The Bible starts with the famous words, “In the Beginning” [Be’reshit בְּרֵאשִׁית in Hebrew – which literally means “in the first,” or “at first”], to give us an orderly time line of events starting with Creation, as well as an understanding of His priority and purpose for creating the world, and all that dwell in it. The biblical text says that God, or in Hebrew, Elohim אֱלֹהִים created everything! In fact, it specifically tells us that He created the Heavens [ha’shamayim הַשָּׁמַיִם], then He created the Earth [ha’aretz הָאָרֶץ].
This coincides with what the Apostle Paul writes to the believers of Colossae, in Colossians 1:15-16, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
Look at another verse, out of Hebrews, that speaks of this divine order in Creation:
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. – Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV)
So we can see in these verses that the invisible realm of the heavenlies, was established before the visible realm of earth was created, and that the visible things of earth were created by invisible heavenly realms. In fact, Job 38:7 describes angels, or “sons of God,” rejoicing as their Creator laid the foundations of the world:
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? – Job 38:4-7 (NKJV)
The Master of the Universe even gave us the order of six progressive days of Creation, with the crowning of the seventh day [Sabbath, or Shabbat שַׁבָּת in Hebrew], as the mark of perfection and rest, as He was enthroned as King over His Creation. Days one through four established the foundation and lighting system in God’s new habitation. This all happened before life, whether animal or human, was even brought into existence. The completely submerged earth needed the light of God’s glory and intervention, to separate light from darkness, and waters above from below. Swamp-like land became dry soil, which made the earth a viable place for mankind, the apex of His Creation. Day five caused sea creatures to swim in the gathered bodies of water, called seas, and fowl to fly in the air of the new firmament created on day two. All these events prepared the new earth for what would happen on day six, when God would bring forth all kinds of living creatures from the earth.
That day was not complete though, until a capable ruler was given dominion over every aspect of Creation. Fulfillment was not found until God created Adam, and his helpmate Eve, to reign as king and queen over His Kingdom. So we can see that the domains created in days 1-3, coincide perfectly with days 4-6, establishing an appropriate ruler to reign in dominion over each domain. While six days completed the creation, only day seven, the Sabbath, established the Sovereign Ruler over all His creation, and that is the Lord of the Sabbath, God Himself.
Eden, which means a “pleasurable place,” was more beautiful than the Hawaiian islands, more lush with green foliage than Ireland in springtime, more sublime and divine than a day spent in the rain forest of Brazil, with its comforting moisture that balanced the summer heat of its tropical humidity. With an exotic environment like Eden, who would need a honeymoon vacation? Who were the recipients of this wonderful reward? Who did God have in mind, to run His earthly resort, and perfect paradise?
The Genesis account unfolds from that Sixth Day, after the creating of mammals and land creatures. God went back to the “drawing board,” and formed a masterpiece from a lump of clay. The Potter placed His loving hands on the lifeless substance, and squeezed its form into a vessel that met His approval. The “center of His Wheel” was like the “center of His Will,” to make a mold that He could pour Himself into. This work of art, would be the masterpiece that would display His outstanding creativity, skill, and workmanship. His final paint stroke of this amazing creation would reveal the multifaceted character and invisible attributes of His unimaginable abilities and divine qualities.
While the Creator of the Universe is Himself beyond comprehension, His revelation of His personhood could somehow be on display through the man that reflected His Divine image, and creative potentials. Even God, in all of His Sovereignty, stood back and watched His first created son, ingeniously name everything that the Almighty had spoken into existence. Nothing in Creation reflected His power and authority more, than the royal son that He crowned with His own glory and honor. So, as HaShem’s royal family, of son and daughter, left reflect the perfect character and invisible attributes, in visible ways and action, that bring Him glory, and draw people closer to the Eternal and Ever-present God, Adonai Elohim! May His Name be blessed by all the living, for all eternity! Amen!
Shalom, shalom, from Rabbi Brian Bileci