There is a way that every human being on Earth can know the heart and purpose behind all of the beauty that exists on earth and in the vast and glorious expanse of the universe, and the heart and purpose behind our own individual life. Everyone wants to know their purpose! None of us really want to believe that we are just a random and meaningless bag of bones and flesh that merely lives for a time on this planet and has no hope of anything more beyond our experience here.
I want you to know that you are more than just random chance and there is more to your existence than your life experiences on this planet. All of us have been uniquely created by a kind, faithful, compassionate, and loving heart with a glorious purpose in mind that extends beyond this life and this planet. If you want to know your glorious purpose, I invite you on a journey with me to discover this wonderful heart that created you. The heart that created each one of us left us a written record that is the path to knowing His heart for us.
Our creator chose to communicate His heart to us using an early form of the Hebrew language. Before we set our foot onto the beginning of this path to know His heart, it is important to understand that the Hebrew word for heart is lev (לֵב). It is not a mere coincidence that the very first written record given by our Creator to human kind (the first five books of Moses) begins with the Hebrew letter bet (ב) and ends with the Hebrew letter lamed (ל). By placing these “book-end” letters at the very beginning of Genesis 1 and the very ending of Deuteronomy 34, our Creator was clearly telling humankind that all the words contained within these five books of Moses represented His heart.
Within the Hebrew word for heart, there is deeper meaning within the letters themselves that reveal the fullness of the first five books of Moses, otherwise known as the Torah. The earliest form of Hebrew letters were pictograms. The letter Lamed (ל) is understood to be the center or heart of the Hebrew alphabet. As the tallest of all letters, lamed represents the King of kings, the shepherd’s staff, authority, teaching, and a heart that understands knowledge. The letter Bet (ב) represents a house or dwelling. I highly recommend reading the full Hebrew for Christians article on the letter Bet to gain a fuller understanding of having this letter at the very beginning of our Creator’s word to us. When we bring the meanings of each letter together, we learn that lev (heart) can also be interpreted as the King of kings holds the shepherd’s staff and has authority over the house to teach and create a heart that understands knowledge within it.
With such an understanding that the Torah is not only the very heart of our Creator, but also the King of kings’ teaching for His house, let’s begin our journey in Genesis 1:1-19 (all Scriptural quotes from the KJV). In the first verse of Genesis, we learn that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” When we look deeper at the Hebrew word bara (בָּרָא), translated as created, the very first meaning we see is “choose.” The Creator chose to create order, beauty, and life on this planet and to surround it with an atmosphere (sky, heaven) to protect it from all of the spatial forces. Think about that for a moment as you consider how many planets exist in this vast universe. There was nothing random or accidental about how this planet came to be the only planet in our universe that we know of for certain that definitely supports a wealth of life forms. The best that all our scientific efforts have produced so far is mere speculation that other planets could possibly contain the elements necessary to support life. We spend tens of billions in taxpayer funds each year in our world-wide effort to find life on other planets, because we refuse to believe that this earth was chosen to be the one centerpiece of life in the universe.
Now that we understand that this place that we call home was actively chosen, let’s learn about its state of being when it was chosen. In the second verse of Genesis 1 we learn that “the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face (surface) of the deep (deep sea or abyss).” When we look deeper into the Hebrew word tohu (תֹּהוּ), which is translated as “without form,” we discover that it means formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness, chaos, desolation, meaningless, and waste place. The Hebrew word bohu (בֹּהוּ), which is translated as “void” means emptiness or an undistinguishable ruin. The Hebrew word choshek (חשֶׁךְ), means obscurity (the state of being unknown, inconspicuous, or unimportant) and literal darkness (as opposed to light). However, it carries figurative meanings of misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness. Do these words really give us an indication that nothing at all existed, or could they be painting a different picture?
There are a few prophecies in the Bible that provide clues about the primeval state of the earth. Through the prophet Ezekiel, our Creator YHVH (יְהוָֹה) revealed that one of His bright and splendorous cherubim (angelic beings), who was present in the Garden of Eden, became corrupted because of his pride, was filled with violence, and was cast out of heaven to the ground (earth) for his iniquities (Ezekiel 28:12-19). Furthermore, through the prophet Isaiah, YHVH revealed how the shining one (aka Lucifer) had fallen (naphal) from heaven and had been hewn down to the earth for seeking to exalt himself above YHVH (Isaiah 14:12-14). In Revelation 12:9 we learn that a great dragon or serpent known as Satan (aka the Devil) and his angels were cast down from heaven to the earth. Although the Bible doesn’t clearly identify the exact timeframe in which the fall of Satan occurred, it is clear that it happened in close proximity to the creation of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2), because that old serpent was already present in the garden to deceive Eve (Genesis 3).
