Week Two (A look back at Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3)
<I’m breaking this week’s study into two separate posts. Today’s post will cover an overview and Creation days 1-5. I will post the conclusion of the study over Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3 tomorrow, Tuesday, covering days 6 and 7. Tuesday’s post will also include the homework assignment for Week Three along with study questions and the Scripture Memory verse.>
So how was it? I’m sure you can agree that Week One’s reading assignment and questions were not difficult.
Let’s look at what you read and at the same time cover the answers to the questions as we look back over each verse.
In this chapter, we are introduced to the first doctrines presented in Scripture:
Doctrine of God
Doctrine of the Trinity (I’ll show you this, I promise, it is there)
Doctrine of Creation
Doctrine of Man
Name of God: Elohim
Right from the start, Genesis 1:1 points out a basic premise in the Doctrine of God (sometimes called Theology Proper). Doctrine of Creation is the overall theme of Genesis Chapter one, from its start in verse one to its conclusion in verse 31.
Genesis 1:1 reads: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The basic premise of the Doctrine of God is the existence of God. Genesis 1:1 states, without compromise, the reality of the existence of God. From the beginning of Creation’s time, God already existed. Moses had no reason to defend a hopeful assumption about God, because he knew God was, is, and always will be. The Bible does not have to prove God’s existence. The Bible says God exists, therefore He does exist! God is real!
God created the earth out of nothing. Ex nihilo, a Latin term meaning “from nothing,” is used to describe the implied context in which everything was created. In other words, before Creation nothing existed (apart from God’s eternal existence). God did not use anything to make (create and form) the heavens and the earth. In Hebrews 11: 3 we read: “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 that were visible.” To be visible would mean identifiable, concrete matter. Hebrews 11:3 can be seen as the commentary of Genesis 1:1. For explanation, the term heavens is defined as the space beyond the earth, i.e. outer space.
In verse 2, we are told the earth was without form and void of anything, after the earth was created darkness was on the deep. In its beginning form, Creation was formless. There were no identifying markers of substance, so to speak, only darkness on the deep. Darkness is not evil here; it is only an absence of light. Some proponents assume between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is a period of time known as the “Gap Theory” to imply the false claim that the earth is millions of years old. What we are reading in verses 2-31 is a sequence of events, not vast periods of time.
(Please refer to the link below in the Notes section for more info on this topic. I tend to believe the same as the author of the article in the link. I’m not covering the “Gap Theory,” but thought I would provide a link which explains my views on the subject.)
Continuing in verse 2, we read that the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. This is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead. We know that all three persons of the Godhead were present at Creation. We will look at this key doctrine (Doctrine of the Trinity) later in the chapter.
Verses 3-31 speak of six literal days of Creation.
How can I say six literal days?
By looking at other Scriptural references for the Hebrew word for day, yom, used in Genesis 1, the logical conclusion is a literal twenty-four hour day, not periods of time as some interpret it to mean. A biblical Hebrew day begins at approximately 6:00 p.m. in the evening and goes to the next evening at 5:59 p.m., a full 24 hours. In context, the use of the word yom in the first five chapters of Genesis is referencing a full 24 hour day. This conclusion has been the consensus from early church history. Got Questions (see notes below) has a great explanation for the literal twenty-four hour day interpretation of yom.
Here is a break down of each day of Creation:
Day One: Light is created, and light is divided from darkness
Day Two: Heaven is divided from the waters below
Day Three: Dry land is separated from the waters. Vegetation is created.
Day Four: The stars and heavenly bodies (Sun, moon) are created.
Day Five: Marine life and birds created
Day Six: Animals, insects, and human life created.
Day One: (vv. 3-5)
Light is created by God, and He saw that it was good, then He divided the light from darkness. God called light, Day, and He called darkness, Night. God was establishing order from the beginning, which came out of nothingness. God created darkness (see v. 1). Darkness is something, and therefore it was created when He created the heavens and the earth. In verse 3 God creates light. He didn’t create a light source here, just light. We know from John 1:7 that God is light. In the new heaven and earth, there is no sun giving off light, but light will emanate from Christ (Revelation 22:5; see also Rev. 21:23-24) lighting Heaven. Could it not be that the light referred to in verse 3 is the Light of God? I tend to believe so. (See below for a link on the Light in verse 3 of Genesis 1.)
Day one was concluded with the statement: “So the evening and the morning were the first day.” This is our first 24 hour day.
