Saturday, June 10th, 2023
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
Smith's Bible Commentary Smith's Commentary
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Genesis 1". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ csc/ genesis-1.html. 2014.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Genesis 1". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
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Shall we now turn in our Bibles to Genesis chapter one, verse one?
The word Genesis in Hebrew means "beginning." And so, it is "the book of the beginnings", and in Genesis we find the beginning of the universe, first of all, and then the beginning of the life forms within the universe, the beginning of man, the beginning of sin and death. Then we find the beginning of God's redemptive program by the beginning of a nation.
The majority of the book of Genesis has to do with God's redemptive plan by immediately narrowing down in the genealogies to one family from which family, all the nations of the world are to be blessed. Now, at various places in the book of Genesis, we will be given a listing of the genealogies of the people that were born, and the ages that they lived and all. Let me say at the outset that God did not intend to give us a complete genealogical record of all of the families of the earth.
Though Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters, their first two sons were listed because they were significant. Other sons and daughters were not listed. But then there came a son when they were one hundred and thirty years old, whose name was Seth, and he was listed because it was from Seth that we are going to follow a line. Now Seth had many sons and daughters that are not listed, only one is listed because that is where the line is going to fall. And so each of them, though they had many sons and daughters, they are not part of the record because they have nothing to do with the redemptive story of God.
We are coming down from Adam on a certain genealogical line to Abraham. And that's the purpose really of these genealogical studies, to show you the line from Adam on down to Abraham. But many of the sons and daughters, no record, no names, nothing, because they are not important to the story of redemption. Just those families that have to do with redemption of man are really followed. Some of them are followed just a few generations, such as Cain's, but then it's dropped because they really do not follow down into the redemptive plan of God.
So inasmuch as the word Genesis means "beginning," it is only appropriate that the book begins with the words "In the beginning God." When was that? How long ago was that? Our minds cannot even fathom or grasp. I can understand that infinity does exist, I surely can't understand infinity. I cannot understand timelessness, eternity. I cannot comprehend space. I can understand that it just goes out there, and there is no end. I can understand that time can go back, and there is no beginning. I can understand that time will go out and there is no ending. But to really comprehend it is beyond my capacity, my limited faculties.
In the beginning God (Gen 1:1)
You can't go back any further than that. Now, there are certain people that would like to just eliminate the last word. They really don't want to retain God in their conscience or in their minds because their actions are opposed to what God has declared. And thus the fool has said in his heart, "there is no God" (Psa 14:1) and the Bible, in Romans chapter one, speaks of them as "professing themselves to be wise, they have become fools, changing the glory of an incorruptible God and fashioning their gods like after corruptible beasts and creeping things. And because they did not want to retain God in their minds, God gave them over to minds that were reprobate, void of God." (Rom 1:21-24)
But if I eliminate God I've got a big problem. In the beginning, what? In the beginning, a mass of gases floating in space. Well that's not the beginning. Where did the mass of gases come from? Where did the space come from? Now it seems that ultimately every child will ask you, "where did God come from?" And for that we have no adequate answer. He always existed. He is self-existent. He has existed from the beginning.
But when I say "in the beginning God," I recognize that the whole universe is not just here by accidental compression of gasses and explosions and cooling off and the forming of planetary systems, and a particular planet with special atmospheric conditions and hydrology kind of conditions that have made it possible to support a form of life upon it.
"It just so happened" that the earth was ninety-three million miles away from the sun. "It just so happened" that the atmosphere became a combination of nitrogen and oxygen in a "just so happened" balance of about seventy-nine percent to twenty percent with a one percent of variant gasses. "It just so happened" that around the earth there was a blanket of ozone. "It just so happened" that there was a magnetic force also that is circulating around the earth, also protecting it from the cosmic rays.
And "it just so happened" that there is about a two-third water to one-third land mass ratio. And "it just so happened" that in that water there was a, somehow, a fortuitous combination of molecules of protein that happened to come together in just the right time at the right place in the right proportions under the right pressure and under the right heat and so forth, and spontaneously, these generated into a first cell. But what is the chance of that just so happening? And if you really go ahead to figure it out, you'll find that the chances are extremely rare indeed. In fact, the chances are so great that it couldn't have happened "just so."
Within the universe we can clearly see a design. Certainly when we get to the human body, we can see a design as we study the various aspects of the human body, the blood stream, the nervous system and all of these apparatuses that God has built in, all the checks and balances and all, they all cry out of design, the fact of design. And you cannot have design without the Designer. "In the beginning the Designer", "In the beginning God", an all-intelligent, all-wise being. And that is much easier for me to comprehend and to believe than it is for me to believe that the whole thing is just a vast series of accidental combinations, because the chance of those accidental combinations are too remote.
If you really get down to it, and you want to study just the first protein molecule, you'll find that the chance factors for just the protein molecule are so great that if they are correct, and, of course, they keep making the earth older. When I was in school, I was taught the earth was two billion years old. Now the "latest discoveries," and they're really not discoveries, they're just necessities that have arisen as they've realized, more and more, how complex life forms are, that they've realized that they could not have spontaneously generated in just six billion years, and so now they say the earth is ten billion years old.
And so, when I went to school the earth was two billion years old, now it's ten billion years old, but I really didn't go to school that long ago. But even at ten billion years, grant them ten billion years, that isn't enough time for the proper circumstances and the proper conditions and all, to accidentally put together the first protein molecule. Even if you were putting these combinations together at the rate of a billion per second, it's impossible for me to believe.
At one time I thought, "well, maybe I am an atheist" and then I just couldn't handle that. It was harder not to believe in God than it was to believe in God. If you try to deny the existence of God in the beginning, then you have no basis to start from, and it just leaves you totally without a foundation. "In the beginning God", now the Bible doesn't tell us when that was, just "the beginning."
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1).
