If you have not already taken the time to read our Charter documents, it is very important that you do so in order to take part in our study. They are available in text and audio so you can choose what is most convenient. Please make time to listen to or read them today. Thank you!
*Also, please read this article Learning To Dig Deeper to learn how to use some of the Bible study tools we will be using in the group as well as to discover why I often say YHWH instead of God and where to look in your own Bible to find mention of this.
GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS AND WELCOME TO OUR NEW BIBLE READING PLAN!
We will be reading through the Bible together in one year, beginning in the beginning. Make sure you visit the group each morning to get the notes and come back when you can to read the comments and take part in the discussion if you like!* Do not rely on a Facebook notification to remind you to read your Bible. Each day that we wake up and He is our God, we are His child, and we should seek Him. Please make a habit of going directly to the group or to the homepage of SeekingScripture.com each day for the readings and notes.
Today’s readings are: Genesis 1-3
(That is Genesis, chapters 1, 2, & 3)
I can almost feel the presence of YHWH as He hovered over the earth in these passages, smell the earth scented mist as it rises from the ground to perfectly water everything, and hear the sounds of plants and bushes as they sprout up followed by the sounds of all the living things having had life breathed into them by their creator. Wow! Exciting reading ahead!
Introduction to our reading:
The Bible begins in the beginning. I know that seems obvious but many think (and are even taught) that the part of YHWH’s word which is relevant to us begins in Matthew. As a result, we have a culture of Believers who have, in many ways, discarded the very foundational texts of the book we claim to live by. And so, untethered from the foundation, and out of context, we are left with a skewed vision of the Word, and of YHWH Himself, one that is easily blown about by the winds of changing culture, desires and ambitions of man, and our own emotions.
If we only know the last 25% of the book, we don’t know the book. Imagine if you walked in on the last ten minutes of the movie and then went on a speaking tour to tell everyone what the themes of the movie were. You’d be off in ways that you, yourself, wouldn’t even understand and no one who had seen the movie would consider your information credible. Yet this is exactly how many treat the Bible today.
Here is something to think about: These are the Scriptures that Messiah, the Disciples, the writers of the Gospels, and even John (who wrote Revelations) studied, lived by, and taught from. The “New” Testament did not exist during their lives. So when Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” he was referring exclusively to what our culture has dismissively titled the “old” testament.
Just to let you know where I stand right out of the gate: I serve the one true God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A God abounding in Grace and lovingkindness who allows us free will to choose Him or reject Him and, even in that rejection which He as the creator of Wisdom and light foresaw in us, He still loved us enough to send His only son to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could yet be reconciled to Him.
And this God, as the creator of all things, when HE speaks, His word is incapable of ever becoming irrelevant.
I stand on the truth of every word spoken from His mouth and I am grateful for the gift of each syllable.
His light is the lamp that illuminates my path and I will praise His Holy Name for the wisdom He gives us.
Going forward: It is helpful to know that the books of the Bible were not originally written with chapter and verse numbers. They were divided this way later in order to make it easier to study and reference. While chapter and verse numbers are very helpful, they can sometimes lead us to believe that there are stopping points in letters and books in places where the story is actually continuous.
Therefore, it is important, when studying a verse or seeking to find the context and meaning intended, that we always read the surrounding verses as well. This is why I always say “Whenever someone gives you a verse, take a chapter or better yet, the whole book.” Another important matter is that it is the responsibility of the Believer to test everything. I cannot read your Bible for you and knowledge gleaned from me reading the Bible rather than you reading it directly is secondhand knowledge.
There is no such thing as a second hand relationship with the Father.
Test everything, hold fast to what is good. ~1 Thessalonians 5:21
I trust and hope that you will not take my word for anything I say but instead, go to Scripture, search it out for yourself, and test everything – knowing that the Word of God is our straight edge to which all else must line up, never the other way around.
We will understandably find that some of our preconceived notions and even beloved doctrines don’t quite fit in with what the Bible says. In these cases, hold fast to what is good and discard what proves untrue.
Whenever we find that God contradicts us, my hope is that we will find ourselves clinging to His truths rather than our own.
Inevitably, there may be some areas in which we may need more time or persuasion from the Holy Spirit in order to do so. We are human, we are fallible, and we love our traditions. Trust that the Father will continue to work on us and that it is okay to be honest with Him.
“Father, I love this teaching that has proven untrue. I am struggling with letting it go. Please help me.”
I’ve found that the Creator of truth is a great respecter of truth in His children. It is much better to be open and wrestle something out with the Father rather than attempt to hide something from the one who knows all things and wrestle it out apart from Him.
Things to know: The first five books of the Bible were originally (and still are in many circles) known as the Torah. That is a Hebrew word for “teachings”. In Greek, these first five books are known as the Pentateuch.
So Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy are also known as the Pentateuch or the Torah. This is good to know as we interact and come together with our brethren of varying denominations and walks.
