Creation

1:2 – 2:3

 

 

Whether it is true or whether it is legend the story is told that many years ago Sir Isaac Newton made an exact miniature replica of our solar system. In the center was a large gold ball representing the sun and revolving around it were smaller balls on the ends of rods of different lengths representing the planets. All of these were attached to gears, cogs and belts to make them rotate in orbit around the sun in perfect harmony.

 

One day as Newton was studying his model of the solar system a friend who did not believe in the biblical account of creation came by for a visit. His friend marveled at Newton’s model with all its gears and cogs and belts and coordinated movements of the planets in orbit around the sun. The friend couldn’t help but exclaim, “My Newton, what an exquisite thing! Who made it for you?” Sir Isaac Newton responded, “Nobody.” “Nobody?” his friend reacted. “That’s right, I said ‘nobody.’ All of these balls and cogs and belts and gears just happened to come together and wonder of wonders, by chance they began to revolve in their set orbits and with perfect timing around the sun.”

 

The unbeliever got the message. It was foolish to suppose that the model merely happened (Psalm 14:1). But it was even more senseless to accept the theory that the earth and the vast universe came into being by chance. How much more logical and likely is it to simply accept that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

In the beginning of time, matter, space and the universe as we know it, God created all things and assessed them as “very good” (1:31). Let’s look at the orderly creation of God.

 

Respect God’s Word

 

It is always a dangerous thing to try to bend God’s word to fit human opinion. That is what we will see happening in some of the interpretations of the Genesis Creation account. Before we go into our study of the Creation passage we should have a healthy appreciation and reverence for God’s holy word. Therefore, let’s consider why we should not try to alter the meaning of God’s word to fit our human opinions.

 

First, God warns against changing or altering His word in numerous places in His word. The God says in His word:

·         Deuteronomy 4:2 - 2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

·         Deuteronomy 12:32 - 32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

·         Proverbs 30:5-6 - Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.     

·         Revelation 22:18-19 - 18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

If you wrote a letter to someone and the person who read it changed your words and altered its meaning to mean something other than what you clearly and simply intended, you would probably find that offensive and even criminal. If a general sent orders to the front lines and when they got there the orders were altered  by those in lesser command, the offenders would face a court marshal and more importantly victory in the battle would be put in jeopardy. Changing God’s word is like changing orders or changing a letter, it puts people at risk and jeopardizes God’s intended purposes, it is offensive and it is criminal.

 

Second, God’s word is holy, unique, and ought to be approached with the utmost reverence. God says His word is holy which means it is unique. The Bible states this saying:

·         Romans 1:2 - 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,

·         2 Timothy 3:15-17 - 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

There is no book like God’s book the Bible. No other book is verified and validated by the combination of manuscript evidence, archeological evidence, prophetic evidence, the preservation in the face of persecution evidence and the logical statistical rational of the combination of these factors considered together.  No book can match the 66 book Bible for truth and reliability. God’s word is holy and we ought to have reverence for it.  

 

Third, we should inductively look to learn from God in His word not deductively look to use God’s word to support our views.  The proper way to approach God’s word is inductively. This means we come to it open and eager to learn what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us through the word. This means we come to the word of God first and form our beliefs and opinions based on what the word says, not the other way around. When a person approaches God’s word deductively with preconceived beliefs and then seeks to support their particular opinions with God’s word, it leads to scripture twisting, misinterpretation, misunderstanding and manipulation of God’s holy word. We are the ones who must learn from God; we cannot teach God anything. At the root of the problem is that we live in a sinful world with man at its center and this man-centered mentality has crept into the church unfortunately. The Bible refers to this as the works of the flesh, walking according to our own understanding rather than walking in the Spirit and being guided by God (1 Corinthians 3; Galatians 3:1-5; 5:16-26). We shouldn’t look to shade God’s word to fit our preconceived opinions, rather we should look to the Holy Spirit to illuminate God’s word to our understanding (1 Corinthians 2:9-15).

 

When people try to contemporize God’s word under the premise that it needs to be made “relevant” to the peer pressures, people and beliefs of the day, what they have done is they have become people pleasers and consequently stopped being servants of God (Galatians 1:10).  This is the problem we see especially in the area of the creation-evolution debate. Some have accepted that science has proven the age of the universe to be billions of years old. They therefore come to God’s word with this preconceived belief and superimpose it on God’s word. They look for gaps where they can fit “millions of years.” They look for loop holes to stretch twenty four hour days into millions of years. All of this is done by leaving the common sense clear meaning of scripture for complicated reinterpretations of God’s word. It is interesting that efforts to alter the understanding of God’s word to fit modern “scientific” findings coincide with the prevailing faddish and in reality ever changing notions of the time. For instance theory that there is a gap in Genesis 1 where millions of years could be fit coincided with the rise in the scientific community of the belief that the earth was millions and then billions of years old.

 

God’s word is true and unchanging like He is (Matthew 24:35; John 17:17; Hebrews 13:8). Rather than trying to change God’s word to fit the prevailing human opinion of the day we ought to be trying to see how what human beings say fit according to God’s word. When you look at human fields of learning you find an ever changing unstable series of “facts” that with time prove to be wrong or off for the most part. God’s word is dependable and has stood the test of time. We need to respect it when we approach it because it is indeed, God’s word.

 

Is There A Gap in the History of Creation?

Genesis 1:2a - 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.   

 “The earth was without form and void . . .” This phrase has been interpreted by some to indicate the place in time of a “Gap” (hence its title The Gap Theory). This gap of time is supposedly composed of possibly millions of years which followed the initial creation of verse one. The words “without form and void” (Hebrew tohu and bohu) are interpreted as indicating that the entire creation of Genesis 1:1 was somehow destroyed. Since God is not the author of disorder or chaos but the author of order (1 Corinthians 14:33) it is said this is evidence that there was some kind of event that brought disorder into God’s creation. This disorderly destruction is attributed to the fall of Satan (Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:12) and the subsequent Divine Judgment of God. The Gap Theory purports that during this Gap there existed an earth filled with plants, animals and a race of pre-Adamic people who lived on the earth. Satan’s rebellion is thought to have brought darkness to the earth that was judged by God with a flood.