The word "created" is the Hebrew word "bara" which speaks of creating something out of nothing, a capacity that only God has. Man cannot "bara". We cannot, out of nothing, create something. We create with the idea of "asa," the Hebrew word "asa," which is the assembling together of existing materials. Now the word "asa" is used in much of the creative acts here in the book of Genesis, the assembling of an order from pre-existing materials. But the existing materials from which the things were assembled were originally created, and how long ago, we don't know.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"
But the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Gen 1:2).
Now, it is inconsistent with the nature of God to create something without form and void, to create something wasted and desolate. And thus, many Bible scholars see a time gap between verses one and two of Genesis. A time gap between "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" and the next verse which declares "and the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep."
In Isaiah, the forty-fifth chapter, it declares that God did not create the earth without form and void, but He created it to be inhabited. Now, there are several fields of thought concerning creation, and each one of them has it's own peculiar problems. There are arguments for and against each concept:
There is what is called "Theistic Evolution." The acknowledging that God began everything, but then set it free to evolve. He formed the first protein molecule, but then He let it free to evolve into many forms of life. Acknowledging God in the beginning, but then it is sort of a god who is removed from His creation, because now the creation develops on its own evolutionary processes, with God's hand having been removed.
There is the theory that all of this happened just about between six thousand and ten thousand years ago. And the universe, in actuality, is not any older than ten thousand years. That all of the guesstimates of man for the long period of time are just that: guesstimates of man. They are without proof, they are only theories. And that in reality, the universe is an extremely young universe, rather than an old universe as would be supposed.
That the only reason why the scientists have sought to propound an old universe theory is to harmonize with the evolutionary theory, which would demand an old universe because surely all of the life forms could not have evolved in a ten thousand year period. And that the fossils, rather than having been laid down over eons of time, were actually laid down in one great cataclysm: the flood. And that the flood more accurately accounts for the fossil record than eons of time during the evolutionary processes of the world.
It is interesting that, as far as we can ascertain, there is not any current fossils being embedded in the strata of the earth. That most of the mammals and leaves and everything else disintegrate and disorganize. That there are not fossils really being formed on the ocean floors. That there is that process of disintegration and encrustation on the ocean floor that takes place, but not the developing of fossils now. So if the ocean is not presently developing a column of fossils, than what were the circumstances that caused it to develop this long column of fossils in the past?
Of course there are trees that grow up through several of the strata's of the fossilized forms, and how could one tree grow up through several millions of years? If you look at the fossil orders and the strata's in which they exist, it's difficult to explain how that you can have trees that grow up right through several millions of years of these fossil forms. How is it that you have the footprint of a man within the footprint of a dinosaur if the dinosaurs were extinct long before man ever inhabited the earth?
There is an interesting new book called "Earth in Upheaval" by Emmanuel Vilikovski, which is a great treatise against uniformitarianism, which is the basis of the evolutionary theory. And he points out in this new book, "Earth in Upheaval", how that there is definite evidence of a great cataclysm that has taken place upon the earth, that suddenly destroyed masses of animal forms. And all kinds of bones mixed together from the various kinds of animals that do not have a natural habitat together, which are naturally enemies. But yet their bones broken and crushed, mixed together in caves in England and in other places, showing that they were thrown in there violently by force and were buried in the sand together. And that there was some great cataclysm, a testimony against uniformitarianism.
Now, basically the evolutionary thesis is that all of the processes that are going on today have been going on for millions of years, so that any of the life forms can be understood by the processes today. That there has been an uniformity to the whole cycles of life, from the time that the planet first cooled sufficiently for the water bodies to be formed, and that all things are going on in a uniform way. Well, the book "Earth in Upheaval" is just a very powerful demonstration against that particular theory. If you destroy that theory, then you've really destroyed the evolutionary theory. And that's why so many scientists, without really good reason, cry out against Emmanuel Vilikovski's works, but more and more, his works are being tested and proved to be quite accurate indeed.
There are those who say that the "days" of Genesis were geological eras. That the word day, "Yom" in the Hebrew, has a variety of meanings, which indeed is true, it is used some eleven hundred times in the Bible and it's translated fifty-one different time spans, I think, even to an indefinite period of time, "the day of the Lord", "the Yom of the Lord," an indefinite period.
So that, they say that the "days" of Genesis are indefinite periods of geological eras, but that of course, as I say, each of the theories presents it's difficulties; if they be indefinite periods of geological eras, the difficulty with that is that if God created the plant life upon the earth in the third geological era, and did not have the sun really shining in it's position on the earth until the fourth geological era, how did the plant life survive for a whole geological era without the sun? And if God created man in the sixth geological era and He rested in the seventh geological era, it means that Adam would have been kicked out of the garden, at the earliest, the eight geological era, and thus, was much older than the nine hundred and twelve years or whatever is ascribed to Adam's life span. So that creates problems too.
Now, the idea that God created everything just about ten thousand years ago is an interesting idea and an interesting concept. Which, if you look at it, it is difficult to argue against. There are scriptures that say "for in six days God created the heaven and the earth and everything that is in them." The fact that death entered with Adam's sin, then how could the fossil record testify of death before Adam's sin? Interesting arguments.
One of the things that makes it impossible to challenge is that how old was Adam the first day that God created him? He was one day old. Well then how could he have a full set of teeth, a fully matured body? We don't know if he had a navel or not. But he was created with age-dating factors. In other words, if you would look at Adam the day he was created, you'd say "why he might be thirty-five, forty years old," because he had certain designs that would testify to more than just a one-day old. So there were already, at his day of creation, age-dating factors.
Thus, God could have created the earth and the universe with age-dating factors, with fossils already there, or with the galaxies already at a certain distance from the planet earth. So that God could have created it with age-dating factors which, if you would look at it, you'd say "well, it's ten billion years old," when in reality, it was just created just a moment ago. And God is surely great enough and big enough to do it that way if He so desired. So, that makes that particular argument a very interesting argument, and a very plausible argument.
