Scriptures

In The Beginning

Introduction

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1 is a summary of creation and rest of the chapter are the accounts. This one verse throws out all other religions, like Evolution, Atheism, Polytheism, Pantheism, Materialism and Humanism.

God

The word here is from Elohim, which is plural and used approximately 2,000 times in the Old Testament. God is self-existing, but the world depends on Him. He is Eternal, full of mercy and love. He is eternal and omnipresent. He is all knowing and all-powerful. There is only one God, ‘Shema’, Deuteronomy 6:4, the people of Old Testament times would have that Scripture in a Mezuzah which is like a small pencil object with this verse inside it hanging on their door as a constant reminder that there is only one God.

And notice there are no ‘ifs’ ‘buts’ or ‘maybes’, there’s no questioning if God exists and the Bible never sets out to prove the existence of God, it’s written as a matter of fact. John 1:1 / Hebrews 1:1.

Who was involved in Creation?

God the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:1 / Genesis 1:2 / John 1:1-3 / Colossians 1:15-18 / Hebrews 1:1-3. Remember that Jesus didn’t become Jesus until He became flesh, John 1:14, He was known as the Word. It was God who created, the Word spoke creation into existence and creation reproduces after its kind. The Holy Spirit was also involved in creation, Psalm 33:6-7 / Job 26:13.

The word for created is the word, ‘bara’ which is used exclusively by God in calling something into existence out of nothing. The heavens refer to the galaxies of all suns, moons and stars and the earth refers to that on which man resides. Genesis 2:1 /Genesis 14:19 / Genesis 14:22 / Jeremiah 23:24.

Three heavens

Speaking about himself, the apostle Paul says

‘I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.’ 2 Corinthians 12:2

So, we have here three ‘heavens’.

1. The heaven which is God’s spiritual eternal home. This isn’t physical and isn’t created.

2. The heaven where the stars and planets are. This is physical and is created.

3. The heaven surrounding the earth where the atmosphere is, and the birds fly. This is physical and is created.

The word ‘heavens’ is used in different ways in the Bible.

1. It’s used of the two heavens that God created.

2. It’s also used of the third heaven. This is the uncreated heaven where God has always been from eternity.

Did God create the heavens und the earth millions of years ago, and let them become, without form and void. Then, the spirit of God moved, and we have the world today?

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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.’ Genesis 1:1-2

We should notice exactly what Genesis 1:1-2 tells us. It doesn’t tell us that God created the heavens and the earth, and then allowed them to

‘become without form and void’.

Instead, it makes a positive and emphatic statement about their origin. It tells us that they were created by God. That is how they came to exist.

The word, ‘created’ is significant, because the word ‘bara’ used in this chapter, means ‘to bring into existence something which has not previously existed’. Genesis 1:1 / Genesis 1:21 / Genesis 1:27. The word bara is only used for the works of God. Romans 4:17 / Hebrews 11:3.

It is very different from the word ‘made’. One can ‘make’ a thing out of pre-existent material, but God first ‘created’ the matter, brought into existence the ‘building blocks’ so to speak and began to produce the ordered system which we know as

‘the heavens and the earth’.

Notice, also, that God created this material ‘in the beginning’, and it is therefore reasonable to assume that, before this, matter did not exist. The phrase, ‘in the beginning’ has been called ‘the dateless date’ because we cannot go any farther back than ‘the beginning’.

‘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.’ Genesis 1:2

This verse tells us that, at the time of its creation, the material to which God himself later gave the name ‘Earth’, Genesis 1:10, was, as described in the Hebrew text which is almost a play on words! The A.V. translated this as ‘without form and void’ and both words mean ‘empty’.

How long God allowed this state of emptiness to continue, or if he allowed it to continue at all? We cannot say. There is nothing in the Bible that will permit us to be dogmatic on the matter.

But, in order to account for the fossil record, and, especially, to make room for the Dinosaurs mentioned in the question, attempts have been made to fix a gap of millions of years between verses 1 and 2. Sometimes, in order to prevent the Bible from being called ‘unscientific’, very clever religious people have gone out of their way to accommodate the scientists, or, at the very least, have tried to harmonize, the Bible and ‘Science’.

