Chapter 1 Creation
In the beginning, God. God is the central character of the grand story of the Bible. It really is all about Him and His desire to be in relationship with people. In the opening chapters of Genesis, the Upper Story is in full view. God has a grand vision to be with us, and enjoy harmonious life with us on the newly created perfect earth. Man and woman together re ect God’s image as community. As images of God, they are to rule as His benevolent representatives over the earth. In the garden, there is perfect communion with God, one another, and with the creation itself. It is all about relationships— relationship with God and relationship with each other.
But God doesn’t force those relationships. When man and woman choose to listen to a creature rather than the Creator, the vision is ruined. Sin enters in and brings with it physical death and separation from God and expulsion from the garden. The whole earth is cursed and begins to die. The sin nature is inaugurated by Adam and Eve and its tragic consequences are passed on to their offspring. Cain killing Abel demonstrates that every human is infected with sin. But sin is more than what we do, it is what we are—it is now our very nature.
Relationship between God and man has now been broken as has the harmony between man and woman. Even the earth itself no longer relates well to man. Immediately, however, God begins His plan to get us back into a right relationship with Him; and that Upper Story never changes even to the last chapter of the Bible. Even after God brings judgment upon a wicked earth, Noah and his family still emerge from the ark with their sin nature. It is going to take something beyond people to solve the sin problem. A clue to the solution is subtly given to us in God’s response to Adam and Eve. God Himself makes for them clothes from an animal’s skin to cover their nakedness—blood is shed to cover their sin. And a promise is made that sin will one day ultimately be vanquished.
This rst chapter of The Story is vital to understanding God’s Upper Story. The major doctrines of our faith are rooted here, namely sin and redemption. In the Bible, only the rst two chapters of Genesis and the last two chapters of Revelation give us a glimpse into life in a world without sin, a world as God intended it to be. When we compare our world with what the world was like before sin, we learn that nothing is as it should be. Nothing. Sin changes everything. Since the fall in the garden, man exists in a fallen world under the dominion of Satan. But the believer’s hope lies in knowing that one day the Messiah, promised from the beginning, will return to earth, conquer evil, and fully restore the relationships lost in the garden.