There are three strands to Biblical Theology
- God’s People
- God’s Place
- God’s Rule
I would like to talk a bit more in this article about “God’s Place.” In Genesis 1-2, we are told the story of Creation. God creates the universe out of nothing and forms and fills it over a 6 day period before resting on the seventh day. The pattern of dividing darkness from light, space from planet, land from sea and then populating the whole universe with star light, animals, sea creatures and birds sets the pattern for humans who are also to rule, subduing and filling the earth.
Genesis 2 focuses in on the sixth day when God made man and woman. He placed them in a garden and provided food for them. He gave them responsibility over the garden and the creatures in it and he set limits or boundaries. The prohibition of eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil may also be seen as a restriction on idolatry so that humans are made to worship God. The language of “tending and keeping” the garden is also seen as worship language with similar words being used to describe the role of priests in the tabernacle.
Man is made in God’s image, instructed on how to worship and then sent out to fill the earth, then we might consider that God is calling on Adam and Eve and their descendants to fill the world with his glory.
Some commentators have also suggested, helpfully, that the creation account itself could be seen as the description of a temple or throne room being constructed. If you sit down to rest, then God’s Sabbath indicates that having completed his work of creation, he has taken his rightful place on the throne of Creation.
All of this means that, to quote the hymn “This is our Father’s World.” It is his creation, existing for his glory. This is God’s Place and so it is possible to know his presence here with us.