Notes on Creation: Genesis 1:1 - 2:4

  • Darkness existed and then God created Light. Thus, darkness is at the very basic, the natural order of things. Whereas, light is natural as created. Thus light is the gift to the darkness and it is what breaks up the darkness. Light comes forth from God and is a good creation of God. Evening and morning is created. Prior to this act of God, morning did not exist. Evening or darkness came first and then morning and light. The day started with the evening and then moved into the morning. The word "day" is defined for the first time and it is defined by God's creation of light. Thus the first day of creation was bounded by evening and morning.

  • The waters are separated by a dome of sky. There is water beneath the sky, but at creation there was/is also water above this dome of sky.

  • All that seems to have existed below the new dome called "sky" was water. God changed this by separating the water and creating land. This reminds me of God separating the waters in order to lead the Israelites across on dry land. This act seems to foreshadow later acts of God. It seems that God created our globe first by separating a quantity of water from the rest of all waters through the dome of sky. Then God took this quantity of water and began to shape it. He shaped it first by pulling back and constraining the water. Thus on the first day, God created boundaries for darkness and on the second day God created boundaries for water. I wonder, what does it mean when it says "let the dry land appear"? Dry land is defined as "earth" and the gathered water as "sea." Is the land that is moistened by the sea considered "earth?"

  • When vegetation is given to the land, the vegetation is described as fruitful. Fruit is identified with trees; seeds not contained in fruit are identified with plants. A distinction is made between plants and trees. Twice on the third day "God saw that it was good."

  • When God first created light, light did not come from the sun or the moon or from stars. Light existed. On the fourth day light is bound and given constraints. It is placed in the dome of sky and used to make the separation between day and night, no longer just evening and morning. These lights placed in the sky act as a calendar telling signs, announcing seasons, recognizing days and years. Light now exists not only in the morning, but also at night when a lesser light rules the sky. The purpose of the lights is to "give light upon the earth." These lights were set in place to rule over the changing of time.

  • In the order of separating and creating boundaries, God fills the space with creatures. The water is filled not with a few, but with swarms of living, moving creatures. Next, as in the earlier steps of creation, the sky, that separated the waters and later became a placeholder of calendar lights, is filled with flying birds. These flying birds fly in the dome, while multiplying on the earth. In a like manner as God created the vegetation to multiply and bear fruit, God speaks to these living creatures and instructs them to also multiply and bear fruit. To the vegetation God said "let," but to the living creatures God said "be," and it was.

  • What does God mean when God says, "of every kind"? From the waters God called forth water creatures, from the land, God called forth land creatures. In the Genesis 1 account, God does not command the land creatures to multiply or bear fruit nor does God directly address them, as God directly addressed the birds and sea creatures.

  • God creates humans in the image of God (plural). Humans are the first living creatures that are not made "of every kind." Humans are seen as distinct from all other creation, because humans bear the image of God. Dominion over all of the living creatures is given with the word "let." Nothing is yet said about these humans having dominion over the vegetation. Together male and female are created in the image of God. In the Genesis 1 account the creation of humans is the first mentioning of the creation of both male and female. It can be assumed that prior to this other creatures were made as male and female, if that was what was required to multiply.

  • Using similar wording to that of "blessing" and announcing as "good" the birds and sea creatures, God blesses the humans. Going a step further though, God not only asks the humans to "multiply, and fill the earth" but also to "subdue it." Then all of the vegetation containing seed is given to the humans as food. Green plants are given as food to "everything that has the breath of life." Life is defined by "breath." Thus vegetation is seen as distinct from creatures.

  • Heaven and earth is described as "finished" at the end of the six days. What does "and all their multitude" mean? God both finished God's work and rested from all the work of creation on the seventh day. So, God made the seventh day holy. Throughout Scripture a literal "seventh day" is held as holy unto the Lord.

  • NRSV starts verse four of chapter two by saying "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created." What does "generations" mean?

  • God intends for the earth to be "good" and to be "fruitful." The breath of life is given to the birds, the fish, land animals, and humans. Yet, humans are given a form of authority over all other living creatures and all living creatures are given the vegetation as food.

  • God relates to creation with care, purpose, order, and boundaries. If we are made in the image of God and called to be more like God, should we as humans also treat all of creation with care, purpose, order, and boundaries?

  • Creation was first named "good" and "very good" by God. Creation was good, full of life, and fruitful. Sin and the fall of humanity has lead to the tainting of creation's goodness, the limiting of its fruitfulness, and the decay of its life. If we are to act as creatures that are new creations, believers in God's grace through Jesus Christ, and people who have been commanded to have dominion over the original good creation, how do we help bring about the restoration of creation's goodness, the increase in fruitfulness, and the restoration of life?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Palm Sunday School Lesson for Teenagers

High School Sunday School Lesson on Dating, Marriage, and Sex

Modesty - Skin or What's "In"?