Is it possible that Satan’s fall occurred before Eden’s creation and that he was already here trying to make himself the god of the earth (2 Corinthians 4:4) creating chaos, confusion, desolation, emptiness, and an undistinguishable ruin? Satan is the author of confusion, chaos, disorder, death, and destruction. 1 Corinthians 14:33 clearly tells us that YHVH is not the author of confusion, so if confusion (tohu) was the state of the primeval earth, we must ask how it came to such a state?
I believe we can learn something incredible by digging deeper into the Hebrew language in the last half of Genesis 1:2. It says, “And the Spirit (Ruach, breath) of God moved upon the face (surface) of the waters.” The Hebrew word translated as “moved” is rachaph (רָחַף). In the specific context of Genesis 1:2, rachaph means hovering or brooding. It means to move gently over something while cherishing it, like a mother hen does to her baby chicks. Matthew 23:37 reveals the heart of YHVH to brood over his beloved like a mother hen to her chicks. My own personal testimony is one of a life that YHVH chose out of a state of chaos, confusion, emptiness, obscurity, darkness, and wickedness. He lovingly brooded over me, won my heart to His, and has created order and beauty in my life. YHVH is hovering or brooding over your waters right now with the same purpose in mind for you.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the Hebrew word for waters, which is mayim (מַיִם), and we’ll discover more about what YHVH’s Spirit was brooding over in Genesis 1. Mayim is two mems connected by a yod. The ancient Hebrew pictograph of the letter mem looks like waves of water and carries a meaning of chaos (see chart in link). In Jewish tradition mem is associated directly with the word mayim and both mean waters, peoples, nations, languages, and tongues. An angel revealed to the John the apostle that waters represented people, multitudes, nations, and tongues (Revelation 17:15). The letter yod represents a hand and the omnipresence of YHVH. Therefore, mayim has a deeper meaning of YHVH’s presence or hand in the midst of the waters.
As the Ruach (Spirit) of YHVH hovered over the waters, He foresaw the people, multitudes, nations, and tongues that would be birthed of His creation. There are several places in the Bible that reveal to us that YHVH knew us before we were created in our mother’s womb. Psalm 139:15-16 says, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.” Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet to the nations.”
Furthermore, Ephesians 1:4 says, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” According to His own words, our Creator revealed to us that He specially designed us in His book (like an engineer or architect drafts a plan of their intended creation), knew us, and chose us before we were even conceived in our mother’s womb. I hope you can see a caring, nurturing heart that sees this state of chaos (tohu), emptiness (bohu), obscurity, and darkness (choshek) and is being moved to bring about the fullness of order, beauty, and life that is pleasing to Him. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
You were foreknown, chosen, and specially created for YHVH’s pleasure. With His love for you and me at heart, YHVH spoke over the total darkness and obscurity that was upon the earth and He brought forth the light. The Hebrew text of Genesis 1:3 does not say that he created (bara) or made (asah) light on the first day. Rather the text records YHVH saying, “Let there be light!” The Hebrew word translated as “let there be” is hayah (הָיָה) and it means to come to pass, become, or be. Hayah is the word YHVH used twice when He introduced himself to Moses as “I AM who I AM” (Exodus 3:14). It carries the connotation of something existing.
Genesis 1:3 says that YHVH spoke for light to be (hayah) and there was (hayah) light. The light suddenly appeared right at YHVH’s word! What was this light that God saw and declared to be good (Genesis 1:4)? John 1 definitively states what Light was there in the beginning with God before all of creation was made. It says that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) is the Light that was there with God in the beginning and that by him all things were created. Colossians 1 also indicates that Yeshua existed before all things, that all things were created by Him, and that we were made to be partakers of the light and not the darkness.
From the very beginning, YHVH purposed that light (good) and darkness (wickedness) be separate, so that His special creation was created in the light and not the darkness. Therefore, He “divided the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4). The Hebrew word badal means to separate, divide, set apart, and to make a distinction. So, YHVH was making a separation or division between the Light that was good and the obscurity, darkness, death, destruction, and wickedness (choshek) that was on the surface of the deep.