We have here a case in point. Thomas Chalmers, was a Scottish clergyman, born in 1780, who is probably best remembered as the man who was largely responsible for the founding of the ‘Free Church of Scotland’. Dr. Chalmers was a great orator, a mathematician and a chemist. As a writer, he produced a work entitled ‘Institutes of Theology’ which ran to 34 volumes!

In his attempts to reconcile the Biblical account of Creation with what was claimed to be ‘science’, he produced the ‘Catastrophe Theory’, which assumed that in the imaginary time-gap between verses 1 and 2, there had been an earlier ‘Creation’, which had been destroyed by some sort of disaster which destroyed all life, including the Dinosaurs, which, he thought, had existed during that earlier time.

According to this theory, it was this ‘catastrophe’ which, besides killing the dinosaurs, also produced the fossils. Since there is no mention of anything like this in the Bible, how did Thomas Chalmers support his theory?

He did it by going to the 2nd verse of Genesis 1 and changing the translation. He said that the word ‘was’, which in Hebrew is ‘havah’, should really be ‘hayah’, which means ‘became’. With this change, the verse comes out as, ‘the earth became without form and void’.

Unfortunately for his theory, there is no linguistic evidence or authority for making such a change in the text. Linguistically, the word ‘was’ in the 2nd verse, refers to all the time during which the ‘Earth’ existed as a formless mass.

But, to support his theory, Dr. Chalmers also turned to verse 28, which, in the AV., reads, ‘replenish the earth’, and he took this to mean, ‘fill the earth again’. But the word ‘male’ doesn’t mean ‘fill again’. It means ‘fill up’.

God commanded those whom he had created to

‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill up the earth’.

In other words, God commanded the first human beings to populate the planet which, as his work on the previous days reveals, he had prepared for them to occupy. Still no evidence for the ‘Catastrophe Theory’!

Dr. Chalmers also argued from Isaiah 45:18, which tells us that God

‘created the heavens and formed the earth’.

The verse continues to say that God ‘did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited’. Bear in mind that Isaiah had not heard of Dr. Chalmers theory! The prophet is speaking on behalf of God and is speaking about the earth on which we live today.

The Days

The Hebrew word for day is the word ‘Yom’ which means 24 hours, when this word is used with a numeral adjective, it always signifies a 24-hour day. Exodus 6-9, 40 Days and Nights, Genesis 7:24, 150 Days the Earth was flooded, Jonah, 3 Days, Creation, rested on the 7th Day. Of the 1,284 times this word is used alone without the numerical adjective in the Old Testament there are only a few exceptions when it does not signify a 24-hour day.

The plural form ‘yamin’ always refers to a 24-hour day. Exodus 20:11. If God is who the Bible describes Him to be, then certainly He has the power to create and the power to create in a single moment.

Everything was made in order of creation on purpose so that everything that was created already had its environment created first. Genesis 1:2, Now and Was. ‘Hay etha’ is Hebrew for was, Genesis 1:2. Let’s not forget that the earth was formed in order to be inhabited, Isaiah 45:18. God brought form to the unformed Earth.

What did God Create?

Genesis 1:3-5 Light.

Genesis 1:6-8 Atmosphere, sky.

Genesis 1:9-13 Land, Sea and vegetation.

Genesis 1:14-19 Sun, Moon and the Stars.

Genesis 1:20-23 Birds, Fish, and Creatures that move along the ground, Wild Animals and Man.

Day One

‘And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.’ Genesis 1:3-5

This is the first recorded words of God; hence it is The Word who is speaking, and the text should read, ‘be light’ or ‘light be’ because it is a command. God worked during the day, in the day, in the light and when He speaks, He commands, and things come into existence from nothing.

We know that Jesus Himself, is the Light of the world and light of life. John 8:12, and we know that God Himself is Light, 1 John 1:5. We also know that Jesus often used physical realities to make a spiritual point, Matthew 12:39. They are actual, factual, historical events intended to point beyond themselves to greater spiritual truths. Paul suggests that God has done the same thing in creation itself.

‘For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.’ 2 Corinthians 4:6

Paul here is alluding to Genesis 1:3, and Paul considers it to be a historical, factual, and plainly understood text. God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. The text, for Paul, points to a real event in time and history, the creation of light around six thousand years ago, as recorded in Genesis.

However, God revealed to Paul that the text does even more than record history. God showed Paul that His acts in creation were like cosmic words, foretelling spiritual things to come. Just as God said, ‘Let there be light!’ He now says to helpless, weak, sinners,

‘Let there be understanding of who Christ is.’