 

This Gap Theory was originated in 1814 by a Scottish theologian named Dr. Thomas Chalmers. It was during this time that in Great Britain the science of geology was coming up with new ideas about the formation of the earth and fossils. This was the beginning of seeing the age of the earth to be over vast amounts of time rather than the Biblical six days of creation. The Gap Theory may have been an attempt to explain fossilized plants and animals in the geologic record The Gap Theory may have grown in favor amongst sincere Christian scholars who were seeking to respond to the rising Theory of Evolution with its view that the earth was millions of years old. But there are some serious problems with this theory.[1]

 

Would God have described His creation as “very good” (1:31) if what He created in Genesis 1:2-31 was built on layers of fossilized graveyard of animals and people destroyed in His judgment? Not likely.

 

The Gap Theory conflicts with Scripture. The Bible says that death began with the Fall of Adam not with a pre-Adamic fallen race led by Satan (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21). There is no specific indication of any judgment by God in Genesis 1:2. It is entirely speculative to insert a judgment here. Was there death before the Fall of Adam and therefore is the Bible wrong? No indeed, death did not exist before the Fall.

 

We need to ask, “When did Satan rebel?” Satan is a created being (Ezekiel 28:15). He was a beautiful and perfect created being (Ezekiel 28:12-13). He was put in a position of prominence (Ezekiel 28:14). But Satan became proud, enthralled and deluded by a narcissistic obsession with himself (Isaiah 14:12-16; Ezekiel 28:16-17). If Satan rebelled in a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 2 then was God’s declaration that all He had made was “very good” a statement that simply ignored Satan’s rebellion? Not likely.

 

Were there two Floods or one Flood? The Bible only mentions one Flood that came on the earth (Genesis 6-8). There is no clear evidence that God brought destruction to the earth prior to the Flood mentioned in Genesis 6-8. A theory that involves another flood prior to Noah’s Flood is just that, a theory and a theory based mostly on speculation.

 

Lastly, it is significant that each verse that follows Genesis 1:1 begins with the conjunction “And” (Hebrew WAW; see the KJV for a clear translation of this).[2] By using the conjunction “and” each verse of creation is linked together as a whole with no apparent allowance for a gap. Each creative act of God happens in closely linked progression. The phrase, “The earth was without form and void” simply refers to a stage in the creative process of God. The earth was without form and void at this stage only because God had not yet finished His creative process.

 

Also, the idea that God could not create a world that was at this stage in “darkness” is not mindful of the fact that God creates light and darkness (Isaiah 45:7). God simply had not created the means in the physical universe for light, e.g. the sun and stars (Genesis 1:3-5). Darkness does not have to refer to any fall or destructive aspect of an imaginary Gap.

 

We would do well to stick with the revelation of God and the Biblical account of creation as occurring in six days with God resting on the seventh day.

 

 

 

The Holy Spirit in Creation

Genesis 1:2b - And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

The word “hovering” can also mean “shake” (Jeremiah 23:9).Henry M. Morris points out that the scientific term that could be applied here is “vibrated.” He also states that energy in the universe is formed in waves e.g. light waves, heat waves, sound waves. He says that “if the universe is to be energized, there must be an Energizer. If it is to be set in motion, there must be a Prime Mover.” [3] Genesis 1:2b points us to the omnipresent Holy Spirit as the Originator of these forces in the universe.

 

There is another movement of the Holy Spirit. Just as He moved the universe into motion, He came upon holy men of old and moved them to write down the inspired words of God in His word (2 Peter 1:19-21). The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew but in the third century B.C. seventy Jewish scholars in Alexandria Egypt translated the Old Testament into Greek. This translation of the Old Testament is known as The Septuagint (referring to the translation written by the seventy – septa – scholars). What is interesting is that when we compare the Septuagint translation of “hovering” in Genesis 1:2 and the word “moved” in 2 Peter 1:21 the same words are used. Just as the Holy Spirit brought life to the universe by hovering or moving it into motion, He brings life to those who take in God’s word.

 

Creation – God’s First Act of Providence

 

As we examine the account of God’s creation we need to first of all see that God’s first act of providence was to bring order to creation. God reveals that He “divided” (1:4, 7), and He “set” (1:17) His creation in place. It is God who measured the waters, put the heavens in place, and put every piece of dust in place (Isaiah 40:12, 22). And all of His creation belongs to Him (Psalm 115:16). This shows us that God puts things in place and is at work in His creation. Providence refers to the hand or work of God in His universe (Genesis 1:29; 8:22; Leviticus 26:4; Psalm 23:1; Romans 8:28; James 4:15). The Holy Spirit is the Agent of God’s providence (Job 26:13-14; Psalm 104:27-30; Isaiah 40:12-14). God is vigilant. He is involved in His creation (Psalm 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28).

 

God Created with His Word

 

The created process revealed to us in this account is based on the words that point us to the creative word of God. Phrases like, “Then God said” (1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 28, 29), and “God called” (1:5, 8, 10). There is no evidence that God was pressed to exertion or strained to create but that He merely spoke and “it was so” (1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, and 30). That may be difficult for you to comprehend, but we are speaking of an Almighty God and as we mentioned in our introduction, such a concept of God creating by the word of His power is an indicator of the condition of your faith (Hebrews 11:3). As we read the revelation of God speaking creation into existence by His mere words, let us put our faith and trust in Him and worship Him for His creativity.

 

Day 1 - God Said Let There Be Light

Genesis 1:3-5 - 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

The Holy Spirit set things in motion. “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” Henry M. Morris comments here, “The Word of God brings light! The Father is the source of all things (verse 1); the Spirit is the energizer of all things (verse 20, the Word is the revealer of all things (verse 3).”[4] This should cause us to reflect and remember that in addition to the first light created by God, God can bring light into our hearts through His Son Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6; John 1:1, 14; 8:12; 1 John 1:5).

 

Light

 

The light created here is simply visible light since the sun; moon and stars are not created until the fourth day (1:14-19). The creation of light here likely includes ultraviolet light, infra red light as well as short wave radiations and long wave aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum.