I have always loved how the Bible always confirms itself! 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who commanded the light to shine forth out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Yeshua stated, “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). He also declared, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). Before YHVH created humankind, He brought the Light into the world, so that humans would not have to live in obscurity and darkness. What a loving Creator!
I hope you understand that the separation or distinction between light and darkness was not simply about physical light and darkness, but also a distinction between spiritual light and spiritual darkness. Verse four of Genesis 1 says that YHVH called this light Day and this darkness Night. If this night and day represented only the physical presence of temporal light and the absence of temporal light that we understand as day and night on this earth, we would have a problem reconciling that when we get to Genesis 1:14-19. The sun, moon, and stars were not created until the fourth day and they were created to divide the temporal day from the temporal night (Genesis 1:14).
The Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica should help us confirm that day one was all about making a distinction between spiritual light and spiritual darkness, before the plants, animals, and people were to be created. YHVH had to set first things in order first, so that we would be created in the Light and not in the darkness. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul tells the disciples of Yeshua that they are not in darkness, that the day of the Lord (judgment day) should overtake them as a thief in the night. He declares to them, “Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5). This premier student of the Torah, who studied under the prominent first century Tanach (aka Old Testament) teacher Gamaliel, understood exactly what he was alluding to when he admonished the disciples in Thessalonica with these specific words. Paul understood the spiritual day and night concept of Genesis 1:5 very well and he was calling the disciples to be set apart to the Light and not to the darkness!
It must be well understood that any allusion to the spiritual day and night concept of Genesis 1:5 in no way negates the fact that day one was still defined as a literal twenty-four hour period of day and night. The use of the Hebrew word yom (יוֹם) for “day” defines it as such. Additionally, the textual context of Genesis 1:5 defines the day as including both the evening and the morning. YHVH Himself defined the Light that existed before the sun, moon, and stars as Day and the darkness (choshek) that existed in the absence of the sun, moon, and stars as Night. Therefore, to interpret yom (day), as it is used in context in Genesis 1, as an indefinite period of time, would be considered erroneous biblical exegesis.
After separating light from darkness, YHVH needed to make some further distinctions or separations. Genesis 1:6-8 tell us that YHVH spent the second day creating a firmament in the midst of the waters to divide the waters below from the waters above. The Hebrew word raqia (רָקִיעַ), translated as firmament, is understood as a solid, supporting arch of the sky or vault of heaven, that keeps the waters above separate from the waters below. Tachath (תַּחַת) is the Hebrew word used to describe the waters that were under or below the firmament, and it is pointing to “the deep” (tehom) of Genesis 1:1 (see the BDB note on adverb accusative before 1c). Tachath is not the seas or oceans as we understand them today. The seas, which were created on day three, are represented by a different Hebrew word (yam). We remember that tohu (chaos, confusion), bohu (emptiness, ruin), and choshek (obscurity, darkness, wickedness) were on the surface of the deep (tehom).
What waters were above the firmament (raqia) that required the installation of a solid arch or shield to keep them separated from the deep beneath? YHVH actually called the firmament heaven (shamayim) in verse 8, not raqia as in verses 6-7. One common theory holds that the word shamayim is a construct involving the word mayim and the prefix shin, carrying a meaning of “like waters.” What is even more interesting to me is that the Encyclopedia Judaica records that the pictograph of the ancient letter shin represented a composite bow (see second sentence under Origins in link). Therefore, the shin represents YHVH’s bow that separates or makes a distinction between the waters above (the Kingdom of Heaven) from the waters beneath (the kingdom of earth). Such an understanding will give greater clarity to what we will see when we get to Genesis 6.
After establishing His bow to separate the two kingdoms, YHVH made another distinction or separation on the third day of creation. Verses 9-13 record that YHVH commanded for the waters under the firmament (the deep) to be gathered together in one place (Seas) and let the dry land (Earth) appear. YHVH was now creating a separation in the kingdom of Earth below between the tohu (chaos, confusion), bohu (emptiness, ruin), and choshek (obscurity, darkness, wickedness) of the deep and the dry land that humankind would inhabit. He declared this separation was good. Do you see His perfect order in creating the perfect environment for humankind to thrive? I see a loving Creator building the safest house (nesting) for His children before they arrive.
