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Jan 1, 2015

90 Day Challenge – Day 1

Sarah Christmyer

Just Getting Started? Read what you’ve missed and check out Bible reading resources.

Bible Time Period: Early World

In the Early World, you created the heavens and Earth and tested Adam and Eve in the garden. Help me today to choose the life you offer.

Reflection

Our journey begins in the “Early World” time period described in Genesis 1–11: “pre-history,” it’s sometimes called. These chapters contain some of the best-known stories in the Bible—Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, the Tower of Babel. It is here that the Bible story starts and where it finds its roots: “in the beginning,” with God creating the heavens and the Earth. The Early World sets the stage for the rest of the story, and the rest doesn’t make sense without it.

The stories you read today and tomorrow were written to get across Truth, not fact. They were never intended to be a scientific record of creation and our beginnings but to help us understand important things about ourselves, our relationship to God, the problem of sin, and the hope of salvation. They are the way God has given us to think about our beginnings. Relax, find a comfortable place to read in, and listen to what He says.

Today’s Reading

Genesis 1-4

Today’s Question

Soak in the poetry of Genesis 1-2. What truths does it teach you about creation? About God?

Join the discussion below!

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  • The way God works reminds me of how we work sometimes when we enjoy our work or take great pride in it– we do something, then we take a step back and look at it, then continue doing it. It’s nice to think we are like God in this aspect!

    • Blessings Ronlee. Note that immediately after man had sinned and fell from the grace of God, God returns with providing mankind with hope against the evil one – see Genesis 3:15. Her offspring will be culminate in the birth of Jesus.

  • God has planned what is so vast and awesome not by mere whim. But with such a Glorious blueprint. I’ve seen the temple-drawing of creation in the book by Dr. John Bergsma. In the first 3 days God, formed time, space, and habitat to fill in what was void, and in the next 3 days, God filled these void. In my reflection, even today God still has a wonderful purpose in all that is going on in our lives. We are God’s children and He loves us.

  • It is interesting to think about what it means to be created in God’s image. How in our bodies we reflect God, how from the beginning we are called “good” and what “true love” really is. Thanks.

    • God bless you Tim…I pondered on what God’s image meant for a very long time. I learned recently that the “image of God” is not a physical one. God created us different from the rest of creation in that He gave us 3 important attributes – intelligence, the will to choose, and last but not least, the capacity to love.

  • God loves us so! In Chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis I felt a tremendous comfort to know that God made the heavens and the earth just for us! I am in awe of His formidable affection for the human race. The sacrament of marriage first appeared in Genesis. How did I miss that?
    As a side note, this challenge is so exciting. I can absorb a bit more of God’s tidings. Working on the questions brings to light so many nuances of the Bible that I have overlooked. Thank you, Sarah.

    • I think this is one of the challenges of reading the Bible yet one of the blessings as well. The bible gives one the room to meditate on each verse and allow you to bring into clarity what has been written. Everytime I read a chapter or a verse, I discover something I have missed in the past.

  • I have always likened the story of creation to a musical masterpiece. God created all things as individual instruments; the moon and stars, heaven and earth, man and woman, each pleasing on their own, but when played together…Glorious harmony!

  • To me, there is a beauty in these readings tinged with a tear of sadness. How wonderful are the gifts God bestowed upon our first parents and us. He did so out of unrelenting love. How sad it is when we witness how we take these gifts for granted and instead embrace the temptations of the Evil One. Even in sin God shows his love as he continues to be present in Adam and Eve’s life, in the protective marking of Cain, and in forgiving us when ask for forgiveness of our sins. I pray in thanks for my gifts today, and remain eternally thankful to God for staying with us and in providing us Jesus as our savior.

  • Today’s reading is the beginning of it all, both good & evil. God is truly the patient Father, disciplining his children yet helping them to learn and protecting them from further harm.

    • Well, he did originally set the first punishment as death —for eating from the tree of good and evil. Later, he regretted that and just expelled them from Eden.

  • I love the first chapters of Genesis. It just makes so much sense of the reality we experience regarding the beauty of our world and our fallen nature. It also reveals the Trinity and God’s promise of salvation. Just one question I have if anyone reading this can help me… If the first 11 chapters of Genesis are to be understood as poetic, although teaching the truths about the nature of our beginnings, what are we to make of the genealogies contained therein? I understand the importance of the “toledot” in Hebrew literature, but were these early genealogies pure works of fiction?

      • I don’t think the genealogies are meant to be works of fiction. They are an example, both literally and figuratively, of how human kind has ceased in its perfection when we move away from God.

        • I am not quite sure about the genealogies not being fiction. There are some questions raised about that. For example, where Chapter 4, v 17 Cain knew his wife. Where did she come from?

          • Sorry, you are right, that was half the answer…so… In
            Genesis 1:28 Adam and Eve were told “to be fruitful and multiply” and
            in Genesis 5:4 we have “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight
            hundred years; and he had sons and daughters.”…. following this Cain’s wife
            was probably his sister. Marrying you sister or close relation was not
            prohibited until the time of Moses (see Leviticus 18-20)…

          • She came from Adam and Eve, no other. I believe it was his sister. There are no specifications but Adam did have other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:4-6.

      • I believe that Adam and Eve were the first of God’s creation and the beginning of the story of our salvation.
        I also accept that God made other families so to speak as well after them. Thus when Cain left the garden and went East of Eden he found others. Their purpose to become evident later in the history of the Jews.
        Their relevancy to our salvation is that God chose Abram’s tribe to be his people.
        Biblically, there was Adam, Eve, Able, Cain and then Seth. There is no mention of other females, families or tribes until Adam, Eve and Seth leave the Garden and the Garden is lost to history.
        While all things are possible with God, I do not understand why we limit the creation of all humanity to Adam and Eve….they are, in my eyes, the First, but not the only. This Bible is the history of the Jews in relation to our salvation. It is clearly not the history of humanity.
        Hope this helps!

        • Sometimes, we get hung up on details…does it really matter to the message of the story whether this is one man or one woman? If you can forego that a minute, read the first creation story, and you can see where God could have used evolution as the means for creation. Just suppose that for a minute…then read the second story of creation…Isn’t it possible then, that somewhere along the way God could have intervened in the process of evolution of man’s history, and breathed into “Adam” a “Spirit”-His Spirit…all of this of course is speculation,,,just something I have turned over in my head over the course of many years…In any case, it amazes me to think of the profound love, kindness, gentleness, concern, grand mysterious intelligence and power of our Creator God.

      • Everyone is an individual….what is important to one is not important to another to grasp the essential meaning of the material one is reading…For instance, I am more interested in the meaning of what I am reading as a whole, however, I have a brother who it is important to him to feel validation, so using all the means available to him, including The Mormon records has traced back our family heritage back quite a ways. For that is important to him, so having this lineage written down in Scripture, provides him with information he might need to accept the truth of Scripture,,,And it is true about people passing down family history, and even a groups’ history through a chosen “historian” within the group, Many indigenous tribes today do this very thing. And if we think about it, we may find other instances in which oral tradition carries down the genealogy to its members. In any case, if you don’t need that to help you relate to God, great! But, if you do, that is great, also! Remember God was the author and teacher of this “Book” by sending the Holy Spirit to inspire the writings of that particular writer or scribe,,,sort of like someone who is listening and taking down dictation, at least this my take on it.

        • The Jews were looking for a Messiah to come throughout history. For them, lineage and ancestry was important. Of course, they were looking for a “mighty” king who would put down their oppressors and perhaps a materialistic king. St. Matthew in his Gospel knows that the Jews needed a genealogical sequence, and thus, his Gospel gives the line of Jesse and King David, in which Jesus in his humanity, descended from. St. Luke also has a genealogy. Matthew gives us the legal genealogy of Jesus by way of his step-father Joseph. Luke present us with the genealogy of Mary. Matthew begins with Abraham and ends with Jesus. On the other hand, Luke starts with Jesus and ends with Adam and God.
          Matthew and Luke catering to audiences of the time was striving to bring people to believe in Jesus as divine as well as human, to bring people to believe in Jesus as Savior by this method.

    • Agreed. I was wondering the same thing. Especially since we just heard about the importance of the genealogy of Christ at the beginning of Luke Gospel.

