Day 1: Genesis 1-25

Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are things as they are? So good? So awful too? Ever since we humans became conscious, questions like these must have flickered in our minds as we looked out into the night sky. They still do. Radio telescopes reveal amazing new data and we see more of the “what”, but are still tantalized by the “why”.
It is a commonplace now of biblical study that these early chapters of Genesis, though cast in narrative form, are much more about the “why” than the “what”. They reflect the knowledge that was available to their writers, but as Christians we also see that they are starting to reflect the wisdom that comes from God. They were written long before Christ, so much is still to be fully revealed, but the basic outlines are already becoming clear. We live in a created world which is both ordered and good. We are given free will, but are not always wise in how we use it, especially when we use it to go against God’s ordering of things, and that has consequences. We become alienated from God and each other, and suffering and conflict take hold. But against all the odds God does not abandon us to our fate. He remains engaged with those he has made like him, and starts to rebuild the relationship. Abraham is remembered as the first “friend of God” and founder of the framework for carrying forward that new relationship that we have inherited. But human nature still seems untamed and paradise far from restored: our story has only just begun.

+ David

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here http://www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/genesis/1.html

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4 Responses

  1. Reading chapters 1-10 fresh: how very human everyone is, just like us. You could make East Enders scripts out of these stories – well, East of Edeners anyway. Lost of loose ends though: so just where did the wives come from for Adam’s boys? The stories are rooted in real historical circumstance, but not what we would call history – they’re there to explain things and make a point, not be a BC Reuters.

  2. Enjoyed reacquainting myself with Noah, Abraham, Isaac and his difficult twins. Reminded me of Sunday School days.
    Today’s”modern” family has nothing on this lot!

  3. Well, it took a while to read but so worth it! Usually we read short excerpts, either alone for reflection or together in our public services, but to sit down and work through an extended piece gives such a different perspective – yes, an overview indeed. How to sum up this section? With Sarah, ‘Is anything too hard for the Lord?’ Absolutely nothing……

  4. Wow, just over an hour….i find it best to actually read it out aloud… All those sons and daughters names. I had forgotten how long everybody lived.. The bit that stuck for me.

    ‘As long as the earth lasts,
    seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
    summer and winter, day and night,
    they will never ceaase.’

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