1. God Transforms Chaos into Creation / God Contemplates Gen. 1:1-
2. God Creates Everything by His Powerful / Efficient /
Sufficient / Powerful / Sovereign Word
3. God Celebrates His Creation
I. God Transforms Chaos into Creation / God
Contemplates Gen. 1:1-2
Remember the historical context of Genesis 1. It is not the
beginning of the earth. It is God's people in captivity in Egypt.
God has told Moses at the burning bush that He will give Moses
what he is to say to the people when he gets there, and this is it!
Moses will bring affirmation from Almighty God that they are His
people, unique, and that Egypt and her gods are no match for Him.
He is there to let them know the the Creator God, who called them
out of Ur in Abraham and made them a nation for Himself, who
judged them and protected them, is not only ready to free them
from the Egyptians, but he is willing, and HE IS ABLE to do so.
The first two verses of this book are tone-setting to say the
least. These words let us know exactly what God wants His people
to hear first.
They are not primarily intended to explain HOW God did
what He did, although, as we have learned time and time again, the
Bible has a way of describing things with uncannily scientific
accuracy, at least when science gets around to getting it right.
If we didn't have verse 2 to deal with, we'd have it a lot
easier. Isaiah 45:18 (For thus says the Lord, who created the
heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He
established it and did not create it a waste place [tohu],But
formed it to be inhabited), "I am the Lord, and there is none else)
clearly states that what God made was not formless and void. In
fact, from Jeremiah 4:23 ( I beheld the earth, and indeed it was
without form [tohu], and void [bohu];) we see "formless and
void," always used together, as results of God's judgment on the
earth, not of His creative action.
We may take Gen. 1:1-2 in a three ways:
A. Either it describes original creation, and is simply
showing a sequence necessitating the word of God to
complete it. It's valuable for us to realize that the prime
ingredients of the universe, if you could go back and find
them, still don't spontaneously, by a process inherent in
them, produce anything orderly or complete. All of
creation continually awaits the emowering word of God
before it can really BE something.
B. A second possibility is called The Gap Theory. Genesis
1:1 describes the original, perfect creation. Gen. 1:2 describes
the effects of cosmic warfare between the angels when
Satan and his legions fell, and "without form and void"
the results of God's summary judgment on that rebellion.
C. A third possibility is the Relative Beginning view.
There is an original creation that cannot be dated. The
fall of Satan and some of the angels happened before
Genesis 1:1, with resulting judgment and chaos to the
prehistoric universe, and Genesis 1 describes the act of
God in restoring the universe in giving it new
So, what we have in Genesis 1:1-2 is an affirmation of who did the
creating, and how the creation might look without His intervention.
If "without form and void" describe the result of some prehistoric
judgment of God, then Genesis 1 describes God as not only
Creator, but Redeemer, for His first recorded act here is one of
"redeeming" the "lost" creation.
In addition, Geneis 1:2 sets the format and the tone for the
remainder of Chapter One. The earth is formless and void in verse
two; God will form it and fill it in the remainder of the chapter.
And there is a tone of hope, because verse two concludes by
observing that the Spirit of God is at work, like a hen over her
chicks, surveying the scene in preparation for the mighty creative
act of Yahweh.
II. God Creates Everything by His Powerful /
Efficient / Sufficient / Powerful / Sovereign Word
A. (In verses Gen. 1:3-13, Day 1-3...) God Gave His Creation Form
1. Day 1 Light (Gen. 1:3-5)
First recorded words of God. God said ... and there was.
Don't miss the significance of God's method and God's words --
they all count. God, who identified Himself to Moses as "I AM"
said "Let there BE [another form of the same verb]," "and there
WAS." Isn't that beautiful? And Jesus, called the Word of God by
John, was the one John describes as the one "through whom" all
things were created. It was God's word that made everything.
(I like the T-shirt I saw recently. It said, "I believe in the Big
Bang Theory. God said Let there be light,' and B-A-N-G!! there
I guess we ought to comment on the question of "days" right
here. The word translated "day" YOM, doesn't always mean
twenty four hours. E.g. "The day' of the Lord" refers to the
Tribulation period ( seven years), or we read "in that day" such and
such will happen, clearly refering to a stretch of time. However,
when the word YOM is combined with a number, as here, it
ALWAYS refers to a literal day. That doesn't mean this isn't an
exception, that's always possible, but it would be an exception, and
we ought to have compelling reason to go with that view. Let's
put it this way: Hopefully no one would say God COULDN'T have
created everything in six, twenty-four hour days, would they?
Until there is irrefutable proof, I will go with the Biblical account,
and make it six days. In fact, we might wonder that God describes
the process in such slow' terms. I believe that when he spoke it
was instantaneously so...no reason to be otherwise. So, why wait?
Don't know. Maybe, like any good artist, God stepped back to
enjoy each stage of His handywork.