 

The basic prerequisite for all life is light. This is true for physical life, and it is true for spiritual life. As we journey through the pages of the sixty six books of the Bible the truth that rings loud and clear is that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5) and that Jesus is the manifestation to humanity of the nature of the light of God (John 8:12). If we choose to accept God’s light of truth in Jesus and walk in it, the way is made clear to fellowship with God and each other (1 John 1:7). God uses the imagery of light and darkness to illustrate the contrast between good (light) and evil sin (darkness) in this fallen world (John 1:4, 5, 7-9: 3:19-21; 5:35; 8:12; I John 1:5).

 

The Angels Created

 

Since the Bible states that the angels were present and rejoiced when God laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4-7), it is likely that God created them on the first day before the foundations of the earth were laid. Psalm 104:3-5 seems to support this view as well. It is not likely and is not supported by scripture that angels were created before the creation of the physical universe. The purpose of God creating angels, (apart from the Cherubim and Seraphim who serve Him directly at His throne) is to serve humanity on earth (Hebrews 1:14). 

 

Since this is likely where Satan was created we should pause a moment and consider how his fall affected humankind. One way to measure the impact of the fall of Satan is the look at the names he is given in scripture. By looking at his various names we can see his nature and ambition. Satan is named in the following ways in the scriptures:

 

  • Serpent - Genesis 3:4
  • The Devil - Matthew 4:1
  • Tempter - Matthew 4:3
  • Beelzebub ruler of Demons - Matthew 12:24
  • Unclean Spirit - Matthew 12:43
  • Evil One – Matthew 13:19
  • Murderer - John 8:44
  • Prince of this World - John 14:30
  • God of this Age - II Corinthians 4:4
  • Belial - II Corinthians 6:15
  • Ruler of the Kingdom of the Air – Ephesians 2:2
  • Ruler of Darkness – Ephesians 6:12
  • Adversary/Enemy - I Peter 5:8
  • Destroyer - Revelation 9:11
  • Angel of the Abyss - Revelation 9:11
  • Accuser - Revelation 12:10
  • Dragon - Revelation 20:2

 

Jesus said Satan is the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44). Those who reject, or rebel against God are aligned with the devil whether they fully realize it or not. When we get to Genesis 3 and the fall of Adam and Eve we will get a first full glimpse of the cunning and deception of the devil.

 

Twenty Four Hour Days or Ages?

Genesis 1:5 - God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

Before we go any further we need to consider something. Some commentators interpret the reference to days in the Creation account to be symbolic opening the possibility that the days could really refer to ages of millions of years.  This is referred to the Day-Age Theory. Is this a likely interpretation?

 

There is a rule of interpretation that those who study God’s word correctly live by and it is called The Golden Rule of Interpretation and it says this:

 

When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of the related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise. [5]

 

In light of this Golden Rule of Interpretation, we should ask ourselves if God wanted to reveal to us that He created the universe in six normal 24 hour days and rested on the seventh what words would He use? He would have used the word “day.” Now if He wanted to reveal to us that He created the universe in ages composed of millions of years or lengthy periods of time, what word might He have used? He could have used a number of words that would have clearly conveyed such a thought if it were the case (e.g. Hebrew ET – “time in general; QEDEM – “of old”; NESEH – “always; forever”; MO’ED – “season”; ZEMAN – “season,” “time”). But God chose to use the word “day” and even though “day” can be used to refer to something other than a twenty four hour day (e.g. “The Day of the Lord”) the common sense use of the term leans heavily toward a twenty four hour day in which God created. And it would appear that God went out of His way in anticipation of future confusion over this by revealing, “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.” This was “the first day.” This time frame is repeated throughout the creation account (“So the evening and the morning were the . . .” 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, and 31). The context clearly indicates God is speaking of twenty four hour days here.

 

The word “day” (Hebrew YOM) occurs 2301 times in the Old Testament. The only place where its meaning is seriously questioned and argued about is in the creation account. Everywhere else a “day” is accepted as a twenty four hour day except in the few places context would lead us to believe otherwise (e.g. 2:4). Why is this? It is because in the late 1700s science began to theorize that the world was billions of years old and pressure was put on bible believing people to later their view of the creation account to coincide with the “scientific” views of the day. But there are hundreds of methods used to determine the age of things and a great deal of them do not find that the world is billions of years old.

 

Outside of the book of Genesis the word “day” is used with a number 410 times and every time it means an ordinary twenty four hour day. Outside of Genesis 38 times the phrase “evening and morning” are used and it always means an ordinary twenty four hour day. Outside of Genesis 23 times the words “evening” or “morning” is used with the word day and each time it refers to an ordinary twenty four hour day. “Night” is used with “day” 52 times outside of Genesis and each time it refers to an ordinary twenty four hour day. In Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 there is the repeated use of the words “evening” and “morning” and “day” together. If outside of Genesis such a combination of words refers to an ordinary twenty four hour day, then why should we think that in Genesis “day” with these same words means something other than an ordinary twenty four hour day? We should not think “day” means something other than an ordinary day in Genesis 1. The evidence strongly supports that God created the world in ordinary twenty four hour days.[6]

 

If you were to read the Genesis account of creation objectively, would you get the idea that a “day” is a regular day or that it is a period of millions of years? Obviously you would simply accept that God created in twenty four hour regular days. If you take the Bible alone you would never get the idea that the earth is billions of years old. But if you take the Bible with human prediction on the age of the earth, then you get billions of years for the age of the earth.

Really any thought of days being periods of millions of years has to be superimposed from outside the Bible. When you superimpose human beliefs on Gods’ word you undermine the authority of the Bible and put human beings on the throne of authority. That is a precarious and dangerous thing (see Romans 1:18-31).

 

It is never a good idea to go to the Bible with a preconceived notion and try to bend, twist, or manipulate the scriptures to fit those preconceived notions. Scripture is the best interpreter and commentator of scripture. Some will respond, “Okay, well doesn’t it say in 2 Peter that a day is as a thousand years?” (2 Peter 3:8). Well, that is true, but perhaps we should quote the entire verse. It says, “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” First of all, a day is connected with a “thousand “ years and those who seek to impose an evolutionary theory related period to the days mentioned in the creation account need millions of years! Thousands won’t get you millions purported by evolutionary theory. Furthermore, it also says that “a thousand years as one day.” This cancels out any maneuvering to attribute a lengthy period of time to the day mentioned in the scripture. That is seldom referred to by those who misquote this verse out of its context. Peter is speaking in regards to the time of God’s judgment reserved for this world and the anticipation thereof. Peter is merely using 2 Peter 3:8 to convey the thought that no one knows when God’s judgment will come so we better be alert and live in a way that is ever ready (see 2 Peter 3 in its entire context.)

