From the Pastors Desk
Aug7FriAugust 7, 2020 by Jami-Ann St Pierre
THE FIRST CHAPTERS OF EVERYTHING – HOW GENESIS 1-4 EXPLAINS OUR WORLD
By Alasdair Paine
Alasdair Paine is an accomplished geographer, pastor and Bible student and all these disciplines add to the rich depth of his writing.
Who are we? Why are we here? Why is life both beautiful and tragic? Where is real hope?
The opening chapters of Genesis were written to answer these questions - and to introduce us to God, in breathtakingly sharp focus. Yet controversies about these pages have diverted attention from their key teaching. The result is the silencing of a message we all urgently need. This fresh and readable guide aims to set the balance right. It travels through the first four chapters of Genesis, finding the writer’s main teaching points and applying them to our own lives. Again and again it becomes clear that this ancient book speaks radically and relevantly to today’s world, while light is cast on why Genesis has been written in the way it has.
It is absolutely fascinating how he brings to the light the symbolism of what happens for example in what he refers to as “Edengate” in Genesis 3. Any word ending in “gate” suggests some sort of cover-up where there is a deliberate attempt to conceal some wrongdoing. Paine comments; “Adam and Eve wanted wisdom, and all that happened was they realized that they were naked. But this is no longer the nakedness without shame that they enjoyed (2:25); now they need to cover things up. The cover-up is surely inevitable: once we start to live life according to our own desires, we can no longer trust each other. The fig leaves in our lives start to take on all kinds of forms. We pretend to be what we are not; we are one thing to one person, another to another.”
This book lifts back the veil and explains why our world is in such trouble because we have left God out. We are still eating the apple wanting to be in control. When Cain murders his brother Abel, called “the man after God “he is saying he does not want to live God’s way. Cain’s rebellion against God is in itself the motive for the murder of his brother. In a world which rebels against God, this is what happens to God’s man (or woman). And even this early in the Bible, Paine goes on to say, this puts a chilling thought into our heads: if this is what happens to God’s man, what on earth would happen if God Himself were to come into the world! What would men do to him? We know the answer to that question.Over the years you will want to know where this book is on your shelf so you can pull it out and reread the wisdom found within that helps explain the world in which we live.
Submitted by Cathy Chapin