Genesis | Chapter 1

1:1-13 The creation account

Ordinary history is recorded in a way that reveals the achievements and progress of people. Telling what battles they fought, where they lived, what their culture was like and what shaped their future does this. Now though the Bible records some of this it is not the aim of it. Instead the Bible’s chief aim is to record the progress of God’s revelation of Himself to that which He created, (specifically) man. Genesis, like other books of the Bible, seeks to reveal how God showed His character and nature of holiness, justice, love and mercy. Furthermore it records how this revelation was received and what effects it produced in those who plainly saw Him. It can be summed up this way “The Bible is the revelation of God to man and the relation of man to God!

            The word Genesis comes from the Greek word that simply means “origin” or source. The Hebrew word is “Bereshith” which simply means “In the beginning”. This is the first of a fivefold work compiled by Moses called “Penta” = “five” “teuch” = books. Several things to note:

  1. It is written to a people who believed in God: Thus it was not written to those who do not believe. Its aim therefore was not to prove what it puts forth, as truth it already presupposes that those who read its pages believe.
  2. It was written to this group of believers who believed that their God was, One, personal, all knowing, all powerful and eternal: Thus it seeks not to prove these points to those who refuse to believe.
  3. It presents this same God to believers as the only creator without explanation, apology or argument: Thus the creation account is practical and stated as fact because it’s aim is to further the faith of its readers. That’s not to say that is contrary to science. The fact is that no real mistake has ever been demonstrated in the Bible in either science or history!

Vs. 1-5 Creations first day: At the writing of this book there were already several speculations and philosophies as to the origin of the world.

  1. Materialist: All matter is eternal and that there is an inherent principal in matter that is working all things as they are now over a long period of time.
  2. Pantheist: All matter emanates from a common divine substance, which is working everywhere in nature.

Here in these 10 words, (7 in Hebrew) we have something quite remarkable when compared to all the other opinions as to the origin of the universe. All other philosophies start with what the senses can detect (time, space and matter) then attempt to understand how those things might have become what we now sense. For instance evolution has time, space and matter existing from nothing then evolving into complex systems. But it fails to answer the question, “How did it all get here to begin with?” I remind you that the perspective of Genesis is not to be a text book of science or as someone well said, “Its purpose is not to tell us how the heavens go but rather how to go to heaven!” This then is the only place in the entire world of religion and philosophy where that question is answered. We are simply told of the existence of these three:

  1. Time: In the beginning
  2. Space: The heavens
  3. Matter: The earth

But before these three things existed we are told of the existence of the Creator, (the uni-plural form of the name Elohim). The “im” in the Hebrew makes the name plural but its meaning is singular. This name describes God as eternal existing before the universe as all-powerful, all knowing and everywhere at once. Therefore nothing is impossible for God! In fact science affirms specific creation instead of evolution. There is a law in science that states “That no effect can be greater than its cause.” Simply put: The existence of time, space and matter is proof of an intelligent, eternal, powerful person, which had to create them to begin with! “Well how did He do it?” We are told right here in this verse with the use of the word “created” which means to “create something out of nothing.” When we create something we do so by assembling together existing materials but that is not the way that God created. Evolution speaks of the forming of the world by chance or self-generation through random impersonal powers of nature. Yet the Bible speaks of the intelligent design of the world through creation. Based upon that we can conclude that the creation was not random chance but rather a special creation by a personal God!

            “Ok, how was this creating something out of nothing accomplished?”

  1. John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
  2. Col. 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”  

Vs. 2 Some suppose there to be a gap between this verse and verse 1 because they see it as inconsistent for God to create anything “without form and void”. To further their position they quote Isa. 45: 18 where the same word for void is rendered vain. Several views come from this same position all of which try to reconcile the evolutionary theory of geological ages with the Bible. So they put in between these two verses a long gap to explain these geological ages. There are three basic views:

  1. Theistic evolution: Says that God created all things but then let them evolve.
  2. Creation: God created everything 6,000 to 10,000 years ago.
  3. Gap theory: Traditionally is used to explain these geological ages, which personally are better explained, by Noah’s flood. Pastor Chuck believes that there is a gap of time between these two verses but not for the purpose to explaining the geological ages but rather to explain the creation of the angelic beings as well as the fall of Lucifer or Satan in Isa. 14:12. That being the case then according to that view Genesis 1:2-11 is a recreation.

One possible solution to the problem of the earth being without form and void is that perhaps what is being described here is the further development or shaping of the earth for habitation. All this was being done; it appears, in darkness so that there was a time when there was different aspects of waters in darkness and the Spirit of God was moving or “breathed” or it. With this view we don’t have to do inventing as far as the text is concerned, the text doesn’t say there was a gap so I’m not going to say there was a gap. “But what about the angelic creation?” Well the Bible doesn’t say here when that was created unless you suggest that when God created the heavens in verse 1 that they were created at that time?

