Genesis 2011 - Lesson 1C

Chapter 1:14-25

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  • We return to Day 3 briefly to notice one interesting detail

    • The trees are told by God to bear fruit after their kind

      • The trees were commanded to reproduce, but in a very specific way

        • They were going to reproduce after their own kind

        • They couldn’t reproduce something other than their kind

      • Kind (min in Hebrew) is a difficult word to translate

        • There isn’t a good English equivalent

          • Not species exactly – broader term

          • Yet it does imply a limit

        • Kind is a collection of species 

        • But still there is a limit, and the trees and plants were not going to move beyond the limit God provided

      • The limit is determined by the information present in the organism’s DNA

        • Only the information already present can be used to produce offspring

        • And some division or branching will be possible within those limits

          • We’ll talk more about this in our Evolution seminar

      • End of Third day – fill in chart

Gen. 1:14 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; 
Gen. 1:15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 
Gen. 1:16 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. 
Gen. 1:17 God placed them in the  expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 
Gen. 1:18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 
Gen. 1:19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 
  • Expanse of heavens again

    • Which raqia (expanse) and which shamayim (heaven) are we talking about here?

      • Context tells us – outer space

    • Then He creates lights in the expanse to separate day from night

      • This is different from separating light from darkness

        • The light/dark alternating pattern that defines the passage of time has already been established

      • Now God associates the day with a certain light and the night with different lights

        • So when the Bible says “separated” here, it means distinguished

        • The day was distinguished from the night by the appearance of different lights in each period

    • Curiously, God doesn’t name the sun and moon here

      • Why?

Deut. 4:19 “And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars,  all the host of heaven,  and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. 
  • Since we know He placed the stars so far away, how could light be visible on Earth right away?

    • Doesn’t light take millions of years to travel from the farthest stars?

      • Scientists point to this physical problem to discredit the Creation story

        • It’s impossible, they say, for light to be visible from stars so far away on only the 4th day of Creation

        • This is proof that the Universe took billions of years to form, they would say

    • The Biblical response is simple yet profound

      • God would have created a path of light from each star to the Earth just as He created the stars themselves 

      • So on Day 4, the light was already in place and visible from Earth

        • And we know He did this because of the purposes He states for their creation in the first place

  • God gives three reasons for these objects to fill the day and night  

    • For signs

      • Oth in Hebrew (wonder, omen, witness)

      • There are at least three ways in which the lights in the sky are useful to God as signs to the world

        • First, to bear witness to God’s existence

Psa. 19:1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; 
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 
Psa. 19:2 Day to  day pours forth speech, 
And  night to night reveals knowledge. 
Psa. 19:3 There is no speech, nor are there words; 
Their voice is not heard. 
Psa. 19:4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, 
And their utterances to the end of the world. 
In them He has  placed a tent for the sun, 
Psa. 19:5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; 
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. 
Psa. 19:6 Its  rising is from  one end of the heavens, 
And its circuit to the  other end of them; 
And there is nothing hidden from its heat. 
  • Second, to reveal God’s attributes or His character

Rom. 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen,  being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 
  • Third, to His plan for creation

Joel 2:30 “I will  display wonders in the sky and on the earth, 
Blood, fire and columns of smoke. 
Joel 2:31 “The  sun will be turned into darkness 
And the moon into blood 
Before the  great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 
  • Then God says He created the lights in the sky for seasons

    • The way the earth is positioned relative to the sun and moon creates seasons, tides – i.e., circular patterns of life

Psa. 104:19 He made the moon  for the seasons; 
The  sun knows the place of its setting. 
Psa. 104:20 You appoint darkness and it becomes night, 
In which all the beasts of the forest  prowl about. 
  • Why are seasons important?

    • Message to the world about the surety of God’s promises

      • What goes ‘round comes ‘round

Eccl. 3:1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a  time for every  event under heaven — 
Jer. 5:22 ‘Do you not  fear Me?’ declares the LORD. 
‘Do you not tremble in My presence? 
For I have  placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, 
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it. 
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; 
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it. \
Jer. 5:23 ‘But this people has a  stubborn and rebellious heart; 
They have turned aside and departed. 
Jer. 5:24 ‘They do not say in their heart, 
“Let us now fear the LORD our God, 
Who  gives rain in its season, 
Both  the autumn rain and the spring rain, 
Who keeps for us 
The  appointed weeks of the harvest.” 
Jer. 5:25 ‘Your  iniquities have turned these away, 
And your sins have withheld good from you. 
  • Finally, God created the lights for days and years

    • Counting and marking and recording of time

    • Why is counting time important?

