February 02, 2006

Descent of the Dove

Genesis 1:1-5

The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2


The first journey recorded in Genesis is not a pilgrimage by our spiritual ancestors across rugged terrain in response to God's calling. That kind of journey did occur at times, but the first journey recorded in Scripture is undertaken by God. The Spirit of God hovered over a world that was "formless and empty." The Spirit of God descended into the darkness that covered "the surface of the deep." We shouldn't find this journey surprising. Throughout the Bible we discover that God often had to step into the picture to bring order out of chaos and to shine light into dark places. But we tend to forget that. Instead we think we can wrestle with the raw material of life and bring order out of anarchy. But we typically make a mess of things. We don't have the wisdom or strength to shape the raw materials of life into something wondrous and beautiful. God does, however. That's why the first journey in Scripture is about God. God's Spirit hovers over the world like a bird hovering over her nest, protecting and feeding her young (see Isaiah 31:5). And as the psalmist reminds us, God continues to send his Spirit to "renew the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30). The Lord's creative and sustaining energy nurtures us for faithful obedience in our own lives.

Lord, spread the wings of your Spirit and hover over our lives with your care and love. Bring order to our lives so that we may respond to you in trust and obedience. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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