Genesis 5

This is the written account of Adam’s family line.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan.10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel.13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.

15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared.16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch.19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters.31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
(Genesis 5:1-32 NIV)

In the fifth chapter of Genesis, Moses transitions from telling the stories of individuals to providing a genealogy of the generations between Adam and Noah.

Moses does not provide an exhaustive or complete record of every person born; rather, Moses provides a record of certain individuals from each generation.

Genesis chapter 5 also introduces us to another “first”  – natural death.  Moses recorded the stories of two unnatural deaths – Abel (at the hand of his brother Cain), and an unnamed young man (at the hand of Lamech).  Eight times Moses records “… and then he died”.  God had told Adam and Eve that the consequences of disobeying His commands would lead to death.  Satan had sown the seeds of doubt when he tempted Adam and Eve; after they sinned, God did not strike them dead, but He did keep His promise, as recorded in Chapter 5.

There are a few notable points as we read down through this genealogy:

First, God cares about His creation, especially about His people.  God inspired Moses to write down the names and lineage of these people to remember their lives and to preserve a record of their days on earth.  This is particularly important for future generations, as Luke traces the lineage and genealogy of Jesus from His earthly parents all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:23-37).

Second, we see the first instance of God intervening and taking someone into heaven before they experienced death.  Verses 22 – 24 tell of Enoch, who “walked with God”.

Enoch’s notoriety was not focused on his deeds, but rather on his attitude toward God.  Hebrews 11:5-6 give us a clearer perspective on Enoch’s life – a life pleasing to God.  The writer of Hebrews ties verse 6 back to verse 5 as the “lesson learned” from Enoch’s life – to earnestly seek after God and to walk in obedient faith with God is to please God.

May our life center in God as Enoch’s life did, with our sole desire to please Him.


Genesis 4

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear.14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.
(Genesis 4:1-26 NIV)

As we progress through the narrative story of Genesis, we heard Moses tell of God’s creation of everything (chapter 1), zooming in on God’s creation of humans (chapter 2), and the fall of humanity from sinless perfection and relationship with God to sin and alienation from God (chapter 3).

In today’s passage, Moses continues the story with more “firsts” – the first children, the first sibling rivalry, the first jealousy, the first murder, the first city, and the first revenge and boasting.

As today’s narrative of Cain and Abel unfolds, we see the two brothers dividing duties, likely under the instruction of their father Adam.  Both men bring gifts before God; the Lord accepts Abel’s gift but rejects Cain’s gift.

And what was the difference?  Why did God choose one over the other?  Was it the gift itself, or the attitude of the giver?  The text gives a hint about the gift but does not focus on it.  The real emphasis is on the heart and attitude of the two givers.

The only hint we have about the gift is that “Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.” (verses 3 – 4).  Did Cain bring produce that was second-best, the leftovers, while Abel brought his best, the “first fruits”, the “fat portions” (the best of the best) as their offerings before the Lord?

The real emphasis is on the heart of the giver, and God’s response to each man’s heart.  When God looked with favor on Abel and his offering, the text told us that Cain became very angry.

So what was the issue?  Why did Cain get so mad?  Sibling rivalry and jealousy.  Cain, as the older brother, did not like it that he was upstaged by his younger brother.  He wanted to be number one in God’s eyes, and God made Abel number one (or so it felt like it to Cain).  In fact, they were equals before God; God was revealing their hearts to both men and showing them what He was looking for in His relationship with them.

When God sees Cain’s reaction, He talks to Cain in a gentle but firm way about the consequences of Cain letting his feelings and emotions rule over his obedience to the Lord.  Cain had a choice in front of him.  The Lord, as Cain’s divine coach and mentor, advised him to choose wisely and carefully.

And what was the question that God asked Cain?   What was the choice in front of this angry man?  The Lord was asking Cain if he was going to let the past influence the present.  God did not equate the acceptance or rejection of Cain’s gift with the acceptance or rejection of Cain as a person, but Cain did.  This was a matter of attitude, not of action.

