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Sabbath: Creation – Genesis as Foundation, Part 1 — 45 Comments

  1. The state of perfection is found in the first two chapters of Genesis and in the last two chapters of Revelation. In between is the story of the Great Controversy in which good and evil are in a constant clash, with the promise of unending peace to come. Will be interesting to see how all of this unfolds the next two weeks.

    Amen!(15)
  2. To be or not to be - that is the question?

    The reason for our existence – created in God’s image for His pleasure, in order that we might seek Him and love Him, and that He might be our God and dwell with us
    Gen 1:27; Rev 4:11; Acts 17:27; Mark 12:30; Rev 21:3

    Amen!(12)
    • There is, indeed, Shirley, a rich subject of contemplation: the creation of man. The very announcement of man's creation opens up for us the duality within the godhead. "Let Us." Prior to this it was simply, "and God said." It sets us up for an unfolding of information about God in the unfolding of the creation of man. Made in the "image" and "likeness" and given "dominion" over the world and its occupants. The reference of God nature changes between chapter 1 and 2 from an "all powerful," Elohim to a "covenant relational," Yahweh.

      It is in this change we are given a more detailed expression of man's creation: intimate. God on His knees being an Sculpture bringing form from clay and then life from dirt. Then to add more intrigue to this notion of "image" and "likeness" the man is given a companion, but one that isn't separately "formed" but rather "build-ed" from the mans' side. Man came directly from dirt. Woman directly from man: bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh (a truly unique creature in her source). It is all capped off as "very good."

      The couple was given two blessings: to multiply (replicate themselves) and have dominion over the earth. They were the compassionate caretakers of the planet God had set as a jewel among the galaxies, having a co-partnership with God in its care.

      They were not robots working on the farm of God's making, either. The designations of two trees as that of Life and that of Knowledge of Good and Evil revealed that Man was free to choose their course in life. Remain in the "very good" or decide to taste another reality opposite to the good or their liberty. Man was free and designed to grow in knowledge and experience with only the knowledge of evil warned against.

      It was to be a wonderful unending story of joy and intimacy between man and their Maker. We are encountered with how astonishingly swift that condition was changed by a use of something God would not violate: free will.

      Then the ultimate astonishment is God disadvantaging Himself to reclaim man for eternal ruin, and then establishing Himself with man on thrones next to Him in the earth not only made new, but becoming the center of God's rule. To hold this in mind and heart would give us humble incentive to seek to become all God wants us to be in His grace. We have an amazing destiny in Him.

      Amen!(17)
      • The idea of woman coming from man is made more interesting from the construction of the X and Y chromosomes in the cell nucleus. Essentially, the male Y chromosome is an incomplete subset of the X chromosome, so one could look at it from two points of view:
        1) When God created Eve, he completed the work on the Y chromosome that had only been partially done when Adam was made. God completed Eve’s X chromosome from Adam’s incomplete Y chromosome.
        2) God actually completed Eve first, and took out part of the X chromosome to make it into a Y chromosome for Adam. So God knocked out a “rib” of Eve’s X to make the Y chromosome for Adam.

        In any case, it begs some questions: Were Adam and Eve genetically identical (homozygous) versions of each other? Or were they genetically very different? If they were genetically identical male and female variants, then their children would look exactly the same as them.

        It seems that the point of the story in Genesis is not some scientific explanation of why there are male and female humans, but that “a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Very poetic and metaphorical, but not scientific.

        Amen!(1)
        • Yes, Richard, the X Y does have its intrigue and I am glad you brought that up. The Bible, though as you know, isn't a science book, so such mystery remains. Thought it does give the truth of man leaving father and mother, it also expresses intimacy for which Adam couldn't feel if not for Eve having actually been a part of him. I think that is the main point of the creation nature and morphology of the woman out of man. The word used for man is "formed." For woman it is "builded". It is unique according to the biblical record.

          Amen!(1)
  3. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isa 6:8

    Genesis as Foundation

    Most of the other books of the bible although there were not organized chronologically, still have their foundation in Genesis. After human sin and was banished from their Eden home, the Lord allowed them to carry out of Eden three institutions for our good.
    1. The family.
    2. Work.
    3. The sabbath.

    These three institutions are being attack daily. If we get these three right, we will be safe in the hands of God. He made the family, then he made/allowed them to work, then he finished his work and rested. He instructed the family to do the same.

    Amen!(9)
  4. God of Abraham – By faith you shall have a son (Hebrews 11:11-12)

    God of Isaac - Jehovah-jireh or Yahweh Yireh (The Lord will provide). The only begotten (Hebrews 11:17-19)

    God of Jacob – Overcomer (Genesis 32:28)

    Every detail of our needs are met in Him. Even when we forfeited life, He called us by name and provided the only way back to heaven.

