Gen devos ch. 1-5

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 1

The Beginning

Before the beginning of what we know as Earth, God was.  He has always been.  He will always be.  He is God.  Before He created anything, all that existed was God and darkness without any form.  He first spoke light into being which separated the darkness from the newly created light.  That was the first day.  On the next day he spoke into existence the sky or atmosphere that separated the clouds from the water on the earth.  On the third day God spoke, and the water was moved around and dry ground that God called “land” appeared.  Everything necessary to support plant life was in order and God commanded the land to produce vegetation.  This might have looked like what we witness after a wild fire when the green sprouts of new plants begin showing up on the dark soil.  Beautiful!  On the fourth day God gave the light he had created homes and put time in order by creating the sun, moon, the planets and stars.  Now everything necessary to support all life on earth was in order and on the fifth day God filled the waters with fish and sea creatures and the sky with birds.  He gave them the command to increase in number and fill the earth and seas with life.  On the sixth day he created all the animals that live on the land and gave them the same commission to multiply and populate the earth.  Also on the sixth day, God created man in His, God’s, image and gave the instructions to rule over all the other creatures of the earth and to fill the earth and subdue it.  Man was also was instructed to use the plants as food for himself and the other creatures of the earth.

 

 

Food for Thought:  God is the author of life…

In the NIV 1984 edition, the one that I primarily read from, you will find the word “God,” used 29 times in the first chapter. The point the author is making, is that this story you are reading, this journey you are embarking on, is authored by God. Of these 29 times you see “God,” in chapter 1, notice the verbs that follow: God created, God said, God made, God called, God saw, God set, God blessed, God had finished. We are being told that God is active, alive and on the move. This world and all that we see is created by God. It was his idea. The trees, the grass, the cattle, the buffalo – all belong and originated in the mind of God. The moon and the seasons, the sun and the stars, these are God’s doing. I want you to pay special attention to the end of chapter one. Of all that God made, we, humans are given the most attention. This world was created for us. God created a beautiful masterpiece to live in and exist as lords and masters of his creation.

The most astounding thing is that He created us in His own image. Look in the mirror, observe your features. You are a specially designed and unique creation of God. He doesn’t make junk. He planned your size, shape, eye color, the quantity of hair on your head (I think bald is beautiful, so does God!). There is no accident in God’s creation. You are beautiful because you bear the finger prints of God.

 

 

 

Notice how the creation story unfolds:

Day 1: The heavens, the earth, light and darkness.

Day 2: The sky separated from the water

Day 3: Dry land, the seas, and vegetation.

Day 4: The sun, the moon and the stars.

Day 5: Living creatures in the water, birds in the air.

Day 6: Land animals and people.

Day 7: God “rested”.

 

The Bible tells us that there is order and a plan with the creation of God. Need a good reminder of the scope of creation, go outside tonight and look at the stars and remember these words, “1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun” (Psalm 19:1-4).

 

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 2

Adam and Eve

The creation of the heavens and the earth were complete and on the seventh day God rested.  He made the seventh day special, holy, and rested from His work of creating.  The day of rest being set aside is very important for God’s people.  Today, God has set aside the day of Jesus’ resurrection, Sunday, the first day of the week, as the day of rest and a time of meeting with other Christians to celebrate and worship…and rest.

When God made the heavens and the earth he watered the ground with springs from underground.  To work the ground God made man out of the dirt of the ground and became a living human by receiving God’s breath through his nostrils.  The first CPR event.  God planted a beautiful garden in an area called Eden, and he placed the man there to care for it.  The fruit of the trees was very good to eat, and God placed two very special trees in the middle of the garden, the tree of Good and evil and the tree of life.  God created several rivers that provided water to nourish the garden.  Gold and other very precious stones were placed there by God.  He told the man that he could eat any of the fruit in the garden except that from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden because he would die.  God also, recognized that the man was lonely so he brought all the animals of the earth to the man for him to name them.  But for Adam, the man’s name, no appropriate mate, helper, was found among the animals.  So God made Adam sleep a very deep sleep and performed the first surgery by taking a rib from Adam’s side and made a woman.  God presented the last of His creations to Adam and Adam declared her to be an intimate, very close part, of him and called her Woman.  God explains this is why a man leaves his parents and gets married; to have to be complete as ONE flesh, ONE spiritually, ONE emotionally…..ONE like Adam was one in the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought: From the ground up…

