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Part 1: Creator Elohim

June 30, 2012

(This is the beginning of several articles entitled DIVINE CREATIVITY that will present a Biblical apologetic and study on why people are creative. This series contains Scripture passages to read and questions to answer.  Recording your insights in a creative journal may be a valuable exercise.)

Pretend you are seated on a tiny chair in the middle of several squirmy children during a Sunday School class, and the teacher asks the class to complete her sentence: “God is _______.”  Without waiting to be called on the little ones shout out, “Love!”  “Jesus!”  “Big!”  “In heaven!”  “In my heart!”

When they run out of ideas and the teacher calls on you, what is your answer?  Grace?  Omnipotent?  Agape love?  Worthy of worship?

How do you think God would finish the sentence?  How does God introduce Himself to the world?  As Maria in The Sound of Music would advise, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!”

>>Read Genesis 1 – 2 and write down everything you learn about God.

Among some of God’s qualities mentioned in Genesis 1 is His first Hebrew name: Elohim (literally, powerful ones [1]). Translated simply as God in English, itis used 33 times in the chapter’s 31 verses.  Elohim is combined with created or made seven times and with other creative actions (was moving, separated, said, placed) eleven times.  Taken together Elohim is paired with a creating verb 18 times. [2]

This repetition is for emphasis.  Noticing what is repeated is foundational to studying the Bible.  God repeats what is important—what He wants us to notice.  To state the obvious, in Genesis 1: God wants us to notice that He is Creator God.

Another important Bible study principle is The Law of First Mention.  “The very first time any important word is mentioned in the Bible, Scripture gives that word its most complete and accurate meaning to not only serve as a key in understanding the word’s Biblical concept, but to also provide a foundation for its fuller development in later parts of the Bible.”

Applying this law to Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” again suggests that the first thing God wants us to know about Him, is that He created the world—that He is Creator God.

Therefore, while love, big, and grace are correct answers to a Sunday School teacher’s question about who God is, from the Bible’s perspective, Creator is perhaps a better answer, simply because the Bible first describes God as Creator, and that, multiple times.  When reading the Bible from the beginning, before we know that God is love[3], He wants us to know that He is Creator.

>> How does this change how you view God?  How you view creativity?

Next week: Image-Bearers

[1] The ending on the Hebrew word is plural.

[2] For further study on Elohim.

[3] It’s interesting to note that love, the most frequently given Sunday School answer to the question posed above, isn’t mentioned in the Bible until Genesis 22:2 describing Abraham’s love for Isaac; and we have to wait until Deuteronomy 7:7 for the Bible to tell us of God’s love for people.

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2 comments

  1. […] the Principle of Repetition and The Law of First Mention (both explained in Part I) as you read Genesis 1:26-27.   What is repeated?  What is important about the first mention of […]


  2. […] believe this drive is part of what it means to be created Imago Dei—in the image of God. He created the world, and then made people in his creative image. He created for seven days straight—and then […]



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