Poetic Justice

Poetic Justice

Did you know that the Bible starts with an ancient poem?

It paints an incredible picture that evolves, grows and weaves.

We get to see God’s creativity and His personality. God says “Let There Be Light”.

In the poem, God creates the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, the land, the animals and us, mankind.

In the poem, there are 3 things going on.

First Thing.

Every line of the Genesis poem contains beautiful visual imagery about the seas and about the difference between night and day. The writer clearly knew that visual imagery had a big future, and in fact, it’s still around today, it’s called Instagram or if you’re under 25, Snapchat.

Number two thing, and this one’s for people like me.

Everywhere in the poem, it says the same thing twice, in two different ways, so people like me have two chances to understand it. Literature students will tell you that it’s called emblematic parallelism.

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Closely followed by, and similarly read to “God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”

Saying one thing, but in two different ways.

The third thing that’s going on is all about God’s actions. We read that

On day 1, God creates the light and darkness, and divides it.

On day 2, God creates the water and sky, and divides it.

On day 3, God creates the seas and land, and divides it.

Later, on the period of time referred to as day 4, God fills the sky with sun moon and stars. On day 5, he fills the water with fish and the sky with birds, and on day 6, God fills the seas and land with plants and animals.

Are you seeing the pattern in this poem? Stuff is made. Then there’s separation. Then, later on, it’s completed and fulfilled.

Did you notice the on top of that what God creates, he completes it 3 days later.

Does that sound familiar?

God cloaked Pharoah’s Egypt in Darkness for 3 Days.

Jonah and the Whale. 3 days.

Paul was blind. 3 days.

Jesus, Tomb, Resurrection. 3 days.

When I first heard this, it completely blew my mind. This poem was written thousands of years before Jesus was born, yet alludes to his death and resurrection.

Not only is the poem pointing to the Gospel where despite our choices and experiences, we can not only know God but be intimately known and loved by him, but it’s also giving us hints about how God’s rescue mission through Jesus will happen.

May we know God is active and creative in our lives. May we know that God always has more going on that we could ever know, and may we always know that God finishes the story, and that at the end, God completes what he begins.

Written by Will Lee


Want to write for NCS? Email vikitaylor@ncsheffield.org