And God Let Us Say No!

Thoughts Inspired by Craig J. DesJardins Thematic Bible Reading Plan

by Doug Bursch
January 1
Genesis 1; Psalm 8; Psalm 104

In Genesis 1 we find the pattern of “Let there be. . .” and “there was. . . .” In this pattern God speaks and His creative will comes into existence. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen 1:3). From the mouth of God, creation comes into form. In Genesis we see that God’s word precedes the creation of the world and everything in it. At first, the power of “Let there be” appears to be an unstoppable force or an unchanging spiritual law. The law is simple, powerful, and seemingly irrefutable; When God speaks His will is created.

But God is more than a creator, more than a calculating builder or engineer. God is love and therefore His creative power is permeated with love; His creation is marked with love. In love, He created humans. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27).

I will never fathom the mystery of “Let there be. . . me.” That God would create us in His image; that God would give us the capacity to share His image, to be fruitful, to multiply, to subdue, and have dominion. And we had not choice in the matter, He spoke and we came into existence.

Our existence is not one of choice. But choice is the gift of our existence. God, in His great love, allowed the seemingly irrefutable law of “Let there be” to be challenged and disobeyed. He gave us the choice to say no to His creative will. He gave us the gift of love. The ability to say yes and the ability to say no. “No, I will not allow you to create that in me!”

So God let there be Adam and Eve. He blessed them with tremendous capacity. He gave them the gift of fruitfulness, the ability to multiply, the power to subdue and have dominion. He gave them the ability to refuse the One whose image they carried. And God said, “Let there be my will in your life.” His creation, His beloved children, paused and spoke a resounding “No!” We will not follow your lead, we will not make room for your word. We will choose to separate our will from your will, our image from your image. We will refuse your creative power in our life. Instead of serving our God, instead of reflecting His image, we will serve ourselves. We will worship the created instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25).

And our loving God, with His mighty words, breathed in His will, and kept His will from forcing us to follow. He yielded to our will and gave us the gift of “As you wish.” The gift of being separate from the one who made us. The gift of choosing other than life and light. The gift of understanding what it means to say both yes and no.

“Let there be love!” This truth permeates the creation narrative. That God would allow for us not only to exist, not only to bear His image, but also to choose a path of existence that is beyond His coercion. I imagine the angels paused in light of Adam and Eve’s rebellion. I imagine they waited for the hand of God to have His way; they waited for the “there was” to follow God’s “let there be.” Instead, God allowed His will to echo through the ages until it found rest, solution, and satisfaction in the sacrifice of His perfect son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus Christ is the answer to our “let there be” rebellion.

Today’s reading reminds me that from the beginning of our existence we humans have always abided in a climate of grace and love.

One more word of note. It appears to me that God uses the agency of the Holy Spirit to bring about His creative will. On the first day of creation, we notice that the Spirit of the Lord is hovering “over the face of the deep” (Gen 1:2). The Spirit is waiting to carry out the creative will of the Father. In Psalm 104:30 we read, “When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.”

It is the Spirit of the Lord that brings about God’s creative capacity in the world and in our life. It is the Spirit of the Lord that brings renewal to the earth. My prayer for the coming year is that God will create His will in my life. That His spoken word will come to pass in me and through me through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let God’s kingdom come and let God’s will be done in me, on earth, as it is done in heaven. May 2012 be a “Let there be. . . and there was in me” year of faith.


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One Response to And God Let Us Say No!

  1. Stanley Altaras January 31, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Shalom Doug……!
    I would like to get together with you. I am Stanley Altaras. I am a close friend with Stan Lander and a lot of Pastors. My grandfather was the first ordained Sephardic Rabbi of Seattle. I would like to share with you my balance on messianic judaism.
    I am hoping to have a radio program soon. I would start with 12 weeks or so. I have been at Beit Tikvah studying about the account of Adam and Eve etc. I enjoyed your perspective on Genesis.
    I would like very much to meet you. Also my wife and I are planing to attend the “Art of Loving” seminar.

    because He lives … I can face tomorrow…..

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