Genesis 1:1-3 – In the beginning, God created [bara] the heavens and the earth. The 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. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
In Genesis looking at the Creation account, it’s important to make a distinction between two Hebrew words – bara and asah.
Bara means to create something out of nothing, which is something only God can do. This is what God did when He created the entire world. Asah, on the other hand, means to prepare something that already exists, which is something we can do with God’s help. This involves putting together already created things to make a new thing.
For example, let’s say I’m really hungry and I want to make a ham sandwich. As much as I really want to and as hungry as I am, I can’t bara a ham sandwich. I can’t just snap my fingers and *poof* it shows up. Only God can bara something, creating something out of nothing. On the other hand, I can asah a ham sandwich.
I can take things that God has already made like ham, bread, lettuce, tomato, onion, or cheese to asah or create a ham sandwich.
Bara includes when God created the world and asah is the remainder of the Creation account as God prepares the world for the coming of humans, not dissimilar to a developer owning land, designing the land, then developing it. God is an incredible Creator that can both bara and asah depending on the need and we should worship Him as God and Creator of the world.
What are some things that you “asah” (create) throughout your day?
To help you study the book of Genesis with us, we have the first of three free e-book study guides here.
For a free PDF of Pastor Mark and Dr. Breshears’ Doctrine book, click here as chapter 3 specifically addresses creation.
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