As the light on day One invaded the darkness of cosmic creation, so God’s grace invades our weak, frail minds. We stand before God without spiritual light and void of goodness. Like the original creation in Genesis 1:1-2, we don’t yet have spiritual life. But all that changes because of God’s grace.

‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:4-5

Like Paul, John is alluding to Genesis 1:3, and he believes that every word is historic and literally true. In addition, God revealed to John that the Genesis text says much more. God intended the historic light of creation to burn into our minds an even greater spiritual truth. And notice that the Creator is magnified at least six times in the creation account with the statement,

‘It was good.’

Day Two

‘And God said, ‘Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.’ So, God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault ‘sky.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.’ Genesis 1:6-8

On day one, God created light and earth, covered with water and on day two, God divided that water. Some of the water stayed on earth to eventually form the oceans, lakes, and rivers, that’s day three, that would be filled with fish and other sea creatures, that’s day five. The Bible says that the rest of the water was ‘separated’ from this water on earth and was placed ‘above the vault.’

But what was the vault?

The word ‘vault’ is the Hebrew word, ‘raqiya’ and means a space or expanse. This includes the universe, outer space and the sky. 2 Chronicles 2:6 / Isaiah 13:10 / Jeremiah 4:25. The vault refers to a space or expanse called ‘heaven’, Genesis 1:8.

On day four of Creation, God put the sun, moon, and stars in the heaven, Genesis 1:17, and on day five He created birds that fly in the part of the heaven that is near us, Genesis 1:20. So from this we know that on day two God created our atmosphere, what we call the ‘sky’ and outer space.

Where did the water go that God put ‘above the vault’?

We don’t know for sure because the Bible doesn’t give many more details. But this likely refers to water somewhere in outer space. As we learn more about the universe, studying it through the lens of Scripture, we’re sure to find out where this water is. After God divided the waters and created our atmosphere and outer space, there was evening and morning, ending day two.

Notice that God didn’t say ‘it was good’ at this point, why? Because it was incomplete at this point.

Day Three

‘And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry ground ‘land,’ and the gathered waters he called ‘seas.’ And God saw that it was good. 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. 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. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.’ Genesis 1:9-13

Here we see God creating dry land and separating it from the sea and notice also that God commanded all the produce to grow, Genesis 1:11. On day one, He created a water-covered earth, and on day two, He created our atmosphere and outer space. But there was nothing on the earth, not even any land and nothing in space. On day three, it was time to start filling them up.

First, God commanded the water to go into one place so that dry ground could appear. Because this water went into ‘one place’, Genesis 1:9, it seems that God created one great big ocean and one great big continent. It wouldn’t be until the Flood that we would get the seven continents that we have today.

Now that there was dry land, God commanded it to produce plants. Soon fruit trees, green grass, pretty flowers, and many other kinds of plants filled the land. And each of these plants reproduces

‘according to its kind’, Genesis 1:12

This means that one kind of plant cannot turn into another kind of plant, daisies always produce more daisies and pine trees always produce more pine trees. Plants didn’t evolve. God created all of the plant kinds on day three and since part of His creation was completed, God saw that the dry land and the beautiful plants were good, Genesis 1:12. It was then evening and morning, the end of the third day of Creation, Genesis 1:13.

Day Four

‘And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 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. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.’ Genesis 1:14-19

Here we have the account of God creating the Sun, Moon and Stars to govern night and day. On day two God created, among other things, outer space, but outer space was just, well, space! So, on day four He filled it with all kinds of beautiful things.

These ‘lights’, Genesis 1:14, include the sun, moon, and stars, Genesis 1:15, as well as many other things that aren’t named in Genesis, such as the other planets in our solar system, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, dwarf planets like Pluto, asteroids, comets, exoplanets, planets that orbit other stars, and so much more.

God’s creativity isn’t just seen here on earth with all the different kinds of plants and animals. The creativity of our Creator is seen throughout everything He has made, including the objects in outer space, Psalm 19:1.

God created the sun, moon, and stars for two reasons. The first is for

‘signs and seasons, and for days and years’, Genesis 1:14

Did you know that you don’t need a clock to tell what time it is? We can actually use the sun!

