Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Filling the Spaces of Creation

This Sunday, I will be leading our Sunday School in a discussion of Genesis. This study will last for two quarters. I am excited about delving into this important book.

The first lesson will be covering the first two chapters of Genesis. Granted, that is way too much ground to cover in one session but Lifeway's material always moves a bit faster than I care to go. Nevertheless, there is still good meat to chew on in the verses we do cover.

The outline of the message is as follows:

Value the Good Environment (1:1, 31)
Appreciate Humanity's Uniqueness (1:26-28, 2:15-17)
Respect God's Plan for Marriage (2:18, 21-25)

In looking at the first 25 verses of chapter 1 and taking a closer examination of the six days of creation, one sees not only God's awesome power in creation, but God's goodness and artistry in the act of creation. One simple example of this is the order in which God created everything and the way in which Scripture records His activity. In verses 4, 7, and 9 the author of Genesis records that God separated areas to make spaces: light and dark, water above and below creating sea and sky, and then separating land from the sea creating dry land. Only after God created all these spaces did He begin to fill them in the order in which He created. In verses 16, 20 and 24 the Bible records God filling up the spaces He just created: Sun and moon and stars to fill the light and dark, birds and fish to fill the sky and seas, and animals and plants to fill the land.

Here is a graphical representation:

Click for larger picture

It is this type of observation which manifests the design of God's creation and how masterfully Scripture captures God's work. God could not create fish with no place to put them. God could not place a cow in the sea without dry land. First spaces, and then filling them.

This is not necessarily a life changing observation from the first chapter of Genesis. But it does shows that God has a purpose for His creation and His purpose is organized, at times symmetrical, and always good for His creation.


Mark said...

Cool graphic! Do you mind if I use it this Sunday? (Technically, Lona will use it since she is teaching for me this Sunday)

Rolland said...

Please do. Let me know if it is helpful at all. I pray it will be.