Unfortunately, sin was in full bloom, and Cain chose to let his emotions and his jealousy rule the day.  God held Cain responsible for his brother’s death and issued the consequences for Cain’s actions – he could no longer be a tiller of the soil and would be relegated to being a wanderer, a nomad.

Cain was overwhelmed, and the Lord showed Cain mercy by giving him some kind of mark that would protect him from others, and a promise to revenge any harm that would come to him.

The need to be right, to be noticed, to be seen as better than others is a disease that goes to the core of our being.  We see this in the next glimpse of the life of Lamech, one of Cain’s descendants.  Things had gone downhill rapidly, from God announcing revenge for anyone who would try to harm Cain, to Lamech actually taking revenge against a child who bruised him by killing the child, then bragging to his wives for what he had done.

Imagine for a moment about how that would make Lamech’s wives feel… so much for any sense of loving support and feeling equal status with their husband.  Lamech was bragging to his wives to make himself look good and make them feel good about him, but the implications were quite the opposite.  Lamech had put himself in place of God, and was essentially threatening his wives that if they crossed him in any way, they would end up the same as the boy.

May we keep the Lord first and foremost in everything we think, say, and do.

The consequences of doing otherwise are deadly.


Genesis 3

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    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 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
(Genesis 3:1-24 NIV)

In our last time together, we sat with Moses as he told of God calling His creation complete and celebrating by resting for a day.  In chapter 2, Moses also recapped the pinnacle of God’s creation, people.  Humans were made in God’s image, His likeness, both male and female (Adam and Eve).

We saw God put a boundary between humans and the rest of creation, with humans given the responsibility to rule over all the rest of creation.  And that is why Adam couldn’t find an equal in any of the animals – you can’t find an equal among those you’re to rule over.

Similarly, God put a boundary between Himself and humanity.  Humans had free reign over everything in the Garden of Eden, with the exception of one tree.  And that one tree contained something that they didn’t need – the knowledge of good and evil.  They only knew good in their sinless state – they had no reason to know evil.  Humans had unbroken fellowship with God – they could talk to God anytime about anything.

And thus, we come to Chapter 3, the fall of humanity into sin.

Notice how crafty and deceitful the serpent (Satan) was in tempting Adam and Eve.  He distorted something God set in place for the humans’ provision and protection, a boundary for their good, and twisted that boundary into something that looked bad, like God was holding out on Adam and Eve.  Of course, the serpent failed to warn the humans of the consequences of taking the bait of temptation.   They would only learn of those horrendous consequences after they had sinned.

Here we see God’s truth (don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) mixed with human reason (and don’t touch it), coupled with the enemy’s doubt (you won’t really die) and questioning (did God really say that?).

It’s important to note two things in this story of Adam and Eve’s original sin:

  • Eve was guilty of the sin of commission – doing something God said not to do.
  • Adam was guilty of the sin of omission – not speaking up when he saw what was going on, as he was right there beside Eve while the entire event took place.

And what was the outcome, the consequences of these sins?  Guilt (the “eyes” of their consciences were opened to the evil they had just committed), and shame (they recognized their nakedness and tried to cover themselves up).

And this pattern continues even today as we sin and try to cover up our transgressions.

And how did God respond?  Even though He knew Adam and Eve had sinned, He still sought them out.

Notice the flow of dialogue at this point:

  • Loving questioning (God to Adam)
  • Guilt and shame (Adam and Eve)
  • Blame – (Adam pointing to Eve and to God for giving Eve to him)
  • Blame passed (Eve to serpent)
  • Curse (God to serpent)
  • Pain (Eve – both physically in childbirth and relationally with Adam)
  • Pain (Adam, in his work, through the cursing of the ground)
  • Death (ultimately, to both of them)

At this point in the story, Adam gives his wife a name – Eve.  Before, she was known as sustainer-beside-him, more of a role than a name.  This was likely Adam comforting his wife, his sharing God’s mercy and grace with them both by not killing them instantly for their disobedience.  As Moses points out in the story, “Eve” meant “mother of all the living”, reassuring her that life would go on, though harder than they had ever known.