    Stop fighting with human reasoning. Experience newness of life in Him.

    Amen!(5)
  5. It's amazing that such an old book , which is often discredited by society, contains in it's opening chapter so many of the current, modern issues. Issues of identity and origin, religion,
    family and marriage redefinition and even climate change. Seems like this old book is more than relevant today.

    Amen!(13)
  6. The phrase "in the beginning" introduced in the memory text wonderfully expresses the emergence of several factors pertaining creation.But, when exactly was this beginning?

    Amen!(5)
    • The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

      Simeon, In the beginning was creation. Creation was at the beginning. I believe that by faith because I was not there. I believe my parents are my parents by faith.

      No one can tell where the wind came from or where it is going. But by faith we believe it is a mild or strong wind by looking at the trees.
      The Physical wind was used to rep the spiritual. The Holy Spirit working in our lives. By faith we believe we are born again and Christ dwells in us.

      Not through controversy and discussion is the soul enlightened. We must look and live. Nicodemus received the lesson, and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. DA 171, 175

      I pray that we all submit ourselves to the working of the Spirit.

      Amen!(6)
    • To answer your question, but not to sound flippant - in the Beginning! Some things, mankind just has to accept literal. There is no way to comprehend or scientifically establish when the 'in' the Beginning' was.
      Also notice, the scripture does not say 'at' the beginning. This establishes that there was no 'before' the beginning.

      Amen!(7)
    • When was the beginning? As I understand it, Genesis 1:1 is an introductory statement for the more detailed account to follow, which is the creation of this world -- the heavens (the sky) and the earth (the land) over a six-day period. There is sufficient historical information within the Bible itself to place this beginning at approximately 6,000 years ago. This is not to say that there was not a lifeless planet here, prior to that. The narrative begins with a formless and empty planet already in existence.

      Amen!(7)
  7. "Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him." Isaiah 43:7. This verse answers my question of why I am here. My daily prayer is a blessing of His grace so I may glorify Him in all I say and do.

    Amen!(5)
  8. This and next week's lessons teach about the Beginning, the 'Who', 'What' and 'how it relates to mankind', but not the 'Why' and 'What for' of the original Creation.
    To be honest, because I am very familiar with these topics, it would be more interesting for me to find out about the 'Why'/'What for'. So, I want to address the topic 'Creation' by asking 'Why' or 'What for'.

    No one in the Christian family of believers disputes that the 'I AM' is the Creator and our God. I think, though, that if we discover the context of 'Why'/'What for' He created all things, some of us might develop a deeper understanding of our Creator and, with knowing Him better, can develop a more intimate/closer relationship with our God.

    I am concerned that we become so familiar with well known portions of Scripture , that we only 'surf' through them because we are already 'familiar' with them. We do not give God's Holy Spirit enough time to let Truth 'percolate' in our heart and mind. Just by reading again the old texts carefully, familiar texts often 'reveal' new insights.

    Shirley referenced Rev.4:11 - Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive Glory and Honor and Power: for thou hast created all things, and for 'THY PLEASURE' they ARE and WERE created.

    This is the sum of all the contemplation about 'Why/what for'.
    Please, do not equate our human definition of 'pleasure' with God's 'Pleasure'.
    His Pleasure is the Perfectness of His Creation.

    For HIS pleasures they ARE and WERE created!
    Isaiah Ch.43 is one of the most wonderful chapters to reveal the personal nature of God's relationship with His 'people'. To find answers to 'Why'/'What for', it is important to understand Who it is that declares Himself to be our God.

    His 'ownership/relationship' of/with mankind was established when He declared there is only one God (our Creator) that brought forth His Creation for the purpose:
    to understand Truth;
    that He is the Creator of 'Israel' and has glorified Himself in 'Israel';
    that He has formed them/us to show forth His Praise and Glory; that we are precious in His sight;
    that He loves us and that it is He that 'blotteth out their/our transgression for His OWN sake'.

    v.1 - He created Jacob and formed Israel and called them by His Name; thou art MINE.
    v.3 - ...I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee because thou wast PRECIOUS in my sight; thou hast been honourable, and I have LOVED thee: therefor will I give men and people for thy 'Life'.
    v.7 - ..Even everyone that is called by my name: for I have created him for MY GLORY. I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

