Genesis Chapter 1– John Karmelich
1. In my introduction to Genesis, I opened with the question, “Why did God bother?”
a) If I had to pick one question to keep in mind as you read Chapter 1, that is it.
b) Most of the commentaries you read on the first few chapters of Genesis focus on “How did God bother?” They tie scientific evidence to the Genesis account to show its validity.
i) It is understandable that most of the modern commentaries focus on the “how” question. We live in the information age. We know more about geological and astronomical evidence about creation than we ever have in the past.
ii) Further, too many American public schools teach a no-god evolution theory as fact and good information is necessary to combat those theories.
iii) Christians debate whether or not God created the world in six “literal” days versus six era’s of time. Note that most of these Christians don’t argue about whether or not the bible is God-inspired, they are arguing over interpretation.
a) What I notice that there are good God-fearing preach-the-gospel people on both sides of this debate. While I have my opinions and lean strongly toward a young-earth view, that is not my primary purpose of this study.
c) I personally think all the Genesis commentaries that primarily focus on how God created the universe bypass the primary topic. The important question is not “how”, but “why”?
d) The primary topic of the bible is redemption. It is all about God going to great length and trouble so we can spend eternity with Him. The bible is a life-instruction manual on how to live your life joyfully, happily, prosperously and most importantly, for God’s glory. Further, the redemption aspect teaches us God’s expectations of us for eternal life as well as life here on this earth.
i) With the concept of redemption in mind, it is interesting to read Chapters 1-2 of Genesis from that perspective.
ii) The “why” question of this introduction ties back to the concept of redemption.
e) In Genesis this account God created everything we know in six days. The question to ask about the creation story is not whether they are literal days or eras of time, but why did God bother to “stretch it out” over six days?
i) Let’s face it, God is God. God could have created everything we know in six minutes or six seconds or six billion years. If you can’t handle the concept of how fast God created everything, your concept of God is too small.
ii) That is why it is important that the first verse of the bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NIV) The idea is if you can comprehend that God can and did create everything we know, you can handle any other concept taught in the bible.
iii) If God can create everything, including life, then he has the power to create a flood that would cover the whole world. If God can create everything, he has the power to perform any and all the miracles stated in the bible. If God can create everything, he has the power to resurrect a dead person back to life again. If you can believe the first verse of Genesis, you can believe the rest of the bible.
f) The key to understanding the 6-day creation story is not found in Genesis but in Exodus:
i) “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath (“rest”) to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 20: 9-11a, NIV).
ii) The reason I happen to believe in a literal six-day creation is not because of anything said in Genesis, but because of what is said here in Exodus. As I stated, God could have created everything in six seconds or six months or whatever. He purposely choose six literal days as the span of time of his creation work as to give us a pattern of how we are to live our lives: work six days and rest on the seventh.
g) Going back to my theme of “Why did God bother?”, the secret to the six day creation story is to understand that God created everything for our benefit.
i) Notice that man was created last. Man was created on the final day of creation. It is as if God is saying “Look, I did all of this for you. This is how much I love you. I created all of this out of nothing out of my love for you. I have this wonderful redemption plan for you, and I did all of this for your benefit.
a) I encourage you to read chapter 1 from the idea that God created all of this for our benefit. From that perspective you can see how much God loves man and goes to all of this for the purpose of redeeming us for eternity.
ii) When you read Genesis Chapter 1, there are lots of places where God is speaking “out loud”. He is making statements like “Let light be” and “This is good”.
iii) Ask yourself “Why is God saying this? Let me give you a clue: God is not saying it to “toot his own horn”. They are written for our benefit, for us to learn from those statements.
2. Another thing to catch from Chapter 1 is that many of the verses work in “pairs”.
a) There is a verse where God says he is going to do something.
i) Then there is the next verse (or sentence) where God actually does what he says.
b) It is as if some of the verses are redundant. First we read of God saying something, and the next sentence is almost identical with God’s idea actually taking place.
c) The idea to teach is “God is not making this up as he goes along”.
i) God created you, me, the world and the universe with purpose in mind.
ii) God “spoke” the idea into existence and then God made it happen.
iii) The idea for us to learn is that each of the six days of creation are done in a specific order, in a specific manner and is planned all for our benefit.
iv) Again, man is the last thing created. It is as if God is saying “I’m saving the best for last. I’m doing all of this for your benefit. I am God. I don’t need the creation, but you do. Read this chapter as a love-story from me to you”.
