TiO 45 – The Story – Creation
The Main Idea
In the beginning God created. This week Todd began at the beginning, when the story of God and the story of human beings were one story. He spoke of the rebellion of people against God and the start of a second story, a lower story, which describes the path of humanity as it tries to restore its relationship with God.
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: Have you ever read the whole Bible from start to finish? For those who have, what was the experience like? For those who have not, talk about what has kept you from doing so?
Q2: As you begin to read and study The Story together as a small group, what do each of you hope to get out of this experience? Have each person talk about their hopes and expectations.
Q3: Reading a chapter of The Story each week will take some discipline. Will there be a particular time or place that you will do the reading for the week? Is there a way that you can be accountable to each other?
Dig a Little Deeper
In trying to understand the narrative of the Bible, we must ask some important questions. While these questions are always essential, there are some places in the Bible where it is especially important for us to remember that the questions we have (as modern people) are not always the questions that the Bible is answering. Here are some questions to ask of the Bible passage you are studying:
- What do the words say?
- What do the words mean?
- Who wrote the words?
- Who were the words written to?
- Why were they written?
As we look at the stories found in Genesis it is easy to get caught up in our questions. Questions like: “How did God create the world?” And “What were the timelines in the creation of the world?” And “When did God do all of this?” The problem is, the people of the ancient world did not really care about those things. And it was not God’s purpose to give anyone a science lesson when he had Moses write these things down. Instead, God wanted to talk about his relationship with humans, and in specific, the start of his relationship with the people of Israel.
So, the stories in Genesis are the stories of relationships.
Q1: What do the stories in Genesis tell us about God?
Q2: What do the stories in Genesis tell us about people?
Read from The Story, pages 5-6, together.
In the terminology we are using during our time studying The Story we are using the term Lower Story to describe the story of human beings and the term Upper Story to describe the story of God. While there should only have been one story, the one initial story was split into two because of the sin of the first humans.
Q3: What is the essence of the story of the fall? That is, what happened?
At the end of the story of the fall (bottom of page 6) we see God intervene in the lives of the humans. He provides them with clothing. Todd spoke of the significance of this clothing, not just as a converting for their bodies but as a symbol of the covering of something else.
Q4: What is the spiritual significance and symbolism of God providing clothing for the two humans?
This would be a good time to talk together about the end of the first chapter of the book. What happens? Remember that the focus for you as an interpreter of scripture is not “how” or “when” but instead “who” and “why”.
Throughout the rest of the Old Testament (up to the end of chapter 21) we are going to see God leading the people of Israel through reconciliation with him.
Q1: What is your beginning story? Do you have a story about the beginning of your relationship with God? If you do, tell your group about it.
Q2: Do you need help keeping up with your reading? Maybe you need a “buddy” to be accountable to. Talk together about the barriers you will have to reading a chapter every week and what supports you can put in place to make sure that it happens.
Pray that God would open your mind and your spirit to hearing new things from him in his ancient story.