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July 2, 2024

Genesis Part 4

We’ve been looking in detail at the creation account from Genesis Chapter 1. This lesson will focus on Days Six and Seven.




GENESIS 1:24-2:3

We’ve been looking in detail at the creation account from Genesis Chapter 1. This lesson will focus on Days Six and Seven. There is so much to cover. Before we pick up the action in verse 24, I feel compelled to briefly remind you of what we’ve discussed so far in the first three lessons of our Genesis study…

On Day One of creation, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” God created time, space and matter. He, God, is the energy that formed it all. At first the earth was uninhabited and covered with water, “and darkness was over the face of the deep.” Before Day One comes to an end, however, God turns the lights on as it were. He creates light by the spoken word. In doing so He establishes periods of light and darkness that make up a 24-hour day. This definition of a day is driven home by the author, Moses, repeatedly using the phrase, “evening and morning.”

On Day Two God separated the waters below from the waters above. He introduced an “expanse in the midst of the waters” that He called Heaven. This is the sky, the atmosphere surrounding the earth.

On Day Three God separated the land from water. For the first time dry land appears. “God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas.” And then, still on Day Three, God created vegetation, all the various plants and trees.

On Day Four God created the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. He used these newly created luminaries to devise time and seasons.

On Day Five God created insects, birds and fish. God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures.”

With each day of creation God looked at what He had made and saw that it was “good” (v 4, 10, 12, 18, 21). Creation is a direct reflection on its Creator. God is a GOOD God. We’ve noted that God’s creation is amazing, vast, orderly, detailed, beautiful, has a wide variety. It is good.

But God is not finished creating yet. On Day Six God makes the crown jewel of His creation – man, mankind, the human race. With that, let’s pick up on Day Six of creation which is covered in v 24-31.

READ Genesis 1:24

Here we see the same pattern that we’ve seen all along. “And God said… And it was so.” God speaks His creation into existence. Here we see the creation of the land animals. They’re categorized as “livestock and creeping things and beasts.” This is not intended to be an in-depth scientific classification of the animals – by domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, or strain. No, this is a general statement. “Livestock” refers to animals that can be domesticated for man’s use – cattle, donkeys, horses, mules, sheep, goats. “Creeping things” refers to small animals – rabbits, mice, reptiles, amphibians, squirrels. “Beasts” refers to the larger wild animals – bears, lions, tigers deer, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, elephants, apes. I think “beasts” could also refer to dinosaurs.

I want to briefly address the subject of dinosaurs. A disclaimer here. What I am about to share with you comes from my friend Scott Lane who is a teacher by vocation in the San Antonio area. He is a Christian and a creationist. He is very involved with an organization called San Antonio Bible Based Science Association. Their website contains a lot of interesting presentations to show that science and the Bible do not have to be in conflict and how the science behind creation proves an intelligent Creator.

Dinosaurs are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. There’s a good reason for that. Sir Richard Owen came up with the term “dinosaur” in 1841 to describe the fossils of extinct reptiles. He coined the word by combining the Greek words “deinos”, which means terrible, and “sauros”, which means lizard. So “dinosaur” is a relatively new term in the English language. There is no Hebrew or Greek equivalent. Now, we know that dinosaurs really did exist at one time, but are now extinct. I feel that they must have been among the created beings here on Day 6. There is a widespread fossil record of these large animals who lived both in the sea and on land. They are not mythical creatures. They were real at one time. There is even strong evidence from cave drawings that they had some interaction with humans. But where are they in the Bible? I’m glad you asked.

Possible biblical references to what we know today as “dinosaurs”:
Genesis 1:21 and Psalm 148:7: “great sea creatures”
Genesis 1:24: “beasts of the earth”
Job 7:12: “a sea monster”
Job 40:15: “Behemoth”
Job 41:1 and Psalm 74:14: “Leviathan”
Isaiah 27:1: “leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent”
Psalm 74:13: “sea monsters on the waters”
Ezekiel 29:3 “the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams”
Ezekiel 32:2: “a dragon in the seas”
Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6: “flying fiery serpent”

It’s widely debated among Bible scholars as to whether these are actually referring to dinosaurs. I don’t know. My point here is that it is highly possible. How did these dinosaurs, these beasts, become extinct? The most logical explanation is the great worldwide flood of Genesis Chapters 7 and 8. This flood was a worldwide cataclysmic event. It offers a reasonable explanation for how all the fossils that have been discovered were formed. It is logical to assume that if they did perish in the flood then they may not have made it onto the ark. I’m not saying that categorically. The Bible doesn’t say. But it is at least a plausible explanation. That’s all I want to say about dinosaurs. I at least wanted to address the issue. So let’s get back to Genesis Chapter 1…

READ Genesis 1:25

Notice that just like with the plants on Day Five, all the various kinds of animals were created by God on the same day, at basically the same point in time. What is important to see here is that there is no evolution of the species. There is no survival of the fittest. “According to their kind” is a phrase repeated 10 times in Genesis Chapter 1. We know from modern science that each kind of animal has its own unique genetic code. Modern science and the biblical account both dispel the theory of evolution.   

Back in v 24 God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures…” This is an interesting choice of words. Scientists tell us that the bodies of animals are composed of the same chemical elements contained in the earth. God uses these same elements out of the earth to create all the various animals.

V 25 says, “And God saw that it was good.” Again, God is pleased with what He has made.

