Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Reflections on Genesis 1

Genesis 1 contains some scientific information, but it is not a scientific document (The sun and the moon are not even important enough to receive names.).  Genesis 1 is a theological document.  No matter what one believes scientifically about this chapter it could be disproved tomorrow, but the theological truths would still be true.  Therefore, it is much more important to focus on what Genesis 1 teaches us theologically.  What a person believes theologically about Genesis 1 will impact every aspect of their life.

God is Creator.  He is in control of nature.  He can make it do whatever it wants.  God often works within the laws of nature to accomplish His will, but occasionally He will bend or break the laws of nature to do extraordinary things (plagues, miracles, etc.).  Only God has the power to do such things.

Not only is God in control of nature, but He is also superior to humans.  In Genesis 1 the relationship of Creator to creation is established.  We are creation and God is Creator.  Brueggemann states “…all other philosophical and political questions are subordinated to this fundamental issue of the relation of the creator and creation.”  Everything we do comes back to what we believe theologically about Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:27.  Is God the creator of the universe?  Are we created in the image of God?  These are questions every individual must answer.  Whether or not a person answers these questions in an audible public way, they answer them by the way they live.  The things we do reflect what we believe about Genesis 1.

Brueggemann goes on to say: “…the creator has a purpose and a will for creation.  The creation exists only because of that will.  The creator continues to address the creation, calling it to faithful response and glad obedience to his will.  The creation has not been turned loose on its own.  It has not been abandoned.  Nor has it been given free rein for its own inclinations.  But the purposes of the creator are not implemented in a coercive way nor imposed as a tyrant might.  The creator loves and respects the creation.  The freedom of creation is taken seriously by the creator.  Therefore, his sovereign rule is expressed in terms of faithfulness, patience, and anguish.”

We were created with a purpose, but God does not force this purpose on us.  We are given the ability to choose right or wrong.  We are given free will.  Although God does not force His purpose upon us, neither does He abandon us.  God reserves the right to act if creation is being exploited by those who go against His will.  God answers prayer and works through providence.  God does not abandon His creation.

God interacts with creation through the spoken word.  God speaks and we listen.  When God’s people go against His will it is because they do not listen.  The prophets plead with the people to “Hear the word of the Lord!”  God has given us the blessing of His written word.  It is up to every generation to hear the call of the Creator.

All creation should positively respond to the Creator.  The relationship of creation to Creator demands our response.  In Genesis 1 we begin to see what type of creator God is.  Everything He creates is “very good” (Gen. 1:31).  He is not responsible for evil.  What He creates is good and He intends for His creation to continue in goodness.  God will do much more to show His love toward us, but it begins here.

There is an order about creation.  Humans are given a role of responsibility.  We are placed above certain things within God’s creation.  This implies several things.  It implies that a human’s life is of more value than the life of an animal.  We were created in the image of God.  Animals were not.  It also means humans were made stewards of creation itself.  We have a responsibility to care for the environment.

Bibliography

Brueggmann, Walter.  Genesis.  Louisville, Kentucky: Westminister John Knox Press, (2010): 12-13.

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