Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Friday, December 20, 2013

28 Stories - Study 15: Very Good

Fundamental: Creation

Bible Story   

The sixth day of Creation week emerged as a beautiful cool morning. The sun, rising in the east, shone on the Creator’s back forming a long wispy shadow in front of Him. He seemed to be studying His shadow with a concerted effort. The corners of His mouth turned up in a gentle smile. As the smile spread across the Creator’s face, the area where His shadow fell and a border area around His shadow, turned to reddish dirt. It was as if the grass had parted to allow the soil to see the sun.
The part of the new patch of red dirt covered by God’s shadow began to bulge. It was as if His shadow were taking shape. The red earth was rising to meet the shadow of its Maker. Soon there was a very long, stretched out form on the ground—a three dimensional copy of the Creator’s elongated shadow.
God’s smile slowly faded and the soil stopped rising. Walking to the far side of the dirt figure, he knelt next to it. He pointed His right finger and pushed it gently into the dirt—at the spot where the belly button would be if the man on the ground were real. His finger sunk into the dirt, turning it to clay.
From where His finger had created the navel, the Creator drew a line up the middle of the clay body—proceeding to the top of the figure’s head. There was now a line dividing the clay man in half. The Creator dug his hands into the line and pulled half of the clay away. Now there were two piles of clay—one that looked like half of a very tall, very skinny person—and the pile now being formed into something new.
The hands of God formed a new clay man, this one smaller and proportioned more like a normal person. As a final touch, He pushed his finger into the figure’s middle, making a belly button. When He finished, the Creator sat back on His heals and admired His work. He smiled, happy with His creation.
Then He took a breath. Of course, He had been breathing all along but this was a very deep, very long and very special breath. The Creator—the giver of life—leaned forward and put His mouth above the clay man’s mouth. Then He breathed out. As He exhaled, His lips moved, forming a word. It was a long drawn out word, taking the entire breath. It was the word ‘Spirit’ and it did something amazing to the clay man.
The red clay went shiny. The shininess changed to a soft skin-like substance. Then the reddish color deepened to reveal a tanned muscular human. The man sat up. The first thing he saw was the face of God.
Jesus smiled a winning smile and said, “Adam, my son, you were formed by my hands and brought to life by my Spirit, which I give to you in every breath.”
Adam opened his mouth; speech came easily to him, “Thank you, my Creator. You are my everything!”
Jesus extended a hand to Adam and helped him to his feet. Then draping His arm across the shoulders of His new creation, the two of them looked out over the glorious Garden of Eden. The sun shone full from behind them causing the river and everything beyond to shimmer and shine in it’s reflected brilliance.
The Creator spoke, turning to place His free hand on the man’s chest, “Adam, you are but shadow and breath,” and then with a sweeping gesture taking in all that was before them, He finished, “And yet, for you the universe was made!”
Jesus and Adam walked through the Garden. Jesus explained to Adam the amazing things that had taken place in the last six days. The entire world around them had taken shape—light, land, sea, sun, moon, rivers, trees, day and night.
Then Jesus said, “But today is special, Adam! Today I created and named you.”
“And I thank you,” Adam said. “I am greatly honoured to live in your paradise and care for your Creation.”
“And I am honoured to have you as my servant,” Jesus answered. “Serve me faithfully—with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul—and you will be fulfilled and happy.”

My Reflection

Imagine what it would have been like to be Adam on the day of his creation. What questions would you have asked God?

What would you have been most interested in: the garden, animals, yourself, God’s creative power, something else?


My Story

Have you ever made something from scratch? What was it? What resources did you need? What tools were necessary? Did you succeed? Was it difficult?

Imagine being able to create anything by just speaking. What would you speak into existence?

Why do you think God used His hands to make Adam? What does this act tell us about God?  What does it tell us about ourselves?

My Assurance

The Bible reveals where this world and everything on it came from. What promises do the following verses make to us and our understanding of God’s involvement in our lives?

Genesis 1:1 ~ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 2: 7 ~ Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

Psalm 33:6 ~ The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.

My Commitment

Just as God used His power to create us and His grace to save us, he has a role for us to play in the life and well-being of planet Earth and its inhabitants. How do these verses challenge you to treat all that God has made?

Genesis 1:27-18 ~ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Hebrews 11:3 ~ By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Exodus 20:11 ~ For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

My Outlook

What do these verses reveal about God’s connection to his Creation? How does God feel about us? How does He feel about the Earth He created? How does this impact the way we see the world and interact with it?

Genesis 1:31 ~ Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!

Psalm 19:1-4 ~ The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.

My Response

The following statement is the 6th of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Review the doctrine and then write a personal response. What difference does this make to your life?

Creation

God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God.

Bible Story

You can find the Creation story in Genesis 1-3.

Further Reading

Genesis 1, Genesis 2