Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Genesis Chapter Two

Genesis Chapter Two
Adam & Eve

Verses 1-3 The word “rested” comes from the Hebrew word “shabat” and doesn’t imply fatigue by means “ceased”. Because God had completed the work of creation He simply ceased working. Our God is not a god who grows tied. He is the true God with unlimited power and unlimited knowledge. As humans we certainly don’t have unlimited anything and need to rest. That is why God gave the provision and example for us to do so.

Verses 4-26 We are not looking at a second creation here but a second account of creation. The account in Genesis 2 is more detailed and doesn’t contradict the account of chapter 1 but instead gives us more information.

Verse 7 Life comes from God! Not only is he the creator of all but He also is the one who gives life. Not only that but He is also the one who removes the “breath of life.” Our time is literally in God’s hands and we should live that way. The bottom line is that we are not the one’s who are in control. We’d like to think we are but we just can’t ignore the evidence that proves otherwise.

Verses 15-17 Here we see free will introduced. From the beginning of time man has had to choose God’s will over his own. God doesn’t force us into love and obedience because he wants us to be genuine in our love for Him. A slave has no choice but to be obedient. There is no genuine loyalty and there certainly is no devotion in forced obedience. We would be followers of God because we have to be and not because we want to be.

Verse 24 God’s plan for marriage is clearly laid out here in this verse. A healthy marriage consists of three things found in verse 24.

I - Leaving things behind (father and mother) and devotion to one another.

Many marriages fall into trouble because they can’t leave behind past relationships and tendencies that are unhealthy to the marriage. Men and women can’t run home at the first sign of trouble and they can’t maintain a healthy marriage if they are more devoted to other things.

A good job may support a spouse but if a person is more devoted to that job than they are the spouse they are trying to provide for then they are doing more harm than good to their marriage. To be devoted to a spouse means that the majority of your attention and quality time are devoted towards them. Working long hours may make you more money but it won’t grow a marriage.

II – A man and a woman are joined together and they both love their mate above all else.

I don’t know for sure how far I want to go down this road but the bible clearly illustrates that God intended marriage, and sex for that matter, to be between a man and a woman. Remember, at this point the world is perfect and so we can say that this was God’s perfect plan for marriage with no alternatives.

The bible gives us a clear definition of what love is in 1 Corinthians 13. I had just stated previously that a person has to be fully devoted to their spouse and the only way to completely do that is to love them above all else, including yourself.

III – The two become intimate.

Notice that intimacy wasn’t first on this list. Marriages based solely on a sexual relationship are doomed from the start because at some point that initial attraction is going to wear off. Then what are you left with?

Devotion and love will always lead to greater intimacy. However intimacy very seldom leads to greater love and devotion.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Genesis Chapter 1

Genesis Chapter 1
The Beginning

You may have heard people say that it requires more faith to believe that the universe and our planet “just happened” and that we as people “evolved.” Consider this, the galaxy that we live in spins at the speed of 490,000 miles an hour and still needs 200 million years just to make one rotation. Some scientists will tell you that the number of stars in space is equal to the grains of sand on all the beaches in the world and yet it all spins with order and efficiency. The odds of something like that happening by chance are literally zero.

Understanding that God created us and the world in which we live in gives us an accurate understanding of just how valuable we are. God chose to create the universe and everything in it and he chose to create us as his masterpiece. We are the finishing touches, the centerpieces, on an amazing work of art. Just about every ancient religion has a story about how the earth came into existence but only the Bible teaches that God created it for the purpose of man’s pleasure and enjoyment and that he created man to fellowship with. That places value on every person!

But still the question remains, how did he do it? One of the secular theories out there is the Big Bang Theory in which there was some sort of cosmic explosion that resulted in the formation of our solar system and the very planet on which we live. Verse two tells us that the earth was, “formless and empty”. There was nothing there! Over the next six days God would give form to the universe and fill the earth with living things. The inertia and general energy expelled by going from nothing to everything we have in our universe would be the same as a massive explosion thus giving way to scientific evidence indicating as much.

Days of Creation
First Day: Light
Second Day: Sky and water
Third Day: Land and seas; vegetation
Fourth Day: Sun, moon and stars
Fifth Day: Fish and birds
Sixth Day: Animals, man and woman
Seventh Day: God rested

Verses 26-31 take us through the sixth day when man was created. We learn from the bible that the Spirit of God (Job 33:4, Psalm 104:30) and that Jesus (Colossians 1:16) were present at and at work in creation. This is why we find the use of the plural word, “us” in verse 26.

We aren’t made in the exact likeness of God because God has no physical body. Instead this, “image” we are created with is the character of God. We are reflections of God’s glory and we are to reflect his likeness in our relationships with other people.

In verse 28 God tells Adam and Eve that they are to, “rule over” the creation. We recognize that ultimately God is in control and has the ultimate rule over the earth but in this delegation of responsibility we see God’s love for mankind by allowing humans to be in control of the creation.

The Christian mindset that everything belongs to God and that we are nothing more than His children in possession of His belongings is extremely accurate. Your spouse, your children, your finances, all that you have and the world that you live in all belong to God and are on loan to you for your pleasure. We stop finding pleasure in these when we lose this mindset and begin to abuse them by not honoring and treating them as God’s and not ours.

Genesis chapter one is crucial to the Christian belief for several reasons. To take the words, “In the beginning God” to heart leaves no room for any other methods of creation. It establishes God as the Supreme Being who is motivated by love. He created you and said that, “it was good.” You and I are not accidents and neither is the world that we live in. Motivated by love, God designed and created everything with a purpose. We become fulfilled when we live by that purpose and honor our creator in everything we do. Remember, you were designed to have the character of God. That is how you should live!