BSF Genesis: Week 2, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.

  • Said let there be light and there was, Light was good, sep’d from darkness, called “day” and “night”
  • Keep my lamp burning, turn darkness into light
  • With you is fountain of life, in your life we see light
  • Word is lamp to feet and light to path, unfolding of words give light; understanding to simpleminded
  • In him: life; light of all, shines in darkness, not overcome. JTB came to testify re: the light, JTB witness to it (JTB=John the Baptist)
  • Light has come into world but people loved darkness (evil) evildoers hate light, exposed, truth->light
  • Jesus is the light of the world, followers will never walk in darkness, but will have light of life
  • Unbelievers blinded, not see gospel light=glory of Christ/image of God, light shine 2 know God
  • Chosen people, royal priest, God’s possession, called out of darkness into His wonderful light
  • Walk in Light=fellowship and purification for sin, if confess sin, He is faithful/just & will forgive

4 a. GREED: the eye is lamp of body, healthy (generous) eyes fill body with light, stingy eyes with dark; IDOLATRY: Light cannot have fellowship w/ evil; DEEDS: Live as children of light, expose deeds of darkness, shameful what disobedient do in the dark; FAULTLESS: shine like stars; FORGIVEN: walk in light, if say in Christ but walk in darkness you lie; ETERNAL: God’s glory is the light of heaven.

4 b. To help me be a better witness in and with my emotions. The worry and stress I carry and that I, at times, allow others to see does not convey the trust that I have that God is in control. I find my mind and emotions at times in a dark place despite knowing that God’s light will overcome all darkness and worry.

My Daily Journal:

On opening night of BSF we discussed that the bible as a whole is the method God has chosen to reveal Himself to His creation.  That is true for it as a whole and for each part or element of it.  Everything in the bible is suitable to teaching and learning about God.

In week 1 of BSF we focused on the big question: Who is God?  Specifically as revealed in the first chapter of Genesis.

This week we look deeper into: What can we learn about God from what He did? Again, with a focus on Gen 1.

So, after going from eternal nothingness to creating ALL of the heavens and the earth (all mass, matter and laws that govern it), God wasn’t ready to call it a day.  No, he said, “let there be light and there was light.”  Then He separates the light from darkness, calling the light day and darkness night.

We can go a lot of directions with this.  Light is just light and it is also not just light.  Light is the shekina glory of God that was a pillar of fire in the desert.  Light is justice and mercy of God shining on all.  Light exposes darkness.  Light is a word that encompasses all of glory and goodness and power and energy.  Jesus is the light of life and the light of salvation. Scientifically, light is unique.  According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, light is the only constant.  We won’t even get into the Particle / Wave Duality of Light and Matter & Quantum Entanglement discussion.  But, let’s just say that light is a much bigger thing than most of us recognize as we live our daily lives.  There is nowhere anywhere that does not contain some light either in a visible or invisible spectrum.

And what of darkness?  We learn in these first few verses that God allowed choice far before He created anyone capable of making that choice.  His light, His glory is capable of penetrating everything.  As we peer deeper and deeper into space, it is impossible to find any space where there is not light.  Scientist are even now making discovers through analyzing light bending around galaxies.  But God allowed there to be darkness, for there to be a place where people can choose to not be in His light (even though that is an illusion because the waves of light always penetrate the darkness).

We can follow lots of discussion and dissect the Hebrew words used for light and darkness, but what strikes me is something for more simple and one that we almost always miss in reading God’s story of creation.  Look at Gen 1:5b, “And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”  When I think about the end of a day, I might think about midnight.  I might call it a day when the sun sets.  But look at what God did.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

See, the important message is that from the very beginning God never left His creation in the dark.  He never called it a day until it was morning and the light shined again.  He didn’t leave his people in the darkness of sin, His Son Rose from the darkness on Easter morning.  He will not leave His creation and His children in our current state, but take us up to the new heaven for all eternity, to live forever in His perfect light without darkness and without night.  Now that’s a good day!

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BSF Genesis: Week 1, Lecture

Genesis StoriesIn the beginning God created.  Let’s spend some time and really look at those 5 words.  There is so much that is answered just in this statement.  It addresses the when, in the beginning.  It addresses the rarity, the beginning not a beginning.  What? Created.  How? Created, as in out of nothingness from the creator.  It answers what existed before the beginning, God.

Actually, this is the key word, God.  Everything else in these first few words of the bible, fittingly, centers around and flows from this word.    In our lesson today we are going to focus on the first few verses of the bible and see what they tell us about, “Who is God?” As we understand from our discussion last week, the entire bible is God’s design to reveal Himself to man, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there is so much of that message packed into this first chapter.

As an aside, this language of God packaging the revelation of Himself into these words and pages for us to unpack it is such a great metaphor and parallel to the gift that it is.

