Todays readings.. genesis 1&2, Psalm 1&2, Matthew 1&2
“IN THE BEGINNING”
The Bible begins with the above words. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”: a simple statement. No indication is given as to when this initial act of creation took place. It is regrettable that some read into these simple words more than they say.
Some go on to claim, but this claim was only first made in the 20th Century, that everything was created just 6,000 years ago; but the Bible does not say this.
After this initial mighty act of creation verse 2 tells us, “the earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep.” Following this situation we get a sequence of further creative events – but we are given no indication as to how long after.
The first creative event is light – which came into being (as far as the earth was concerned) on the first day. Next, on the second day, came the separation of clouds (which are water vapour) from the waters – and other creative acts followed on the next 4 days. It is unwise to see the word ‘day” as always meaning 24 hours.
Ch. 2 v.4 tells us, “these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the heavens and the earth.” We have noted a lot of passages recently which speak of “the day of the LORD’ – but we do not see that as a day of just 24 hours.
Genesis chapter 1 is not a human scientific treatise, but a statement of facts in a very simple ancient language, a record that God caused to be written and preserved. We note how the words are very basic, a very limited vocabulary, we do not even have reference to the sun and moon, but only to a “greater light” and “lesser light” [v.14].
Looking back to yesterday’s reading in Revelation 21 we are challenged as to what it means, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” [v.1]. God through the prophet Isaiah enlightens us as to its meaning. Through him God said of a time yet future, “behold I create new heavens and a new earth, the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” [57 v.17]
The curse that came on the earth, because Adam and Eve did not believe that God meant what he said, will be removed. Life will be wonderfully different, probably as it was in the Garden of Eden, for “the wolf and the lamb shall graze together; and the lion will eat straw like the ox … they shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain.” [v.25] A new beginning! Will you be part of it?