One of the major difficulties that I see with it is that it doesn't really give us much opportunity for the understanding of angels and their creation. When did God then create the angels? Now when God came to Job and began to challenge Job in the thirty-eighth chapter of that book, God said to Job, "where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?"(Job 38:4) And God speaks in the laying of the foundations of the world: "when the morning stars sang together" or "the angels singing together" when God laid the foundations of the world. So the angels were existing when God laid the foundations of the world.
So when were they created? And how is it that if they were created, the foundations of the world, one day, and then a few days later, Satan is in the garden tempting Eve. When did Satan fall? When did he rebel against God? And if he was such a new creature, and had been in heaven or been also in Eden, the garden of God, and had a dominion, an authority, a reign until the day that iniquity was found in him, and then was cast forth, when did this all take place, because Satan was there soon into the garden, to lead man astray? And how could it be that, being created so newly, could he have such influence over the other angelic beings that he could draw with him, in his rebellion, a third of the angels? So that presents a difficulty to me, to the idea that the earth just has existed for maybe six thousand to ten thousand years.
The, what is known as "gap theory" seems to be, to me, a very plausible explanation and it is, of course, not without its problems completely. But I think the problems are not insolvable. Looking at it from the gap theory, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. How log ago? We don't know. As God created the heavens and the earth He also created the angelic beings. He created the earth to be inhabited and so there were inhabitants upon the earth. There is even the suggestion that Satan perhaps ruled over the sphere of the earth. The "anointed cherub that covereth in the garden of God, every precious stone his covering," (Eze 28:14) and so forth, that in reality it was here upon the earth that he had his dominion and his rulership, and that there were life forms upon the earth prior to the introduction of man, that there was plant life, and various life forms.
But the earth became, and this is a possible rendering of the Hebrew in verse two rather than "and the earth was." "And the earth became wasted and desolate." How it became wasted and desolate; it is suggested that perhaps at Satan's rebellion, the wrath of God was poured out and the earth was sort of put in a "deep freeze." Waters covered the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. That the earth was just covered with water, frozen, and set aside for a period of time; a great "ice age".
Now there is a lot of evidence to show that the earth has emerged from the last ice age, maybe less than ten thousand years ago, and for this I would suggest the book "Worlds in Collision" by Emmanuel Vilakovski. And in this particular book he points out the fact, which is interesting indeed, that there is a canyon being created by Niagara Falls. This canyon is being created at a constant rate of one foot a year. Niagara Falls coming over, a tremendous amount of water, is eroding away that shelf at the rate of one foot a year.
There is a hotel on the Canadian side that a hundred years ago was built right at the edge of the falls. Now it's a hundred feet away from the falls, as the water keeps eroding away at a fairly constant one foot per year. The canyon that has been formed by Niagara Falls is seven thousand feet long. And it would stand to reason in the earlier time of the glacial regression, that the flow of water could conceivably have been much greater at that time than it is presently, and so the erosion rate could have been greater, hardly lesser. And there are other evidences that show that the earth emerged from the last ice age maybe less than seven thousand years ago. Which, of course, would be very interesting indeed as we look at the account of Genesis, which places man upon the earth in his present form just about six thousand years ago.
Now, what kind of life forms may have existed upon the earth prior to the destruction, we don't know. God doesn't say. But man in his present form has existed on the earth for about six thousand years from the time of Adam. And so the adherents of the gap theory see Genesis l:l as original creation, and the rest of Genesis as a process of re-creation, as God began to re-create the earth in order to place man in his present form upon it. And thus, the days of creation in Genesis are actually re-creative days as God is now setting the earth to place man upon that earth. It is a very interesting theory indeed, a very plausible theory indeed. It would surely answer all of the problems that are raised by the scientists who are seeking to prove that the earth has been here for several million or billion years. It surely would not be out of harmony at all with what God has said here in Genesis one.
It is interesting that when Noah came out of the ark after the flood, when the inhabitants of the earth had been destroyed by the flood, the command of God to Noah was to "replenish the earth." The same command that God gave to Adam and to Eve, "to replenish the earth," speaking of perhaps a pre-existence of forms of life. But man in his present form has only existed for about six thousand years, and there is no way that anybody can prove that that is not true.
So we look at Genesis and we see in chapter one, the beginning, God creating the heaven and the earth. In verse two, we see the earth without form and void, darkness, covered with water, and the Spirit of God brooding over the face of the deep. In verse three, the beginning of the creative acts of God, notice: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," which would of course include the stars and all.
But now we see the first thing that God declares, because the earth was covered with darkness,
God said, Let there be light: and there was light (Gen 1:3).
Now it could be that the earth was in a dark nebulae. That there was no light coming to the earth, that in this darkness, this dark nebulae, that the earth just froze, the great ice age.
It is interesting that when we look at the creative days, those forms of life, such as plant life, that could have survived in the earth during an ice age, are spoken of as not being created, "bara" but being assembled, "asa," the assembling. But the life forms that could not survive a great ice age are spoken of as being "bara," created. There are many forms of life that could have survived an ice age and all they needed was the proper environment to spring forth again.
Out here in the desert a few years ago, they had an unusual storm and a lake that had been dried for years was suddenly filled with water, and the next thing they knew, there was a form of shrimp in the water. That somehow the processes were there, still in the earth or whatever. When the water came, that was all that was necessary to bring forth this dormant form of life. And so there are many life forms that can survive. There are some that could not. When you get to the life forms that could not survive a great ice age, then you come again to the word "bara" as God began to form or create out of nothing the life forms that could not have survived a great ice age.
