1/4 – Gen. 8:1-10:32 – Andrew

Genesis 8:1-10:32  There are no heroes

I don’t think the way we teach the Bible to children is all that helpful.  Many people were taught that the people in the Bible were heroes of the faith.  But, when you actually read about these heroes, you realize that they were usually pretty bad people.  This throws modern people for a loop–if the people in the Bible are supposed to be heroes, then why are they such bad people?

Here’s another way to look at it, however: what if the point is not that the people in the Bible are all that great–what if the point is that God uses flawed people for his good purposes?  “God writes straight with crooked lines.”

And, don’t worry if the Flood story seems strange–it is strange.  Focus on what the story is telling us….

8:2 – In Genesis 1, God is pictured as shutting up the waters of chaos and giving order to a disordered universe.  In the Flood story, God is unmaking what he’s made, and the waters of chaos are allowed to rush back in.  But then, God pushes the waters back again, and dry land appears again.  One of the things the Noah story is about is the promise that God will never destroy the world out of anger, no matter how much we might deserve it.

9:3-5 – Originally, God’s intention was that humans be vegetarians, but here, God gives them animals to eat.

9:6 – Killing a human is forbidden because humanity bears the image of God.  Human life’s sacred.

9:20-9:27 – Several things are going on here.  First, though Noah is a good man, he’s not perfect, as this bizarre episode shows.  Whatever happens in the tent, it’s not a good thing.  Also, note that sin can’t be washed away by a flood, because sin is in every human heart, even the so-called good people, like Noah.

–AF

Jan. 1 – Genesis 1:1-2:25 – Andrew

1:12 – Note how everything in the Creation account is specifically ordered, even down to the seeds of the plants “each according to its kind.”

1:27 – Note how male and female together make up humanity, and somehow it is in their complementarity that men and women together bear the image of God.  I think this is important.  A man alone does not sufficiently reflect the image of God, nor a woman alone, but a man and a woman together.  How might gender relations be different if we believed that our counterparts bore the image of God in ways that we don’t?

1:30 – Note how, according to the author of Genesis, the original design was for the animals in nature to be vegetarians.  Having seen wild animals in Africa make a kill, I can understand why “nature red in tooth and claw” is a sign of the Fall.

2:4 – There are actually two Creation stories, back to back.  The 2nd story begins in 2:4 and is much more concerned with the Creation of Adam.

2:10-14 – I wonder if, for the original hearers of this passage, the first 2 rivers meant anything to them.  Today, we have no idea what or where is the Piston or the Gihon.  We do, however, know about the Tigris and the Euphrates.

2:14 – “Assyria.”  I think that suggests that this was written down or edited during a time when the ancient kingdom of Assyria would have meant something to folks.

2:19 – Love that detail–isn’t that exactly what happened?  We have named all of Creation, haven’t we?

2:24-25 – Again, there is something really important going on here.  We live in a world with a lot of gender confusion, but the opening passages of Genesis suggests that there is something about the coming together of a man and a woman that creates oneness, and somehow that relates to the image of God.  (See 1:27, above.)

–AF