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God’s Creation in an Enuma Elish World by the Very Rev. Dr. Herb Hand

GOD gave the creation narrative (Genesis 1-2) through Moses to God’s people who had just come out of Egypt, a land of many gods, many false beliefs, and abusive slavery. Creation as found in Genesis 1-2 is orderly, peaceful, beautiful, and true. Creation is from God. Creation is for God’s glory. Creation is a gift to humans. Creation is “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Though God’s creation narrative is descriptive of what He has done, it was not meant to be a modern science textbook.

God gave His people the creation narrative to dispel the many false beliefs of the Ancient Near East. For instance, the Babylonian creation myth – The Enuma Elish – described creation as violent, selfish, chaotic, a burden to the gods, and not very good. The many gods were constantly in conflict with one another. The god Marduk defeated the goddess Tiamat. He hurled down her dead body and split it in half. He used half of it to create the sky and the other half to create the earth. One of the slain god’s blood was mixed with soil to create humans. After the earth and humans were made, the gods were burdened with having to take care of them. This view of creation is never seen as “good.” The Enuma Elish is not a biblical view of creation! However, it is how much of our world operates today – without the one true loving God, with selfishness, violence, and conflict.

The biblical creation narrative describes creation as good, even very good, throughout. The creation – including us – is not a burden to God, but a joy! The world of Enuma Elish is unredeemable. The world of God’s creation is redeemable by God Himself. Immediately after sin entered the world bringing corruption and sin, God promised redemption. God said, “I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he [Messiah] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Jesus will defeat Satan, and did on the cross!

For 400 years God’s people who lived in Egypt had been saturated in an Enuma Elish worldview, one of selfishness, violence, and conflict. It was all they knew. Then God brought them out of Egypt through the parted Red Sea and into the Sinai Wilderness. For 40 years God’s people were away from the old, false, and destructive Enuma Elish world. For 40 years God’s people were saturated in a new world view, one of order, peace, beauty, and truth.

The same can be true for you! It’s time to stop our “stinkin thinkin”! It’s time to become conformed to God’s world view, not the devil’s. It’s time to embrace God’s view of creation, which will infect our way of living!

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