Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Lesser Light

I was reading this familiar section of Genesis last night:
And God made the two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars (Gen. 1:16).
So I got up to look outside my window. And there it was. The lesser light. The moon I had just read about. It was right there in the sky. And I smiled.

The commentary I also happened to be reading had a lot to say about intertextual connections – places elsewhere in Scripture that you can reference to find certain key words or phrases that parallel Genesis 1. It also had a lot to say about comparisons between Genesis 1 and other ancient creation accounts from pagan sources.

And there’s certainly nothing wrong with those sorts of enquiries, so long as we recognize that Genesis is more than just a text to be studied as such. Genesis doesn’t just invite us to compare it with other texts. It points us to things we can see right outside our windows. It sheds light on those things and tells us who they come from. So the next time you’re reading about creation in Genesis, be sure to go outside and look at it. Go look at the world God made.

Then maybe read a Wikipedia article about the sun or the moon, and keep marveling. Any hermeneutical system that would discourage this kind of thing is anemic.

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