 

Remember what we said about Genesis 1:1? If you can accept that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, you can accept everything that follows. Is God not great enough to create all that we see and all that there is in twenty four hour increments? Some may not have a “God” that big and great, but those who hold to the God of the Bible do. If you are a Christian and you’ve bought into or sincerely have come to believe that a “day” in the creation account is symbolic and represents ages of millions of years, I ask you, is that something you got from reading the Bible or is it something you came to believe apart from the Bible and then inserted it into the Bible and your belief system? You can be a Christian an d believe God created in other than twenty four hour days. But if the common sense meaning of a word does not hold in the creation account, what other words will we find another meaning for? Will we look at Jesus statement that He is the way, the truth and the life and “no one comes to the Father except through Me” and think, Hmmm, does “except” really mean except? Does “only” really mean only? Are there other ways to the Father in heaven? What about the resurrection? Does the phrase “Jesus rose from the dead” really mean He rose from the dead? How do we know anything, any truth of God? It’s from His word and if we begin to doubt His word, then we will ultimately begin to doubt God. And isn’t that the exact strategy used by Satan in the Garden of Eden that led to the Fall of humanity (Genesis 3)? Why are we so willing to question God’s word and accept human opinion about history and the age of the earth?  Why are you so willing to listen to the voice that says, “Did God really say?” When you begin to question God’s word you take the first step along the same path Adam and Eve took. And we all know how that turned out.

 

Martin Luther was not perfect man but God did use him to confront a corrupt church by emphasizing the truth of God’s word. Martin Luther said the following:

 

How long did the work of creation take? When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.” [7]

 

That’s the problem; people think they know more than the Holy Spirit. When you start fiddling around with God’s word to make it fit beliefs you’ve arrived at apart from God’s word, you are opening the door to making God’s word meaningless. If we, the creatures of the Creator, can alter the words of our Creator, then how do we know if what the Creator has revealed to us is really what He revealed to us? If this sounds confusing, THAT’S THE POINT! God has spoken and revealed His truth clearly to us. He does not play puzzle games or hide and seek with us. His truth is to precious and valuable and important to do that. God values our souls too much to be enigmatic and esoteric in His revelation. When the plain sense of God’s word makes common sense seek no other sense of it. We should consider that.

 

God Named and Owns

 

God gave names to the initial ingredients of creation (1:5, 8, 10). To name something is to show ownership.  When a child is born the parents name the child because it is their child. An author names their book.  A poet names their poem. A filmmaker names their film. God names the parts of His creation because He owns them. He has authority to delegate this privilege as when he has Adam name the animals (Genesis 2:19-20). But God is still the ultimate Owner and Sovereign over all (1 Chronicles 29:14). The whole earth is His (Exodus 19:5-6; Leviticus 25:23; Psalm 24:1). The animals belong to God (Psalm 50:10). Money belongs to God (Haggai 2:8). Humanity belongs to God (Deuteronomy 32:6; Ezekiel 18:4). This great truth is driven home through the redemptive work of Jesus. Though we were dead in our trespasses and sins and justly deserved eternal damnation and separation from God (Ephesians 2:1-3), God did not cast us aside and simply start over, He bought us back and redeemed us from the curse of His own law by sending His only Son Jesus to pay the price of our offense, death (Deuteronomy 32:6; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God now owns us and we are not our own; we have no right to live according to our own rule, but we need to bow before our Redeemer (Romans 14:7-8).   The Lord names His people, His faithful ones and He does so as an assuring testimony that they belong to Him (Isaiah 45:4-7). Those who belong to Him are called, ‘Christians,” followers and worshippers of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26).

 

Day 2 – God Creates the Hydrosphere – The Waters

Genesis 1:6-8 - 6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

The word “firmament” simply means “expanse,” or “spread out thinness” (Strong’s 7549). When God first created the hydrosphere or waters He made a canopy that was an apparent layer of the atmosphere that acted as a kind of shield from the destructive rays of the sun. The Bible says that during these days there was no rain (Genesis 2:5). Therefore the water necessary for life was supplied by water vapor in the air or from underground. A canopy of water vapor would create a kind of Green house effect leading to a uniform pleasantly warm temperature and humidity over the entire earth. Such an arrangement would lead to a uniformity of weather in general over the earth. This vapor canopy would also serve to increase the oxygen in the environment having a kind of hyperberic effect leading to greater vitality. There have been many studies showing the benefits in athletes when oxygenation is increased in their blood. More oxygen in the blood leads to greater stamina and recovery.

 

Furthermore, this may explain why before the Flood people lived for hundreds of years and after the Flood we see a sharp decline in the lifespan of people. The waters produced at the Flood apparently involved the dissolution of this water canopy resulting in a drop off in oxygen and barometric pressure and exposing the inhabitants of earth to the unshielded waves of the sun that speeded up the aging process. There were also waters under the earth in springs. These too busted forth forming mountains during the upheaval of the Flood. And then thirdly there were the bodies of water where aquatic life existed. God created the perfect environment for humanity, shielded from any negative life sapping natural entities.

 

Day 3 – God Creates the Land and Vegetation

Genesis 1:9-13 - 9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

Here God sets in place the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4; Psalm 102:25; Zechariah 12:1; Isaiah 48:13). As God arranged the land of the earth Seas were formed. The Seas formed at this point are different than those we have today since the Flood rearranged what God originally had put in place. The soil of the earth was a perfect blend of nutrients ready for fertile planting. And that is what followed, the vegetation of the earth. Can you just try to imagine how incredibly awesome this entire process must have been like when God merely spoke and the earth was covered in all the variety and beauty of vegetation? Incredible!

Notice that the vegetation is not referred to as “living” or having a consciousness; plants are not alive in this sense. Some have said that eating vegetation was a kind of “death” existing before the Fall, but this is not a tenable assertion. Plants reproduce but they have not living in the same sense as having consciousness. And these plants were created initially by God already in a mature state of development. They would reproduce by way of their “seed” after this point.