      • God intends to communicate about the future (prophecy)

      • He wants us to be aware of coming of His promises

    • The counting of time is not a count up – it’s a count down

      • The earth is going away one day in the future

      • And we are to know that there is an end, and a judgment at that time

  • Fourth Day – chart

Gen. 1:20  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.” 
Gen. 1:21 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. 
Gen. 1:22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 
Gen. 1:23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 
  • God fills the seas and the air

    • By the context, we know that this time shamayim means the air

      • There is an important new detail on this day

        • We have for the first time living creatures

      • The word for “living” in Hebrew is chay nephesh

        • Living soul, or living being

        • By the way it’s described in the text, we know this is a new kind of life

          • Different than plants because it represents conscious life

    • By the way God made these creatures, they will come to serve a very useful purpose for God in His plan for redemption

      • Because they contain chay nephesh (the breath of life), they can experience a death similar to man

        • Plants lack chay nephesh, so when plants die, it’s not a death in the same sense as a man’s or animal’s death

        • We instinctively understand the difference

          • We don’t mourn the loss of a plant in the same way we mourn the loss of an animal or person

      • Later, God is going to use this difference in the sacrificial system of the Law to demonstrate the nature of sin and its consequences

  • As we notice that animal life first appears in the seas, we need to revisit the Day Age theory again for a moment

    • The Day Age theorists believe that the unique order of events in Creation support their theory and mirrors the fossil record

      • They argue that the evolutionary record is consistent with the creation story in Genesis by virtue of each Day representing millions of years

      • And in the geologic record, evolutionists claim that animal life began in the seas

        • And especially the first complex forms of animal life appeared in the oceans

    • Scientists refer to something called the “Cambrian Explosion” to explain the emergence of animal life in the sea

      • As they study the fossil record in deposits, they notice that at a certain point, most of the species in the fossil record suddenly came into existence

        • According to their dating theories, this occurred 4 billion years after the earth was formed

      • Day Age believers try to line up the Genesis record with this scientific belief by claiming that the Cambrian Explosion in the seas occurred during the millions of years represented by Day 4

    • Apart from the previous critiques I mentioned, there is another serious hole in this view at this point

      • According to Genesis, God also created birds during this day

        • But according to Evolutionists, birds came long after the explosion of new species in the seas

        • In fact, birds came even after most other land animals had appeared

          • This would be Day 6 (or Age 6)

      • So the Christian who believes the Day Age theory is a way to reconcile the Biblical account with the theory of Evolution, must admit that not only are the lengths of time in Genesis to seen as non-literal (i.e., a “day” is not really a day)…

        • But they must also maintain that the sequence of events in Genesis is non-literal

        • Essentially, it begins to beg a huge question: what, if anything, in the Genesis account is meaningful accurate?

          • If day doesn’t mean day, and the sequence of events is wrong, then of what value is the entire account?

    • Here again, as Christians we are faced with the fundamental question

      • Is God’s word literal or not?

        • Do we trust it to mean what it says, or must we invent a creative, alternative meaning to please ourselves?

        • In my experience, if we place our faith and trust in it even before we can fully understand it, God is good to bring us that complete understanding at a later time

          • If we doubt it from the beginning, He refrains from revealing the truth to us, not desiring to reward our pride and arrogance and lack of faith 

    • Fifth day – chart

Gen. 1:24 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. 
Gen. 1:25 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. 
  • On Day 6, we see more living creatures filling the final space

    • This time, the creatures fill the land or the earth

      • The names used in English may sound arbitrary (i.e., cattle), but they reflect very specific Hebrew words

        • Cattle – domesticated animals

        • Beast – wild animals

    • We know that at this time there is no death 

      • So that would mean that no animals were to be feared

      • Animals didn’t threaten one another, nor would they threaten humans

        • Even large, potentially fierce animals like dinosaurs could roam without threatening Adam and Eve

    • This state is the natural, planned state for the animal kingdom

      • This is not the exception…this is the norm

        • Death, even in the animal kingdom, is not the normal, intended state for God’s creation

        • We know this to be true because of how this world began AND because of how God will remake the world in the future kingdom

Is. 65:17  “For behold, I create  new heavens and a new earth; 
And the  former things will not be remembered or come to  mind. 
Is. 65:18 “But be  glad and rejoice forever in what I create; 
For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing 
And her people for gladness. 
Is. 65:24 “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will  answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. 
Is. 65:25 “The  wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the  lion will eat straw like the ox; and  dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My  holy mountain,” says the LORD. 
  • In the future Kingdom, God returns the world to a time when animals and the resurrected saints no longer suffer death

    • And therefore, at that time the animal kingdom no longer sees one another as predator and prey

    • And man will not fear even the most deadly snake

  • As God looked upon Day 6, He remarked as He has on every day

    • It is good

      • By what measure is this day - and every day - good?

        • The answer to this question has always been the same

        • These days have produced a world which is good…perfectly good…for a single, intended purpose

          • As a home for man

    • Remember when I told you that the best question to ask when studying Genesis is “Why did God take so long?”

      • He could have created the world in a blink of an eye

        • Instead, he took six 24-hour periods and followed a very deliberate – some might say elaborate – process

      • To create in this unique way tells us He wanted to communicate a purpose or reason for the creation even as He went about making it

        • The reason is for man

        • The entire plan of creation…

          • From the light & dark – to communicate Good vs. Evil

          • The lights in the sky – to tell time, send signs and make seasons

          • The atmosphere that’s perfect for man to breathe

          • The seas to produce weather and provide food

          • The land and trees ready with fruit for food

          • The animals for company and labor

        • Everything is building toward a single purpose:

          • To make a suitable home for God’s most important creation

      • If it happened in an instant, the purpose and focus would have been lost