In working with artists and worship leaders, I am often drawn to Genesis for insights that help us to understand God, ourselves, and the raw power of “making” in the world. A recent study in Genesis unearthed the following nuggets from poet and Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann in Genesis: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Here are a few selections that moved me in the first section of the book.
God And Creation Bound Together
“God and God’s creation are bound together in a distinctive and delicate way. This is the presupposition for everything that follows in the Bible. It is the deepest premise from which good news is possible. God and His creation are bound together by the powerful, gracious movement of God towards that creation.
The binding which is established by God is inscrutable. It will not be explained or analyzed. It can only be affirmed and confessed. This text announces the deep mystery: God will and will have a faithful relation with earth. The text invites the listening community to celebrate that reality. The binding is irreversible. God has decided it. The connection cannot be nullified.”
The Binding Power Of Speech
“The mode of that binding is speech. The text five times uses the remarkable word ‘create’ (vv. 1, 21, 27). It also employs the more primitive word ‘make’ (vv. 7, 16, 25, 26, 31). But God’s characteristic action is to speak (vv. 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29).
It is by God’s speech that the relation with his creation is determined. God calls the ‘worlds into being’ (cf. Rom. 4:17; II Pet. 3:5). By God’s speech that which did not exist comes into being.
The way of God with his world is the way of language. God speaking something new that never was before.”
God Moves Toward Us In Generosity; We Move Toward Him In Doxology
“…God waters, enriches, blesses, and crowns (9-11); and as a result, the hills are wrapped in joy (v. 12), and sing and shout for joy (v. 13). God’s movement towards creation is unceasing generosity. The response of creation is extended doxology (Job. 38:7; Ps. 19:1).”
(Walter Brueggemann, Genesis: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, p. 26-28.)
Question: What ways do you “speak” that create something beautiful in response to God?
Resource: This commentary on Genesis is simply one of the best I’ve found. I explore these ideas in Essentials In Worship Theology.