Creation Power

March 12, 2024

We often hear the advice, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” However, some words we use just won’t cooperate with that advice. “The hunter in the tree stand watched the deer in the clearing.” The sentence sounds clear and straight forward, but it lacks an important detail: How many deer? One or many? “Deer” can mean either. “Deer’ turns out to be a category of animals and not a clear number of them.

This confusion of categories happens in Bible translations as well. In Genesis Chapter 1 the Hebrew word ELOHIM is used many times. When a Hebrew word ends in IM, it is like an “s” in English, and means the noun is plural. Since ELOHIM is plural, then the correct translation would be “gods”. Our English Bible says “God”. “In the beginning God…” Is there an answer to the problem? Yep, ELOHIM is the same as “deer”. It can mean one or many.

The context helps us decide. It is the story of a Creator God who makes and starts everything, a being of power and might. It is not a picture of those ancient Greek and Roman Gods sitting up in the clouds and having a committee meeting where thye debate the creating of the world.

Unfortunately, later in the chapter ELOHIM jumps to plural. “Let US make humans in OUR image…” Who and how many are included in “us”? It is a simple grammar answer. ELOHIM is plural so “us” and “our” follow grammar rules for plural. Taint that simple for many Christians. They feel they have to make it mean something important, making it the cause of much consternation and confusion. They have to find deep theological and doctrinal issues. One of the most common speculations is that “us” proves the Doctrine of the Trinity. (The mystery of three-in-one and one-in-three). They grab the “Spirit moving over the waters” at the start of creation, add John 1:1 from the NT, “in the beginning was the Word”, meaning Jesus. So they put those three pieces in their Biblical mixer, stir well, and get Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all together in the beginning. The Hebrew commandment is clear, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. I am one. I am ELOHIM!”

That’s enough grammar. Let’s look at the teaching. What does it mean “to be made in God’s image?” God is eternal. We are not. God is love. We humans have our hateful times. God is perfect. We are imperfect. God is all-powerful. Aha, we made it. To be like God is to have power. We procreate. We create life. We have power to take life, to kill, to create weapons ow war.

We create good things and goodness. To keep with Genesis 1, we create light. At night when I go down to my basement, I take a flashlight. I push a button and I am like God, I have created light. It’s moving at 186,000miles a second squared and has been going for 14 billion years. That’s a lot of seconds. We don’t have enough zeros to show the size of creation. We can only stand in awe and amazement that we can be part of God’s power and light.

Long's Pac-Perks