Friday, July 13, 2018

Lessons from Genesis

This summer, the women's ministry at my church is studying the first eleven chapters of Genesis. It's been interesting and refreshing to learn new things about the text. Here's a list of some of the things from the various meetings that have stood out to me as the meetings have gone on.

* The Bible does not hold the only real stories of God - we have our own too and need to tell them
* What parts of Genesis makes God more personal? He talks to man directly, creates a good place for them to live, good things to eat, and gives them a job to do.
* Offering man the free will to choose to eat from the tree of good and evil was the only way love was possible for God. Sure, he could have created a puppet man who wouldn't sin, but that wouldn't be creating a man with the freedom to choose to obey and choose to love.
* Work shows us our need for rest
* Be clear about which restrictions are from God, and which are not. Humans can add restrictions (i.e. don't touch the tree) with good intent, but those are not the real restrictions
* Man and women are more described as alike in the scriptures than different. Contempt grows out of hunting for the differences. Different, yes, but complementary
* God provides for pleasure and needs, not just needs, in Genesis
* It's a sign of God's grace that he asked "where are you" after the fall, instead of a lecture
* It's a sign of God's love that man didn't just instantly perish after sinning, but he continued to pursue them, even though he was the wounded party in their relationship.
* Even in God's punishments, he doesn't create or condone sin - so God's giving power to the husband is not condoning husbands who abuse their wives, to be clear!
* There is hope in the actions after the fall - naming Eve is a hope for the future of the living
* God providing garments is a sign of his continued care even after they have sinned
* God's mercy was not contingent on asking for forgiveness, it was provided immediately
* God working for good means making you more like Christ, not making you more happy

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