Genesis

Genesis 2011 - Lesson 1B

Chapter 1:3-19

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Gen. 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 
Gen. 1:4 God saw that the light was  good; and God  separated the light from the darkness. 
Gen. 1:5  God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And  there was evening and there was morning, one day. 
  • Then, God spoke light into existence

    • He saw light was “good”

    • And God separated light from darkness

      • God named the light and dark

      • Light without an apparent source 

        • These features are present in the universe before there are any celestial bodies

        • In fact, the Sun and Moon don’t arrive until Day 4 in Creation 

        • Where does it come from? God

      • Also darkness is “created”

        • Not merely the absence of light

  • So God sets about to create the world with light and dark from the beginning

    • We discover an important pattern or code in the 6 days of Creation

      • In the first three days we will see God creating spaces

      • In the second three days, He will create the objects to fill those spaces

        • And by this pattern, we’ll come to understand His purpose in the creation itself

        • We will come to that answer when we arriva on Day 6

  • Let’s remember why God creates both light and darkness

    • We discovered that in the New Heavens and Earth, there won’t be darkness

Rev. 21:25 In the daytime (for  there will be no night there)  its gates  will never be closed; 
  • So if God has determined that He doesn’t need darkness in the eternal order, why did He include it in the first Earth?

  • Well, consider how God has consistently linked light & dark with good & evil

Job 30:26  “When I expected good, then evil came;
When I waited for light, then darkness came.
Is. 9:2  The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them. 
Is. 9:3  You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
  • God created the world with a built-in message about good and evil

    • We learn by experience how light and dark are opposites

      • How there is no mixing of the two

      • How one does away with the other

      • How one exposes sin and reveals glory, while the other provides opportunity for sin and produces despair

    • They serve as powerful metaphors for good and evil

      • Because God was already anticipating and planning for the entry of sin into His creation

  • Further proof is found in the way God “remakes” the earth in a future time

    • The New Heavens and Earth will lack a night…it only has day

Rev. 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and  there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;  the first things have passed away.” 
  • To conclude Day 1, in what way was light and darkness separated?

    • From the first day, God has established the passage of time

      • Were it not for the alternative light/dark cycles of our world, there would be no passage of time

      • We would have no way to measure change 

    • The separation was not in a physical way, but a temporal 

      • Evening, morning, first day

      • Jewish culture count the beginning of each day at evening for this reason

    • So far, God has created matter, energy, light and time

      • And God says one day has passed

  • This opens an opportunity to examine another theory of creation

    • Day Age Theory

      • The theory suggests each day represents a long period of time, i.e., millions of years

    • Why did anyone ever think to suggest such an interpretation?

      • Does the text itself leads us to that conclusion?

      • No. The answer why is our love affair with the teaching of secular science

        • In the 19 century, scientific establishment proposed that the Earth wasn’t young

        • Rather it was very, very old…billions of years old

      • Christians were taught that this idea was certain because scientists proposed it…and we can trust scientists

        • Christians were taught they must understand their Bible in the light of science 

        • What about God’s word?

        • In other words, if the world is billions of years old, then how do we understand Genesis 1? 

  • What is the Biblical response?

    • In Hebrew, “day” = yom (appears 2,267 times)

      • Nearly 2,000 times it means a 24 period

        • Only 9 times is it used to mean age

      • Evening (ereb) and morning (boqer) are also literal terms that always mean a normal 12 hour period

      • Later in this same chapter we will use the terms “years” and “seasons”

        • The author could have used those words here if he intended to describe long periods of time

    • Golden Rule of interpretation demands we use the literal, ordinary and primary meaning of any word when there is no contextual basis to do otherwise

      • What cross references do we have in the Bible?

Ex. 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 
Ex. 20:9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 
Ex. 20:10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it  you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who  stays with you. 
Ex. 20:11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 
  • The rationale for a Sabbath would make no sense whatsoever if the days of Creation weren’t literal 24-hour periods

    • God says, “For in six days the Lord...”

    • Therefore, rest one day

      • If  “day” really means millions of years, how long are we supposed to rest on the seventh “day?”

    • Christians who adhere to this view occasionally quote 2 Peter

2Pet. 3:8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice,  beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 
  • If 2 Peter 3:8 were intended to teach that a day = 1,000 years, there still isn’t enough time to fit the millions of years into the story of Creation

  • Let’s move onto the next phase of Creation

Gen. 1:6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 
Gen. 1:7 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. 
Gen. 1:8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 
  • Take this apart…

    • 2 bodies of water: one above, one below. 

    • An expanse between them, which God calls heaven (shamayim)

    • What heavens are we talking about? Clue: look at what fills these spaces…

    • Waters below the shamayim

      • Oceans

    • Waters above the shamayim

      • Space/Atmosphere

    • But what about God’s heaven?

      • 3 heavens – same word, different places

        • 1st heaven – the one in view here (birds fly)

        • 2nd heaven found in 1:15

        • 3rd heaven is God’s home (2 Cor 12:2)

      • Need to note context to decipher which “heaven” is being referred to

  • When we compare the events on this day to the way God creates the New Heaven and Earth, we see another interesting distinction

Rev. 21:1  Then I saw  a new heaven and a new earth; for  the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 
  • Why did God choose to create the first world with a sea but He removes it in the second Earth?

    • Did He change His mind?

  • Consider the word often translated as sea in the Old Testament - tehom (deep/abyss)

    • It is often a synonym for going into death or going into the holding place of the dead, Sheol

Jonah 2:5 “Water encompassed me to the  point of death. 
The great deep engulfed me, 
Weeds were wrapped around my head. 
Gen. 49:25 From the God of your father who helps you, 
And by the Almighty who blesses you 
With  blessings of heaven above, 
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, 
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 
  • So the sea becomes a metaphor or picture of the depths of death and the abyss, the holding place of the dead

    • In fact, the word for abyss and deep in Hebrew is the same word

  • But in the New Heavens and Earth, we’re told there is no more death

    • Which confirms that the presence of the sea is itself a feature God intended to picture the death and sorrow of sin 

  • Evening, morning second day (fill in chart)

  • Onto the Third Day

Gen. 1:9 Then God said, “ Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let  the dry land appear”; and it was so. 
Gen. 1:10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 
Gen. 1:11 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. 
Gen. 1:12 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. 
Gen. 1:13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day. 
  • One of the “waters” is gathered

    • This one is called seas

      • How is it gathered?

      • What does that say about the land? All the land started in one place.

    • What does he do on the land?

      • God brings up vegetation. Still part of the “space” that something else is supposed to fill

      • Not supposed to exist for itself

      • But what are they created for?

      • Vegetation appears instantly

      • Notably, the plants appear with seed, trees with fruit

        • What is the significance of producing the plants fully formed with all the seed and fruit present?

        • Appearance of age

        • In preparation for Adam’s arrival with food he can pull off the tree as soon as he needs

        • Negates ability for creation to date itself