January 21, 2015
“Wut, son?! You want me to read three chapters?! You must be crazy, dawg!!” These chapters are the DNA of the rest of the Bible. We cannot know what to make of any of it without a proper understanding of the foundation. Learning the DNA of getting down the hill is the same way. You don’t drop into the Freeway Jumps at Breckenridge on your first day ever shredding. Don’t start an understanding of scripture without learning the right progression. This book is not about dinosaurs or carbon dating or any kind of science as such. It is about who God is, who we are, and our relationship to God, each other, and the world.
“Creation is foundational to everything that follows in Scripture” so let’s take a closer look:
“The biblical image [of a formless and void something] may be purposely designed to frustrate our efforts at imagination. It begins to dawn on us (no pun intended!) that you are confronting a picture of chaos.” Now it gets interesting. In the context of chaos God speaks, and everything changes.
“You hear only three little words (two in Hebrew!) — “And God said”—after which nothing is the same (1:3).”
“the totality of creation — the material universe in all aspects, vegetation, the animal world, and humanity — is pronounced good and, ultimately, very good (1:31).” Our bodies matter (pun intended). Another important fact is that order emphasized. God brings order out of chaos. That is what is in His DNA. He finishes with the crescendo of male and female in his image, which was explained in another WWW.
Now let’s see about the interaction of God with creation (Gen 2:4-3:24):
“The Lord God takes the damp ground (2:6), forms a man, breathes life into him, and the man becomes a living being (2:7). Besides being a bit confused by this vegetation business, we also have to deal with the fact that the Lord’s creating mode is novel. God is now presented as a sculptor.” According to the narrative, man is made to work the ground, but God plants the garden and waters it. In all the beauty of the garden, God tells man to stay away from one thing. “You might surmise that with so much to eat and so little to avoid, the man would have little trouble watching his diet.” And something is “not good,” the fact that man is alone. Again, see previous WWW. God makes animals from the ground and even consults man to name them. Then woman is made and everything is right… For a second. Unfortunately, disobedience enters. The serpent is “wise” (see original Hebrew) and tempts humanity with a “godlike” knowledge. Finger-pointing ensues. God curses the ground and serpent and distributes punishment. The news that woman will be ruled over is very bad (3:16) and should never be conveyed otherwise. This disobedience has an effect upon everything. But God’s grace is evident in his providing clothing so that they could survive outside the garden and in the fact that they do not die immediately, there would be children, and ground would still make food. “The story would continue. It could have been worse, much worse. God’s grace got the better part of God’s judgment.”
See more at: http://blog.spu.edu/lectio/
Taking it from the bunny hill to the park (or backcountry)
Is there anything in this narrative that is challenging or jumps out at you? What does this say about who God is? We can see he is gracious, what else? How are humans to relate to God and each other and the rest of created order? These are the questions this text is designed to answer, read it carefully to find out!! Then take that new trick to the big features (e.g. apply it to your life). Imagine what it must have been like for man to walk with our Creator in obedience and celebration of his provision and goodness!