We are always trying to create when we are shredding. Create new lines, new features, new tricks, new styles. What if we were without gravity? Or mountains? Or snow? Our creativity depends not only on creation, but on the creator, and our likeness to His creative personality. Genesis 1:26, 27 says that we are all made in His image. Style is important. Not because we need to look cool, but because our self (body, soul, mind) is in God’s image. We also need to treat others like that’s true of them as well. The only way we can know these things is through the Old Testament. It’s at the start of the Bible for a reason. Dr. Spina from Seattle Pacific University explains this well in his quotes below.
“The only Scriptures Jesus and his earliest followers recognized and appealed to as God’s authoritative word were those Christians would eventually call the Old Testament.”
“Genesis 1 through Exodus 19 — accents amazing, divine grace; then Exodus 20 and following demonstrates how God’s people are to respond to that grace. Biblically speaking, grace always precedes law.”
“Genesis begins with the foundational story of creation (Genesis 1:2–2:4a). As God subsequently engages the created order (Genesis 2:4b and following), human beings co-operate with God (by tilling and naming) to produce an idyllic garden setting.”
However, disobedience leads to expulsion and a depressing downward trajectory as humanity becomes increasingly wicked (Genesis 3–11). As we might expect, every human failure prompts divine punishment. Disobedience in the garden (Genesis 3) leads to judgment on the woman, the man, and the serpent. The first murderer is condemned to be a perpetual fugitive (Genesis 4). After people become incomparably wicked, worldwide destruction by means of a flood results (Genesis 6–8). Even after this devastation, significant failure persists. It is even found in the family God rescued from ultimate judgment as well as in the people of Shinar who egregiously challenged the divine agenda (Genesis 9:20–27; 11:1–9). The situation remains bleak.
But that is not the end of the matter. Each act of divine judgment has a corresponding act of divine grace. In the garden, God provides appropriate clothing for the human couple. Furthermore, they do not die immediately as was threatened (Genesis 2:17; 3:3). God spares the first murderer from capital punishment. When sin reaches titanic proportions, God provides the means for starting over (Genesis 6:5–8). Even the sin that infects the family of Noah, whom God saved from the great flood, does not prevent its repopulating the earth, which is an implicit act of grace.” See more at: http://blog.spu.edu/lectio/
Dr. Spina makes the point above that God is not an “angry God” in the Old Testament that goes to anger management seminars, then sends Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus himself conceived of His Father through the framework set by the Old Testament.
When we take seriously what Genesis is saying about humanity, God, and the world, we come to understand how important creativity is, how important having fun (OT parallel to feasts, celebration, Sabbath) is, and how important God’s seeking us out is.
The main point of the Old Testament is to make us realize that God is seeking us. Our lives can be a response to his seeking. Let’s live in gratitude that He has found us.
CHALLENGE: I wonder how we can take more seriously the texts that Jesus took seriously.
Take a look at Genesis 1-11. What do these chapters reveal upon closer reading?
Are there things that surprise or challenge you?
What pictures does it paint of God, humanity, and the world or universe?
Remember, when being creative, you are co-creating with God (Genesis 2).
By Stefan Seeling | Dillon, Colorado