    • “In the beginning” we have to remember that people did not have the files in their brains that we have today, what they shared was “oral story telling” they did not know how the stars were in the sky or where the rain came from, sin had to have a beginning etc. they were simple and essential. Today we have scientists and philosophers and mathematicians and counselors, the early people depended on God! Do we? I believe the genealogy is true but the stories explain the relationships and situations that people did not have the words for. The Jewish people had a tradition of sharing orally, they probably did know the lineage. We have further proof of that in the gospels, and what is funny Catholic Priests know the lineage of the Apostle that was the beginning of their priesthood. Catholics are not so different…

    • WHY DOES EVERY ONE SEEM TO GET SO HUNG UP ON THE GENEALOGY. WHERE CAINS WIFE CAME FROM AND WHO WAS WHO. REALLY ONLY MATTERS IF YOU BELIEVE ADAM AND EVE WERE HISTORICAL FIGURES I THINK THIS IS THERE TO SHOW THE CONNECTEDNESS IN THE NOMADIC TRIBES OF THE MIDDLE EAST. THE BLOOD LINES DO NOT MATTER UNTIL AFTER THE TIME OF DAVID.

  • One of the things that stood out this time when I read these chapters is that God SEES. I knew that, of course, but, among other verses, the account of the two brothers and their offerings had a different meaning for me this time. One offering was accepted, one was not. Why? We don’t know. For the first time it occurred to me that God saw everything involved in these offerings – He could see into the hearts of the brothers, and of course knew something we did not. It makes me want to be more aware of what I spend my time doing, or even thinking about, because I don’t want to being an unworthy offering to God !

    • Hi Tess, God bless…to respond to your questions about the offerings (what was accepted while the other was not); it all has to do with the intention of the giver. Cain gave a modest offering whereas Abel gave the best of his flock. His sacrifice to God (a time when survival was not a given as it is today) was complete whereas Cain’s offering allowed for him to keep something for himself. It is giving with all your heart to trust God even though you give up all to Him or you don’t.

  • These readings speak to me about God giving us free will. The challenge for me is to live every moment of my life doing His will.

  • Whenever I read the beginnings of Genesis, I am reminded of how perfectly God planned this earth for us. Everything has a purpose and is designed to help man live his life to the fullest. How can people not think that God had His hand in all this? Even with Adam and Eve, God had made His decision to give man free will. He probably shakes his head at it but, on the other hand, we need to have that free will so that we can learn how to be pleasing to God. I often think I learn best from experiencing something and that is exactly what God has set us up to do! Thank you, Father, for providing for us in all ways. Help us to live up to your expectations. Amen.

    • another thought on free will. at least this is how I explain it to my confirmation kids. To force someone to love is not true love. Yes, he could have made us actors in a drama, following his every wish. But he did not because he desires our freely given love. The enormity of this leaves me in awe.

  • I found so much depth in these 4 chapters that one could spend a lifetime dissecting the multitude of messages about who we are and how we relate to God. The one key aspect of these chapters was the actual fall of man. At the time, mankind was in perfect relation with God; we had it all. However, we were given free will and a choice in everything we did. As long as we remained faithful to God; we continued being a part of everything that was ‘good’. And how did we fail; we sought something we thought we needed tempted by the evil one. And once we fell, what did we do – we never took responsibility for our actions. Man blamed not only the woman but also God as in “the woman whom YOU put me with”. The woman blamed the evil one. The beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the fact that we go back to this time and right the wrong our original parents did not do for themselves – we take ownership of our actions and repent.

  • In my Bible there is a drawing of the World of the Hebrews, with the dome of the waters above the firmament, the dome of the sky, the earth, the ocean, etc. It just amazes me that the earliest writers of the Bible saw creation in this respect, with God-given intellect that they should come to an understanding like this in their little area of the world. We are given so much by God, and like layers upon layers of truth, we can slowly unwrap them and see more and more into the mystery of His goodness.

  • I have a question about the commentary on the USCCB site, after the first chapter of Genesis.
    “* [1:26] Let us make:
    in the ancient Near East, and sometimes in the Bible, God was imagined
    as presiding over an assembly of heavenly beings who deliberated and
    decided about matters on earth (1 Kgs 22:19–22; Is 6:8; Ps 29:1–2; 82; 89:6–7; Jb 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). This scene accounts for the plural form here and in Gn 11:7 (“Let us then go down…”).”
    Not sure why this is discussed rather than what I was always taught, which is that “let us make” is clear reference to the Trinity. I have to admit I have not yet taken time to read the other referenced passages.

    • Blessings Valerie, the Bible was written by different authors with different writing styles. My understanding of “Let us the go down” refers more to reference to royalty, as king’s would be referred to in the plural, than the actual Trinity. Though I personally like to read the reference to the blessed Trinity.

      I also read into the fact that during creation, God “said”…why would God have to say anything? Why not just “will” it and it be so. What I believe is that God “said” because Jesus is the Word of God and that all was created through Jesus for Jesus. Something else to ponder. 🙂 God bless…

  • wondering…God as pure spirit–humans made in his image (pure spirit)–so when he clothes them in skins does this depict them as then mortal human instead of pure spirit? My thought has always been animal skin but if these books are to tell truth would it then not seem more likely to be the point they became mortal?

    • I would think that we became mortal when we disobeyed God and we were driven out of the garden so “we could not eat of the tree of life”. Just a thought

      • I see in God’s response to sin mercy. He created them forimmortality, for eternity. They were not barred from eating of the tree of life until they had sinned. God could not allow them to live forever in the lesser state of sin, but promised to redeem man and bring them to eternal life. Jesus, then becomes the Tree of Life, the source from which we receive eternal life. When we eat of Him, we possess eternal life! Thus the Eucharist is present from the beginning.

        • The question in the end of whether we were immortal “in the beginning” because through Jesus, death has been conquered and therefore, we are immortal. How’s that for an incredible Christmas gift.

    • I think you might be confusing being physical with being mortal. I believe it was once possible for us physical beings to be immortal – we were not created for death, but found it of our own accord through our sin. I have not heard that “in God’s image” means in pure spirit…interesting thought, though. I believe God created the earth and its environs (physical) and put us on it in physical, immortal bodies. This is borne out in Gen. 2:7 where He created man from dust (a physical substance). Bummer we blew the immortal part!

  • I am struck by the rhythm of the beginning. God saying, it happening and then God considering and seeing that it was good. Then there is the pause before the pattern repeats. The moment after Adam and Eve eat the fruit, they hide, God cannot see them, although he knows they are there. He calls, Adam answers, He listens, He sends them out of the Garden of Eden but He goes with them and the rest shows the continued relationship. In my mind, it links to the Sacrament of Reconciliation in that God tells us what is wrong, when we disobey, we set up a barrier, we respond to God’s call in confession, speak, repent. listen, undertake a penance and go forward without the barrier to continue our relationship with God.

    On another note, the online version confused me e.g. Chapter 1 and 2, I wondered why God created Adam, as he had already put men and women on the earth. I checked my Ignatius Press Bible and found that at the end of Genesis 2:4 was an insert saying “Another account of the Creation”. Mystery solved.

    Is it okay not to be prayerful when reading e.g. just asking for help to read as opposed to prayerfully reading each sentence? The last time I read Genesis, I ended up taking an evening on one or two verses e.g. Genesis 1:3-4 resulted in an evening of considering and marveling. It also means I crash and burn on a number of Books and Chapters. Should have asked this yesterday but I hadn’t worked out how to navigate here.

    • Blessings to you Liz. I know what you mean about reading the Bible in a prayerful way. I like to read a chapter and just mull it over in my mind all day long. As we consider the story this way, messages pop out and one becomes more immersed in this Heavenly Love Letter to mankind called The Bible.

      One thing to consider while reading the Bible is that we should not get bogged down on certain things that seem to be contradictory. I like to focus not on the specific history or the science but rather what message comes to me and how its relevant in my life.

      The one note you mentioned is God asking “where the man was” after he sinned. The “where” is related not with geography but where the man has gone spiritually and emotionally. In other words God asked man to reflect on his actions and figure out where he was in his relationship with God at that moment. Whenever we sin, we need to reflect on where we are at the time of the sin (what’s motivating the sin, etc.).

      • About God’s question to Adam and Eve after The Sin (“Where are you?”) – very well put, Joe!

        • Thank you Teresa. I think I’m going to really enjoy this online Bible Study. Another way God has gathered His people to focus on Him for our benefit. I love all the comments and I’m learning so much just from the insights and questions. God bless and all the best for 2014….

      • But we also need to be attentive to the fact that Scripture forms the basis for the teachings of the Church; it is not merely poetic, but a revelation of Truth. Too often, we can be tempted to try to explain away that which is difficult and/or contrary to our culture.

