Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bible Study: Genesis 1


By M. J. Joachim

Reflection

The story of creation, a mighty tale indeed! Our world goes from nothingness, “empty and unoccupied” and dark – very dark and dreary. God makes heaven and earth – places, poles and destinations. Opposites, perhaps? But wait!


The “Spirit of God” illuminates our world at His command. Light and dark (opposites) are divided, set apart as night and day, evening and morning.


Our hearts know well what it means to be empty, dark and alone. As people, we might become fearful, sad or depressed. Genesis provides an intriguing analogy of how God separates the darkness from the light – how the brightness of His spirit conquers the darkness of our souls.


God’s creative energy paints a vivid, living picture – the beginnings of all life as we know it. There are oceans, separated from the skies by atmosphere. Within the oceans is every kind of sea creature imaginable.


Star gazers beware! Daydreamers too! How many times do we look to the heavens, amazed at their greatness? Ever walk along a beach for miles? Hike a long and windy trail to the top of a mountain? It never grows old. There’s always something new to discover and give us a sense of awe and amazement.


Then He makes land, but not just land. He covers the land in vegetation – every imaginable type of foliage and plant life. He doesn’t stop there, however. No! He makes these plants self-sustainable and able to reproduce on their own. Seeds were formed within each plant, seeds that responded to seasons and weather, producing food and other necessary products for human beings. (Mind you, we haven’t even been created yet. God had a plan and knew exactly what He was doing.)


Food, real food…the kind we often fail to eat these days. Sadly, some people are actually engaging in legal battles, just to protect our real and natural resource of whole and natural food, untainted by government and chemical interventions. Organic food is limited, while processed food is ever at the ready.


Lights, solar system, energy! God made the universe and the stars aligned in turn, according to His command. Animals were created with living souls, each species was developed (and evolved) “according to their kind.” God’s blessing was upon them to increase and fill the earth.

God designed evolution. We need look no further than Genesis 1 to understand this. All those plants – each and every seed responding to weather, seasons and day and night, this is the beginning of evolution, the response to elements, the ability to adapt to circumstance and the resilience to keep on living. Creatures made with living souls according to their species too…all were given the tools to sustain life and procreate, in cooperation with survival needs to evolve as required by their state and the state of the universe in their time.


Finally, after making everything man could ever want or need, God said, “Let us make Man to our image and likeness.” Man is not just another thing or animal with a soul. Man is made in God’s own likeness – special and set apart, given to lead, oversee and protect all that God created.

God is an us – the Trinity, three persons in one god – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. His image and likeness…spiritual, man is a spiritual being living in a physical body. Man is creative, knowledgeable and powerful. We are different from the other animals and creatures God created, and rightly so. God gave us everything we need to survive – gifts from the giver of life. But He didn’t stop there. As we know, He saved us from ourselves, by giving us a savior, Jesus Christ.

Holy Bible

[Genesis 1] {1:1} In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. {1:2} But the earth was empty and unoccupied, and darknesses were over the face of the abyss; and so the Spirit of God was brought over the waters. {1:3} And God said,“Let there be light.” And light became. {1:4} And God saw the light, that it was good; and so he divided the light from the darknesses. {1:5} And he called the light, ‘Day,’ and the darknesses, ‘Night.’ And it became evening and morning, one day. 

{1:6} God also said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide waters from waters.” {1:7} And God made a firmament, and he divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament. And so it became. {1:8} And God called the firmament ‘Heaven.’ And it became evening and morning, the second day. {1:9} Truly God said: “Let the waters that are under heaven be gathered together into one place; and let the dry land appear.” And so it became. {1:10} And God called the dry land, ‘Earth,’ and he called the gathering of the waters, ‘Seas.’ And God saw that it was good. 

{1:11} And he said, “Let the land spring forth green plants, both those producing seed, and fruit-bearing trees, producing fruit according to their kind, whose seed is within itself, over all the earth.” And so it became. {1:12} And the land brought forth green plants, both those producing seed, according to their kind, and trees producing fruit, with each having its own way of sowing, according to its species. And God saw that it was good. {1:13} And it became evening and the morning, the third day. 

{1:14} Then God said: “Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven. And let them divide day from night, and let them become signs, both of the seasons, and of the days and years. {1:15} Let them shine in the firmament of heaven and illuminate the earth.” And so it became. {1:16} And God made two great lights: a greater light, to rule over the day, and a lesser light, to rule over the night, along with the stars. {1:17} And he set them in the firmament of heaven, to give light over all the earth, {1:18} and to rule over the day as well as the night, and to divide light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. {1:19} And it became evening and morning, the fourth day. 

{1:20} And then God said, “Let the waters produce animals with a living soul, and flying creatures above the earth, under the firmament of heaven.” {1:21} And God created the great sea creatures, and everything with a living soul and the ability to move that the waters produced, according to their species, and all the flying creatures, according to their kind. And God saw that it was good. {1:22} And he blessed them, saying: “Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea. And let the birds be multiplied above the land.” {1:23} And it became evening and morning, the fifth day. 

{1:24} God also said, “Let the land produce living souls in their kind: cattle, and animals, and wild beasts of the earth, according to their species.” And so it became. {1:25} And God made the wild beasts of the earth according to their species, and the cattle, and every animal on the land, according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 

{1:26} And he said: “Let us make Man to our image and likeness. And let him rule over the fish of the sea, and the flying creatures of the air, and the wild beasts, and the entire earth, and every animal that moves on the earth.” {1:27} And God created man to his own image; to the image of God he created him; male and female, he created them. {1:28} And God blessed them, and he said, “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the flying creatures of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 

{1:29} And God said: “Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant upon the earth, and all the trees that have in themselves the ability to sow their own kind, to be food for you, {1:30} and for all the animals of the land, and for all the flying things of the air, and for everything that moves upon the earth and in which there is a living soul, so that they may have these on which to feed.” And so it became. {1:31} And God saw everything that he had made. And they were very good. And it became evening and morning, the sixth day.

Just the Facts


What was the first thing God created?


Define the word “firmament” and explain what it means, as it is used throughout the Story of Creation.


Name the different lights mentioned in Genesis 1.


How was man created?


“God saw that it was _______.”


True/False


God made the earth and everything in it in six days.


All the seas and sea animals were created on the same day.


God commanded life to “increase and multiply.”


Man and woman were created in God’s own image, and made to reign over all the earth.


God gave man everything he could ever need or want when He made creation.


Word Scramble


reatceusr


tiplmuyl


nlieumatil


gmeai


eduusb


Soul Searching & Active Response


Start a plant from seed. Read the guidelines for growing your plant, and follow them closely. Don’t stop there though. Give your plant the best of everything, just like God gave us the best of everything, when He made creation. Give your plant everything it could ever need to flourish.





Keep a daily journal, documenting everything you do for your plant, how it responds to your tender care. Include pictures, charts and graphs. Draw conclusions about the energy required not only of you, but of your plant to flourish, even in the best of circumstances. Allow this knowledge to help you open your heart more to God and how much He loves you.


Thank you for so much for visiting Being Catholic. I truly hope you enjoyed this Bible Study and look forward to seeing you here again soon.


M. J.


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Links to this post greatly appreciated, but please don't copy the content here.


Answers to Just the Facts, True/False & Word Scramble will be posted in my next post.


Biblical text credit: The Holy Bible Catholic Public Domain Version, Original Edition

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons, public domain, Michelangelo – creation; creative commons attribution, St. Kitts and Nevis – Two Islands, One Paradise, Sonya Bobb; creative commons attribution, blanc de tonne, Tonnayre; Holy Bible, Public Domain