In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth.(Gen 1:1 AMP)
Creating Something from Nothing
I don’t know about you, but I almost always struggle whenever I set out to create something from scratch. And it’s doubly hard when I have NO past experience to draw from and only a vague idea of what I want the finished project to look like.
I am always amazed at people who can see it first in their imagination—who have a detailed vision of the end result in their mind’s eye—before they ever take a single action-step to produce it. But for me, it usually doesn’t happen that way. The first time I get to see the thing is at the end after LOTS of tweaks and endless revisions.1 In other words, my MO is to make it up as I go until something eventually emerges!
But not God! He didn’t create the heavens and the earth that way! It was NOT we’ll-make-it-up-as-we-go. Nope. He had a vision! He knew exactly WHAT He wanted before He ever uttered those first all-powerful, universe-forming words, “Let there be light!”2
The Art of Craftsmanship
Recently, David and I watched a Masterpiece PBS series on DVD where Ralph Lauren was one of the sponsors.
Quick poll: When you hear the name, Ralph Lauren, you think:
- A designer of exceptionally-crafted apparel and accessories;
- Really expensive stuff;
- Who the heck is Ralph Lauren?
My answer: 1 & 2; David’s: 3! (You can leave me a comment with your answer if you’d like.)
I have never owned anything with Ralph Lauren’s name on it. However, when I saw the following (because it auto-played on the DVD and we couldn’t just skip past it), it caught my attention.
Click below to watch it now. (It’s short, so just humor me. And note that I have NO affiliation with Ralph Lauren!)
“The care and attention to detail is what you’re getting. There’s nothing like working with the artist that had a sense of what they were doing, that had a vision.” —Ralph Lauren
Have you ever thought of God as a master craftsman who had a detailed vision of everything, including how it would all fit together and function, BEFORE He began His work of creation? I don’t know if the Father, Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit sat down and had a planning session or not, but this is where it gets interesting.
Jesus — The Architect of Creation
I’ve heard it said that the Father willed it to happen, Jesus acted as the architect, and the Holy Spirit then took over as the master conductor. Seems whoever said this was onto something. Look what I found recently3 in The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi by Kathie Lee Gifford and Rabbi Jason Sobel:
Jesus the Promised Master Craftsman
The Greek word tektōn can be translated as “stone mason” or “architect.” All these concepts are significant in reference to Jesus, since they connect back to Him as the architect of creation.
The first word of Genesis in Hebrew is bereshit (pronounced “beree-sheet”), which is commonly translated as “in the beginning.” But bereshit can also be translated as “through the firstborn,” since the Hebrew letter bet is also the preposition “through,” and reshit (pronounced “re-sheet”) can mean “firstborn.” So Genesis 1:1 can be translated, “Through the firstborn, God created the heavens and the earth.” And who is God’s Firstborn? It is Jesus. The New Testament tells us He was the “firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15) and “the firstborn from the dead” (Revelation 1:5).
Jesus is the Tektōn, the Architect of all creation. This reading aligns perfectly with the apostle John’s understanding of creation. In John 1:3, he states, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
But there is more. The word tektōn can also be translated as “craftsman.” The fact that the New Testament calls Jesus a tektōn is amazing, since Israel’s Messiah is seen as a “craftsman,” based upon the rabbinic understanding of Zechariah 2:1–4.4
Jesus is the promised master craftsman and architect of creation who brings order out of chaos and shalom to our lives in this world and in the world to come!5
The Ageless Artist
If you look up the word craftsman on Dictionary.com, you’ll find this:
a person who practices or is highly skilled in a craft; an artisan.
Have you ever thought of God as an artist? Clearly, Max Lucado has.
“As naturally as a bird sings and a fish swims, he created. Just as an artist can’t not paint and a runner can’t not run, he couldn’t not create. He was the Creator. Through and through, he was the Creator. A tireless dreamer and designer.
“From the pallet of the Ageless Artist came inimitable splendors. Before there was a person to see it, his creation was pregnant with wonder…”6
And King David, too.
Look at the splendor of your skies,
your creative genius glowing in the heavens.
When I gaze at your moon and your stars,
mounted like jewels in their settings,
I know you are the fascinating artist who fashioned it all! (Psalm 8:3a TPT)
Stop. Look. Listen.
Over and over in scripture, we are told to look, behold, consider, meditate, ponder. By implication, all of those actions require that we stop whatever we are doing and think or look closely. 71 times in the Psalms we read Selah—pause and calmly think of that! 7
Not easy in our day and age of dings and chirps and nonstop notifications on all of our digital devices, is it? Yet, that is exactly what we are instructed to do.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. (Psalm 19:1-4a NLT)
Are you listening? Can you see that the heavens declare His glory?
I stopped what I was doing a few months ago when I first saw the Ralph Lauren video. I looked closely. I listened intently. As a result, I saw Him in a way I hadn’t before. It touched me deeply, which is why I wanted to share this with you.
Truly, our Creator God IS the Incomparable Master Craftsman!
I can think of nothing better to end with than this:
Is there a time when you’ve observed God’s handiwork in a special way or seen Him as the Master Craftsman? If so, leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear about it.
Also, if you’ve enjoyed reading this post, I’d really appreciate it if you shared it with others. Just click on one of the buttons below to share on Facebook, Twitter, or via email. Thank you so much!
- Case in point: my WordPress editor says this is revision #99!
- Gen 1:3
- The Lord never ceases to amaze me by how He confirms my steps. I found this AFTER I had settled on the title and began writing!
- Kathie Lee Gifford and Rabbi Jason Sobel, The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi: My Journey into the Heart of Scriptural Faith and the Land Where It All Began (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018), 41-42, Kindle.
- Ibid., 44.
- Thomas Nelson Publishers, NKJV, The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible, eBook: Inspirational Applications for Living Your Faith, ed. Max Lucado, 3rd ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2010), Kindle, Under: “Genesis Introduction, The History of Creation.”
- Some translations (eg. the NLT) use the word interlude instead of selah, but it means the same thing. See Psalm 24:10; Psalm 32:7; Psalm 46:11.