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Genesis starts by describing the creation and the beginning of everything. God creates light, dark, the sky, land, sea, and the plants and animals that inhabit the earth. He makes the sun, moon, and stars. God created man in his image from dirt, breathed life into him, and gifted him all of his creation. Then, God created the Garden of Eden with the tree of life and the tree of knowledge in the center. God placed man in the garden to tend to it, but warned not to eat from the tree of knowledge, stating that Adam would obey God. God decided that man should not be alone so, He took one of Adam’s ribs and created woman. The serpent deceived Eve into eating fruit from the tree of knowledge, and she gave some to Adam; their eyes were opened. God punished them for what they had done, going against His command. He cursed the woman with the pain of childbirth and to live under her husband’s authority. Man is cursed to work the land for food until he dies. God then banishes Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden.
Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel. Cain works the soil while Abel tends to the flocks. God favored Abel’s offering over that of Cain, and Cain became angry, proceeding to kill Abel. God curses Cain for killing Abel, telling him that any land he tries to tend shall bear no food. He is banished to the east. He brands Cain with a mark so that no man who meets him can kill him yet will suffer sevenfold. Adam and Eve have a third son named Seth. Through their sons, the human race begins to expand on earth.
God watched as mankind became wicked and corrupt. He set out to wipe man from the earth. Only Noah had gained favor in the eyes of the Lord. He tells Noah to build an Ark, as He plans to flood the earth. God tells Noah to gather his family and two of every animal onboard, along with food for all. God makes it rain on Earth for 40 days and nights. The water recedes after a year. Noah sends a dove out, and it returns with an olive leaf, letting him know that the water was gone. Everyone is able to leave the Ark. God establishes a covenant with Noah, blessing him and his family gifting the renewed earth to them; but there are certain rules they must follow: they must not eat meat with blood still in it, and not kill other men. God promises not to destroy Earth again, and chooses the rainbow to represent His covenant with Noah.
One day Noah drinks wine from his vineyard and lies drunk in his tent. His son Ham sees him naked and does nothing. His two other sons Shem and Japheth cover him up. When Noah realizes what Ham has done, he curses his descendants, the Canaanites, to be the slaves of the descendants of Ham’s brothers. Here originate the lineages of Shem and Japheth.
At this time, the whole world spoke one common language. Men started to become corrupt and arrogant. In Babylon, they attempted to build a tower to the heavens to show their greatness. God is angered by this and scatters man across the earth while confusing their language. After this, mankind lives in separate nations speaking different tongues.
I want to know why God put the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden. He openly put temptation right next to Adam and Eve. He allowed the serpent to corrupt Eve, and later Eve corrupts Adam. I guess this has to do with God giving us free will, then trusting mankind to do what is morally right. It’s kind of like when Jesus talks about not giving into sin. I believe it’s in Matthew when Jesus gives the example of gouging out your eye rather than commit a sin.
It’s interesting to think about the creation of the heavens and earth. You think about the timeline that goes through the cretaceous, Jurassic etc. periods, and the time America has been around is a tiny blink of time at the very end... after eons and eons of climates and tectonics. How long was a day of creation? God could do it all in a snap. If it happened over the timelines that we recognize, could we even fathom the huge expanses of time in each day of creation? It’s a mind-blowing comparison. Time as we know it means nothing. Remember we don't have to understand to keep the faith. This would be interesting to talk about in the argument of evolution. What if evolution did happen, but in the span of the first seven days? Billions of years could be a blink of an eye for God.
1. How long were each of the first seven days? Do you think a day represents 24 hours?
2. Why did God allow temptation into the garden of Eden? Do we feel like God is always testing us to see if free will follow a righteous or decadent path?
3. How do Christians come to terms with the story of Adam and Eve and creationism and what science tells us?