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My favourite way to start the day is to get out for a walk before the world has really woken up. I love seeing the sky change colour, listen to the birds stir from their sleep and watch the early morning mist gently rise to reveal the sleeping town below or a fox sitting quietly surveying the fields. There is something about being out in creation which causes my spirit to rise and helps me connect with God. When I am fortunate enough to venture further afield and can stand on a mountain peak or watch the raging sea crashing against cliffs I am reminded of the grandeur of the world we live in. No wonder God took a step back after each day He was creating and saw that is was good. It really is very, very good indeed.
The story of creation is to be found in the book of Genesis. This is a book which has it all. Birth and betrayal, life and loneliness, laughter and lust, greed and grace, power and prayer, prison and passion. More than anything though, it is a book about beginnings. It is about cause rather than process. It is about Who rather than How. It is not just the first book of the Bible it is the foundational book.
Genesis can be regarded as historical, not just myth. We can be sure of this because the New Testament draws on it, Jesus refers people who appear in it as factual and Paul refers to Adam as a historical person. However, despite this historical affirmation by the New Testament the book of Genesis raises many questions which theologians have argued about over the years. How long did it really take for God to create the earth? Did the flood really happen and if so over how much of the Earth? Was the Garden of Eden a real place? Were Adam and Eve the first humans?
As we research some of these issues we can often find ourselves amazed and perplexed at the same time at the complexity and the mystery of Gods’ creation. There is not the scope here to flesh out these issues, I have listed a few useful texts to get you started if you are interested in reading more. Suffice to say, whatever our view on whether the earth is a few thousand or a few million years old, whether it really was a serpent talking or where the Nephilim came from the important principle to keep hold of is that God is able to create and destroy the world in a millisecond if He so chose because He is the author of all life. Everything in creation exists because He made it and continues to exist because He allows it. From the very beginning God begins to show His desire to be with us, the pinnacle of His creation. His rescue plan begins in Chapter 3 and the rest of book teaches us about His promises, His character and His chosen people. It is an amazing beginning to a profound and powerful book revealing Gods sovereignty over the earth. We learn about His all powerful, all loving nature and His plan of salvation enabling us partner with Him and enjoy eternity in His presence. It is a great read. I can recommend beginning at the beginning.
Unlocking the Bible - David Pawson
NIV Application Commentary – John H. Walton
God’s Big Picture – Vaughan Roberts
Storylines – Croft and Pilavchi
If God then What? Andrew Wilson