        • Absolutely. The only thing I know for certain is that the Bible is to read as a whole ensuring that Jesus is always in the forefront when we read the Old Testament. The Bible is not a science book or a history book per se. However, the messages of God to mankind are Truth; we could see ourselves in all these stories from the first man and woman to the very end. God bless…

    • Liz, there’s a whole lot to absorb, especially in the OT. So I think it’s quite alright if you’re “not prayerful” as you delve into the material, trying to absorb and study not only the historical aspects but also the implications of our relationship to God and the layers of salvation history. Perhaps you can pray before reading that the Lord will open up your mind and heart and give you wisdom and insight. Take another look at the Prayer of St. Ephraim…

      This is your study; there are no right or wrong ways to do it!

      “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart… Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:33-34, 105)

      • Thank you. I like the Psalm prayer as it says everything I need and will use that to keep me moving. God bless.

        • Psalm 119 is very long, but it is so rich. I quote Psalms a lot. During a dark time, they really saved my life!
          I find that there is a Psalm for EVERY occasion…

          God bless you in your journey, Liz.

      • Marianne thank you for pointed out St Ephraim prayer is really helpfull so I don’t get discourage f I don’t understand some of the readings

        • Maria, I’m glad it keeps you from being discouraged. We can read the Scriptures our whole lives long and still keep learning. God bless you and may God bless your journey through this 90 Day Challenge!

    • Liz, I am so glad you have been reading and marveling! That is a wonderful thing to do on an ongoing basis, to get close to God. For the purpose of this reading challenge, however, I’m afraid you will never get through it. This reading plan aims to give you the bird’s-eye view of the entire biblical narrative so that later on, you can go back and better understand the parts. You should be looking to get the contours of the forest, not the texture of the bark. The questions will help you zero in on a small bit each day, but you might write down additional questions and thoughts you have so you don’t lose them – and go back to them later.
      Blessings!

  • Hi everyone. Looking forward to this experience. I am trying to also create a discussion board as a Facebook group if anyone is interested because that is easier for me to access and post on. Ms. Christmyer if you do not want this please delete this message. If anyone is interested I would be glad to create the group and have a parallel discussion there. Message me at mgiufre@wildwood.edu or on Facebook Mark Giufre if you have interest. If there is enough interest I will set it up. Thanks.

  • What is it about the end of one year and the beginning of the next that causes us to pause and reflect on our own endings and beginnings? This morning, I was thinking how I spent last night, not partying, but tying
    up loose ends… finally working on something I’ve procrastinated with for a long time.

    And as for today… someone once said that the things we do on the first of the year are a reflection of what we will be doing the rest of the year. So even though I didn’t have special plans, I decided it’s important that after mass, I should spend the day with a friend. This is how I want to spend my year: spending time in prayer first thing in the morning; giving worship and thanks to God; then being a friend to those I love.

    I was a little disappointed when I found out that the Mass today was not in English. This is only because I love being at Mass and I love that I understand what’s going on. But I realized that even though we have these expectations and ideals for the “New Year”, life is not all roses and sunshine. So instead I focused on my personal time with Jesus. When I got home, I turned on the Christian radio station and they were quoting “Jesus Calling” (Sarah Young) and they spoke of how blessings and sorrows intermingle. And in all things we must give thanks and rejoice.

    So my prayer for everyone is that we gracefully accept both the blessings and sorrows that inevitably come. May the Lord hear your prayers for a blessed 2014.

    • Sometimes it is refreshing for me to attend mass held with a foreign language. It reminds me that there are millions of people all over the world worshiping the same God in the same way, yet with uniqueness. It really is beautiful.

      • Well that’s the irony. I was thinking the same thing as I sat there. I was thinking of the incredible faith of all who saw the importance of going to mass on New Year’s Day. I was thinking that God loves each one of His creation.

        Isn’t it awesome and amazing that He made us all unique, and yet deep in our souls, we are alike?

  • In this generation where so called same sex marriage is tolerated, accepted, and even becoming legal and among many Christians who condone it, I’m grateful to know the truth.

    God made man for one woman to marry and multiply.

    Not the same sex.

    Love the sinner
    Hate the sin.

    • Why then, in Gen 3:19 is there already evidence of polygamy? Why was polygamy so common during the patriarchal times? Also on the topic of marriage, who is Cain’s wife? (Gen 4:17)

      • These are good questions. I believe this is part of the answer. Polygamy was old law, as was divorce. In Matthew 19 Jesus answers some questions about marriage and divorce by pointing out that the original plan was a man and woman would become one flesh. Polygamy certainly isn’t one flesh union.

      • Sin is already present, therefore men’s choices did not always reflect God’s ways, nor are they obedient to the natural law we see established in Genesis 1-2.

      • I don’t think that polygamy is not against the natural law; we now know that it is not good because Jesus has revealed this to us. At the very least, polygamy is not contrary to the natural law in the same manner that sexual relations between two people of the same gender is.

      • Sorry, just wanted to add: it is through sexual relations that man and women together can function fully as organisms (so to speak), capable of fulfilling the necessary biological function of reproduction in this manner. But the unity is not merely meant to be biological, but encompass a fullness of life together; this fullness cannot exist in multiple marriages, in master-servant relations, etc. It is only through marriage that we can be biologically “completed”, and this completion is a facet of the unity that is to be found in all marriages. Polygamy lacks the fullness of unity and hence is imperfect. Homosexual conduct is a perversion of this unity and hence is wrong.

        • Wait, how could cains wife be his sister…aren’t we to understand that Adam & Eve only had 3 children ….Cain, Abel & Seth?

          • Genesis 5:4 says that Adam & Eve had other sons and daughters. I suppose Cain’s wife could also have been a daughter of Abel or Seth, although no offspring of Abel are explicitly mentioned.

          • Hi Pat, you’re right… there are many stories featuring women. But my response was to Cheryl, who said that “Adam & Eve only had 3 children ….Cain, Abel & Seth”. Proportionately speaking, there are more stories of men in the bible than women, especially in Genesis.

          • Remember the Bible is not to be taken literally and that Genesis is a creation story….You will find many similar stories in many cultures worldwide….

      • his wife again, and she bare

        him a son, and he 1 called his name Seth; for he said “God hath raised up a second seed unto us on the earth instead of Abel; for Cain slew him.” 2 8. And in the sixth week he
        134-140 A.M. begat his daughter ’Azûrâ.

        9. And Cain took ’Âwân his sister to be his wife and she bare him Enoch 3 at
        190-196 A.M. the close of the fourth jubilee. And in the first year of the first week of the fifth jubilee, houses were built
        197 A.M. on the earth, and Cain built a city, and called its name after the name of his son Enoch. 10. And Adam knew Eve his wife and she bare yet nine sons. 4
        225-231 A.M. 11. And in the fifth week of the fifth jubilee Seth took ’Azûrâ his sister to be his wife, and in the fourth
        235 A.M. (year of the sixth week) she bare him Enos. 5 12. He 6 began to call on the name of the Lord on the earth.

        • His twin sister ‘Âwân says the Book of Jubilees.
          __________________
          IDvolution – God “breathed” the super language of DNA into the “kinds” in the creative act. Buffalo

          “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God.”

          “Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

          “A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth.”
          Pope Benedict XVI

      • Catholic.com answers like this to polygamy;

        Re: Polygamy in Old Testament… why was it permitted then?
        Pope John Paul II covered this in his exegesis on Mathew 5:27 ‘You have heard that it was said to them of old: You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart’ in his Theology of the Body talks. Referencing back to the beginning, before the fall, we certainly know that God did not intend polygamy: ‘Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24), it is obvious there was no polygamy in that system. But the law of the Old Testament did allow it (or rather did not forbid it), why? It is because man, in his fallen nature lost the meaning of this natural law, which Christ brought back to us.

        • The answer may be a simple one based on high death rates, lack of mobility and property ownership. We will see later on that when Sarah and Abraham were childless for so long Sarah gave permissison for Hagar (her slave) to concieve and bear Abraham, hopefully, a son which Sarah then intended them to adopt or claim as her own….

      • Blessing Matt. Immediately from the fall of man, we see polygamy growing – this is not what was intended by God in the garden. He made one man and one woman. Jesus confirmed that later on. Polygamy was just another sinful path that man had taken after the fall. Blessings….

  • The idea of God SEEING struck me too. I have spent the last few years of my spiritual journey exploring my motives. The awareness that God sees keeps me more accountable. The Sabbath and the idea of rest in the spiritual sense has become an important part of my prayer time. To sit with Jesus and be still has become a very important part of my day. I look forward to growing with this program.