    God declares:
    v.9 - Let all nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them HEAR, and say, it is TRUTH.
    v.10 - ye are MY Witnesses, saith the LORD, and MY Servant whom I have chosen; that YE MAY KNOW AND BELIEVE ME, and UNDERSTAND
    that I AM HE; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

    v.11 - I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.
    v.15 - I am the LORD, your HOLY ONE, the Creator of 'Israel', your 'King'.
    v.21 - This people have I formed for MYSELF, they shall shew forth my PRAISE.

    v.22 - But thou hast not called upon me, O 'Jacob'; but thou hast been weary of me, O 'Israel'.
    v.24 - Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of they sacrifices: BUT THOU HAS MADE ME 'TO SERVE WITH THY SINS', THOU HAST WEARIED ME WITH 'THINE INIQUITIES'.
    v.25 - I, even I, am HE that blotteth out thy transgressions for MINE OWN SAKE, and will not remember thy sins.

    Isaiah 44 -
    v. 23 - Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: brake forth into singing ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein:
    for the LORD hath redeemed 'Jacob', and GLORIFIED HIMSELF in 'Israel'.

    v.24 - The LORD our Redeemer, He that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.

    To answer the 'why/what for' -
    To identify the Creator God who holds all Power and to give HIM the Glory, Honor and Praise - for this purpose we were made.

    Amen!(3)
    • To put a finer point on it, God is glorified by our happiness and holiness. We were made for that, and it is promised to all who put their trust in Jesus.

      Amen!(4)
      • YES! The holiness and happiness in us is Him recognizing Himself in us! This is why He directs us to look to Him for our Salvation. There is no one but Him to praise and glorify with all our being! All things are from Him, by Him and for Him.

        Amen!(3)
    • Ps 139:23-24
      Search me, O God...and lead me in the way everlasting.

      Brigitte. I once used to asked the "why' questions but now I learned not to because I realized I can be chasing down the rabbit hole to a place where I will never find. To a place of not turning back because doubts and misunderstanding will block my way.
      E.g in the present world-wide disaster and chaos many Seventh-day Adventists died or got infected with the virus. Some Christians lost more than three families from one house-hold. Those families lived the life as directed by the bible. The NEWSTART life. Some non-Christians experienced no deaths nor no one got infected with the virus. They lived anyhow, ate anything, yet survived. The question many will ask is "WHY"

      Amen!(1)
      • Hi Lyn -
        I understand your sentiment regarding asking 'why' questions. I ask Him 'why' questions to help me understand the mysteries as revealed in the Scriptures and to satisfy my curiosity.
        I do not question the authority of God to work His will in my life. He established and is the Law and will apply it to all mankind equally.
        There is much evidence in the Scripture about the perceived injustice of God, pointing to the 'happy' life of the sinner versus the hardships experienced by the faithful.
        I trust Him that He is not partial to anything or anyone; though He does give Grace and Mercy to the repentant sinner.

        Amen!(1)
    • I believe that any who know God as He has revealed Himself can understand "for thy pleasure" in the creation of the world for those made in His image. How many receive "pleasure" by seeing their children leading happy, successful lives after raising them to love all that is good and Godly? God's pleasure was not selfish, but selfless, as proven by Christ on the cross.

      Besides, look at how the world was before sin, with all it's beauty, fragrance and delightful sounds, delicious fruits of the earth, etc. Most who visit a truly beautiful garden should understand this pleasure found in beauty, peace and perfection.

      Amen!(3)
      • Hi Robert,
        'The PERFECTNESS of His Creation is His pleasure'. This statement is intended to go deeper than what we usually look at when contemplating His pleasure, or, for that matter, our pleasure. Nothing can be added to 'Perfectness' or taken away.

        Yes, absolutely, to take pleasure in His perfectness is not selfish! God delights in the perfectness of Himself. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End and does not take away anything from anyone in order to apply it to Himself.
        Therefor, He can never be accused of being selfish if He is delighted about His work as revealed in Creation and the perfect law that governs it.

        This also includes the 10 Commandments, which in essence is the image of Himself for mankind's benefit to identify what God considers 'sin' - the deviation of the overarching Law of His Will - leading to righteousness in Christ.

        Amen!(0)
  9. There is a vital foundational concept embedded in both the Genesis 1:1-4 and John 1:1-5 references to creation. John uses this foundational concept repeatedly throughout his writings - not surprising given that it is foundational.

    This concept is light and darkness - or more accurately, light vs darkness. And why this is so significant is that both Genesis 1 and John 1 link light and darkness with life and non-life respectively. Thus, light is a vital foundational metaphor for life and darkness is a vital foundational metaphor for non-life.

