We transition from the Greek language to the Hebrew language as we move from the New Testament to the Old Testament. The first five books of the Bible are called the Torah which means literally the law. But before you establish the law you need to know how things came about, how what we have now has come to be. Genesis 1 gives us an opportunity to set the stage, to understand why God does what he does and how much he loves us. That is the beginning of God’s Word for us, it simply is that he loves us so much that all that we see is a result of that relationship.
Many hours have been lost by people on both sides arguing over creation or evolution and all the permutations in between. Let me say from the beginning that I do believe that God created the heaven’s and the earth. I believe that is the point of the whole story. Christian evolutionists also believe that God created, but the details are different than what is expressed in the Scriptural account. I’ll never forget a confirmation paper that I received probably 20 years ago where the topic of this youth’s paper was why you can’t be an evolutionist and a Christian. I completely disagree.
While I am a creationist I also recognize that the Bible is not a science textbook and that the primary point of these creation stories is that God created, period. That is all that really matters as far as the truth of Scripture, we need to agree that God created. But how God created is not a point which separates those who are saved and those that are not. We need to be sure we keep that clear. While I take an approach to Scripture which tends to be more literal (for example I believe that there was a real Adam and Eve, I’m okay with that), in no way does a literal vs. metaphorical approach define a salvation vs. damned approach. As we look at some of the most important biblical stories in Genesis I am going to take a more literal approach, it is more interesting for me that way and I actually believe it. But no one reading this should ever think for a moment that either you take it all literally or you are an unbeliever. There simply are no grounds for this false dichotomy.
So, creation, pretty powerful reading isn’t it? God creates from the void, from the nothing. Here is my favorite depiction of the creation below.
Sorry for the unwanted advertisement for Alamy, but it was the best image that I could find which included not just the creation of Adam, but the other days of creation as well. One highlight which must be mentioned is how God creates. God speaks and creation happens. It is through the Word of God that things happen. Just like the Gospel of John mentions. Feel free to read John 1 again to see the role that the Word plays in creation. That Word which became flesh which we cannot forget this day after Christmas.
The next chapter we will look at creation again and the relationship that we have with God and each other as well as another potential creation story from a culture and religion that is not ours. Tune in tomorrow!