Sunday 9 September 2012

Read with me: Genesis 1:1-2:3

I am a few days behind schedule and have only just begun reading Genesis Chapters 1 to 5 this evening after church.

     I am using the ESV Economy Bible. This costs only GBP 1.79 on The Good BookCompany Website. Copies will be made available for use at our first BibleCentral session. I am scribbling all my notes and comments in this bible.
     It took me about ten minutes to read the five chapter straight through.
     TIP: I make it a practice to read the bible out loud and find it a quicker way to cover more ground (My mind does not wander as easily).
     Here are my notes on Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 - the account of the creation of the world. I spent 20 minutes on this. They are my candid thoughts and I haven’t yet looked up any references or commentaries, except to refer to a bible study handout we used at Rock Fellowship a couple of years ago, which you can download here:

Notes on Genesis 1:1 to 2:3

[1:1] “In the beginning” - This is the like the intro to Star wars - powerful and recognisably epic. A beginning of what, though? Chapter 1 outlines the creation of the world - stage by stage, step by step, from chaos to order, from darkness to light - but Creation itself is not the subject of the chapter - God is. “In the beginning... GOD!” God is the author of creation. God exists apart from creation. Hence, the New Testament author, John uses the same formula to signal the beginning of his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word...” to point us to the one who was God and was with God in the beginning.

[1:1] “heavens and earth” - a way of describing everything (and not, as some think, a dichotomy between our planet and the rest of the universe).

For each day:
     God speaks creation into being. “God said...” and it was so, illustrating the power of his spoken Word.
     God names the objects of his creation (“Sky! Earth! Seas!”) symbolic of his authority over creation
     God takes pleasure in his creation - “And God saw that it was good.”

God’s work schedule:

Day 1
Day 4
Great lights
Day 2
Sky and sea
Day 5
Birds and fish
Day 3
Land (plants)
Day 6
Animals and Man

Day 7
Rest (Woohoo!)

Days 1 to 3 are almost like containers (Light, Sky and sea, Land) which God fills and animates with life in Days 4 to 6 (Great lights, Birds in the air and fish in the sea, Animals and Man on the land).

[1:26] “Let us make man...” God consults before creating man, introducing a break in the formula. “In our image...” Man is given authority over creation, ruling under God as a son/king/heir.

[1:27] “God created man... male and female he created them.” The creation of man is simultaneously the creation of two separate genders. Both male and female display the image of God. Both male and female constitute one humanity. The smallest unit of humanity is not the individual, but the family - male and female, husband and wife - in relationship with one another under God.

[2:1] “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished...”
[2:2] “And on the seventh day God finished his work... and rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” God’s work has a final endpoint and purpose: Rest (or Sabbathed). Application: what of our work? Is rest merely an interruption of work or the fulfilment and enjoyment of our work. This is why the New Testament can paradoxically call upon us to “strive to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:11, also see Psalm 95:7). Jesus offers true rest by calling upon his hearer to take upon themselves his yoke which is light and easy (Matthew 11:28).

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