We are dealing in Genesis with beginnings: the beginning of the universe, the beginning of life forms, and the beginning of man. In chapter two, more details are revealed on the beginning of man and in chapter three we will read of the beginning of sin, towards the end of the chapter we will read of redemption. As we move along we begin to follow a family line which will ultimately bring us to the Messiah.
In verse twelve of Genesis, chapter one, we read, “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind; and God saw that it was good.” If there was ever an opportunity to find proof of a change of species, a transmutation; it would be in the billions of wheat seeds that are planted every year. If a farmer, in planting his crop of wheat, would reap a corn stalk; then, we would have an example of evolution and transmutation. Think of what chaos there would be if a wheat seed did not produce wheat. If the seed were not after its kind, the farmer could plant his wheat fields and not know what was going to grow. God has put order in His universe.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; He made the stars also.” (Gen.1:14-16).
At this point, we have to go back to the beginning of Genesis where it says, ” In the Beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” There are those who see God bringing the earth into a relationship with the sun and the moon, in order that the earth might draw energy from the sun; perhaps, bringing the earth into a fixed orbit around the sun. We have found, up to this point, that there have been evenings and mornings which would indicate the rotation of the earth upon its axis. This is probably the first day of creation and not an account of the actual creation of the sun and the moon, but, only the establishing of the order: for in the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. God established the earth and its relationship to the sun, which by the way, “just happened” to be the right distance to support all of the various life forms upon the earth. If the sun were a few million miles further away, we might have problems with a great ice age and if it were a little closer, we would have problems with vast desert areas. God placed the sun at just the right distance so the earth could get the amount of energy and heat needed to support its various life forms. He spun the earth in its orbit and then placed it, in its orbit, around the sun. The earth completes an orbit every 365 days, 9 hours, 56 minutes, and some odd seconds.
Then God had to place the sun in its orbit passing through our Milky Way Galaxy. David tells us in Psalm 19, “In them…” (the heavens) “…hath He set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” The orbit of the sun extends to the ends of the heavens. The sun travels approximately 600,000 miles per hour, so, its making quite a journey through our vast Milky Way Galaxy. The earth’s orbit around the sun, tilted at a twenty-three and a third degree tilt, gives us the various seasons of the year, all designed and planned by God.
“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Gen.1:17-19).
“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and God saw that it was good.” (Gen.1:20-21).
I love to go skin diving in Hawaii. It’s fun to take along a loaf of bread to feed the fish. There are all shapes and varieties of fish, with gorgeous colorings and markings. As I look at this wide variety of fish, I am fascinated at their design and how they propel themselves through the water, utilizing the God given ability to take oxygen from the water through their gills. Gods creative genius and the beautiful infinite variety of His creation are truly marvelous.
Have you ever thought why God made such a variety in creation? Just look at each other and you will see that basically, in our faces, we all possess the same features. We all have a nose, eyes, mouth, forehead, jaw, etc. and yet, God has created such a wide variety of looks that no two of us are alike. There may be similarities in some of us, but there are no two exactly alike.
Another marvel of God’s creation is the instinct that he has placed within the animal kingdom; for example, the instinct of the great whales to travel through the vast oceans and the instinct of salmon to return to the place of their birth to spawn. The tiny little insects that fly around, do they know where they are going? How close does a fly get to the ceiling before he flips over so he can stand on his feet? The gyroscopes in the wings of these insects to get them around and the ability of the fly to see in so many different directions. It’s marvelous, the creative genius of God.
Then there are the fowls of the air, the birds, how God designed them aerodynamically to enable them to fly and the instincts which He placed within them. Who taught the swallow to build its nest? How does he know to take the dirt and swoop down to get the water to make the mud and then carry it back to the eaves and make his little nest? Who taught him how to design and create that nest? The Golden Plover lives in the Aleutian Islands and Hawaii. It goes to the Aleutians in the springtime to mate and to have its offspring. In the Fall, when it starts growing cold, they head for Hawaii, some 2,000 miles away. Before they leave the Aleutians they start gorging themselves full of food as it is a non-stop flight to Hawaii. How are they able to navigate across the water from the Aleutians to Hawaii? Do they navigate by the stars? What do they do if its stormy and cloudy the whole way? What is their guidance principles? What do they have that, even if they get blown off course by strong winds, they still come back to Hawaii? You might say, “Well, they’ve been there before.” That’s true. However! When the parents leave for Hawaii the children are not quite strong enough to make the flight. It’s about two weeks later that the children take off and they have never been to Hawaii. How did they know that Hawaii was a good place to spend the winter? How are they guided there? How can you explain this by an evolutionary process? Who led the first plover to Hawaii? This is just one example of the marvelous genius evidenced in creation, the work of God.
