Genesis 1:1-31

A. INTRODUCTION

Now I don’t know if you are like me, but every now and again I have to pull myself up. Because there are many things in this world I just don’t see or appreciate as I should. Sometimes I’ve got my head down, I’m in my own little world, and I don’t see the things that are around me. And that can be very true if I have something on my mind, or have got into the habit of taking the normal every things for granted.

Well, if you are like me, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. So what I thought I’d do is to retell the story of creation—the story from the book of Genesis. But instead of reading it all in one hit, I thought I’d intersperse it with some reflections on everyday things—things that we see, feel, smell, touch, or whatever—but just not appreciate as much as we should.

B. THE STORY OF CREATION

1. Day 1 (1-5):
And the story begins with day 1

In the beginning God created the universe—the heavens and the earth.

The earth was without shape and empty.
Darkness covered the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the waters.

God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.
God saw that the light was good; he distinguished the light from the darkness.
God named the light ‘day’ and the darkness ‘night’.
There was evening and morning—the first day.

Light and darkness . . . You know night and day are two fundamental aspects of our lives. Many people work during the day, and then sleep during the night. Well that’s the theory anyway. Nevertheless, day and night are part of the regular cycle in which we maintain our lives.

Of course, over the years we have created artificial light, to enable us to see and work when it’s dark inside. But despite that when God was creating the world for us to live in, the very first thing he created was light to live by, and darkness to give us rest.

And yet I wonder how many of us when we get up in the morning appreciate the thought behind it being light—the ability to be able to see what we’re doing, and what’s going on. And yet that was the very first thing that God created in this story from Genesis.

2. Day 2 (6-8):
Day 2:

God said, ‘Let there be a space between the waters, to divide water from water’.
So he made it so.
He made the space and then divided the waters—
so they were either above or under the space.
God named the space ‘sky’.
There was evening and morning—the second day.

When we look up and see the sky, and the horizon that separates the sky for the ground, do we appreciate the colour of the sky, and the terrain that gives us variety—the hills and the vales. Do we appreciate the air that we breathe, and the clouds that bring us both protection from the sun and rain. Or even the Van Allen belt and the ozone layer which blocks out harmful radiation.

3. Day 3 (9-13):
Day 3:

God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one place; let the dry ground be seen’.
So he made it so.
God named the dry ground ‘land’ and the gathered waters ‘seas’.
God saw that it was good.

Then God said, ‘Let the earth produce vegetation; let the land grow every kind of seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing fruit trees which have seeds in them’.
So he made it so.
The land produced vegetation: every kind of seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing trees which have seeds in them.
God saw that it was good.
There was evening and morning—the third day.

Dry land of course is very valuable—we need it to be able to walk. But the sea is important too. It provides a source of moisture for the air, the rain to grow our food, and a place where sea creatures can live.

On the other hand vegetation is also important. It provides food for our stomachs, and many a flower provides food for our eyes.

The sheer variety of the different types of vegetation is mind boggling. And if nothing else, it reflects the mind of the complexity of the God who created it all.

4. Day 4 (14-19):
Day 4:

God said, ‘Let there be lights in the sky to separate day from night.
They will be indicators to distinguish days, seasons and years.
Let there be lights in the sky to shine upon the earth’.
So he made it so.

God made two great lights and the stars: the bigger light to regulate the day and the smaller light to regulate the night.
God set them in the sky to light the earth, to rule over both day and night, and to distinguish light from darkness.
God saw that it was good.
There was evening and morning—the fourth day.

Now where would we be without the stars and moon? Well, we wouldn’t have a lot of romantic songs for one thing. But if you’ve ever been trapped in a room, where no light can get in whatsoever, light at night is a very valuable thing.

The sun too—not just a source of light, but the means to provide heat to make this planet liveable.

And the moon, sun and stars are reminders of the relative insignificance of mankind within God’s creation.

5. Day 5 (20-23):
Day 5:

God said, ‘Let the waters swarm with teems of living breathing creatures; let birds fly in the sky above the earth’.
So God created the great sea creatures, every kind of living breathing moving thing which swarms in the waters, and every kind of winged bird.
God saw that it was good.

Then God blessed them. He told them to be fruitful, to multiply: for the fish to fill the water in the seas and for the birds to multiply on the earth.
There was evening and morning—the fifth day.

Living beings: fish in the sea and birds in the air. Beings to enjoy. Indeed, many fishermen and birdwatchers spend hours with their particular hobbies. In addition fish these days are also a major source of food, with many people’s livelihood is tied up in the fishing industry.

6. Day 6 (24-31):
Day 6:

God said, ‘Let the land produce every kind of living creature: livestock, creatures that crawl and wild animals in all their different varieties’.
So God made it so.
God made every kind of wild animal, cattle and creature that crawls.
God saw that it was good.

Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image; let us make them like us.
Let them govern over the whole earth: the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, cattle and everything that crawls along the ground’.
So God created mankind in his image; he created them in the image of God.
He created them male and female.

God blessed them and told them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply in number, fill the earth and subdue it.
Govern over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living thing that crawls along the ground’.

Then God said, ‘Look, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is anywhere on the face of the land, with every fruit-bearing tree which has seed in it.
They will be yours for food.
I give every green plant to every living breathing creature—every animal, bird of the air, things that crawl on the ground.
They will also be yours for food’.
So God made it so.
God then looked at all he had made and saw that it was very good.
There was evening and morning—the sixth day.

Day 6 is in many ways the most important day of all. Animals to enjoy in all their different varieties, including reptiles and insects. And of course the animals we love to eat.

And then last of all, once everything else had been created, only one thing remained—God’s crowning glory—mankind itself. You and me, created so we can communicate with God; created after everything he had created before.

Mankind—given the authority and the responsibility to care for all of God’s creation. A creation made for relatively insignificant beings—us.

C. COMMENT

As you can see, then, if we get into the mode of waking up and expecting things to be there, if we go about our daily business and simply take the things that God created for granted, it can be quite sobering to read the story of creation. Because it reminds us of our God, who has gone out his way to make a world which we can live in and delight in. A world made especially for us.

And as I think about what he did, I can’t help be amazed at how God often gets treated. Because just as we can all spend time ignoring the wonders of creation, we can so easily treat him as though he is not here either.

D. CONCLUSION

The story of creation then is very valuable. Because when we’ve got our heads down and have other things on our minds, or when we don’t appreciate the things around us, or when we take things for granted, it’s a very useful story to read. Not least of all because it is a reminder of all that God has done for our benefit.

Indeed, the story can give us a renewed sense of wonder at God’s creation, and a renewed sense of God. Because it is a story that also reminds us of how special we are in the eyes of God too.

Posted: 14th July 2017
© 2017, Brian A Curtis
www.21stcenturybible.com.au

Online Sales - Australia Only Dismiss