In the beginning?

Genesis 1 & 1 Timothy 4:9-16

‘By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible’ Hebrews 11:3.

I have no idea if Genesis 1 is literal or not.  I am fairly conflicted over which side of the fence to jump on.  I believe that it is fully within our God’s power to have created the universe in 6 days, however mainstream science points to it being made over a much longer period of time.  Not taking the creation account as literal though makes it a heap messier for me when thinking about the fall.  If the universe and us were created over billions of years, when did sin enter the world? Was there physical death before the entry of sin?  When did humans gain a soul; as in when was there a distinction made between human and animals, when did they become in God’s image? When did the perfect relationships in Eden between God & man, man & humanity and man & environment exist?  A literal understanding of Genesis 1 – 3 answers all these questions and so I find it hard to disregard it.  Which leaves me very much sitting on the fence undecided.

However I like the Hebrews 11:3 verse.  We understand that the universe was created at God’s command.  We understand that creation was created with purpose, logic and order.  We understand that humankind is God’s masterpiece of the universe as we are created in his image and so each of us is of infinite value.  Even though I am on the fence as to the actual timeline of creation, these points remain constant.  

I used to find myself getting consumed by trying to decide which side of the fence is correct and all the while forget that Jesus came, died and rose again.  Regardless of the timeline of creation, Jesus exists and he is our hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

I feel 1 Timothy 4:9-16 expresses this correct focus for our life.  Because of the hope that we have, we are called to live lives that invest more and more in it.  What a shame if I forget the great hope that I have.

‘Therefore let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ Hebrews 12:2

 

Shaun Robinson

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3 thoughts on “In the beginning?

  1. Thanks Shaun. I, like you, have no idea whether Genesis 1 is literal or not. When I was a young child my mother told me that the term ‘day’ in Genesis 1 is metaphoric, used to describe units of time to people who would have no concept of ‘millions’. I have been influenced by our Pastor Dr Rod Irvine’s view as a Christian and a scientist. I have been criticised by non-Christians for cherry picking the Bible by not not strictly adhering to the literal 7 day view.

    I believe that one day when I am in heaven all will be made clear. I think what Shaun says is true. ‘ Regardless of the timeline of creation, Jesus exists and he is our hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Jesus life, death and resurrection are central to my beliefs and I can live with a bit of mystery about creation as long as I have Jesus at the centre of my life.

    I know that God brought the universe into being. Exactly how and in what time frame I don’t know but I love the creation story in Genesis 1 and I also find the science fascinating. Was Lucy actually Eve? Who knows.

    God is so great that He is capable of much that I cannot understand in this life, but in my heavenly life i am sure it will all fall into place. Only God can see the big picture.

    I have a friend who says this is a cop out, and it might be for her, but for me it works very well. As long as I stick with Jesus everything else will fall into place at the allotted time. Thank you Jesus!

  2. Thanks Shaun. Holding on to Jesus is the important thing. ‘ Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?’ It will because of who Jesus is and what he has done.

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