Genesis 1 is probably one of the chapters of the bible that even those Christians who are most neglectful of their bible reading habits have a good recollection of. For many, it’s probably the chapter that they’ve read the most, being the start of attempt after attempt at reading the bible. But what’s actually in it?
Just reading it again now, I realise there’s so much in it that I don’t actually understand.
God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.”
I’m not sure when the sky became an expanse between two waters. Possibly an early Hebrew explanation for clouds and rain. Which is a good reminder that although all scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), it is still written by humans, and some things (that are non-essential and don’t change the truth about who God is) are influenced by their human understanding. Later in Genesis 1, we learn how God created two lights, one to govern the day and the other to govern the night. Now we know of course, that the moon is not a light. It’s simply a mirror that reflects the light of the sun. It doesn’t emit anything of its own. But this is not important. God knew this when He created them. It’s of little significance that the writer was not equally aware of the scientific theory surrounding light and astronomy.
But aside from all the controversy and arguments over whether God created the universe in 144 hours or 6 eons (during which the sun which differentiates between evening and morning wasn’t made until day four anyway), what is abundantly clear in Genesis 1 is that God did create the universe. And He did created mankind. And He saw that it was good.
Sometimes I think the way we look at ourselves suggests we think the creation story goes like this:
“Light, check! That’s great, fantastic idea if I do say so myself. What next, ok sky! Ooh, that’s good! Loving that bit of sky there. Ok, time for some land, ocean, plants, animals, birds, fish. Wow, they’re all fantastic! Ok now I’ll make people. Oh, well they turned out a little bit rubbish, but they’ll do…”
God made us and was very pleased!
God loves us. Sometimes it’s like we’re surrounded by so many songs in church talking about God’s love that we become immune to the full implications of it. God is so pleased with us. The reason He always forgives us is because we are His children and who we are means far more to Him than anything we could ever do wrong! You’d think that I might understand this because I work with kids and I love them no matter what. But I still need reminding. God’s love is huge!
For a more humourous take on the start of Genesis, I highly recommend you watch Ricky Gervais analyse it. Be warned, he gets a little bit dodgy, but it’s mostly fantastic!