"Let there be light." The removing of those dark gasses which we do not understand, but we do know exist in the universe, that seem to shut out light, the dark clouds of the universe. Covered with a dark cloud, it would have frozen and could have been out here in its orbit, just a frozen mass, but now with the removal, coming out into the light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness (Gen 1:4).
Now I'm sure that as this story was told, and as Moses later recorded from the records that were existent, they didn't realize the scientific implications of "God divided the light." But now with the coming of modern science, we have learned how to divide the light. And light can be divided into many things. In the spectrum you have a division of light, and we know that there are, on one end of the spectrum, even light that you cannot see in the ultraviolet shortwaves, on the other end of the spectrum, other light that you cannot see in the infrared division.
Darkness only testifies to the limitations of visibility. And light is actually divided into darkness, into the infrared or the ultraviolet on both ends of the spectrum, but then within the spectrum, many divisions of light. Light is divided into light, color and sound. All three are basically the same thing: vibrations at different frequencies. Slow the frequencies and the vibrations down and you pick them up audibly, increase them and you see colors. And so the division of light. Very interesting statement.
God called the light day, the darkness he called Night. And it was evening and morning, the first day (Gen 1:5).
So on the first day, if you accept the "re-creation" process, the earth was brought out of the darkness of the gasses and, still shrouded with a fog, you could distinguish between the evening and the morning, or the night and the day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament (Gen 1:6)
The word firmament in the Hebrew is "rocweah" which means a limitless expanse. Now describe for me space. It's a limitless expanse. "Let there be a space," God said,
in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made this firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day (Gen 1:6-8).
So, the creation of the atmosphere around the earth, but above the atmosphere God put a great blanket of water, suspended the water in the atmosphere above the earth. Now that water suspended in the atmosphere above the earth would have done a tremendous thing as far as the climate of the earth is concerned. It would have caused a mild, equal kind of climate around the entire earth. It would have meant that you would not have violent storms. It would have meant that you would have had a balmy climate everywhere, even up in the North Pole regions.
It would surely explain the discovery of the mammoths in Siberia encased in ice that were frozen intact at some time in the history, who were living in a tropical jungle, because when they cut them open they found tropical vegetation in their digestive tracts. It would surely account for the forest that one time existed at the South Pole because we have found the charcoal deposits under two hundred feet of ice. This blanket of water around the earth would probably also have protected the earth from many more of the cosmic radiations that are constantly bombarding the earth.
Also, the earth would have been protected by the greater magnetic force that existed at that time that surrounds the earth. The earth is surrounded by a magnetic field. One hundred and thirty-six years ago, a Dutch scientist first measured this magnetic field. Each year since, we have been measuring the magnetic field around the earth, and we find that the magnetic field is diminishing at a constant rate. In fact, this is the longest age-dating factor that we have as far as the earth is concerned. We don't have anything that we've been able to observe over one hundred and thirty-five years. But this magnetic field around the earth is something that they've been measuring for one hundred and thirty-five years, and we find that it is decreasing at a constant rate.
Now this magnetic field around the earth is very important to life on the earth. It seems that it moves in a, sort of, an "eight," coming through the heart or the center of the earth, the equator and going around the poles. This magnetic field just dashes down through the equator, comes up and surrounds around the pole back and around. And it seems to have an interesting kind of an effect of shielding off or bouncing off, much of the cosmic radiation is bounced off of this magnetic field that surrounds the earth. It's sort of a blanket of protection from cosmic radiation.
We know also that there is the ozone blanket. God, talking to Job about the creating of the earth, said he made a blanket around it. He made a moisture blanket, He made an electromagnetic field blanket, He also made an ozone blanket around the earth to make the earth inhabitable by man, by shielding off these cosmic rays that are constantly bombarding. These little rays that go shooting -- what do they call them? Neutrinos or something?
They go right through the earth. You can't really shield yourself; they come right through and hit you from your feet up as they're coming from the other side. And they go right through your body, but when they go through your body, they have an effect of causing a cellular breakdown, so that your cells begin a mutation form, an aging process somehow gets involved with the cosmic rays breaking down the cells and their ability to reproduce themselves sufficiently. And thus the aging process, they really believe, is being caused by the fact that we are being bombarded by these cosmic rays.
Now, with the water blanket around the earth giving greater protection, and with this electromagnetic field being at a greater intensity, bouncing off, it would stand to reason that at the time of Adam there was much less cosmic radiation coming through to the earth, so than man could conceivably live much longer periods of time. In fact, as we study the human body and the ability of the cell to reproduce itself, aging is some kind of a weirdness in nature. The breakdown of the cell is an abnormality that has somehow crept in.
The body is so designed, if it weren't for this beginning of the mutants within the cells, that you could just go on living forever. Your body would keep renewing itself, the cells would just keep reproducing themselves and you could just go on and on and on living in this body. But somewhere along the line, there came a stray little neutrino or whatever, an introduction into the body of that which began to cause the aging processes.
Now, prior to the flood, and at the time of the flood this water blanket that surrounded the atmosphere was removed. And at the removal of this water blanket, there was probably the removal of the protection, and thus after the flood, the lifespan dropped dramatically, from an average of around nine hundred years down to an average of maybe one hundred years. Just almost overnight, within one generation, the tremendous longevity was reduced because suddenly the protective blanket was taken away.
But God, here in the second day of creation, created this protective blanket, this water, suspended it in the atmosphere above the earth. And He separated the water in the atmosphere from the water, and the firmament He called heaven. And the gathering together of the water He called seas. Now it is interesting that He called it "seas" plural, because at the time of the writing of Genesis all they knew was one sea, the Mediterranean Sea, really. Why "seas" plural? Because God knew that there were many bodies of waters, different oceans and seas, and so the plural.
Who wrote Genesis? Well, it is commonly accepted that Moses was the author, but certainly Moses had to get his material from somewhere. It is conceivable that Adam himself wrote the first record.
