When preparing for our ‘first’ Bible study of this new series, I was reading – both in my Bible, and in a plethora of research books and commentaries I have. Having led studies for several years, this is not a new thing to me, but this particular study is without a study guide, per se! No ‘fill-in-the-blank’ book for participants to complete and discuss. No leader’s guide for me to ask probing questions of those in attendance. Just the Word of God! And, that’s perfectly alright by me, but it DOES lead the leader to be a bit more aggressive in preparing to lead!
About six months ago, I was asked to consider leading a chronological study of the Bible. I said yes, but then started trying to find a plan – one of those ‘fill-in-the-blank’ books I was just describing! Ha! Nothing found! So…Plan B was….”Yes, I’ll do it, but I suggest we start with the New Testament.” Somehow I thought that might be easier. And, it was. It went well. We all learned a lot – myself included! But, now, we’re on to the Old Testament, and just beginning it.
If you’re one who grew up in church, or even – if not – you are probably well aware of the first things written in the Bible. “In the beginning…” The first few chapters are FILLED with FIRSTS! We all know that!
There was the first creation, which just by itself brings a LOT of firsts! EVERYTHING created was a first! First day. First night. First sun. First moon. First plant. First animals. First land. First water. First fish. First bird. And, I could go on and on. Genesis is full of firsts! We’ve learned about all of them in Sunday school, had stories read to us about them, sang songs about them, colored pictures about them…
But, my thoughts went a bit deeper. Because the creation story and Noah’s escapades are so familiar to many of us, and because – when studying such a familiar passage – we sometimes just skim and think, I’ve heard all this before, I decided to challenge the ladies in my group to tell me one thing they discovered that they hadn’t known before. It was great – they came up with several! (Give it a try…I challenge you to do the same!)
Our plan that first session was to cover Genesis chapters 1-8. So, with my brain on overdrive, I challenged myself while I was preparing for that first session. I started noticing all the obscure firsts! And, there are many!
I shared my lengthy list with the ladies! And, after we wrapped up the study that night, there were even a few more we had added to it. Just for grins and giggles, I’ll share my list with you.
The ‘less-than-obvious’ Firsts in Genesis 1-8:
The first creation (with all that entails)!
The first sin, the first lie, and the first disobedience!
The first shame, and the first guilt!
The first narcissist (and the second, too!), and the first ‘blame-game’ ever played!
The first disappointment, and the first broken heart (NLT says God’s heart was broken in Genesis 6:6)!
The first punishment!
The first earthly family – the first birth, the first child/ren!
The first sacrifice given to God!
The first attitude, the first pride, and the first ‘second chance’ (God kind of gave a second chance to Cain to rethink his sacrifice, but he chose not to do so)!
The first person to obey God (Abel sacrificed his BEST)!
The first anger, the first retaliation, and the first murder (which actually resulted in another first – the first death)!
The first mention of someone having a close relationship with God (5:22-24; 6:9) — that’s what I want to be said of me, one day – that I had a close relationship with God!
The first roundup – as a rancher’s daughter, I’ll admit, I’m thinking outside the box here, but…head ’em up, move ’em out! Or, move ’em IN the ARK, Noah!
The first construction project, the first blueprint (!), and the first boat!
The first polygamist (Lamech — and he went from A to Z in his wives)!
The first rain, and the first rainbow (after the first flood)!
The first harvest!
And finally, the first mention of seasons!
Whew!!! I love that the scriptures are fresh, and new, and full of more than a superficial glance would render! That’s quite a list of firsts but I’m sure there are more! Here’s your challenge for the day – read Genesis 1-8 and look for more ‘less-than-obvious’ firsts to add to my list! Share your finds by replying in the comments! And….GO!