3. Before I start Chapter 1, remember again, that I cannot possibly say all there is to say about Genesis in these lessons. I specifically pick topics that I believe are the most relevant.
a) As to this chapter, I touch a little on how science and the bible meet. Remember that the bible is not designed to be a technical manual on how God created everything. It is designed to guide us on how to live life. Occasionally, it touches upon science, but I consider that “background studies”. The primary focus is for us to learn how to apply these lessons to our live and that is my focus today. With that said, Here’s Verse 1:
4. Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
a) In the introduction lesson, I spoke in depth about Verse 1.
b) In this lesson, I want you to see Verse 1 in conjunction with Verse 2.
c) Notice what Verses 1-2 do not say:
i) It does not say, “God created the heavens and earth, and it was full of wonderful plant life and animal life and these ape-like creatures we call humans. J
d) Remember the word “created” in verse 1 means to “make something out of nothing”.
e) When God first made the world, he made it “dead”. Then God added life to this planet over the rest of the six-day creation story.
f) One of the things you are going to see “hints” of, all over the creation story, is the idea of how God took “nothing” and made it into “something”.
i) God created this “dead earth” and will make it into a “living earth”.
ii) That pattern will be consistent throughout the whole bible.
iii) Human life, in God’s eye, is special. God will say later in this chapter that man is to have dominion (and at the same time, respect) over all other living life forms.
iv) He created is with an ability to comprehend God. No other creature can do that.
v) Further, he wanted us to life to the fullest. I will argue that is not possible unless one has a personal relationship with God. It means acknowledging who God is, it means living your life to please Him and obey his commandments and yes, realizing Jesus as the Son of God paying the price for your sins. After that is when life really begins.
vi) Getting back to Genesis 1, we see a pattern of a “lifeless earth” becoming full of life. Yes there is a scientific literalness to it, but the more important question to ask is why did God do it this way? The answer is to establish the pattern of God taking “nothing” and making it into something”. The same way God can take you and me, “dead in our sins” and make us into something special to live for Him.
g) Before I move on, I should talk a little about “the gap theory”.
i) In the mid 19th century a theory arose that “There is a large gap in time between Verse 1 and Verse 2. It is during this “gap” that Satan rebelled against God.
ii) The theory goes that the earth had “life” in Verse 1 and “lost life” in Verse 2.
iii) This theory translates Verse 2 as “the earth became null and void”.
a) The idea is that the earth as created in Verse 1 was destroyed, or wrecked, and then was recreated in Verse 2.
iv) This translation is a possible translation of the Hebrew, and thus the theory.
v) By the way, this theory does not explain the dinosaurs. It is only about the fall of Satan and the rebellion against God.
h) Now that I’ve laid out the theory, here is why I disagree with it.
i) I believe God created the earth void-to-begin-with as to show the pattern that God creates life out of nothing.
a) Picture a “bowl of water without the bowl” and that is as close as I can visualize the earth as “null and void”. It is there, but there is no shape.
ii) Paul said, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, NIV) Paul is saying the concept of “death” began when Adam first sinned.
argue that the concept of “physical death” did not happen until Adam died.
I don’t believe Satan “fell” until the time of the “apple incident”, which is sometime after the six days of creation.
iv) Also, lets look at Ezekiel Chapter 28. Here God is cursing the “King of Tyre.”
a) By Verse 13, Ezekiel was describing the evil-power behind that king. Ezekiel was describing Satan himself. Notice what he says:
b) “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl… You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created (un) till wickedness was found in you…(Ezekiel 28:13-15 NIV).
c) So the question is, When was “wickedness” found in Satan?
d) My view, although difficult to prove from the bible is that Satan rebelled around/near the time of the Adam& Eve temptations. Satan was the #1 created angel, he saw God choosing to focus his time on mankind, he got jealous and organized the rebellion.
v) My point is I don’t believe in the “gap” theory between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The whole purpose of the gap theory is to argue when Satan first rebelled against God. I believe it happened later when Adam sinned.
