These Are the Generations

We get a different view.

Genesis 2:4 (ESV)

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

After describing the six days of creation, Moses starts over. What’s he doing?

The Hebrew idioms used here are challenging. The word translated as “generations” is “toledote” (from “yalad” – bear, bring forth, beget).

While “generations” is the literal translation of this word, that isn’t what it means here. The NIV translates this as “This is the account of …,” the NKJV as, “This is the history of …” So, “toledote” means something like “timeline.” That fits well with the concept of God being outside of time.

Notice also that Moses says, “in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,” not, “in the six days …” The Hebrew word for day (“yom”) is another idiom. It doesn’t always mean exactly one day.

We have the same idiom in English. We don’t mean a 24 hour period when we say, “You’ll have your day in court.” The same can be said for, “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” (See Malachi 4:5).

So, this verse is announcing a change in perspective. Previously, we saw creation from God’s point of view as the creator. Now we’re going to see creation from the perspective of the created.

Google Maps users might call this, “street view.”

Street view looks pretty good on Google Maps, but the reality isn’t so attractive. Street view only sees the outside. The corruption is hidden away.

But it’s not our houses that need remodeling; it’s our hearts. Our sin ruins our insides, no matter how good we may look in street view.

OK, I know we’ve heard all this before, but let’s go somewhere with it this time. One good way to look at your own sin is to consider the classical seven deadly sins – wrathgreedslothpridelustenvy, and gluttony. (Those are all links if you care to look them up.)

While these sins all have the same roots, they manifest themselves differently in different people. Not everyone has the same struggles.

Let’s try something radical; try to figure out which one is “my signature sin.” This is difficult (and painful) to resolve, but worth the effort. Ask the Lord to help you see which one fits you best.

Knowing your signature sin can change your life.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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