Today I begin a journey blogging my thoughts and reflections on water in the bible. My hope and prayer is that this trip will lead me (and anyone who cares to come along with me) through the bible in a new way. I am embarking on this journey for three reasons: 1) to improve my daily devotional life; 2) to study and reflect on the way God uses water and images surrounding water to communicate with his people; and 3) share my reflections with others, not that I have any unique insights, but I have studied water from a secular perspective for half my life, it is time I looked at it from God’s perspective. This effort is truly the confluence of two seemingly divergent streams in my life, a faith in the living God embodied in the person of Jesus Christ, and a curiosity and passion for science and discovery. Verses are from the NIV at http://www.biblestudytools.com/.
June 22, 2014
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)
It is somewhat amazing that in the second verse of the bible God is already using rich water imagery to communicate deep truths to us about his nature and his spirit. The image in verse two is that of a formless sphere of water, sort of like a huge droplet of water suspended in the air the size of the earth, surrounded by the heavens. All was darkness so the sun has not begun to light our world or the water that is on it.
From a purely scientific viewpoint this would mean that any water would in fact have to be frozen as there would be no energy source to keep it liquid, unless God was keeping it so by his will. The phrase “The spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” conjures in my mind something like a pervasive mist or fog that glides over a calm lake on a summer morning –so that the boundary between the two is not distinct.
Perhaps this is the way the spirit of God is with all of his creation, not altogether separate in the way we think of it. Just as the water in the fog is forever moving from the water into the air and from the air into the water, perhaps God’s spirit is able to move freely into and out of his creation. I suppose the big difference is that God is able to accomplish this moving between the created and the spiritual and remain distinct, whereas the water moving into the mist and back into the water is indistinguishable. Perhaps in relation to God’s spirit our spirit is but mist, joining and leaving the more solid “lake” of God’s spirit.
Prayer: God help me to appreciate today your presence in all of creation, in the daffodils bursting with colors, in the breath of wind that caresses my face, and in the trees and plants bursting with green. May your spirit hover over me this day and direct my wanderings. Amen