“And God blessed them, saying, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” (Gen.1:22).
They obeyed God and we see the evidence of this in the millions of fish in the seas and birds in the air.
“And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Gen.1:23).
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind; and it was so.” (Gen.1:24).
Again we see the establishment of the specie and the reproduction according to its kind.
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind; and God saw that it was good.” (Gen.1:25).
In a way, as you look at the creation and the universe, you might say that God did an overkill. There was a time when one fellow tried counting the stars. He said that there were 5,716 stars. Of course that was before telescopes. Other fellows counted and got different numbers. So, there was a debate among the scientists as to how many stars there actually were; but, as we developed our capacity to peer into the universe, we found that there was an innumerable number of stars. That is exactly what God told Abraham; there were too many to number. He said He would make Abraham’s seed as the stars of heaven, too many to number. The scientists may have scoffed at this statement, in the bible, when this fellow counted his 5,716 stars. They may have laughed at the revelation of God.
Through the invention of the telescope, it is now estimated that there are as many stars as there are grains of sand upon the earth. One estimate says there are ten to the twenty-fifth power stars in the universe. Did God, in making this vast universe, just put inhabitants on the earth? I don’t think so, but that is only a personal opinion. The Bible doesn’t give us any insight to this question, yet, I can’t see God creating this vast universe, with all its galaxies, and inhabiting only one of the solar systems in one of the galaxies. That’s something that we’ll discover later on, but not in this lifetime.
In His creation of creeping things, God created over a hundred different varieties of beetles alone. The infinite variety of God’s creation, each one after its own kind. “And God saw that it was good.”
“And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Gen.1:26).
Notice the plural pronouns “Us” and “Our.“
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat, And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so, And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Gen.1:27-31).
We find that God created man to rule over the earth. At the beginning man was a vegetarian and he ate the vegetables and fruit that grew so abundantly in the antediluvian period.
God created man in His image and after His likeness. No doubt referring to the spiritual aspects of God’s nature. The Scripture says that no man has seen God at any time. We don’t know what God looks like; but, we often think of Him in a human form. God did take on a human form in Jesus Christ as He came in the likeness of sinful flesh; but, God never revealed Himself in a form to man, because He didn’t want man to create any likeness of Him.
God is often described in human terms. Because God sees, we assume that God has eyes and so we say, “The eye of the Lord is upon the righteous.”
Because God hears, we assume that God has ears and so we say, “His ear is open to their cry.” The hand of the Lord stretched out over the land and so we think of God in physical terms, such as having hands, eyes, ears, nose, etc.; yet, God never revealed Himself in human form apart from Jesus Christ.
Being made in the image of God, we were made with the capacity to love and because God is love He created us with that capacity. God’s chief governmental attribute is self determination, so God made us self determinate beings and gave us the capacity to make choices. God is a Spirit, so He made man a spiritual being.
Basically I am a spirit. I live in a body and I possess a consciousness, but the body isn’t the real me. The body is only a tent in which I’m temporarily living. Eventually, I’ll be moving into a house which won’t look like this old tent. What it will look like, I don’t know, but it will be perfect. The old body has a lot of flaws, certain inherent flaws and certain acquired flaws. The old tent is falling apart, but I’m looking for that new building whose maker and builder is God. The old body will go back to the dust and I will have moved into my new body, a permanent abode. God, being Spirit, made me a spirit and gave me a body that I might be able to move around in.
