One June 1 we will begin going through some Psalms and I encourage you to get A Woman of Worship — at least for the musical CD in the back with those psalms set to music.
But for now, I want to prepare your hearts with material from some current writing projects. I’m working on a book with the tentative title “Every Love Story Whispers His Name.”
For the next five days, I’d like to contemplate the first love story in Scripture, the first love song — to see if you hear the music. The song of creation.
My granddaughter, Analise, is with me now in Wisconsin. A few summers ago she asked me to take her picture “rejoicing” in front of the sunset. She hears the music.
Both Rob Bell and Tim Keller have powerful sermons explaining that Genesis 1 is not prose, but poetry. If we read it as prose, we misinterpret it. (Hermeneutics tells us we must interpret Scripture according to its genre, or we will interpret it incorrectly.) Genesis 1 is not asking “How was the world created,” as prose might, “but why was the world created?”
Let’s look together. See if you can hear the music.
1. Poetry is filled with rhythm and repetition. Find some examples of this in Genesis 1.
2. What does Job 38:7 tell us was happening at Creation?
3. There is evidence of the Trinity “dancing in delight.” The early church fathers had a word for this: Perichorises: the choreography of the Trinity. Each member of the Trinity was dancing around the Others, glorifying the Others. Find evidences in Genesis 1 for the Trinity.
4. All of creation was dancing, saying, “Our Father loves us! Our Father says we are good!” Though sin has brought dissonance to the song, you can still hear the music. Brent Curtis wrote:
Someone or something has romanced us from the beginning with creekside singers and pastel sunsets, with the austere majesty of snowcapped mountains and the poignant flames of autumn colors telling us of something—or someone—leaving, with a promise to return…
Step outside right now. Listen, look, take it in. What do you hear? What do you see? Even in the midst of a city, if that is where you live, you should still be able to hear and see the music, the dance — somehow.
5. The Trinity decided to expand the fellowship, the community — so God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Now we are called to join in bringing glory to God. Genesis 1 answers, not “How was the world created — but why?” Is this a new way of looking at Genesis 1 to you?
6. Why was the world created? Why were you created?
7. Share your reflections and applications for today.
I apologize that this post was not set up right to leave comments at first — but it’s been fixed, so hoping to hear from you!
Job 38;7 tells us at God’s creation “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Find evidences in Genesis 1 for the trinity. Genesis 1,verse 26 God said “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.” Is he referring to the trinity here when he says Us & Our? Why was the world created? Why was I created? The book, The Purpose driven life helped me some with those questions. I was created for God to love God and so God could love me and you. God is a God of love. He created the world for us that we may glorify him in it.
1. Poetry is filled with rhythm and repetition. Find some examples of this in Genesis 1.
Examples: “And God said, Let …” is repeated almost throughout. Also, when God created, after, the creation was named: first the creation, then the name of the creation.
2. What does Job 38:7 tell us was happening at Creation?
Answer: Job 38:7 (New International Version)
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?
Thus: A celebration or party!
I’m glad to see you back with us Livingloved.
question 3: I agree with Joyce: us and our.
question 4: yes, yes, yes, the wooing of the love song caresses our hearts …
question 5,6, 7: Giving glory to God, yes, but let us not forget it is through His wooing love toward us and then our responsive love to Him and then to others, as ourselves, also answers the reason “why?” for relationships that glorifies and draws others in need of such a love song.
sorry for my unclear statement. I was too stressed to have written. I apologize again.
#1. Poetry is filled with rhythm and repetition. Find some examples of this in Genesis 1.
There is rhythm and repetition in the phrase,
“And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” ( and the same verse repeated with “a second day, a third day” and so on).
#2. What does Job 38:7 tell us was happening at creation?
“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of
God shouted for joy?”
The “when” refers to “when I (God) laid the foundation of the earth”
#3. Find evidences in Genesis 1 for the Trinity.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1:2 “and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according
to Our likeness”
#5. Genesis 1 answers, not “How was the world created – but why?” Is
this a new way of looking at Genesis 1 to you?