Vs. 3-5 In verse 2 the Spirit of God moved or “breathed” over the waters now we see the manner in which god created, “God said.” God created by way of His Word. Heb. 11:3 tells us “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.” Then we are told in Ps. 33:9 that, “He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” The result of His word, “Become light was light became!” The most basic form of energy is light, which includes every form of light not just that which is visible, but short-wave (ultra-violet, x-rays) and long- wave (infra-red, radio waves) as well as heat, sound, magnetic and so on. The fact light is mentioned prior to the sun, moon and stars of verse 16 suggests that what is in mind here is energy in all its forms. This is further suggested by the fact that the earth is now rotating upon its axis as we have night and day. The word day “yom” is for the first time used in the Bible where it is used to describe a solar day.

            What we learn through the first day of creation is that God specifically created a habitation by which he would bring forth man. And before he brought forth this man, Adam, He knew that given a choice this man would choice disobedience. He also knew that He would provide a way back for His fallen creation. The way in which He would do so would be by His Son who was the instrument of creation. The way in which His Son would come would be through a man named Abraham. Through his family God would bring forth a nation and through that nation in a lonely stable a Child would be born as Isa. 9:6-7 tells us, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

Vs. 6-8 We come now to the third step in creation:

  1. Step one: Creation of heaven and earth
  2. Step two: Creation of light and its separation from darkness
  3. Step three: Creation of the sky

The word “firmament” is literally to spread out to thinness. The idea is that of spreading something out to an infinite thinness. God created on the second day, a space between the waters above and the waters below. The purpose of this appears to produce an atmosphere in which billions of gallons of water would be above the earth and thus a hydraulic cycle was produced which caused water to be condensed into vapor and then vapor would then be redistributed back into rain, ice or snow. Just as light is absolutely necessary for life so too is water. This would have produced continual spring like conditions on earth known as the greenhouse effect.

            I remind you that God was creating all of this for man to dwell in, that was His purpose and plan. This speaks to us about His desire for us to have fellowship with Him. I reminded of a tombstone with the words, “Remember, friend, as you pass by as you are now, so once was I, as I am now, you to shall be, prepare for death and follow me. ” Someone having read this man’s final words wrote underneath his, “To follow you I’m not content until I know which way you went!

Vs. 9-10 There is a double work done on the third day of land and plant life. It seems that the waters under the heavens contained the material elements for dry earth so the earth that was without form now by God’s spoken word comes into form and the complex minerals and metals now are loosed from there watery matrix.It appears from this scripture that originally the land surfaces were all together. There was a time when there was a drift of the continents. Genesis indicates that this happened in the days of Peleg saying that, the earth was divided. Now today we realize that even though all the water were gathered together in one place that some of the water’s went into the sea’s, others were gathered into great basins called lakes indicates still others were trapped under the earth’s service yet they are all seemingly connected. So they are all in one place yet there are many seas!

Vs.11-13 The second act of creation on the third day is the appearance of life in the form of vegetation. Two important things come out of this verse:

  1. Vs. 11 The fact that the earth was able to immediately sustain plant life that flourished shows that the earth was extremely fertile. The soil had an abundance of nutrients to sustain vegetation on the very day it was created this flies in the face of the evolutionist that suggests “billions and billions” of years were necessary for rocks to erode to produce enough soils to sustain life. 
  2. Vs. 11 Second we see that evolution again is thwarted by the words, “yielding seed”. Seeds came from plants not plants from seeds!
  3. Grass: The word means damp would include those plants that reproduce by other means then seed, (moss, ferns, lichens) all of which carpet the earth.
  4. Herbs: Literally “yielding seed” this would be plants that produce seed as a means of reproduction everything from grasses to flowers and shrubs.
  5. Trees: Literally “trees of fruit”. The idea is that of the seed being inside the fruit.

The phrase “after its kind” is repeated 9 times in this chapter. Each type of vegetation would have its own complex DNA which would only allow it to reproduce after its own species. In other words DNA allows for a wide variety with in its own kind but no variation outside its kind. This is just a fact of nature and by this evolution cannot be possible! You can have a wide variety of dogs and a wide variety of monkeys but you will not find a single “dogkey”! There has never been one single documented case of any of nature producing anything outside of its kind.

Everything that God created was going along just as He ordained it should thus it was good. Creation was to support life, most of which was to support you and me. What does that tell you? It tells you that you are not an accident that your life and existence is part of His wonderful plan. You and I fit into His design and plan. We were created to have fellowship with the Creator and to enjoy all the benefits of that relationship. So we too will produce fruit according to His design for us. That’s what we are told in Eph. 2:4-10 (turn and read this). Our Creator is rich in mercy because of who He is. His love is based upon His nature not our worthiness. So that even when we were dead and unproductive He was at work to make us bear fruit.           