I am created in the image and likeness of God so that I might know God and have fellowship with God. The purpose of my existence is to bring pleasure to God. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”
My purpose in life is to bring pleasure to God. Now, the question is, Is your life bringing pleasure to God? In that degree by which your life is bringing pleasure to God, you are living a satisfying, fulfilling life. By the same token, in the degree which you are living for yourself; you are living an empty, frustrating life. Life can only be meaningful and fulfilling when you are living to please God, because that is why you’re here.
Chapter two is a recapitulation of chapter one. We have gone through the first chapter and had a brief summary of the six days of creation. We have read how God prepared the earth for man to live on and then created man and placed him upon it. Now we’re coming back, in chapter two, to fill in some details, especially in the creation of man. These are not conflicting accounts. It is the typical Hebrew method of teaching.
Jesus followed this method of teaching when He gave the Sermon on the Mount. He would lay out a principle and then come back and amplify the principle. For example, the Principle: “Take heed that ye do not your alms…” (righteous acts) “…before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt.6:1).
Then He goes on to lay out how to pray, how to fast and how to give. He lays the principle and then amplifies it. Another Principle that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount:
“…That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt.5:20).
Then the remainder of Matthew, chapter five, Jesus is illustrating how the Pharisees are living, as opposed to how God intended man to live in relationship to the law. So in Genesis, chapter one, we get the overall view of creation and then in chapter two, we get the details of creation.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” (Gen.2:1-3).
God rested on the seventh day, not because he was tired; but, because He had completed his work of creation and so He ceased His creative acts.
Now having created it, energized it, and set it all in operation; the laws of thermodynamics and entropy take over. He set the sun out in space to give its light and heat to the earth. The sun, in giving off the light, heat, and energy is dissipating one million two hundred thousand tons of its mass every second, gradually wearing down. We see the gradual decay, the loss by movement or friction loss. We see the universe as a giant clock that had once been wound up and now is gradually winding down. We don’t have to worry about this winding down, because when it gets to a certain place, God will wipe it out and create a new entropy. He can go on doing this until infinity. The next heaven and earth, that God creates, will not know anything of sin and rebellion and will be a great place to live.
God finished His creative acts and everything is set in motion, the trees have the capacity of reproducing; the creeping things, the insects, and all life forms are marvelously designed to reproduce. As our environment has been damaged through various catastrophes, some of the species that God created have become extinct. There are more species currently in danger of becoming extinct; but, in the beginning, God had created all the different varieties and the capacity for each to reproduce. Now He watches the universe as it perpetuates itself, according to His design and plan.
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground, But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 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 soul.” (Gen.2:4-7).
He speaks now of the creation of man; God formed man out of the dust of the ground. It is interesting that the same seventeen elements that you find in the dirt outside are the same seventeen elements that make up our bodies.
There are questions about the resurrection. How are the dead raised and with what body do they come forth? There are some people so attached to their present body that they don’t like the thought of losing it. They hope that this body is going to be resurrected. This body is going to be changed, a metamorphosis is going to take place. Personally, I wouldn’t want to spend eternity in this present body. I’ll be very happy to have a new building of God, not made with hands eternal in the heavens and I look forward to that. The idea of this body somehow being resurrected does create problems that the skeptics have brought up in past generations. This body does go back to the dust and in reality if your body is just buried in the ground, it becomes fertilizer. As it goes back to dust, the chemicals become nutrients that feed the roots and the roots become grass. The cows eat the grass and produce milk and whoever drinks the milk has some of these same chemicals going into his body. In the resurrection which body will these chemicals belong to? If you’ve had a transplanted heart, who gets it? We know when this body is dissolved, out of the dust God created you and to dust you will return. This is talking of the body and not the spirit of man. The spirit of man moves into the new body, the building of God, not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens. (Note II Corinthians 5:1).
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed.” (Gen.2:8).
Here we are given some clues for locating the garden of Eden.
“And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone, And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.” (Gen.2:9-14).
