The Genesis narrative is the resounding proclamation of belief in a sovereign God. In a world full of polytheistic notions of quarreling gods, creation and man are the accidental byproduct of this turmoil. The Hebrew creation narrative counters this perception with a creation process that is both deliberate and controlled with no competing voices intertwined. God has absolute control of the reins of this systematic construction.
The Art will be visible once we have at least five pieces to show.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
9 Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
Before continuing, read the passage above and slowly let the images soak in. Each image is someone’s personal expression of the theme. Discover how the images reveal the theme from the passage.
Can there be any doubt that the narrator wanted to show God as the supreme being in all of creation? The only dynamic character in the narrative is God. The only character who speaks is God. The only character who acts is God. The only character who evaluates and approves is God. And finally the only character who blesses and sanctifies is God.
In many cultures, celestial and natural objects are worshiped. The Sun, the Moon, the Land, and the Sea have their place in the pantheon of gods and goddesses, and all have their hand in creation, in many cases, too many hands. Yet, in this creation account, God is the one performing all of the action. These other objects are not only passive, they are positioned by God, they are named by him, and they are given roles and responsibilities, all of which expresses his complete authority over them.
Every statement of God leads to action, either instantaneous action, deliberated action or delegated action. The absolute confirmation of “and it was so” as well as the to-the-letter performance of each spoken command indicates that there was no question in compliance.
God’s sovereignty is manifest most in his control over the creation process. The order in which items are positioned, creating spaces and then later filled with life illustrates the plan of God. The methodical movement from day to day impresses the reader with the image of a builder constructing as per his blueprint and as per his schedule. The closing statement indicating the completeness and the repeated usage of “his work” and “work he had done” encapsulates the author’s total belief in God’s sovereignty.