God of all Creation (Genesis 1:1-25)
Genesis 1:1-25 (NASB95)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
4 God saw that the light was good; and God 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, one day.
6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
7 God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.
8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
9 Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.
12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.
13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.
17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.
19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”
21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.
25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
The Kingdom in History (BIG PICTURE)
The Kingdom before the Fall of Man (Genesis 1:1-2:25)
- The Creation of the Universe (Genesis 1:1-25)
- The Creation of Man (Genesis 1:26-31)
Main Idea: We are to worship our God who displays His power and Glory through creating all that is good.
BB Warfield stated the following:
A glass window stands before us. We raise our eyes and see the glass; we note its quality, and observe its defects; we speculate on its composition. Or we look straight through it on the great prospect of land and sea and sky beyond. So there are two ways of looking at the world. We may see the world and absorb ourselves in the wonders of nature. That is the scientific way. Or we may look right through the world and see God behind it. That is the religious way. The scientific way of looking at the world is not wrong any more than the glass-manufacturer’s way of looking at the window. This way of looking at things has its very important uses. Nevertheless the window was placed there not to be looked at but to be looked through; and the world has failed of its purpose unless it too is looked through and the eye rests not on it but on its God.The Glass that lies before us begs the question, “What does it mean to worship a creator?”
Main Idea: We are to worship our God who displays His power and Glory through creating all that is good.
- If one accepts Mosaic authorship, as most conservative evangelicals do, the date of composition of Genesis must be within Moses' lifetime (ca. 1525-1405 B.C.).
- The evidence that Moses wrote the Pentateuch is conclusive if one believes that Jesus Christ spoke the truth when He attributed authorship to Moses (Matt. 19:8; Mark 7:10; Luke 18:29-31; 20:37; 24:27; John 7:19, 22; cf. Acts 15:1)
- Though much could be said by way of context, a basic structure of the big picture may prove to be most important.
- Chapters 1-11 mans destruction, 12-50 mans redemption.
- Though the entirety of scripture is full of stories and nuances and different colored threads, and though it has been debated by many, a singular theme does appear to be seen.
- Not only must a unifying theme arise from the scriptures themselves, but it must also be broad enough to allow for each individual part, the theme of the Kingdom of God satisfies both. (Vaughan Roberts, “God’s Big Picture” 20-21)
- Graeme Goldsworthy in “Gospel and Kingdom” offers the following helpful definition for Kingdom of God, “God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule and enjoying His blessing”
- The word “genesis” means origin or beginning, and it is in the book of Genesis that we find the only true and reliable record of the beginning or origin of all things.
- Genesis doesn’t tell us everything we want to know; it tells us everything we need to know. Moses, the author of Genesis, selectively chooses what we need to know about who God is and what He has done.
- The book of Genesis is a part of the Pentateuch, which means one book in five parts. The Pentateuch I am proposing is part of the whole of scripture which has as it’s overall theme the “Kingdom of God”.
Formlessness Changed to Form Emptiness Changed to Habitation
- vv 3-5, Day 1, Light
- vv 6-8 , Day 2 ,Air (upper expanse) ,Water (lower expanse)
- vv 9-13 , Day 3 , Dry land plants
- vv 14-19, Day 4 , Luminaries (sun, moon, stars)
- vv 20-23 , Day 5 ,Fish, Birds
- vv 24-31 ,Day 6 , Animals, Man
I. God alone created the heavens and earth out of nothing. (Vs 1)
- In this one verse we see God single handedly refute Atheism because he was a reality before we were.
- Pantheism because He is transcendent or above all He created.
- Polytheism because He was singular not plural.
- Materialism because matter is not the measure of all things God created it.
- Dualism because there was no competition in the beginning.
- Humanism because God, not man, is ultimate reality.
- Evolutionism because God created all things.
There are three major views regarding the relationship of verse one with the remainder of the creation account:
/Verse 1 describes an original creation of the universe in which God began fashioning the
earth as we know it in verse 2 or verse 3./
This view may or may not involve a gap in time between verses 1 and 2:22
Some advocates of this view believe that the original creation became chaotic as a result of divine judgment.
/Verse 1 describes part of what God did on the first day of creation (1:1-5). It is a
general statement followed by specific details./
§ Verse 1 describes what God did on the six days of creation (1:2-31). It is a topic
sentence that introduces the whole creation account that follows.
