Genesis : The Beginning

Let me first start by saying that I’ve never understood the argument that science is anti-God and God/religion is anti-science. Crazy concept, but they’re not mutually exclusive beliefs. I guess some people like to think that God refuses to adhere to the laws of physics, but that’s silly. If you believe in an omniscient God like I do, then you’d have to consider that God knew his creation would start to learn how things work and I can’t imagine He would allow our understanding and explanations to contradict his truth. I believe in a God that makes no oversights.

By many accounts, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were written by Moses during the 40 years he spent in the wilderness with the people of Israel – 1450-1410 B.C.

Gen 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The implications here are more powerful than many people might realize. IN THE BEGINNING God created. Before there was anything, there was God. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, but if you think about your accepted theory of how everything began, you pretty much have to decide that either God has always been, or matter has always been. The big bang theory states that the universe started as a singularity of infinite density that cooled and expanded to create our known universe. The accepted doctrine offers no explanation of the singularity’s beginning or source. Just that it had always been there surrounded by nothing. Essentially something created from nothing. I have faith that however the universe was formed, it didn’t happen by itself. If the big bang theory turns out to be the accurate explanation of how the universe began, then great. Does it eliminate the possibility of a Creator? no. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. To create something from nothing is not unlike the God I believe in. Acceptance of one theory is no more implausible than the other. Frankly both concepts are beyond human understanding, but we know something happened and life began. I choose to believe it was done by the hands of God.

Genesis 1:3-31 God created…
First Day – light
Second Day – Heaven
Third Day – Vegetation and Land to separate the seas
Fourth Day – The sun, moon and stars
Fifth Day – Creatures that swim and fly
Sixth Day – Beasts of the land and man

When reading the above verses I noticed a few things that intrigued me…
Gen 1:14 says “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years…”
That passage intrigues me because the lights referred to, in the expanse of the heavens, are stars. A nod to ancient astrology possibly? Before you get grumpy with me, you should know that astrology in biblical times was hardly the Godless practice it is today. And it looks to me that the Bible indicates it was originally a holy practice. Interesting.

Gen 1:26 confuses me because it says ” And God says ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” – Who is God talking to? Who is “us?”
The verses preceding this tell of God creating the beasts that roam the earth, so my best conclusion is that God is including them in his conception of man.
The term “likeness” is defined by Merriam Webster as “the quality or state of being like.” and is a synonym of semblance. Do we resemble the beasts of the land? Sure do. 4 limbs, same basic facial structure (eyes, nose, mouth all in the same general position), similar skeletal structures, as well as similar organs and nervous systems. This information all ties into the wonderful evolution discussion that will come later on. This verse is important, in my opinion, to such a discussion.

Gen 1:28 states “And God said to [man and woman], “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…”
This verse will also come in handy in a later discussion.

CHAPTER 2

Gen 2:2 “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.”
People tend to infer from this passage that God needed a break because he exhausted himself, which would contradict the idea that God is omnipotent, but I don’t see it that way.  A rest is defined as “a state of motionlessness or inactivity” – so this verse simply states that God had done all that needed to be done, and stopped. It doesn’t mean he napped, or panted with exhaustion. It just mean he stopped doing what he was doing. God’s so powerful he created the universe a day ahead of schedule. Not too shabby lol

Gen 2:8 God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, where he put the man whom he had created.

(the Hebrew word for man is adam. Adam the proper noun isn’t used until Gen 3:17)

2:19 God put man in charge of naming all the animals of the land, sea, and air. God decides none of the animals are fit enough to be man’s helper, so he creates woman.

2:21-22 God creates woman from the man’s rib while he sleeps. “This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.”

So there you have it, this is the Bible’s account of how the world and all it’s occupants came to be.  The true basis of the Bible is divine inspiration. Clearly it’s not Moses’ memoirs of how the earth was made, but more a culmination of prayers and conversations with God (we’ll read about a lot of them in Exodus). If you don’t understand divine inspiration or the Holy Spirit, the Bible will just seem like a Dr. Seuss book full of tall tales and whimsy. I believe the words of the Bible were inspired by God, so the words within have so much power in my eyes. If you take it upon yourself to read along with me, and have questions about specific passages, please don’t hesitate to post your questions. I may not have all the answers, but 99% of the time confusion is simply a result of perspective. Open your mind to new perspectives and challenge what you think you already know.

Next: CHAPTER 3: Eden

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3 responses to “Genesis : The Beginning

  • chad penner

    Gen. 1:26 Was God talking to animals…or himself? This is a point where the Trinity understanding comes into play…might suggest using http://www.blueletterbible.org for word studies in the original languages. I do give you the idea of God talking to animals being interesting in the evolution thought…maybe a blending of the two…but i think this is probably too far…

    Recommended reads…Coming to Peace w Science by Darrel Falk and I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution by Denis Lamourex…both professors or science.

  • emcd84

    I thought that might be the case as well, but the Trinity is a New Testament concept and wasn’t mentioned prior to that passage. Immediately after that passage, in Gen 1:27, it says “so God created man in HIS own image…” So then I thought maybe it was only when God was speaking directly did he refer to himself in the plural, but in subsequent verses like Gen 2:18 it says “The the LORD God said ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'” so it reverts back to the singular. I checked Blueletterbible.org and noticed that a lot of translations capitalize the U in us for that verse, but a lot of translations don’t. Something interesting for people to think about I guess.

    And I checked into those books you recommended – everyone told me they were out of print so I checked amazon and found them on there. I’ll take a look 😉

  • brianmcd18

    I agree with Chad on the animal thing specifically because the next verse, as you pointed out, says God created man in his image. So I would say that I think the “us” is the trinity.

    I’m digging the blog a lot. keep it up.

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