Today I was browsing Genesis 1 thinking about what God was trying to say to me and the world through this text. I wanted to know how I would approach expositing this chapter. As I thought about it a few points came to my mind:
- God created.
- God created in the beginning.
- God created in six days.
- God created empty space then filled it.
- God created man and woman in his image as the pinnacle of creation.
- God rested from his creative work.
Humans display God’s image in the way they rule and subdue the earth. They display God’s hierarchical order in relationships with each other and creation. But as I thought about point 4 and 5, I realized that humans display God’s image in another significant way. Humans “fill the earth” the way God created space, the earth, water, and sky, and then filled it with the sun, moon, stars, birds, sea creatures, plants, and animals. Now man is called to fill the earth by inhabiting it all. There very presence in different parts of the world and their spreading presence displays the God who fills the emptiness. That’s interesting.
This also teaches us an important distinction between God and man. We fill the earth by moving and spreading. We fill what God created. God fills what he created and he fills it by creating more things to fill it. We are not God. Our filling is instrumental, God’s filling is original. We fill by spreading throughout the whole earth, God fills by creating humans through procreation to fill the earth. And in this we give a small picture of the glory of God.