Saturday, September 09, 2006

Thoughts on The Beginning

Over the last week, the focus over at Bible Bloggers has been on the beginning. Now I have the time to sit and meditate on it for a while without worrying about getting off the computer in time to get ready for work or so that M can have his turn.

Genesis 1 - The Creation

Is it really so hard to believe that the account given in the first chapter of Genesis really is how it all happened? Which is more of a leap of faith - that an all-powerful being brought all things into existance through a divine design, or that it all just serendipitously came together on its own? What's wrong with the idea that it all happened in 6 24-hour periods? If God is truly all-powerful, why not? Sure, He could have just blinked it all into existance in a nanosecond. But I like to think He was planning ahead, and setting a basis for the way we measure time.

My mind more often dwells on other questions when I think of the creation. Such as why? Why did God decide one day to do all of this? Was He lonely? Was He bored? Did He need a good laugh? Was He curious as to just how much He was capable of doing?

Genesis 2 - The Institution of Marriage

God said "It is not good that man should be alone." Did Adam notice that he was alone? Or did God see that need before Adam even realized it?

I find it interesting that God then proceeds to have Adam name all of the animals. It's almost as if God wants Adam to come to the realization of his need on his own. I can almost picture Adam spending time with each animal, deciding what it should be called. How long did it take for Adam to name all of the animals? When you read the text, it's easy to get the idea that God told Adam to name the animals, and then maybe an hour later, there God was putting Adam to sleep so that he could create woman. But be realistic. ALL of the animals. Adam named them all. Those animals most likely did not line up and wait patiently to be named, then calmly wander off. Adam probably had to go looking. Genesis 3:5 tells us that Adam was 130 when Seth was born. So it would appear that either Adam and Eve didn't figure out the nature of their corresponding components for quite a while, or it took Adam about a hundred years to name all those animals, since Eve didn't show up until after he had discovered that none of them were suitable companions for him. I wonder how long it took for him to realize that of all of God's creation, he was unique. He had no peers. None of the animals came close.

Anyway, however long it took Adam to name all the animals, he never did find a companion that was suitable. A pet just isn't a good enough substitution for interaction with another human being.

So God put Adam to sleep and proceeded to create woman. But he doesn't use the exact same method he used to create Adam. Adam was formed from the dust of the earth. God took one of Adam's ribs to create woman. She was actually a part of him.

Why his rib? Well, one rib isn't exactly a load-bearing wall, so it didn't do any damage to Adam's structural integrity. Plus, there's always this little thought:

For man was created of the dust of the earth, but woman was made of a part of man, after that he was a living soul: yet was she not produced from Adam's foot, to be his too low inferior; nor from his head to be his superior, but from his side, near his heart, to be his equal; that where he is Lord, she may be Lady.

~Rachel Speght, A Mouzell for Melastomus

God intended for man and woman to be equals. To complement each other. Enance each other's strengths and compensate for one another's weaknesses.

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