First, let’s look at the fact of God as creator.   For God to have created, He had to be before the beginning.  He was not created or formed.  For those of us who grew up in the church, this is familiar, but to any other religion it is an unfathomable concept.  The greeks believed the earth and heavens and their gods were formed “out of chaos”.  The Egyptians believed the gods and earth were formed from the waters and the sun.  Baal worshippers believed there was a battle between the god Baal and the god Yam and the land of the earth is made up of the dismembered parts of Yam, gross, right?  Many people of our generation believe everything was some accident flowing out of the power of “the Universe”.  Not so different than the people of the apostle Paul’s day who built a temple to worship “the unnamed god.”  And, as in Paul’s day, we Christians actually know the name of the one and only God.

We know from the very first words that God is singular.   There weren’t multiple gods, just the one.  We know that creation occurred by God’s plan and by His action.  We know that creation was both instantaneous and completed over time.  There was nothing, then there was the heavens and the earth.  But it wasn’t a finished work.  The earth was without form.  God continued His work for 6 days.

People often talk about leaving a legacy.  Parents talk about the legacy of their children.  Sports teams and athletes talk about the legacy of championships and records.  But a legacy is something we make, something that remains that is bigger that tells something about the best that we are.  In that same way, all creation is God’s legacy.  Not that He has left it behind, but that it is a completed work by His will and effort that He made and which tells something about who He is.  All of His created work is good.

When you look at a new day, do you see the good that God created or do you have a hard time seeing past the “stuff” of the day, your tasks and chores?  Do you ask God each day to show you the good He has planned for you today?  Are you under estimating God’s power and what He can accomplish in a single day?

Was God alone in creation?  Yes and no.  We can draw a lot of analogies to try to understand the concept of the trinity, but there is nothing in the physical world that is the exact same as this heavenly host.  We know from John 1 that Jesus (the word) was in the beginning, that He was in God and that He was God and He was with God.  So both the Father and the Son, together and unique were not only at the creation but created.  Colossians 1 tells us that all things were created by Jesus and created for Jesus.  This tells us that before anything existed God already knew that His creation would choose sin over Him and that He, Jesus, would need to become lower than even the angels and become a human in the creation to save and redeem it, buying it back for Himself.  And from Hebrews 1 we learn that creation was not just set into motion and abandoned but that it is continuously being sustained by the word of Jesus.  All things were made through Jesus, all things were created by Jesus, all things are sustained by Jesus.  The emphasis in these different sections is not only on God and Jesus’ presence in the trinity, but on the word “All”.  If all was created by and for Christ, that is a very broad stroke of the brush.  That means no mistakes, no throw aways, no do overs, no trash.  What a challenge to our thinking.  Does my compassion extend to all?  Do I see the potential for salvation of all or are there some that I have written off before they have taken their last breath?  According to the word and revelation of who God is, my acceptance that some are meant to be saved and some not is faulty.  All are meant to be saved, but some will choose not to – I pray that someone’s choice to not accept the gift not be influenced by anything I do or fail to do with the power of the spirit in me.

Which brings us to the third part of the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The spirit of God is often described as the breath of God and/or the wind in that you see the influence and impact of the Spirit even though you do not see the invisible nature of the spirit.  This is a good reminder to the skeptical doubters of this world who deny the presence of God because “they want to see God with their own eyes… they want proof.”  Can they see the wind?  No, but you can see the outcome of the wind and the power that it holds.  Few question that the wind exists based on these results.

In God’s work of creation, the Holy Spirit is at the forefront in the creation of life.  It is this pouring out that is the critical leap, the spark that cannot be fathomed without the divine, going from inanimate to alive.

But we know the Holy Spirit to be much larger and deeper than this.  The Holy Spirit of God is the creator of physical life and the source, the giver, of spiritual life.  When we humans turned from God in disobedience and sin (something I am guilty of daily, so I can’t get too mad at Adam and Eve), we stepped out of the design of being “in” God’s image that was His original design and creation.  But Jesus paid the price to buy us back, to redeem us, through His sacrifice of death and through His power to defeat death in the resurrection.  When we accept this gift of salvation, the separation from God is removed and the holy spirit indwells in us transforming us back into the image of God.

When you wake each morning, do you push the presence of the Holy Spirit to the back of your being so that you can “focus on stuff”? Do you seek and use the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your life?  If you have accepted the gift of salvation, then, in you right this very second, is the full power of the Holy Spirit of God, the exact same power that defeated death.  With that power, what can’t you do?

The “in” of God is a critical component of not only who God is but what He desires.  He is “in” as the unity of the Father is in the son and the son is in the Father and the Spirit is united in the Trinity and God seeks for us to be rejoined into that unity, that image, by Him and with Him   We are not designed simply to be by or with God, but to be cradled in His arms.