I am in awe of the deep Old Testament.
There is such raw power and yet a simplicity like teaching to a child…
However, there are times that I am not sure how to treat or appreciate it – and sometimes even how to let the Truths there speak to me… but I want to understand!
Clearly, there is more to what we find there than just what we find. The entire process of creation is wrapped up in 2 or 3 chapters!?
I think it obvious that there was more to the story! Heck, I can’t explain salary caps in the NFL in 3 shot chapters. Look at my articles – I cannot explain even the simplest ideas in less than 10 pages across 2 or 3 weeks (even intros to songs took two weeks!)
I think God wants to make it clear THAT He spun the fiery balls of Fusion sometimes light hours across… not HOW He did it. At times, He is gracious enough to tell us WHY He does certain things… but even that is not always clear.
Now, because of that, I love to wrestle with what is hard about the deep Old Testament. Sometimes it sounds like old Native American legend… sometimes like great stories of might, sometimes like detailed history… and I believe that it is all exactly what it is supposed to be…. And all Truth.
So, I am always trying to understand it from the perspective that it would have been originally understood – this is impossible for us, I know, but I like trying.
So here is a new “what if” for you…
(and you know how we love a good “what if?”)
What if the account of Genesis 1 is the description of something seen, rather than told? What if, instead of God describing creation to Moses (or to whomever it was given first), He showed him?
What this would mean is that what we have is what the person (who I will call Moses from this point on since I think it makes sense that he is the one who wrote it, at least) experienced – from their own perspective… without commentary or explanation from God (or at least very little).
This isn’t out of the ordinary – and is, in fact, common in the Bible. Aside from Ezekiel’s wheel within a wheel, Daniel’s dreams and visions, and Peter’s animal blanket, we have the clear example of John’s Revelation!
All throughout Revelation, John tells us what he sees and experiences – and even hears, but rarely does anyone interpret it for him. This has led to some wild and imaginative speculation over the years, but the room is there to try to figure out what John was seeing that he described the way he did.
What if Genesis 1 is the same thing?
I have always imagined John as experiencing many of the events of Revelation as though he were in some kind of complete surround experience – similar to a whole room of audio and visual equipment…
So that when he sees a giants flaming mountain crashing down from space into the waters, maybe his perspective is from above the atmosphere, following the stone as it passes into the atmosphere, flames beginning to wreath all around it and smashing toward… or in the case of Wormwood, blowing toxified water back into the atmosphere!
In another scene, the “screens” go black.
Another scene might be like standing on the streets of future Jerusalem watching two witnesses consume people with fire.
In another an angel stands with him and asks “Do you want to see the Bride?” and the next thing he knows, his perspective a massive city is sweeping toward him from the sky – brazen with light streaming through crystal walls and gold streets.
You see what I mean?
If you want to experience it most powerfully of all, take a second and read Revelation 4 & 5.
Now, back to Genesis.
What if that is what Moses experience is like? Might it not answer some of our difficult questions?
The main difference is that, because the visions of John are from the future, he doesn’t always have words to give them, so he just describes.
What Moses experiences is from the past, so he has words to use… or at least words that make sense to him?