This evening, I was just fooling around with some of the ages here in chapter five, and I came up with an interesting little fact, and that is that Lamech, the father of Noah -- Adam was still alive when Noah's father was born, and they lived contemporary for many years. So it is very possible that Noah's father heard directly from Adam himself about the garden of Eden, and about their being put out of the garden and the angels that was put there to protect and all. And Lamech told his son Noah. Lamech heard it directly from Adam. And Lamech told Noah. And Noah told his sons Ham, Shem and Japheth. And Shem was living at the time that Abraham was born. So you really don't have the story passing through too many hands to get it down even as far as Abraham.
Now on the third day,
God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters he called the Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, and herb yielding seed, and fruit trees yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so (Gen 1:9-11).
Now the key here is the grass and the vegetables and the trees yielding seed after their kind. We've never been able to disprove this. Men have been planting grains of wheat for millenniums and he has yet to plant a grain of wheat and have a corn stalk grow out of it. They are "herb-yielding seed after their kind," each has its own little code within it that reproduces after its kind; very fascinating indeed.
Also, here we begin to see some of the inventive genius of God, creating seeds to produce after their own kind. But it would be necessary for those seeds to propagate themselves into other areas. And so I am always fascinated with the various kinds of ways that God designed for the seeds to propagate themselves.
There are some little seeds that grow in the pinecones. Now, if they would drop straight down under the pine tree, they would probably never survive very long because the mother pine would be taking too much of the nutrients from the soil. There wouldn't be room for it to grow, there wouldn't be enough light, and so the seed needs to get out away from the mother pine a bit. So what did God do? He designed a little wing on that seed. And when the pinecone dries, it begins to pop open, and the little seed falls free. But with that wing, it begins to spin almost like a helicopter rotor and it spins on out far enough away from the pine tree so that when it lands, it can fine a suitable place to grow up into a new pine. Marvelous accident! I wonder how long the pine tree could have existed before it decided, "I need to get my seeds out further" and it developed the little wing on the seed.
There are other seeds that when the pod dries out they explode. They pop and the seed shoots out, exploding kind of a seed. Then there are other seeds that put a little hook on the end of the seed, and you or an animal walks by, and that little seed hooks on to your pants and it gets a free ride or it hooks in to your socks. And so you get the feeling, an irritation in your ankle, and you reach down and pull that seed out and throw it down. Oh, you helped it propagate itself.
There are other seeds that develop a quick-drying glue. The minute it touches you, it glues itself to you. But then, pretty soon, as the glue dries completely, it falls off and it has propagated itself. Other seeds surround themselves with a luscious tasting juice and all, and a little bit of meaty stuff, and so you eat, or the bear eats the berries, then later on he propagates the seeds in other areas.
The way that seeds are designed to propagate themselves are fascinating indeed. There are some seeds that build a little parachute. They sprout out a little parachute on top of the seed and they just wait for the wind to come along, and the wind comes and lifts the seed. And you see it floating through the air, its heading somewhere to propagate itself wherever the wind will let it drop and then it will burrow in and begin to grow.
The coconut seed is a fascinating seed; it's conquered the South Pacific. It put a waterproof husk around itself. And thus, when the hurricane would blow, the coconut would fall off and fall into the water, and it would be carried because of the waterproof husk. It would be carried across the ocean and be thrown up on a beach somewhere. And the surf would sort of cover it with sand, and it had enough water inside to support the roots until they could get deep enough to get their own water source. And of course a little coconut tree would come up and then he would begin to propagate across the South Pacific islands.
Fruit bearing seeds, vegetable-bearing seeds, grass bearing seeds, after their kind. Oh, what a testimony of the inventive genius of God in creation. As the Bible says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth sheweth forth his handiwork. And day unto day they utter their speech; night unto night their voice goeth forth. There is not a speech nor a language" (Psa 19:1-3).
And you just look around, God'll speak to you through the grass, through the vegetables, through the flowers, through the trees. Through His creation, as you look at the wisdom, as you study it, as God has designed the leaves to take and turn the sunrays into energy and, and all, and the photosynthesis processes by which the sun is turned into energy to feed the tree and all. Marvelous are His ways. Marvelous is His creative genius as you really look at the various life forms.
And the earth brought forth grass, and [vegetable or] herb-yielding seed after his kind, and tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be light in the firmament in the heaven (Gen 1:12-14)
Now, the word light here is "meor". The word light in Hebrew is "or". The word "meor" is a light holder. So let there be the "light holders" in the heavens
to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years (Gen 1:14):
And so our time is calculated by the sun and the moon, and it is generally thought that the Earth's rotation around the sun was a three hundred and sixty-day year. That is what the Babylonian calendar was predicated upon, and there is a lot of evidence to show that also the Mayan, Incan, Chinese calendars where all predicated on a three hundred and sixty-day year. Somehow, the earth's orbit was changed around the sun, and now it is three hundred and sixty-five years, nine hours, fifty-six minutes, nine and four-hundredths of a second. What caused the change? We don't know for sure.
Emmanuel Vilikovski again in his book, "Worlds in Collision" as you get into the book, we'll find out that his theory that the introduction of the planet Venus into our solar system that caused the change of the Earth's orbit around the sun. Now, I don't know, it's very possible. He presents very interesting arguments. But yet, our year is measured by the time it takes our Earth to make its rotation around the sun. And the months were originally lunar months, the time it takes the moon to go through its full cycle, as it orbits around the Earth. So that, they are for signs, for times, for seasons and so forth; and so this becomes very interesting.
Now, if this is a process of "re-creation," then it would mean that on the fourth day, actually God did not create the sun and the moon on the fourth day, but He had now allowed them to be in their present, current positions in their relationship to the Earth, and he removed the shroud of fog, and all, from the Earth so that you can finally see the sun and the moon.