At this point, probably, all of the land mass was still together. This was before the flood which did cause tremendous geographical changes. The waters were changed as the sea beds inundated the land. The land, under the weight of the water, sunk and new mountain ranges were thrust upward. There is a fascinating book, “Earths In Upheaval,” which tells of the change of the earth’s structure and the gigantic thrust that has taken place on the surface of the earth during the last 10,000 years and I would highly recommend it. To try to find the Garden of Eden would be futile because the whole structure has been dramatically changed. Even though we read of the different rivers that came out of Eden, things have changed so much that there is no way of being sure of the exact location.
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Gen.2:15).
It was man’s duty to develop the garden. God put the raw materials there and now it’s up to man to develop it.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen.2:16-17).
Remember, there were two trees that were specifically mentioned: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man, created in the image of God with the power of choice, was given one prohibition. He was told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that he would eat he would surely die. So, God put him in the garden and commanded him to develop it. Man, created in the image of God, made out of dust, was part material; God breathed into him the breath of life and he became part spiritual. This creates a conflict of natures. Which side will he live? The physical side (material/fleshly) or the spiritual.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Gen.2:18). God said it wasn’t good for man to live alone. Man, by himself, could never be complete. God said that He would make him a helper which was comparable to him. “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” (Gen.2:19).
Imagine the task of naming all the creatures. But, remember! When God created Adam, he was perfect.
That brings up the question, how old was Adam when he was created? When God created the trees, how old were they? The trees were created to bear the seed, so, the trees were created first. When God created the pine tree, did He create it a hundred feet tall? How old were they the day they were created? How old was Adam the day he was created? He probably had a full set of teeth, muscular development, a reasonably large frame and looking at him you might say he was about thirty-five years old, but in reality, he was only a day old. God built age dating factors into him the day he was born. He wasn’t created as an infant. He was created a full grown man.
Adam, no doubt, was one of the most brilliant men who ever walked on the face of the earth. God would have created him perfect. His brain was probably perfectly programmed by God when he was created. There are people today at whom we marvel; because, they have what we call, “photographic” memories. This is the capacity of taking a mental picture and remembering it. Some men, with photographic memories, can read the Bible and then quote it. There are accounts of men who can quote any passage of the Bible, you name. Adam probably had a photographic mind, a genius at the highest level. Not only was he of genius quality, he had nine hundred years to develop his whole brain capacity. There are estimates that we use only one tenth of our whole brain capacity, but I think we use much less. The capacity of the human brain is amazing; the things that the brain is capable of storing and learning and yet, we have tapped so little of the brain’s capacity because we’re lazy. We sort of ride with the knowledge we have, rather than to go on learning and storing information. Here is Adam, created with the tremendous program of knowledge that God programmed him with; he is able to name all of the animals that God brought to him and the names remain even today. Adam was God’s perfect creation until the “Fall”.
We think of early man as living in caves, wearing a tiger skin and carrying a big club and dragging his woman by the hair, but that is a false picture. The earliest man was far more intelligent than we are. It is interesting, as we read a couple more chapters of Genesis, that we will find one of the descendants of Cain, who was skillful in the making of iron and bronze. Hey! This is way back before the flood. We have discovered bronze articles that were made before the flood and we don’t know, even today, how they made that type of bronze. They had a capacity that we don’t have to the present day. We know that the Egyptians were able to embalm bodies with a skill that we don’t possess today. They had secrets that we don’t have. We don’t know how they built the pyramids. We think of them being ignorant ancients, but they are far from that. Adam was, no doubt, the most brilliant man who ever lived. His descendants, before time and genes began to corrupt and form mutations, probably had much stronger bodies than we have today. They were able to live, a lot of them, to nine hundred years plus and we don’t even come close to that in our life span.
“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs,…” (side) “…and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen.2:20-23).
There is a book called “Signs in the Scriptures,” written by Dr. Wilson. He suggests that the Hebrew text depicts that God formed the body of the woman much as He formed the body of the man and then took a blood transfusion. He interprets the Hebrew, “... and He took one of his ribs...” (side) as being a blood transfusion. The life of the flesh is in the blood and so the woman was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. I don’t know if Dr. Wilson is correct, but it’s an interesting thought.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Gen.2:24-25).
In the second chapter of Genesis, God has created man and woman and established the family unit.
Next: Genesis 3-4