Good morning! Today we are headed back to the beginning. The book of Genesis is the first book in the Hebrew Torah (also includes Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), which is most widely accepted as being written and compiled by Moses. This means we need to take a moment to remember who Moses was and his situation for writing this book.
1446 B.C. Israel had been in Egypt 400 years and had become enslaved. God rescued them through a series of His most grandiose miracles, appointing Moses as their leader and His mouthpiece to communicate with His people. Now Israel was a slave nation with a long history of oppression. They had just seen a God do something truly incredible for them and they were wandering around the desert, wondering what gives. Who is this God? Why did He come for them? Who are they? God, through the plagues in Exodus, had humiliated all the gods of Egypt. Their whole worldview was Egyptian, their creation story was Egyptian and their entire employment history was working for Egyptians. WHAT NOW?
Genesis is the origin story of us all. Chapters 1-38 are the most preserved and detailed accounts of Ancient Mesopotamia we have, and are widely accepted because of their agreement with other discovered Mesopotamian documents. Culture, marriage, deal making, city building, cattle herding, travel… it’s all in there.
For now we’re forcusing on chapters 1-2: the creation story. The Egyptian creation story starts with water (which God had turned to blood) and the sun (which God had blackened) rising over it the first time, as the diety Ra, creating other gods and things snowballing randomly from there.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In 1:2 there’s water but also God, existing above it and declaring in 1:3, “let there be light!” He doesn’t create the sun until day 4, and what is its purpose? Counting. Signs for seasons, days and years. God is greater than Ra. He is speaking things into existence, He’s pretty awesome.
God made things perfectly and beautifully with longevity in mind. He created plants that grow their own seeds! He made seasons to refresh and remember.
Even now, with the widely accepted view of evolution, we can learn that most every creation account puts the orgin of man under the category of “chaotic mistake” or “for the oppressive, indifferent, enjoyment of careless gods”. This is what makes 1:26-27 music to our ears:
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
We are made ON PURPOSE and WITH PURPOSE. Every last one of us is an incredibly valuable image-bearer of GOD!
It’s important to notice what all was good and right in the world before it officially fell apart. Adam had a job, cultivating and caring for the earth, naming and caring for the animals, but something was missing, and it was us gals. Women were made to be partners with men. Created to be hand in hand, One Flesh, complementary, better together. How lovely!
Soak it up! Read and reread these chapters because tomorrow it’s all going down! (Ironic timing, huh?) What else do you notice about God’s perfectly, lovingly created world? Praise Him today for His glorious designs!
You can also get the Genesis 1-11 Bible Project overview here.