Day Two: (vv. 6-8)
God made the firmament and separated the waters from the waters. The firmament is the expanse of heaven and our atmosphere. It is what we see when we look up; the sky. The separated waters from waters references to when God separated the atmospheric waters from the terrestrial waters on earth. Scripture again uses the phrasing: “And God saw that it was good.” God was, again, pleased with what He had made.
God called the expanse Heaven and Scripture closes day two by declaring: “So the evening and the morning were the second day.”
Day Three: (vv. 9-13)
The first thing we see happening on the third day of Creation is the separation of the waters from the dry land, which God called Earth. He called the waters the Sea. Again, we read the repeated phrasing: “And God saw that it was good.” Next, we read about the creation of grass, the herbs of the field and the fruit trees. Both the herbs of the field and the fruit trees are described as that which yields seed according to its kind. The herbs are the plants, which can only produce its own kind, also the fruit trees are distinguished in this way. There is order in God’s Creation. A pecan tree is not able to produce peaches, just as a bean plant cannot produce potatoes. This was an establishment of a law of God: A Kind can only produce its own kind, not something else entirely. This destroys the theory of evolution. You cannot get something completely different from the original kind. A pecan is a pecan and not a peach.
Perhaps, you noticed how in verse 9 it states the command: “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear” and then it goes on and says, “and it was so.” Don’t you just love that? God spoke, and it was. Creation couldn’t help but to do what was commanded of it. This same command is used when referencing each day’s created order.
Again, the phrasing, “And God saw that it was good” is applied to everything that happened on day three (vv. 10, 12). Then the pattern continues of closing out the creative day with the statement: “So the evening and the morning were the third day.”
Day Four: (vv. 14-19)
Here we have the creation of the Sun, moon, and stars to divide the day from night. I love how God called them lights, not light, like He created on day one. This distinguishes lights, from LIGHT. God is light, but He made concrete objects that could project light to the earth. He created the foliage (grass, plants, and trees) on day three, but waited until day four to create the Sun which provides the means by which the foliage on earth can survive and thrive through the process of photosynthesis.
In verse 16, after God said His “Let there be…” statements in reference to the lights and His declaration of “and it was so” in verses 14-15, it reads: “…God made two greater lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.” God placed the Sun at the exact point in the celestial expanse for Earth’s optimal benefits. If it had been further away, Earth would be cold, and if it was any closer, Earth would be too hot to sustain life. The Sun’s position isn’t a coincidence of the “Big Bang Theory,” but its placement was set by a purposeful God who knew best how to provide for the Earth and her inhabitants.
The moon was set in its position purposefully to reflect the Sun’s light on the dark earth at night. For generations the moon’s phases have influenced the agricultural planting schedule. The moon’s gravitational effect on the earth affects our tides. The moon stabilizes earth’s rotation. Our calendars are built around the phases of the moon. Without God’s placement of the moon in our night sky, our life here on this planet would be greatly different. The stars are beneficial to us, as well. For centuries, they have served as navigational aids and as heralds of coming events (i.e. Star of Bethlehem). God counts the number of stars and calls them all by name (Psalm 147:4), which is amazing considering their possible numbers. (“The total number of stars in the observable universe is estimated to be 1025 <1 followed by 25 zeros>. Nobody knows the actual number.” From Answers in Genesis article notated by *Astronomy.)
Again, as Day four is closed out, everything created on this day is declared as, “it was good.” Along with Day four distinguished as evening and morning in verse 19.
Day Five: (vv. 20-23)
On this day the waters are filled with “an abundance of living creatures” and the sky with birds, both created according to their kinds. Bluegill are bluegill (a type of freshwater fish, also called brim), and not a large mouth bass. Eagles are eagles, and not sparrows. Again, in this section of verses, we read the repeated phrasing “Let the…”, but we read something new in verse 22. Verse 22 reads: “And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” God commanded what He created on this day to multiply and fill their respective waters and sky. Today, we can enjoy the fruitfulness of these creatures through observing them and as nourishment when and where necessary. And as this day closes, verse 23 states that this day was composed of both evening and morning.
Come back Tuesday for the conclusion of the study over Week One’s Scripture: Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3. Since this was such a long section for discussion, I felt it best to split this post into two sections. You can choose to reread Genesis 1-Genesis 2:3 as a refresher.
Notes: (Great resources.)
Gap Theory: https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/gap-theory/the-gap-theory-an-idea-with-holes/
Twenty-four hour days: https://www.gotquestions.org/Genesis-days.html
*Astronomy: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/does-the-bible-say-anything-about astronomy/
Counting the Stars: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/stars/counting-the-stars/