I hope you’ve gotten off to a great start with 2017 and I hope you’re already diving into the Scarlet Thread reading plan. The reading this week is foundational for the gospel. Think about all that is involved—creation, the fall, judgement and grace. This week we will have read all the way up until the call of Abram. The first few chapters of Genesis are all about beginnings, and beginnings are important.
An understanding of one’s beginning is vital for life. Humanity has been created uniquely in the image of God, and we have been given purpose. The Bible teaches us from the creation account that God is a God of order and beauty. Genesis 1 presents Him as the transcendent God who speaks life into existence, who creates the universe, the world, and fills it with living creatures in six days, resting on the seventh. The truth of God’s transcendence means that He exists above creation as Lord. He is altogether different from His creation. This rules out pantheism, a view that God is all things. It rules out polytheism, a view that there are multiple gods. It rules out atheism, a view that there is no God. Chapter 2 presents God our creator as not just transcendent, but also imminent. That simply means He is exalted, but He is also close. The covenant name for God is used for the first time in Genesis 2:4. He is the transcendent God of creation, but He is also the imminent God of covenant who creates man in His own image for the purpose of relationship and reflection. Adam and Eve are placed in the garden of God to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with image bearers. The Great Commission is found in Matthew 28, but the Genesis Commission is found here in the creation narrative. God desires the whole world to be filled with people who reflect His image, character, and likeness. This is why missions are so important. We want more people to come to faith in Christ so that God is glorified by those who reflect His image through re-creation and new birth!
By the time we get to chapter 3, there is a tragic plot twist in the creation narrative. An enemy is to be found in God’s garden. The serpent of Eden, whom Scripture later reveals to be Satan, whispers a terrible lie into Eve’s ear. He deceives her into thinking that God had been holding out on she and Adam. He slanders God’s word and God’s goodness. Eve disobeys God, as does Adam. Sin enters the picture and mars God’s perfect creation. However, this is not without promise of redemption! God promises that the Seed of the Woman would one day come to crush the serpent’s head, though it meant that His own heel would be bruised. The rest of the Bible is the unfolding plan of how God determined to do this through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Before I finish, let me recommend a great resource to those of you who are parents of small children. The “Jesus Storybook Bible,” written by Sally Lloyd Jones, is a tremendous tool to share with your kids about how the Bible is centered around the person and work of Jesus. You can order one off Amazon or pick up a copy at the nearest LifeWay store. I am using it with my kids this year, and it is fantastic. Enjoy!