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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

March 11, 2015

Recap of Genesis 1:1-19

Genesis 1:20-31

  1. Verse 1. On last week we introduced "day-age" interpretation of Genesis one - that is, that each "day" is actually a long period of time during which God created life. This interpretation is not figurative in any way, but adheres to the scientific method in its analysis of the biblical texts. At its foundation is a literal translation of the Hebrew word, yom, which can mean a twelve hour period of time, a twenty-four hour period of time, or a long, indefinite period of time. We taught that from Genesis 1:1 the creation of the universe that we know and the earth that we know were already created at the time of our account recorded here. God had created them, but we don’t get a description of that initial creation which we can describe as the ultimate or beginning creation of the universe. The actual creation of our earth as we know and life as we know it begins in verse 2. Genesis 1:2 clearly states that the frame of reference for the part of creation is "the surface of the waters" of the earth. Most people have made the mistake of assuming the frame of reference of Genesis 1 is heaven or somewhere above the earth. What does the text specifically say? The heavens (universe, solar system, sun, earth, etc.) were already created before the first "day" (Genesis 1:1, 14 billion years ago). We know from science that the entire planet was covered in a global sea soon after its creation, and that fits our genesis account. In Genesis 1:2, God was "hovering or brooding" over the seas of the newly formed earth (4.4-3.8 billion years ago,). We know from science this is where the first unicellular life forms first appeared. The Hebrew word, rachaph, translated as "hovering or brooding" is used only twice in the Old Testament. The second reference is to an eagle caring for its young or incubating an egg. Therefore, it seems likely that the use of the word rachaph in Genesis 1:2 may be referring to God creating the first life forms in the sea. Both science and the Bible have told us that at the earth's creation, it was covered with a dense layer of clouds and gases which would have made it dark at its surface. Genesis 1:2 says, "darkness was over the surface of the deep." So before we get to “day one” The earth is already created and filled with water and covered by clouds of some material probably gas.

  2. So what we have in Day One or Age One is God removing much of the cloud cover but not all, when He stated, "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3). This was the light of the Sun (already created) which now "separated light from darkness" (Genesis 1:4). It is very clear from the text that the sun had already been created and the earth was rotating on its axis, since there was light (day) and darkness (night) (Genesis 1:5). This is also a spiritual picture of our salvation. God doesn’t create new light but removes the blinders off of his children so that they can see the light that is already there. What was needed for life was light (see John 1:1-3). At the end of the day God said it was good.

  3. Verses 6-8. Day Two or Age Two, the atmosphere is created to produce the water cycle. Genesis 1:6-10 describe the initiation of a stable water cycle and formation of continents from one large continent to seven continents (about 2.7 billion years ago). We know that the continents were once together as one big continent referred to as Pangaea. The continents separated allowed for an electromagnetic field which is essential for life. With the continents spread out and the water being heated by the sun, the water cycle of evaporation, transpiration, condensation and precipitation could occur. This new water cycle also allowed the electrons in water to get charged which creates lightning. Lightning is essential for plant growth. Lightning acts like a defibrillator to the seeds in the soil, jolting them to life. Spiritually when God’s light comes in things come together and the Spirit flows in our lives preparing us for the new life God will spring forth in us. We are charged by the Holy Spirit to new life (See John 4:13-14, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:9-11). When we are with God we are in the light. Without God we are in the dark. At the end of the day God said it was good.

  4. Verses 9-13. Day three or Age Three. Plant life was created on the third day or third age about 1 billion years ago. These verses are probably the strongest argument for the day-age interpretation. The verse says quite clearly that the earth sprouted (or brought forth) vegetation and fruit trees bearing fruit. The English word translated "vegetation" on the third day comes from the Hebrew word deshe', which refers to small plants, such as grasses and herbs. The other word, ‛eśeb, translated "plants" is even more generic, referring to any kind of green plant. So, the "day" encompasses the time from the formation of the first plants until the formation of the flowering plants and fruit plants. The process described is clearly similar to what we see today. Fruit trees take years to bear fruit, testifying that the third "day" could not possibly be just 24 hours long. Recent scientific evidence shows that plant life began on the land ~1 billion years ago. We know that plants get food from the light of the sun and water. This process is called photosynthesis. Plants get all their energy from water and the light. This is a Spiritual picture of how our souls thrive. Our souls thrive on the Light of Christ and the Water of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the day God said it was good.

  5. Verses 14-19. Day Four or Age Four. About 900 million years ago the second cloud layer was removed so that the sun, moon and stars shown through. Notice the unusual construction in Genesis 1:14 which states, "Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;'" "Let there be" is an unusual way to describe new creation (see also verse 1:3). I believe that at this point God removed even more cloud cover from the planet to allow more of the light from the stars, moon, and Sun to be seen from the surface of the earth (the frame of reference of all Genesis 1). The text then reiterates what God had already done in Genesis 1:1 regarding the creation of the sun, moon, and stars. The time frame describes events over days, seasons, and years - obviously more than 24 hours long. Less than a billion years ago. This second layer was needed so that the atmosphere could develop to handle the rays of the sun. God protected the life of the earth from the harsh rays with the atmosphere that was created through plant life producing gases. Once the atmosphere (ozone layer) was in place to protect other life from deadly UV rays of the Sun, other life could be created that fed on plants. At the end of the day God said it was good.

  6. Verses 20-23. Day Five or Age Five. Fish and birds are created about 600-300 million years ago. Even Scientist call this the Cambrian explosion, because for some reason, (we know it was God) all sorts of life started to appear. The fifth day describes a period of time longer than 24 hours as swarms of living creatures are multiplying in the sea. Even scientist today see a link between birds and fish in the fossil record. Isn’t it unique and powerful that the scriptures mention birds and fish and the fossil records connects them as well? Interestingly enough the fish, birds, and vegetation become the prime food source of the next set of creation. God tells them to fill the sea with fish. What we know is that all the animals in these periods did not last, some became extinct.

  7. Verses 24-25. Day Six or Age six. On the sixth day God created the "beasts of the earth." In Genesis 1:25 the Hebrew word is chayyah, which is best translated as "wild animal," usually referring to carnivorous mammals most of the extinct animals appeared about 50 million years ago and the current animals appeared about 30 million years ago. The cattle the Hebrew word is behemah, from which we get the word behemoth, large grazing mammals appeared about 15 million years ago and the rodents (mammals that "creep on the ground"). Therefore, the wild and domesticated mammals and rodents were created on the sixth day. Verses 26-28. About 50,000 years ago. The last creation of God was mankind, who was also created at the end of the sixth day. What about humans and three million year old fossil remains of bipedal primates? I believe in a literal Adam and Eve, although I do not believe they lived millions of years ago. The Bible indicates that Adam and Eve had a relationship with God (Genesis 2-3) and the text says that unique among all the animals, humans are endowed with a spirit by which they are able to communicate with and love God. Scientists have found no evidence of religious artifacts before about 25,000 to 50,000 years ago, which is the point at which I propose God created Adam and Eve. The Bible states that the covenant and laws of God have been proclaimed to a "thousand generations." A biblical generation, described as being 40 years, would represent at least 40,000 years of human existence. However, since the first dozen or more generations were nearly 1,000 years, this would make humans nearly 50,000 years old, which agrees very well with dates from paleontology and molecular biology. Therefore, I believe that bipedal primates (monkeys and apes) that existed before Adam and Eve, were just part of the animal kingdom, and were not endowed with the characteristics that make humans distinct from animals. Genesis one is a summary of creation. Genesis two will give more detail of the Sixth Age or Sixth Day. God said it was VERY GOOD.

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