The first mention of “seed” (1:11, 12, 29) and “according to its kind” (1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25) means that what is created has its own DNA and genetic composition. Each “kind” was to produce within its own kind and not outside of it. Think of the chaos that would exist if when you plant apple seeds watermelons grew, or if when you planted banana seeds coconuts grew. No, God’s creation is orderly and by design according to His nature (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40).  God has created things to produce within the classification of their kinds and to do so permanently (1 Corinthians 15:38-39). This is the “good” way God has created things (1:12).

There is room for variations within the kinds of things; this is called Micro evolution and is a scientifically verifiable fact. Insects and animals often develop differences based on the environments they live in. Animals and insects adjust to their environments, but they do not produce or evolve into different kinds. If you move from Florida to Alaska and take your cat, when winter comes the cat may develop a heavier coat of fur in its offspring over time, but it will not produce small polar bears! Macro evolution is not something that is supported by scripture. Macro evolution would occur if a kind produced another kind such as if a cat gave birth to a dog or a horse birthed an elephant. This is not supported by scripture, or is it supported by scientific evidence as well, though many have contended that it is a reality. There are no transitional forms that show a change from kind to a different kind. Some have even stooped to deception in concocting “missing links” from a tooth or bone, but such “evidence” has been exposed as the fallacy it is, e.g. Nebraska Man; Piltdown man; Lucy. Support for Macro evolution is more wishful thinking and rebellion against God than it is science.

Day 4 – God Creates the Sun, Moon and Stars

Genesis 1:14-19 - 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

In verse two God said, “Let there be light.” Here He says, “Let there be lights.” God first created light and then those things which would produce light. The light produced by these spheres would promote the growth of what God had created thus far as well as serve as the measure of seasons, days and years.  We mentioned earlier that the weather on the earth at this time would be uniform. This does not preclude some seasonal change such as what is mentioned in these verses.

Day 5 – God Creates the Sea and Air Creatures

Genesis 1:20-23 - 20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

All that was needed for living creatures was put in place by God, e.g. light, air, water, soil, nutrients, and vegetation. Now notice there is no mention of a glob of protoplasm brought to life by a chance occurrence of evolution in this creation account. No, instead there is the sovereign calling forth of life by God in a word spoken by Him.

Verse 20 has the first occurrence of the word “living” or life. Plants are not mentioned as having such life, but animals and humans are. The Hebrew term NEPHESH (Strong’s #5315) means generally and primarily “life” or “soul.” God created sea creatures and the birds of the air first. Later he created land animals (1:24-25). An interesting comment by Henry M. Morris at this point should be noted:

The first animals specifically mentioned as the product of this act of creation were the great whales,” or “great sea-monsters,” as most translations render the Hebrew word TANNIN [Strong’s #8577]. It is significant, however, that this same word is most frequently translated “dragon.” Evidently the term includes all large sea-creatures, even the monsters of the past that are now extinct. The frequent references to dragons in the Bible, as well as in the early records and traditions of most of the nations of antiquity, certainly cannot be shrugged off as mere fairy tales. Most probably they represent memories of dinosaurs handed down by tribal ancestors who encountered them before they became extinct. [8]

The account says, “And God blessed them” (1:22). God’s blessing is a declaration of Divine favor. When we look at scripture we see God is generous in His blessing as He pronounces His blessing on animals (Genesis 1:22; Matthew 6:24), on humanity in general (Matthew 5:45), and individuals in particular (Genesis 1:28; Noah – Genesis 9:1-7; Abraham – Genesis 22:17; Joseph – Genesis 49:25). He blesses nations such as Israel (Deuteronomy 2:7). He blesses those who seek Him (Psalm 34:10). He blesses those who obey Him (Deuteronomy 5:10; 28:2, 8-9; Joshua 1:8; 1 Chronicles 22:13). And He blesses those who give Him a tenth of their material blessings (and remember, what we have comes from God in the first place! Malachi 3:10; James 1:17). In the New Testament scripture tells us that God blesses Christians through His only Son Jesus (Philippians 4:19). God blesses those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

The blessing of God brings protection and preservation in life (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 37:6; 55:22; 84:11; 1 Peter 1:5; Revelation 2:10). But the most important thing about God’s blessing is how we benefit spiritual from it because spiritual blessing is eternal (Psalm 23:2-3; 132:16; 138:3; 1 Corinthians 12:6; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:3-4). We are who we are by God’s gracious blessing and it is by His gracious blessing that we develop spiritually (1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Peter 3:18).

Day 6 – God Creates the Land Creatures

Genesis 1:24-25 - 24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

“According to its kind” is repeated over and over in these verses. There should be no doubt that evolutionary development is not the process God used to create with. God spoke and it was and that was it. The reference to “cattle” likely refers to more domesticated types of animals. Whereas “creeping things” refers to things close to the ground and “beasts of the earth” refers to the larger animals on the land. There was no evolution involved here; all these creatures were spoken into existence in a moment by the Lord, not by a gradual evolutionary process over millions of years.

Day 6 – God Creates Humanity

Genesis 1:26-31 - 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Now the world was ready for God’s greatest most complex creation, human beings. This creature was to be given dominion over all the other creatures created by God. Whereas God previously said “Let there be . . .” He now seems to speak within Himself, within the Trinity in devising the creation of humanity. God said, “Let Us . . .” Now God is not speaking to angels because He did not create humanity in the image of angels but in His own likeness. The counsel of God within Himself knew from the foundations of the world that mankind would need to be redeemed at the cost of His only Son Jesus,  the Second Person of the Trinity (2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 17:8). God knew this, and yet He chose to create humanity nonetheless. That is mercy and grace to its fullness. 

 

Humanity is different from all other creatures in that humanity is created in the image of God. Monkeys and apes are not the ancestors of human beings; human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. The word “image” in the Hebrew is TSELEM (Strong’s #6754) and means, “image, statue, copy, representative figure.” The word “likeness” comes from the Hebrew term DEMOOTH (Strong’s #1823) and means, “resemblance, model, similar shape, form or pattern.”