5. Verse 3: And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.
a) Here we have a “problem”. We read in Verse 16 that the sun was made on the 4th day.
i) The word for “light” on the 4th day is a different Hebrew word (same root word) as “light” on the 1st day of creation.
b) So what is this “light” here on the first day?
c) I believe we get a clue from Revelation:
i) “The city (new Jerusalem) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” (Revelation 21:23 NIV)
ii) “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” (Revelation 22:5, NIV)
iii) Revelation is describing a time when the sun is no longer needed as God himself provides the light for our permanent home in heaven.
d) I believe, although I can’t prove, is that we are seeing the same “light” here in Genesis 1 at the beginning of the bible that God is describing in the end of the bible in Revelation.
i) If the light of Genesis 1 is not the same as Revelation 22, it is, at the least some other light source other than the sun as the sun was not created until Genesis 1:16.
ii) The first “specific” mentioned in the creation story is “light”.
iii) As I stated in my introduction, I believe Chapter 1 is a “love story from God to us” telling us the wonder of creation. Our job, is to respond-back to God’s love to us with our love to Him. That is what most of the bible is about, our response to him by living our lives in obedience to what God calls us to do.
e) God created “light” to separate it from darkness. Compare this to the opening of John’s Gospel.
i) In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:4-5 NIV)
ii) I believe John’s description of Jesus was meant to be read in “light” of Genesis 1.
iii) Remember the sun isn’t being created for another few days.
iv) This is a “special” light that is to separate from the “darkness” of the world.
a) In Verse 2, the earth was created in a sense, “null and void”.
b) Now we have ‘light” being created, with the purpose of separating it from darkness.
of the cliché’s: “Can you shed a little
light on that subject?”
Or, “now I see what you are talking about”.
(1) Neither of these expressions refer to literal light. They refer to comprehension. That is the underlying message of these verses.
f) Notice in Verse 5 it is God himself who calls light “day” and darkness “night”. First it does do this to establish the first day. But I believe the underlying message is that God desires to separate those who wish to live in darkness (free-will rejection of God) from those will choose to live in the light (free-will acceptance of God). God is creating both as to give mankind a choice of how to live.
g) By the way, I’m purposely skipping over all the “scientific stuff” associated with “light and darkness” associated with these two verses. I believe the more important aspect is to understand these verses in relationship to God’s redemptive plan. Therefore, I’m emphasizing this aspect of Genesis over some of the scientific interpretations.
6. Verse 6: And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning--the second day.
a) In Verses 6-8, we are now starting “day two”.
b) In Verses 4-5 we had God creating “light and darkness” as separate entities.
c) Now in Verse 6 we are “separating the waters from the waters”.
i) It appears that prior to Verse 6, the earth was 100% water in its surface.
ii) Coming up in Verse 9 is the creation of dry land.
iii) In Verse 6 the entire earth’s surface is all water. We are reading of God creating an atmosphere, or it is describing the creation of a water-layer above the atmosphere.
iv) In a physical sense, this is referring to a “water canopy” over the earth.
v) At one time, God had a layer of water over the atmosphere.
d) If you ever wonder what causes people to “age”, it is from the ultraviolet sun rays. This causes us to wrinkle and grow old. If there is a water canopy over the atmosphere, people would live a lot longer as there is less “bad sunlight” coming through.
i) When Noah’s flood happened, this water canopy came down.
ii) This is why we read of all the long-lives people lived in Genesis Chapter 6.
a) Well discuss “aging” more in Chapter 6.
e) Let’s get back to “Why did God bother”.
i) God created for us a wonderful world to live in. The “ideal” world, which got destroyed by the flood, had a water canopy over the sky. With such a canopy, the whole earth would be a tropical greenhouse.
a) This is why tropical fossils are found in the north and south poles.
ii) After sin first came through Adam, and God’s judgment around the time of Noah, our world became more “cursed” and we don’t have this water canopy.
iii) There is an interesting clue about the second day: It is the only day of the six where God did not used the expression, “it is good”. Every other day of creation, God said “it is good” about the creation, but not the second day. The second day speaks of “darkness”. It is almost as if God is saying, “I made this wonderful paradise, and man choose to rebel from it”, and thus there is no “it is good” here.
iv) In fact, on the third day, God uses the “expression “it is good twice. It is the only day of the seven where God says “it is good” twice.
a) Personally, I think that it is a clue of Jesus rising on the third day.
b) As I stated in the introduction, God works in “word-patterns” all through the bible.
a bit of trivia, some Orthodox Jews choose to marry on Tuesdays.
