This past weekend we began this ambitious new series that will take us through the entire story of the scriptures in 10 chapters / 10 weeks.
Chapter 1 of our story opened on a desert scene. The year is 1500bc. And God's people are preparing to cross the Jordan River and enter the "promised land." But there's a problem. For the past 40 years, they've been living in the desert, in isolation. This desert has served as a kind of incubator for them, as God has taught and shaped them to become an uncommon people on the face of the earth. A people who will direct others to him.
But land they're about to enter is filled with people who believe bizarre and horribly destructive things about life and gods and themselves ... And so Moses begins to prepare them, with "instruction." The word "Torah" means "instruction," and it's the title given to the first 5 books in the Bible. And his instruction begins ... in the beginning.
As we open the Bible, we meet a Creator God who is so powerful that he simply speaks to the darkness, and there's light. Speaks to the chaos, and there's order and beauty. Speaks to the emptiness, and it teems with life. And this Creator is not only powerful; he's good. With care, he creates a beautiful, utopian environment for his creatures to thrive. And then he creates the climax of his good creation: Human beings; male and female. And at every turn, he kicks back and enjoys it. Takes it all in. Celebrates. Calls it "very good."
And as Chapter 1 of our story comes to an end, the man and the woman are living in unbroken unity -- with each other, caring for each other; with their home, as the planet cares for them and they care for the planet; and ultimately and most importantly, with this Powerful and Good Creator who extends his own community and oneness to them. And, it's "all good."