The Bible begins with a declaration of the power of God: “In the beginning (going far back before anything or anyone ever was),1 GOD created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1).
Emphasizing the pitiful state of earth before God came on the scene, the second verse of the Bible paints this bleak picture: “The earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness” (Gen 1:2, The Message).
Into this nothingness, God steps in—bigger than the biggest you can imagine, better than the best there ever could be. He steps in with the ultimate power to create, to change, to make anew. In just the first two verses of the Bible, we encounter the indisputable power of our creator.
In the next verse, however, there is a dramatic change. From a picture of God’s power, we move to a second, yet equally compelling, portrait of God—His love: “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen 1:3).
God hovers over my darkness
The verb hover is also used in Deuteronomy 32:11 where God is described as “an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young.” Here He is watching, protecting His people from danger. God is hovering, being the great I AM in the midst of their unknowns and fears.
God hovering over His people is understandable for caring for humans is part of His job description—we are His own, His creation, made after His own image. But what is He hovering over in Genesis 1:1? After all, “the earth was a soup of nothingness.” Nothing has yet been created, nothing is alive. Yet God hovers, standing guard, protecting this darkness, keeping a divine eye on this nothingness.
This picture of God hovering in the first verses of Genesis has given me a deeper understanding of God’s love. It has taught me that God loves me not just because I am His child or because I am created after How own image. His love is bigger, bolder, better, and beyond His relationship with me. God loves because He simply loves. Over and above all His other characteristics, God is LOVE. God is overwhelmingly LOVE. God is indescribably LOVE. God is more LOVE than we could ever comprehend.
If God could hover over the inanimate dark blob in Genesis, imagine how much more hovering He does over me. Even if I’m nothing, even when I feel I’m unworthy, God hovers, God loves. When my life is dark all around, I am not alone. That’s the first picture of God I see in the Bible—a powerful, yet tender loving God hovering over me every minute of every day. Two others mean a lot to me too
God believes in my potential
Looking at the nothingness, He sees potential. God sees beyond the dark abyss and views the big picture of what could. He knows this nothingness does have to remain dark. So He says, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good” (Gen 1:3–4)
With the creation of light, a mere 1/6th of creation is complete. Yet God looks at what is still an unimpressive blob, and says it is GOOD! I believe he does the same with me. He looks at me, in my incompleteness, so far away from the finish line, and says I am good. When I place myself in the Creator’s hand to be continually molded, it’s always going to be good. Even when I am at my lowest God sees what I could be tomorrow, and He says “You are good!”
God provides for and empowers me
The third picture of God I see in the first few verses of Genesis is that He provides for and empowers me to do His will. In verse 11 God creates vegetables and fruit. Similarly, he outfits earth with sunshine, water, and everything else that humans would need before man ever was, before man could perceive a need or pray a request.
And then God says to Adam and Eve, “Have dominion over . . . every living thing” (Get 1:28) I can’t imagine why a perfect, powerful God would trust fickle humans with His new creation! He turns over to Adam and Eve the entire earth—all of it. He does the same with me: Even after I’ve have let Him down over and over again, God continues to equip me with resources and talents. And then He does so much more—God invites me to partner with Him to care for other human beings, to be responsible for this earth, to build His church, to reflect Christ.
The confidence He has in me and the grace He gives me boggles my mind! His hovering gives me peace. Regardless of where I am, no matter what life throws at me, God’s power, love, and presence will be my constants. For in the beginning, God. And now and forever, God.
Feature image by DICSON on Unsplash