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Genesis 1:1-5

I want to share with you today on the topic of overcoming the chaos in our lives. Chaos is defined as a state of disorder and confusion, even total disorder and confusion. It means to be in disarray, to be in turmoil. To say it another way, it means that your life lacks order, peace and calm. Do you ever feel like your life is chaotic – that you yearn for order, peace and calm?

We are in Genesis chapter one today because, as we will see, this is where God overcomes the chaos at the beginning of creation. So we want to learn from this how God can overcome the chaos in our lives.

Let’s read Genesis 1:1-5, as a sample of what is going on in the whole chapter.

“1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”

Chaos in Genesis 1

In vs. 1-3 we see several indicators of chaos:

1. The earth was “without form and void.” This is basically the definition of chaos.

2. “Darkness” was everywhere. Both darkness and formlessness are negative things in the Hebrew way of thinking.

3. “The deep” or “the waters” cover the earth. In the Scriptures “the waters” and “the deep” represent chaos and turmoil. They are associated with hard times (Psalm 69:14), evil or Satan (Yam, Rahab, Leviathan, Revelation 12:9), judgment (Psalm 104:6-7) and death (Psalm 18:16).

4. There is no life. Rather the earth is barren, bleak and desolate.

Next we see in this passage –

How God overcomes the chaos

 And he does this in two ways. First, through his Word. v. 3 – “And God said . . .” This phrase is used 10 times in Genesis 1. From our example, on the first day, God said, “Let there be light.” He is saying, ‘this is my purpose and will. This is what I want.’

By his word of command, God speaks out his will and his way to give order and structure to his creation.

From the New Testament we know that God’s word is God’s Son. In Colossians 1:16 Paul says this about him, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”

In John 1:1-3 John speaks of him in this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

God also overcomes the chaos through his Spirit. v. 2 says, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The Spirit is the power of God that brings God’s will into being.

So on the first day, God spoke out his will concerning the light, and then, “there was light. . . . And God separated the light from the darkness” – vs. 3-4. This is the working of God by his Spirit/power bringing to pass his word/will.

From the New Testament we know that God’s Spirit or power is God’s Holy Spirit. A person, not an impersonal force. The Holy Spirit acting to make God’s will come into reality.

How does God overcome chaos? God speaks out his will through his Word. And God brings it into reality by his Spirit. And because of his Word and Spirit there is:

  • order, not chaos
  • light, not darkness
  • victory over the waters and evil
  • life, not lifelessness

Now despite all this, there is still chaos in the creation. Our job as humans was to finish what God began. We were to subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28). After all Satan was still loose. And then our rebellion against God (Genesis 3) introduced more chaos into the world. And so –

God is still working to overcome chaos

God is working to bring forth a new creation. This is going on at the cosmic level, and it certainly plays out in our individual lives.

We all have times of testing. We go through difficult life circumstances that bring us inner turmoil. These are times when:

  • our lives are disordered; they seem to be without direction or purpose
  • the darkness closes in on us.
  • the deep waters flood in and overwhelm us.
  • We feel lifeless, barren, bleak, hopeless

Well, just as God has acted for the whole world, so also he works in us. The same creative Word of Genesis 1, God’s Son, has become a human – Jesus, to teach us and to model for us God’s will and way. And the Holy Spirit has come to live within us to strengthen us and help us.

And so when your life is in chaos, when things around you are spinning out of control, when the deep waters are churning, look to the Word, to the Scriptures, to Jesus the living word made flesh. Learn from his teaching and example. He shows us God’s will and way.

As the Psalmist says to God, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” – Psalm 119:105. God’s Word shows us the way when things around us are chaotic.

And so ask yourself, ‘Is my life in line with God’s Word?’ If you are knowingly walking in sin you’re opening the door wide to chaos – darkness, deep waters, lifelessness. Walk according to the Word.

And also, are you walking  in the path God has for you individually? We may not know all the details of God’s will for our lives, but he shows us the direction he has for us. Are you walking in that direction?

Look to the Word. This is what gives order and structure to your life when the world is chaotic. This is what gives you a path to walk on.

And also, look to the Spirit who lives within us as Christians. When we feel like we are being overwhelmed, the Spirit can strengthen us to move forward in God’s path for our lives. The Spirit can empower us to endure testing and trials, with God’s peace within us whatever is going on around us.

We can’t do this in our own strength. We can’t do it by ourselves. We have to rely on the Spirit to help us. As Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” This is how we can overcome.

When we allow the Word to guide us and the Spirit to help us, just as in Genesis 1, God will bring:

  • order out of our chaos
  • light out of our darkness
  • victory over our trials, Satan and death
  • new life out of lifelessness

We not only learn how God does all this in Genesis 1. We learn that he can do this. And if he can overcome the chaos of all creation, surely he can do this in your life and mine. God is able and we can thank God for this and take courage wherever we find ourselves.

William Higgins

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