Today’s Scripture: Genesis 1:1-8
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”
And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.
6 Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” 7 And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. 8 God called the space “sky.”
And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.
Now that our reading of the Immerse Bible is finished, we need another focus for our daily devotionals. Since Lent is a time of returning to God, I thought we would return to the beginning and walk through the book of Genesis. We’ll try and highlight a passage from one chapter a day.
When I was growing up in the Oklahoma Panhandle we had to deal with wind. A lot of wind. Wind was just a part of our lives. But it was annoying. If you happened to drop a dollar bill in a parking lot, you might have to chase it for blocks before you got it back. And don’t get me started on tumble weeds and dust storms. The wind in the Oklahoma Panhandle is relentless. You might even say it hovers around you as you go through your day.
In Genesis 1:2 we are first exposed to the word ruah. The NLT translates this Hebrew word as Spirit. It can also be translated breath – or wind. The writer of Genesis describes God as wind. Not only that – a hovering wind! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone hovering over me – especially in the time of Covid – especially if I can actually feel their “wind” on my neck!
But I wonder if that’s the point? I wonder if the writer of Genesis was trying to paint a picture of God that was not so much annoying – but rather close and involved. Elsewhere in the Bible the verb for “hover” is used to describe a bird fluttering over her young. In this case, the wind from the wings is good! It comes from the bird protecting and feeding and shielding her young. A hovering mama bird is not annoying to the young birds – it’s creating space for them to thrive.
God’s breath-wind-Spirit came near the waste and the wild of the pre-created earth and hovered over it. And in so doing began to create space for us to thrive.
Maybe the next time we are bothered by the wind, when it seems to be constantly hovering and getting in our face, we can remember the closeness, the protection, the hovering of God. Maybe we can feel the wind on our body as a reminder that in the beginning the wind of God hovered and created – and it was good.
God thank you for creation. Help us to see you in creation this day. And remind us to care for and use your creation wisely. Thank you for hovering close to us. May we feel your loving presence even this very moment.