Week Two (A look back at Genesis 1- Genesis 2:1-3)
Here is the continuation of Monday’s post, as promised.
Day Six: (vv. 24-31)
This is the largest section of Creation on day six. Here we have both animals, insects, and the crowning achievement of God’s Creation: man (see Psalm 8:5). In this section, we see another reference to the Doctrine of God, and the Doctrine of the Trinity, and we are introduced to the Doctrine of Man with the creation of man.
In verse 24, God tells the earth to bring forth the living creatures, and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each within its kind. And we know this happened, because Scripture once again uses, “and it was so.” In verse 25 we are told that the beasts and creeping things of the earth pleased God: “And God saw that it was good.” Every animal kind, and every insect kind was blessed by God.
Next, in verse 26, we read about the creation of man (This is the introduction of the Doctrine of Man).
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
First, man is created in the image (imago dei, Latin) of God. The pronouns “Us” and “Our” are used here, indicating more than one, a plurality. The name of God in Genesis 1 is Elohim. It occurs 32 times in Chapter one. Elohim is the Hebrew word for God. Nathan Stone, in his book, Names of God, says the name Elohim “…contains the idea of creative and governing power, or omnipotence and sovereignty.” (Stone, 26) Elohim is plural in its form and use which explains the use of the plural pronouns, “Us” and “Our.” This is also our first introduction to the Doctrine of the Trinity in Scripture.
Doctrine of the Trinity:
The Trinity is God in three distinct persons, but one God; i.e. three in one. This is not saying three separate gods, but it indicates the tri-unity of God. The Trinity is the biblical view of God. The word, Trinity, is not found in the Bible, but the concept is there. The Trinity is composed of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; three separate, co-existing and eternal persons of the Godhead. God the Father is not God the Son, nor God the Holy Spirit. God the Son (Jesus Christ) is not God the Father, nor is He, God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not God the Father, nor is He, God the Son.
God does not morph from God the Father into God the Son, (Jesus Christ), and then into God the Holy Spirit. That is the false and erroneous belief of Modalism (Oneness Pentecostalism). It is a belief that God exists as one Person revealed across history in different modes or names.
Some may say, “I see how God the Father is in Genesis chapter one, and I can accept that the Holy Spirit was there, as well, but how is God the Son, Jesus, present at Creation?”
To see that Jesus was present at Creation, let’s go to the book of Colossians in the New Testament.
Colossians 1:15-17 states:
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.
This “He” is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We know this is Jesus because Paul references Jesus in v. 13 by writing about the Son of the Father’s love. Reading the above Scripture, we can conclude Christ was present at Creation, and moreover, everything created was “…created through Him and for Him”. (A side note: the reference to Jesus being firstborn over all creation does not mean He was the first born of all Creation. Instead, it refers to His preeminence; His superiority over all things. He is first place above all Creation. It is because of Him that all things exist.)
In Colossae at the time was a growing heresy called Gnosticism which combined bits and pieces of Greek speculation, Jewish legalism, and mysticism from the Orient. It taught that the body was evil, but the spirit was good. These Gnostics also believed Christ could not be human and be God at the same time, since to them the body was evil, which God is not evil. It also taught of a secret knowledge of which only Gnostics could experience to gain salvation. This heresy was threatening the Colossae Church, but it had not been fully embraced by the Colossian church when Paul wrote Colossians. Paul knew the Colossae Christians needed correct teaching on the preeminence of Christ, otherwise they would undermine the person and redemptive work of Christ, bringing forth confusion and the wrong understanding of who Christ is. The American-born movement called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) teaches Gnosticism. (Please see the link below on the NAR.)
In verses 26 and 28, God gives man (humankind: male and female) dominion (rule) over all living creatures, from the insects on the ground to the birds in the air. Man is to have stewardship over Creation. We are to take care of it, as opposed to abusing it, and we were not created to worship Creation. (We’ll cover more about the stewardship of Creation next week.)
Verse 27 repeats a truth: man was created in the image of God, but then it further defines man as male and female. (We’ll cover more about male and female context next week when we look at an overview on Genesis chapter two.)
Man: male and female, were blessed by God in verse 28 and are also told to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God furthers informs man of these facts: the plants yield seed and the fruit trees which also yield seed were to be used for food. Every green herb (plant) would also provide nourishment to the beast of the earth, the birds, and to every living creeping thing on the earth. God is Sustainer over the earth, and He put man in a watch-care role over what he was given.
In verse 31, the sixth day of Creation was closed with the statement, “So the evening and the morning were the sixth day,” but in the same verse we note, after the pinnacle of God’s Creation was created, i.e. man, “…God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good.” God was well pleased with His creation.
Day Seven: (Gen. 2:1-3)
After the sixth day, Creation was complete (Gen. 2:1). On the seventh day, also known as the Sabbath day, God rested (v.2). By stating that God took a day to rest, God established a six-day work week with one day set aside for rest. It is a blessed and sanctified day, or a day set apart for God’s special use (v.3). We are to worship Him on the seventh day.
God created our seven-day week, and it is a format that works.
Stalin, dictator of Russia, desired to erase all religious memories in his citizens, and he sought to do it by doing away with a seven-day week. In the book, Genesis: Finding Our Roots, the following account is written:
In Russian language, Sunday is called Resurrection Day, and Stalin didn’t want that reminder every seven days. So he instituted a ten-day week and called the days simply by numbers. It turned out that people couldn’t work nine days with one day of rest. The experiment fell apart, Russians returned to the age-old week of seven days. Other attempts to change the week have also failed, and the week has existed now for almost 6,000 years. (Beechick, 16)
As moral beings, we bear the image of God. From the beginning, God established order, and He expects us to follow His example of work and rest. Could God had created everything on one day? Sure, He could. He’s God. However, by creating everything in the method and order he chose, God established time, laws of nature, and man’s watch-care role over the earth, and most of all, He established His preeminence over it all.
Homework assignment for this week:
Scripture reading: Genesis 2
Suggested Scripture memorization:
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7, NKJV
1.What verse indicates the beginning of humankind?
2.What was man’s first job and his responsibilities?
3. What were God’s instructions pertaining to every tree except for one tree in the Garden?
4. What was the name of the tree they could not eat from?
5.What warning and consequence was given in verse 17?
6.What was not found for man?
7.How did God make woman?
8.The making of woman signifies what aspect of humankind?
9.Who instituted marriage?
10.Why were the man and woman not ashamed of their nakedness?
What do you believe was the significance of God creating a tree called the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Did God set up man to fail? Why or Why not?
Notes: (Great resources.)
Twenty-four hour days:
Counting the Stars:
Definition of preeminence:
More on preeminence:
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR):
Stone, Nathan. Names of God. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010.
Beechick, Ruth. Genesis: Finding Our Roots. Pollock Pines, CA: Arrow Press, 1997.