In their reckoning, Tuesday is the “third day”. Therefore you marry on Tuesday to get a “double blessing” as the 3rd day is blessed by God twice.
v) Remember that God could have made the world instantly. This “non-blessed” second day is the creation of “sky” and the water canopy.
a) We don’t know for sure why this second day is “not blessed”. Using the whole bible as series of patterns, the “sky and the “heavens” is designed for man to look “upward” and see God. I personally see the second day as the time of “rejection”. This water canopy came down during Noah’s flood. God is not only a God of love, but a God of judgment. Just as Jesus second coming is a time of judgment on the earth, so I see the “second day” as a word-pattern where God “separates” those for judgment.
b) If you think I’m reading too much into this, that is ok too! For what it is worth, it is a common interpretation to see a “negative” associated with the second day, and a pattern of the number two having a general-negative association in the bible.
7. Verse 9: And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.
a) Verses 9-13 compose the third day.
b) Here in Verses 9-10, we have the first of two “good’s” of the third day.
c) The first is the establishment of dry land. On the second day, the earth’s surface was all water. Then God separated the water to form an atmosphere between the oceans and a water layer above the air.
d) Ok, back to “Why did God bother?” Why didn’t God create the world with dry land to begin with?
i) Why not say in Verse 1 or 2, that God created wet and dry locations for people to live with a water canopy above the earth?
ii) Part of it is to see that God is purposely working out “something special” for mankind. Remember that Genesis 1 teaches that man is created last. God is showing all of this wonderful work that he is doing for us.
iii) He is showing how he is making this tropical paradise for man to enjoy, and now he is making dry ground, so we don’t have to live in boats all of our lives. J
iv) Remember that Genesis is all about beginnings.
a) God starts with the creation of the world and then focuses his attention on the creation of a “special people”, the Israelites. He also focuses on the creation of a “special land” which is Israel. It is funny to think about that the God who created everything said, “this little piece of real estate (Israel) is mine. Be careful with it”.
b) My point here is that there is a parallel in Genesis of the creation stories.
c) There is a parallel between God making “something special” in the earth for all of us to live and “something special” about Israel in which is the primary locational-focus of the bible. That focus is to be on the redemptive work of mankind through Jesus.
d) Before Jesus can come, God needed a special people and a special place to bring in God’s word and the Messiah as to prove to the world that Jesus is who he claims he is. It stars with a creation of the land. That “pattern” begins with the world-creation, and then moves toward a smaller focus.
8. Verse 11: Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning--the third day.
a) Here we have the rest of the third day. On the same day God created the land, he also created the vegetation upon the earth.
b) A commonly repeated phrase in this section is “after its kind” or “according to their kinds” depending upon your translation.
i) This verse is God’s response to the Evolution theory.
ii) The theory of Evolution keys on the idea that one species evolves out of another.
iii) The biggest lack of evidence in geology and archeology is of any cross-specie evolution. There is lots of evidence of evolution within a species, but no evidence whatsoever of cross-species evolution.
c) Let’s talk a little about the phrase “And there was evening, and there was morning--the third day.”
i) You get the impression that God worked only during the daytime, and then there was evening and then there was morning, and then God got back to work. J
a) I kind of picture God at 5pm going, “Ok, time to call it a day, kick back on the sofa and watch some TV. I’ll get back some more creating tomorrow. J
ii) Again, God is god. He could have created the world at whatever speed he wanted. He purposely choose this “work tempo” as a pattern for us to follow.
iii) In the same way God wants us to work 6 days and rest one day, God wants us to only work say, an 8-hour shift and then go home. I believe God is laying out a pattern for us to not be a work-around-the-clock workaholic.
a) These verses are not anti-night-shift. J They simply are teaching us a pattern of not working around the clock.
d) This is the first of God’s creation where God designed a self-replicating system.
