Who is the God who started it all? The one who called something out of nothing? The one who was sitting all alone in the universe – no, we can’t even say that. There was no universe to be sitting all alone in. Only HIM. Nothing else. Nothing is a very hard concept to understand since our entire experience is “something.”
The Bible says that “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Elohim), so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3) So it was God’s word speaking forth that brought things into existence for the very first time.
“Let there be light…let there be firmament…let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures…let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind…let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Selections from Genesis 1)
This is the work of Elohim – God in his fullness. The word Elohim is plural and appears more than 2500 times in the Old Testament. The very first sentence in the Bible speaks of him; “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) Sometimes when the Bible uses “Elohim” it is speaking of the heathen gods of idolatrous nations so it is a term with mixed usage. But we are speaking here of the God in Genesis 1:1.
Since we know that God is ONE, how does it work that Elohim is plural? Why did God say; “let US make man in Our image”? Which is it; one or more than one? It’s three persons in one God and it’s one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian faith. This doctrine is called the Trinity. Many symbols have been used through the centuries to try to graphically portray what the mind can’t quite wrap itself around.
One of the most famous of these is the shamrock which St. Patrick used as he evangelized Ireland. Holding up a shamrock to the angry pagans who demanded an explanation about how God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one God yet three beings, he asked them if he was holding up one leaf or three. If three leaves then why one stem? If one stem then why three leaves? The crowd was silenced and St. Patrick said; “And if you cannot explain so simple a mystery as the shamrock, how can you hope to understand one as profound as the Holy Trinity?”
The New Testament in the Bible gives us a glimpse of the Trinity at the baptism of Jesus in Matthew, Chapter 3:16-17.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'”
In this place we see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all together in one place but from eternity they have always been together. No matter what words we use to try to explain this we always fall short. God is too big for us; at least he is too big for our small minds with such limited capacity. As we ponder God and his greatness we should not grow frustrated with what we cannot grasp but we should be filled with awe about our God who grasps it all. Created it all. Holds it all together. Controls it all.
Meditate on this great name of God and be humbled as you ponder all he is and all he does. Listen and obey what he tells you in Psalm 46:10; “Cease striving and know that I am God.”