 

In what sense is humanity created in the image and likeness of God? While God is Spirit (John 4:24) when we look at how God created us there is a pattern, a model of what God can do and what God is. God sees and has vision (Genesis 16:13). He hears (Psalm 94:9). He can smell (Genesis 8:21). He can touch (Genesis 32:32). God can and does speak (2 Peter 1:18). This does not mean that God necessarily has eyes, ears, and a mouth, it simply means that in humanity is reflected some of the abilities of God. Jesus has a human type body which is seen in the Old and New Testaments (Genesis 18:1-2; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 10:5; 1 John 4:1f.). Jesus is uniquely fully God and fully man (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Just as humanity stands erect and is distinctively different from all other creatures, so is God. A man or woman has the ability to look upward and contemplate and think. They have facial expressions and emotional feelings; they can relate to symbolism and communicate accurately. We can sum of the crux of the image and likeness of God in humanity by saying:

Humanity is created in the image and likeness of God in that humanity has “moral consciousness, the ability to think abstractly, an understanding of beauty and emotion, and, above all, the capacity for worshiping and loving God.” [9]

 

Also, because humanity is created in the image of God, God delegated authority and oversight of His creation to humanity. God blessed humanity and gave them instructions to be fruitful and reproduce (1:28). God provided plant life that could reproduce itself as food for Adam and Eve (1:29-30). We do not see any death until after the Fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) and we do not see any bloodshed for food until after the Flood (Genesis 9:2, 3). Death enters the world through Adam, it is not preexistent (Romans 5:12).  What we do see is that humanity is blessed with stewardship from God over the earth. At this point any “work” done by man or woman was an enjoyable thing. Sin made work hard and laborious.

 

Because we are created in the image of God the human has an inherent dignity. Satan strikes out at God by desecrating humans and thereby desecrating the image of God in them. He did this through human sacrifice, war and murder in the Bible and does it today similarly in abortion, gruesome terror acts and genocide (Job 2:7; John 8:44). Because we are created in the image of God we should take good care of our physical bodies (I Corinthians 6:12-20). This should be kept in balance however because in our day people have idolized their bodies and become obsessed with their shape and upkeep. Taking care of our spiritual life is more important than caring for our physical (1Timothy 4:8). We should be balanced in caring for ourselves so that God can be glorified through us (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

 

“Let Us make man . . .”

 

Don’t miss the awesome significance of how God refers to Himself in the creative process regarding humanity. The scripture states, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (1:26). Why does God say, “Let Us”? God reveals Himself in Scripture as One (Isaiah 2:17-18; 44:6-8; 45:20-21; 46:8-11’ mark 12:29; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). But in scripture God also refers to Himself by using the plural pronoun “Us” (Genesis 1:26; 11:7; Psalm 2:7; 45:7; 110:1; Isaiah 6:8; 48:16). Is this a contradiction? No, it is not. Let me illustrate from another portion of scripture.

 

In Deuteronomy 6:4 we have what is known as the Shema, the best known most important scripture for the Jews. It declares:

·         Deuteronomy 6:4 - “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

Now what is interesting about this verse is that the word “one” in this verse is not translated from the Hebrew term YACHIYD which refers to “one and only one” (Genesis 22:2 – “only son”; also Proverbs 4:3; Zechariah 12:10) a solitary entity, but the word that is used here is EKHAWD which refers to a compound unity. The meaning of EKHAWD is illustrated in its use in Genesis 2:24, where the first marriage is being described saying, “the two shall become one flesh.”  If an absolute solitary “one” was meant to describe the LORD, then the term YACHIYD could have been used. But YACHIYD is not used in the Shema, EKHAWD is used. God’s nature is in some way a plurality and this supports the overall view of scripture that God is Triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

God says that He alone is our Savior (Exodus 3:7-8; Isaiah 43:10b-11). God promised in the Old Testament to reveal Himself as Savior in a special miraculous way (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Micah 5:2). The fulfillment of that promise is found in Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh (John 1:1-3, 14; 5:17-24; 10:30-33). We have already seen that God is Spirit (Genesis 1:2; see also Job 33:4; Psalm 139:7-12; Isaiah 11:2; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11). When we look at scripture we see God described as our Father (1 Corinthians 8:6), as the only Son of God (Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13), and as the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-5). God is Triune, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

 

To all of this God declared and assessed it was “very good.”

 

God’s Response to the Skeptics

 

The book of Job contains an answer from God to those who would question His ways. Some say that Job was a contemporary with the patriarchs of Genesis. The book of Job is a book in which God reveals a great deal about Himself, man, Satan, suffering, faith, righteousness and even resurrection. It is in this book that humanity grapples with the question of suffering and evil and how faith in God gets us through such hardship.

 

The first two chapters of Job set the scene for the book. Satan goes before God and challenges the genuineness and purity of the faith in God of righteous Job. God in His sovereign position allows Satan to bring suffering and loss into the life of righteous Job. The bulk of the book is a record of man’s futile attempt to explain the cause of suffering while not recognizing the existence of Satan’s underlying evil strategy. Job is consoled by friends who are less than helpful in their accusations and blaming of Job for his plight. Job’s wife tells him he should “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). But Job remains faithful to God.

 

For thirty five chapters Job is then in a heated discussion with his friends over the reasons and causes of his apparent demise. They offer that Job is at fault in some way for his predicament. Job himself continues to put his faith in God while under the pressures of his plight and accusations from his friend. But Job does express his consternation and confusion over why all of this is happening to him. He justifies himself and you get a sense that he is questioning why God would allow such events to enter his life.

 

The pinnacle of the book is found in the response of God in the final chapters. God’s answer to Job and his friends is a response all skeptics and those who question God should take notice of. When we look at God’s response to Job there are sections that dovetail with a response to those who question God as Creator. To those who question whether or not God created light on the first day God’s response to Job is also fitting. He states:

·         Job 38:19-21 - “Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place,20 That you may take it to its territory, That you may know the paths to its home?21 Do you know it, because you were born then,  Or because the number of your days is great?     

God basically asks, “Were you there when light was created? If not, how can you be so proud as to think you know more than the One who was there and who did create the light?”

 

To those who question whether or not God created the heavens on the second day of creation God’s response to Job is again fitting as He states:

·         Job 38:33 - Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?      

