Regardless of your personal beliefs or affiliations, the Bible is an overarching influence on Western culture past and present. Despite popular belief past and present, the Bible is not a weapon, it is not an allegory, it is not a manual to diagnose other people, it is a divine love story meant to explain to humans the character and grace of God. In everything that I do, I like to explain the order and structure of the function of things, from the most broad to the most specific. For that reason, when I write, it generally simplified down to the very order of the basics before I add any additional words. Because the Bible is not a weapon, an allegory, or criteria for judgment, let alone a lie, I have typed out the notes I have taken from Genesis 1-3 this morning. It is meant for anyone who would like to see my imperfectly simplified, scripture-supported basis for God’s goodness in all of human history, from the beginning.
This is the beginning, from the top to the bottom, and it makes sense to start there because God is infinitely greater than humans, therefore, he sends his grace from the top to the bottom (which is why Jesus became a human; so that humanity could understand God’s grace with the goal of being saved from our continuously infinite imperfection (sin)).
To explain where we are currently, we must start from the beginning. This is not a complete explanation, and no human explanation could ever fully justify an infinite God, let alone one who unconditionally loves. Therefore, I have made the best of my abilities, and hope that God’s Holy Spirit which reveals all truth may do so through my words. If not, so be it; it was never my clarity to provide.
*Simplified by chronological order of the Bible (and current scientific explanation of the origin and evolution of lifeàmore on that in a moment)
*Personal Note: For simplicity sake, I am using my words (middle class, United States citizen, white, 20 year old, female-bodied and female identified, halfway bachelor’s degree college educated, and generally Haley-defined) for this explanation, which I authored. I will clarify what I mean if others ask, however, these are my words, and I will not apologize, because I should not be granted perfection in the eyes of others anyways.
CREATION OF THE EARTH
Genesis 1:1 Introduction This is the story of the beginning. The Universe was a formless void, but God was hovering over it.
Gen 1:3-5 First Day God spoke Light into existence, and in creating it, he was able to see that the Light was good. Because it was good, he separated it from the darkness, and called them Day and Night, respectively. By the end of the first day, we had morning and evening.
Gen 1:6-8 Second Day Still by speaking, God separates the waters above (Heaven) from the waters below (unnamed and unseparated until the next day). Morning and evening stayed constant.
Gen 1:9-13 Third Day In order to create Earth, God gathers the waters below into one great mass (Seas) and the Land (Earth) appears. Everything is still kept constant.
Then, God creates vegetation (generally, plants).
Gen 1:14-19 Fourth Day In order to shed Light on the Earth, for signs and for seasons, for days and for years, God creates the Stars. This is really the first mention of God providing any legitimate scale of human reference for his works (time), and he does so by hierarchy and order (Light of Sun > Stars; Sun and Stars > Earth and Dark; All things kept good).
Gen 1:20-23 Fifth Day God creates creatures of the water, then creatures of the sky, then creatures of the earth, commands them to multiply, and calls all of his creation good.
Gen 1:24-31 Sixth Day God makes all the beasts of the earth (terrestrial animals), sorting them into different orders and whatnot by their kind. Everything is still all good.
Then, God makes man in his image (in the Bible, he speaks, saying our image, which makes sense, because God is a Triune God made of three different parts: Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and God himself). God gives man complete dominion over all the creatures and plants of the earth for food.
Genesis 2:1-3 – Seventh Day God rests, acknowledging and calling good all that he had made in order to bless it and make it holy.
CREATION OF HUMAN BEINGS (This section is less intuitively organized, and there are no conveniently written beginning and end verses)
Gen 2:4-7 Creation of Man Before any kind of plants were created, God caused a mist or spring (depending on your translation) to come over the earth and make the rest of creation possible. He formed the first man, Adam, from the dust and this mist/spring water. Nowhere in this section does it tell us more details related to fixed time via other creation, but we know that he came after surface-level water on earth, after plants, and that after his creation, Adam gathered from the plants and trees God had created to feed himself.
Gen 2:8-9 Eden God puts Adam in a place called Eden, which was a garden of all the plants Adam needed to survive. There was only one tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that God meant for Adam to stay away from, but the rest was his territory.
Gen 2:10-14 Location of Eden Eden was located in the Euphrates River Valley, and the rivers there watered it.
Gen 2:8-15 Adam in charge of Eden God gives Adam stewardship of Eden.
Gen 2:16-17 Only Rule of Eden God commands Adam to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, telling him that by eating of its fruit, he will die.
Gen 2:18-22 Eve God decides to make Adam a Helper. He has him name all the animals, but there is none that is a suitable helper for him. Because he still needs a Helper, God casts a deep sleep over Adam, and takes from him a rib that he transplants in the dust. From this rib and the dust, he forms Eve, the first woman. However, Adam does not name her until Genesis 3:18, after they get booted from Eden (read on).
Gen 2:23 Marriage of Adam and Eve When God brings Eve to Adam, Adam sees that she is part of him (his rib, his body), and names her “woman” because she was once part of him.
Gen 2:24 Marriage for Humanity For this reason, marriage between men and women is to reunite what was once one flesh. At this point, Adam and Eve are naked but they do not know sin, and therefore, they are unashamed.