Genesis 1:14-31

“Then God blessed them”

I. Intro.

II. Vs. 14-23 Signs of life

III. Vs. 24-31 Made in God’s image

I. Intro.

In the creation account the focus is more “why” then “how”. With that said the established facts of science completely agree with the truths found in Genesis chapter 1. The other thing that is real obvious in this account is what Solomon observed in Eccl. 3:1 “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.” God chose to create in stages or days, when He could of clearly have chosen to create everything in one “Word” and everything that He created function just as He planned.   

II. Vs. 14-23 Signs of life

Vs. 14-19 These verses present a difficulty because we have already read in verse 3 that God created light. The word in verse 3 is a different word then the word “lights” found here in this verse. There it describes “light” in all its forms as energy here it describes what was visible from the earth. The how is not answered but we are given a three-fold reason as to why:

  1. Vs. 14, 16, and 17 To give light upon the earth both during the day & the night: Two different words are used God’s action in placing these lights in the firmaments.
  2. Vs. 16 “Made”: This is not the word in 1:1 “bara” (created something out of nothing) instead it is the word “asah” which means to carve out, labor or produce. God produced to great lights.
  3. Vs. 17 “Set”: “nathan” which has the idea of relocation or perhaps you might say that God “presented” them in the firmament. The picture is that of the sky being a display window or a picture frame.
  4. Vs. 14 “For signs and seasons”: The word sign is the same word used for Noah’s sign of the rainbow. God arranged the stars not randomly but specifically as a sign for those upon the earth. They were to speak of the glory of their creator and have been harnessed by man to navigate. Eclipses have been used to mark mileposts in human history. Through seasons then we see God setting up climate controlled seasons throughout the calendar year.
  5. Vs. 14 “for days and years”: They exist as an instrument to measure time. God made the stars and all of this was visible which tells us that God’s creation “was a mature one!” These stars would have been billions of light-years away but at the very moment of their creation they were visible upon the earth. The light energy trail that would be necessary to see them from earth was created at the same time they were formed in the sky. 

Vs. 20-23 On the 5th day we are given the creation of the aquatic life and those things that fly in the lower reaches of the sky. In verse 21 the word created is the same as 1:1 meaning that God created something from nothing, in other words God did not use any preexisting material in their formation. Up to this point there has been no animal life and as He now brings forth animal life from nothing we realize that contrary to the evolutionary theory which states “that life evolved from lifeless matter” we are told that God did not create it that way. Science has been unable to support any other theory based upon the fossil record. Simply put there are NO intermediary links between inorganic matter and the first appearances of life. Neither are there any links between early life forms and more complex forms. Looking at the fossil record life just “sprang” into existence a fact that scientists have observed calling it the “Cambrian Explosion”.

Vs. 20 The word “living creatures” is the Hebrew word “nephesh” for soul, so God is making a clear distinction between plants and animals. Biblically there are three major functions of the soul:

  1. The rational: That is they can think
  2. The emotional: That is they can feel
  3. The volitional: that is they can decide     

Though plants can reproduce after their own kind (which shows they are alive) they can’t fall in love, have any memory of the past or go through a guilty conscience. Now in the animal kingdom these functions of the soul vary from species to species in degree but all are evident. 

Vs. 21-23 The words “great sea creatures” is literally long extended things and we are told that they “glided” in the water and reproduced again according to their own kind. So much for the Darwinian theory of the fish who skinned it’s under belly and grew appendages which over billions and billions of years became legs by which the fish now walked onto the land. The word for bird here is very broad and includes all things that fly including insects and bats.

            In the words “it was good” is implied that that which was created functioned just as God designed.  

III. Vs. 24-31 Made in God’s image

We now come to the crowning achievement of God’s creation, the sixth day. First note that it was a double day of creation as creeping things, (cattle and the like) as well as mankind was created.

Vs. 24-25 It seems as though the land animals were created on the early part of the 6th day and we see that the act of creating them was from the earth as God spoke to the earth and it brought forth life. The same basic elements that make up the earth are in both animals as well as mankind. The “living creatures” (soul of life) are of three classifications but they do not correspond to the system used by modern biologists:

  1. Cattle: “behemah” the root of this word means to be dumb or meek and would include all domesticated land animals, such as sheep, goats, cows, camels, dogs etc.
  2. Creeping things: “r’emes” which means to move about lightly or glide about. It would include everything that moves about close to the earth, such as reptiles and non-flying insects.
  3. Beasts of the earth: This word means to move about freely and would include large non-domesticated animals. It would seem that the dinosaurs would have been in this category.

