Genesis is the greatest story of beginning ever told
For decades I read Genesis as purely a historical account of creation. I read it as I was taught. The fact is, though, I was reading Genesis as a person far removed from the people to whom it was written. In recent years, I have come to see Genesis more from the eyes of ancient people. Anyone familiar with the cultures of the past realizes that they were full of myths. We then think these people were ignorant cavemen who had no idea of reality. As much as we know, they did lack knowledge about much of the world. But that does not mean we are to dismiss everything they believed.
The telling of stories was an essential part of cultures that did not have written languages, and many, if not most people, were illiterate. So stories where written to be memorable and significant principles. This meant that unless you understood the metaphors used in the myths, the story sounded quite ridiculous. I am here to tell you that this is the case with Genesis. Genesis has been debated and ridiculed for centuries. If you read the story the wrong way, you will come up with some crazy ideas.
Groups that try to fit Genesis with science
I once heard John Walton talk about the different approaches to understanding Genesis. He explained that Answers in Genesis and the young-earth creationists try to make a science out of the Genesis account. Then there is another group called “Reason to Believe” who try to force Science into Genesis. Last he mentioned Biologos of which I think is guilty of trying to force evolution into the Bible story. The thing that all these groups have in common is they try to force a scientific view of our world into this account. If you listen to this podcast, you are going to see that this story has little to do with science.
It tells us the why
What Genesis is trying to accomplish is giving reasons why the world is the way it is. To make sense of us being here and the point of our existence. There is no other story that can do this like Genesis. How do we know the story is true? Because the story has played out in reality over thousands of years. History backs up the narrative.
The first thing that we need to understand is Genesis speaks of a world where the realm of God and the physical world overlap in perfect harmony. Not one person in history since Adam and Eve have ever experienced that. Think about quantum physics and how, in that realm, things act very differently then they do in our world. If that be the case, then it takes no imagination to understand that we cannot fully understand how our world came to be.
Genesis builds the foundation for the entire Bible
The author takes a week and uses it to create a framework for describing the creation process. A careful reader will see a picture immerge of a Temple in the middle of a world. This temple was on a mountain, and from it flowed a river that gave life to the earth. Then there was an extraordinary garden and some gardeners who were to care for it. This temple and the garden was to fill the earth. This was God’s temple—it was paradise.
How this came to be was God first create environments to be occupied. God created them in the first three days. First was a place of light, the second was the sky with water above and below. The third day was the creation of dry land and plants. Then we have a matching set of days. The fourth day God made the Sun, moon, and stars to use the light. He said they were to rule the day and the night. They were to be the keepers of time. Then God made the birds for the sky and the sea life for the waters. Last, on the sixth day, God created the animals and man to occupy the land.
If you don’t know the Bible very well, you are going to think that all this is just a nice story. Those who do know the Bible are going to be seeing great significance in these acts. I admit that this just blows my mind how this short account lays a foundation for a book that took over a thousand years to complete, and the imagery comes to pass. We can read stories like “Lord of the Rings” written by one man’s imagination, and we become fascinated by it. But for forty men to write a saga over hundreds of years that maintain the storyline, that is a whole different level of greatness. Now imagine your favorite novel that appears to be fiction actually come to pass in very great detail. Now you are talking supernatural. That is what Genesis is, a God-inspired story of our world.
You need to understand this story and make it part of who you are. It needs to give meaning to your life because it is the truth. Knowing the truth will set you free to be exactly what you were intended to be. Please continue with me as we explore Genesis so that it becomes Your Genesis.