Genesis 1:1-2:3, Matthew 1:1-17, Psalms 1:1-5, Proverbs 1:1-6
OT: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light… Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:1-3, 26-28 CSB)
The earth was formless (chaotic, confused, a wasteland), empty, and covered in darkness. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light – no more confusion and chaos, no more emptiness, and no more darkness. Then, into that renewed and reordered place God created mankind – in His image – to bear His image and be His representative, maintain the order He established, and cover and fill the earth with His radiant glory. What a word to start off the year with! We are called to bear God’s image and enter into dark, chaotic, confusing, futile and empty circumstances and situations, and fill them with God’s kingdom order and God’s glorious light by God’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us.
Psalms: “How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalms 1:1-3 CSB)
The Hebrew word translated as delight is the word chephets. Chephets is something that is highly valued that you desire over anything else and make your primary pursuit. If, instead of taking the advice of the world and living your life the way everyone else does, you highly value and singularly pursue God’s will and ways, then you will be happy and blessed, you will never run dry, and your life will continuously produce good fruit. Americans are all about pursuing happiness. If you truly want to pursue happiness, then pursue God and happiness will pursue you.