The year is 550 BC. The Hebrew people have lost the war with Babylon. The
destruction was unbelievable. Families have been destroyed, livelihoods gone,
security non-existent, all is chaos for a people in exile. In the midst of this tragedy
a priest ponders how to reconcile the beauty of creation with this mess. Where is
God? What kind of a God do we have?

He starts writing: “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.”

How to continue? Why not tell a story about the first week when all began.

He ‘knows’ how the world is structured. The Earth is a solid, flat disk. The sky
above is a dome holding back an ocean of water. There are doors in the dome
which God opens to allow rain and snow to fall. Under the earth there is another
water supply from which the oceans and springs are supplied. The earth will not
float, so it is supported on solid columns. Nobody has ever questioned what the
columns rest on! The sun, moon and stars hang from the ceiling above. “Sheol –
the place of the dead” has to be below the earth’s surface because that is where
dead bodies go. God lives in the heavens, way above the dome and the upper water
supply.

The writer tells of eight acts of creation spread over six days and God rested on the
seventh. The priest believed in the sacredness of the Sabbath so he had to have
God resting on the Sabbath. Two acts of creation will have to take place on the third

to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars.” Why speak
of small and big lights? Why not use sun and moon. In Babylon the Sun and Moon
were regarded as gods and Yahweh is not about to sow confusion by creating other
gods. God is one.

The oceans and the atmosphere are next to receive God’s attention. These are
decorated with the birds and the fish and once again this creation receives a
blessing.

The dawning of the sixth day commences with God decorating the earth (created
on the third day) with animals. The house is now complete. It is time for the family
to occupy their new home. Humanity is created. “God created man (humanity) in
the image of himself; in the divine image he created them (humanity); male and
female he created them.” God’s children have taken up residence and “we” strongly
resemble him.

Where are the groceries? The animals get the green plants for sustenance. To us
He says; “I give you all plants that bear seed, and every tree that bears fruit; they
shall be your food.” (1: 29) We will have to wait till Gen 9: 3 before we can enjoy
a ‘braai’.

Did God restore order to the lives of the exiled people? He did. Cyrus of Persia
allowed them to return home in 538 BC.