  • The truths that stood out to me in these readings were: God
    is a creator and we reflect His image in when we are creative. It’s also
    interesting to reflect on Jesus as being creative in His life as a carpenter
    before He was called to His public Ministry.

    I also noticed how God is described as totally interested in our well-being.
    First water and earth is created (which we need to survive in that order) then
    He creates then blesses living things in the water and birds and tells them to
    multiply. Then He creates and blesses Man. He shows His total love for us by
    His concern with the man’s physical needs, spiritual (Don’t eat from the tree),
    and emotional (it is not good for him to be alone) needs. God loves us so
    very much that He goes so far as to specifically create a companion for the man
    – and it seems important to note that God goes out of His way to do this by the
    ordeal He goes through to make a companion for the man, when He could have just
    created one out of nothing. God loves us so very much!

  • Happy New Year, my brothers and sisters in Christ!
    As I did the reading, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the fact that Satan, all through the course of human history, has simply repeated the first lie (with a little “twist” to it), and we buy it! For example “Do not look to God as the basis and source of all good….you are wise, intelligent and free…are you not? Therefore, YOU decide what you will call good….and what you will call evil”.
    Shame on humanity! Glory be to God for coming to our rescue!

    • Shame on humanity, yes. But that’s why our Holy Catholic Church is so important to ensuring we stay on the right path through its sacraments. The is why Jesus guided us into praying constantly to God. If we’re focusing on Him, our opportunities to listen to the evil one is diminished. God bless…

      • Amen Joe – and I would only add that (The Church) is exactly how God came to our rescue! May we all become the men and women HE created us to be!

    • Deacon Mike, is it possible you’re my brother-in-law? His name is also Mike Boyd Sr. Mine is Carmen. If so, hello – this is my 2nd year of the 90 day challenge. If not, hello anyway and thanks for your post.

  • This is the “liturgy of the world” in a nnutshell; God present in all of creation and calling us to be good stewards of His creation. The garden imagery is so appropriate when we consider how Christ calls us back to the Garden and our roles as stewards in so many of his parables using the vineyard/vine as examples. The images of light and water are especially compelling if we consider how the Gospel of John returns to the juxtaposition of light versus darkness, as well as the theme of baptism and the living water. It occurs to me that John’s Gospel and Genesis are more intricately linked than just by the opening verses of each book.

  • He speaks, and all things, visible and invisible, are created out of nothing. Nothing is impossible for Him. All of life has its origins in Him, including my own, so that He is very much entitled to my worship and obedience. And on the heels of such stunning glory, sin makes its nasty appearance in the world. We would all like to think that we would never have done anything as foolish as the thing Eve did…..yet all of us have done just that!!! It would be so depressing, but for the hope of the Promise…”He shall crush your head…”

  • Such wonderful insights! Thank you. I am always awed that we are so loved that the breath of God (ruah) brought us and all of creation into being.

  • The creation story brings to my mind this beautiful, resplendent act of the Triune God who brings forth life, boundaries, formations. In my mind God is so powerful and glorious, that I see these things happening almost instantaneously, though some people would certainly disagree with my thinking. It is hard to imagine that in one momentous decision, when by indulging in self – enjoyment with some pride mingled in, sin would enter into this perfect, harmonious, tranquil creation God had made and strife would reign until our times. Now here we are with the same old temptation that faced Adam and Eve front and center. You kind of feel sorry a little for Adam and Eve taken by this wily coaxing sort of creature; Eve in somewhat of inquisitive way. Perhaps Adam was more fixed on God? I imagine the serpent to be more charming, nimble, and intelligent then your typical snake at least until after the fall when it was degraded to crawling on its belly and eating dust. I think of the Geiko gecko but longer more slender in the face. (No harm intended to Geiko) The fall of the angels almost to me seems like a greater act of pride than that of Adam and Eve. Maybe not, but there seems more innocence on the part of the first man and woman. You can see how the temporal and spiritual life became mixed up with evil so early on and how the fallen angels assumed power over things. You see the need for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Jesus within the triune God before the creation even began. Pretty amazing stuff.

  • To me these chapters show the awesome power of our Father. The fact that he put all of this in place for us (the earth, stars, animals etc) is truly humbling. Especially since we constantly take advantage of His love and generosity. Yet, He always forgives and never gives up on us. God truly is pure LOVE!

  • What strikes me is the joyous abandon in which God created the universe. I can almost imagine Him as a wildly inspired artist bursting with things to create! There’s a sense of delight – swarms of fish, and creeping things, and animals of all kinds. So beautiful.

  • My reflection on this reading accented for me that when I am connected to what God wants me to do there is peace and joy but when I step away from the path fear comes in. This confirms for me that God does not use fear to motivate, just love.

  • What has struck me is that God said the word and creation occurred. In many ways it is a precursor to Jesus, the WORD made flesh. Its also amazing to read about the chain effect original sin had as it escalated to murder wiht Cain and Abel.

  • I also feel that when God said, Let us make man in our image it was the Trinity communicating with each other. In reflection, the Trinity manifests itself from the beginning.

  • One final thought, the genealogy can become quite cumbersome to read but Christ traced his roots back through the genealogy to David, Judah, Abraham, Noah, Seth, Adam, and ultimately God. I guess that’s what makes it so cool.

  • I think that Genesis tells us a lot about the way God thinks. He gives us commandments (not just the ten) and he gives us laws. Commandments are direct, unequivocal instructions, and laws are a little more general and philosophical. The first commandment he ever gave was “you may freely eat of every tree except the tree of good and evil.” One of his first laws was that a man leaves his mother and father and clings to his wife, and they become one.

  • All Beautiful
    and full of wisdom. There are many topics that we could discuss.

    I found very profound how the creation of man
    (male and female) mirrors the image of God. As we found in the Creed ” …we
    belief in one Lord Jesus Christ , the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages……’’ there is a similitude in Gn 1,27 and also in
    the most explicit passage Gn 2, 23 -24.
    The creaction of the woman from the man himself and unity of the woman and man represent the unity of the father and son….and in the love they should profess one another we can see the representation the Holy Spirit?
    Blessings
    Carlos

  • This is my third time through this program, and I always thoroughly enjoy it. This time going through these first chapters, the story of Lamech really stood out. He was the first to take two wives. It is interesting to note that Lamech’s sons were described as being the fathers of those who dwell in tents and have cattle (Jabal), those play the lyre and pipe (Jubal) and the forger of instruments of bronze and iron (Tubalcain). It’s also the first time the Bible mentions a sister (Naamah). I’m wondering and pondering about the significance of these things. Another aspect of Lamech’s story is that he kills a man for striking and wounding him, justifying the act by twisting God’s word to Cain in Gen 4:15. It’s almost as if by taking two wives and somehow justifying that, he feels that he can justify killing a man who struck him. I suppose that we do the same thing– justifying our actions by twisting Scripture. I often hear about people’s “righteous anger” being justified by Jesus’ anger at the money changers in the Temple. How often do I try to justify my sins?

    • Wow! That is a scary question “How often do I try to justify my sins?”. It made me think of what Jesus said in Luke 6:41 “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye but do not notice the log in your own eye?”. The older I get the more I realize I am guilty of both things.

  • Reading Chapter 1-4 again after completing a couple of other Bible Study programs I am starting to make some profound (to me at least) connections which I would like to share. Please feel free to comment/criticize as I am for the rest of my life going to immerse myself in learning and teaching the Word of God.

    My first although I am sure I am not the first to :

    Adam failed in the Garden of Eden. All the trees and plants were available for food save the tree in the middle of the garden – eat of eat and you will die. Not trusting God

    Jesus succeeded in the Garden of Gethsemane. Father if this cup may pass me … Not My will but yours be done. Total trust in God.

    So by Adam we fell and by Christ we are raised. I love the symmetry of the Garden being the place of choice.

    My second and also sure I am not the first.

    Adam was more than an evolutionary human. When God breathed life into him whatever he was he became more. He walked and talked to God. He was what we will become at the second coming of Christ when we receive our Glorified bodies. Jesus is in heaven, sitting at the right hand of His Father in His Glorified Body. Come Lord Jesus Come

    Many more but that’s all for now.

  • I do not believe the early genealogies are pure works of fiction. I believe that they tell us a lot about God and his promises. He promised to send us a redeemer after the fall and as you read through these genealogies you can see that at the end of each one there was death until we got to Noah. When you say pure works of fiction do you really mean fiction or could they have been written that way to explain something the mind could not comprehend and that is how the Redeemer would come into the world through the line of David.?

