Genesis: Under The Radar – Part 2 No other gods… Genesis 1:1-2:3 September 17th, 2017
I. A text of STRUCTURE and SYMMETRY. (Gen. 1:1-2:4)
A. The earth was FORMLESS… (v.2) B. The earth was EMPTY… (v.2)
Day 1 LIGHT and DARKNESS (v.3-5) Day 4 SUN, MOON, and Stars. (v.14-19)
Day 2 SKY and SEA (v.6-8) Day 5 BIRDS and FISH (v.20-23)
Day 3 FERTILE EARTH (v.9-13) Day 6 Land ANIMALS and HUMANITY (v.24-31)
“The seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.” (2:1-3)
Genesis chapter 1 is an extremely ordered and structured block of Hebrew text. It was put together very deliberately for a some very specific purposes and to communicate some very specific things. This is no exercise in listing details. Every word has a purpose, and as we begin to see the complexity and beauty of the structure, our awe of the “Author” should continue to grow.
1. Have you ever seen the complexity and beauty of the structure of Genesis 1 before? What stands out to you from the way the text is arranged?
2. Does anything surprise you from the text? Does this arrangement stimulate any questions in your mind?
3. Jeff is stressing the “Why” of Genesis 1 over the “How”. Which of those has your reading of Genesis 1 been focused on in the past? Is one more important than the other?
II. A text that ANSWERS the big QUESTIONS.
A. Who CREATED all THIS?
1. “ELOHIM” – The STRONG One. (v.1)
2. The ONE and ONLY. (v.1,16, etc.)
B. WHAT is the CREATOR like? (Gen. 1:1-2:3)
1. God of POWER, PURPOSE, and ORDER.
2. God of CREATIVITY, DIVERSITY, and RELATIONSHIP.
C. WHY did the Creator CREATE?
1. A TEMPLE to share His GLORY. (Acts 7:48-50; Ps 132:13-14)
2. PLACING His IMAGE in His temple. (v.26-27; Gen. 2:15; Ex. 19:4-6; I Pet. 2:9)
3. ESTABLISHING His PRESENCE with His creation. (Gen. 2:2, 3:8; Rev. 21-22)
The structure is “structured” for a specific reason. God is clearly addressing some specific issues. He is attacking the assumptions of the worldview of the initial readers of this text. He is proclaiming a truth that calls them to abandon their assumptions and to embrace the truth of what God says. He does the same to us today.
4. God challenges the culture of the day by the words of Genesis 1. What challenges does this text present to the culture we live in?
5. Which of the “What the Creator is like” characteristics is the most comforting to you personally? Why is that? Which is the most challenging to you and why?
6. How might it change all of your day to day interactions if your first thought when you saw someone else was to see them as someone created in the image of God?
III. Genesis 1 ENABLES us to LIVE…
A. ASSURED of ultimate VICTORY. (Ps. 74:12-17)
B. TRUSTING in a WISE Creator (Ps. 104 – esp. v.24)
C. SERVING in His TEMPLE (Ps 8; Hab 2:14; Rev. 1:5-6)
D. “Homework?” – What is my ROLE as a PRIEST today?
So how do we take this most ancient of texts and apply it to modern day life? Some of the Psalms give us hints at the way the story of creation applied to the life of the Jewish people. From observing this we can see some specifics regarding our own application of this text.
7. At this point in your life, in which area does this text impact you most: Assurance of God’s ultimate victory, Knowing that He is wise, or your calling to serve as a priest in the temple of this world? Why is that?
8. Have the last two weeks challenged you to see Genesis 1 differently? In what ways?
9. In preparation for next week, read Genesis 2. Are their differences between the creation accounts of Gen. 1 and Gen. 2? Why do you think that is?