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January 1 + Daily Reading & Notes

You did it!

I know it's only the first day, but, believe it or not, that can be the hardest day.  Deciding to get started on something like reading the entire Bible can feel like a daunting task, but here you are...ready to go.

Here's a quick look at what you'll be reading in chapters 1-11 of the book of Genesis.



Each day, I'll add a few points and/or questions about our daily readings.  Use them to chew on and go a little deeper into your reading.

DAILY READING: Genesis 1-3, Psalm 1


Genesis 1:2:
  • A common idea about Creation is that it was created by God "out of nothing," or, using a Latin phrase, Ex nihilo.  This verse recalls the earth as a formless void where darkness covered the face of the deep (the abyss) and a wind from God swept over the face of the waters; face means surface. So, "the deep" and "the waters" were already there.  
    • The text doesn't say if God created them or not.

Genesis 1:24-26
  • The only created beings that weren't given a specific task were the cattle, creeping things and wild animals of the earth.  It isn't until humankind is created with the "dominion.....over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping that that creeps upon the earth" that we have some kind of sense what their function will be.

Genesis 1:29
  • Were we strictly vegetarian?  Don't worry, God tells Noah in Genesis 9 that everything that moves is fair game (see what I did there?).

Genesis 2:7
  • Notice that humankind was formed, but did not have life.  Only after God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" did the man come alive.  That'll preach!
Genesis 2:8
  • Of course, a garden must be planted.  So, God planted the garden; it didn't just appear.  The name Eden means "abundance."  
Genesis 2:16-17
  • You know that once there was a restriction placed upon the man, it would come back to bite him later (see what I did there?).  Notice that the only fruit that was not to be eaten was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The tree of life was okay to eat from.  Many people have asked whether the story hints that there was a chance for immortality.  
  • Also, there is no explanation about why the fruit wasn't to be eaten, other than death.  In Chapter 3, the serpent gives an explanation.
Genesis 2:24-25
  • This verse seems to be out of place.  At this point, there's no fathers or mothers roaming around. Adam and Eve (she hasn't been named yet) haven't had any kind of marriage ceremony.  
  • I imagine an old grandfather sitting around a camp fire telling the story to all the children and using it as a way to explain where their families come from and showing them what they would do one day.
  • Creation is officially complete.  Everyone is happy--Adam has his woman!  The last thing that is said about the man and his wife is that they were both naked, and, I think, more importantly not ashamed.  Can you imagine living without shame in who you are? In who you were created to be?
Genesis 3:1
  • The word crafty is related to the word naked (from 2:25).  
  • Adam had already gone over the ground rule (see what I did again) with his wife.  When the serpent asks her about what God said, she already knows.
  • My question for Eve is, when did God say you couldn't even touch the tree?  
Genesis 3:22
  • The serpent was right.  And there's that idea of living forever we talked about in 2:16-17.  Notice the reason for sending Adam and Eve out of the garden.  It wasn't, per se, because of their fall.  It was to keep them from eating from the tree of life.  What would we be if we had the knowledge of good and evil and immortality?  That's right.  We're not supposed to be gods.
Genesis 3:24
  • What was a sword used for before this?  Would Adam and Eve had tried to go back if there wasn't a weird animal with a flaming sword?  
  • What began as an open, abundant life for humanity is now restricted and full of toil.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS

  • God only "blessed" seas creatures, humans and the 7th day.
  • Why isn't the conclusion of the Creation story included in Chapter 1; it opens the 2nd chapter.  That's a question for the people who put chapters and verses into the story many, many years after it was first written-many, many years later.
  • As the story is told, God doesn't instruct the animals about what to eat.  Apparently, they have some sense of what is good and not good.  At least the serpent does.  Maybe they could eat from the fruit and it wouldn't matter.  But that crafty serpent seems to know something we don't.
  • It is often said that the result of "the fall" is our separation from God; that is a result.  The first result was shame and then fear.  

SOMETHING ELSE TO DO

  • Memorize the order of Creation.  It helps you to recall the story of Genesis 1.
  • Just for kicks, Google cherubim.  Notice that we're not just talking about cute angelic babies.


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