Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Sermon Addendum for April 30

 This past Sunday's sermon was on Genesis 1:26-28. (See here) Since we only have a few weeks that we're spending in Genesis, I bypassed looking at each of the days separately after Day One. Let's look at each day here.

First, of course, is Day One: God creates light, separates it from darkness, and names both the day and the night. He sees the light as "good," something which pleases Him and is the result that He intended. Further, the idea that "God saw that the light was good" should be understood in the idea that "God saw to it that the light was good" or "saw it to completion." We should not think God wasn't sure how the Light was going to turn out.

Next, we see Day Two: The Expanse between the waters, the "waters above" and the "waters below." This, well, we are not entirely sure how to picture this work. Part of that is because we are not entirely sure where the "waters" came from--they are there in verse 2 for the Spirit of God to be hovering over. What we see here is the result of a separation, where the sky is made between water above us and water below us. There is also some question about how this informs the Flood in Genesis 6-9, so it may be that we cannot fully picture it because the world was fundamentally changed in the Deluge. God is bringing about an orderly Creation. You can't have the Sun until you have a sky for it to shine in, after all.

Then, Day Three brings us the establishment of dry land and the growth of plants. Here we would do well to again remember: God is above and beyond and outside of His creation. This was and is an important reminder when many would find deity in the trees and plants and never look up--God created all of these. Further, they were part of the work of the same God. 

Day Four establishes the Sun, Moon, and stars. These are given to mark days, years, and seasons--those great astronomical calendars of the ancient civilizations? Those were societies using the signs in the heavens exactly as God intended humanity to use those signs! Now, worshiping the signs rather than the Sign-maker is a problem called idolatry, and that's a place we still tend to go wrong.

We come to Day Five and get fish and birds, so all you outdoorsy folks are now two-thirds of the way to happy: there's ducks to hunt and fish to catch. The deer come on Day Six. We see God creating the large spaces for the living things to dwell in, then the living things that dwell in them.

The capstone is Day Six, where the animals and the humans are created. There is a separation in those two, and the creation of people was the focus of the sermon so we'll leave that aside.

Day Seven will feature in a future sermon, but it is important to note that there are not six days of creation. There are seven. We ought not pull the Lord ceasing from His creating away as if it is not part of the action.

Now, one can easily get out into the weeds with some of the varied understandings of this passage: are the days symbolic? 24-hour? How does the latter work with no Sun until Day Four? How does the former work with the phrasing of "evening and morning"? 

Both sides of that argument miss that the main point here is that God has worked in Creation in ways that were unique to the descriptions of how the world had come to be used by other nations at the time. The focus here is on the fact that God did it--and did it ALL. Nothing is beyond His scope or concern.

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