Tag Archives: Moses

Genesis 6-8

Greetings!  This reading goes pretty quickly, so I included three chapters of the account of Noah.  There are some important lessons here, so try to read it like you are reading it for the first time. 

Some people – Christians included – mock this story as being fictional.  Yet nearly every ancient culture includes an account of a major flood.  The details vary, as you would expect, but does that mean there wasn’t a major flood?  If you ask about the New Orleans flood of 2005 in 100 years (or even now) you’ll get different accounts.  But there is no disputing that there was an actual flood.  Also, there is a lot of archeological evidence for a major flood.  Click here to read Why Does Nearly Every Culture Have a Tradition of a Global Flood?

Most importantly, consider that Jesus believed Noah existed and that the flood really happened:

Matthew 24:37-39 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Some people think they know the location of the remains of the ark.  This would be an interesting find, of course, but not required to believe and understand this passage. 

Genesis 6-8 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The passage above may seem a little confusing, and there are various interpretations of it.  The most coherent and logical explanation I am aware of is that these were demon-possessed rulers. 

The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”

God had not changed his mind; He was just grieved at the pervasive evil his creation had chosen. 

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.

This was a big boat – 1.5 times the length of  a football field!

I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” Noah did everything just as God commanded him. The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

People are used to hearing the story told with two of each kind of animal, but seven of every kind of clean animal were taken. 

Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.

The flooding and upheaval leads to a sort of second beginning, with Noah and his family instead of Adam and Eve.

Every living thing that moved on the earth perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

The total time in the ark was 377 days.

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.” So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on the earth—came out of the ark, one kind after another. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Please post any comments or questions you have.

Genesis 5

Greetings!

I realize that geneologies can seem dry and boring, but I encourage you to at least scan them and note some of the names and ages.  Geneologies were extremely important to the Jewish people.  Note how in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 Jesus’ ancestors are listed.  This was crucial to be able to identify the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament.  It was also important when the Israelites entered the Holy Land because they were divided by tribe.  One rule of thumb to remember is that being the “son of” someone doesn’t just mean being the literal son.  It could mean grandson, great-grandson, etc.  Therefore, you can’t just add up the ages in the geneologies to determine exactly how long ago Adam and Eve lived. 

Why did these people live so long?  Did years mean the same thing as they do  now?  Here are a few possibilities:

  • God allowed people to have longer lives so they could populate the earth more quickly.
  • People were more genetically pure.
  • Perhaps the extra-long ages (e.g., Methuselah at 969 years) represented dynasties and not individuals (though I think this is the least likely scenario). 

Note that it is repeated that humans were created in God’s likeness and that “He created them male and female and blessed them.

Genesis 5 This is the written account of Adam’s line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man.” When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died. When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. And after he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died. When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. And after he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died. When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. And after he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died. When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died. When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died. When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died. After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Please note any comments or questions.

Genesis 4

Greetings!   

Genesis 4 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Details aren’t provided, but Cain obviously did something wrong with his sacrifice to God.  God was giving him a second chance but Cain took out his embarrassment by killing Abel.  We didn’t even make it to chapter 5 and there is already a murder. 

Meditate on the eternal truth that “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”  With the faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit we can have victory over sin.

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” But the Lord said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

People often ask where Cain’s wife and people came from as if it is some kind of impossible question to answer and thus disproves this Biblical account.  The Bible doesn’t spell it out, but the most obvious answer is that Adam and Eve had many children and the brothers and sisters married.  That may sound gross to us, but intermarriage wasn’t labeled as sinful until much later.  I used to think that God started with Adam and Eve and then created more people from scratch, but there are several problems with that idea.  First, the Bible doesn’t even hint at it.  Second, it would not make sense given the doctrine of Original Sin.  And third, it disagrees with DNA analysis which shows that we all had common ancestors.

Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech. Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah. Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

Note how vengeful Lamech was.  This kind of behavior was addressed with the “eye for an eye” passage in Exodus 21:23-26 (But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.  If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye.)  Note that the eye for an eye passage wasn’t literally saying to take a man’s eye out if he destroyed someone else’s eye.  It merely meant that fair compensation was required.  The Exodus teaching was a vast improvement over the barbaric overreactions of people like Lamech.

Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.

Please post any comments or questions you have.

Genesis 3

Greetings! 

There is a profoundly important lesson in the way Satan tries to tempt the woman.  “Did God really say . . .” is literally the oldest temptation in the world.  Satan tried the same thing with Jesus as recorded in Luke 4:1-13.  People are still using this today and we are reaping the consequences (Did God really say Jesus is the only way to salvation?  Does the Bible really cliam that Jesus is God?  Did God really say that divorce [except under certain conditions] was wrong?  Did God really say homosexual behavior is wrong?  Did God really say lust is wrong?  And on and on.)

Note that Eve is complicit by misquoting God (she adds “and you must not touch it, or you will die.”).  We need to be very careful when quoting God.  Adding to or subtracting from his Word is a bad idea.

Genesis 3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Here’s an easy to remember tip: If God has said it, believe it.  If someone teaches something that is the opposite of what God said or a distortion of it, then don’t believe it (this assumes you have sought to clearly understand the scripture in context). 

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Did God really not know where they were?  Of course He knew. 

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Eve and Adam sinned.  They both knew it was wrong.  Adam compounded the problem by trying to blame Eve.

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The previous verse about Satan’s head being crushed is a reference to Jesus.  It was veiled somewhat to the Israelites, but as we look back from the New Testament it becomes very clear.  I thought Mel Gibson did a nice job of working this theme into the Garden of Gesthemane scene in The Passion of the Christ.

