Chronological Bible Reading and Study - Day 1: Genesis 1-3
In the beginning, the words that every ounce of our belief and trust is based on. In the beginning, before anything was, God already existed. This is a foundational verse in the Bible. He was there from the infinity past and will be there for the infinity future. All of creation exists because God chose to make it exist. God chose to create the heavens and the earth, marking the beginning of a pattern of choice. Everything that has or will exist does so under the sovereignty of God. Everything is done not only in His eye-site but also according to his will. Sovereignty can be looked at as meaning supreme authority and the ability to govern everything at all times.
We witness the first six days of creation in this chapter. They are as follows:
In the beginning: God created Heaven and Earth
Day 1: Light; not light as in waves but light as in "the realization of God on creation."
Day 2: The atmosphere and the firmament
Day 3: Dry land and plants
Day 4: The sun, moon, and stars ( this is the creation of time)
Day 5: Birds and sea creatures
Day 6: Land animals and humans (Adam)
That's right, if you were counting, that was not six days but six days plus an unspecified start or "the beginning." According to scripture, day one began after heaven and earth already existed. While I admit this is not a traditional teaching, it is a logical reading of the text. In the beginning, which is somewhere different and sometime prior to day one, God created the set for this epic scene of creation to unfold, which begins with His spirit filling the world; in the original Hebrew text, this is called ’ō·wr which is translated to mean luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.) It is possible that this is the same light that will illuminate the new heaven and new earth from Revelation 21:22-23 when the sun and moon no longer need to shine.
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault 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 vault 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.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Chapter two begins with the Sabbath. Often this day is looked at as a day of rest, but a close look at the text, we see it is a day we are not to work. Rest is often a byproduct of not working, but it is not the intent of this day. The Sabbath is not a day to be lazy; rather, it is a day we should zealously worship the Lord through church, fellowship, prayer, communing with God in nature, and strengthening family bonds. God called the day The Sabbath Day, not the couch day.
Moses rewinds abruptly in verse 4 and goes back to the creation of Adam and the planting of the garden. Notice that Adam was not created in the garden but transplanted there from another location. The garden represents God's dwelling place; the wilderness tabernacle and the temples were both created to mimic the garden, God's original earthly dwelling. Since man is not perfect and the garden represents God's dwelling on earth, it makes logical sense that man, with all of our imperfections, could not have been formed from the perfect dust of the garden.
After planting a garden full of trees, God explains to Adam that he may eat whatever he wishes, with the exception of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was in the garden, caring for it, the original shepherd, a foreshadow of Christ, the second Adam when God chose to provide him with a helper, a spouse, a wife, with a woman.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[e] and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.[f] 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[h] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[i] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt
A quick read of verse one leaves us with same misconception we have had since our feltboard days of Sunday school. As we read this we tend to add the with "other" before the words "wild animals". The serpent was not a animal created in the garden and later comendered by satan, the serpent was satan, he is a unique and beautiful creature. There was something unusual or special about this animal because Eve, with Adam watching, interested with this taking animal with no sign of fear or wonder.
It is often said that the serpent tempted Eve into sin but a carful examination of verse two plainly illustrates that Eve lied about the ramifications of eating the fruit. Satan, the father of lies, simply capitilizes of Eve's human weakness and the potencity for sin mankind has struggled with since first placed on earth.
After a quick game of "it wasn't my fault", another characteristic that mankind excells at, God sets up the precursor to His system of confession and repentence. God asks Adma and Eve where they are and what they have done, not out of curiosity, He's God and knows everything already, but to establish repentence as the beginning step of righting our relationship with Him. We see this system over and over in scripture and the idea of faith beginning with repentence is reinforced by John the Baptist and Jesus in Matthew 3:1 and Mark 1:15.
In the midst of delivering his judgement, God offers hope. The protoevangelium, Genesis 3:15, God promesis a savior. The word is derived from protos meaning "first" and evangelion meaning "good news" or "gospel" so this verse is the first telling of the coming of Christ and the power that will carry.
Dispite many peoples assertation that the God of the Old Testement was mean and vengeful, we see here the overwhelming love and grace He bestows on His children. God made a world, perfect and beautiful, and man (or women in this case) severs it from its creator. In an act of love and grace, God promesis to send us a savior, someone to defeat what Adam and Eve were dreadfully incapable of doing. From this point on, humanity begins to look for a savior.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[j] and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
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