As soon as the dry land appeared, YHVH commanded the grass, herbs, and fruit bearing trees to come forth. Chaos, confusion, ruin, and darkness were held at bay. They had no influence on the dry earth. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.” The green grass, the herbs, and the fruit bearing trees sprung up out of the dry ground at YHVH’s command and prospered. YHVH had created a plentiful food source and brought it to the full maturity of bearing fruit containing seed in just one day under the Light that we met in verse three (Genesis 1:12). The sun had not yet been created to sustain the plants.
There is an important spiritual principle in the third day that I want us all to consider. YHVH’s perfect and expressed will is that tohu (chaos, confusion), bohu (emptiness, ruin), and choshek (obscurity, darkness, wickedness) be separate and distinct from our habitation. When it is kept completely separate and distinct (when we are set apart or holy), and we are growing in the presence of the Light (Yeshua), YHVH’s spoken words are instantly fulfilled and bearing fruit in us. If we find that YHVH’s words are being spoken over us, but they are not being fulfilled and bearing fruit, we need to audit or lives, hearts, and minds to check for the presence of tohu, bohu, and choshek mixing into our habitation and/or the absence of the Light (Yeshua).
It has been my personal experience and observation of many others that when we check our hearts and purpose ourselves to be truly separate from any and all forms of chaos, confusion, darkness, and wickedness, the words of YHVH suddenly spring forth and bear fruit in our lives. The presence of tohu, bohu, and choshek can be present in attitudes of self-righteousness, harsh judgment, bitterness, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. It can also be present in the ways we choose to pursue our own pleasure, the forms of entertainment we choose, or something entirely different. We need to be careful that we do not bring wickedness into our habitation in any form. Pray for the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to hover over the depths of your heart and reveal the things that need to be separated from you, so that you can truly experience all the fruitfulness that He desires in your life.
We have finally made it to day four of creation and the last section of this article! As mentioned previously, Genesis 1:14-19 tell us how YHVH created the sun, moon, and the stars to divide the literal day from the literal night on day four of creation. The text of verse 14 also says that they were created for signs (oth), seasons (moedim), days, and years. The Hebrew word oth (אוֹת) means a sign, banner, omen, pledge, standard, and witness. There are some who practice the science of biblical or Hebrew astronomy and believe the constellations of stars (Mazzaroth) were created as a sign or witness to tell the story of the redemption of mankind. Additionally, the Hebrew word for seasons (moedim), means appointed time, place, or meeting and is the same Hebrew word used in Leviticus 23:2,4,37, & 44 to define the “the appointed times (feasts) of the LORD.”
Simply put, the sun, moon, and stars exist as a timepiece to ensure we arrive on time to our appointment to get into YHVH’s presence. Don’t be late for your appointment! Meet Him in prayer this very day! He’s waiting with outstretched arms and a kind, compassionate, merciful, patient, and loving heart to receive His beloved.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalms 16:11 (KJV)
© 2019 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved
*If you enjoyed this study and were blessed by it, please consider purchasing the first volume of my two-volume life application study of King David’s life here.
**This is the first in a series of articles that are designed to be used as a through-the-Bible curriculum for teaching students of any age about the heart of YHVH, as communicated to the world through His written word. Homeschooled students can fulfill some Language Arts and History requirements with this curriculum. Students are learning to read for comprehension, to study vocabulary, to study history of the ancient world, and are practicing their handwriting and writing skills to summarize what they have learned. They will also be creating a written copy of YHVH’s word in the process, thereby maximizing their retention of the material. Therefore, please provide students with a composition notebook. Young children do not need to understand everything. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). In hearing the word of God, the seed will be planted in their heart. The Master Gardener will tend to the seed throughout their life and cause it to grow fruitful.
Questions 1-2 are given to students to complete before reading through the article, while questions 3-8 can be answered at the end of each respective section of the article:
- Read Genesis 1:1-19 and handwrite a copy.
- Summarize it in your own words.
- What do the Hebrew words tell you about the original state of our planet?
- What event does Ezekiel 28:12-19, Isaiah 14:12-14 and Revelation 12:9 tell us about and when do you think it happened?
- What was the Spirit of God hovering or brooding over?
- When God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light on the first day of creation, what light was there? Was it the sun, moon, and stars or some other light?
- Why did God need to make a distinction or separation between the light and darkness, the waters above and below, and the seas and land, before creating life on Earth?
- What do you think about the Creator and His heart toward you?