I love ah-ha moments. I expect them literally every time I read from the Word. You see, God is not like man when it comes to what He says. Or, I should say, not like me. He doesn’t waste His words. So every book, every chapter, every verse, every word of His Word has been spoken and then written for a purpose.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created

Have you ever made anything? Every so often during my growing up years, my mother and I took a “ride uptown” where, at the fabric store, we’d sit on tall stools while flipping through enormous hardback catalogues of fashion patterns.

Some of them had covers that read “Simplicity” and others “Vogue.” Each was divided into sections, then subsections.

After my mother had carefully chosen the desired pattern number, she went in search of the actual pattern, one of thousands filed in large metal cabinets that had been carefully divided and labeled. I continued to sit on the stool where she’d planted me, studying the designs and drawings, thinking to the day when I, like my mother, would go in search of the pattern…the material…the buttons…the zipper…the thread.

Back home, Mother would fold out a cutting board across our kitchen table, drape the material across it, then pin the fragile paper of the pattern atop that. She would grip her black-handled scissors and begin the cutting process while I watched from a kitchen chair she’d positioned strategically to keep me out of her way but within viewing range

All day: the cutting, the whir of the Singer sewing machine, the whip-whip of thread being hand stitched into hems or applying buttons. Getting in and out of clothes until they fit just right. By day’s end she had a blouse or I had a frilly dress or my brother had a shirt. Mother was a genius with a pattern, some material, and a spool of thread.

But, even as gifted as she was (and is) in the art of sewing, I never once saw her make something out of nothing. Not once. Every dress had to have a pattern. Every blouse had to have material. Every shirt depended on thread to hold it together.

Unlike our Creator…

Getting to the Root of it

The word “created,” found in Genesis 1:1 is, in Hebrew, “Bara,” (transliterated) and is used only of divine design, never of human construction. Its meaning is:

1. to shape
2. to fashion
3. to create

Bara is used forty-six times in the Old Testament but only three times in the first chapter of the Bible. Those three times deal with:

1. to the origin of matter

 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2. the origin of life

 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing  with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird  according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

3. the origin of man’s soul

 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male  and female he created them.

That which God created, He created free and clear of anything else from anyone else. Man was created from the dust of the ground, yes, but Who placed the dust and/or the ground there in the first place?

But Was God Done?

As I said, the word “created” in its divine sense, is used only three times in the first chapter of Genesis. Does that mean that after the “three,” God stopped creating?


God has continued in His work as Creator for all time. Some of His best work is seen in His outright miracle of life.

I remember the first time I witnessed a birth. I was a nursing student and a very young one at that. The obstetrician instructed me to stand behind his left shoulder keeping me—as my mother had years ago—out of the way but within viewing distance. As the mother-to-be pushed with all her might, I took a step backward. Deep breath—deep breath—and puuuuuuuuush again. I took yet another step back. Okay, one more. You can do it. You can do it. Puuuuuuuush. Another step back for me. A final push from the mother and I was plastered against the wall.