And the moon determines our months while years are determined by earth’s revolution around the sun. The stars also change depending on the season, and we can use them to determine directions. Ancient sailors, explorers, and travellers used the stars to help them reach their destination, and we can still do that today.

The sun, moon, and stars do a good job doing what they were designed to do. The other purpose for the sun and moon is to provide light on the earth, Genesis 1:14 / Genesis 1:17-18. The sun gives us lots of light during the day, and the moon reflects the sun’s light back on earth at night so that we can see.

God saw that His creations, the bright sunshine, the cool night moon, the twinkling stars, and all the other objects in outer space, were good, Genesis 1:18. Then there was evening and morning, the end of the fourth day.

Day Five

‘And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.’ So, God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 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.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.’ Genesis 1:20-23

Here we see God creating the Fish for sea, Birds for Sky, and notice again, ‘according to their kind’ and we see them receiving a blessing from God. On day five, God filled the oceans with fish, whales, corals, clams, squid, jellyfish, marine reptiles, and so much more, Genesis 1:20-21.

These creatures didn’t come about slowly over millions of years, with corals, sponges, and jellyfish coming first and then fish coming later. All of them were created on the same day by God. But God wasn’t finished yet, He also created birds and other flying creatures, Genesis 1:20–21. Imagine the quiet earth with all those beautiful plants suddenly filled with the songs and cries of all kinds of different birds.

It must have been amazing, but it wasn’t just birds, God also created bats and flying reptiles on day five. After He had finished creating all the sea and flying creatures, God told them to be fruitful and multiply, so they could fill the earth, Genesis 1:22.

Each kind of creature was created to reproduce according to its kind, Genesis 1:21, so bats have baby bats, crabs have baby crabs, and whales have baby whales. Of course, this is exactly what we see in the world. One kind of animal never produces another kind. They always reproduce according to their kind, just as it says in Genesis.

When God looked down and saw all the wonderful and amazing sea creatures and the beautiful flying creatures, He saw that it was ‘good’, Genesis 1:21, and there was evening and morning, the end of day five. Genesis 1:23.

 

Day 6

‘And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so. 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. Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ 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. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.’ Genesis 1:24-31

We know that God created everything in just six days, Genesis 1 / Exodus 20:11. Each day of creation He formed something unique and amazing that brings glory to Him. Day six was His final day of creation. On day six, God commanded the earth to bring forth living creatures, Genesis 1:24.

All of the animals that live, or lived, on the land, such as elephants, horses, and dinosaurs, were created on this day, Genesis 1:24-25. And each kind was unique and different, from tiny mice to the huge T. rex to howling monkeys. Each one was created to reproduce according to its kind, Genesis 1:25, so one kind will never turn into another kind. Dogs always have baby dogs, cats always have baby cats, and horses always have baby horses.

After He finished creating the animals, God turned His attention to His most important creation, mankind, Genesis 1:26. Notice,

‘Let us make man in our image’

this only happened when God created man, Colossians 1:16 and notice the plural unity of the Godhead. Adam and Eve were created with free will, they will have choices to make, freedom, freedom of choice, Ephesians 4:20-24 / Colossians 3:9-10. True righteousness means being right by God and holiness means set apart for a purpose.

God created man and woman in His very image, Genesis 1:27,

‘and God breathed into man the breath of life, and man became a living being’, Genesis 2:7

Man is unique among all that God made because none of the animals were created in God’s image, only man and woman were. Being in the image of God refers to the spiritual inclinations of man that make him a spiritual being who seeks to worship a higher power than himself. God even created a special place for them to live, the Garden in Eden, Genesis 2:15.

God created Adam, the first man, from dust, Genesis 2:7, and made Adam’s wife Eve from his rib, Genesis 2:21–22. This was the very first marriage, created by God, He blessed them and told them that they were to rule over the earth and fill it with children, Genesis 1:28. Now, Adam, Eve, and all the animals were created to be vegetarians, this means they only ate plants, Genesis 1:29-30.

This is because there was no death in God’s original creation, Adam and Eve were created never to die, and so were the animals. So, they only ate all the delicious fruits, vegetables, and plants that God had made on day three. Notice also that man has dominion over everything, the animals etc., except the heavens.

At the end of day six, God looked at all He had made, all the different animals and Adam and Eve, and He said everything was

‘very good’, Genesis 1:31

Then there was evening and morning, the end of the sixth day, Genesis 1:31.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."

Galatians 5:22

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