Maybe you have noticed that Genesis 1 and 2 seem to tell and retell the same story. I want to suggest there is a reason for this seemingly intentional repeat. In narrative texts, authors give clues to their readers through the use of dialogue, description, plot, setting, characterization, etc. Thus far in the story we are really introduced to two characters, God, the creator and man, Adam, the dirt-man. The word for ground/dirt is the similar to word for man. I would like to suggest to you part of the reason for this double story of creation is found in Genesis 2:4. Bear with me…If you remember chapter one opens with “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” Chapter one and the first few verses of chapter two seem to be the big picture view of creation. Then in Genesis 2:4, the author does something crafty, notice “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens…” This time around the order is reversed. Normally we are used to hearing or reading, “the heavens and the earth.” But, this time we read the order in reverse. It seems to me that the author is telling us the story of the creation of man from the ground up. Isn’t that interesting, we read about the dirt-man in chapter one and now in chapter two we zero in on him and the author tells his story from the ground up!

 

Notice as well, that dirt-man is given the great task of naming all the animals in search of a suitable helper. Whatever Adam named the animals, it stuck. Lions, and tigers and bears …oh my! Yes it is true, Platypus is the best that Adam could come up with. Duck-beaver doesn’t sound as cool! Anyway, in addition to naming the animals, the author fills in the details on the creation of the first woman. I always wondered why my wife was a pain in my side! (just kidding, please don’t tell Jennifer I said that!) With the creation of the first woman, God effectively solidified the importance of marriage between one man and one woman.

One final observation, notice that this creation story takes place in the Garden. Eden is the ideal picture of the right relationship that God seeks with all of us. Eden is the image the prophets have in mind when they write about the renewal of all things. It is the image that John has in mind at the end of the gospel of John. On the resurrection day, who does Mary thinks she has seen first? She mistakes Jesus for the gardener. What is John saying, that Jesus is the new Adam come to restore humanity to the Edenic peace that God created and has longed for ever since he placed man there to begin with.

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 3

The Fall of Man

The snake was the most sneaky of all the animals God created.  A talking snake asked the woman if God had really told her and Adam not to eat from any tree in the beautiful garden.  The woman replied that they could eat any of the fruit except for the the tree in the middle of the Garden, the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  She stated that if they ate it or touched they would die.  The snake added one word to what the woman had told the snake; the word “not.”  The talking snake told the woman that she would NOT surely die and that God knew if they ate the fruit their eyes would be opened and they would be like God, knowing what was right and what was wrong.  So the woman saw that the fruit really looked good, and believed the snake about gaining wisdom.  She took a bite and gave some to Adam and he ate it.  Now these two were had the understanding of a small child when it cam to shame….they were shameless.  But when they ate the forbidden fruit, they did know what was right and wrong and immediately were no longer innocent in their thoughts.  They recognized they were naked and were ashamed of being naked.  So they found some leaves from a fig tree and made some coverings for their “private parts.”  A bit later God came to visit them in the garden, but the couple hid from God.  When God called out to them Adam explained that they heard Him in the garden and hid because of they were nude.  God asked Adam who told them they were naked and if they had eaten from that special tree in the middle of the garden.  Adam immediately blamed the woman and the woman immediately blamed the talking snake, Satan.  God loved His creation.  They were His people.  He also recognized they needed direction and needed to understand that consequences exist for all actions whether good or wrong, sin.  God determined that the snake would always crawl on it’s belly and that it would be a despised creation.  Evidently there was no fear of snakes prior to this time.  The woman would experience pain in birthing her children and the man would work hard to provide for his family and himself.  They were told they would eventually die and their bodies would decay into the dust form which they were made.  Adam named the woman, his wife, Eve.  God made clothes of skin for Adam and Eve and sent them away from the Garden before they had an opportunity to eat of the other special tree in the garden, the tree of life, and live forever.  God placed special creatures called cherubim with flaming swords to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

