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Genesis - Chapter 01

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 1:1-2:3 God has structured creation in its ordered complexity. Readers are introduced in the first three days to Day, Night, the Heavens, Earth, Seas—all these items, and only these, being specifically named by God. In days 4–6 the three distinctive regions are populated: the Heavens with lights and birds; the Seas with fish and swarming creatures; and the Earth with livestock and creeping things.  Humanity is divinely commissioned to govern other creatures on God’s behalf, the ultimate purpose being that the whole earth should become the temple of God, the place of his presence, and should display his glory. Heavens and the earth God created everything out of nothing by His Word, including the earth and space and everything in them. God is outside space and time. Everything that God brings into being is good.

Genesis 1:26 “us” is God speaking to himself, since God alone does the creating. This would be the first hint of the Trinity in the Bible. Humanity expresses God’s image in relationship, particularly in well-functioning human community, both in marriage and in wider society. Traditionally, the image sets us apart from the other animals—ways in which humans resemble God, such as in the characteristics of reason, morality, language, a capacity for relationships governed by love and commitment, and creativity in all forms of art. All these insights can be put together by observing that the resemblances (man is like God in a series of ways) allow mankind to represent God in ruling, and to establish worthy relationships with God, with one another, and with the rest of the creation. In his rational life, man was like God in that he could reason and had intellect, will, and emotion. In the moral sense, he was like God because he was good and sinless.

Genesis 1:28 Raising faithful children is a part of God’s creation plan for mankind. God’s creation plan is that the whole earth should be populated by those who know him and who serve wisely as his representatives. Blessed This is the first occurrence of the word “bless” in Scripture. God’s admonition to “be fruitful and multiply” was the substance of the blessing. Subdue it, and have dominion Man and woman are to make the earth’s resources beneficial for themselves, which implies that they would investigate and develop the earth’s resources to make them useful for human beings generally. As God’s representatives, human beings are to rule over every living thing on the earth. These commands are not, however, a mandate to exploit the earth and its creatures to satisfy human greed, for the fact that Adam and Eve were “in the image of God” implies God’s expectation that human beings will use the earth wisely and govern it with the same sense of responsibility and care that God has toward the whole of his creation.

Genesis 1:29–30 Prior to the curse, both mankind and beasts were vegetarians.

Genesis 1:31 From God’s vantage point, God saw everything that he had made, and it was very good. While many things do not appear to be good about the present-day world, this was not so at the beginning. Genesis goes on to explain why things have changed, indicating that no blame should be attributed to God. Everything he created was very good: it answers to God’s purposes and expresses his own overflowing goodness. Despite the invasion of sin, the material creation retains its goodness.

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