Monday, April 25, 2011

In the Beginning

Genesis 1:

The first chapter of Genesis gives us a synopsis of the creation account.  I love that it opens with “In the beginning…” because, that’s really where everything began.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit were already there as infinite beings, but this account is where we mark the beginning of time, the birth of creation, and the first steps on this journey of humanity.  In the beginning was God and He created the heavens and earth and all that inhabit them.

Day 1 – God creates light and separates it from the darkness

Day 2 – God creates the sky

Day 3 – God separates the water from dry land, seas from continents; He creates all vegetation

Day 4 – God creates the Sun, Moon and Stars.

Day 5 – God creates the creatures of the air and sea

Day 6 – God creates the creatures of the land; He creates man

I love that God created the world over the span of six days instead of in just a moment.  I believe He had the power to simply speak everything into existence in a  twinkling of His eye, but instead, He chose to demonstrate that not everything is built in a day.  There is a time and a purpose for everything.  And, there is a time for rest.  Order and balance are important and the threads of that are seen throughout the creation story.  

One of my favorite things to note every time I read this passage is that the Lord created light and darkness 3 days before He created the sun, moon and stars.  In our human way of thought, we tend to think of the sun and stars producing light and the moon reflecting it.  But, the Lord says they were given to govern the light that He already made.  Isn’t that beautiful?

Genesis 2
There is a time for rest.  Even the Lord of creation took a day to rest and appreciate His work.  God is always giving us examples of holy and healthy living.  He set aside the seventh day as the Sabbath, from the very beginning, so that we would see His example and take time to rest and reflect.  In our fast paced society, it’s difficult to remember how important that is.  It’s counter-intuitive to us, yet exactly how our Creator intended for us to behave.

The second chapter of Genesis is one of the most beautiful and nostalgic to me.  It is the brief moment in history when everything was perfect and right between God and His people.  This chapter zooms in on the creation of man and woman, like a well told story, so we may see our origin more clearly.  

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (2:7).  

It is because of the breath of God within us that we have a soul, that we have an existence different from the animals.  We were made in the image of God, formed from the dust of the ground, and life was breathed into us.  Isn’t that beautiful?

But, for the first time in the creation story, God looks and says that something isn’t good.  It wasn’t good for man to be alone (2:18).  And so he created woman from the rib of Adam and so began our journey as humanity.

“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (2:25).  And they felt no shame.  Sigh.  For one perfect moment, all was right with the world, we were rightly related to our Heavenly Father and to all of creation.  What a beautiful moment.

Genesis 3
And then came the fall.  Adam and his wife were living in a paradise more beautiful than we can imagine.  Brand new and completely fresh, they stood before the whole world and were rulers over it.  But, a seed of darkness crept into Eden in the body of a serpent.

The serpent came to the woman and planted thoughts of doubt in her mind.  He made her question whether God was really good or if He was holding out on her.  He twisted words and tempted her with the beauty of what God had placed out of bounds for her.  She longed for wisdom and to be like God.

And with that one bite, our relationship with the Creator was broken and a need for redemption entered the world.

The man and woman hid from the Lord.  They knew shame for the first time.  Their eyes were opened and I’m sure they desperately wanted to turn back time.
The blame game began and continues even until this day.  “It wasn’t my fault, I was tricked!  I was tempted!”  But, whatever the case, the perfection had been broken and they were cast out of the garden.  Everything became more difficult.  The serpent was cursed to and made to crawl on his belly.  The woman was given pain in childbirth.  The man was given the task of toiling for his food and survival.

And so it begins.  From the fall to the cross to the empty tomb to the day when the perfect is restored, we begin our journey of redemption.

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