Now, we have evening and mornings, where we don't see the sun, cloudy days, cloudy all day long. I still know it's daytime, because there's light, but yet I don't see the sun. I know it's night because it's dark, but I don't see the moon, because there is a cloud cover that prohibits me seeing the moon or prohibits my seeing the sun.
Now, this fog, cloud cover could have been removed on the fourth day, so that the "light holder" becomes visible. It is difficult to explain how they could have an evening and morning without the rotation of the earth on its axis if the sun wasn't in position from verse one, and it wasn't created until the fourth day. How could you've evening and morning in the first three days? So, that seems to lend credence to the "gap theory" that the heavens and the earth were created in verse one, this is an account of re-creation.
Now the fog cloud's removed and the sun and the moon becoming visible and are now used to mark off years and days and months; used as time indicators and the greater light to rule the day, the lesser light holder to rule the night. Now, the moon we know has no light of itself, it isn't in conflict with the scripture. It's just called a light holder. A mirror can be in a sense a light holder, such as is the moon. It would fit with the Hebrew word "meor". It doesn't necessarily mean a source of light.
let them be for lights in the firmament in the heavens 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: [and] he made the stars also. And God set them in the heavens [the firmament, in the limitless space of heaven, the rachowq of 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. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and the fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created the 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. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day (Gen 1:15-23).
Now as we get into the creation of the animal-type of life in the fifth day, first of all, the life forms in the water, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly," and my, the teeming life forms in the water! And again the design, and the variety! I love to go snorkeling over in Hawaii. The tremendous variety of life forms that I can see. Now, there are a lot of life forms that I can't even see, the waters are teeming with life forms. But I often wonder why God made such weird-looking fish, in such variety, and then the fabulous colors! It's just to me exciting, that God is not limited to just one design.
If you'd look around tonight you'd see that God isn't limited to just one design. Yet, we all possess the basic same, you know, the basic same features. We all have a nose, we all have eyes, we all have eyebrows, we all have---well, we, most of us, have you know, some hair at least. And you know, teeth, and mouth, chin, cheeks and so forth. And yet, look at the variety! You've got same, basically the same features, and yet we don't look alike at all! It just testifies to God's neat, inventive genius, and being able to take same basic features and just creates an infinite number of varieties.
God evidently likes variety. He makes every snowflake different. Every one of them is a perfect geometrical pattern, but no two snowflakes alike. Of the trillions of snowflakes that fall every year, God just likes variety so much. He doesn't make any two of them alike. And yet, they are so exquisitely beautiful when you look at them under a microscope. The geometric patterns and design.
And so, of all of the millions of people, there may be some who look somewhat alike, and yet, you know, when you get to know twins, you'll be able to tell them apart at sight, because there's just enough difference between everybody. Though the twins may have come from the same cell, divided and thus, they have the same chromosome content and gene content as each other, yet the variations that develop, I just am amazed at creation. I just love to see the different life forms.
I love to see these crazy, little tiny bugs and I don't even know what they are, or where they're going, and I wonder if they know where they're going, but they know how to fly. Now, they fly in erratic patterns, and sometimes they can be pesky, but, they'll land sometimes, I'll read my Bible and they'll land on my Bible, and I'll just look and study them. And I'll think, you marvelous little creature, you, you can fly! You've got something over me. So designed, so constructed, that you can fly off of that page, and just the wide variety! A fly, you hate them, but yet what fabulous design! Swept back wing design, and their ability to just hover, and then almost to fly backwards. I mean, you know, when you see them they just, they can dart in several directions, and then they can land on the ceiling and walk. And I've often wondered how close does he get to the ceiling before he flips over so he can land on his feet. That's gonna worry you, isn't it?
But, oh, how marvelous is our God! How infinite His wisdom! How great His creative genius in all of the life forms that we see. Now we have the basic life forms, the plant life forms, on the third day. Here on the fifth day, now, we have the more complex life forms. The plant forms of course, are necessarily rooted. The roots themselves are marvelous. They are able to go down and each little root is a chemical laboratory. And it is able to take out of the soil just the necessary chemicals to support that particular plant; able to tell the difference between the chemicals, knows just the chemicals that it needs out of the soil to feed the particular plant that it's coming from, to bring the moisture up out of the soil and all. Marvelous, absolutely marvelous!
But we get the more complex life forms that sort of are a little independent. They're not rooted, they're not grounded, they are mobile, and the various cycles that God has created, the whole process is just so marvelous indeed. The water, teeming with life, and then the air, and the many, many kinds of birds and the variety of birds that God has created. And those instinctive abilities in the birds!
I'm always fascinated by that little bird in Hawaii that goes up into the Aleutian chain in order to mate. During the summer, they take off from Hawaii and they fly all the way up into Alaska where they mate. They build their nests, they lay the eggs, they hatch their young. And then with the coming of winter, they don't want to spend winter in Alaska -- and who can blame them. And you have to almost envy them, spending their winters in Hawaii. They take off over the thousands of miles without suitcases, without spare gas tanks, without compasses or navigational equipment. And they come and fly right into Hawaii, sometimes they get into severe storms, one-hundred, two-hundred mile an hour winds that blow them off course, but somehow they find their way right in. You say, "oh, they remember the way they flew out."
How do they reckon? Some think they have some kind of device that tunes on the magnetic field of the earth. I don't know. But, really, they're not following the same path, so that argument's sort of shot down, because, really, the parents decide to leave for Hawaii before the kids are able to fly that far. So, the parents fly off to Hawaii, leaving their kids in Alaska! But, it doesn't seem to matter, cause a couple of weeks later, their kids take off and they fly right to Hawaii. Never been there before, yet somehow, God has built into this little bird that kind of instinct; and that's a bird brain. And it's not a very big kind of a computer. Talk about microsystems!