  • Genesis 1 taught me that God is an orderly God and created the world in an orderly fashion. I particularly like the part when God said let US make man in OUR image. The Trinity is shown in that Jesus is called THE WORD and God said and it was done. The SPIRIT hoovered over the waters puts the top on the lid about THE TRINITY. God the Father spoke the Word and the Spirit was there over the waters. Praise God!

  • So Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel. And Cain killed Abel. Then it says that Adam and Eve also had Seth. And Cain was forced to wander. And the Cain had sexual intercourse with his wife and they had Enoch. My question is, where did Cain’s wife come from if we are all descendants from Adam and Eve?

  • Genesis is a book who teaches us about us and our weakness. Helps us know who is God and a story to helps us understand our Origen . So genealogy is our beginning, its important because it directs us to Jesus. Restores our broken relationship w God from beginning of time to salvation history.

  • I am so far behind, just finished day one. However what did I get from this first reading? It
    could be where I am at right now, but I saw that sin and the “blame
    game” started back in the Garden of Eden. Yes, because of sin mistakes
    too, we blame others for what we have done wrong instead of owning up to
    them.

  • In the beginning, there were nothing at all except formlessness, chaos and darkness. God is the creator that transform it. It brings me a chill to think of the awesome power of God.

  • I notice that everything God creates is “good”. Even the snake in Ch 3 is described as “cunning”(in the RSV “subtle”) rather than evil. Mankind as well has been created “good”. It is only our decisions to disobey God which lead to sin, shame and death.

  • God nature is to give and forgive – gives man His own image and likeness, dominion (kingship), a free will, immortality and immaculate; when man sins, he creates a master plan for salvation (proto-evangelium) yet man chooses to do his own thing…man gets and forgets. Yet the 2nd Adam & Eve who were immaculate too, chose submission to the will of God despite the suffering. On this feast day of Solemnity of Mother of God, let’s look to her as our model and to Jesus who has made a way for us to have that relationship with our Father which was lost in the garden of Eden.

  • On the West Coast we just experienced a severe and cold wind storm. Because the storm recently occurred, my thoughts on this reading seems to be focused on nature.

    When I look at the countless amount of colors and patterns found in nature, there can be no other answer other than God was the Creator and Author of everything on this planet.

    It is like getting a present every day of my life as I know of no human that can duplicate the numerous shades and tints of colors that God used to create, let’s say, trees. As I look around, God’s presence is in every living thing on this planet! Sometimes plants die through neglect, for instance, not watering. But when you give a plant water, it most
    always comes back and begins to grow again!
    It’s like a faith being renewed and the ‘water’ is God’s Word. This is a momentous breakthrough for me as I have always looked upon the story of creation as just that. A story.

    I also mentioned patterns that are found in nature. This could be a bit farfetched,
    but could the patterns be showing us how important it is to read God’s Word as
    many times as we can to absorb the contents of the Bible and to learn from the
    mistakes and errors of people who lived before us?

    God’s Word has never changed, just like the patterns you can find in a simple blade of grass or a leaf from a tree. Could God be teaching us a lesson every waking minute of our days here on earth using nature that surrounds us? It’s as if God is telling me to read
    His ‘Words’ and live by ‘His Words’. Where else can you find these Words but in the Bible!

    God is the Father of us all and I have forgotten this too many times.
    The reading today brought back a renewed strength in me to love Him back
    with deeds, not requests 1/1/2015.

    • I have that same point of view…I see the Bible as God telling us His story (History)..,with one big difference from the way history is usually told…God is looking for relationship with us, so his story is written through many,many people of faith that God used…each coloring it from their own special perspectives…I believe this is what Jesus meant when He told the apostles that the Word of God was hidden from the learned and the scholarly; and not from those who look at it with the eyes of a child…Children look at reading with fresh eyes…using their imaginations, putting themselves into the place of the characters, making connections to their present realities, asking what is this all about…sharing ideas with their friends,looking for the “moral” of the story…Finding patterns is a great way to “see” God, both in what you have read and in what is in your surroundings. Reading something from Scripture helps me to walk better with Him, and also, helps me to realize how much I need to thank Him…for in the end we are more richly blessed than we ever dared to realize…then, as I look at how we are taking care of this creation, in all its forms, I am saddened by how broken humankind is…which leads me to intercessory prayer for salvation and conversion of the whole world…for God has done His part…He has sent His Son….now it is up to us join Him in doing our part to bring about Salvation in our age…for when you think about the Bible as a whole…God always acts, then people (with God always present)…So, in reality, the Bible is the story of how God and people have interacted from the beginning of time.

      • God has wanted a special relationship with humans ever since the beginning. But He will never force us. That’s why He gives us so many opportunities to come to Him of our own free will.

        I have always found it most interesting that He reveals Himself to the innocent, rather than the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The most educated men of the time were most often blind to the “real” truths.

  • Until you pointed this out, I never caught this. This is when God created the sky. I think God did not say it was good on the second day because He did not finish everything He wanted to do in the sky until the fourth day when he created the stars and the sun and that is when God said it was good.

  • To all members of this panel; Happy and Blessed New Year. I am really happy to start the Year here.

    To start on Gen 1-2; I think lineage was used with two purposes; 1st to teach who were the ancestors and 2nd to teach timing.

    As you have mention, hebrew tradition as most of the people of the Ancient World, accounted for history by story telling. The lineage helped new generations to understand time, when was that everything come to pass.

    Later on and until today linage has been used to account for profecies.

    Chapter 1 is to my view, the mist beautiful; in its story I find equality and a peaceful harmony among Creation.

    Chapter 2 brings to my mind, a whirpool of duality and separation.

    It is clear that these chapters came from different origins. I heard once that Chapter 1 was taken from Sanscrit and Chapter 2 was brought by the Pharisees. Any comments on this?

    Thanks

  • I can never read Genesis without thinking about the Prologue to John’s Gospel. Genesis begins salvation history The Prologue to John’s Gospel sums it up. In this reading I particularly noticed that God created man to tend His creation. Mankind failed horribly at this task.

  • I was just thinking about the first 2 chapters also. Along with all the other insights I was thinking about in Gen 1 God is creating and is called God but in chapter 2 we read about Lord God could that be that now that God finished creating the earth He had something to be Lord over?

    Any thoughts?

    • two different words were used for God here:
      1:1 – Elohim means ‘God’, ‘Judge’, ‘Creator’…
      2:4 – Yahweh means ‘Lord’, ‘Master’…
      indicating at least 2 sources for creation one calling our Father ‘God’, and the other ‘Lord’…

  • What I take away from revisiting these chapters in Genesis is that we need to go back to the “beginning” to help us understand today. There is so much around us that we just don’t think about because we live such busy lives. God truly had a plan – one step at a time. I am planning to slow down a bit and draw closer to God in 2015.

  • The POWER of THE WORD.
    GOD created.
    GOD said.
    GOD saw.
    GOD called.
    GOD blessed.
    GOD breathed life into Adam.
    we read about our sense of touch, sight, speech, hearing, being used by GOD before HE gives them to us….further comfirming that HE created us in HIS image and blessed us with intelligence different than the beasts.

  • Reading about the “fall” I realised that even before the serpent
    arrived, the relationship between Adam, Eve and God was not perfect.
    They were made in the image of God, had immortality, dominion over
    living creatures and a close relationship with God. Yet they did not
    trust God or understand what He had given them. The serpent said that
    would not die if they ate of the fruit and that they would be like gods,
    but eating the fruit brought death and although they were already made
    in the image of God, the disobedience soiled and damaged that likeness.
    They abandoned what they had by listening to the serpent’s false
    promises instead of trusting in God.

    When God asks Adam if he ate
    of the fruit, he blamed Eve and she blamed the serpent. They knew
    something was wrong because their relationship with God had a new
    element – fear. And it seems that this fear, caused them to move
    further away from Him by not saying “Sorry, I disobeyed you” and then
    explaining the circumstances and trusting in His mercy. Thankfully, we have the Sacrament of Reconciliation to guide us into confessing and taking responsibility for our actions, words and inaction.

    PS. I am confused because the comments all seem to be a year old and usually Barbara completes the readings and comments before I do (except on a Sunday). Am I in the right place?

