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First Day into Genesis
Genesis is the first of five books written by Moses during the Exodus period, about 1450 – 1400 B.C. Moses used direct revelation from God and the written and oral traditions of his people as sources. He surveyed history from the creation to his own day.
The Book of Genesis is divided into two parts. Genesis 1-11 tells of God’s dealings with the whole human race from creation to the time of Abraham, about 2100 B.C. Genesis 12 introduces a vital theme. God makes a covenant with one man and with his descendants. God will work through this man, Abraham, and his family, Israel, to reveal Himself to humanity and ultimately to provide a salvation available to all.
The practical purpose of Genesis is to encourage the reader to trust and obey God. Originally, the purpose was to encourage the Israelites to trust and obey God. Moses may have composed Genesis before the Israelites left Egypt in the Exodus, but he probably did so during the wilderness wanderings. In any case, this was his obvious purpose, as is clear from what he wrote. He wanted to prepare the Israelites for the future by reminding them of the past. This is its function for us today too. As we read the text, we should continually ask ourselves, “What did this mean to the original readers?” That is what God intended it to mean to us today.
Moses’ main point was that the same God who created Israel had created the universe. His word was the key instrument in creating both entities. As He had brought order, fullness, and rest to the material world, so He could do for His chosen people. He is the sovereign of the universe, its ultimate authority. Therefore mankind should trust and obey Him.
- God’s Dealings with the Human Race (Gen 1-11)
- Creation (Gen 1-2)
- The Fall (Gen 3-5)
- The Flood and aftermath (Gen 6-11)
- God’s Dealings with Abraham’s Family (Gen 12-50)
- Abraham (Gen 12-25)
- Isaac (Gen 22-27)
- Jacob & Esau (Gen 25-36)
- Joseph (Gen 37-50)
Genesis 1 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Creation of the World
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 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, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Get yourself acquainted with the story of the Creation, again, by reading through this very first chapter of the first book of the whole Bible. Or you may listen to it online.
God created the heavens and the earth. In three days, God made the uninhabitable earth productive by dividing light and darkness, waters and dry land, the world above from the world below. Then in three more days, He filled the uninhabited earth with life. The orderly process of creation moves from formation of a unique setting for life, to populating earth with animal life, to the creation of beings in God’s own image. Man, the crown of the completed creation, is destined for dominion.
The creation account reveals that God is the origin of the order, beauty and harmony that we see in the universe today. In what areas do you need to trust God to produce these qualities in your life (think about school, work, family, and etc.)?
Do you find this account to be problematic with your understanding of science?
Lord, I am thankful to be a witness to your glorious creation. I pray that I may learn to appreciate your workmanship and I pray that you will also shape me to be the new creation that I am meant to be.