READING WITHOUT SEEING –
Have you ever read something, almost mindlessly, and then when you got to the end, thought, “I have no idea what I just read?” Then you went back and re-read it?
For many people, the Bible is just like that. First of all, it is a huge book with very tiny print. There are no graphics jumping off the page at you. There are no hyperlinks, unless you are on a website, and honestly, it takes a great deal of mental effort to think through it. In addition, don’t forget all the different versions, and if you attempt the King James Version with the old English, it could be even more mentally taxing. I believe those are among the biggest issues people have with really reading and studying the Bible.
I like to teach others to take a few words at a time and really thing about what is being said. Take for example the second verse in Genesis Chapter 1. It states, ‘Now the earth was formless and empty, …’ Big deal right? Do you know that by the process of critical thinking, you can break that up into segments and really put into perspective its parts?
For example, think about the adjectives – formless and empty. Break it down further, just think about the word “formless”. What does that mean when it states, the earth was “formless”? The exact definition states, Without a clear or definite shape or structure. So, to me it means that there was not a giant ball or globe or mass of rock floating in space just waiting for God to come along and plant things and add to it.
Why do I say that? Because the current Earth is round, and round is a form. So if the earth was “formless” that means it had no form or no shape. It was not there – period. It was nothingness – a large vast space. The second word, ‘Empty’ is also a state of being. It means containing nothing, not filled or occupied. So empty is well…empty, containing nothing, having nothing, no life, nada, zip, nilch.
So here we see the writer of Genesis stating, in effect, ‘There was nothing out there, only emptiness and darkness, not one single solitary thing, and from THAT God created the heavens and the earth.” So out of nothingness, it was created. Is there any other situation, ever, that you can come up with, that from nothingness something was created? Of course not! You have to have materials or building blocks on which to create something.
In addition, there has to be order to a created thing. Take for example, lemonade. It is not sophisticated or intricate in its design. I could add refined sugar, filtered or purified water, and the juice of fresh sliced lemons, in any order, in a glass and the end result is still going to be lemonade. However, if I wanted to make that same glass of lemonade, and I just threw an oblong unsliced and unpeeled lemon along with a piece of sugar cane into a glass of water drawn from a pond, your end result is not going to be too thirst quenching.
So it is with the creation of the world. The right things had to be put together in such a way, and placed at the exact location from the sun, with the exact atmosphere, with the right nutrients in the soil, etc., in order to sustain any type of life. God had to create things systematically.
So when reading that the earth was formless and empty, you get a greater sense of the creation of something from nothing, and you get a deeper insight into the immense power of a Holy God.
In order to really serve this God, you have to really understand this God. You have to know who HE is and why He does what he does. The only way to do that, is to really think about the words that are written in the Bible. Join me for an in-depth study in the book of Genesis, where we will look at the Bible thru a fresh perspective. You can learn to know God in a deep and intimate way.
You can follow this blog or you can go to my website, marysfingerprint.com and look at the section titled “Pathways”. Here you will find the Bible study we have just started.
Take ten minutes a day to learn like you have never learned before. In this way you will begin to know the awesome power of the Creator and the God we serve.