Genesis 1:1 reads “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Now here are some of the things that get scholars hung up about that opening.
- The passage begins with the Hebrew letter bhet, is that significant?
- The importance of the usage of “beginning” here.
- The importance of listing the heavens before the earth.
- And the use of elohim instead of the name of the Lord.
It’s this last one I want to talk about today because I heard that the use of elohim, which is a non-specific Hebrew word that could refer to any deity or group of deities, would suggest that the Father intended for the Bible to be easily accessible. After all, if all you need to begin is a vague belief that there is some kind of god(s) out there then the bible starts of inoffensively and is open to all readers.
In other words, the bible is seeker sensitive.
I disagree. If anything the use of the generic term here is designed to provoke the reader into asking “which god?” Think about the fact that genesis was largely an oral history until the time of the renovation of the Temple in 2 Kings. Even afterwards it was more common to hear this passage read aloud than it was to read it for oneself. Given this fact consider also that the word “God” (Elohim) is repeated 30 times in 31 verses.
This strikes me more as provocation demanding an answer (Which God?) rather than an open door for a curiosity seeker to fall through. This is part of a trail of signs and questions that God calls us through to come to know him, in much the same way that young lovers will play scavenger hunts with one another: clues lead to clues that lead to love.
Our God’s love is furious and eagerly seeking us, not merely waiting for us to go through an open door.
We worship a God who seeks men, not the men who seek God.