i) What I mean by that is the earth, the sun and say, the skies don’t have seeds so they could replicate themselves!
ii) God said “let the land produce vegetation”, as opposed to God making it directly.
iii) God purposely mentioned how the trees and plant life have seeds so they could continuously reproduce themselves.
iv) Note that we are on “day three”, when plant life was made. Plants need sunlight to grow. On day four, the sun was created. It is a support argument for the literal-day system. (Sorry, I promised to stay away from the literal-day vs. long-era debate. I couldn’t resist throwing this one in! J)
v) When we get to Adam, we will read how God “breathed” life into Adam. This is the idea how man has a spirit-being as well as the physical being and is different from animals. We don’t get the breath-reference unto Chapter 2.
9. Verse 14: And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning--the fourth day.
a) We are now on the 4th day of creation.
i) The fourth day focuses on the creation of the sun, the moon and the stars.
a) Although the sun and moon are not mentioned by name, this is the obvious reference in Verse 14.
ii) The 5th and 6th days focus on animal life and finally human life.
iii) Remember we are “leading up” to the creation of man, which is last on the list.
b) Notice the pattern of “God said” in Verses 14-15 and then “God did it” in Verses 16-18.
i) Verses 14-15 focus on the purpose of the sun, moon and stars.
ii) Verses 16-18 focus on the actual creation of the sun moon and stars.
iii) There is an interesting verse from the prophet Amos that is appropriate here:
a) Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7, NIV).
b) God reveals his plans to us to those who choose to follow God desire to live in obedience as servants to God.
c) Let’s talk about the “purposes” in Vs. 14-15. The first is to “separate the day from night”.
i) In a sense, the first 24-hour period came here in the fourth day.
ii) I still take the view of a literal-24 day period day in the first three days, but that is besides the point. That is what my introduction was all about.
iii) God intended for man to have daylight “roughly” half of a 24-hour cycle and some darkness during the remaining portion of the day.
iv) God intended for us to have sunlight half the day and moonlight and starlight during the other half.
v) The question-of-the-moment is why?
a) I suspect for us to not work all day and enjoy evening times of rest.
b) I suspect if it were moonlight starlight all the time, we might never get any work done. J
c) The “why” is for our benefit, to have balance between daytime/nighttime.
d) Let’s talk about the next purpose: They are “signs” for seasons and days and years.
i) This would argue that God created the earth “tilted to begin with” in order to create seasons and therefore, full-year cycles.
ii) Reading through the whole bible, God wants us to comprehend “time” and how precious it is. God ordained religious holidays for the Jewish people on certain days of the years. If “:seasons” and “years” didn’t exist in the first place, then one cannot have days of the years to have those holidays.
a) Getting off topic a little, I like the idea behind religious holidays. It is about taking time off from one’s normal routine to focus on some specific aspect God wants us to remember.
(1) There are some Christian cult-groups and even some Christian groups that don’t like to celebrate Christmas or Easter. They argue, (correctly) that there is no biblical reference to having holidays to especially remember the days tied to Jesus birth and resurrection.
(2) First of all, I believe that Jesus was not born on December 25th. As to Easter, the word-itself has nothing to do with the resurrection and it falls on a different day every year. Therefore, there is some validity about not taking the dates to literally.
(3) I have no problem with having a holiday to focus on some specific biblical event. God required the Jewish people to have holidays to remember certain aspects about God’s relationship with him. We as Christians follow that same pattern with remembering key dates.
(4) The key for the Christian is to have balance. I don’t have a problem with Christmas day. I don’t particularly care when churches spend a month on Christmas sermons. The key is balance. Christian holidays should neither be ignored nor over-emphasized.