Oh, the wisdom of God, the wisdom of God. How thrilling to be able to see the design in nature, all testifying of the wisdom of the God that I serve. I'm so glad that I serve Him. I'm so glad that I know Him. Such a glorious God, so wise; all of these created life forms. Now, He created also the mammals, the great whales. He created the animals, the domesticated-type animals, all after their own kind.
And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
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. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, and 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. And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen 1:24-27).
So we find, now, the crowning act of God's creation. Having created the world with its many life forms, He now wants one to rule over these life forms. So God said, "let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
The tri-unity of God is found in the first verse of the Bible, "in the beginning God," the word in Hebrew is "Elohim". Elohim is a plural word. Other places in the Old Testament it is translated Gods. "El" is God in Hebrew, singular. In Hebrew there is a dual tense, two, and the Hebrew "Elah" is God in a dual tense. But "Elohim" is the plural tense for God. And so, even the tri-unity of God is expressed in the first verse, "in the beginning God," Elohim. Not "El", but "Elohim" created the heavens and the earth.
And the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, moved over the face of the waters. "And God said". The moment God spoke, you have the Word of God. "And in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God. And the same was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by Him"(Joh 1:1).
Now you have God saying "let us make man in our image after our likeness". Who was God talking to? God after the counsel of His own will, in the triunity of the Godhead which we, in our feeble, finite minds cannot comprehend. But in that trinity of His nature, He said "let us make man after our image" and thus he made man after His image, a trinity of nature. So God is a superior trinity. Man, made in the image of God is an inferior trinity. The superior trinity being Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the inferior trinity of man being body, soul and spirit.
"After His likeness". The chief governing characteristic of God is His self-determination, His will, His ability to choose and to determine His own destiny or His own mind. Man, being created in the image of God was created a self-determinant being. Being created after the image of God, God created me with a capacity to choose. I have the power of self-determination. I can choose what I want. I have that power, that capacity. I'm made in the image of God, who is a self-determinant being.
Now, if God created me with a capacity of choice, it would be totally meaningless unless He gave me a choice. What value would it be for me to have the capacity to choose if there was nothing to choose? Not only giving me the capacity of choice, He also respects the choice that I make. Again, what value would it be for God to give me the freedom of choice but then not respect the choice? I say, "well I want to do this". He says bloop, "you can't do that." Then that isn't' free choice. He has, He does not respect my choice, and thus it isn't really the freedom of choice. So having given me the capacity of choice, making me in His image, He has to then offer me an alternative, give me a choice to make; but then, He has to respect that choice that I have made.
Part of the intricacy of self-determination; that image of God in which man was created. That is why, when God created man and He created the garden for man to dwell in, that He put in that Garden a tree of knowledge of good and evil and said to man, "Don't eat that". Therein is the choice that man was given, because having been created with the capacity of choice, it is no value unless there is something to choose.
But again, in honoring and respecting my choice, if I choose that I don't want to know God, I don't want to serve God, I don't want to love God, then it would be manifestly wrong for Him to force me to go to heaven where I would have to love Him, and have to be with Him, and have to serve Him. "I don't want God in my life! I don't want God around me! I don't, I want God to leave me alone!" All right, if He then doesn't leave me alone, He's not respecting my choice. What value is it then for me to have a choice if He doesn't respect it? It is an awesome thing to realize that God does respect my choice.
Now, He does speak to influence my choice because He loves me, and He knows what is best for me. And knowing me and loving me, and knowing what is best, He seeks to influence my choice and to direct my choice, but I always have the right to say, "bug off, God, I don't want to follow you." And He will not force His choice upon me, because that would not be free choice.
The chief emotional attribute of God is love. God making me in His image has made me with this beautiful capacity to love. I am capable of loving, of giving and receiving love, and to know the meaningfulness of giving and receiving love, because I am created in the image of God and that's His chief emotional characteristic; is to love. Now God is honored when I follow Him, and I love as He loves. But I don't have to, again I have a choice, and I can choose to hate if I want. But I have the capacity to love.
So man was made in the image of God and in the likeness of God. Now, that does not necessarily mean a physical likeness of God. What God looks like; none of us know. God constantly refused that man should make any kind of a likeness of Him. Thus, as God appeared to man in the Old Testament, there was no form, so that man would not think of God in the terms of a form and try to carve out a form that would represent God.
The likeness of God we see in Jesus Christ; the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells in Christ. Now, when God created our bodies, He created ears so that we could hear, designed them so that they would pick up sound vibrations that would bounce or vibrate the little incus stapes, and bones in there and send these vibrations into the brain that my brain would interpret as words and sounds and make it intelligible to me. So, I think of my ears when I think of hearing.
Now, I know that God can hear, but it doesn't necessarily follow that God has ears. I need ears to hear, but God wouldn't necessarily need ears to hear. I make sounds by the use of the throat and the tongue and the teeth, and the roof of the mouth and so forth. I form the sounds by the expelling of air and the movement of all of these things in coordination, so that the sounds come forth in a way, that because we have agreed that particular sounds mean particular things, I'm able to communicate intelligibly to you through sounds that I can form in my mouth. I can speak to you.
Now, when God speaks, He doesn't necessarily need all the vocal apparatus that I have; a voice box, a larynx and a tongue and all of this. I have this little system in my eyes with the vitreous jelly on the backside that is taking these little pictures at the rate of about eighteen per second and transmitting the vibrations on into the brain by which my eyes are interpreting the world around me and making it understandable as the vibrations are coming into my brain, and all of it's unscrambling and interpretation as these little flash vibrations are bounced in at eighteen per second. And I am able to recognize you and say "oh yeah that's" and the color of clothes that you're wearing and the, you know, the whole thing. Your eyes are picking it all up and sending all those messages into the brain. No wonder you get tired at the end of the day.