God separated the light from the darkness. In the Bible light
is always good, darkness evil and foreboding. God defines the
difference, and separates them. He separates His people to
himself. Separates the Holy place from people, separates the holy
of holies from the holy place. Man will go for a long time sensing
the separation of himself in the fallen state from God, until God
tears down the curtain, breaks the dividing wall, through Christ,
that all may come in.
God called, named. In the ancient world, naming was a
priviledge of authority. The one who named was the one in charge.
You give your children a name, they have it until they are legally
old enough to change it, when they are in charge. Until then,
you're in charge. Naming them is an act of authority.
2. Day 2 Sea and Sky (Gen. 1:6-8).
God created an expanse,we call sky, separating the waters.
Perhaps the entire atmosphere was like a heavy cloud. Being able
to fly now, we are able to go through clouds and get a feel for how
dense they are. It's like the thickest of fogs. Perhaps the entire
atmosphere was like that. And God made a separation, and the
clouds took their position above it and the waters of the sea below.
The expression "it was so" is very strong, indicating this was a
fixed and permanent entity decreed by God to separate the waters
above and from those below.
3. Day 3 Fertile Earth and first blessing (Gen. 1:9-13).
Again, without mentioning a mechanism other than the voice /
word of God, the earth began to separate into sea and dry land.
(The sea was all there was? Covered the entire earth? Sort of like
in the days of Noah?) Here we see God setting boundaries for the
sea, demonstrating His sovereignty over them (contra. The
worship and fear of the seas the Caananite religion practiced).
Vegetation - The Canaanite religion attributed fertility to their
god Baal. Every year he would die, captured by a god "death"
[Mot], and plants would go dormant or wither. In the Spring he
would be be rescued by the goddess Anat. They practiced all kinds
of fertility rituals to help this process along.
But God the Creator made the vegetation a self-perpetuating
thing. Plants had seeds and fruit. By the power of the Word of
God, earth bears vegetation and supports life.
After their kind - no evolution here. Everything made to
reproduce itself perpetually.
(Now, God has formed what was formless, light and dark, earth
and sky, sea and dry land producing vegetation aplenty. Thus
endeth the first three days of creation.)
B. (In verses Gen. 1:14-31, Days 4-6 . . .) God Gave His Creation
1. Day 4 Luminaries and temporal order (Gen. 1:14-19).
These objects were not to be worshipped or sought out for
direction (astrology). They were placed to keep darkness and light
separate, governing the distinction God made when He created
2. Day 5 Animal life for sea and sky and blessing (Gen. 1:20-
The great sea monsters, not identified but singled out over all the
denizens of the deep. They were objects of Canaanite worship,
Notice that by simple word, the oceans and the air swarmed with
life of infinite variety, each after its kind.
The first blessing. God gave the blessing of reproduction to these
creatures. Didn't do so with the vegetation -- in the Hebrew mind,
plants were not life. Here we see God making a definite distinction
between plant and animal life in that the animal life is blessed with
3. Day 6 Land animals and Man in the image of God
with blessing and authority (Gen. 1:24-31).
That sixth day was the culmination of all God's creative activity,
and what a day it was! The creation of land animals is much after
the creation of those for the air and sea. But then...
God plans: "Let us . . ."
Man is distinct from all the rest of creation right away, because
God is seen to discuss / plan for man. The plural could be plural of
majesty, but certainly gives us a tiny hint of things to come,
including the Trinity. God was not lonely, man was not necessary
to Him for fellowship. He was complete and full in Himself.
In our image, according to our likeness... personality, nature,
capacity for moral decision, everything but physicality, for God is
spirit. Spiritual, moral, ethical, creative, intuitive, aware,
conscience, and the capacity to represent God. (Pictures of
Communist Leaders everywhere to remind the people constantly of
who's who, so God fills the earth with "images" to be a reminder
of who HE is. We are witnesses.
Rule. God gave man authority over His creation! Unique.
Male and Female. The seminal statement about the dignity of both
man and woman. Both in the image of God. Both His likeness.
Both ruling. Both blessed with life-giving ability.
Very Good. Again attests to the uniqueness and wonder of the
man and woman.
III. God Celebrates His Creation (Gen. 2:1-3)
A. God ceases His creative work (Gen. 2:1)
God deems creation complete. Nothing new will come. Nothing
to be added, no new species...
B. God celebrates, commorates His creative act by
sanctifying and blessing the seventh day (Gen. 2:2-3)
God rested -- rest does not signify entertainment, recreation, or
relaxation. It signifies enjoyment that comes out of
accomplishment. You know how it feels to finish a task? It was a
celebration of completion of a job well done.
God blesses the day, sanctifies it. This is a model of worship.
This is a day set apart for God, remembering what He has
accomplished, celebrating it, spending it in thoughts of who He is
and what he has done. We are never more like God than when we
1. Chaos becomes harmony / only by the work of God. The
equation is Chaos + God = Creation / harmony. It's that way
2. Christian is a new Creation
3. God both orders and fills life - makes it worthwhile. And only
God does this. "Things" don't.