Creation, Take 2 | Genesis 2:4
These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Genesis 2:4 | ESV
“These are the generations…” It’s something of a mantra through the book of Genesis – occurring in fact some eleven times. “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth.” “These are the generations of Noah.” These are the generations of Shem.” “These are the generations of Terah, of Isaac, of Ishmael, of Esau, of Jacob.” Many scholars see “these are the generations” as a key sign of a pivot in the text, a transition point. So why do we encounter such a “pivot point” here in Genesis 2:4? In fact, why does it seem that, having completed the story of creation in Genesis 1, we now hit the reset button and retell the tale in Genesis 2 with amplified details and a seemingly different order of events? It simply does not compute for us, mostly. We like harmony, concord, order. So we take four separate and unique tellings of the story of Jesus and try to harmonize them into one orderly, harmonized account, one “super Gospel” that has all discrepancies resolved and all the happenings neatly lined up together, all difficulties removed, all incongruities smoothed and soothed. And with all that is within us we want to pull the same stunt on the two creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2. How very modern of us. The trouble is, this is an ancient book written by ancients for ancients. We’re just listening in. If God formed a similar divine library today in our time and culture, we can only imagine how different it would be…and yet how the same. As we step into Genesis 2 for this retelling and refocusing on the shaping of humanity, we need to let it stand on its own two feet and hear it’s ancient voice – and realize that, though we might miss it since it starts at verse four, we are stepping across a threshold, pivoting into the set-up for the next major happening narrated in Genesis. As we respect the pivot, hopefully we’ll get the point.
Think about the narrative of your own life. What are the sections in which you would organize it? What are “the generations” you would celebrate in your own story?
Lord, as my life seeming unfolds in a sea of randomness and chaos, help me to see the story you are telling in and through me – and give me eyes to see the larger connection between my story and the Story.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.