As I read again the creation account (this time from the Hebraic Roots Bible- HRB), I remain filled with wonderment at the story. We have the showing forth of God’s omniscience as He knew every detail required to create a life that could be self-sustaining and continuing to generations. We see His omnipotence, for where else could such power over the universe be displayed? And we see the love that He created with as He provided life with sustenance that would continue to replenish itself and could be made available for all the creatures He created. We also see His love in the beauty of His creation, and in the fact that He provided mates, in that He said that it was not good that the man should exist alone. Do we consider as we should our thankfulness for our Creator who provided us with such beauty, bounty, and companions. But men continually destroy what God has created, and have not learned to love one another as He intended. If you do not see the beauty in creation, remember, it is man that has marred its beauty and glory.
Genesis 1:11 And Elohim said, Let the earth sprout tender sprouts, the herb seeding seed, the fruit tree producing fruit according to its kind, whichever seed is in it on the earth. And it was so. 12 And the earth bore tender sprouts, the herb seeding seed according to its kind, and the fruit tree producing fruit according to its kind, whichever seed is in it. And Elohim saw that it was good. (HRB)
I remember (vaguely) a sermon from many years ago, from the Psalms, by a pastor who was extolling the wonder of Hebrew poetry. Often lines would parallel each other or contrast each other. I think this was part of the beginning of what we call parables based on metaphors and similes. I believe that it was his sermon that made me interested in looking up more in Strong’s concordance, because he mentioned how much of the poetry was lost in English because our words didn’t translate the same. Many words were used that sounded much like other words so that in their language, the verses would have a sing-song fashion to them (this lends itself well to the Jewish practice of singing the Scriptures and chants. I believe George F. Handel was aware of this when He composed the “Messiah” and was the stimulus for the famous Gregorian Chants.). He also told how (though this was known by most of us from Sunday School) that many passages were written in an acrostic fashion as succeeding lines would begin with succeeding letters of their alphabet. This was how it was known that many versions of the Bible had a line missing from at least one Psalm (I can’t remember which) that was supplied by another version, as it was missing a letter of the Hebrew alphabet (called alephbeyt).
Some years later I was in a Sunday School class in another church. I remember well that the teacher (who was much older than me, though I wasn’t so young anymore) really got my attention. She was reading from a passage, “Woe to you (scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, I forget which)”, and she stopped to explain ‘woe’. She mentioned that many of her younger listeners might not understand that word because many had never been behind a horse in a garden. She said that when you wanted the horse to stop you yelled “Woe!” I had been on a horse a number of times, and had played near a garden where my grandfather was behind a horse. I knew the difference between ‘woe’ and ‘whoa’ (which later term you use with a horse), but the way she said it took me back to Hebrew poetry. Though she didn’t seem to realize it, she had substituted a term that sounded like another term, and even though the meaning was different, it could still be applied to the situations. “Whoa” to you who misuse God’s Word or it will be “Woe” upon you. This morning the “seeding seed” in verses 11 and 12 above reminded me of the Hebrew poetry, the similar sounding words in sing-song fashion.
Then I remembered how years ago a ‘semi-quasi’ dispute arose in some Biblical circles. Some said that the creation story in Genesis was a poetic rendering while others seemed to not see this. Those who didn’t seem to see this wanted a more literal examination as they felt that if it was taught as poetry, it would distract from the veracity of God being the Creator. What they failed to understand was that telling a ‘non-fictional’ story in poetry doesn’t make it ‘fictional’. Poetry was a blessing for handing down history, because rocks were not easy to chisel words into, and even as early as papyrus and inks were invented, the papyrus and inks were rather expensive for many of the masses to use on a wide-spread basis. The clay tablets were easy to write on and inexpensive, but not convenient for book stores or home libraries. The sing-song, poetic expression was not only a beautiful, but also a vital part of accurately passing down history. It made an easy way to remember everything (if you put your mind to it, how many songs could you remember), and pass the stories along. If someone tampered with anything in the story, it would easily be determined as the poeticness of the story would be impaired.
In the creation account, God created ‘seeding seeds’. God created life in a fashion that it could perpetuate itself. He saw that “it was good”. Look at the pollution, the decimation of the rain-forests, the hate crimes, the wars. None of the ‘bad’ came from God but from the angels who rebelled against Him and from men who chose to follow rebellious angels and exalt themselves and their own perception of ‘wisdom’, ‘intelligence’, etc. It may seem easy to us to look at others and place the blame (as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden), but we all need to look at ourselves. Can we possibly conceive where we might be if it weren’t for a Father who chastens and scourges those He loves?