With different cultures come different beliefs – belief on how the world goes, how people should live, but more commonly, how the world came to be. Different myths on the creation of man have been told, heard and shared. And even though different Christian religions have their own belief on the creation of man, we are blessed to have been given a creation story through a common sacred scripture, the Bible… a creation story that can be found in the book of Genesis.
Since the book of Genesis is one of the well-known books among Christians, I believe that we should dive deeper to and find meanings in the scripture. Because by doing so, we would be able to see relevance and connection of His Word to our lives today, then we would realize that the Bible is really God’s Living Word, and not just a history book. By reading the first chapter, it came to me that my own life is just like the creation, where balance is present, where there is freedom of choice, and where God still remains in control despite everything.
God is a just God. The way he separated different or opposing entities prove this (Genesis 1:5,7,9,14,20). I could not imagine a world where there is only light but no darkness, fish but no birds, or even more, land but no water. Just like how God’s contrasting creations fall into their right places and never fail to amaze me, both the triumphs and hardships in my life made me the better person I am today. Without God having a sense of balance, the people and the world just would not be the same and as incredible as they are today.
It can also be seen that we humans were created special among the other creations (Genesis 1:26,28-29). This made me realize how God also loves us like how our grandmother loves… and spoils us. I remember how my grandma always gives me snacks, drinks and anything I want even before I ask for it. Of course, God’s love for us is even greater. He knows just what we want and need even before we were born. He loves us so much that He gave everything we need and gave us the authority over all creation (Genesis 1:26). This, for me, illustrates how God gives entrusts His creation to us, but at the same time gives us the freedom to decide on our own. Until now, God allows us to see both the good and bad things, but it is still up to us how we will use our free will.
Moreover, God’s power is greatly manifested in this chapter. By just saying lines, God is able to create magnificent things (Genesis 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26). His perfect will always was, is, and will be followed; and no one can get in the way of it. However, the lesson I love most that I learned from this chapter is that God uses His power to create something good from darkness (Genesis 1:2). He takes time to do so, and makes all things good. I believe this is also a representation of our development as individuals. For example, receiving a trophy without going through the process of winning, would not feel as much rewarding if you did. Maybe it is also God’s way of telling us to trust in His perfect timing and perfect plans. If he created the world in just seven days, what more can He do in a person’s lifetime with an average of 85 years?
By continuing reading the book of Genesis, I also had some other realizations; that God is sovereign, that God acts immediately when we are in need, and that He is indeed a perfect Father. I think, God created Adam from dust to emphasize that He is God and that man should look up to Him. But despite that He still loved (and loves) man so much that He provides for its needs (Genesis 2:9). Furthermore, when seem to be in need of something more, He still continues to provide. He uses other people and circumstances for us to see His wonderful love and care for us (Genesis 2:20-22).
Once again, God shows His love to us by giving us freedom and not forcing us to what He wants us to do or become, but at the same time giving us warnings and commandments for our own good. He allows bad things to happen to us for our faith to be stronger, but then again it is up to us how we would use the free will He gave us. (Genesis 2:16-17). Whenever I did something wrong when I was a child, I always get spanked by my dad. However, unlike those kids in TV dramas, I never became so terrified with him.
That was because before spanking me, he would always tell me that he was going to spank me not because he wants to hurt me, but because he wants me to become a better person. Sometimes he would even cry along with me after the spanking, and would ALWAYS hug me and tell me that he is sorry. I strongly believe that my daddy learned that from no other than the best Father, God. Yes, God allows us to get hurt sometimes, not to punish us but to discipline us because of our wrong use of our free will (Genesis 3:6). Even when we hurt Him, He still cares for us and loves us the same (Genesis 3:21; 4:15). If He brings us to hardships, He brings us through it.
Amazingly, whenever something is taken away from us, God always gives something in return (Genesis 4:25). I believe this is because He loves us so much that He could not take it seeing His children sad. I personally experienced this whenever a loved one passes away. God gives me new friends, new strength, and new opportunities. The fact that the “new” cannot really replace the “old” shows that we could not keep things forever, that forever only lasts with God.
Having said all these things about God’s amazing love for us, what then should we give in return? Just like most of our parents, God also desires the best from us (Genesis 4:3-5). Why practice mediocrity on the One who gave His all for us? After all, all the things we have achieved and will achieve in the future, all came from Him.
After having realized all these, we should not only put into our minds but also in our hearts. Lessons learned from the Bible are there to be practiced and applied in my life. Besides, the Bible is our guide to living more Christ-like lives. Thus, we should do our best to trust more in God’s plans, to be careful in using our freedom, and to give our best to God.
It is almost given that everyone goes through hardships, no matter how hard they are. Nobody is perfect, because if not, we would not be here standing in awe of God’s perfection. To be honest, at this very moment, my life is a mess. I have been encountering problems here and there, and sometimes I just want to give up and sleep forever. Seems emotional, but true. My friends who are also going through hardships have helped me realize that other people can suffer too. Moreover, I have found it hard it to trust anyone, and I am afraid of coming to the point where it would be even more difficult to trust in God. Thankfully, I am always reminded of God’s promise that He has the best plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11) that nobody else does.
Second, I have mentioned “freedom” a couple of times above, and I am mentioning it again for the last time now, because I believe that being given free will is a really precious gift. If God was our biological parent, He would not be the strict type. He gave us the freedom of choice, that which if taken away from us, would cause our whole being to seem to be taken away too. But along with the good side of freedom, comes the bad side of having to suffer the consequences of our actions. God guides us through the Bible, thus we should read and follow it.
Lastly, God does not judge on quantity but on quality. Since being loved unconditionally by the King of kings is the best gift anyone could ever receive, we should give our all and our best to Him. No matter how small we are, as long as we give our best to Him, this God of Unconditional Love will always be more than happy to receive us.