I feel like I have to say something to tie all the things together, but it seems impossible. Of course, that won’t stop me.
Thank you for coming on this adventure with me. That is what it felt like to me as I saw all the things I have shared with you. It unfolded over several years for me and I still get amazed by the enormity of it, so I am wondering how you are handling it right now. Why not talk to God about this – well, about everything.
Do you recall those pictures made up of numbered dots? As you join the dots a picture emerges. Scripture is full of many revelations. Each forms a dot on the page and each page has its own story. But when you join up the dots it makes an even more beautiful picture:
From Part 1 “God’s timetable”, we saw Jesus featured in days 5, 6 and 7. In days 5 and 6 man is divided according to his acceptance or rejection of Jesus, while day 7 pictures Jesus’ imminent return. Further, in “God’s Way”, we saw all things created through Jesus.
Part 3, “God’s Way” also revealed the heart of The Father before time began. The Part 2 “On day 8” chapters were not so much about Adam being created after God rested, but the way it allowed us to see God lavish intimate time on Adam in the garden. We could grasp how Adam betrayed all this when he ate the forbidden fruit. Later we could see why God was so grieved about the reduction in man’s lifespan, which Adam’s descendants brought upon themselves. Finally, in the day-millennium scaling, we could see how the Father has been continuously at work for the last 6,000 years, and will rest again when Jesus returns.
The Holy Spirit had always been hinted at in Genesis 1:2 but attention was drawn to the way everything changed when man, not God, changed. Man turned from the likeness or spirit of God to the flesh or mere image of God. The Spirit of God lifted and suddenly man was required to take revenge for murder. There was no such revenge by man before the flood and withdrawal of His Holy Spirit. But when Jesus redeemed mankind and the Holy Spirit was restored, we are returned to the pre-flood state - even to the garden. We do not take revenge but forgive - like God forgave us. We are again, man in the likeness of God because we are filled with His Spirit!
OK, the appendices are still to come and they have some cool insights. But many other things have unfolded over the last few years that I could not fit in this book. Have a look at Page-1-God.com which is a website I started to share what I was seeing. I really wanted to give it away there, but my best friends said that they would not read it online – it needed to be in a book. I felt some confirmation on that, and here is the book. But this just presents three of the key insights. There are many more. Please search them out.
Actually, the real adventure is about to begin. Just imagine yourself at a play and someone lowers a brand new backdrop. The characters and the script do not change but it makes more sense now against the new backdrop. That’s what I feel like. I have a new backdrop for the events in the first few chapters of Genesis. I see God differently and I see Jesus more clearly. I see a gracious time-scale for creation consistent with the way I see God work post-creation. I see His focus on His children, with time to establish a relationship with Adam. I see that He knew exactly how things were going to unfold. He gave glory to His son from the very beginning as His son gave glory to the Him on the Cross.
This new backdrop allows me to see my Father more clearly. Even if you see nothing, it was worth hanging in there all those years as He unfolded it. I no longer feel that Genesis is something that has to be defended but something that needs to be unleashed.
As for page 1 – it’s a preface to, and a summary of the Bible. The physical creation seems simpler to grasp but the revelation is now about God’s purposes behind each step in the physical creation, that is, the timetable.
Against good advice, I have in a few places addressed you as “boys and girls”. I wanted to personalise it. Did I offend you? I considered using “friends” or “brothers and sisters”, but it seemed a bit hollow to me because I don’t know you. I tried “ladies and gentlemen”, but such formality is not within me. As I have been bringing up my own children and their friends, the phrase “boys and girls” has crept affectionately into my vocabulary. I did not mean it in a condescending way, though perhaps as a small challenge.
Let’s just review the material covered:
All this was backed up by scripture and indeed, the nature and character of God. Although a lot of material was presented, and some things may not have been obvious at first, it was fairly simple in hindsight.
When you can change all this, yet leave the story unchanged - when it reveals God more clearly and gives Him glory, you have to wonder, “Why now?” I have found that to be a very humbling question. There are some things we can only accept as children.
So, boys and girls, class is over. Play nice, and tell Dad what you learnt.