What Was the Pinnacle of Creation?

What do you consider the pinnacle of the creation account? I know for many it would be the creation of Adam and Eve. I thought this myself for many years. After all what comes after that? Nothing on day six and all that happens on day seven is that God rests. This is a serious misreading of the text and one of the things John Walton highlighted in his presentation on Genesis one. He notes in his commentary on Genesis that “[p]eople are in one sense in the center of this text, but people are not the center of the cosmos.” (152) Walton views Genesis as the equivalent to an ancient near eastern temple text. Genesis one is demonstrating how God ordered the universe and gave purpose and functions to its various elements. For anyone of that time period listening to the reading of Genesis one, they would have immediately recognized this as a temple text when they heard that God rested on the seventh day. Walton explains: “Deity rests in a temple, and only in a temple. This is what temples were built for. We might even say that this is what a temple is—a place for divine rest.” (The Lost World of Genesis One, 72) But what did it mean for a deity to rest? Walton says it was “more a matter of engagement without obstacles than disengagement without responsibilities.” (Lost World, 73) God is enthroned in the temple and begins his rule. The rest of God is the pinnacle of creation. The temple is not really functionally a temple until God resides there and in this case the cosmos is God’s temple. My next point is something Walton nowhere makes but I think is relevant. Every now and then people ask whether or not there is life on other planets. When someone answers “no” then the response is often “then why would God need to create a universe so large if we are the only living beings in it?” The objection contains the answer. We aren’t the only living things in the universe. God exists. The size of the universe speaks to his majesty and greatness. This universe is his temple and as great and large as it is, it is still little more than a footstool.  



About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This entry was posted in Biblical Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What Was the Pinnacle of Creation?

  1. Phil Miller says:

    God’s resting on the seventh day (in my humble opinion, at least) is a powerful statement of His Omnipotence. Motion and time are a philosophical pair, each presupposes the other. For God to cease “activity” and “be at rest”, He would have to be above and beyond “Time.” (As for life on other planets, who are we to say He does not have a plan for Salvation in place there already?)


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