“Do you know all there is to know about the heavens? Can you control them?” is what God is saying to the skeptic who questions His handiwork.

 

To the one who questions whether or not God created the seas on the third day God says:

·         Job 38:8 - “Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb;  

·         Job 38:16 - “Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?   

To those who are skeptical that God created sun, moon and stars on the fourth day He asks:

·         Job 38:12 - “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,  And caused the dawn to know its place,     

·         Job 38:31-32 - “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?  32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?     

To those who doubt God created the creatures of the sea and air on the fifth day God says:

·         Job 41:1 - “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? (See also Job 41:2-34)     

Jesus said the Father feeds the birds of the air (Matthew 6:26).

 

To those who doubt God created land animals and human beings on the sixth day God asserts:

·         Job 38:36 - Who has put wisdom in the mind?  Or who has given understanding to the heart?     

If it wasn’t for God human beings would not even have the capacity to think and ask the question they do! Too often humanity uses the mind God has blessed them with to irreverently question or rebel against God. There is nothing wrong with asking questions of God, but such questions should be asked in reverent awe of God.

 

Our Response to God

 

The universe is intensely complex. We can look in a neutron microscope and see intricacies that are mind bogglingly small. And we can look through huge telescopes and see the great immensity of the universe. In all that we see we see God’s order and plan. All of it causes us to be in awe of God (or it should). But there is something even  more mind boggling and heart breaking that we should understand.

 

Because God has perfect foreknowledge, when He created humanity He was fully aware that they would fall in sin and He would have to enact His redemptive plan that would cost the life of His only begotten Son Jesus (Acts 2:23; Ephesians 1:3-4).  I wonder what discussion occurred in the Triune Godhead preceding the words, “Let Us create man in Our image”?  When we think that God created humanity knowing what it would ultimately cost Him, it should cause our minds to overload and our hearts to explode with love for God. How can anyone not fall on their knees and worship God and praise Him in light of this? 

 

Rather than be skeptical of God’s creative ability and His redemptive plan, we should be thankful to Him. Our heart’s cry should be Psalm 148 where it states:

·         Psalm 148 - 1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens;  Praise Him in the heights! 2  Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! 4  Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! 5  Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. 6  He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.7  Praise the Lord from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths;8  Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; 9 Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars;10  Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl;11  Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth;12 Both young men and maidens; Old men and children.13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.14 And He has exalted the horn of His people, The praise of all His saints — Of the children of Israel, A people near to Him. Praise the Lord!

Indeed, our response to God as our Creator should be that of the last verse of the book of psalms where it states:

·         Psalm 150:6 - Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

God has responded to the skeptics and our only appropriate response is to praise the Lord.

 

Day 7 – God Rests from His Work

Genesis 2:1-3 - Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

On the seventh day God rested from His work. This does not mean God stopped His oversight and maintenance of the universe He created; it simply means His creative work was completed. The Sabbath seventh day of rest is distinguished by God to convey a number of things. It marked God’s work of creation as “finished” (2:1). It is to be a day of “rest” (2:2, 3; Exodus 34:21). It is a day that is particularly “blessed” by God (2:3; Isaiah 56:2). And it was a day that is “sanctified” or especially marked out and distinct from other common days (2:3).

God in His word instructs Israel concerning the Sabbath telling them to “remember” it (Exodus          20:8; 31:15). One way the Sabbath was to be marked distinctively was that no menial or unessential work was to be done on the Sabbath: e.g. No household work - Exodus 35:3; no buying and selling - Nehemiah 10:31; 13:15; no doing as you please - Isaiah 58:13-14; and no acting greedily - Exodus 16:27-28.

 

Failure to recognize the Sabbath carried repercussions such as: The death penalty - Exodus 31:14; Numbers 15:32, 35; defenses being broken down - Jeremiah 17:27; God's wrath on Sabbath breakers - Ezekiel 20:13; dispersion - Ezekiel 22:8, 15.

 

There was also a Sabbatical Year (i.e. seventh year) where the Land (which belongs to God – Leviticus 25:23) was to be allowed to rest for a year (Exodus 23:10-11). God promised to supply enough food in the sixth year so that Israel could go the Sabbatical Year without a harvest. During this Sabbatical Year slaves were also emancipated (Exodus 21:2-6) and debts were forgiven (Deuteronomy 15:1-6). The punishment for not keeping the Sabbatical Year was captivity and dispersion (Leviticus 26:33-35).

 

There was also a Year of Jubilee which was the fiftieth year that marked the end of the seventh Sabbatical Year (Leviticus 25:8). In this fiftieth year slaves were set free (Leviticus 25:38-43), property that had been sold to pay off debt was restored to its original owner (Leviticus 25:23-28), debts were forgiven (Leviticus 25:47-55), and the Land was to be allowed to rest (Leviticus 25:11, 12, 18-22).

 

When Israel went 490 years ignoring her prophets without keeping the Sabbatical Year, God disciplined Israel by allowing her to go into captivity for seventy years until she paid her debt of Sabbatical Years (Jeremiah 25:12; 34:14-22). This is a picture of the consequences of sin. God is not mocked, what people sow, they will reap (Galatians 6:7-9). If people sow or rely on their flesh, they will reap corruption. If they sow to the Spirit, they will reap everlasting life. God waited 490 years for His people to repent and keep His Law of the Sabbatical Year. They may have presumed He had forgotten or overlooked that Law. They may have even thought He condoned their neglect of it. But eventually God’s patience and longsuffering with their disobedience ended and they reaped a painful disciplinary consequence. Are you overlooking or neglecting an area in your life that conflicts with God’s word? Have you grown presumptuous thinking because God hasn’t done anything about it that He never will? Have you rationalized your sin away so that you think God condones it? You should look to the captivity of Israel and think again (2 Chronicles 36:14-21).

 

The Sabbatical Year and the Year of Jubilee were illustrative of the mission of Jesus (Isaiah 61:1-3). Through the gospel of Jesus our debt of sin is forgiven and we are set free from sin and one day there will be a New Earth to rest in.

 

When we look at Jesus in the New Testament we see that He ministered on the Sabbath. He did good on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:12). He taught and did miracles on the Sabbath (Mark 6:2; Acts 17:2). He healed on the Sabbath (John 7:23; 9:14).

