Biblical Creativity

There can’t be a better way of being creative than the way God is creative.

So let’s look at His creative ways.  And no better place to start than with the Creation.

The Account of Creation

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a] The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. God called the space “sky.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

13 And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day.

14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”

23 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[b] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[c] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings[d] in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.

31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!

And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.

Footnotes

  1. 1:1 Or In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, . . . Or When God began to create the heavens and the earth, . . .
  2. 1:26a Or man; Hebrew reads adam.
  3. 1:26b As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads all the earth.
  4. 1:27 Or the man; Hebrew reads ha-adam.

In the beginning God

So in the beginning means at the start of something which by definition introduces space -time for the first time in space.  All the theories and observations to date indicate that space and time are related by a constant called “c” which is the speed of light.  Nothing can go faster than the speed of light.  The closer you get to the speed of light the slower time goes until it eventually stops (which is why you can’t go any faster).  My favourite experiment that shows this is in this video.

So that was the first thing God put in place – a frame of measurement and constraints.

Likewise, when we are creating anything the first things we need to consider are where we are going to do it and when.  And we also need to take into account the fact that we are constrained – we don’t have infinite time or space available to us.  We need to know how much of each we have and the relationship between the two.  How much space do I have to do this in and how much time.

The heavens and the earth

God then made the base context of all the future creativity, the heavens and the earth.  Heavens and earth are the fundamental context in which He was going to do everything else.

Likewise when we are being creative we need to start with the fundamentals of what we are working with.   The heavens represent abstract things which we are not able to put our hands on, ideas mainly.  The earth represents the material things we have to work with.  Abstract ideas and material things are the context in which we all work.

The earth was formless and empty

Raw materials are always this way at the beginning of any creation.

And darkness covered the deep waters

No matter where we have been in the universe to date we have discovered water.  NASA even says that the universe is awash with water which keeps turning up in surprising places.  It seems that the formless and empty universe was a ball of water initially.  I imagine God with a ball of water in His hands in the beginning.

God didn’t need to see it (he knows his creation without light) but He somehow conceived that His creation would need to “see” it.  So the concept of darkness is introduced, i.e. the absence of something. Something is missing, e.g. understanding, light.

Likewise at the beginning of a creative project we have raw materials and some ideas but we need to understand better what we are going to create – we need to be able to see it.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters

And to see something creatively we need inspiration, a spark of creative genius.  Call it what you will, none of us can create without the inspiration of a spirit.  We see this all around us.  People talk about man’s spirit, devils, angels and the Holy Spirit inspiring all sorts of things.  Ultimately nothing happens without the consideration, the brooding of a spirit on the ideas and the materials.  Understanding starts here.

When you are being creative, what inspires you?

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