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

Note that even when God is punishing them he cares for them by making them clothes. 

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

People often try to turn this passage into an allegory, but the fact is that the rest of the Bible treats Adam and Eve as real people.  Genetically speaking, all humans can be traced to a common ancestor (go figure!).  Watch how the geneologies flow from them in future chapters. 

When my youngest daughter was about six she was really irritated at Adam and Eve for bringing sin into the world.  I assured her that if they hadn’t, their kids would have.  Or mine would have.  Seriously, this is where sin originated (hence the term, original sin).  I’m not sure how this sin manifested itself into our natures, but it did – almost like how certain drugs can alter your body chemistry. 

But the great news is that God had a plan from the beginning to reconcile us back to him.  If we have faith in Jesus Christ, our countless sins can be forgiven and we can be clean and pure in God’s sight once again.  Praise God for that truth! 

Please post any comments or questions you have.

Genesis 2

Greetings!   Genesis 2 tells the creation story from a slightly different perspective. 

Note the concept of resting on the 7th day.  This will later become a commandment to rest on the Sabbath.  God’s design is all through us.  Studies have shown that people function better if they work the same total hours spread over six days instead of seven.  People debate whether the Sabbath is still required for us, but I view the Sabbath concept as a blessing.  You don’t have to be legalistic about it.  Just enjoy it as a gift.  If you haven’t tried carving out one day a week to have no work or at least minimal work, give it a try. 

Genesis 2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Note in the next passage that it didn’t rain yet.  This may not have occurred until the time of Noah (Genesis 7).

When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens— and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground— the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Note the specific locations and rivers.  There were two trees mentioned, not just one.  They were free to eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Note that work was present even before the Fall (where Adam and Eve sinned and were banished from the Garden of Eden).  Work itself is not a curse; it is the type of work and the way we have to work that can be the problem.  Work itself can be very satisfying and uplifting, especially when done for God’s glory.  As Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Note that God gave us one rule.  Just one.  And we broke it.  That has been one of the themes of mankind ever since: “Give us a rule, and we’ll break it.”  God did not create evil.  He did create the potential for evil by giving us free will.  He could have made us as robots, but robots can’t love.  To love you must be able to choose not to love. 

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

What a beautiful picture of how we were created and meant to function together.  Also note that the original and enduring picture of God’s ideal for marriage starts here: One man and one woman, united as one.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments. 

Genesis 1

Greetings!  Welcome to our study of Genesis. 

But first, a belated happy new year to everyone who stops by to read this blog.  I can tell by the stats that many people come by regularly even if they don’t comment, which is fine.  I hope everyone feels comfortable commenting and asking questions.  I have really enjoyed getting into the Word like this, as it has prompted me to read things a little more closely and steadily, and writing about it helps me retain it more.

I think it is really helpful to read this passage before starting Genesis.  You can see the parallels from the Gospel of John to the beginning of Genesis.  Note that in this passage Word refers to Jesus.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

So Jesus was there in the beginning.  He is God the Son, and He was with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in the beginning.  He made everything.  Now, on to Genesis:

Genesis 1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

There  is so much majesty in this passage it is hard to know where to begin.  The “God said . . .” and “God saw that is was good” passages are so powerful. 

I don’t want to get sidetracked on an Intelligent Design vs. Darwinian evolution debate.  But the topic always comes up when reading the first part of Genesis, some some comments are warranted. 

Some Christains hold to an “old earth” view of the Bible, meaning that they think the universe is billions of years old.  Others hold to a “young earth” view, in that they think it is 6,000-10,000 years old.  I have my opinions on what makes most sense given the data we have, but the important thing to me is that those are both Christian positions.  I don’t view one’s belief about the age of the universe or earth to be an essential of the faith (read here for more about essentials vs. non-essentials).   I do think it is essential for Christians to believe that God created the universe and is in control of it. 

When people see that the universe is more and more complex, they tend to lean in one of two directions:

  1. “This is so complex that there must be a God who created it all.”
  2. “This is so complex that there is no way that even a God could have made it.”

I obviously think that #1 is the logical view.  Some people with high IQ’s (but certainly not all) hold to the second opinion, which reminds me of 1 Corinthians 3:19 –For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.

Also see Romans 1, which explains how God has made his existence plain to us and that “men are without excuse.”

Note that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  We aren’t gods, but we are made in his image.  Many lessons flow from this truth, such as loving our neighbors as ourselves.  Also note the equal worth given to men and women, unlike what is taught in many other cultures. 

Please feel free to comment or ask questions. 

Genesis overview

Greetings!

This reading is an overview of Genesis.  You may just want to take your Bible and scan through Genesis, the first book of the Bible.  I thought this would be a good way to start the year. 

Who wrote this and when was it written?  Moses.

Who was it written to?  It was originally written to the people of Israel, but it has meaning for Christians and all others as well.

Why was it written?  Genesis means beginnings or origins.  The book of Genesis was written to document the creation of the world and human beings, to tell the beginnings of human history and to teach us God’s desire to set apart a people for relationship with him.

You may have read or heard some of the stories in Genesis many times.  But try to read it like you are reading it for the first time.  There are countless important teachings in this book.  There are also many stories you have probably never heard before. 

Genesis has lots of stories so it is relatively easy to read and moves along quickly.  I’ll start by doing a chapter at a time but will do multiple chapters later.

What are your initial thoughts when you think about Genesis?  Reflect on what stood out to you in this reading and share your comments and questions if you like.