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COMPACT REF NAVY SC
Chapter OneMoses writes Genesis, a book of beginnings, to tell us how God creates the world, how sin comes into the world, and how God loves mankind in spite of his sin. He reports exciting stories about Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, how God cares for them and stands beside them, no matter what they do. As you read this book, think about how God enters into a personal relationship with you, cares for you, and wants you to make serving him a priority in your life.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day.
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning - the second day.
9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning - the third day.
14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights - the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning - the fourth day.
20 And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." 23 And there was evening, and there was morning - the fifth day.
24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground - everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens - 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earthy and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground - 7 the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
18 The Lord God said, "it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
The Fall of Man
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
VERSE FOR THE DAY: AUTHOR: PASSAGE FOR THE DAY: Genesis 1:27 Tim Stafford Genesis 1:1-31
The Bible's first marriage story (Genesis 1-2) begins, like all love stories, with a problem. The chapter reverberates with the regular drumbeat of "good" as God creates the universe. But then something is unsatisfactory. Having made Adam, God discovered something "not good" (Genesis 2:18). God's society was inadequate for Adam; he needed the company of another creature. So God made a partner for Adam - Eve - and presented her to him.
Adam's reaction was immediate and passionate. "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." In effect, Adam exclaimed, "This one is family!" He was attracted because he felt kinship.
Sometimes it is claimed that marriage offers intimate possibilities because of the differences between the sexes - the way in which male and female, as opposites, complement each other. Genesis brings a very different emphasis: It was because of their similar make-up, not because of their differences, that they were able to become intimate partners.
No code of behavior could produce this; it was a gift from God. Something of God is seen in the unashamed nakedness of Adam and Eve. As Adam could delight in Eve because she was like him, so God finds particular delight in this man and woman because together they are like him. There is fellowship among the three. They feel mutual kinship, and they delight in one another.
* You are probably well aware of your differences. But what are some of the ways you are similar?
* How have your differences and similarities strengthened your marriage?
Additional Scripture Readings Go to page 4 for your next Genesis 2:15-25; Proverbs 5:18; devotional reading. Song of Songs 2:3-4
VERSE FOR THE DAY: AUTHOR: PASSAGE FOR THE DAY: Genesis 2:18 Jeanne Hendricks Genesis 2:8-25
No matter what a wife or husband happens to be or do, marriage is teamwork. God doesn't give individual gifts to frustrate a marriage, but to enhance it. He doesn't lead two people into marriage to see sparks fly, to pull a husband and wife in two opposite directions. He leads them into marriage to blend and maximize their usefulness.
Much of the tension that I see in marriages comes from grasping and holding onto what we consider our individuality. No matter what our gifts, talents or personalities, when they are given to God, he will blend them with those of our spouse because that's what marriage is all about.
I think of a friend of mine who was a nursing instructor. It was her life. When her husband was called into vocational ministry, with great fear and trembling she quit her job at the school of nursing. The interesting outcome was that God gave her nursing back to her - wrapped in a bonus. Their move enabled her to use her nursing skills at a church-sponsored clinic. God moved both her and her husband into new areas of opportunity. But my friend had to be willing to trust God to do the blending.
* Has there been a time when you put one of your individual dreams "on hold" so your spouse could pursue a dream? Was the eventual outcome positive for both of you?
* How has God "blended" you to maximize your usefulness for his kingdom? How can you both be more open to his blending?
Additional Scripture Readings Go to page 7 for your next Acts 18:1-3, 18-2G; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 devotional reading.
Excerpted from COMPACT REF NAV SC Copyright © 1990 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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