This is the first week of the Catholic Bible-reading Challenge, and the start of Lent. Since we're starting this week's challenge on a Wednesday, we're going to have a light week. The reading for this week is:
Wednesday Genesis chapters 1 - 5
Thursday Genesis chapters 6-11
We're starting at the beginning, which is what "Genesis" means. The first five books of the Bible are called the pentateuch, which is Greek for "five books". The pentateuch shows how the Israelites learned about the meaning of their covenant relationship with God, and covers the time from creation to the period preceding the Israelites' entrance into the promised land.
The book of Genesis is filled with familiar stories we heard over and over as children - creation, Adam & Eve, Noah's ark, Joseph and his colorful coat. Genesis begins with a universal creation story, showing that God is good and his creation was good. It then goes on to explain the cumulative effects of sin. Adam & Eve disobey God, Cain kills Abel, the whole world becomes so full of sin that God cleanses it with a great flood, and people became estranged from God as well as one another at the tower of Babel. Clearly, humans need to be redeemed. Thus, we need a redeemer.
In Genesis 3:15 we receive the very first promise of a redeemer, of hope, of mercy, through the seed of the woman.
The Bible reading that we are going through with Scotty Hahn and Jeff Cavins lays out salvation history in chronological order to give us a grand overview and a greater understanding of how everything in Scripture fits together.
A few interesting notes from the program this week:
- The overarching theme of the Bible is covenants. The covenants God makes grow over time to include more and more people, from two people (Adam & Eve) to all people (through Jesus).
Adam & Eve - a marriage covenant
Noah - covenant with a household
Abraham - a tribal covenant, extending to those under his authority
Moses - a national covenant, extending to those under him and the judges
David - a national kingdom covenant, extending through David & his successors
Jesus - a universal covenant, the culmination and conclusion
- The first three days of creation create the environment, and correspond with the second three days which fill each environment.
So on day 1 God made the heavens and on day 4 He filled them with the sun & moon & stars.
On day 2 God made the sky and water and on day 5 he filled the water with creatures and the sky with flying creatures.
And on day 3 God made the land and on day 6 He made land animals and man.