Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blogging the Bible: Genesis 1-2, John 1:1-3, Psalm 8,104

The first reading of our adventure together are Genesis 1-2, John 1:1-3, and Psalm 8, and 104. Here we see the creation. A couple of housekeeping details. Why two creation accounts. Does it look like there are two different stories? Not so. Throughout the Old Testament you find times where the story is told, then retold, with new details, new wrinkles. It’s a literary device that is used in many places in the Old Testament to flesh out what happened.

Many have argued about this passage, and gotten lost in the nuts and bolts. Is it literal 24 hour days, or is it telling us about stages of God moving creation along? Is it something else? I’m not sure, and I am still trying to decide what I think. It’s worth noting that the whole of genesis one is a piece of poetry, with days 1 and 4 corresponding to each other, 2 and 5 corresponding to each other, and days 3 and 6 corresponding to each other. However, on the other side, it’s important to remember that scripture makes clear that death and the ensuing damage that we find in all creation (Romans says all creation groans and is waiting to be set free), is a result of the fall, which makes me think long and hard about writing of 6 literal days, however far back those days are. Also keep in mind. There’s nothing to say that God didn’t make a young earth look old. Remember, Adam was created as a fully formed man, who was then given a wife, and told to have kids. How old was he? 1, but he looked like an adult.

A couple thoughts as you read. Here in genesis you have the creation story in all its awesomeness. First, notice that Genesis unashamedly says, God created the earth. No small claim. The world didn’t just appear by accident. There was a moment when it came into being, and it came into being at the command of God. God spoke, and creation happened. In the beginning, God. There was nothing. God alone existed, and then he created everything. Time, space, all physical reality. That is the point of Genesis 1. God made it all.
Second, notice that John 1 tells us that the Word (Jesus) was with God in the beginning, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3). Jesus was with God in this creating process. He was the agent of creation. Also notice that after the moment of creation, the world, this newly formed mass, is formless, and void, in other words, unproductive and uninhabited. Hovering above this is the Mysterious spirit (or wind) of God, hovering over the waters. This is person three of the trinity.

Third, notice that as God creates, he calls things good. After each day, he says, and it was good. At the end, he says, and it was very good. God created a perfect world, and gave us the perfect life before the fall, in the perfect home for which our hearts long for. They were naked, and not ashamed. This is the home we all long for... What we were created for. This is the home that was lost in the fall.

Fourth, notice the ethical implications of Genesis 1. God takes the 7 day creation account seriously. He tells the Israelite, God worked for 7 days, then rested, and so should you. As an employer, you should be giving that space for your employees. 

Fifth, notice that God places Adam and eve over all creation. There is a stewardship responsibility given to them. They are told to go and care for it. Adam is to subdue it. Not like a warrior conquers an enemy, but like a gardener turning a wild field into a bountiful Garden. The creation mandate places us over creation tells us to care for it. Part of being made in the image of God is that we are to do as God does. He makes, we are to make. He cares for, we are to care for. Think about the awesome responsibility God places in Adams hand. He tells Adam, name the animals. IN the bible, and the Ancient Near East, names aren’t just a title to know who that person is. They speak of your character, what you were about. Furthermore, to name was to set someone’s identity. God says; speak the character and identity of all these animals as my image bearers.  I make, I name, you make, you name.

Sixth, notice that we are made in the image of God. We are made a little lower than the angels. We are created by the all powerful God, a point the psalms make, and all scripture makes, and yet, in his image.

Seventh, take note of what we see in the making of Adam and Eve, and their marriage. Marriage is to be lifelong. It’s a union of two people who leave their homes, and cleave. Furthermore, it’s designed. As the Designer, God sets the terms. One man, one woman, for life. Furthermore, notice her placement. Not from the feet, to be under, not from the head, to be over, from the side, to be equal, near the heart to be loved. We will deal with this more later. But just note it.

Finally, just marvel at creation. God created. With intent. With care. This didn’t spring from Cosmic chaos, God lovingly created the earth that he made.

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