Saturday, January 1, 2011

Genesis 1 - In the Beginning, God . . .

LINK: Genesis 1

The Bible Book Club is very simple: read one to two chapters each day. It is about 100 hours of reading stretched out over a three YEAR period. It is so doable rather than defeating like many one year reading plans (read "How the Bible Book Club Came to Be" above if you want to hear my story about trying to get through the Bible in one year). 

All that said, I have had people who have completed the Bible Book Club in one year too. Also, I have had people (and groups) who have just read the Bible Book Club while studying just one book. My posts are progressive, and there is a wonder in reading from Genesis to Revelation, but the choice is yours.


There is no obligation to read my posts, but the BACKGROUND is there to help you understand, the REFLECTION is how I am interacting with the passage (basically, my devotional journal for all the world to see), and the APPLICATION is a suggestion to help you make the Scriptures come alive in your life because they are not just for academic knowledge but for life transformation. 


Reading the Bible is a daunting task. So, I like to look at it as reading one book at a time:


BibleBookcase


There are 66 individual books to be read and enjoyed and discussed. Find a friend and journey together through the pages of each book.


We will read the Law and History the first year, Wisdom and Prophecy the second year, and the New Testament the third year. We will be inserting Psalms and Proverbs throughout the first two years as they fit into the historical story especially when we come to the life of David (Psalms) and Solomon (Proverbs). 

We will spend half the year in the first five books. Those are the yellow ones on the first shelf in the picture, and they are referred to as the Law. They are also called the Pentateuch, Torah (Taurat), or Law of Moses because Moses is believed to be the author. It was referred to as the Pentateuch starting in about 200 A.D. and comes from the Greek word pente meaning "five" and teuch meaning "scrolls."

BACKGROUND: GENESIS

Genesis is one of the most important books for any believer to read and digest because it is the book of the beginning of God's relationship with man. It is FOUNDATIONAL to the understanding of all other books in the Bible. I am leading a study in Romans right now, and I am so glad we studied Genesis before it. It has been very helpful.

This background does not get into all the creation science research. I did an excellent six week Precept study just on Genesis 1 & 2. The appendix is filled with articles regarding this that I highly recommend for deeper study (http://www.precept.org/). Also, http://www.answersingenesis.org/ is an excellent source of information regarding the science behind creation.

BACKGROUND: GENESIS 1

What key words did you observe? We see that God . . .

Created (from the Hebrew word "bara" which is used only of God's activity. It is the initiation of an object that was "out of nothing." No one but God can do that!)

Was moving
Said
Saw
Separated
Called
Made
Placed
Blessed
Completed
Rested
Sanctified

God is a God of the "action verb"! I have gone through Genesis 1 with many non-believing seekers of God, and it is always fun to go through each day of creation and pick out these words! It astounds me that God can just say, "Let there be light" and out of nothing there was light. He speaks the word and creation comes forth. Pause and think about it.


I will often point out how Jesus fits into the Old Testament and refer to it as The Scarlet Thread of Redemption. One cannot help but cross reference the creation account with John 1:1-3, 14:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And Colossians 1:15-17:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Genesis 1:26-27 is the plural sense of the name of God, Elohim, "Let US make man in our image." It suggests that there is plurality in the Godhead.

So exciting!

REFLECTION

Every time I read this chapter, I marvel at God's care reflected in every step of the creation process. He is a God who, as my old campus leader, Dennis Blevins, would say, ". . . made the sky before He made the birds." In other words, He has a design and He provides. He planned every step and made provision for every living thing in the order that He created. It tells me that He created me and has provided for my every need ahead of time. That is so comforting.

APPLICATION

Great are the works of the LORD;
They are STUDIED (sought out) by all who delight in them.
Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonders to be remembered;
The LORD is gracious and compassionate.
Psalm 111:2-4


The way I applied this first chapter of Genesis was to "study" and "remember" His works of creation. I was staying at my girlfriend's house, and I had her dog at my feet, and I marveled at his paws, his fur, etc. I looked and saw this beautiful creature that God had made. Then, I took that big black lab for a walk and marveled at the beautiful bare trees against a clear crisp blue winter sky. I gave glory to Him as I saw the people walking through campus that He had created. It was a walk of praise.


I have learned to praise Him through creation by taking a picture a day for 365 days. I did this from 2007-2009 and 2011-2012.  It has made me open my eyes and see God and His creation on a daily basis.  It is so fun. Here is a link to the last one I did: Carol 365 2012. Reviewing this post makes me want to do it for this new year!

It is simple to give GLORY to God by wondering at His works all around you today. Give it a try and let us know about it! Or let us know other ways you applied this passage.

PRAYER

Oh LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens! (Psalm 8:1) . . .O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. (Isaiah 37:16)

Lord, thank You for the beauty of this day. All around me I see the beautiful things you have created and I give you praise and worship for being the God of all creation. May this new year be a year where we open our eyes wide and see YOU! Amen. 
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