In the beginning God created

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O P I N I O N

“The Hand of God,” oil on canvas, by Herbert Mandel

About this series: A narrative exploring the stories behind the paintings of late artist Herbert Mandel as explained in the context of the Biblical texts they’re derived from, by his son-in-law, Jim Robidoux.


Pop’s painting, “The Hand of God,” is a splendid example of his creativity as an artist, inspired by God’s creativity. How could anyone picture the beginning of time and God’s hand at work?

Pop was inspired by the first story from God’s word, “In the Beginning God created”…  Genesis 1:1.

The Bible tells us that God created everything in our universe in six days. He made Himself known to Moses as “I Am” but His conversation with Moses could also be translated, “I will be,” because God has no beginning and no end. God existed before time and space began. Time was created by God. Darkness and light and everything known in the universe was God’s creation and will exist until He decides. Time and space will exist only as long as God wills it to be.

God created the heavens and the earth. All things on earth are part of His design. Adam and Eve (mankind) were the last and best of God’s new creation. I can imagine God may have been lonely and made man in His image. It may be that God wanted a family. And I believe likely He wanted to expand his circle of influence and create an entirely new group of friends and family.

“In the Beginning,” Linoleum block print by Herb Mandel

With His infinite power and creativity, He unleashed an ever-expanding universe that continues to expand even now. He did all of His creative activity (unlike us) with nothing at all to work with. Everything that exists came to be out of nothing, and with only His will, He created everything.

Moses was His instrument, used to tell our world all about our beginning. The fall of man and God’s plan of redemption is all laid out in Genesis. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) all named or renamed by Yaweh, were made known by Moses. Even Jesus’ mission and purpose was defined in Genesis. Jesus also described Himself as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

“Eden,” oil on canvas by Herb Mandel

In the beginning, God created — and even now is still creating and recreating new people like me and you. His work is perfect and never fails. Please take in Pop’s art and know it was his obsession. If Herb Mandel could have lived here on earth forever, he still couldn’t have painted fully what was in his heart, inspired by God.

Click here for more posts in Pop’s Art: The Bible Illustrated.


Jim Robidoux works in precision sheet metal, is father of four and husband of Manchester Ink Link publisher Carol Robidoux. He enjoys smoking cigars, pondering life’s big questions, and roots for all his home teams, whether they’re from Philly or Boston. He looks forward to receiving fan mail at jrmetalman@comcas.net.