Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Creation - Genesis 1:1-2:3

Order.  Purpose.  Intention.  Design.  When you read our Scripture reading for today’s devotion, that should be what you see in all of this.

In creation myths in other cultures surrounding the Israelites, from the Babylonian, Egyptian, and Sumerian cultures, creation was an accident and the result of war.  In some instances, the gods were fighting and at war with each other.
During their conflict, as blood was shed and as the bodies piled up, the whole world was made.  Once the gods finished their conflict, they were surprised to see that from their fighting, they had accidentally made the universe.

What a view and understanding of the world this would give us!   Creation the result of war and bloodshed.  No thought or meaning into our existence, just mindlessness that made our world by random chance, not far off and different from the theory of evolution today.
In our text, though, from Genesis, God is presented as a master builder.  He plots out his moves in order to make.  He intends exactly what is made.  He takes time.  He is as delighted as a small child with wonder at the end of each day by declaring “it is good!”

Genesis 1 presents us with God creating from his Word.  The Word that does what it says just by speaking.
The first three days has God creating the space.  The last three days show us God filling up the space he has made.  Here is a handy chart to see what I mean:

Day 1: Light and Dark
Day 4: Light and Dark are filled with heavenly beings: sun, moon, and stars.  

Day 2: Sky and Water are separated
Day 5: Sky and Water are filled with creatures.  Birds to fill the sky.  Fish to fill the seas.  

Day 3: The earth is formed and vegetation sprouts
Day 6: The earth is filled with animals to live in all landscapes.

Finally the last thing that God does is to create mankind.  More space is used to discuss and write about mankind’s creation than any other part of creation, showing the emphasis and care that God has for us.  Mankind’s charge and purpose will be discussed next week, but for now it is good to say that Mankind is made in God’s image in order to care for the creation.
Then on the 7th day, God rests.  He rests because he loves what he has made and it needs nothing else.

One final note.  It is interesting that when the Tabernacle and Temple are later built in the Old Testament, it is done over the course of 7 speeches with the same charge given to mankind to care and tend for the temple just as God had given them to do with the creation.  This should make us realize that God’s temple is the planet earth and we are the priests who tend to it and will do it when Jesus comes back.
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