    Consider for a moment (and even better, do your own research) what light and darkness functionally are. Darkness is defined and understood as 'the absence of light'. In direct contrast, light is defined and understood as the presence of packets/bundles/quanta of electromagnetic energy. Thus, light is the presence of electromagnetic energy and darkness is the absence of electromagnetic energy. Electromagnetic energy is what 'powers' life (NOTE: I am not implying that this is something apart from God but rather it is the 'scientific mechanism' through which God imparts/expresses His "breath of life"). Thus, light is the 'perfect' functionally descriptive metaphor for life. And just as darkness is the absence of electromagnetic energy - that which powers life - darkness is the 'perfect' functionally descriptive metaphor for the entirety of the realm/state outside or apart from life: non-life (ie death). This present vs absent phenomenon is validly a "black and white", "all or nothing" nature. Functionally speaking, light shares nothing in common with darkness and darkness shares nothing in common with light. In terms of nature and character, each state is the polar opposite states of the other state - as different as day and night.

    When you read through John, notice how Jesus embraces and uses the metaphor of light and darkness frequently - testifying to its validity as a vital foundational metaphor.

    So, in the beginning we note the state of the heavens and the earth (ie, the heavens associated with this earth) - formless, void and darkness. Formless and void well amplify the descriptive state of darkness. It is the state of nothingness - the absence of meaning and significance and purpose and so on.

    So what is the first thing that God introduces to this nothingness? Packets/bundles/quanta of electromagnetic energy (light) - the functional building blocks of life. God introduces/'injects' life. Thus Light = life and life = light - as John 1:4 succinctly states.

    Taken a step further, God is functionally typified by life/light - God is the source/origin of all that is life and light. Conversely, Satan is functionally typified by darkness/non-life - Satan is associated with all that is darkness/nonlife.

    Hence, God is exclusively associated with all that pertains to Life. And Satan is exclusively associated with all that pertains to non-life.

    Am I pushing things too far to the point that I am making up what is not there? Please consider what I have said when you carefully look at the following quotes:

    James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

    1 John 1:5 "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all."

    John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

    Ellen White's consistent view from 1890 onward:

    "Jesus Christ is the Restorer. The apostate, Satan, is the destroyer..." (Letter 34: 1896.1)

    Life and reality are infinitely complex - and yet the underpinning foundations are at the same time very "black and white". Light vs Darkness, Life vs non-life, God vs Satan. Don't miss the significance of this vital metaphor that is embedded within Scripture from the outset and continues right across scripture to the very end.

    Amen!(7)
    • Ps 139:7-12

      Phil- I read your description relating Jesus/light and Satan/darkness theory. I was reading Ps 139:7-12. Can you shed some light on those verses.

      Amen!(1)
      • Hi Lyn

        The psalmist is not using darkness and light in the metaphorical sense I was outlining. Rather, the psalmist is referring to literal light and darkness answering the question raised in Psalm 139:7 - that there is nowhere that he is hidden/obscured from God's presence, day or night. While humans can hide from one another in the darkness of night which compromises the human visual system, God's vision is not compromised and therefore God can 'see' as clearly what goes on in the shadows of the night as if it were plain day - so to speak.

        Amen!(2)
    • Phil - what an interesting read! Your posts are always special and a true blessing to me.
      Please, allow me to respond with a question and a few comments.

      Scriptures' focus is all about identifying what is Light and what is darkness and their effect on mankind. It is essential for the seeker of Truth to fully comprehend the difference. It is essential to our Salvation.

      The lesson writer for Sunday's lesson states: "This must mean that God existed prior to this beginning. ...". (It is his 3rd paragraph).
      You comment that the state of earth/heaven at the Beginning was "formless, void, darkness,...it is the state of nothingness."

      Question:
      Do you think that the Beginning state - 'nothingness'/primordial matter - was void of 'life'/'light'? Or was God already at work as the Creator creating/forming and putting together the building blocks that make it possible for Life/Light to be existent (having reality or existence)?
      Does basic/primordial/physical matter contain Life/Light?
      I think it does!

      I also think that it is the 'creative/playful' part of the power of God's Holy Spirit - Himself - that brings to 'life' variations of the manifestation of His Light.

      Through the Holy Spirit He expresses Himself, His essence - Life/Light - . His Spirit also becomes manifest when matter becomes 'living'/organic matter - when it contains the Breath of Life/Light. His Creation and nature's order is evidence of His Holy Spirit.

      His Light has an additional function, but only for mankind; because their separation from God, being alienated from the source of Life/Light, made this necessary.
      Man's mind on its own can not perceive it, but the remaining spark of the Light of God's Spirit within us can still recognize Him and draws us to Him if it is not quenched.