(5) OK, off my soapboax. J
e) Another purpose of the stars is to be for “signs”.
i) Here is a place where I disagree with the NIV translation.
ii) The NIV says, “let them (stars) serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years”
iii) The New King James says, “let them stars) be for signs and seasons…”
iv) The NIV emphasizes that the purpose of the stars (as well as the moon) is to be signs to mark seasons, days and years.
v) The King James and the New King James also correctly translate the idea that the stars themselves are to be signs in heaven.
vi) Some bible scholars argue that the original zodiac signs, that are part of all ancient cultures are designed to teach messages about God in the skies.
a) I’m not talking about astrology, just the location of the stars night sky forming the zodiac sky.
vii) Personally, I have an alternative suggestion to consider:
a) God made the stars as “signs” for us… Can we look elsewhere in Genesis and see what that reference is to stars as signs?
b) “He (God) took him (Abraham) outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5-6, NIV).
c) To me, the “signs” is tying to God’s promise to Abraham. Although he was only one man, his offspring would eventually be a great nation used by God and the “number” of them is similar to the number of stars.
d) Therefore, the important “sign” tied to the stars is the promise to Abraham.
f) One also needs to read this from a “Jewish” perspective.
i) Remember that many of the ancient cultures worshipped the sun and the stars of heaven. Egypt’s main “god” was the sun god “Ra”.
ii) The bible refutes the idea of many gods and sun-gods and moon-gods’. It simply states that the God created all of this.
g) One last thing on stars: I’ve never had a problem with stars being “billions of light years away”. I don’t have a problem with God creating stars that happen to be a long distance away from us. It doesn’t necessarily mean the universe is billions of years old, it simply means (in my humble opinion) that they were created billions of lights years away from us in distance.
10. Verse 20: And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." 23 And there was evening, and there was morning--the fifth day.
a) Verses 20-23 are the fifth day. The fifth day God focuses on fish and birds.
b) Remember that the order of the creation is working its way up to man.
c) It is “as if God is saving the best for last”.
d) So why did God pick one day for all the sea creatures and flying creatures?
e) I personally believe God “stretched out” his creation over six days so we would stop and appreciate it. It is as if God is saying, “Look, I took a whole day to make these things, so you man would appreciate them. Go bird watching and scuba diving and enjoy the beautiful things I have created!
f) Day 5 is also the first day that God “spoke” directly to part of his creation.
i) Notice he spoke to the fish and birds and said, “go out, have sex and multiply”.
a) The animals responded with, “All right God!” J
ii) Again, God is doing this for our benefit.
a) With animals reproducing on their own, God is “finished” with his creation work.
iii) Later God will say that man is to have “dominion” over all the animals.
iv) That does not mean we should hunt them into instinction.
a) On the other hand, the bible does allow killing of animals for food and clothing as well as animal sacrifice.
v) God wants us to know that he desires animals “be fruitful and multiply”, God is desiring that man read that statement and act accordingly.
g) One thing I pondered, and I don’t have an answer is if “predator” animals existed yet.
i) For example, were sharks vegetarians before Adam sinned?
ii) Paul said, Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin… For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. (Romans 5:12, 15b, NKJV).
iii) There is a theory that there was no death of any sort prior to Adam’s sin.
iv) Remember that Genesis 1 is about God creating a perfect world. We cannot fully comprehend that word because we live in a post-sin, post-flood environment.
v) Further, Isaiah describes that in the millennial kingdom, that animals won’t kill.
a) “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 65:25, NIV)
vi) The six-day creation describes the ideal world before Adam sinned.
vii) There is the theory that this world was peaceful and harmonious without the concept of death. Just as Isaiah describes a future day where animals will all be vegetarians I personally wonder if that same existence happened prior to “sin”.
h) One last thing before we move on to day 6.
i) God “blessed” the fish-life and the bird-life and called it good.
ii) Ever stop to consider why flowers are so colorful?
a) The common theory is so bees are attracted to it. The interesting thing to note is that bees are colorblind! Lets see evolutionists explain that one!
iii) Also, there are colorful fish life down in the depths of the ocean. At certain depths the light of the sun cannot expose their beauty. It is only there for us to discover.
iv) My point is God created all of this beauty for us to enjoy and have domain over.
