In The Beginning

In the Beginning
Genesis 1-9
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
Jan 7th, 2017
Image courtesy of Graphics Mouse at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Listen to full sermon here.

Click here to Download an audio file of the sermon.


In the Beginning
Today we start a new series of reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in 1 year. And since this is the first one, this blog is longer than usual, but the idea driving this series is that each week we follow a reading plan and then on Sunday we hear a message about what we read.  I hope you will join us in reading through this series together.  You can find a link to the reading plan at 8201mccrory.org or following the tab above labeled "Church Main Page."

This week, we read Genesis chapters 1-9 (except 5), and Job 1&2.  This part of Genesis is one of my favorite parts of the whole Bible.  For me, it’s where science and faith collide, because it tells us how the world began and it didn’t start with a big bang.  It started with God.

Chapter 1
In the beginning, God…

God was there at the beginning, in fact, He was there before the beginning, meaning He was there before time or space even existed.  In fact, He created time, space and all things within.  This is a little fact that we as Christians tend to gloss over and even forget. 

And what I mean by this, is that sometimes we place God within the universe and its restrictions. We imagine Him having to live within the confines of time and space and physics as we know them.

But the truth is, that instead of time, space and physics being in control of God, God is in control of time, space and physics.  And anytime we think something is impossible, we don’t truly understand the power of our God because we are placing the restrictions of the universe on Him.  But since God created all these things, he is control of all these things and that means nothing is impossible for Him. 

Jesus says in Luke 18:27 What is impossible with man is possible with God.

Which sets up the rest of the chapter where scripture says that the heavens and the earth and everything in it was created in 7 days.  Now, science says this is impossible and instead says that the world began with a big bang and then evolved over billions of years.  Additionally, there are some Christians who take the stance that depending on how you interpret this part of scripture that “7 days” could actually mean 7 periods of time… and those periods of time could have lasted much longer.  The reason take this stance is because it can be difficult to line up what we see in the physical world with what the Bible says.

For instance, if we take the fact that we see light from stars that are billions of light years away, then it would stand to reason that in order for that light to travel a billion light years, it would need to have existed for a billion years.  And this is the conclusion we would come to, if we looked at the world from only a physical viewpoint. 

But if we look at the world with a spiritual view point, then we understand that if God created the world, by simply speaking it into existence, then it could be like a writer creating a world simply by writing it down or a video game designer creating a world in a computer just by typing it in.  These people create their worlds with everything already in place in a matter of minutes not lifetimes. 

In other words, a writer doesn’t write “A seed was planted.” and then wait 20 years for the tree to mature in their book just so they can say, “and Joe Sat under a mighty tree.”  No, they simply say, there is a tree…and poof it is there already aged, with everything in place as though it had been there for 100 years for Joe to sit under.  And this is how it could have happened when God created the universe.  He could have said, “Let there be light.” And poof there was light and everything in place as though it had been there for a billion years.

Our point here, is that God exists outside of time, space and physics.  He controls them, not the other way around.  And if this is the case, then whether he created the world in 7 periods of time or 7 days makes no difference, because the point is, that if we TRULY believe God is God and created all things in the universe and is not controlled by the physics of this universe, the it IS POSSIBLE for Him to have created it in 7 days.

And to be honest, the God I believe in is God enough to have created the world in 7 days and to have created it perfectly.  And I do my best not to place any restrictions on Him.

Chapter 2
In Chapter 2 we read in more detail about the creation of Man and woman and are given the design of the family.  By the end of chapter 2 we see that God’s design is for family is made up of 1 man and 1 woman.

Genesis 2:24 - This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh

Chapter 3
Then comes Genesis chapter 3.  And this is where Sin enters the picture.  We see here in this chapter, that Satan does not make us sin, but rather convinces us to sin.  And so we learn that our sin is indeed our own.  Notice in this scripture, Satan never places the fruit in Eve’s hands but simply convinces to eat it on her own.

Chapter 4
This brings us to Chapter 4  and in chapter 4 we see 2 things.  First we see just how quickly sin spirals out of control, because within 2 generations we see the world go from a completely perfect place to Cain murdering Able.  It’s just that quick and that deadly. 

The other thing we learn from this chapter is that sin nature is passed from one generation to the next.  Since both Adam and Eve had sinned, their sons, now had sin nature and it lead to murder.

Chapter 6
We then skipped over chapter 5 (it was pretty much just who begat who and gives Seth’s family line) and this brings us to Chapter 6.

Chapter 6 is pretty interesting because it starts with some controversial things.  It talks about the Sons of God marrying daughters of mankind and as a result the Nephilim were on earth, which are “the powerful men of old”

Some people interpret this to say that angles married women of earth and that their offspring were superhuman. Which might lead us to believe the powerful men of Old, might be the gods that greek mythology talks about.