Again notice the words “according to its kind” which flies in the face of Darwinian thought which suggested that the diversity of species could best be explained by way of natural process of adaptation into higher forms of life. Their principal works out this way; “Giraffes were once animals with short necks who because the changing environment had to keep stretching their necks to get at the food supply, thus succeeding generations of giraffes adapted into a higher form of life with longer necks.” Now if that were true then would we not see parents who in succeeding generations lost a leg eventually produce children with only one leg? The reality is that this has nothing to do with adaptation into higher forms or natural selection but everything to do with genetics. The Darwinian Theory rests upon mutation as the process for this change but the fact of science is that mutation damages life not causes it to evolve into higher forms. What ultimately causes changes in species is that certain genes or traits are not suited for the environment over time get eliminated through death and thus are not passed on to succeeding generations. Nothing new is created rather the species has adapted through genetic trait elimination and thus the species is “refined”. 

Vs. 26 The first difference we see in the creation of mankind is that there is a divine consultation about this creation. Who is God speaking with? The word used here for God is “Elohim” which is plural meaning three or more. Notice the use of the plural with the singular, “us and our (plural) with image and likeness (singular)” which is the strongest yet of the trinity in scripture, God existing is a three-fold unity. According to verse 27 “God created man in His own image; in the image of God” the “us” and “our” of verse 26 must refer to God not some angelic being as some suppose. But what exactly does this mean?

  1. Image”: The root of the word means to “carve out” and speaks of the dignity of man. Man is not only made with deliberate purpose and plan he is patterned after God. Now this does not, as the Mormons maintain, mean that God has the same physical characteristics as we do. Their famous line is, “As man is God was once, as God is man will become!” The context of this passage makes it plain that it is us who have been in the image God, not God who has been made in our image! Whenever God is being described in anthropomorphic expressions in scripture you can’t take them literally otherwise in Ps. 17:8 God would have to have wings. Thus there is a human likeness that is “carved out” in man that is like the triune God. As we have seen in the animal kingdom they have:
  2. Body: Just as mankind does
  3. Soul: They have a varying ability to (think, feel and decide).

There is something here that makes mankind unique in all of God’s creation and it’s that mankind is a spiritual creature. Jesus told the women at the well,

God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth.” Based upon what we have seen thus far in Genesis we can see three things that appear to be unique in God’s nature that we too possess.

      1. Creativity: The ability to imagine, conceptualize and then fashion what

we imagined. We cannot create something out of nothing as God did but we can take that which is existing and fashion it into what we desired. No other of God’s creatures can do this.

2. Communication: God speaks or conveys ideas and discusses matters. Animals cannot communicate as we do. They make noises or even mimic our sounds but they are unable to pass on ideas in which they have discussed information. None of the animal kingdom has been able to advance its civilization through its communication.

3. Conscious choice: We call this free will and we alone have the free moral agency to distinguish and then act things that are good and evil. Just as we have seen God in this chapter declare that what He created was good.

  • According to our likeness”: The word here implies resemblance or similarity to the ideal. We have been given everything necessary for us to function properly to God’s character and nature. Thus we are told to be holy for He is holy. In 2 Peter 1:3 we are told that, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Adam not only had the capacity to be godly he was, he was creative, communicated rightly and prior to the fall made godly conscience choices. He was function as God had created him to in His likeness.

Clearly something has happened to mankind by which he has lost the ability to consistently function as God designed him to. Even though he still possess the image, (Creativity, Communication, Conscious and Choice) he can no longer function according to God’s likeness or if you function as God Himself would.

It was in this sphere that God gives mankind “dominion” or mastery over the rest of His creation. Nothing points so vividly to mankind’s fall then does the fact that we have become so much like that which we were designed to master!

Vs. 27 Women was not an afterthought even though we are told that she was not created until after Adam named the animals. Both were in God’s image and likeness thus they equally possessed the same spiritual nature that we have already scene. God will fill in the details of her creation in 2:18-25.

Vs. 28 God’s giving them mastery over His creation excluded mastery over their fellow man! If we would not have fallen then all of this inhumanity towards each other would never be! There is a similarity but also dissimilarity between all other creatures in their self-perpetuation; both are blessed and told to be fruitful and multiply but God’s plan is clearly marriage as we shall see in 2:24. In everything mankind was in God’s Image thus “God -like” and he functioned as designed thus “God-able” so man’s authority to function in the environment that was created for him was perfect or just as God himself would.

Vs. 29-31 It appears that God’s design for his creation was to be vegetarians (not until 9:3 are we told that God told Noah that every moving thing was food for him). No doubt there was a never-ending supply as plants were designed to continually replicate themselves through their own seed. As it was to be over all the earth we know that all that God had created was a paradise.    

            The animals appear not to be carnivorous at this time so there would have been no predators and all of God’s creation was living in perfect harmony, something that we are told that in the future will be restored. Everything that God created He now calls “very good” according to Ezekiel even the angelic world was perfect as we are told in 28:15 that even Lucifer was “perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Thus there could not have been a gap between verse 1 and verse 2!