Genesis 1 Commentary

In verse one God is existing. He creates the heavens and the earth. The term ‘heavens’ is probably a reference to the universe rather than ‘God’s home’. The material world is created. We notice that there is a big difference between verse 1 and verse 3 in terms of time.

The hovering over the deep may be a reference to the Spirit of God being present rather than the Spirit of God having no home and therefore hovering just about. Verse 2 gives us a picture of Darkness and disorder. But the beginning of the gospel of John gives us insight into deeper issues surrounding the beginning.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1‭-‬3‭, ‬5 NIV

The first thing God creates is light. Even before the sun is created! Interesting. The light is separated from darkness and hence the day/night cycle. All of this without the sun! The first day is also interesting because we had evening and morning without the sun or without the means or the objects that make evening and morning possible. I think there is something the Bible is telling us here. How little we know of God’s work! It’s beyond us. I thank God that the little we can know is good enough for faith.

I also note that the Bible is not ignorant of physics. The Bible tells us of the importance of the rotation of the earth around the sun (hence seasons and years). It also tells us of the importance of the earth spinning by its axis (hence the day/night cycle). Verse 14 gives us these details long before science began to put meat to these mysteries. So the details we have or don’t have are mostly for a much higher purpose than physics.

So having created everything else verse 26 focuses on the creation of man. The order of creation speaks volumes to us. It’s like the LORD is preparing everything for a grand entry of man. He must find the earth well prepared. Indeed a thought like this begs the question, “What is man that you are mindful of him?”

The lines we have looked at give us an immediate picture. Man is created to be like a small god. In the image of God was man created. Male and female, He created them. Verse 28 is super important as we see the word  ‘bless’ (or its variants, blessed or simply blessing) for the very first time in the holy script as it applies to man. And it is used to describe the special capacity given to man to achieve God’s desired outcomes. It speaks of the continuation of creation in a sense that makes man a participant. Could that be the reason why we see God giving man the task of taking care of the garden in addition to reproduction? I have created two now go on and create the rest.

We can further speculate on the usage of the word rest. It’s not like the LORD was tired.
Here are the three main areas of blessing are: INCREASE, PROSPER, RULE, OR DOMINION

Will this creature called man live to fulfill God’s purposes? Will they increase and prosper? Will they rule or have dominion over creation? The rest of the pages of Genesis will give us more details.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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