Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Creation pt. 2 (Genesis 1:20-31)

To pick up where we left off two weeks ago we must read Genesis 1:20-31. Within the walls of this Holy Scripture we discover days five and six of God’s creation. Here’s a breakdown of those days:

Day 5 (vv.20-23)
- All the sea creatures and birds of the sky created
- God blesses them and tells them to, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

Day 6 (vv.24-31)
- Creatures of the earth created
- Man & woman created in God’s image and likeness
- God tells man and woman to rule over the fish, birds, and creatures of the earth
- God blessed man and woman and tells them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
- God gives every seed-bearing plant and fruit-bearing tree to humans and the beasts of the earth for food
- God sees everything He has made and is very pleased

It’s interesting to note God response to His creation. From the beginning He finds His creation to be good. From day one to day six we hear the phrase, “God saw that it was good.” What does this teach us? The Hebrew word used for good is tob and it encompasses a variety of meanings. Here are some of those meanings pulled from the Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament:
- Pleasing, fruitful, morally correct, proper, convenient, abundant, and plentiful

So, we see that God’s creation is perfect in every sense. It doesn’t just look good, it functions good according to its purpose. I have a hard time imagining this because of the way sin has tainted our world. It’s just too overwhelming to think of a world without sin. But that is exactly the way our world was originally created. This just goes to show how messed up and distorted the Fall (Genesis 3) made our world. We see why sin is such a big deal to God.

Questions related to day 6:
- What does it mean to be made in the image and likeness of God?
- How does this make us different from the rest of God’s creation?
- What does it teach us if we are made in God’s image and likeness?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

What Genesis is teaching me

If you think creation is beautiful, you should see the Creator! Studying Genesis has been rewarding and challenging. Reading and digging into chapter 1 has revealed several things:

1. Genesis 1 wasn’t written as a scientific document to explain in detail the process of how everything was created.
You can’t accurately use the text to answer questions like, “Did evolution occur?” “Is the Big Bang Theory true?” “Did God create our world in six literal days?” “How old is our world?” These questions go beyond the point of what Genesis is trying to teach. Genesis is a book about beginnings. It’s about our (humans) beginning. We see where we came from, what we’re supposed to be doing, and where we’re going. I don’t think I can argue against or for any of the creation theories anymore using Genesis. Maybe things did evolve over a period of time or maybe they just appeared completely formed. I wasn’t there and can’t propose an precise scientific study of how everything came into existence. However, I still blatantly reject the idea of humans evolving from monkeys on the grounds of Genesis 1:27,

God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

If we evolved from anything, it was the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). I just believe God created it all; how He did it I don’t know. The fact of the matter is, “In the beginning God created.”

2. Man & Woman are the pinnacle of God’s creation.
This is a statement I was a bit skeptical about. I questioned whether or not God really created everything for us. It felt selfish to say He did do it all for us. But, He did. If we weren’t the high point of God’s creation why would Genesis tells us that He created us in His image? Nothing else in creation receives this honor. I think of Jesus’ sacrifice and suffering on the cross, all for us. If we weren’t the high point of God’s creation why would He die for us?

So, this is what I’ve been learning and chewing on for the past month. Care to share your thoughts?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Creation (Genesis 1:1-19)

Last night we began studying creation as recorded in Genesis (1st book of the Bible). Chapter one is packed full of events and happenings, so we didn’t get through the entire chapter, which is ok because we don’t want to rush it and miss something. We did make it to the fourth day. Here’s a systematic unpacking of what we discovered:

Day 1 (vv.1-5)
- God was before everything
- He created the heavens and the earth (earth was formless and empty)
- He created water
- The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters
- God created light, saw it was good and separated it from darkness
- He called light “day” and darkness “night”

Day 2 (vv.6-8)
- God creates the expanse between the waters below and above earth
- God calls the expanse “sky”

Day 3 (vv.9-13)
- Waters gather in one place (the Seas) and dry ground appears
- Land produces vegetation, seed-bearing plants and trees (with fruit)

Day 4 (vv.14-19)
- God creates the lights of the sky; sun, moon, and stars
- They mark the seasons, days, and years
- The sun governs our days and the moon governs our nights

We also sought to find some key words and phrases in Genesis 1:1-19. We looked for things that were repeated a lot. Here’s what we discovered:
- God saw it was good (v.4, 10, 12, 18)
- God created (vv.1-19)
- And God said (v.3, 6, 9, 11, 14)

Question of the night:
- There was light and darkness on the first day, but there was nothing created to emit the light (e.g., sun, stars). Where did the light come from? How could there be light without the sun and stars? Is this passage even talking about physical light? Or is it something else?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A poem for Paul

Our Wednesday night Bible study in Acts has come to an end. We’ve learned so much about Paul and how he lived his life. If only more Christians would strive to live life with no regrets and totally sold-out to God. Would it make a difference? Oh yeah! I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to try and put Paul’s life into a simple short poem. Tell me what you think?

Paul’s Life

Trained by Pharisees and in his mind smart

A man of great knowledge, but lacking true heart

An advocate for learning, praised for his stature
He demanded Christ’s followers all be captured

Proud to protect that which was dear
He boldly persecuted out of a self-righteous fear

One day as he traveled to Damascus
A Light shown forth and he met his real Master

Broken, blind, and discipled by Ananias
Paul was now a disciple of the humble Messiah

Transformed from within and determined to preach
Paul set out to tells others of the life within reach

Befriended by Barnabas and an encouragement to the Church
Paul’s message of Christ crucified must be heard

He ministered in Antioch and taught others about Christ
Confess and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will have life

After preaching and teaching God moved Paul on
He was now God’s ambassador to a world living in wrong

He walked, rode, and sailed thousands of miles
Always keeping in mind he must preach Christ to the Gentiles

He never forsook his Jewish roots
He loved his people, even when they falsely accused

Now on trial Paul appeals to Caesar
No worry, Jesus has promised him a new place to minister

Headed for Rome and shackled in chains
A northeaster wind showed that Paul’s faith would remain

Taking charge and holding onto God’s Word
Amidst and sinking ship Paul made sure God was heard

Settled in Rome and preaching without restraint
He will always be remember as one of the great saints

The End