The Chicken or the Egg?
I was all set to sit down tonight and write about a topic that I had picked out, and as I was speaking with Al, a Jewish friend of mine, he reminded me that I had to wait two more days to write about the subject I was contemplating, and you know what, he was right! So you can expect that post to get written on Friday night. In the meantime, I had to scramble and think of something else, but that wasn’t a difficult task – because I have been asked so many interesting questions lately, that I thought I would answer one of them. And therein lies the issue for tonight – which came first – the chicken or the egg?
How many times have you heard this question asked in your life? And, believe it or not, there is a correct answer, but you really don’t think I am going to answer it at the top of my post, do you? No – not until you indulge my desire to teach for a few minutes. So, sit back, relax, and let this all wash over you – because the answer is pretty cool.
Each of the books of the Bible has a theme, and Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and my favorite one, is built on the theme of “forming and filling”. Let me explain. If you study the Creation story, you will note that right in the beginning of the book, in Genesis 1:2, we are told, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the deep”. Note that the Spirit was “hovering”, and in the Hebrew we get the idea that this picture is like a bird, just before landing, when it just hangs in the air for a split second before settling down. What a great word picture about the creation of the earth and universe; quiet expectation. Theologically, we call this “ex nihilo”, or “out of nothing”. In other words, God formed the heavens and the earth out of nothing – in the beginning. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Notice the word I just used – “formed”. And this is how the first three days of creation worked. God formed the light and the darkness, and the heavens and earth were separated (formed), etc. And then day four through day six, God filled what he had formed. The lands were filled with vegetation, the heavens were filled with stars and great lights (never named the Sun and the Moon, however – but that’s another post). Fish and other creatures inhabited the water, and so we know that after the environments were formed, they were filled with God’s plants, creatures, etc. So, first forming, then filling! And notice that when God created Man, in Genesis 2:7, we are told, “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Notice the word in the Scripture – God FORMED the man, and then FILLED him with Holy breath – the breath of life, and man became alive.
Once again, evidence of forming and filling. Even when God created the Promised Land, it took some time for Him to fill it with His people – but it happened! An undeniable pattern, forming and filling. So, back to the chicken. Figured it out yet? Well, just one more hint before I tell you. The Bible makes it very clear that everything was fully formed by God – notice plants, fish, vegetation, and even Man – fully formed. God didn’t create a baby – but a man!
So, our correct answer is: the chicken came first – fully formed; not the egg, which would have had to grow to become fully adult. And once the cycle of life started from adults, babies, or in the case of some animals, eggs, followed. Makes sense doesn’t it? So the next time you’re asked that question, you will know the answer! Just one of the mysteries of life explained by God.
So, my encouragement tonight is to take a moment and marvel at the wonder of creation all around us. God had a grand plan, and it has been revealed to us through His word, the Bible. And my prayer is that you will honor life and be thankful for the theme of “forming and filling” we find in Genesis. Because, if you stop to think about it, God saw your “unformed body” (Psalm 139) and yet you were formed, and came into existence because God willed you into being, and then, through the grace of God, when you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you were “filled” with the Holy Spirit who eternally dwells within you. Pretty neat, huh? Forming and filling – forming and filling – forming and filling – it is all around us. God’s grand plan for His world. And once you start to look for the evidences of this concept, they are all around us. So, please don’t forget it. But remember that the most important filling is what happens to us when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Have a great day in the Lord – filled with His Spirit.