HUMANS RUIN CREATION: THE FALL/LEAVING EDEN
Genesis 3: 1 Doubt While she sits in the Garden of Eden, a serpent comes to Eve and plants the first seed of doubt in her head, making her second guess and question why God told her not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Gen 3:2-3 Truth Still listening to the serpent, Eve recites what God commanded of her, to not touch eat of the Tree of Good and Evil.
Gen 3:4 Lies The Serpent lies to Eve because she’s his captive audience, and tells her (against the instructions given to her husband) that eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil will not kill her, but will give her the knowledge (implicitly stated: power) of God.
Gen 3:5 Temptation The Serpent justifies his lie.
Gen 3:6 Sin Trusting in the Serpent over God, Eve takes the fruit, eats it, and gives it to Adam, who also eats it.
Gen 3:7 Knowledge They know, and are so afraid that they sew together fig leaves to hide their nakedness, because now they know shame and their own imperfection.
Gen 3:8 Hiding from God They recognize that God is going to be super upset and probably pissed, and the shame of nakedness and fear of God makes them hide from him.
Gen 3:9 God calls them out (literally) God calls for them to come out of hiding, but they stay hidden.
Gen 3:10 The Truth comes out God is the master bulls*** detector, and at this point he is already asking why they are hiding. Speaking for them both, Adam says they are afraid because they are ashamed of their nakedness.
Gen 3:11 Betrayal God is upset but asks for the Truth, asking them point blank whether or not they disobeyed the only rule he gave them: Don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Gen 3:12 Adam lies God’s still pretty pissed. Adam completely lies because of his pride* and laziness* in not giving Eve any kind of valuable direction, and blames her for bringing the fruit that they both ate, even though he was supposed to be responsible for both of them. (*These are most obvious to me, but I really doubt it was just one or two things, given all the Seven Deadly Sins had to come from somewhere).
Gen 3:13 Eve lies Even more pissed, God turns to Eve and asks her what she did. Like an idiot, Eve lies to conceal her envy* and greed*, blaming the Serpent for deceiving her and causing her to eat the fruit. (*These are most obvious to me, but I really doubt it was just one or two things, given all the Seven Deadly Sins had to come from somewhere).
Gen 3:14-15 Wrath on the Serpent God punishes the Serpent to writhe in the dust for the rest of its existence, cursing it above all animals, and creating a necessary division of mutual hatred between the offspring of Eve and the Serpent, who lied to her.
Gen 3:16 Eve’s punishment As a response to Eve’s sin, God punishes her with an insatiable desire (from what I can tell, including lust) for her husband’s love, who will rule over her without ever providing it, leaving her to birth children painfully and seek his love unsuccessfully.
Gen 3:17-19 Adam’s punishment As a response to Adam’s sin and Eve’s sin (because Adam was always meant to be her protector and guardian), God punishes Adam with a miserable existence of unfulfilled purpose via physical labor (works), and dying without ever achieving satisfaction or purpose.
Gen 3:20 Naming of Eve At this point, Eve is named by Adam, as “mother” or “life-giver” for the rest of humanity. Being named “Eve” vs. just woman after she has been judged is important, because God’s punishment states that she will unsuccessfully seek Adam’s love through giving birth to their children, and her name reflects the struggle she will come to bear (literally).
Gen 3:21 Protection of Adam and Eve God still loves and cares for his Creation, and for that reason he gives them skins of clothing to protect themselves and their nakedness from the world outside of Eden.
Gen 3:22 Protection of Humanity To make sure that his Creation doesn’t hurt itself any further, God casts them out of Eden, far away from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which he sends a kind of angel with a flaming sword to guard, so that mankind might eventually be saved from itself.
Genesis 1-3 tells us that from before the beginning of light, heavens, sea, land, plants, time, Sun, stars, animals (wateràskyàearth), humanity, Eden, and Sin, there was God, and he was good. God sent his son Jesus Christ (named “Messiah”) so that we might too be good, after Adam and Eve basically ruined everything. Jesus was both 100% man and 100%, and his death on the cross made it possible for us to comprehend God’s goodness, and be given God’s grace and mercy so that our sin’s will be forgiven (we must believe that Christ is able to forgive our sins (Faith) AND ask (for our own benefit; not God’s). By dying on the cross, Christ bore all the sin from the first to the last (already atoned for) chronologically, and by believing in his death and resurrection that we cannot prove but must know through faith, we have everlasting life, regaining through him and not our works what Adam and Eve squandered in sin. For this reason, Christians believe that he will return to this world and redeem what he has already atoned for, and he will judge each person according to how they negotiate their individual sin. Christians believe that Christ is the only way to atone for one’s sin, but they are not equipped or commanded to judge others, but to share the Gospel (“good news”) in order that we all might be Christian hypocrites instead of Non-Christian hypocrites. If you have ever heard Genesis 1-3 used as a weapon, an allegory, a manual for diagnosis, or a lie, I am sorry, and I apologize. Every human is born broken into an unfair world, and even if Christian’s who claimed to bring the good news brought bad news, I hope that you can forgive them, because no individual effort has ever mattered anyways in this great, divine love story. I wish each of you who reads this the absolute best, but I believe that God will provide for you in trials, despite any of my words. To him be all glory, from before the Light to after it. Amen.