1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Many have pointed out that the Bible begins in media res. Even though it is “in the beginning” of our story, it is also in the middle of another larger story: God’s story. Humanity and animal life and the mountains and the sea do not yet exist at this point, but God still does. He is already an entity, already all-powerful, and already commanding legions of angels to do His will.
And the lesson that stands out to me from this is that we are fundamentally different from God and we need to appreciate that fact. He is mysterious and He always will be. He is not a mortal man and cannot be understood in mortal terms. And yet we often try to do just that, stripping away the parts that exceed our understanding and remaking Him in our own image. That is folly.
Yes, there are parts of Him that are connected to us. There are things that we learn about Him by examining ourselves. He is our Father and we are His children, we have the same basic desire for good, and the same natural repulsion for evil. But still we are not entirely the same as Him, and we never can be so long as we live in this smaller, mortal story. Thus we will get along much better if we do not try to project onto Him our opinions of what He “should” be like, and instead rely on what He has personally revealed to us about His nature.