- In the beginning = At least partially is pointing towards a time of origin or initiation and creation of time.
- It is interesting that in John 1 the same words are used, but there we see that in the beginning was the Word.
- God = “Elohim” the name of God which stresses his power, majesty, and transcendence. Interestingly we saw this name in the first half of psalm 19 emphasizing natural revelation of God in creation.
- Interestingly it is in a plural for but used in the singular, surly pointing towards a triune God.
- Created = bara always used of the work of God. We can make some things and form other things but only God can “bara” create out of nothing.
- Heavens = can be heaven or heavens which in this context refers most likely to space as we refer to outer space or space in general.
- Earth = here refers most likely not to our idea of planet earth which we see on the fourth day, but rather the basic elements of matter which would later be organized.
- This is most likely a figure of speech called a “merism” and would communicate simply that God created everything.
- With such detail and with further proof of a summary given in Gen 2:1 and 2:4, I propose that verse one is a part of the six days of creation not merely a summary of it.
II. On the first day of creation God created the light and separated the darkness, it was good. (Vs 2-5)
- VS 2: The Earth was Formless and Void = Verse 2 describes the condition of the earth before God prepared it for human beings.
here "earth" refers to the whole planet.
- Of importance is the fact that every verse other than verse one in chapter one begins with the conjunction “and” obviously revealing a dependent connection.
- It is here between verses one and two that we have proposed the notorious “Gap Theory” which stems from the understanding that was can refer to “became”.
- Though this is viable, the most fitting translation in context would be “without form”.
- This would mean that the original creation spoken of in verse one though perfect in it’s purpose was not complete in God’s plan.
- Simply stated: The No Gap Theory: God created the universe in a formless and void state. He then proceeded to give it form and to fill it.50
"We would affirm that the first verse serves as a broad comprehensive statement of the fact of creation. Verse two describes the earth as it came from the hands of the Creator and as it existed at the time when God commanded the light to shine forth. The first recorded step in the process of fashioning the earth into the form in which it now appears was God's remarkable utterance, 'Let there be light' [verse 3]."
- Darkness upon the face of the Deep = a description of the void
- The Spirit of God was moving = Here we see the activity of God in the third person of the trinity as God began His work of crafting His creation.
- VS 3-5: And God Said Let there be Light… = Here we have the first record of God speaking in the Bible as He speaks with the power of word light into existence.
- Though we cannot know for sure what the light was we can be sure that is was.
- It is important to keep inming the fact that the Spirit was involved in the process, God the Father was speaking, and according to the NT Jesus was the Creator JHN 1:3.
- We then get a foundation of right thinking in a wrong world, God here has the privilege of saying what is good not man.
- God then assigns names to the light and darkness, day and night, and as is said throughout the days of creation, there was evening and morning, one day.
- Whatever ones understanding of a day, it appears that the earth was at this time rotating on it’s access implying a normal solar day.
III On the second day God created the heavens and it was good. (Vs 6-8)
- It is with VS 6-8 that we begin to see God’s cultivating His Kingdom as he begins to further establish a place for God’s people.
- Before God made this expanse or firmament, the water may have been a dense fog covering all of the earth
- After the separation it is thought that the earth had water both below and above serving not only as provision, but above, as a canopy of sorts.
- So then when we hear firmament we should think “space”, it is called Heaven in verse 8 which supports the understanding spoken of earlier that the Heavens were what we refer to as space.
- Again we have the conclusion of a day.
IV. On the third day God created the dry land and the vegetation, it was good. (Vs 9-13)
- VS 9-10: On this day another division was executed causing the water covered earth to reveal dry land.
- Once again we see that this was accomplished by the word of God, something that we will continue to see throughout scripture.
- It is then said to be good, "Good" indicates beauty as well as purpose and order.66 It was only when the land was ready for man that God called it good. This shows God's loving concern for human beings. It was good for people.
- Here we see the plan of God’s Kingdom forming.
- VS 11-12: Further elaborates on God’s specific measures in order to create a land suitable for His prize creation, man.
- Again, we have the conclusion of a day.
V. On the fourth day God created the greater and lesser lights in the heavens, it was good. (Vs 14-19)
- Confusing as it may seem, it is probable that the light up to this point would be of the same intensity and brightness of the sun moon and stars, even though they were not yet created.
