Beresheet (Genesis) 1:1–6:8
This week in synagogues throughout the world, the annual cycle of Torah readings begins (the Torah is also known as the “Books of Moses” or the first five books of the Bible). In this series of blogs, I intend to follow the weekly portion (parasha) of Scripture as they are being read in the synagogues, and to write short commentaries on them.
This is not just pertinent to Jewish followers of Messiah; we can all – Jew and Gentile alike- gain a great deal of insight in these Torah readings! I am writing to all of us, since it is my sincere desire for us to understand that Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, is not some type of “new” (two thousand year old) idea, but rather existed from even before the creation of the world! I want us to see Him for who He was, is, and will always be. I also want us to have a renewed love of the living Word!
As always, I desire to point out the great pearls of wisdom that are in the weekly Scripture readings; these are the “hidden treasures” found in the Word that can enrich our lives and bring us closer to Him every day:
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1–5)
There is another important aspect that I want to focus on in the coming year of this blog series, and that is what Rav Sha’ul (Paul) refers to as “the mystery” found in the Word of God, which was revealed to him (Rom 16:25-26, Eph 3:3, etc). And that mystery is Yeshua Himself, who was the Word made flesh and came to dwell among us:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1–4)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
This week’s reading describes the Creation of the World and everything in it. It opens with the words, “In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1a). God is the Creator of the world; this world belongs to Him and, as His creation, we are to abide in Him and accept His will.
It then goes on to describe how God actually created, which is by His word. It is written numerous times that, “God said…” (Genesis 1 verses 3,6,9,11,14,20,24 and 26) and indeed within the first 25 verses of the Bible, we learn of God’s amazing and perfect creation of this world and everything within it.
However, in verse 26, we find the greatest mystery contained in the Scriptures:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the 1sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Who did God speak to, saying “Let US make man in Our image, according to Our likeness?” This is a topic of intense debate among Jewish scholars, and the general consensus among those who do not believe in Messiah Yeshua is that God speaks here to angels. However, this answer does not make sense since they basically say that God is equal to His angels, which are also His created beings. How can this be?
God clearly speaks to someone of the exact same image (figure, identity and character) and likeness (shadow or shade). God can be the only one who is equal to God. So, who could it be? The answer is found in Genesis 3:8:
And they heard the sound (voice) of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
In the “Onkelos Tirgom” (an ancient Aramaic translation of the Torah), it translates this verse as, “And they heard the voice of the Word of God walking in the garden…” (emphasis mine) Who is the Word of God? Yeshua, His Son, our Messiah!
Yeshua was present at the Creation of the world; not only that, but He is the conduit by which the Father brought all things into being. He is the Word through which the Father spoke the world into existence. And through Yeshua, Adam and Eve had fellowship with God, just as it is today for us who have fellowship with the Father through Yeshua, our High Priest.
In closing, I want to remind us of the wisdom found in the Word of God, which contains great “hidden treasures.” (Proverbs 2:1-5) His word gives us the only tools we’ll ever need for abundant life. It is my hope and prayer that each of you reading these blog entries will discover anew the answer to the “mystery” in the only solution that God Himself gives, in His Son, the living Word. Only in Him will we find true knowledge of God.
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