      Rom:8:16 - The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God;
      John 8:12 - ..I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.
      Rom.8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the 'Sons' of God.

      The Scriptures are replete with references to demonstrate that God establishes again HIS Light in man in order for man to be able to receive the promise - everlasting Life.
      He can then call us again 'His Children'.

      Protect God's Holy Light in you - you are a new creation - keep it burning brightly!

      Amen!(1)
      • Hi Brigitte

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        Regarding your question "Does basic/primordial/physical matter contain Life/Light?" In order to respond to your question, I would need to know in more detail your view so I can understand your line of reasoning.

        Phil

        Amen!(2)
        • Hi Phil - Thank you for your kind reply.

          My question does not seek a spiritual clarification first, but one from the realm of physics; which can then also answer the question for me spiritually. God's handy work, especially at the Beginning, intrigues me, and I believe that you are a good source to shed some light (pun intended) on this matter. 🙂

          Your statement: 'the state of earth/heaven at the Beginning was formless/void/darkness,...it is the state of nothingness'.
          Can there be 'nothingness' before Creation, or does this 'nothingness' only refer to the absence of matter?

          My original question asked:
          "Does basic/primordial/physical matter contain Light/Life" as you understand it at this time?
          I believe it does, because there is but one source - one Creator.
          But what/how, in the 'absence' of 'Light', was God present before His Spirit/Light 'moved upon the waters of the deep'?

          I am basing my question on the following premise:
          If God is Light, where/how/in which form was He present before the 'Beginning' of the manifest Creation - the very Beginning, when there was still 'chaos' and 'darkness was upon the face of the deep'?

          This also brings up the question: What constitutes 'the actual Beginning' for the Christian that believes in Creation?

          Sunday's lesson writer states: "We also were created by God at an absolute point in time: 'in the beginning'. This must mean that God existed prior to this beginning". (3rd paragraph in Sunday's lesson).

          Gen.1:1,2 -
          Question: Was the 'Beginning' before Light appeared, when the 'earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep'; or does the 'Beginning' start at the time .. when 'God's Spirit moved upon the face of the waters' and established natural 'Life'?

          If Light is understood to be the only evidenced in God's creative work - nature, who/what is doing the work when there was 'chaos'? Before the Light was there no 'Life'?

          Is God a primordial form of Light existing AS the Beginning?

          The answer to these questions could potentially help our understanding of the Origin of 'Life' and its 'Beginning'.

          Amen!(0)
          • Beginning = of life on earth. There was nothing but a watery(?) sphere in the darkness. (This implies that God laid out the "blank canvas" before bringing it to life doesn't it? The first creation was light, yet the deep existed for the light to shine upon it.)

            We are being told that all things spring to life by God's power and will, and that there is no life outside of His power/will. He's telling us He IS Life, and we are animated by His life-giving power, and were made in His image, perfect(sinless/holy). Doesn't this emphasize that we have obviously fallen and NEED salvation? The whole emphasis of God's word is our need and His ability to meet that need in Christ, the Lamb of(from) God, as Abraham told Isaac, "God will provide a sacrifice".

            God foresaw the need of this truth concerning our origins due to what we have presently that would cast doubt on this vital truth. He is prepared for all our needs. I wonder if we truly realize the full measure of what God's Word means to us? It contains all the truth needed to "free" us(John 8:32).

            Amen!(1)
          • Hi Brigitte

            Thanks for your elaboration.

            What do we know with greater certainty from Genesis 1 account?

            1) It was written within a context/background of other 'pagan' creation myths already in place and in fact shares much in common with those myths. However, it is not what it shares in common but what is unique that is of significance. The Genesis account of Creation has life coming from non-life-nothingness (a refinement on my original use of the worth nothingness where I was struggling with the limits of human language to more precisely express/describe a concept) and by a non-violent means - God's uttered Word. As far as I have read, the vast majority (if not all) other creation myths have gods fighting amongst themselves (reflective of self-seeking motives) and life somehow coming from the death of defeated gods (eg, Marduk killing the sea god and cutting his body in half with one half becoming the earth and the other half becoming the sky: One variation of ancient Egyptian myth).