    • what’s astonishing is man’s insistence that since he was ordered to have dominion over all the earth, including every thing upon it, that man is to be governed by man!
      those are only a few… most of us would gladly welcome Jesus, if only The Man got out of the way… I pray daily that man realizes that God is in charge of even The Man…

  • The first two chapters is so jam-packed with meanings. This are a few things I gleaned from it.
    1.The order God creates things and the importance on how he orders it. The interconnectivity of each part to make the world and the man. An example is the fact there is rain to make clay to make man.
    When reflecting in these passages I see the creation of the world with the meaning of wholeness or Holistic.
    2.The world is inside God but God is at the same time outside it and He does not rely on the World.
    3.We are made in his image.-We are his image through the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit makes us in his image.
    4.The creation of woman from man.I was reflecting how it shows that its team work/ a united force or united mission to serve God.

  • at this time of year its very interesting that the center of our Christmas symbol is the Christmas tree- a tree that mysteriously lives while all other vegetation “sleeps”… and in the beginning we have the tree of LIFE… a garden and a tree in the beginning, and a Garden and a new tree of life-JESUS- in the end. HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!

  • It is good to remember that GOD existed before anything else. Also, His creation was good; we often forget this.

    It is also good to remember that GOD has a plan, and our primary role is to trust Him.

  • Maybe this is because I started a diet last Aug. but it has made me aware of food. In Genesis 1:29. God said that we are to eat plants and seeds. Nothing was said about animals. Hmmm. Today we hear how it is best to eat simple. Vegtables and fruits to be healthy. Has anyone ever pick that up?

    • My vegan brother has an interesting take on this. Before the fall Adam and Eve ate fruits and seeds. After the fall animals were sacrifice representing the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. As at passover those animals were eaten. After Jesus’ death on the cross the only sacrifice is the Euchrist. Therefore we should go back to being vegan. What he dosen’t apply is God’s revelation to Peter that all meat is clean and permissable. (I am still recovering from the effects of the vegan lasagna Christmas dinner. Just interesting

        • I have a compromised digestive system (2/3 of the esophagus and 1/4 of the stomach removed) So physicallly what goes into counts. If my digestive can’t handle what goes into my mouth it reacts violently LOL
          I don’t agree with my brother though, I will eat anything my digestive system and budget permits.

    • That’s a intetesting point. Daniel is also protrayed as a vegan. He’s able / ordered to eat from the king’s table, but requests only vegtables, fruits and nuts instead.

  • I was confused in Genesis 1 26 where God said “let us make man in our image” what does God mean by “our”? I always thought that we were made in God’s image. I have the RSV Catholic Bible.

    • I think I’m reading too much into that, we are of course made in God’s image, just not sure why the word ‘our’ is there.

        • Thanks David that makes sense and I actually thought of that but also thought that Jesus the son had not come yet. But since the OT foretells much in the NT that would explain God foretelling the Trinity.

          • God didn’t foretell Jesus before Jesus was… read St John 1… Jesus was the Word God spoke to create the heaven and the earth…

          • Yes Sleepy! The Trinity – The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit – always existed. The “We” and “Our” in Genesis points to the Trinity. The Son always existed. As for the book of John – The Son is the Word – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”…”And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father.” John 1:1-3 and John 1:14

    • One thing I have learned also through St. JPII’s Theology of the Body is that if we read this sentence correctly there is more than just meaning of the “our” that is very interesting. The Scripture states that God created man in our image, MALE AND FEMALE he created them. So, then one can assume that our masculinity and femininity and the relationship between the two has something to do with people’s being created in the image of God. A wonderful thing to ponder and it makes perfect sense. God is Love and what is the most complete physical way that humans show God’s love–through the marital union resulting in the creation of new life. Makes our relationships as man and woman take on a much more significant meaning for me!

  • Gen 1:26 I find very interesting, when God said “Let us make him in OUR image. I have done some reading and found that our meant the Angels. One can only wonder.

    • I heard it was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, too… I understood the angels didn’t even come into being until man was on the earth… they were there, of course, praising Him, but there was no reason for them to have their shape until man…

  • love that the first words ever documented by adam are him talking about woman. You can just imagine the joy when he first sees her like “At last this is why I exist, FOR HER”

  • I agree. This is the source of our hope for salvation. I am continually amazed at how Genesis contains all the elements of theology.

  • I was awakened recently to the observation the first thing God saw was not good was man should be alone.

  • THIS TAKES ME BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY. ALLENTOWN CENTRAL CATHOLIC IN THE EARLY 1960,S THE SISTER TEACHING THE CLASS TOLD US THAT THE CHURCH DID NOT PROHIBIT BELIEF IN EVOLUTION AS PART OF A CATHOLIC BELIEF SYSTEM AS LONG AS WE BELIEVED THAT GOD CREATED THE SOUL AT THE POINT WHERE MAN EVOLVED INTO A SENTIENT BEING. FAST FORWARD 20 YEARS [ I WAS A LATE BLOOMER GETTING MY B.A. AT 44] TO BIOLOGY SENIOR SEMINAR AT DESALES U. MY A.V. INTEGRATING PRESENTATION ON RELIGION AND SCIENCE WAS A SLIDE SHOW PRESENTING EVOLUTION TO THE READING OF THE CREATION STORY FROM GENESIS. READING THESE CHAPTERS NOT ONLY REMINDED ME OF THE DESCRIPTIVE POETRY BUT ALSO OF THE BEAUTY OF THE COMPLEX UNFOLDING OF THE EVOLUTIONARY WORK OF CREATION.

    • This struck me as well today, when I was reading. There seems to be a harmony between scientific theories and these chapter in Gen. that compliment each other. I truly appreciate the balance between something that as inspired by God so very long ago and our current scientific understanding.

      • . THE BALANCE IS THERE ONLY IF YOU DO NOT TAKE THESE ACCOUNTS AS A LITERAL HISTORICAL ‘TRUTH’. I BELIEVE THAT GODS DAY IS NOT A 24HR. TIME PERIOD BUT AN INDEFINITE TIME DURING WHICH WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT DAY CAME TO PASS. THE BIG BANG OR THE WORD SPOKEN BY GOD STARTED OUR UNIVERSE. GOD SET IN PLACE IN THIS UNIVERSE WITH A SYSTEM OF CONTROL WE CALL NATURAL LAW. E.G. THE LAWS OF MATH, PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY,BIOLOGY ETC. THE EVOLUTIONARY UNFOLDING OF THE UNIVERSE IS THE STAGES OR DAYS OF GENESIS. THE ” AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD” IS THE BLESSING OF GOD ON HIS UNIVERSE ,HIS STAMP OF APPROVAL ON HIS CREATION. THE CREATION STORY BEGUN AS ORAL TRADITION WAS THE PEOPLE OF GODS FAMILY HISTORY. THEIR THIS IS WHO WE ARE AND THIS IS WHERE WE CAME FROM.

        • hmmm… well the Spirit of God moving sounds like a wind whipping it up… I believe God spoke…His Spirit moved… and His Word shaped…
          like we do … we speak to our children, waiting for them to hear it, and then finally waiting to see what results from our speaking… (God didn’t need to wait, but we still do, lol…)

          • WE WAIT AND PRAY BUT WE CAN GET HUNG UP ON THE STORY AND FORGET THE MEANING BEHIND THE STORY. THIS WAS AN ORAL TRADITION WHICH WAS PASSED DOWN THE GENERATIONS AS STORIES. STORIES ARE REMEMBERED BETTER THAN RULES. THE WORD SPOKEN BY GOD TRIUNE GOD ;FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT FROM THE BEGINNING ONCE AND FOREVER BEGAN OUR UNIVERSE. THE SON WAS ALWAYS BEFORE HE MANIFESTED HIMSELF IN OUR UNIVERSE AS JESUS CHRIST. FOR US TO BE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD OUR SOULS HAD TO BE GIVEN TO US BY GOD WEATHER IT WAS BY THE BREATH OF GOD INTO A CLAY DOLL OR THE BREATH OF GOD INTO THE EVOLVED SENTIENT BEING WE KNOW AS MAN. THE ANGELS ARE BEINGS OF PURE SPIRIT CREATED BY GOD AS HIS HEAVENLY COMPANIONS. I ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD THAT THEY WERE CREATED BEFORE MAN AND AFTER THE FALL OF LUCIFER GOD TRIED ANOTHER WAY WITH US.