 

The problem that arose with the Sabbath is that it became more of a source of legalistic burden than a time to worshipping the Lord for His many blessings. The religious made the day more important than the One who the Day was meant to honor (Mark 2:23-28).

 

Under the New Testament believers are not bound by the legalistic adherence to the Sabbath (Colossians 2). In the New Testament Sunday, the first day of the week, became the day for followers of Jesus to meet (Acts 20:7) because it was the day He rose from the dead (Mark 16:9), and first appeared to His disciples in His resurrected state (John 20:19).Sunday, the first day of the week was seen as “the Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10-11). Therefore we see Christians praying and fellowshipping on the Sabbath (Acts 16:13). But there is something more to the Sabbath that we need to grasp.

 

God’s Sabbath Rest Applied

 

There is a deeper meaning here to the Sabbath that we should not miss. There is a deeper significance to God’s Sabbath rest that needs to be applied to our lives.  God in the Sabbath rest portrays to lost humanity how they need to rest from their self-reliant efforts to be righteous before God and instead rest in or trust by faith in God’s gracious provision of salvation in Christ. The writer of Hebrews was inspired to speak of this saying:

·         Hebrews 4 - Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:  “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice,      Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.  11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In this passage we are reminded of God’s promise of rest (4:1). We are told that this rest is connected to faith in some way (4:2). We are told there is a consequence for not entering the rest that is promised to us by God (4:3). Then we are told of the connection to the Sabbath rest of God instituted at the end of the creation (4:4). We are told that some will not enter God’s rest (4:5) and the reason they will not is because of disobedience (4:6; see Hebrews 3:7-19). Through the testimony of David’s inspired Psalm we see that God had pleaded to the people to not harden their hearts (4:7; Psalm 95:7-8). The rest spoken of hear is not the rest of entering the promised land (4:8). There is a rest that the people of God must enter into (4:9). This rest is a rest from relying on works or self effort (4:10). While we are called to rest from our works, it still requires diligence to enter the rest being spoke of here (4:11). To enter this rest requires we submit to the scrutiny of God’s word (4:12). Every creature will be opened up and naked before God to whom they must give an accounting (4:13). As we rest from our works, we rest in Jesus (4:14). Jesus understands and sympathizes with us (4:15). His gracious provision enables us to come confidently to God’s throne of grace to get grace to help us in life (4:16). Only when we rest in faith in Jesus for salvation can we experience the rest God has promised at the beginning of this chapter.

 

Jesus is calling you to rest in His gracious provision and praise Him for it. Don’t be hard hearted, spiritual dull and unresponsive to the salvation God has provided for you and illustrated for you in the Sabbath rest (Hebrews 2:1-4; 3:7-19). Jesus has completed all the work necessary to secure your salvation and righteousness before God (Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Come rest in Jesus and stop trying to work your way to salvation (Hebrews 4:15-16).  

                       

 “’The Emperor’s New Clothes’ and Evolution”

 

In the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson, a king, his leaders and his people are all duped into believing in something that is not really there, something that defied truth, reality, logic and the evidence. The scheme used to persuade and dupe them was a combination of appealing to peer pressure and to pride. The schemers said, “The beautiful clothes [which were in reality invisible, not there at all] could only be seen by those who were fit for the offices they held or who were very clever.” Therefore, everyone who viewed the invisible clothes denied the truth and reality that there were no clothes, because they didn’t want to be seen by others, (who they assumed could see the clothes) as stupid or unfit for their office. Peer pressure and the fear of being assessed as stupid and unfit for a position are powerful and persuasive tools in the hands of those who seek to manipulate.

 

How does this relate to Evolution? While evidence contradicts the tenets of evolution, (e.g. a universe billions, trillions of years old; transitional forms, etc.) and points to a Divine Creator, the world continues to cling to the evolutionary theory which opposes the revelation of a Creator designing and putting in place the universe as we know it. Why is this so? First, like the schemers in the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, who sought to undermine the authority of the king for there own profit, there are those who wish to eliminate the concept and influence of a Creator to Whom all are accountable so that they can take His throne and rule.  Their strategy is to usurp the position of God the Creator and manipulate people to their own profit. Second, just as the king, his leaders, and the people refused to acknowledge the truth of reality that the “invisible clothes” were indeed not there, people do not acknowledge the truth of God as Creator because of pride, peer pressure, and the fear of being seen as stupid. Evolution denies the existence of God. A fool, Biblically speaking, is one who fails to factor God into their life equation. Those who accept Evolution despite the facts should heed the words of Scripture, which state:

 

  • Psalm 14:1 – “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.” 
  • Proverbs 12:15 – “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.”
  • Proverbs 14:15-16 – “The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.” 
  • Proverbs 18:2 – “Fools have no desire to learn; they would much rather give their own opinion.” 
  • Isaiah 45:11-12 – “Thus says the Lord, The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.12 I have made the earth, And created man on it. I—My hands— stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded.” 
  • Romans 1:18-22 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,” 
  • Titus 3:3-7 – “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” 
  • Hebrews 11:1-3 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” 

When one considers the facts, it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe that God is the Creator of the universe. Evolution is as viable as the emperor’s new clothes. It’s time to acknowledge that the emperor has no clothes on. It is time to leave foolish evolutionary speculations and come to the truth that, God is our Creator as well as our Savior.

 

 



[1] Denis R. Petersen, Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation (El Dorado, California: Creation Resource Pubs., 2002) pages 70-71.

[2] Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1976) page 48.

[3] Ibid. Morris page 52.

[4] Ibid Morris page 55).

[5] Randall Price of World of the Bible ministry in a teaching entitled Is the Modern State of Israel Prophetically Significant?  at the  11th Annual Tulsa Prophecy Conference – www.worldofthebible.com

 

[6] Ken Ham, The Six Days of Creation, seminar video at Thomas Road Baptist Church by Answers in Genesis ministry P.O. Box 6330, Florence, KY 41022

[7] What Martin Luther Says – A Practical In Home Anthology for the Active, pp. 1523- as quoted by Ken Ham in The Six Days of Creation seminar segment – Answers in Genesis P.O. Box 6330, Florence KY 41022

[8] Ibid. Henry Morris, page 69

[9] Ibid. Henry M. Morris page 74