11. Verse 24: And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
a) Now we are on the sixth day. On the same day that God created man, he also created all the creatures of the land-earth, from bugs to the largest of the animals.
b) I am still wondering why God made mosquitoes, cockroaches and house flies.
i) Maybe that was part of the curse of Adam’s sin. J
c) I believe dinosaurs were part of the sixth day as well. Let me try to summarize that:
i) Remember that there were waters “above the earth” as well as below the earth prior to the flood creating a world-wide “greenhouse”. Further, this was a more oxygen-rich enviroment where life can grow bigger and live longer. Creatures could live much longer without ultraviolet rays destroying our bodies. Lizards, as creatures, never stop growing in their lives. Dinosaurs are lizards that grew. I simply believe they were hunted into extinction. Further, Noah only brought the “small ones” on the ark and thus the destruction by the flood. Also, the waters above the earth made the air “thicker” so terradactils could fly. They could not fly in the post-flood, lighter atmospheric condition.
d) So lets get back to a “why” question: Why was animal life and bug-life made on the same day that mankind was created? If man is so special, don’t we deserve our own day? Why not make the animals on the day 5 when the fish and birds were created?
i) You can tell I spend way too much time thinking about this stuff.J
ii) I have some theories, but the bible doesn’t give us a clear answer:
a) I suspect it is because man must “share” the dry land with animal life. God calls us to have dominion over them. The fact that we are made on the same day, says that we must still respect them.
I still reserve the right to kill house flies and mosquitoes,
but I’ll respect the remainder of God’s creation. J
e) Again, notice the emphasis on “kind’s” in the bible. God goes out of his way to point out that every creature was made “in it’s kind”. The emphasis is that God created each kind of species, and allows evolvement within a species but not outside of a species.
f) In modern science, we have tried “blending” different species together. The results have always been something worse, not something better. Species adapt to the environment and change their form in their adaptation. They never become other species.
g) Now comes the personal part. Here comes the creation of man:
12. Verse 26: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
a) The first thing to notice is the plural. “Let us make man in our image.”
i) Ask you Jewish friends, “Who is God talking to in these verses?”
a) If they say, “the angels”, then ask them, “Did God give angels the power to create? It says, “they” created man. Therefore, it cannot be the angels!”
(1) On a side topic, the bible does not say when angels were created. God did not want us to know that information. I suspect it was on the first day when God created the “heavens and the earth”.
ii) Religious Jews see God being “pluralistic” in the fact that God is so great and vast, that using the singular is “not enough” to describe the power of God. Personally, I think it is much easier to see it as Jesus working with the Father in the beginning.
b) The next thing is the fact that man was created in the “image” and “likeness” of God.
i) This does not mean that God looks like a man.
ii) It means that God created man in the “image” He had for us.
iii) What the text is saying is man is more special than all of the other created being.
iv) We are also created “enough like” God that we have the capacity to have a relationship with God. We are created with more intelligence than any other being. Further, we are created with a spiritual nature that no other animal has.
v) As I stated earlier, you never see a dog thanking God for his Purina Dog Chow. J Only man has a spiritual need to comprehend God and to reach out for God.
vi) Mankind has a need to breathe, eat and drink, we also are built with a need to worship something. If we ignore God, we fulfill that need in other ways.
c) The next thing that God says is that He has given man the power to rule over all other creatures made on the last two days of creation.
i) Yes, we have the power to kill flies! J
ii) It also means we are greater than all the animals that are bigger, stronger and faster than we are. God made us superior to the other creatures by giving us greater intelligence, not by making us bigger or faster than every other animal.
that God did not give man the power to rule over the stars and the sun.
We may have the ability to visit them one day, but the text says we don’t have dominion over them. Let’s face it, we can’t stop the sun from shining.
13. Verse 27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
a) Remember that the text works in pairs. First God “speaks” the commandments and then the action happens. We have this “double reference” here in Verse 27.
b) The first phrase makes it clear that God created man like he thought man should be designed. The second phrase is the reminder that the “image maker” is God.
c) The “why” reason this verse is written this way is to remind us that we are created by God and “like” God.
i) It is a reminder that we are not created by random chance.
ii) It is a reminder that we are created for a purpose.
iii) It is a reminder that there is a single entity out there, more powerful than us who created us. In a single verse, it counteracts evolution-out-of-nothing theory.
iv) It is God’s way of saying we did not evolve from the apes.
d) Chapter 2 expands on this one sentence. We’ll learn more about how man was created from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7).
e) What this verse says is that man and women were created on the same day.
i) Those that argue for the “long days of creation” ask how Adam had time to name all the animals (Genesis 2:20) and at the same time Eve was created.