  • The Jewish commentary notes that not only is the number 7 prominent in the number of days of creation, but prominent in the wording of this first creation account. The verses, in Hebrew, consist of either 7 Hebrew words or a multiple of 7 Hebrew words. Thus, overriding the poetic style of Ch. 1, there is an emphasis on the creation of the Sabbath day of rest. In the remainder of Genesis, there is often a listing of items that is usually 7 in length, which echoes back to the creation itself and its destiny in God’s rest.

  • This Bible Study for the next 90 days will be a unique experience for me, and I enjoyed reading most of the comments. The truth that Today’s Reading taught me, was how God gave us the “will of choice” and how the curiosity of Eve overcame her after being told to not touch the tree of knowledge. Who was more surprised of the outcome, Adam, Eve, the serpent or God?

  • stunningly beautiful….however, was anyone else thrown by the two creation stories given in Ch 1 and then 2? my footnotes say the story told in Ch 2:4-25 is actually the older version. why asnt that first and why is the order of creation changed?

    • well, it was probably by two or more different tellings they arrived at the creation… one, most likely, from Israel, and the other from Judea… by then, many centuries old, they didn’t feel it was right to decide who told it as it was, but to report the two as they heard tem…

  • The creation story is a story of order. God is the Word and his word brought about the creation. Also, God is a God of order. With this order God created each aspect of Earth and life one step at a time culminating in the creation of man. God is also a God of mercy for although man sinned God promised and has given us a redeemer to save us from the the bondage of sin and death.

  • Excellent reminder that God is the creator of Heaven and Earth. The creations are an excellent reminder of the work God did to create the Heavens and Earth in seven days. Amazing and at times so hard to wrap my mind around. God knows that evil is what keeps us true to Him.

    Since the woman ate from the tree of Knowledge, to know good from bad satan is around waiting for us to fall. God clearly defines how we are destined to to fall, but through him we can overcome choosing life with him verses life of sin.

    Good start in our study. It is through these readings that help understand that sin on Earth stems from the Garden of Eden, the Fall of Man, Cain and Abel.

  • I did the reading mainly left feeling there is so much I don’t understand the first four words are incomprehensible. In the begining of what? God is there but isn’t God outside of time?
    And then heavens and earth, is that the sky and the land, the ” spiritual” and the temporal, or the universe and the planet earth?

    The Spirit of God hovered would’t God be every where?

    Why did God prefer Abel’s offering of meat to Cain’s offering of fruits and vegetables? And why is it sinful. to. not do well?

      • Then I get the idea that Christ is the light and the life that He is not only the mediator between God and man but between God and all creation and that He decides and judges what is the proper place for all things. If I look at it that way the two sections seem to say the same thing.

  • I haven’t read through all of the comments that were posted from a year ago to see if this was discussed previously but this is one aspect of the first chapters of Genesis that intrigued me for years. I came to Christianity when I was an adult after a childhood of atheism. So, I was reading these words with an adult capacity but without any filters from having them explained to me as a child.
    One thing I never understood was how Adam and Eve would have had the arrogant pride to desire to be equal to God as recounted in the Original Sin story. They were created perfect, in God’s image. I always thought that the motivating factor for taking the “apple” had to be something that was not sinful in and of itself. I had heard people mention a time or two Adam’s failure to protect Eve from the serpent. Jeff Cavins expounds on this wonderfully in a talk about suffering. If one reads the Scripture carefully, it is obvious that Adam is standing with Eve when the serpent approaches her because she immediately hands the apple to him to eat. God had told Adam that he was to care for the garden, and one aspect of caring for something is to protect it. Eve was part of the Garden so Adam was to protect her. Why didn’t he? One would have to assume that he was afraid of being hurt or dying, which in and of themselves are not sinful. One could see that the “temptation” of Original Sin may have been presented to call Adam beyond the “natural” reaction of wanting to avoid pain and /or death to do the supernatural act of sacrificing oneself for the good of another. He failed at that miserably but then Christ came and sacrificed himself completely for the good of His Bride, the Church–mankind. That understanding of the Original Sin account makes perfect sense to me and puts all the pieces of the puzzle in perfect order. And, if there is validity to this idea, then we are spending so much of our time in spiritual growth trying to overcome our “arrogant pride” when in actuality the thing that may be preventing us from doing God’s will more often is fear. Any thoughts?

    • The problem here is that God said to them not to eat of that tree as I was told in my cathechism clases the Original Sin was the disobedience nothing else not that Eve wanted to know everything or Adam following suit that’s why it said that because Virgin Mary obedience we are save.

      • well, I read the Bible completely – about 16 times, lol, cause that’s how many Bibles I originally owned… well, after the strokes – I don’t remember before the strokes…

        never before has anyone ever suggested that Eve was not in the garden when God said “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Gen 2:16-17), but she doesn’t even appear until verse 22…

        so… Eve was not there when God said it… and He doesn’t like to repeat things, I noticed…

        I, too, read it as ‘them’ wanting to eat the fruit – I didn’t notice it was Eve… ‘And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” ‘ (Gen 3:2-3)…

        notice the difference between what God is reported to say, and what Eve reports Him saying… no where else is it reported that God said “…neither shall you touch it…”

        What does this indicate? 1) Eve was struggling mentally with the serpent, and slipped up; 2) Adam, in relaying it to Eve, told her “don’t touch” because he didn’t want to face the unknown thing as death…

        I suggest it was probably both – Adam told her what God said, because it was his duty to “till it and keep it.” (Gen 2:15) She said something different because she hadn’t heard God say it, and she was scared… ‘Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”’ (Gen 3:1)

        imagine! where on earth would anyone find a speaking serpent?

        I suggest it wasn’t normally a serpent, so far as we know serpents – I suggest it was, indeed, a ‘man’, a subordinate or someone new to Eve and Adam… an “angel” from heaven…

        the “serpent” said something to cause Eve to re-play the words she heard from Adam – and re-heard them differently…

        she wanted the fruit – it was Eve who ‘saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise’…
        probably tired of eating the same-old, same-old every day for heaven knows how long (the Bible doesn’t say) – probably in rebellion to Adam, who heard God and picked out the fruit he would eat… probably to make herself as wise as Adam seemed to be… she didn’t necessarily know God as Adam did…
        probably…

        and Adam standing there – now, why didn’t he put an argument to the serpent before Eve took the fruit? because the serpent ‘made sense’ to him… because the tree looked good to the eyes, its fruit looked good to eat, and being wise as God, knowing good from evil was probably a searching question for Adam…
        also, his downfall… not for sinning or disobeying – but putting someone else’s words above God’s…

        • That’s the problem with so many things that are not good for us. They look good, they look enticing. But looks are deceiving, and for the last 2000 years, men and women have been falling into the traps of deception.

      • Sure, Maria, but one needs to also ponder what would have prompted them to be disobedient. If they were created in God’s image and that included perfection, there would have been no desire to sin in them–no pride, no laziness, no greed, none of those sins. That is what makes me inclined to think that the thing that motivated them to disobey was fear since fear in and of itself is not a sin. And before Eve even ate of the fruit, Adam sinned in not obeying God by protecting Eve from the serpent’s temptation.

    • ADAM IN THE STORY WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN DEATH. THE SIN WAS NOT OBEYING GOD? SHE ATE WAS HE AFRAID THAT SHE NOW HAD SOMETHING THAT HE DID NOT HAVE? I HAVE THOUGHT THAT THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE IS NOT HATE BUT FEAR, WE HATE BECAUSE WE FEAR. THE ORIGINAL SIN STORY WAS ONE EASILY UNDERSTOOD BY THE EARLY NOMADIC PEOPLE. EDEN A GARDEN OF WONDER A SIMPLE COMMAND BY THE LORD , BROKEN AND PUNISHED. I HAVE HEARD MANY OTHER IDEAS AS TO WHAT THE FIRST SIN WAS SUCH AS MURDER ETC.. I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT FEAR AND WE HIDE IN DARKNESS AWAY FROM THE LIGHT WHEN WE FEAR. WE CLOTH OURSELVES IN MASKS BECAUSE WE FEAR TO LET GOD AND OTHERS KNOW WHO WE ARE . WE SPEND SO MUCH TIME COVERING OUR NAKEDNESS THAT WE BECOME AFRAID OF HIS LIGHT. THANKS FOR YOUR QUESTION.

      • I agree Lucy, that we often “hide” ourselves from others out of fear but we cannot hide our true self from God for He knows us inside out. He alone knows us and what our true purpose is in His plan of creation. He continually LOVES us into being. What a beautiful thought that is for me. Often, life becomes so busy that we are unaware of the beauty and order of all creation. I love it, when as others have pointed out, I take time to notice the “little things” that are also a part of God’s plan. God bless!!