About Bible Translations: It is my policy that the best translation is the one you will read. I use the ESV in my posts because that is a good middle ground but I see a translation as merely a jumping off point and if I were not writing for this group I would not read the ESV first. I use 3-4 Bible translations each day for my notes so please do not feel compelled to purchase a new Bible if the one you have works fine- and know that you do not need to have a specific translation in order to take part in this study. The best Bible is the one you will read and that is that.
And with that said, I am so excited to begin.
In Genesis 1:3 Notice that YHWH created light but he didn’t create the sun and the stars until Genesis 1:13.
The original word for “light” referenced in Genesis 1:3 is Owr.
This is the same word used for light when YHWH sent the plague of darkness over Egypt but His chosen people (Israel) had “owr” inside their dwelling places. Owr does not refer to an object that gives light but rather a goodness, illumination.
Personally, whenever I think of “owr” I think of the light of YHWH’s presence.
In Genesis 1:16 the word used for light is mar-rot. This is an object that gives light, such as the sun or stars.
So you see, there were two different types of light created in Genesis.
Consequently, the word used for darkness in Genesis 1:4 is a Hebrew word chosek. This is generally the opposite of owr. This word is even used to denote distress in Isaiah 5:30 and Isaiah 9:1, mourning in Isaiah 47:5 and in some places it is even used to denote evil or sin.
I’m going to show you how to test this by using Bible hub. First, click this link: https://biblehub.com/genesis/1-4.htm
This is the verse itself in different translations. Up at the top of the page, you’ll see “Interlin”, click that and you’ll end up at this link: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/1-4.htm
Now you see the English, topped by the Hebrew, topped by the Transliteration, topped by a reference number for each word.
Look for “the light” or “the darkness” and click the number atop those words. You’ll need to go to the link rather than rely on this photo to show you.
You’ll end up with a page that has a pronunciation, original word, ways it is used, etc. You can even scroll down and look for instances in which it appears in the Bible.
For more information on how to do this, make sure you’ve read my post on the name of God because I have photos that walk you through everything. You can find that here: The Tetragrammaton, Learning How To Dig Deeper
- DAY 1 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And seeing that the light was good, God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
- DAY 2 And God said, “Let there be an expanse *between the waters, to separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the expanse and separated the waters beneath it from the waters above. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
- DAY 3 And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered into one place, so that the dry land may appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land “earth,” and the gathering of waters He called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each bearing fruit with seed according to its kind.” And it was so. The earth produced vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
- DAY 4-And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish between the day and the night, and let them be signs to mark the seasons and days and years. And let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. And He made the stars as well. God set these lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth, to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
- DAY 5-And God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters teemed according to their kinds, and every bird of flight after its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
- DAY 6-And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, land crawlers, and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food. And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth—everything that has the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
- DAY 7-Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. And by the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on that day He rested from all His work. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on that day He rested from all the work of creation that He had accomplished.
In Genesis 2:3 we have the first record of YHWH making something Holy. He is the source of Holiness and we will come to see and understand that only He can make something Holy.
He declared the Sabbath a day of rest, made it Holy, and thus created the first moedim or appointed time. Think of these as appointments He made with us. There are 8 moedim which YHWH will teach us about in His Word as we move forward. These are special days that the Father has set aside as Holy to Him.
In Genesis 2:4 we come upon the first place in our Bibles where the name of YHWH originally appears and was removed. My Bible has a footnote denoting this so yours might as well. You can read further on this by clicking here.
How was Eve deceived? Two things happened in the deception of Eve. First, the serpent caused her to question the Word of YHWH. Second, she added to the Word. Let’s look closely. Here is what the Father said:
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17
And now let us look at the interaction between the serpent and Eve (whose name was pronounced Hava)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it,lest you die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The serpent caused her to question the Word of YHWH, then she added to the Word of YHWH (go back and see if you can find what she added), and from there she chose to disobey the Word of YHWH.
It is a slippery slope with a rapid descent. Does God’s Word have first and final authority in our lives? Or do we allow the words of others to cause us to question it? Something to think on.
Grace and animal sacrifice – When Adam and Eve disobeyed YHWH, He responded by an act of grace, He made them clothing out of animal skins to replace the clothing they’d made out of leaves. Up until this time, we have no record of an animal being killed but once they sinned it was necessary to do so in order to cover them with YHWH’s act of grace in making them clothing. Sacrifice as a result of sin, a pattern established.
Important to note: Grace has always been present in the Bible from the very beginning and we will see many more acts of Grace as we go through our cycle.
These are just some of my notes to get you started today. What jumps out at you? What do you decide to dig deeper on and what did you find as a result? Were you surprised by anything you read today? These are some starter questions to get you going on your own rabbit trails. Please feel free to greet your neighbors, praise the Father, or discuss these readings in the group. *see note at bottom
We’re off on our journey! I’m so excited to be making this round with you.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!
Why do I say YHWH instead of God most of the time? Click here
*These are my bible notes which I post each day in my Front Porch Fellowship on Facebook. In that group, we also have in depth discussions on each day’s readings. If you wish to take part in a discussion or ask questions, please request to join my Front Porch Fellowship and you will be among the first added next time membership opens up. It only opens once per year and the next window will be December at the end of this year.