- This would be referred to as intrinsic light a light from God, we now are given generators of light, which will prove to be beneficial to man as he lives in a world of order.
The luminaries served four purposes.
1. They distinguished day from night.
2. They provided signs.
3. They distinguished the seasons.
4. They illuminated the earth.
- Again the close of a day, it is important to notice that days were declared before this particular day by God, but here he states the purpose of this creation was to distinguish day from night, this to is his gift to man.
VI. On the fifth day God created the creature of the waters and the birds of the heavens, it was good. (Vs 20-23)
- We are now presented with the first introduction of animal life, notice it is not said that a fragile blob of bluuh came together in response to an electrical discharge over a vast ocean of nothing to miraculously form something. * Note that Moses wrote that God created both marine animals and birds on the same day. Evolution claims that birds evolved from reptiles and that this process took millions of years.
o It is interesting here that we see God blessing his creation:
o "The blessing of God is one of the great unifying themes of Genesis. God
blesses animals (1:22), mankind (1:28), the Sabbath (2:3), Adam (5:2),
Noah (9:1), and frequently the patriarchs (12:3; 17:16, 20, etc.). God's
blessing is most obviously visible in the gift of children, as this is often
coupled with 'being fruitful and multiplying.'
But all aspects of life can express this blessing:
crops, family, and nation (Deut 28:1-14). Where
modern man talks of success, OT man talked of blessing."
o Though we would not want to take it too far, we do see here a genuine sense of God’s care for animals as he blesses them and plans for them to multiply.
o The conclusion of yet another day.
VII. On the sixth day God created the creatures of the land, it was good. (Vs 24-25)
- Animals here are brought forth from the elements of the earth, but in addition, they had a soul because they were said to be living creatures.
- Soul: Hebrew word and the English "soul" imply conscious life, in contrast to
plants that have unconscious life. So in the sense of having conscious life,
animals as well as people have souls.
- In this respect we see that the animals are similar to man in that they have a conscious life, but lacking an ingredient that we will see next week.
Application Comments:(Keith Krell suggestions)
First, we should be thankful for God’s creation. Before we can praise God for being our Savior, we must recognize that He is, first and foremost, our great Creator God. This causes us to see how big God really is.
Second, we should delight in God’s creation. God calls His creation good. There is beauty in creation. God is a great artist. God Himself enjoys the goodness of His creation (Ps 104; Prov 3:19; 8:22). If pagans worship nature in idolatry, we should worship God for it. God’s creation is amazingly diverse and is completely overwhelming to man. Why? Only a tiny fraction of all the species on earth (animals, plants, insects) have been discovered and named. Biologists have cataloged a total of between 1.5 million and 1.8 million species. Estimates of the true number of living species range, according to the method employed, from 3.6 million to more than 100 million. What is more astonishing is that scientists estimate that more than 95 percent of all the species that have ever existed are extinct! Two amazing examples of God’s infinite creativity: In one 2.5-acre area of Brazil’s rain forest, there are 425 kinds of trees. In one small corner of Peru’s Manu National Park, there are 1,300 butterfly species. We should delight in this. We should be awed by God’s beauty as revealed in creation.
Finally, we should demonstrate a responsibility toward creation. The world is becoming dirty and ugly. The air is being turned into smog. The rivers are polluted. Toxic chemicals fill the soil. The oceans have become garbage dumps, trash is piling up on the edges of our cities, and oil spills pollute our beaches. All the while many Christians laugh at environmentalists. We must change our actions and attitudes. Maybe you feel like you don’t have the time to spend upholding the environment. Can you encourage someone who is involved? Are there little things you can do like be informed? Can you do your part?
o How does this passage make God unique and distinct from everything else?
o How should we respond to having a creator? How does this effect us on a daily basis?
o How can we be better stewards of God’s creation?
o Why must we rigoursly defend Creationism and denounce the theory of naturalism and evolution?
 New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation, 1995
 Michael Eaton, Preaching Through The Bible: Genesis 1-11 (Kent, England: Sovereign World, 1997), 28-29.
 Preaching Today Citation: Jerry De Luca, Montreal, Canada; source: Time, special Earth Day 2000 edition (Spring 2000).
 Revised from Boice, Genesis 1-11, 85-86.