very first book of the Bible presents a choice that we all must make. Will we believe it or not? All of the other truths that the Word of God holds are predicated by this very first one: God IS. We must believe this truth before we can believe any of the others.

The fact that God exists stands as the gate through which we must go before we can enter into the Word of God. If we are uncertain about this, we can go no farther with any certainty.

“In the beginning….God”

Have you come to the place where you have settled this matter in your own heart, or are you still standing at the gate?

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 1, 2009.]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Mephibosheth: A Portrait Of The Sinner

“Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1)

Last time, we took a look at the great civil war between Israel and Judah with the armies of the House of Saul fighting against the armies of King David. I would like to look now at a single person from Saul’s family and the kindness that David the king showed him.

As Chapter 9 of Second Samuel opens, we find King David sitting on the throne of a united Israel and Judah with the civil war over and most of the other enemies of David conquered. He had moved his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem, after capturing it from the Jebusites, and had defeated Israel’s perpetual enemy, the Philistines. The Ark of the Covenant had been brought into Jerusalem and, although God had decreed that it would be built during the reign of his son, Solomon, David had sought to begin construction of the Temple. God blessed David and promised that his kingdom would endure forever (2 Sam. 7:16) and that the lovingkindness of the Lord would not depart from him as it had from Saul.

Success tests the character of the most virtuous of men and, in the words of the First Baron of Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But King David was a man “after God’s own heart” and we are repeatedly told throughout the narrative that he “showed kindness” to various people; a trait seldom found in rulers. Sitting upon his throne in Jerusalem, his mind not distracted by the demands of government nor the strategies of war, he reflects upon his late friend Jonathan, son of Saul, and he wonders if there is anyone left alive within Jonathan’s family to whom he may show kindness.

It turns out that there was a son of Jonathan still alive. We are first told about Mephibosheth back in Chapter 4 where we find him as a little five-year-old boy being rushed from his house by his nanny after hearing the news of the death of his father Jonathan and his grandfather Saul (1 Sam. 31:1-6). Urgently escaping as quickly as possible before the Philistines could finish off any surviving sons of the House of Saul, Mephibosheth fell and injured his feet, leaving him crippled (2 Sam. 4:4).

A Dead Dog Like Me

Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!” David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?” (2 Samuel 9:6-8)

Within the relationship that develops between David and Mephibosheth, we find a wonderful illustration of God’s mercy to the sinner. When the two men first meet, King David offers Mephibosheth gifts and honors that are truly astounding to the son of Jonathan. A vain and prideful man might have been ungrateful, feeling that this was the least that the king who ruled where his own grandfather once had could do for him. But, no, Mephibosheth was neither vain nor proud. He prostrated himself before the king in humility and was keenly aware that this act of grace and mercy was unmerited.

Mephibosheth’s words echoed David’s own words to God when he marvelled in the Eighth Psalm,

“What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:4)

Like the sinner who first comes to Christ, Mephibosheth was blown away by the mercy that the King was showing him. And as is for all who are humble at heart, he recognized who he was compared with who the king was and that he in no way deserved the kindness he was being shown. Remember Peter’s reaction when Jesus miraculously provided an overwhelming catch of fish where he himself was unable to bring in a single one. Falling before the Lord he shouted, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Or Isaiah’s reaction to his vision of God’s glory filling the Temple:

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5 KJV)

The heart that is most receptive to the grace and mercy of God is the heart that acknowledges just how undeserving it is. Mephibosheth referred to himself as a “dead dog” and the sinner, too, must recognize that he is dead in his sins (Ephesians 2:1).

For The Sake Of Jonathan

David showed kindness to Mephibosheth, not because of who Mephibosheth was or what Mephibosheth had or had not done, but for the sake of Jonathan. God the Father shows mercy and grace to us, sinners, for the sake of Jesus. It is because of our relationship to Christ that we are invited to eat at the King’s table.

When David looked upon Mephibosheth, he saw Jonathan and it was his love for Jonathan that compelled him to treat Mephibosheth with kindness and mercy. God the Father does love us, but it is our relationship to Jesus Christ that compels Him to show us grace and mercy. God loves all the people of the world (John 3:16), but He only shows grace and mercy to those who are covered by the blood of Jesus.

It is noteworthy that David never mentions anything about the feet of Mephibosheth. His feet were broken, lame, and crippled just as we are broken, lame, and crippled by our sin.  God does not look upon the sinful flesh of those whom Christ has redeemed, but sees us through the lens of the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:19, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9). Crippled feet did not exclude Mephibosheth from the king’s table, neither does sin exclude us. If we are in Christ, then that sin has been removed from us to be remembered no more (Psalm 103:12).

Verse 11 of Second Samuel 9 tells us that Mephibosheth ate at the king’s table as one of the king’s own sons. Passages such as Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, and Ephesians 1:5 remind us  who are in Christ Jesus that we, too, have been adopted as sons and daughters of God. Like Mephibosheth, we will take our place at the table of the King with the same privileges and benefits of any other child of the King. One day, we will live in that place where our own King lives, the New Jerusalem, just as Mephibosheth moved to the city of David to be where he was. And God will show us great kindness and mercy for the sake of Jesus, not looking upon our sins and lame feet, but seeing us with the same love that He has for the Son.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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