Next, we see God stepping in and providing a covering for their sin and guilt through the blood sacrifice of an innocent animal.  This would later be the pattern of God covering sin during the Old Testament, and the ultimate remission of sin for all humanity through the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Finally, God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden so they would not eat of the other tree mentioned in the Garden – the tree of life.  They were allowed to eat of that tree before their sin; now, it was off limits.  Life could only come from God, not from their own hand or effort or will.

Feel the weight of our sinfulness today, of the fall of humanity from Adam and Eve.

And feel the mercy and grace of God, far greater than the depth of our depravity and sin.


Genesis 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
(Genesis 2:1-25 NIV)

In Genesis chapter 1, we saw God at work through the Creation story.  God designed everything – the heavens and the earth, plants, animals, people, even time itself.  God then spoke all His creation into existence.

As we begin chapter 2, we see God declaring His creation complete, and celebrating that completion with a day of rest.  Moses tells us that God blessed that seventh day and made it holy, a day for God to enjoy His creation.  In return, this day was also a day for God’s creation to spend time with and enjoy Him.

The rest of chapter 2 is a recounting of chapter 1, the creation story.  Moses zooms in on the focal point of the chapter – humanity.  God had designed land, plants, animals, and water, and had designed them all with the need for a caretaker – humans, people.

This caretaking, these tasks to be done – is work.  Work with a good connotation, with intrinsic value, with dignity, honor, and respect.  God called work good, as He modeled it after what He had done in Creation.

As Moses recounts the creation story, he also includes God’s establishment of boundaries for humanity.  We saw God establish boundaries for light and darkness, earth and sky, water and dry land during the first three days of creation (1:3-13).

With these boundaries in place for humanity, God also gave the ability for humans to choose – to obey or not.  God did not create people as robots, to dutifully serve Him with no opportunity to choose.  Rather, He created humans with the ability to reason and think and the freedom to love and have joy and share it with others.  And that ability to choose is what brings God glory – when we intentionally honor Him and spend time with Him and obey His commands and precepts.  God knew it was a risk to give people the ability to choose – and He knew it was worth the risk to allow us to make those choices.  Yes, we could disobey (and do); the flip side of that is that we can also choose to honor and obey our Creator – and that brings God great joy and blessing.

Notice for the first time that God declared something “not good” (v. 18).  In this part of the story, our minds immediately jump to the place where God creates Eve as a companion for Adam.  But on closer examination, we see God first looking for a companion for Adam in all the birds and animals that He had created and had asked Adam to name.

While animals can be wonderful pets, here’s the dilemma… how can a human rule over something (chapter 1, verse 26) and at the same time be its equal as a partner?  The Hebrew word for “helper” is not a subservient role as many try to make it out to be.  Rather, a better depiction might be “sustainer beside another”.  Thus, no animal can be ruled over and be co-ruler at the same time.  So God created Eve to fulfill the role of co-ruler, the sustainer beside Adam.

We see the partnership of Adam and Eve, with Adam graciously receiving Eve as God’s gift to him, as co-heir and co-ruler of God’s creation, with God performing the first marriage ceremony.

Moses ends the chapter with his commentary about marriage being a “one flesh” partnership.  God designed us as humans to not be alone.   Do we have to be married to not be alone?  No.  God’s point? We are made to live in community with other humans.  And the most intimate of relationship and community is found in that first marriage, just as God has co-creator and relational community in the Trinity (Father – Son – Holy Spirit).

We are truly formed in God’s image – we are fearfully and wonderfully made, aren’t we?
(Psalm 139:14)

Humbly His,

Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
(Genesis 1:1-31 NIV)

As we begin our walk through the book of Genesis, Moses begins with God already in existence and in charge.  From eternity past, God exists and marks the start of time by creating everything.  The latin phrase “ex nihilo” (“out of nothing”) sums up God’s creative process.  God’s creative skill was not in arranging pre-existing things into some orderly patterns – this was literally creating everything from nothing.