Yes, it is. I’ve heard many sermons and different pastors on Christian radio emphasizing the importance of a literal understanding of the creation account, with Genesis 1 being a “broad overview” and Genesis 2 zooming in on the details, especially the details of the creation of man.
I’ve taken topical Bible studies on the role of a woman, and focused on Genesis 1 and 2 as understanding the purpose, for me, as a wife, to be a helper-completer for my husband.
There is much emphasis and debate on believing in a literal six day creation.
I know many Christians debate on whether there was a literal man, called Adam, who was the first man. On this issue, I believe there was, because Jesus Himself spoke of the first man, and Jesus is referred to as the “second Adam”, and the apostle Paul explained how sin and death entered the world through the one man, Adam.
In all of this theological debate, I don’t think I’ve ever thought much about the “Why” God created when I’ve read through the first two chapters of Genesis. I’ve focused on other things, such as how all God had to do was say, “Let there be light” and it was so. That He could speak things into existence. And how everything He created was good in His sight.
I love the image of an earth that was “formless and void” and dark, and the Spirit of God moving, or hovering, over the surface of the waters…just waiting to create!
Susan…The Spirit of God moving, hovering, over the surface of the waters..just waiting to create…. – what a beautiful thought! Thank you!
#6. Why was the world created? Why were you created?
Well, I know that God always existed, and that He was perfect and complete within Himself: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He was not in “need” of anything, and He wasn’t lonely and needing company.
I cannot know the mind of God, but the Bible tells me “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” (Ephesians 1:4) I was chosen before God even created the world.
So God had this awesome plan laid out to create a world that would reveal His glory and majesty in its creation – the mountains, the flowers, the oceans – everything would point to a Creator. He had already planned the redemption of mankind before He created a thing; from beginning to end He had it all planned out – and I think the culmination of the plan is for His children to live with Him forever made perfect and holy through Jesus Christ. It’s awesome to ponder that He doesn’t need our companionship, but He desires to love us and for us to love Him. God chose mankind to take care of His creation.
Psalm 8 speaks to much of this:
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise
because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,
what is man that You are mindful of him,
the son of man that You care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
#7. Share your reflections and applications for today.
Reflecting on why God created the world and why he created men and women, pondering His limitless knowledge and wisdom and power should see to it that I never run out of reasons to praise Him.
It should give me more confidence in prayer because truly, nothing is too hard for God to do.
I think I need to go back to #6. Why were you created?
I (we) was (were) created for specific reasons. As Eph 1:4 says, “to be holy and blameless in His sight.” And “For you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Yes, God created the world and us out of love, but this world is not our “playground” and we are not to be like immature children seeking nothing but pleasure and enjoyment. We are given responsibilities and work to do, we were made to reflect God’s image to others and to glorify Him with our lives. We are His hands and His feet as we serve others. We are to follow the example of Christ and become more and more like Him. We are image-bearers of God Himself. He really has entrusted alot to us, and makes His power known in that He enables us to accomplish all that He has given us to do.
I guess this ties in with the last question of how I am reflecting on this and making application for my life. There’s enough here to chew on for a lifetime!
You’ve done some good chewing, Susan.
The word “literally” actually means “according to the literature.” If you don’t interpret poetry as poetry and prose as prose, you are not interpreting it literally. One leading opponent of historic Christianity says the Bible says the earth is flat because it says God’s eyes run to the end of the earth. He’s twisting, he’s not interpreting poetry as poetry.
When you interpret Genesis 1 as poetry, you are interpreting it literally, because it is poetry. If you interpret it as prose, you are misinterpreting it — it was not designed to answer how, but why.
Why questions are actually more important.
All of creation was designed to worship God — even the heavens: the stars, the moon, the sun declare His glory. Likewise the firmament with all the flowers and trees echo His praise. We, God’s crowning achievement, should praise Him best of all.
