Saturday, October 6, 2018

2018.10.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 1:6-8

Questions for Littles: What did God command to exist in v6? What would the firmament be between? What would it do to the waters? What new information does v7 give us? What does God call the firmament (v8)? What makes day two?
In the Scripture for tomorrow’s sermon, we learn something rather odd.
God spends an entire day creating just the firmament. Creating light and day and night—that makes sense to take a day. Sea and dry land. That seems pretty significant as well.

Well, if you come to similar conclusions as mine, then we need to remember that when something strikes as odd in Scripture, it’s because of some fault in us—in this case, it would be because we don’t appreciate what this firmament is.

Literally, it means a “beaten out thing”… the name implies intentionality, care, craftsmanship—and also hardness and smoothness (hence the English word FIRMament).

Helpfully, the word doesn’t appear that often in the Hebrew Old Testament. In fact, its next significant use outside of this chapter is Psalm 19, Psalm 150, and then in Ezekiel and Daniel. Most of the rest of those occurrences have to do with the very throne of God—certainly not what we ordinarily mean by the atmosphere.

So, we are on the lookout for something rather extraordinary. And that brings us to the waters. What are these waters? The waters below end up being great oceans of the earth. And the waters above?

We don’t need to wonder about them. In a few short chapters, God is going to open windows in the heavens (Gen 7:11). This is more than just clouds starting to pour. It is the release of the wrath of God.

So what was the firmament? The protection of God. Safety from His wrath to highlight the greatness of His patience—even with those who will perish. Now that’s no small thing, is it?
How have you been responding to God’s patience and protection?
Suggested Songs: ARP121 “I Lift My Eyes and See the Hills” or TPH121A “I Lift My Eyes Up to the Hills”

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