genesis 1 wordle

Genesis 1

An 8 year old boy went to his father one day and asked “Where did I come from?” Dad took a deep breath because he realized that the time had come to have that father/son talk. So he began to explain about what happens when a mummy & daddy really love each other… and you know the rest. The father thought that he had done a pretty good job but the boy still looked perplexed. So dad says “Why do you want to know?”. His son says “A new boy at school said he came from Melbourne and I was just wondering where I came from.”

If you want to understand the book of Genesis – and especially the first few chapters – then you must ask the right questions – the questions Genesis answers. When we do we discover the underlying concern of the first book of the Bible, and indeed the whole Bible, is theology – the central character is God, and the right question is ‘what can we know about God, his character, his activity, his power, his plans and purposes?’ That question – Genesis answers!

Genesis 1a

For all that the first few chapters of Genesis are poetic rather than scientific or strictly literal, Genesis in the 2nd 1/2 of chapter 1 slows us down and allows us to take in the significance of the final creative activity of God – the creation of men and women. Mankind is the pinnacle of creation – science can’t answer the question but Genesis can. Why are we here?

It’s a little hard to see – stewardship and the rule of mankind so often looks like abuse – or is abuse to be truthful. But the purpose behind creation is clear from Genesis – that we would rule under God as his image bearers.

Genesis 2

How easy it is to forget – to forget that we are God’s image! How often do we speak or act towards others without considering that we bear the image of God? Much easier to treat each other as the world says – even in the church – with disrespect, anger and bile, to use one another rather than caring for each other.

Genesis 1 should stand us in awe of the creator. Genesis 2 is a stunning account of the all powerful Lord God creating man and offering friendship. Genesis 3 should stop us in our tracks – to feel a collective sense of shame as man turns his back on a loving creator. We know the great cost of sin – the sacrifice of the creator himself. And further into Genesis – the spread of sin, the first murder, brother against brother, the terror of the flood and mankind destroyed, the arrogance of man building a tower to heaven and dispensing with God – this should touch us – it should hit us – we should feel it and respond.

Genesis 3a part

We live in a broken world – no matter how much people deny it, and we search for answers to the pain – it is irreparably damaged; broken relationships are one of the hallmarks our world. We see it most clearly in the distortion and destruction of what God created for good. So broken is the world that the church – people who claim to be striving to live according to God’s plan – are actively and positively promoting sexual sin as compatible with God’s plans – despite God’s ongoing condemnation of all sexual sin. As painful as it is for us to see churches acting in this sinful manner, it is also a valuable illustration of what went wrong for Adam and Eve, and of why sin still is the great mortal enemy.

Genesis 3b

Of all the events of history that have changed the world two stand out from the crowd – the eating of an apple – and the death of a man. It’s not called ‘The Fall’ for nothing – just one bite, that moment of “maybe I can be like God”, “I can determine my future” – and the world was plunged into sin and the consequences of sin. On the immediate level – for Adam and Eve – the consequences were the destruction of what was good!

The thing about Genesis 2-3 is that it’s not just history. It’s a paradigm – in story form it gives us a working model of sin and consequence. Sin is disobedience – but at the heart of sin is a desire to be like God, to take control.

Genesis 4-5 – Epidemic

From little things big things grow! Super Industry ads – originally about Aboriginal land rights??!

But follow that thought through Genesis!

Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

Genesis 2:25 “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

Genesis 3:6 “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.”

Just one bite of an apple… brings the curse – just one little sin. “From little things big thing grow – from little things big things grow!” Jump forward 10, 20, 30 years – a few generations – what do we find?

Genesis 6 – Grieving God

When we see great acts of evil we respond with indignity – probably not a word we use all that often – but it’s a great word. Indignant, up in arms, righteously angry, offended, incensed – the rape and murder – we’re indignant – the atrocities of terrorists – the savagery of 9/11 – how can anyone act with such evil – the Bali bombing. The closer to home… the more our anger rises… we want to defend – to lash out – but most of all we’re indignant – good people – real people just don’t do these things!

So imagine God as he looks down on his world. He sees not so much a single act, or even acts of great evil – but a world filled with people standing opposed – at war with him. We see people ignoring God – he sees enemies. We see people getting on with their own lives – he sees evil. Our world says surely there cannot be a hell – God says surely the evil will not escape judgement.

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