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The Spirit at Creation

Read: Genesis 1:1-5; 2:7

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (v. 2)

The Holy Spirit makes his first appearance in the opening verses of the Bible. In fact, all three persons of the Trinity— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are present in the creation account. God the Father calls all things into being. God the Son is, as John puts it, the powerful Word through whom the Father creates (John 1:3). Finally, the Spirit of God hovers over the formless void, poised for the powerful work of creating.

Genesis 1 portrays the Holy Spirit as God’s “hovering,” or overseeing, presence. This description makes the Spirit seem distant. However, we need only look one chapter further to discover just how personal the Spirit is. Genesis 2 provides a second creation account in which God forms the first human by breathing his life into a lump of clay. God gave us life by placing his Spirit in us.

What does that mean for us today? In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis writes, “God designed [us] to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on . . . [This means that] God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because . . . [t]here is no such thing” (p. 50).

God wants nothing more than to restore to us the life we had in the beginning: the indwelling and abiding presence of his Holy Spirit. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, thank God for giving his Spirit in the beginning; and ask for his Spirit today.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.