Genesis – Week 1, Creation

Thanks for reading Genesis with us! Here are the readings for this week:

Genesis 1:1-2:3
□ 1:1-5□ 1:6-13□ 1:14-23□ 1:24-31□ 2:1-3

Main Topic – Creation
As you reflect on the creation narrative in chapter 1, think about this: How would you respond if your young child asked, “Where did I come from?” You might answer “New Jersey,” or maybe you would say “Your dad and I got married and had you as a baby.” Perhaps you would give a biologically detailed explanation of how conception works (though we tend to dodge this topic!) Or maybe you could give an account of labor and delivery complete with city and date and time marker. If you are more relational, you might draw a family tree with all the important characters mentioned.

I ask this question because it is important for us to consider what the author of Genesis was trying to communicate when he wrote chapter 1. Chapter 1 is not a biology textbook or a detailed timeline, and it certainly does not answer every question we might have about creation. Dr. Sandy Richter writes in The Epic of Eden, “Genesis 1 was written to answer the questions: Who is God and what is His relationship to us? What was God’s original intent?”

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

1. Repeated words and phrases indicate importance. What do you see repeated in this section, and why might it be important?

2.     The seven days mentioned organize the details of creation. God creates ecosystems and then fills them. Fill in the chart below regarding what happened each day of creation:
What was created? (God forms)
Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:
What was created? (God fills)
Day 4:
Day 5:
Day 6:
And on Day 7:

3.     What do we learn about God in this section? How is the repeated phrase “And God said…” significant? And the phrase “It was good…”? What other details did you note about God in this section?

4.     Chapter 1 ends with the creation of humanity. What do we learn about humankind in this section? How is this final creative act of God different from previous creative acts? What is the purpose of humanity in God’s creation? (hint: look at the verbs). What does it mean to be the image bearer of God?

5. This section ends with Day 7 and God is resting. Why is He resting? Surely not because He is tired… What is your understanding of sabbath rest and its purpose?

Pick a Bible Reading Plan!

Just in time for the New Year!  It’s time to pick your Bible reading plan for 2015 and this fantastic blog post has every imaginable option you could dream of, and some great pdf downloads.  Disciplers, add this to your library!

http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/

If you are a digital reader, or you like having your daily reading emailed to you, then I’d recommend the YouVersion app which has many reading plans.

I think I’m going to do the 5x5x5 New Testament in a year (one chapter a day) this time… and I just finished a whole-Bible-in-three-years plan!

Old Testament – A Visual

Whoo hoo!  I finished Deuteronomy in my read-thru-the-Bible project… Can I get an amen?  Leviticus and Deuteronomy were the hardest parts!

OTVisualI am a visual learner, and a teacher in love of visual aids and a big white board!  So let me share with you this diagram that will help you, and your students, remember what’s going on in the first part of the Old Testament.

Imagine a map of the Middle East – from the Garden of Eden somewhere between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq, the nation of Israel, and Egypt.  The Mediterranean Sea is to the west.  Now follow the tracks of Old Testament characters on the map…

Genesis – The beginning.  We start in the east (Iraq) with Adam, Eve, and Noah.  Then Abraham left Ur and settled in Canaan (Promised Land to be).  After Jacob came the story of Joseph who is sent in capitivity to Egypt.

In Exodus the Israelites exit Egypt after 400 years of captivity.

Leviticus is the Law given at Mt. Sinai (see the Levite/priest in the book title?).

In Numbers the people are numbered and wander in the desert for 40 years.

Deuteronomy is the re-reading of the Law before entry into the Promised Land, which is why it is so similar to Leviticus and closes with all the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.

Joshua crosses the Jordan River into the Promised Land with the nation of Israel and they proceed to slowly conquer most of it.

And the Judges mark a period of rebellion and suffering in the land because “everyone did what was right in their own eyes”.

And then we go to I & II Samuel and the Kings.

I hope it helps you remember the history – it worked for me!

I start reading Joshua next week.  Yea!

 

Bible in a Year, Chronological Plan

It’s not too late to get started!  I’ve been proud of my husband lately – he’s a high school teacher and he’s got four students that have started the chronological Bible reading plan with him this January.  Pray that God would be busy in their lives this year!

I started the plan back around Thanksgiving, so I’m in the first chapters of Deuteronomy right now… Join us!

Download the plan here:   reading plan – chronological