Return to 3rd Quarter 2019 articles.
The Bible begins with these words, “In the beginning … .” So, whose beginning is it? What kind of beginning is it? We can see by looking at the first verses that it is the beginning of the universe. It is also the beginning of the greatest story of all time.
Curiosity leads me to ask, “What do we know about God before the beginning? What do we know of the Author of the story? Is there a story before the story?”
CLUE Number 1
We find one of the clues in 1 John 1:5 which says, “God is light, in him there is no darkness.” So before the beginning of the universe, God was light. Notice that it does not say “a light.” If he were “a light,” that could possibly mean that there are/were other lights. The Author of the beginning is trying to establish that he does not have a contemporary. There is not a round-table of many gods.
What do we know about light? It has no physical substance, but we can see it. You know when it is present. It is useful for seeing and navigating, and it is portable. We can take it wherever we go, as in a flashlight. Darkness is not portable. Light is pure and cannot be polluted or corrupted. Light does not break or fade, but it can be hidden. Life needs light. It is somewhat easy to explain what light does, yet very difficult to explain what it is. We can say the same thing of God as well. Yet, even though God is light, that does not fully explain him. Psalm 104:2 says that he “wraps himself in light as with a garment.” God is light, but light is just a layer of who he is.
CLUE Number 2
We find a second clue about God before he started creating in John 4:24 which says, “God is spirit.” Light is visible where Spirit is not. The Greek word used for “spirit” is pneuma which means “breath” or “wind.” We cannot see the wind in the sky, but if the clouds are moving, we know it is present. The wind is more noticeable when it comes in contact with something, such as our bodies. You could say that the presence of wind produces activity. Light illuminates objects. Spirit engages them.
CLUE Number 3
We find a third clue about God before the beginning in Galatians 5:22-23. It says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” This passage gives us a view of God's personality — what God is like. Using some of our insights about wind, we see that these traits suggest activity. They show God's nature and how he acts. He did not learn to be that way; he simply IS that way. Wherever his light shines, love comes alive, joy comes alive, and peace comes alive.
WHAT THE CLUES TELL US
We know at least three things about God before he started creating. So what was God doing or planning before the creation?
I believe we can find the answer in Psalm 139:
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
....all the days ordained for me were written in your book
....before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are all your thoughts, God!
....How vast is the sum of them!
— Psalm 139:16-17
Before God started creating, he was planning a family and a place for us to live. He provided a home for us in the universe. Before he started writing the story, He was planning who would be in it. We are living the story. We are the reason for “In the beginning.” There must be excitement in heaven as God introduces each new person into the story.
Most believers come to know God as eternal — he always existed — and that is about as much as they know. But God is not abstract and impersonal. He has a personality. He is responsible for the planned design of all things created, but he is more than a Creator. He is also a Father. We are not arbitrary or accidents or evolved amoeba. We are planned children. Before the beginning we can say that God is light, he is Spirit, and he has personality. But it would seem that the most accurate of all descriptions is that he was a Father planning for a family, and we can be part of it.
© sakkmesterke. Image from BigStock.com.
© ciarada. Image from BigStock.com.
© Rido81. Image from BigStock.com.
© dolgachov. Image from BigStock.com.
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.