Let There Be Happiness

Teena Myers

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.

Read Genesis 1:2-5

My journey to follow God through the Bible began with a rebellion before God created humanity, God’s judgment against them. A judge is my first image of God. My next is a creator. But his activities on the “first day” of creation appear to contradict and produce troublesome questions.

In Genesis 1:1 God created the heaven and the earth. In verse two the Spirit of God is hovering over the waters.[1] 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.[2] To me darkness means the absence of light, but the author of Genesis used a word that means misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness.[3] Apparently, the darkness resulted in the sewage that covered the earth, and God is brooding over the foul waters in a relaxed manner. The judge and creator was unperturbed by the desolation.

After accessing the devastation, that I believe the rebellious angels created, God said, “Let there be light.”

What is this light? God created the sun and stars on day four. The Hebrew definition for the word “light” reveals an interesting word. Besides meaning illumination, the word means happiness.[4] The creation of the sun and stars on day four eliminates the kind of illumination they give the earth. The only other option is happiness. Therefore, after God surveyed the desolation and foul water covering the earth, his first recorded words are “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 do not have a right to happiness, only the 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, the creator of happiness.

In Isaiah 45:7 God declares, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Reading this verse with my English interpretation of these words, I conclude that God creates good things and bad things. But the belief that there might be something bad in God is the lie Adam and Eve used to justify their 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. Did God form happiness and create misery? But the Hebrew word for “create” also means “to cut down.”[5] Therefore, I 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.

I conclude that I am following a God who judges his creation when they rebel against his divine order and then creates happiness by cutting down the misery the rebellious produce.

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

[2] 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]).

[3] 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.

[4] 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.

[5] 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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