And thus, I know that God can see, but it doesn't follow that God has to have eyes to see. But because I relate seeing to eyes, and when I talk to God about seeing, I would say, well, the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire earth, but it doesn't necessarily follow that God has eyes, because eyes aren't necessarily essential for seeing.
So what does God look like? We don't know. He doesn't want you to know, because we'd just be dumb enough to carve out of a little stick God, and hang Him around our neck, and you know, we'd begin to think of God as a little piece of wood, this thing carved out and is strung around my neck. He is certainly too vast, too infinite, to be confined to a form that could be hung around your neck or worn around your wrist. The infinite God, who created this universe and all the life forms within it remains unformed in our own mind. For God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, and God is seeking such to worship Him.
So the very first commandment that God gave was "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." And then He said, "Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image or any likeness of God to bow down and to worship it". He wants to remain totally formless in your mind.
To this extent, I really don't care for pictures of Christ, because there is an attempt to define Him in a form. And we really don't know what He looked like. And if you're expecting to see Him with shoulder-length hair and a beard, and all, you may be, you may not even recognize Him. You may be, as Isaiah said, astonished, when you see Him. The recognizable part of Christ will be the prints of the nails in His hands and the print of the sword in His side. And as we suggested last Thursday night, it is possible that He'll be the only handicapped person in there. We'll all be in our new bodies, perfected bodies that will know no handicaps at all. We'll know no weakness, no pain, no suffering. But He will still be bearing the marks of His cross, and may be the only malformed body in heaven.
So, "God making man in His own image and after His own likeness" is speaking of that spiritual nature and those capacities of God: self-determination, love, those capacities that He has given to me.
And God blessed them, and he 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 over the earth (Gen 1:28).
So God placed the earth under man's control and authority. He made man the master over the earth. That he should be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, to subdue it, and have dominion over the other created beings of God.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-yielding 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. [It's your food.] And to every beast of 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 (Gen 1:29-30).
So all of the animals at that point lived off of the grasses and vegetation. There were no carnivorous animals in the beginning. The world was living in harmony with God, and thus in harmony with each other.
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 1:31).
Now the first three verses of chapter two belong to chapter one.
Thus were the heavens of the earth were finished, and all [of] the host of them (Gen 2:1).
Which would include the angels, for the angels are called the hosts of heaven.
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 (Gen 2:2).
It doesn't mean that God was now exhausted, but it means that the creative works were completed. He rested just from His creation. He had created everything that was needed at this point, and so that was the end of His creative act. He ceased His creative act on the seventh day. All of the things were created or reformed within this six-day period. And so God rested from His creative acts, as it points out here, He rested from His creation, all the work which He had made.
And God blessed the seventh day (Gen 2:3)
And He set it apart. The word "sanctified" actually means to be set apart because that in it, He had rested from all of His work, which God had created, made. Now what did He set the seventh day apart for? He set it apart for man's acknowledging of God. The seventh day was to be the day that we acknowledge God and give unto God, and we do it by resting. A day in which we acknowledge the Creator; it's set apart for the recognition of the Creator, as He has so left such ample evidence of Himself in His creation.
Now later on, as God calls a nation of people, a separate people to Himself, we will be, we will find Him giving them a law for the seventh day; a covenant between God and Israel forever. And on six days, they are to do their labors, the seventh day they are to rest. Six years they are to plant their fields, the seventh year they are to let their fields rest. Six years they may go into slavery, the seventh year they are set free. And this pattern of six and one, will be established by God throughout the history of His people, and interwoven into their whole culture.
So we find everything is beautiful. The world, the universe has been created. The world has been established now. The environmental conditions have been placed here for man, the trees, the vegetables have been placed here for his food. The atmosphere has been created to sustain his life. The water systems are all there, the animals, and now man to rule over it. It's done. And God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation.
Now as we get into chapter two, we find a recapitulation that will emphasize the creation of man, because of this recapitulation we have now, because man is being emphasized. The name of God, not just being "Elohim" as it is in chapter one, but more personal because we are dealing with more the creation of man, and we are being given details of the creation of man in chapter two. And thus, because we are now relating God to man, we are coming into that mysterious name of God, "Jehovah", "Elohim". Jehovah, meaning "the becoming one" as God relates to man and man's needs, and He becomes to man whatever man may need.
Now it has caused some of the critics of the Bible to see Genesis not as the work of one Author, but the work of many authors. And chapter one was written by the "Elohistic"; chapter two by the "Jehovistic." And then you get into the priestly version of it. And so you have the "EPJ" or the "JEP" concepts of how many authors of Genesis, and somebody's even thrown in an "I" somewhere there. And these stupid, foolish, nonsensical arguments which are of no value and of no profit to anybody.
That's why I didn't even get into them. I don't intend to get into them. They are a waste of your time and my time. It isn't who wrote it, it was the Holy Spirit that inspired the writing. And rather than trying to figure out who wrote it, it's better to find out what it says. And so we'll just go through finding out what it says and we'll leave the puny, little intellects to their discussions and arguments that are without profit or value to us. What is important for us to know is what did God say. Not how did He say it, or to whom did He say it, but what did He say. For all scripture was given by inspiration of God. So the Holy Spirit, basically, is the author of all the scripture and who He was inspiring is of no import to us.
So next week, we'll continue with chapter two. And at this rate, I'm sure the Lord will come before we get through the Bible. And I wouldn't mind the final chapter being written up there anyhow. "Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus". If you're not saying that already, you'll be saying it before you sit in too many gas lines. As the crisis hour is approaching, the saying of which we've been warning, as man has carelessly lived as though there was no tomorrow, we're coming soon to the day when they'll be no tomorrow. We see the clock winding out. "Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus". Exciting days, we'll have a lot of things to share with you soon, as soon as we get all of our information packets put together. But needless to say, Jesus is coming soon.