Let There Be Happiness

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.

Read: Genesis 1:2-5

My journey to follow God through the Bible began before God created humanity with Angels who rebelled and God’s judgment against them. My first image of God is a judge. My next image of God is a creator. Then I come to a contradiction on the first day of creation.

In Genesis 1:1 God created the heaven and the earth. In verse two the earth is desolation, worthless and darkness prevails [2]. Upon this desolation God’s Spirit is moving. I think of pristine clear waters, but referring to the Hebrew words in these first five verses of Genesis imparts a different image. The waters were similar to sewage. [3] To my mind darkness means the absence of light, but the author of Genesis used a word that means misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness. [4]  I conclude the darkness created the sewage that covered the earth.  In the midst of this mess God is moving in a relaxed manner. [5] God, the judge and creator is unperturbed by the desolation. He exudes confidence that there is nothing impossible for him to fix.

After accessing the devastation, that I believe the rebellious angels created, God spoke. “Let there be light: and there was light.” [6] What is this light? This is day one. The sun and stars were created on day four. The Hebrew definition for the word “light” reveals an interesting word. In addition to meaning illumination, the Hebrew word means happiness. [7] After surveying the desolation and foul water covering the earth, God said let there be happiness!

Stumbling across that tidbit of information brought to mind a famous statement in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The generation who came to America considered life and liberty a right, but not happiness. Happiness is so elusive; in their minds we only had a right to pursue it. I have family and friends, now deceased, who never found happiness. They are the same people who said “No” to God. They wanted things God did not want them to have. They were miserable, lived self-destructive lives and died young.

In Isaiah 45:7 God said, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” [8] Reading this verse with my western mind, I conclude that God creates good things and bad things. But the belief that there might be something bad in God is the root of Adam and Eve’s sin. There must be a better explanation.

An examination of the Hebrew words translated “form” and “create” leads me to a different conclusion. The words “light” and “darkness” in this verse are the same Hebrew words used in Genesis Chapter 1, which mean happiness and misery. God formed light/happiness and created darkness/misery. But the Hebrew word for “create” also means “to cut down.” [9] Therefore, I can understand Isaiah 45:7 this way: God said, I form happiness, and cut down darkness: I make peace, and cut down evil: I the LORD do all these things.

At this point, I can conclude that I am following a God who judges his creation when they rebel against his divine order, and then forms happiness by cutting down the misery and evil the rebellious create.

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[2] Form: H8414, תּהוּ, tôhû, to’-hoo, From an unused root meaning to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), that is, desert; figuratively a worthless thing; adverbially in vain: – confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, (thing of) nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness.

[3] Waters: H4325, מים, mayim, mah’-yim, Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen: –  + piss, wasting, water (-ing, [-course, -flood, -spring]).

[4] Darkness: H2822, חשׁך, chôshek, kho-shek’ From H2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: – dark (-ness), night, obscurity. This word is from H2821, חשׁך, châshak, khaw-shak’. A primitive root; to be dark (as withholding light); transitively to darken: – be black, be (make) dark, darken, cause darkness, be dim, hide.

[5] Moved: H7363, רחף, râchaph, raw-khaf’, A primitive root; to brood; by implication to be relaxed: – flutter, move, shake.

[6] Genesis 1:3

[7] Light: H216, אור, ‘ôr, ore, From H215; illumination or (concretely) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.): – bright, clear, + day, light (-ning), morning, sun.

[8] Isaiah 45:7, KJV

[9] Create: H1254, בּרא, bârâ’, baw-raw’, A primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): – choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).

 

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