 

Food for Thought: I hate snakes…

I do, I hate snakes and spiders too. But, for the time being, let’s just focus on snakes for a minute. One time when I was younger, I went camping with my grandpa. I was out exploring the camp ground and walking on a trail, and lo and behold I came across a very large snake. I don’t know if it was poisonous, but in the at moment I had never been more terrified in my life. I did the only thing I knew to do, I ran for it. I wish Genesis three reads this way too, but it doesn’t, does it? No, instead of humanity fleeing the serpent, Eve seems to run right along with him. Ever since that fateful day in the Garden, the serpent has worked to make us question the goodness of God. Notice, that in his approach of Eve, he packages the temptation in the form a question that make it seem like God doesn’t know what he is doing. Eve falls for the bait, hook, line and sinker. The serpent begins with a leading question, and once she begins to consider his temptation, she can’t steer herself back. She reaches for the forbidden fruit.

Let’s not be to hard on Eve. Notice she isn’t alone. Genesis 3:6, “she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Things go from bad to worse.

Adam didn’t try and stop her, he just went along. The Bible says he was there with her, he didn’t stand up or defend his life. After all, Adam was God’s special servant set apart to care for the Garden. He and Eve both knew the rules and they disregarded them because they listened to the voice of the serpent that allowed them to question God’s goodness. The serpent is just as crafty today when he launches his fiery darts us. When we sin against God, what do we do? We usually go after something we think we need, something that will fill a void that is present (or so we think). The result is always the same, SHAME! After eating from the forbidden fruit, notice that their eyes were opened, they  realized they were naked and they hid from God (Gen 3:7-9). Shame forced Adam and Eve to hide from God. God walked in their presence daily, and they were now hiding from their creator. Are you hiding from God? What are you hiding from God? I challenge us today to take some time and reflect on areas of lives we need God’s healing touch!

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 4

Cain and Abel

Adam and Eve had two sons, the oldest, Cain, and his brother, Abel.  Cain was a farmer and Abel was a rancher.  They both brought examples of their work as offerings to God.  God favored the fat portions of the firstborn of Abel’s flock better than the offering of fruit from Cain.  Cain became angry and God asked him why he was angry. He instructed Cain to do what was right in handling his anger or his anger would cause him to sin.  The choice was Cain’s.  So Cain asked his brother, Abel, to go with him to the field.  Once there Cain attacked Abel and killed him.  Later the Lord approached Cain and asked him where his brother, Abel, was.  Cain told the Lord that he did not know where he was and asked if he was in charge of where his brother was and what he was doing?    The Lord then accused Cain of killing Abel and sentenced him to continue being a farmer, but that the land would not produce good crops.  He further stated that he would be a wanderer, going from place to place on the earth.  Cain complained that the punishment was too harsh and that he would be killed by someone seeking revenge.  The Lord placed a mark on Cain’s body and declared that anyone that no one would kill him.  Cain and his wife had a child about the same that Cain was building a city.  He named the city after the child, Enoch.  Other descendants of Cain included ranchers, musicians and tool makers.  Cain’s great, great, great grandson, Lamech, killed a man to get revenge for the man wounding him and he understood the consequences for murder because he knew of Cain’s consequences.

Adam and Eve had another son they named Seth and he and his wife had a son they named Enosh.  During this time as the population of the earth began to increase people began to rely on the Lord.