WE WERE CREATED TO DECLARE HIS WORTH. WE WERE CREATED TO WORSHIP! HOW DO WE DO THAT IN OUR EVERY DAY LIFE — ALL THROUGH THE DAY?
I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR RESPONSES!
I practice his presence in thought, read, kindnesses towards others and receive it from others, listen to others and music, and just stay silent, to name some ways.
I heard a pastor say recently that true worship begins when we go out of the church doors and serve others. I have a new client I am helping 2 afternoons a week. She needs help with bathing and dressing. And, I also clean the home. Part of my work is sitting and talking with her. When I am with her I realize what a privilege it is to be a caregiver. I get to be God’s hands and, in this case, his ears. I guess what I am trying to say is that I worship with my work. Everytime I serve a client I know I am serving God.
That is so true Tammy and it makes me sad that it has only been in recent years that I could see this. Until then, I was not happy in my work. I also see that it has been through trials and being a patient myself that my thinking has changed.
I haven’t begun this portion yet but in reading over the responses I’m reminded of The Language of God by Francis Collins. I read it last year and was thrilled by what he revealed about God and creation but I must say, I was also confused. Collins seemed to be proving evolution with his science and that just did not seem right in light of Genesis 1. But if it is poetry and not literal that might explain a lot.
The trinity dancing in delight. Wow! This is a new idea to me and I love it! Of course they dance! Right now that is not how Genesis 1 seems to me. Possibly I have read it too many times as a verbatim account of facts. I can see it in Job though.
When I was a teen I remember how creation spoke to me. We had a cabin in the Green Mountains I remember looking out over the mountains and thinking that there was no way God did not exist. Then lying on the ground looking up at the sky through the brilliant fall leaves.
Now I see God so often in creation. When I ride the bus to my car we go by the reservoir and at about 5pm the sun shines just right and it looks like jewels winking all over the face of the water. After rain the sun shines on the soft pine boughs covering them with jewels.
I love a good thunder storm. Sunday while I was meeting with my small group there was a storm. I could not see the sky but heard the thunder and rain on the roof as we talked. As I drove home a bank of huge bilious white clouds was just ahead of me. The sun began to move from behind them and turned the edges into platinum. I would have stopped to take a picture but it did not last long enough. The sun came out and then I could no longer look at it. A beautiful dance it was!
Liked Susan’s reference to Psalm 8 and Susan’s Thunderstorm.
In The Jesus Storybook Bible (my favorite book other than the Bible) this is how she tells Genesis 1:
He wrote “I love you” in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere! …The way a kitten chases her tail. The way red poppies grow wild. The way a dolphin swims…
And God put it into words, too, and wrote it in a book called “the Bible.”
1. Since Livingloved and Susan have covered two of my answers to the question, I will add ‘God saw it was good’ as another repetitive phrase in the poem of creation. Reading Genesis 1 as poetry is new for me.
2. I agree with the thought the morning stars celebrated creation. I wonder if they said: “WOW! WOW! WOW!
3. Evidence of Trinity in Genesis 1 begins in verse 1. The Hebrew name for God used here is ELOHIM. This name denotes the plurality of God. Elohim is used in vv.2-12,14,16-18,20-22,24-29,31.
I have never considered the idea of the Trinity dancing for joy at creation. I wonder if it was like the way toddler’s dance? They move with the rhythm of the music and they will shake thier little bodies with the biggest smiles on their precious faces. Joy written all over.
I just had to say THANK YOU for the refreshing image of the Trinity dancing about like delighted toddlers over creation.
I’d never considered the image of ‘dancing with joy’ in such a beautiful and unrestrained fashion before. I always kept the image so much more stuffy or ‘proper’, but your image of dancing in this way has inspired me to move outside of my own preconceived line of thinking.
As I wrote my answer, I had a picture in mind. Back in March I was singing in the choir during revival service and looked out into the congreagation. Standing on a pew was a 3 year old little girl shaking her hips to the music. I almost lost it laughing.