            2) There was 'something' in 'existence' prior to God speaking over it and that 'something' was tohu and bohu (typically translated formless and void); that it was 100% light-absent; that there was a "deep" (Hebrew translation: abyss of unspecified depth); and that there was 'waters'. While tohu and bohu are apparently 'extinct' words, there is consistent opinion that these terms essentially reflect the notion of inert (in terms of inactive), vacuous (a vacuum - possibly literally but certainly metaphorically) and barren/desolate (lifeless). While the word 'chaos' is sometimes brought to the discussion, this term would need to be qualified as there is no suggestion of the pre-God-speaking-creation state being destructively chaotic as per the flood (which interestingly is a strikingly similar state to pre-God-speaking-creation state recorded in scripture (see Genesis 7:19,24 and also note the 'reversed' similarity of Genesis 7:11 to Genesis 1:6).

            3) If we go beyond the term 'light' to consideration of the actuality of electromagnetic energy, as far as I am informed electromagnetic energy is absolutely necessary for all 'life'. Thus, the 'injection' of electromagnetic energy (light) appears to be a significant distinction between life and non-life viability. Maurice or others may like to provide more input on the topic of the significance of the energy spectrum for life as it is mindblowingly fascinating...

            4) Beyond that, we now venture further into speculation - though not necessarily evidence-devoid speculation, but speculation nevertheless.

            As far as the author of Genesis was concerned, it appears that God's 'Creative Word' is an expression of bringing to life via releasing (and thereby simultaneously activating) the components necessary for life at the level of the total package that is necessary for 'crossing the border' from/between non-life into life. Electromagnetic energy appears to be the main one that was added to what was previously there that then changed inert to 'ert' (no such word but conveys the idea of inactive to active: a term that is also used by electricians to distinguish between an electrical circuit that is 'non-live' vs one which has become 'live').

            So we can speculate that on the basis of the recording of the state of the heavens and the earth prior to God speaking, there was something 'primordial' if you like but that it was woefully insufficient to constitute or enable life without much more being 'added'. But seemingly nevertheless a precursor of significance and of sufficient significance to be recorded by the writer under Divine Inspiration. Some describe this under the term 'blank canvas'.

            With regard to the question of The Beginning, the author of Genesis used the term as an assertion of God-authored creative activity being the outset of how life originated within this heavens and earth - rather than as a precise physics definition. Where the technical beginning lies is interesting to speculate and is in fact a question God raises in His discourse with Job (see Job 38). Contrary to what some have suggested as God 'shutting down' Job by His discourse with Job, I would propose that God is compassionately sharing with Job in a way that affirms Job's understandable questioning born of his 'world-view' not matching what he has experienced. In this discourse, God is inviting Job to consider as far as he can and at the same time illustrating that there is much that lies beyond what Job can 'fathom'. Thus, there is affirmation that we can constructively question, creatively wonder and rationally speculate - even though at some point we reach the end of where we can understand.

            Amen!(4)
          • In the creation story we see the day beginning at sunset,that is starting with darkness, and ending with daylight.
            Is this of any significance?

            Amen!(1)
          • Hi Otieno

            Interesting observation...

            Do you have a significance in mind?

            Amen!(1)
        • Hello again, Phil - I am not able to leave my reply with your last answer post, so I am using this one instead.
          Thank you very,very much for your kind reply to my questions. Sadly, but understandably, it appears to stop short of 'identifying' God the Father.

          The I AM is our spiritual, heavenly Father. Children like to know everything about their Father, even His identity - who are you?! - and they might even ask 'how/why/what for do I exist'?

          John 14:20 - At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me and I in you.
          John 17:21 - That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

          When, as a child, I attempted to comprehend what is at the true beginning; every time I tried, it caused me to become nauseous; as if becoming absorbed into the 'nothingness'. Now, I long to be 'embraced' by His Fullness of His Being.
          I believe this to be the true 'Peace/Oneness' with the Father.

          If we identify God exclusively as 'Light', evidenced in Creation, we need to identify who the I AM is that existed before Creation. We say that God created all things.
          Would we then need to also ask: - who created the 'nothingness/void' from before the 'Beginning', the primordial 'substance' that existed and of which He formed life from?

          Jesus is 'in' the Father, but He is not the 'Father'.
          John 1:3 - ALL things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
          This statement refers to the 'Father', the I AM of all things - starting with before the Beginning.

          As I understand it -
          God existed 'within/as' the void, and took from the 'void' (Himself) and made 'something' from it - He formed the visible from the invisible.

          It implies that there existed building blocks containing/of a certain 'order' at the time of the 'something/void' which where then arranged to establish 'substance', creating form from it. In short - I AM - existed before the process that we call Creation.

          Does this primeval forming process use 'Light' as its formative power ('darkness' does not contain 'Light'), or, if not, does the term 'Light' need to be re-defined when applied to this particular process.

          I see God existing before the time of what we Christians call the 'Beginning'. He is the 'Father/Origin' of all things seen and unseen, visible and invisible - the great I AM.