  • JULIE I THINK THE OUR IS REFERENCE TO THE TRINITY. WE OFTEN FORGET THAT OUR TRIUNE GOD IS ,WAS AND WILL BE THE FATHER,SON AND HOLY SPIRIT ETERNALLY.

  • So Abel had no offspring. Sad to realize this since God favored him.
    Does anyonr know Why did God favor Abel and not Cain?

    • Cain made an offering to God, but it was considered not much of a sacrifice because he didn’t give his best to God, while Abel offered the best part of his flock. Kind of like the widow’s offering in Matthew 12. She gave two copper coins, worth only a penny. And yet it was worth so much more than all the rich people’s offerings, because they gave from their surplus, but she gave all that she had. Which made her offering more precious and more of a sacrifice.

  • Isn’t it amazing! “In the beginning…” there was God and His ultimate Sovereignty. How He loved us so much that from out of the nothingness, He brought forth LIFE! The Genesis Story, I must agree, is one of the most eloquent love stories poetically written. All I can say is “Wow!” God truly loves us this much!

  • As to the original question posed, God created
    everything needed to sustain us. His creation is comprised of opposites;
    darkness and light, water and land, minerals (no life) and plants (life),
    irrational animals (birds and fish) and rational animals (man). Although the
    world is full of opposites, they each have a purpose and complement each other.
    His six days of creation built upon each other, culminating in His greatest
    masterpiece… man… and woman…

  • One of the Truths this tells me is that our God is a Triune God. There are many other things this tells me but the Trinity popped in my mind right away because someone asked on one of my Catholic YouTube videos, “prove the Trinity, give me verses in the Bible that prove the Trinity” and this is just one area of many where we find the Trinity.

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;” Gen 1:26.

    • We will not find Trinity in the Bible but it is referred to that God is plural. For example, Genesis 1:26 says–‘Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the….”
      “Let us……Of course we know from our Catholic Faith that God is one and three Divine Persons. Tradition tells us that not everything is in the Bible as Catholic believe for we adhere to Faith and Tradition. The word “Bible” is not found in the Bible.” We know that the Bible was put together, encompassing many different books and genres which is inspired by the Holy Spirit. But the word “Bible” is on the outside of the Bible, not inside of the Bible said Fr. John Trigilio on one of his programs of “Web of Faith” on EWTN.

  • Looking at the posts here reminds me of the Bible Studies I used to attend as an Evangelical, where everyone just told everyone else what the passage meant to them.
    The New Evangelisation is making ecclesial relativism mainstream and becoming Protestantism in all but name, except with a figurehead, a papal mascot.

  • My question is- God is “all knowing” why is he looking for Adam and Eve in the garden? And on the same note why did he ask Cain “where” Abel was? I thought he knew all this stuff?

    • I frequently ask my son where things are when I know exactly where they are, and there are good reasons for doing so in terms of his moral development.

    • maybe God couldn’t see them??? imagine! we are in so much more trouble if God cannot see us because of 1 sin!!
      .
      no – God wants them to think He cannot find them because they are hiding…
      .
      He knows where His children are – that He went to the spot speaks to this… what He wants, therefore, serves us a purpose not God – He wants us to come to Him…
      .
      God IS our Father – He does not put Himself too far away from His children… just like our babies, begin with peek-a-boo – mom or dad mere inches away, ‘hiding’ themselves from our baby’s face… hiding our face grows into hiding our selves, ducking below the table, or behind the sofa with toddlers… hiding some other room when kid counts, or vice versa…
      .
      not for ‘any’ reason we do that, EXCEPT – to gain our kids’ trust that we are always there – physically, when thy are small; on the phone when they are in school; by mail when they move across the country… gradually, we hope, they learn not to come to us when they need something, but turn to God…
      .
      because, when we die, God is the only One who can actually be there…

      • no… I take exception with myself, lol… “no – God wants them to think He cannot find them because they are hiding…” … that’s wrong…
        .
        it’s not that God wanted them to think anything – it was Him respecting their privacy, their own choices NOT to be seen… that’s not saying God cannot see, but does not see… hmmm…

  • There was nothing… God created everything. The origin of the smartest people today or not so smart after all are created out of nothingness.
    Mary said “..he looks on His servant in her nothingness, henceforth all ages will call me blessed..” Have we forgotten God as giver of our life?

    • Genesis 3:15 as we know, refers to Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

      “Woman” mentioned in the O.T.

      “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.” (Quote from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

      “Woman” is mentioned in the N.T. at the wedding feast of Cana.

      (John 2:4) ” [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”

      Jesus would do anything for his Mother Mary. Mary is intercessor.
      The Queen Mother of the O.T. was not the wife of the King but the mother of the king. Jesus was not ready at this time for his “hour to come” but he did what his Mother asked of Him.

      On the cross, Jesus said to Mary–“Woman, behold your son.”

      And to St. John, Jesus said–“Behold your mother.” Jesus was telling St. John, his beloved disciple to take care of Mary. And Jesus was telling Mary to take care of God’s people, the Church.(John 19: 26-27)

      “When Jesus saw his mother* and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
      Indeed, as the “Magnificat” proclaims (as you so beautifully stated)–“all ages will call me blessed….” Scott Hahn has a wonderful book among his many books called “Hail Holy Queen”
      and talking too about the Church, Mike Aquilina has many books about the Early Church Fathers.

  • Dear Brothers and Sisters; This is my first time joining this group, which I feel blessed to be called into… I took the time to read through most of the comments with open mind to learn from so many different interpretations; some guided by the spirit; some by a purely human mind and logic. I decided to enter my comment to share at the same time with all participants of this group a different point of view, that I had the opportunity to present on my books “The Three Plans of God” and “Those Angels Called Humans” … I always look for the WHYs, HOWs, and WHAT FORs… and I agree with some of the comments that Genesis is very rich in this type of messages. Except God, the creator; NO ONE knows what happen at the beginning; therefore we have to rely on the information that HE gave us; and what HE or the Holy Spirit inspired to be written is not a narrative sequential history; but a guiding or educational message that transcends time, and reaches each one of us…. God existed with no beginning… God was ONE, and TRINITY at the same time … God didn’t need us; but His will was to create…. then lets ask ourselves:
    * WHY God created the universe, the earth and the heavens, the angels and us humans?… (because of LOVE)
    * What for… were we created?… (To be united in LOVE to God)
    * How were we created?…. (at image and similitude to God, the infinite spirit of LOVE)
    * How evil spirit entered into God’s perfect creation? (God didn’t want to create us to obey Him as robots; true LOVE needs to come from free choice and free will; the alternative evil
    * What is our role in our present life in this world?…..(The entire law from God the creator, is summarized in the only one commandment of LOVE to God and to all our neighbours)
    * What is our direction and what our ultimate goal? (We are walking back to re-join the universal body of God our Creator)
    All these questions are explained in the initial plan of God in his “plan for our creation”…
    Unfortunately by choosing sin or disobedience; we broke God’s plan and got separated from our Creator… but so much HE loved us, that HE immediately designed his “plan for our redemption”, From the time of genesis, God announces the coming of his only son, God Himself to… a) forgive our sins; b) redeem us from our faults, and c) to restore the union with his body and his blood; the union of God and human kind… and finally; God also designed a plan to rescue us and bring us back to the Father in heaven, with his “Plan of Salvation” connecting Genesis even to the apocalypses, where we see the great multitude of those who believed, and were washed by the blood of the “LAMB OF GOD” standing in front of the altar of God.
    Finally a word about those concerned about the genealogy described in Genesis… as mentioned before this is not a history book, but a guiding or teaching book for each one of us… Adam represents the male humanity… Eva represents women, wives, mothers, sisters… Cain represents sons inclined to do evil; while Abel represents sons inclined to obey and love God… God is putting us into a family perspective in which also God wants to take part. Every one of us necessarily fit into a family context; and should receive a message as a father, as a brother, as a mother or as a sister.. as obedient or as disobedient of God… and should see consequences and repercussions of our actions…
    Genealogy may also account for structuring the concept of God walking together with human kind guiding its people (whom recognized Him and chose to obey Him) towards the redemption and salvation plans.

  • As I unstand things in Genesis, the stories are meant to show us many things about our nature as creatures of God. Recall, generally speaking these stories help us focus NOT on scientific facts, but on the faith and moral perspectives of human nature and how God ties into things. They show us what God is trying to tell us spiritually and not necessarily based on hard science.

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