And Then There Was Genesis…

So I’ve given the major prophets a really good workout this year and I was still feeling adventurous…

I had a couple of weeks in Ephesians just to refresh my mind for the teaching we are doing at church, but then I thought I really should have a crack at Genesis – another book that has enough stuff in it to puzzle me and make it easy to avoid.

One of the questions I find myself always asking as I read is ‘How would I teach this or what is the point being made here and what are we supposed to see?

Is it as simple as a world created in 6 days complete with talking snake? Or is it more complex than that? I’m not digging into any commentaries or resource material at the moment as I’m just reading it reflectively and devotionally, but those questions of creation perspectives are always there.

This morning as I was reading ch 5 I noticed Enoch as a stand out. Everyone gets to the age of X then dies, but not Enoch…

23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

The writer gives him credit for a faithful walk with God – and then rather than dying ‘God takes him away’. Curious…

Noah also get a good rap in the midst of bad. And of course then comes the ark.

I find it hard to read Genesis freshly because I have been so conditioned to ask certain questions (old earth / young earth – local or worldwide flood) that it gets hard to just ‘listen’ to what is going on.

I imagine it might need a few runs at it before I am able to read it with any clarity or insight. Right now I’m just trying to see what stands out from a ‘heart’ perspective and then I’ll go back and read it again in more depth.

This morning Enoch stood out – plain and simple – in the midst of evil – or even just in the midst of self centredness there was someone who chose to live differently.

May we be those ones. There is enough challenge in that to keep me going for a bit…

2 thoughts on “And Then There Was Genesis…

  1. I’ve always read Genesis through the lens of God the Creator. It really is the only thing that we state we believe about him in the Nicene Creed (other than a brief quip about “father”). He creates the earth. He creates man. He creates the family. He creates a people. He creates a nation. He creates a law/government. Covenants are, at their essence, creative acts. All throughout the OT (prophets) is the chorus “I shall be their God and they shall be my people and I shall make my dwelling among them”. The theme of creation travels all the way through the NT with Christ “making all things new” and Paul’s “new creation”. Finally, we arrive at a redux of the Tree of Life (the one Eve didn’t eat from) when the new heaven and new earth reach fruition in Revelation.

    From beginning to end, the whole book is about CREATION and RE-CREATION. God being characterized solely as “Creator”?…it’s enough.

  2. As a fundamentalist I read Genesis literally, but if one has a mind that reasons and asks questions that becomes un-tenable after some time.

    To me, it’s a carton and not a photograph: photos should contain sharp detail that precisely records an event, while a cartoon is a rough outline that encourages the mind to create and fill in the details while suggesting an event took place. AFAIK it’s suggested Moses was the first to record it in written form from an oral tradition, and even ‘acting under the inspiration’ it was going to contain detail from the things he’d seen and heard which shaped his life in addition to the stories.

    So no, I wouldn’t in any way consider it a factual account.

    But that stance causes some major problems too, especially where original sin came from. This kept me clinging to 6-day creationist theology for longer than was probably sensible (facts? who needs facts?) and the origins of that is still a mystery.

    I’m also gently heading owards Exodus being somewhat similar, though a little less cartoon-like, since events described in the documents we have came from a less distant antiquity. Parts of it do hold believable details while other parts don’t, ad the whole is woven together rather like John’s gospel “so that you may believe” rather than as a detailed record of the departure of Israel from Egypt. In some ways the apocrypha is like this too: prophetic stuff that has a ring of truth (or at least reads very much like the writings of an old testament prophet) about it woven together with things that are plainly fantastic stories.

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