          The I AM/Father established the LAW that governs all things starting from before the beginning of time. The 'Light' and Life WE and His visible Creation received came through His creative power - embodied for us by Jesus -, and 'understanding' came through/with the 'Holy Spirit' - I AM's 'Breath of Life'.

          Reluctantly, I agree with you that at some point we reach the end of what we can understand. Though, to comfort us, at some point in our life or at the latest after death, we will be united with our Heavenly Father again, establishing everlasting peace through 'oneness' in mind, heart and soul.

          Amen!(0)
          • Hi Brigitte

            Sorry, I needed to contain my answer to the topic of today's lesson and so had to limit the scope of what I could respond to at this point. I am mindful of not doing too many long posts as it is a lot of work for the already over-worked (and under-acknowledged) ssnet moderators.

            Of interest, Moses assumes and asserts God/Elohim/I AM from the outset of his Creation account. This is not surprising given the intimate encounters he has had with I AM including Exodus 34:6-8.

            Yes, there is so much more to God to contemplate. And while God is revealed in the metaphor of 'Light', there are many, many other metaphors also - as you are likely aware. Throughout eternity there will always be more about God to experience and comprehend.

            In the meanwhile there will be many more opportunities to explore God's nature during upcoming lesson studies. So, till next time...

            Amen!(0)
          • Thank you, Brigitte, for this:

            I see God existing before the time of what we Christians call the 'Beginning'. He is the 'Father/Origin' of all things seen and unseen, visible and invisible - the great I AM.

            I think we had best leave it at that, because our minds cannot encompass the infinite. Speculating beyond this will only lead us down dangerous paths.

            The I AM/Father established the LAW that governs all things starting from before the beginning of time.

            I think you said something like this before. The concept of God "establishing" His Law caused me to conclude that we have a different understanding of the Law of God, and then you posted something that sounded like you have the same understanding that I do. Briefly, it is this:
            God did not "establish the LAW" so much as it is an expression of His character - a character of self-renouncing love that is demonstrated in service. It is explicitly demonstrated in the life of Jesus. What we generally consider "the laws of nature" are also laws of God, and I think we could rightly say that He "established" these, because they cannot all be obviously linked to His character. (But perhaps it's because we do not understand enough??) However, I believe that in the original creation, all living things existed to serve. This is not quite as clear as it was originally. The bottom line is that nothing in God's Law is arbitrary. I believe we agree on that. 🙂

            Amen!(1)
    • Appreciate you bringing this important revelation, Phil. It is a major theme in John's writings. Darkness associated with Satan is especially brought out in Revelation's "abyss" (that ties back to Genesis 1:2 via translation in the LXX, darkness associate with the "deep," the fifth trumpet) with its light scattering work, , and the pouring out of darkness upon the "seat of the beast" in the fifth plague, as well as the partial darkening of the fourth trumpet-plague. In contrast of the woman-city Babylon going up in smoke is the bride of Christ clothed in light, clean and bright.

      The message is clear: light and life come from God, and a choking darkness of death come are the nature of the kingdom of Satan.

      Amen!(3)
      • Kevin, I’d encourage you to keep sharing more of your findings from digging below the surface of the texts to help others learn how to do the same - including the connections that are evident in the original languages but are less evident in the English translations. It is not typically being taught in Sabbath School classes and so perhaps ssnet can be a place where others can learn over time how to study and grow in their knowledge and experience of life-changing truth in God’s Word.

        Amen!(3)
        • Thank you, Phil. I will do my best to do that. My visiting here is spotty as I have other "irons in the fire," but I enjoy sharing insights I have gained and the insights others have found. We can/are enriched by doing so.

          Amen!(2)
  10. The peaceful purposefulness of the way the Bible begins stands out for me.

    In Genesis 1, God creates the cosmos powerfully but calmly and in an orderly way through His speech. There is no violence and discord. In many of the polytheistic creation stories, gods and goddesses battle each other to gain supremacy. It's chaotic and messy. There are struggles and conflicts between primordial forces. In contrast, Elohim God hovers above the formless empty Earth that is cloaked in darkness (vs. 2)....ready, willing and able to shape the nothingness into something very good (vs. 31). Sounds just like now! The God I know is always quietly, patiently ready to fill my empty darkness with something very good! Amen.

    Another contrast with the ancient world's mythology is that in other religions only kings and the prestigious in society had dignity. Their worldview favored the powerful and oppressed most of the population. Men and women were typically slaves of gods and kings. A king or pharaoh might be said to be made in a god's image only to raise his status over the average person. But the idea in Genesis that ALL humans, including women, carry the image of God, were in fact created in the image of God to be loved by Him, stands out. It is a bold thing to proclaim in B.C. times, that's for sure!

