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1: God Creates the Heavens, the Earth, and It’s Inhabitants

June 19, 2009

Text: Genesis 1:1-2:3

Key Verses: Genesis 1:1 and 2:2

Outline:

I.  God Creates the Heavens and the Earth       Gen. 1:1-2

II.  God Separates, Designs, and Defines His Creative Work      Gen. 1:3-19

III.  God Fills the Earth with Animals and Creates Man       Gen. 1:20-31

IV.  God Rests      Gen. 2:1-3

Context/Discussion/Comments:

The world considers this portion of Scripture as one of the most controversial and compelling pieces of literature. But this is not literature according to man but the WORD of GOD. It tells very directly and factually what happened and by whom it happened. It does not explain when it happened or what mechanism took place to make it happen. It simply states God created and through His Word His creation was ordered and filled. We either believe it or we don’t. But frankly it takes more faith to believe in man’s theories than in God’s Word. The world prefers to believe that man evolved from lesser beings without a God or His involvement but such thinking is contrary to any known and proven scientific theory. Obviously we are of the same nature [original sin] that caused Adam and Eve to believe the serpent [Satan] instead of God. God’s Word says “In the beginning God created”. Believe because God stated it as such. It is clear, direct, and not subject to various interpretations.

Verses 1-2 can be considered an all encompassing summary statement but it also tells of the creation of matter as we understand it. It is the very beginning as God states. God begins with matter. It is considered dark, undefined, and void; that is without life [movement or energy]. It is under the control of God’s Spirit.

God wants to make this matter into a living organism so He separates out light [energy] from the darkness. This is defined as step 1 or day 1.

Another way of looking at this is that God “reveals” what He has created so He can proceed to further define and order His creation, enabling it to function as He wills, in days 2-4.  One could also say this “light” begins the active involvement of God the Son as Creator [see John 1:1-3 and Heb. 1:1-4].  Taking this position, the Triune God is made know to us in the first three verses of the God’s Word.

Water is everywhere so God decides to separate it into the waters above [atmosphere] and the waters below [on the earth]. This is defined as step 2 or day 2. This separation probably occurred in all God’s creation but God is already focusing on what we call Earth.

God continues separating the waters on Earth, the waters below, so that He has both land and sea. Vegetation now springs forth by His creative hand and we have our beautiful blue and green planet we observe from space. This completes step 3 or day 3.

God’s creation is now set in motion assuming it wasn’t done earlier. But now the stars, planets, moons, and sun are in their final position, a defined orbit and rotation. Previously our solar system might have been revolving around a greater solar system for stability but now our system has been stabilized, defining years, seasons, and days as we know them. Step 4 or day 4 is complete.

God now begins to fill His creation with living beings. He starts with fish and birds [day 5], continues with both wild and domestic animals, and concludes with Man [day 6]. Food is provided by the vegetation brought forth on day 3. The animals and man begin life as vegetarians.

God is pleased with His creation and decides to rest [sit down and enjoy it] on the 7th day. God is said to sanctify it; set it apart and call it holy. It is perfect. It is a testimony of God’s majesty and power. God enjoys His creation in much the same way as we enjoy it when we sit down, rest, and look upon its’ beauty and design.

Allow me to write briefly about the word “day” as used in Genesis 1. Some scholars are absolutely sure about interpreting a “day” as 24 hours for all seven days but “day” can also mean a period of time. Those who argue against God’s involvement and require long periods of time to accommodate evolutionary theory will say this account of creation is just a story and the word “day” reflects millions of years. I believe there is reason to consider the 5th and 6th days as representing 24 hours but days 1-4 definitely refer to periods of time because “day” as we define it wasn’t created until day 4. For consistency then, days 5 and 6 could be periods of time too. On the other hand, I do not adhere to believing it took millions of years. God is powerful, all-powerful. God is capable of creating in an instant. God is eternal. Time, as we define it, does not define God. Basically the only thing that matters is that GOD CREATED.

Lesson/Applications:

1. God is the Creator God. It is a fact. Believe it.

2. God is involved in all the details of His creation. He is the Creator and designer; a sculptor revealing His design.

3. Earth is singled out as a special place on the third day; a place to carry out His special purpose [will].

4. God locates all the heavenly bodies according to His design. [Psalm 8:3].

5. Just as Earth is special among the heavenly bodies, Man is special among His created beings. Man has a special purpose [to glorify God] just as God has a purpose [to bring glory though His creative power].

6. Man has been given the responsibility to care for God’s creation, to keep order and prevent chaos, to govern the earth on behalf of God [Romans 13].

7. God stopped to enjoy His handiwork on the 7th day. We should do likewise, marveling at God’s power and capability, expressing thanksgiving and love for God’s goodness, praising and worshipping the Creator God. [see Romans 1] We are without excuse.

8. God saw that His creation was good. He is still creating, most likely a creation more complex than ours. Also see John 14 and Revelation 22. Remember God is creating [recreating] all who believe in Him as Lord and Savior into new creatures, born again unto good works and for His glory.

Addendum:

What I have written here is an attempt to keep to the facts as stated in scripture. There are many scientific and Biblical scholars who have written volumes explaining what they think happened and how it might have happened, attempting to marry science with scripture. Some of these theories are excellent and some are just plain bad. Read but be careful. Let me explain by relating a process I used during my tenure as an Engineering Manager. It was common for us to face technical challenges for which we had no answers. We, having different scientific disciplines and degrees from different universities, would gather together to share our ideas, discuss their pros and cons, and determine to agree on how best to solve the problem. We seldom agreed. After much discussion about the correct technical approach to take, I would go to the board and make two columns; facts and opinions. We would write down the agreed upon facts; things we knew were absolutely true. And we would write down what were our opinions; everything we thought was true but could not back up with data. The “fact column” never exceeded five items but the “opinion column” was always at least three times longer. This procedure always brought us together, enabling us to focus on what we knew and what we didn’t known, and define a solid scientific approach to finding the solution. Remember, what we consider as fact may only be opinion.

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