 

 

Food for Thought: One more step away from Eden

There is a song on the radio, that talks about the brokenness in the world and the separation that exists between God and man because of sin.  The chorus of the song mentions something to effect of taking one more step away from Eden. Eden was a place of peace between God and man, and man and woman. But because of the first sin, Adam and Even get a one way ticket out of Eden and have to start over. Genesis four continues the story of Adam and Eve by telling us about their children. Cain and Abel. What a great time that must have been. Adam the first man, standing near his wife’s side as she delivers her first son, and then some time later, a second son. God had made us to create life as well. But the high fives and handshakes are short lived. For not long after “congratulations, it’s a boy” comes the first murder. Cain killed his brother Abel. Why? We aren’t told exactly why, the text seems to suggest that there was some apparent jealously. Abel offered a better sacrifice to God, fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock, whereas it seems Cain sort of gave his leftovers. Because of Abel’s offering, the Lord looks with favor upon his gift and Cain is left bitter and angry. God warns him about the danger of sin and not doing what is right. Cain gives in to his anger and kills his brother and then is banished from his home to be a restless wanderer on the earth. In other words, you will progress the story of man further away from Eden.

Even though Adam, Eve and now Cain have messed up, God apparently didn’t abandon them. Notice, he provides garments of skin for Adam and Eve to cover their shame. And with Cain he puts a protective marker on him to keep him from being harmed. God is still merciful in our sin and wants what is best for us. Even with the movement away from Eden, the very end of Genesis four says that at that time men began to call on the name of the Lord. If we learn anything from these stories, may we ate least be a people who call on the name of the Lord often and always.

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

 

 

 

 

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 5

From Adam to Noah

These are Adam’s descendants through his son Seth:

Adam was 130 when Seth was born and lived 930 years and died.

Seth was 105 when Enosh was born and lived 912 years and died.

Enosh, Adam’s grandson was 90 when his son Kenan was born and lived 905                      years and died.

Kenan, Adam’s great grandson was 70 when Mahalalel was born and lived 910                    years and died.

Mahalalel  was 65 when his son Jared was born and he lived 895 years and died

Jared was 162 when Enoch was born and he lived 962 years and died.

Enoch was 65 when Methuselah, Adam’s great, great, great, great, great                     grandson was born and he lived 365 years and DID NOT DIE.  He walked                      with God faithfully and God “took him away”

Methuselah was 187 years when his son Lamech was born and he lived 969                         years, more than anyone documented has lived, and died the year of the                      flood.

Lamech was 182 when Noah was born and he lived 777 years and died.

Noah lived 500 years and became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

 

 

Food for Thought: I thought 100 was old…

Genesis five is interesting. This is the account of the line of Adam, a genealogy. The first people that lived on the earth, lived a LONG time. Get past their old ages for just a moment, notice what is happening. God hasn’t abandoned his creation. Adam had other kids, Adam’s kids, had kids and so on. God may have banished mankind from the Garden, but he didn’t turn his back on us. I don’t want to get ahead of where we are in the story and talk about the flood just yet. But for now, in this chapter, notice, that Adam’s descendants are a part of an important story, an important journey of faith.

Enoch is one of the names that has always fascinated me. Lets zero in on Enoch for just a moment, “21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 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” (Gen 5:21-24). I like this, Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years. Whatever the other people in his day were doing, Enoch didn’t go with the flow. Enoch swam up stream, so to speak. He went against the current, and God rewarded him for his faithfulness. Enoch walked faithfully with God and then God took him. Maybe one day Enoch just went missing, or this is just a way of saying that one day after being faithful for so long Enoch died as a servant of God. I like the idea that one day Enoch was out and about, maybe he was just done doing his devotional and praying when in the next minute he was standing in the presence of God? Whatever is meant by these words, may we strive to be people who live like Enoch.

How old are you? How long have you been following Christ? What do you want your tombstone to say? I want mine to be similar to the depiction of Enoch, “Jason, he walked with God ___ years faithfully and God took him home!”

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

 

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About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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