Chapter One: The Beginning of Opposites
As we begin to examine not only the existence of opposites within our world but more specifically, more purposefully, their affect upon us, the best place to start is not just at the beginning, but in the beginning.
‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that is was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.’ (Genesis 1:1-4)
When God set about creating our amazingly complex universe, we learn that everything He made could be described in two ways: by what it was and by what it was not. In other words, God created opposites. God created all things from no things; the earth was formless and void, until God spoke. Then, it took shape and had substance. Darkness stretched out as far as the eye could not see…until God brought forth light and gave it its own realm. The waters covered the land, until God pulled them back and set their boundaries. On every day, God created and separated…and He saw that it was good.
Just four verses into Scripture, we read of God creating the light and separating it from the darkness. What is darkness? The absence of light. What is light? The absence of darkness. When each is looked at separately, its opposite must be laid beside it in order for its meaning to emerge. How would we know light without experiencing the engulfing abyss of darkness? And what would darkness be without the presence of light that, once withheld, revealed it?
As God continued His account of Creation, we learn more about the Law of Opposites that He set into motion. On day two, God separated the waters above from the waters below (giving us our layered atmosphere), and on day three, He pulled back the waters below to reveal dry earth. Beaches and bays; coasts and crests; sands and seas. While they lie side by side, their characteristics are polar opposites. One is formed in the absence of land while the other emerges from the absence of water, and both contain their own unique inhabitants.
Day four finds God lighting up the sky with the sun, moon, and stars through which He established the counterparts of day and night, the increments of months and years, and the seasonal opposites of spring and fall, of summer and winter. On day five, He created the wildlife that skirts across the heavenlies or scuttles beneath the waters. From birds that fly to fish that swim, each inhabiting its own terrain and each inhibited by its own traits. Then, on day six, a final creation came forth that was the epitome of opposites. From one, came two; though two, they became one. This creation would be God’s greatest because into it He would impart His own breath, giving not only physical life but spiritual life as well.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:27)
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” (Gen. 2:21-22)
On day six, God created Adam and Eve. They were made for one another to complete one another. From Adam’s side, Eve was formed, and from then on, she was to dwell in that place from which she had come…her husband’s side. While God could have used any bone…or no bone…to create Eve, He did so with a rib, and the imagery is palpable.
Ribs, whose role is to protect the lungs; ribs, whose placement is on the side of the body; it’s from the ribs that God created woman. From a rib, that man may be her protector; from his side, that she might walk beside him; from his flesh, that when together, the two may complete each other. And, though designed to be together and directed to cleave to one another, each is the other’s opposite.
Man is created to lead the woman; to love the woman; to nurture the woman (Eph. 5:23, 25-26). Woman is created to follow the man; to respect the man; to help the man (Eph. 5:22, 24,33). The role of each plays off of, and into, the role of the other so that…when done according to God’s design…the man and the woman, from their place of contrast, complete each other. And, though seemingly different in every way, from their place of divergence, this truth would be emerge: opposites attract. And so they do, and so they should, because in such a fashion God created them and in such a manner He reveals them.
So, there we have the manifestation of the Law of Opposites. From the very beginning, in fact, in the beginning, God separated the light from the dark…the known from the unknown…the evident from the invisible…the Creator from the creations. From the pulling back of the waters to the establishing of dry land, from the scattering of sunbeams to the sprinkling of moon beams, from the soaring of eagles to the swimming of eels, and from the galloping of the antelope to the grazing of the zebra. And then, and then…God created mankind. Male and female He created them; as opposites He created them; that each would be seen more clearly not in spite of, but in light of, their contrast.