Here’s the creation summary:

  • Day one – lights – day & night (vv. 1-5)
  • Day two – sky and water (vv. 6-8)
  • Day three – land and plants (vv. 9-13)
  • Day four – lights separated – sun, moon, & stars (vv. 14-19)
  • Day five – water creatures and birds (vv. 202-23)
  • Day six – land creatures and humans (vv. 24-31)

In the introduction, we called out that the book of Genesis has many firsts, and also many repeating patterns.  Notice that the six days have repeating patterns within them:

  • Day 1 (light, day and night) and Day 4 (light – sun, moon, and stars)
  • Day 2 (sky & water) and Day 5 (filling the sky with birds and the water with water creatures)
  • Day 3 (land and plants) and Day 6 (land creatures and humans that will eat the plants)

Notice the pattern for each day of creation:

  • God said, “let there be…”
  • And it was so…
  • And God saw (pronounced) that it was good.

Also, notice the pattern of created things:

  • Plants, animals, water creatures, land creatures, birds – each patterned after their kind
  • humans – made in God’s image – patterned after God Himself

God created and sustains all things, and from the beginning, invites us to join HIm in that leadership and sustaining process as our purpose, calling, and work (vv. 26-28).

Imagine God’s creation recorded not as a series of facts, but as a poem or lyrics of a song, to be read or sung to the praise, honor, and glory of the Creator.

May we join all nature in worship of our Creator for His creation today.


Introduction to Genesis

Today we embark on the adventure of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

The word “genesis” means “origins” or “beginnings”.

And in fact, this book records many beginnings:

  • God created the world
  • how the first humans interacted with and had perfect relationship with God
  • sin’s devastating results
  • God’s love of humanity despite their sin
  • God’s desire to bless all nations

In this book, we meet many unique people:

  • Adam and Eve
  • Noah and his family
  • Abraham and Sarah
  • Isaac and Jacob
  • Joseph

And yet, in all of these new starts, new people, and new places, we see a lot of repetitions and patterns, the interweaving of characters, of good, of bad, and everyday happenings as well as change.

The book of Genesis was recorded by Moses, and captures the story of the world’s ancestry and history from eternity past through Joseph.

Many scholars dissect the book of Genesis, and in fact, there are many smaller stories within this book’s larger story.  Moses reveals much about the heart and character of God, the fallenness of the human race, and God’s love for humanity despite their depravity and self-serving ways.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will attempt to see the larger story of God’s heart for His Creation, His character, and His love for a renewed relationship with all people.  We will explore how the smaller stories knit into the fabric of the larger story, God’s story.

I look forward to this adventure, and I invite you to join me on the journey.



Psalm 104

Psalm 104

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.
(Psalm 104:1-35 NIV)

Similar to Psalm 103, today’s psalm begins and ends with worship – “Praise the Lord”.

This psalm is focused on God as the creator and sustainer of all life.  This psalm carries the same theme (God’s glory) as Psalm 8 and the introduction of verse 1 in Psalm 19:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalm 19:1 NIV)

Notice how the psalmist switches pronouns when referring to the Lord – sometimes in the second person (“You”), while other times in the third person (“He”).  As I close my eyes and think about this for a moment, I imagine the psalmist sitting quietly with his best friend at the fading of the day, talking to the Lord and to his friend at the same time.  The psalmist effortlessly shifts between praising the Lord directly and sharing God’s wonder with his friend as they worship together.

The psalmist covers a wide array of God’s handiwork in this psalm, sandwiched in between a beginning praise (vv. 1-4) and an ending praise (vv. 31-35).  As you re-read the psalm, notice the following topics:

  • God’s Creation and the Flood (vv. 5-9)
  • God providing water for the earth and its creatures (vv. 10-13)
  • God providing plants as food for the animals and humans (vv. 14-17)
  • God providing food for animals and humans (vv. 18-23)
  • The psalmist admiring the incredible diversity of all God’s creatures (vv. 24-26)
  • The Lord’s care and provision for all His creation, and the contentment and peace that comes from willing and humble dependence on Him (vv. 27-30)


As you read and meditate on this psalm, what stirs inside you?




Awe and wonder?

Here’s an old hymn, written by Robert Grant in 1833, that is based on Psalm 104:1-7 and captures the essence of the psalmist’s worship (with a newer musical arrangement):

O Worship the King, All Glorious Above

Enjoy worshipping in His Presence today…