One thing to remind you of here – there has been no death yet. Death is part of the curse resulting from the fall of man, his sin, which happens later in Chapter 3. So then, originally all the animals, including man, were herbivores, vegetarians. Later we will hear God says, “be fruitful and multiply.” Then He says that He has given man, beasts, birds and creeping things every green plant and every tree for food.

After man sins death comes – spiritual death for sure, but also physical death; and not just physical death for mankind but death for all living things. Everything changes after man sins. Original creation is severely impacted. Later on, after the Flood God makes a covenant with Noah and tells him “Be fruitful and multiply,” just as He had told Adam. But this time He says “The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you… [as well as the green plants and trees].”  So eventually man and many of the animals become carnivorous, meat eaters, killing and eating other animals and each other. But that is not the way it was in the original creation. I just wanted to point this out to you.

READ Genesis 1:26

“Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.” Here God speaks of Himself in the plural. The Hebrew word for God is Elohim, which is plural. We know from reading the Bible, especially the New Testament that God is one God in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The full theology of the Trinity gets developed in the New Testament. It is not as clear in the Old Testament. Yes, there are references to it, such as here in v 26 and in Psalm 2 and Psalm 110. But our full understanding of the Trinity doesn’t become clear until later in the New Testament.

READ Genesis 1:27

This idea of man as “male” and “female” will get expounded on further in Genesis Chapter 2.

Again, please take note that there is no evolution here. Man did not evolve from apes! Man is completely different from the animals. Man is made in the image of God. Animals are not. With all the other created things God said let there be [whatever]… and it was so. Here God says, “v 26, Let us make man… v 27, so God created man.” God is personally involved in the creation of man.

What does it mean when we say that man, us humans were made in the image of God? There is definitely a spiritual component to us humans, a personal connection to, an identity with God that the animals do not have. We have a self-consciousness. We can reason. We can think abstractly. We have language so that we can communicate ideas, thoughts, dreams, opinions, etc. We have the capacity for personal relationships with each other and with our Creator. We have emotions. We have an appreciation for beauty. We have a moral consciousness so that we can know right from wrong. We were created on a heavenly, on an eternal pattern. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God “has put eternity into man’s heart.” We were designed to have a personal relationship with our Creator.

God mentions two specific purposes He has for man. The first is in v 26, “Let them [man] have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  This gets reiterated in the next verse…

READ Genesis 1:28

Again, “subdue it” and “have dominion over the fish [and so forth].” God intended for man to rule the earth, to be a caretaker of it. But this verse mentions a second purpose for man: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” God wants man to populate the earth, to procreate human life. Man is to do the same thing plants and animals do, that is, reproduce himself and fill the earth.

READ Genesis 1:29-30

The chapter ends with God calling on man to enjoy all the various plants and fruit from the trees, the wide variety of food He has made available. Remember, man is originally a vegetarian.

READ Genesis 1:31

After all, six days of creation are finished, including God’s crown jewel, man, God saw everything He had made, and behold, it was “VERY GOOD.” God is very pleased with the physical world He has made.

Chapter 2 opens by telling us that God’s original creation of the physical world is finished.

READ Genesis 2:1-3

God’s creative work is completed. Past tense. To drive the point home, there is no evolution. All the various creatures, species and kinds are in place by the end of Day Six.

The phrase, “the seventh day” is repeated 3 times and is connected to 3 verbs – finished, rested, and blessed. God is finished creating. We’ve talked about that. God is resting from His work. Does this mean God is tired and needs a break? No the picture here is that of an artist who upon completing His masterpiece sits back and admires His handiwork. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31). The seventh day is a day where God does no creative work. He reflects upon what He has done and feels good about it. Exodus 31:17 tells us “on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.” The idea is one of God taking complete delight, satisfaction, fulfillment, pleasure in what He has done.

Let’s talk about that third verb, “blessed.” The idea is that God makes the seventh day holy. He sets it apart from the other six days. Notice that there is no mention of the Sabbath or about man observing a day of rest. Not in this passage. That idea comes later in the Law. Here the focus is on God and what He does and how He feels. Something interesting to note about the seventh day which is different from the other six days – the phrase “there was evening and morning” is missing. This tells me that the seventh day is more than just another day. It is special to God.

Reflect on the perfect world that exists at this time---

 John MacArthur said that in his research on the subject of time he found no rational reason, no philosophical reason, no mathematical reason, no scientific reason for weeks. He said, “Why in the world do we occupy our lives in weeks? Why seven days? Nobody in their right mind would purposely divide 365 days into 7s; it doesn’t work. Some months have 30 days, some months have 31 days, and February has 28 or 29 days depending on whether it’s leap year or not. Why all that? Because you can’t divide 365 by 7. Well, why didn’t we do it some other way? There’s no real reason for that. Why do we have these weeks? Why is everything counted in weeks? Weeks don’t even fit well into months. Four weeks don’t make a month. Five weeks don’t make a month. Nobody would purposely do this. No committee would do this. Why in the world do we operate in sevens? I’ll tell you why. There’s only one reason – because God established that order because of creation. And every week of our lives, we go through a cycle that is intended by God to remind us that He created the world in six days and rested.”

For us Christians the weekend should be special. On the seventh day, on Saturday we are reminded of our Creator. On the first day of the week, on Sunday we are reminded of Jesus our Savior and Redeemer who rose from the dead on the first day of the week. We humans are forgetful creatures and it is good that we are reminded each and every week of just how good God has been to us!


GENESIS 1:24-2:3

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