Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Genesis, chapter 1

I’d like to say it is good to be back in town, but it means that I have to face a number of challenges which I am not really sure I am ready to face. I am thankful that I did have some time off in order to recharge a bit and feel like I was alive again. It was a welcome respite from everyday life.

In coming back to this, I wanted to begin at the beginning again. For the rest of this week I wanted to touch on the first few chapters of Genesis. The creation story I something that many people learn as children. Most of us know the details. God created the heavens and the earth in seven days. He created man in his own image, etc. In taking a closer look, however, I can see that there is much more to this story. Though it seems like a fantastic story that could be hard to believe, there are elements of it that can make some scientific sense if you dig a little deeper.

In chapter 1, we are presented with the concept that God created everything in just six days, while resting on the seventh. If we take this as a literal translation, that is one busy week! More likely, the “days” are each just different periods of time in which God did His creating. They are called days in order to assign some sort of order tot hem. Indeed, the concept of a true “day” as we know it wasn’t even created until the fourth day.

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. - Genesis 1:14-19

I don’t think this was ever meant to be a literal depiction of how the Creation actually happened. As with many other areas of the Bible, this is simply a story that tells us what God did, not how He did it. The more important fact to take away from this is that God is the Creator of all things. He has been in control since the very beginning. The first verse of the first chapter of the Bible tells us this. Last week in Alaska I saw some of the natural beauty wrought by His hands and I was in awe once again of His creative power. The way the mountains shaped the land and contrasted with the waters in perfect harmony could only be created by the hand of someone totally in control of the Universe.

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