    Amen!(8)
  11. Of the truths established in this book of origins listed in the quarterly, I don't see the law of God mentioned. Sinai was not the introduction of something new, and we can find the Law of God revealed throughout Genesis can't we? Notice Gen 26:5.

    Also, the origin of evil is not presented in Genesis, but we do see how evil was accepted by the fall of the previously perfect pair formed in the image of God through deception and unbelief. We do find the origin of evil presented later in the prophets.

    Amen!(1)
  12. How does the study this week pertain to the title for the quarter? It has become less about how to study and more about accepting the study of others who have gone before.

    Amen!(1)
  13. The idea that God created (human beings and angels) for His own pleasure is very disturbing. It suggests that God (the Godhead) was incomplete, or unsatisfied, or without pleasure, and thus needed to create other beings to fulfill His (their) unmet needs.
    I do believe that God takes pleasure in His creation, but not that God created for His pleasure.
    If I were to speculate as to the WHY, I would say that the image of God was quite satisfactory and that God would created to gift other beings with such satisfaction.
    I believe that they were individual complete and satisfied, and created Adam in their image(without sin and with the task of recreating and being creative).
    They were satisfied in their unity, and created a married couple to reflect that image of God.

    I believe that God created so that other creatures could share in the pleasure and glory that He / They had both individually and collectively.

    Amen!(3)
    • Hi Francis -
      Rev.4:11 states clearly: 'Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive GLORY and HONOR and power: for thou hast created all things and for thy PLEASURE they are and were created.
      This glory and honor is the pleasure God seeks to receive from his creation, because He is worthy.

      If you consider the Creation as being the evidence/Image of 'The Great I AM', then you could see that it is 'acceptable' for Him to derive His pleasure from Himself - His perfect Creation.

      Like an earthly father is pleased/derives pleasure by/from the obedience of his children (his image), especially when this is based on and expressed by evidence of their emotional love for him as well.

      I AM rested on the 7th day to enjoy the 'fruit of His labor' - to experience the 'pleasure' generated by 'obedience', joy, praise, gladness, adoration - given to Him by His Creation and from man made in His Image.

      Through non-observance of the 7th day - His Rest -, His Creation/I AM suffers/experiences the loss of His 'pleasures'; When non-observance overtakes observance - not 'receiving' obedience/joy/praise/adoration/gladness from His creation - I AM reacts, expressing His 'displeasure'.
      Man has placed itself at the center of his pleasure as if he were the creator.

      Amen!(0)
      • This is great!
        Our sabbath school lesson this quarter is entitled "How to Interpret Scripture."
        How do you interpret the word " pleasure" in Rev 4:11?
        Rev. 4.11 “O Lord, our God, you are worthy to receive all glory, honor and power because you are the One who created all things. By your own choice you created them and by your power they continue to exist.”...Blanco, Jack. The Clear Word

        NIV:"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

        ESV: Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

        New King James Version
        “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.

        So great lesson, as we see interpretation, words and meaning are important

        Amen!(0)
        • Hi Francis -
          I see nothing at all disturbing in the fact that God derives pleasure from His Creation. Actually, the most important part of this text is: ..'and for they pleasure they are and were created'.

          This is, after all, written in the book of Revelation. I am using the King James version and quoted the scripture as written. You can easily check this. You might consider to also include a King James version to cross-check the accuracy of the other translations.

          As you can see from your list of Bible translations, none of them states what is clearly stated in the Kings James translation.
          I wonder why these new translations found it necessary to rewrite the last sentence: 'for thou hast created all things, and for THY pleasure they are and were created'! It implies that they were not created for OUR pleasure.

          The other translations totally changed the sentiment by using words like - 'have their being'; power; will.
          How can these translations accurately express the reason WHY He created all things? It clearly states 'they are and were created for they pleasure'.

          In my opinion, these new translations omit the most important aspect/message that is expressed in the Kings James translation - that God experiences 'pleasure' when His Creation is in line with His Will.

          If you read the Bible to help you understand what is the ultimate Will of God, you can find evidence everywhere that God's efforts are focused on setting things right again after the Fall. And as Rev.4:11 states, it is for the purpose to restore His Pleasure.

          I contend, the purpose for the Salvation of man is to populate the new earth with 'beings' that are perfectly formed in His Image, and that this will give pleasure to Him, the Creator of all things good and perfect.

          Amen!(0)

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