I’m glad that my image of the Trinity has helped you to ‘loosen up’.
These are such wonderful thoughts you are all sharing!I love how they all fit together. Children dancing and laughing must be the crown of God’s creation.
I agree with all of these and have a few more to share. As always I run the risk of being ‘out there’ but I just love to ponder and think out loud.
6. Why was the world created? Why were you created? I believe God created because of His great love. He loves every single thing He made. As each creation does what it was created to do a great symphony takes place. As this symphony continues each creation is ravished with His love. The fall did cause much damage to His glorious creation but the symphony plays on if only we can hear it.
7. Share your reflections and applications for today. So many times I do not hear. There are many reasons why but are another thing to ponder but for me, I think the greatest is fear. I fear loss, humiliation, disaster from a myriad of causes. If I can only trust more I think I will improve my hearing. If I can be like a little child, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Mark 10:14). I wonder if this symphony is what Jesus was referring to when He spoke of the kingdom of God. The reason I say that is so often Jesus spoke of the kingdom and I think He meant more than heaven. Like when He told the Pharisees that the kingdom of God was among them (can’t remember where or exact wording). Then another time He said that the present generation would not die until they saw the kingdom of God. Jesus’ life, ministry and death was also part of the symphony I think.
How can we worship all day? First I have to ‘lighten up’ as my husband would say. Things happen all day long that we can miss if we stress about the bad stuff. One day at work a secretary that works at a desk in the middle of all the comings and goings on our unit noticed my patient. As he was rolling out in the wheelchair to go home, she commented that he ‘was a cute old man’. I thought about it and had to agree although I had not noticed. She said ‘I just love old people’ and proceeded to tell me about working in a nursing home when she was younger. My esteem for her went up significantly when she said that. Not many people enjoy the elderly for being as God created them. I was given opportunity for worship when she said that and my day brightened.
4. I stepped outside just minutes ago and saw the stars twinkling. The crickets were singing their tune. I heard a dog barking in the distance. All is quiet for the night.
5. Considering the why of creation and not the how created is not a new thought for me. I was taught early on God created man to be caretaker of the earth. And, since man is the only creature with a free will to make his own choices, creation suffers because of poor decisions. I heard a reporter describe on the news earlier this evening how the creatures in the Gulf are dealing with the oil spill. On the other side, those who care for the earth, those who beautify their little corner of the world, are fulfilling what God intended.
6. The world was created because God had a plan. Before he laid the foundation of the world, Christ had already agreed to be the sacrifice for sin. The Trinity had agreed to create man. The Trinity knew man would rebel yet still chose to create and love mankind. This line of thinking often boggles my mind. My late pastor use to say “There once was a time when you and I were not. There will never be a time when you and I will cease to be.”
I was created to fellowship with God. I use to question my birth. Like Job I wondered why I saw the light of day. But now, as I grow older and am a lot wiser because of what I have gone through these past 2 years, I’m beginning to see how I fit into the plan. I get the plan for my life one day at a time. Life is an adventure and I don’t want to miss out on what God has specifically planned for me. This blog was planned in eternity past. God has brought us all together at this time in history. Does that thought boggle anybody else’s mind? We have the favor of the Lord.
Yes it does boggle the mind, Tammy, that so many lives all over the world will intersect each other at a given point in time or at a certain place, and they are all Divine Appointments. And God sees it all from His vantage point, and knows the people He wants to bring together.
There is a very bright full moon high in the sky tonite. I can’t wait til later in the summer when the crickets and frogs will sing all night long; that’s one of my favorite sounds, sleeping with the windows open so I can listen. That’s God’s music in the night!
How can we worship all day long? I liked something I heard on the radio today by Charles Stanley. He was talking about prayer, and gave the example of when we talk on the phone with someone, and hang up, the conversation has ended. But with God, we can pray, and not hang up, instead, we keep in communication with Him all throughout our day, talking with Him about everything and anything.