BY JORDAN MAYER
"Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature."
As we begin a new year, I find myself back at the beginning of the story in the book of Genesis. Like Noah and the flood, Abraham and Isaac, or Moses and the Red Sea, the creation account is familiar territory. So familiar, that I often find it challenging to ”see" it with fresh eyes. Not that I doubt that God can still teach me something from it, rather it’s my own human mind that is prone to gloss over the words, passages, and details that I have so often read. And so, as I started to read the first chapter, I prayerfully endeavored to set aside my preconceived ideas and notions. To allow myself to be once again caught up in the beauty, majesty, and wonder of the creation account.
As I started to read, one thing in particular continued to draw my attention. It was the role of God speaking in creation. “And God said” is repeated on each day of creation. God speaks and what is once formless and void explodes into light and then sky and land and seas and plants and stars and sun and moon and swarms of living creatures. All of this, by the power of His Word. No struggling or straining, God simply says, “Let there be”, and there was.
And yet His Word doesn’t simply fashion the material world, it breathes life into the creation. This is described most vividly with the creation of man. He is fashioned from the dust of the earth, but it is God’s breath that brings him to life. And then something amazing hit me from a passage in 2 Timothy. “All Scripture is breathed out by God…” (2 Timothy 3:16). When God speaks, life is created. And the life-giving power of God’s spoken Word is also present in His written Word. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
When we open the pages of Scripture, we are not simply reading a book. We are reading the very words of Creator God. We are experiencing something living and active that has the power to change hearts and minds. The very best of books may entertain our minds, cheer our hearts, or give us some manner of wisdom to live by. But it is God’s Word, and God’s Word alone, that has the power to change lives for eternity. It reaches down to the very depths of our soul and points us to the one with the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
You see, God’s Word is Jesus! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). The same life He breathed into creation is the same life He offers us. It is the gift of eternal life. It is Jesus who can take what is formless and void and make it into something beautiful and full of life. So too it is Jesus who can take our bodies of death and declare us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). New self (Ephesians 4:24). New birth (1 Peter 1:23). New life (Ephesians 2:5).