“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Genesis Chapter One ~ the most read chapter in the Bible and possibly the most read chapter of any book in the world by all those of good intent. What fresh insights might I gain as I begin, again, in this almost too familiar chapter of the Bible? As a gardener, my mind is drawn to consider the creation of the seed itself. God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation; plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them; and it was so” . . . (Genesis 1: 11).
If the germination of seeds depended on faith, I would fail every year as a gardener. Every spring I kneel in disbelief as I poke the dirt with colorless and featureless bits of matter that bear no resemblance to the carrots or tomatoes they claim to be. Then the miracle happens. Amazed, again I am on my knees (digging potatoes) and wondering at the varieties of sizes, shapes, colors, textures and tastes those seeds have become. The Psalmist says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8). I do just that.
I dig deeper and see that Genesis chapter one is the seed itself from which the word of God grows. A Christian scientist told of his struggle to reconcile the account of creation in Genesis chapter one with evolution. He designed an experiment in which he cut out every passage from the Bible which contained a reference to the creation. To allow for what was said on the other side of the page he only cut out every other reference. He determined that if the Bible held together with the creation story cut from it, he could hold to both the Bible and evolution. As he carefully picked up the eviscerated book by its spine, the Bible completely fell apart. Both God’s word and our faith grow from Genesis chapter one. The writer of Hebrews says it well, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11: 3).
Seeds for presenting the gospel are also contained in Genesis chapter one. Paul, the apostle, sent to pagan people with no framework in the Bible or the God of the Bible, used it on several occasions. In Lystra, Paul, who the people thought was the god Hermes, cried out, “Men . . . we are also men of the same nature as you and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them” (Acts 14: 15). On another occasion, Paul was invited by the intellectuals of Athens to speak. Once again, Paul turned to the creation account as a starting point for the gospel (Acts 17: 16 – 31, note verses 24, 25).
So, whether we are crunching a carrot, or praising God in the Psalms, or pondering a way to approach our pagan neighbor, may we find our roots in Genesis Chapter One.
Lesson Reflection on iStudy iStudey Lesson 1
By Daneane Johnson