Genesis 1: 1-5

The focus of verses one through five is the creation of time.  The first day is created by creating seperate periods of light and darkness.  There can not be evening and morning without this.  The existence of an earth with chaos on the waters has led to a number of controversies.  Are we reading here the second creation story.  Did Satan corrupt a world and send it into chaos?  My perspective is that chaos, although incomplete, is not sin.  Go creates order from chaos like a potter creates a jar from formless clay.
 
Genesis 1: 1-5
 

  1. What did God see about the light he had created?
  2. What did God seperate?
  3. In seperating light and darkness what does God create?
  4. Does God stand inside time?
  5. What does it mean to you that God created and is master of time?
 
Going Deeper
 
Observation
 
  • What two things did God create in the beginning?
  • What was over the surface of the deep?
  • What two words describe the pre-creation earth?
  • What was moving over the face of the waters?
  • What did God call the light and the darkness?
 
Interpretation
 
  • Are heaven and earth eternal?
  • Is there any ‘cosmos’ outside of the earth at this point?
  • If ‘waste and emptiness’ describes ‘formless and void’ how does that help you understand the passage?
  • Is there a second creation story between verses 1 and 2?
  • Is one day a 24 hour period (See Chapter 1 overview for three different views)?
 
Application
 
  • How can you remember that earth is finite and God is infinite?
  • What happens when you forget that God is infinite with respect to space and time?
  • If God has created time how does he master it today?
  • Are chaos and darkness opportunities to you?
  • How can you mimic God’s creativity?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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1 Response to Genesis 1: 1-5

  1. Jordan McDaniel says:

    Here we are initiated into the Christian tradition. Here we find, in one of the most ancient texts that survive today, the foundation for a Jewish worldview. The first five verses of Genesis launch us into a poem of God-inspired proportions, meant to inspire His people to do His work in a broken world.I hate the way people are polarized over their interpretations of this text. I think we need to get back to good, literarily informed, ecumenically driven hermeneutics, particularly with Genesis 1, 2, and 3. Whatever someone thinks of the literal-or-not nature of the poem and following narratives, we seriously need to go beyond that in our exposition.Remembering that the Bible has always been for the purpose of energizing the people of God to do God’s work in the world is central to this process. If that is so, then the beginning of the story, which we have here in Genesis, places us. It places us in the story of the universe in a particular way. Fascinating that this story begins with a poem. With rhythm (which always elicits song), order, beauty, and mystery. A carefully crafted lilt of words that talks about a careful God crafting the beautiful, good universe out of which this poem would eventually emerge. Brilliant. Beautiful. God-inspired.There is so much to say about Genesis 1:1-5, about the whole poem, about the narratives that follow. May we never get trapped in our cold, wooden interpretations. May we move beyond these to the Holy-Spirit-power that lies just beneath the surface of these texts, texts which can never be reduced to a systematic theology or a historical account. Praise God that He has not given us a systematic theology!

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