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July 2, 2024

Genesis Part 2

This morning we’re continuing our study in the book of beginnings, the Book of Genesis looking at the creation account.




GENESIS 1:6-13

This morning we’re continuing our study in the book of beginnings, the Book of Genesis looking at the creation account. Just out of curiosity how many of you have ever studied the creation account in detail, verse by verse? John MacArthur says that “Genesis is the only and accurate first-hand eyewitness account of origins by the Creator Himself.” God the Master Creator here in Genesis reveals how He created the universe. He gave this revelation to Moses who then wrote down what God told Him.

We touched on this last week. At some point we the readers of the Bible must exercise faith in what we’re being told in the Genesis account. What Genesis says is not what scientists have been telling us. They give a different explanation for how it all came to be. The writer of Hebrews says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen [this physical world] was not made out of things that are visible [it was made out of nothing]” (Hebrews 11:3). The question we’re faced with is do we believe what the Bible says OR… not. Do we believe the Bible or do we believe there is some other explanation, such as what the various scientific theories say (which have never been formally proven)? The key point I made last week and it bears repeating – if we cannot rely on the Bible about the origins of the universe then how can we rely on the Bible about anything else we read in it? This makes our understanding of Genesis, frankly, foundational to our Christian faith.

I personally believe the Genesis account based on my theological view of the Bible. I believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), that the writers “were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21) to write the very words of Scripture. I believe that the entire Bible was divinely inspired and true and that includes the Book of Genesis and its narrative on creation.  

Last week I read the entire creation account, Genesis 1:1-2:3, and then we looked in detail at Day One, v 2-5. This morning, we are going to look at Days Two and Three of creation.

On Day One God created time, space and matter and He spoke light into existence. V 5 ends with the statement, “there was evening and morning, the first day” which emphasizes a literal 24-hour day. By the time Day One draws to a close what we have is this newly created earth without form and void (empty and desolate, uninhabited with life) and the Spirit of God is hovering over the surface which is covered with water. I believe that with the creation of light that God establishes a 24 hour rotation of light and darkness, evening and morning, called a day, which has continued ever since. Keep in mind, at this point in time there is no sun, moon or stars, not yet. But there IS light in some form though we’re not told exactly what that form is. Perhaps as with the new heavens and new earth in Revelation 21 and 22 it is the glory of God Himself, but we are not told.

There is a period of the day where it is light, called Day and there is a period of the day where it is still in darkness, called Night. This takes us to Day Two of creation, beginning in v 6…

READ Genesis 1:6

Again, creation takes place by the spoken word, “And God SAID…”

READ Genesis 1:7-8

There is an expanse placed between the waters. God gives the expanse a name, Heaven. So there is water that exists above this expanse and water that is under the expanse. It’s obvious what the water is UNDER the expanse – it’s the water that exists on the earth. But what about the water that’s ABOVE the expanse? What’s going on there? Allow me to share with you some possible explanations.

  • The most simple and straightforward is that the expanse refers to the sky (first heaven) where God lifted water above the earth in the form of clouds, mist or fog not unlike what we observe in weather patterns today.
  • The expanse could be some sort of thick water vapor canopy that had a global greenhouse type effect. This canopy inhibited air movements and filtered out ultraviolet rays which might explain the long life spans mentioned in the Bible prior to the flood.
  • The expanse refers to water that God floated up from the earth and out into the far reaches of space (the second heaven). This water is reserved for ends known only to God Himself.
  • Ethereal waters like we see mentioned in heaven in Revelation Chapters 4, 15 and 22 (the sea of glass and river of living water). This is the place referred to as the third heaven, the current dwelling place of God, the saints and the angels.

I tend to lean toward the first explanation (sky and clouds) though the second explanation is an interesting one and may have some validity. V 8 ends with a familiar refrain, “And there was evening and morning, the second day.”

So thus far God has separated light from darkness. He has separated the heavens from the earth. On Day Three God is going to separate something else – the water from dry land.

READ Genesis 1:9

Now dry land appears. One commentary I read said “this was caused by a tremendous, cataclysmic upheaval of the earth’s surface, and rising and sinking of the land, which caused the waters to plunge into the low places, forming the seas, the continents and islands, the rivers and lakes.”

In Job Chapter 38 God answers Job’s accusations by asking him a series of questions (putting Job in his place). For 18 verses God talks about His original act of creation. In describing what happens here on the third day God asks, “who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’” (Job 38:8-11). The psalmist says, “You divided the sea by Your might… You split open springs and brooks… You have fixed boundaries of the earth” (Psalm 74:13,15,17). The writer of Proverbs mentions how God “established the fountains of the deep, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress His command” (Proverbs 8:28-29).

The awesome power of almighty God purposefully shaped the continents and oceans as we know them. It was not something that played out over millions or billions of years. He did this on Day Three of creation.

READ Genesis 1:10

“And God saw that it was good.” At this point the earth has what it needs to be able to sustain life. And that’s what God creates next, life on planet earth.

READ Genesis 1:11-13

God creates vegetation, plants and trees. I looked it up. There are some 320,000 species of plants in the world. About 90 percent of them produce seeds. These seed bearing creations of God can reproduce their own kind – “each according to its kind.” There are over 60,000 species of trees in the world. There are over 2,000 types of fruit that grow on trees (this also includes various nuts and even berries). Some fruits grow from vines but most are from trees.

One of the fascinating things about God’s created life here in Day Three is that it is self-perpetuating. It can reproduce itself. This is most definitely a GOD thing. No manmade inventions that I’m aware of can do that (a real object that can recreate itself). Each different plant and tree species has its own genetic code, DNA. So there is a stability of kinds. Again, there is no evolutionary process mentioned here. In nature apple trees only produce apple trees and not some mutated form of it. An interesting thing about green plants and trees is that they provide a substantial amount of the world's molecular oxygen and are a key part of the earth's ecosystems.

God in His infinite wisdom and intelligence did not create something until He had set into place what it would need to survive. God thought out His creation in detail. God cares about His creation. God nurtures His creation. Later on in Day Six God is going to make humans and one of their primary duties is to be the caretakers of His creation.

V 13, Three days of creation have been completed.

One of the interesting questions that is raised when discussing the creation of the world is when did God create the angels? We know that they are created beings but they’re never mentioned in the Genesis creation narrative. So we have to go elsewhere in scripture to find out the answer to that. Job Chapter 38 talks about it, in that same conversation God had with Job that we mentioned earlier. God speaking to Job says: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements--surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” These “morning stars” and “sons of God” are a direct reference to the angels and heavenly beings. So, by the time we get to Day Two and Three evidently the angels have already been created. They are present and shouting for joy. So, we don’t know exactly when they were created but God evidently made them prior to making man or the animals.

Next time we will cover Days Four and Five. I want to close by reading a portion of my favorite Psalm, Psalm 104. In it the psalmist gives a commentary on creation. This is quite remarkable…

“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills” (Psalm 104:1-10 KJV).

This psalm offers us a beautiful poetic commentary on the first few days of creation!

GENESIS 1:6-13

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