ii) Stay tuned for my response in the next lesson. J
14. Verse 28: God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
a) The first command of God to one man woman is to “be fruitful and increase in number”.
i) And Adam said, “Sounds good to me, come on Eve, let’s get started!” J
b) This one verse speaks of God’s desire for one man, one woman marriage.
i) In one verse it argues against homosexuality, polygamy, bestiality, and divorce.
ii) Remember that Chapter 1 is about the ideal world, before Adam sinned. It would take another lesson to speak on all the other issues and sins listed above. Lets just summarize those issues by saying all of them are forgivable sins.
iii) This verse teaches that men and women are different entities as they were created separately.
iv) The ideal marriage is three-fold. The ideal marriage is God-centered. We look to God first to meet our needs and then love our spouses as God commands us to.
c) The next sentence is about men and women have dominion over all other creatures.
i) As I stated in my introduction, the chapter reads as if God is saying “I saved the best for last. I did this all for you (men and women). I love you so much that I created this ideal world for you. In fact, I love you so much I want you to be in charge of this world.
ii) With this verse, God is setting the “pecking order”. God rules over us, and we get to rule over all the other creatures.
iii) To “rule” over every creature does not mean we have to monitor the movements of every living creature, it means that God has given us more power than any of these other creatures. Man, using his God-given capacities, is greater than any other created creature.
15. Verse 29: Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
a) In the “ideal world”, prior to sin, God wanted us all to eat fruits and vegetables.
b) I stated a few pages back that I suspect that prior to sin, there were no predator animals. This verse appears to support that argument. Notice that the animals are only to eat the same diet as humans.
c) After the flood, God told Noah it was ok to eat meat. (Genesis 9:3)
i) I personally think it was at that point that predator animals existed.
16. Verse 31: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.
a) The 6th day ends with God pronouncing it “very good”. That is a pretty good translation of the original Hebrew.
b) The idea behind “very good” is that God created this perfect environment for man to live in. Adam messed it up for all of us J and now we need Jesus to straighten it out!
17. A couple of last thoughts and I’ll wrap this up.
a) Notice what God did not say to Adam:
i) God did not say, here are the 10 commandments…obey them.
ii) God did not say, “don’t worry if you mess up, my son will take care of that!” J
iii) In fact, there is nothing in the text about worshipping God. Don’t get me wrong, Adam “communed” with God and I believe worship is implied in Chapter 2. My point is the first words to Adam was only “be fruitful and multiply”.
b) My premise for Chapter 1 is “Why did God bother?” I want to end it with some thoughts about that concept as it relates to Chapter 1.
i) One of the purposes of the bible is to show that man cannot please God on their own efforts. No matter what excuse we give, history, through the bible shows how man has failed.
ii) Chapter 1 of Genesis is all about God creating the perfect environment.
iii) God offered an alternative in Chapter 2. God wants us to love him out of our own free will. To do so, God needs to offer an attractive alternative.
iv) Chapters 1 and 2 show how mankind failed to please God even in the most ideal circumstances.
c) One of the things I have been implying all through this lesson is that the world will once again be like that of Genesis 1.
i) The opening of Genesis describes life prior to sin.
ii) The last few chapters of Revelation describe what life will be like once the curse of sin is removed from the world.
iii) There are a lot of similarities in these two sections of Scripture.
iv) Does that mean the “new heavens and new earth” as described near the end of Revelation will be like that of Genesis Chapter 1? We don’t know. It is only speculation.
v) Chapter 1 of Genesis shows how God created a perfect environment for man to live, and we messed it up. Most of the bible shows how we reject God despite lots of difference circumstances and interventions in our life.
vi) Since Genesis Chapter 1, the world has become a less than perfect place. In Chapter 2, Adam rejected the perfect world that God desires for us. It is only by accepting Jesus that we say in effect, “Adam was wrong. I was wrong. Jesus, pay the price for both of our sins so we can once again be with you in paradise.
18. Let’s pray:. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the details you have revealed to us about the creation of our world. We can see the love you have for us in this creation and how you desire to have a relationship with us. Through our faith in Jesus, help us to restore the relationship that was lost in Adam. Help us to mature and be the type of people you want us to be. Further, help us to appreciate and enjoy this wonderful creation you have made for us. For we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.