Other’s interpret this to mean the sons of God were kings and people of great wealth and they married common folk, which led to their children being powerful through wealth, yet unrefined.

And yet there is another group of people who interpret the Sons of God to mean the line of Seth.

I personally believe that somewhere in the middle of these three is probably the truth.  Later in scripture Jesus tells us that angels do not marry, so I don’t think that Son’s of God refer to angels.  But I do believe that the offspring of these kings or even the line of Seth, were perhaps giants…. Men of great physical strength as well as great wealth, but just men none-the-less.  Which in turn could still be the origins of Greek mythology. 

The truth is, I just don’t know, and truthfully, it just doesn’t matter because it has no bearing on the rest of scripture.   Even if the Nephilim were the offspring of angels and humans or whether they were just really big rich guys, they all would have been destroyed during the flood.  So, it doesn’t matter…

What does matter is found in chapter 6:5… “The Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, 6 the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. 7 Then the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”

We learn here that sin had gotten so out of Control, that God decided to cleanse the earth… but to preserve mankind through Noah.

Chapter 7
And in Chapter 7 the flood came, and once again, we have an interpretation controversy.  Some people say that the flood was global and other’s say that a global flood is not likely, based on the evidence we see and instead it was a really big local flood. 

And most scholars would agree that the words translated as entire earth, could sometimes be translated either way.  But again, I go back to my point in chapter 1.  The God I believe in is so powerful and exists so far outside of the constraints of the universe, that a global flood is absolutely possible for Him whether it was actually a global or local flood to me is irrelevant, because either is possible for my God.  And either way it happened, it would have accomplished the same thing.  Having said that, I do believe in a global flood…  I think that is what scripture points to. 

Chapter 8-9
And this brings us to chapters 8 and 9 where God makes a promise to Noah to never again destroy mankind with a flood and makes him a covenant that will last for as long the earth exists…

Job 1&2
In an effort to keep this post a little shorter, you’ll have to listen to the sermon to hear my notes on Job 1&2… but I have to admit.  The primary point is a good one!

Okay, so that is what we read through the week.  And I doubt that I will usually go into that much detail in summing up what we have read during the week, but for this introduction it was important.  And the reason it was important is because these first 9 chapters of the Bible cover so much.  It gives us a lot of history and science, but most importantly it gives our lives purpose, explanation and hope. 

It gives us purpose…

Genesis 1:26, 28
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image…
This tells us we were created to reflect his glory

According to our likeness
This tells us we were created as his children…

God blessed them and said, Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it
This tells us we were created to live, to have families, and to master the earth… to learn, grow and create… to take care of the earth.

Knowing this should give you a sense of purpose in life.

And then it gives us explanation…
It tells us of the consequence of Sin…

Speaking to woman about her sin…

Genesis 2:16 
I will intensify your labor pains;
You will bear children in anguish, 
Your desire will be for your husband and yet he will rule over you

Speaking to Man about his sin

Genesis 2:17
The ground is cursed because of you.
You will eat from it by means of painful labor[a]
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 You will eat bread[b] by the sweat of your brow
until you return to the ground,
since you were taken from it.
For you are dust,
and you will return to dust.”

Speaking of the world

Genesis 6:5
the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time,

In other words, now we know…
Why this world is such a screwed up place (let’s see science explain that one).  Now we know, why something just doesn’t feel right about how people treat each other… Now we know, why we have such a hard time finding purpose in our lives…

But and most importantly, 
It gives us hope…

Genesis 8:21-22
he said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of human beings, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.

22 As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, and day and night
will not cease.”

It give us hope that God loves us and will not destroy us…there is hope yet.

Many people have no idea that in just the first 9 chapters of the Bible we can find so many answers to the questions of life.  We didn’t even scratch the surface here.  We could spend months on just these chapters alone. 

But in this first week alone...
We learn just how powerful our God is. That He is in control of space, time and everything in the universe.
We learn how he designed the family to be.
We learn that Satan doesn’t make us sin, he convinces us to..
We learn just how dangerous and how quickly sin spirals out of control.
We learn that sin nature is passed from one generation to the next…
We learn that God cleansed the earth with a great flood,
And we learn that He makes us a promise to never destroy us this way again. 

On top of all that...
We find our purpose… that we were created to reflect the glory of God, to be like his children and to master the earth.

We find out where it all went wrong… and why we know deep down something just isn’t right…

But we also find hope.  Hope that we believe in a God who is in control of all things, who loves us, and who doesn’t plan on destroying us, which must mean he plans on saving us…

If this is what we learn in just the first week, imagine what else we will learn this year!  Will you join us in reading this year?



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