God’s Good Work
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
- The Organization of the Passage
- Dark Formless and Empty
This is the beginning place
Creation is event and process.
So is salvation, by the way. There are interesting parallels between creation and salvation. Both are solely works of God. Both are an event that spawns a process. Both are good. Both reflect God’s character and benefit man. Both are the result of God’s Word!
- Creation of Light, Forms and Filling Forms
1:3-5 light created, and declared good
1:6-10 creation is formed. First the heavens. Then the earth which is divided into dry land and seas.
1:11- 2:3 The created forms are filled up.
Day one: light
Day two: the forms
Day three: Form dry land filled: plants on the dry land:
Day four: Form heavens filled: Sun, moon and stars
Day five: Form seas filled: Fishes in the deep blue sea
Day six: Form dry land filled: Animals and then man
Day seven: Rest
- Why seven days?
Many people spend lots of time talking about the number of days of creation. And they do so in the context of the age of the earth. Now, this is a conversation that people can have. Francis Shaeffer wrote a small book “No Final Conflict” about the issue where he lists seven possibilities. And people do some things to the text at times to add periods of time. I think that’s all NOT THE POINT at all!
Again, thinking of Moses as the lens through which this information is shared: What is the goal of all of this as it relates to the Children of Israel?
Exodus 19: “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
The people agree and then God gives them the 10 commandments. The ten “words” as Dr. Inch referred to them. And the 10 commandments are to be seen as the foundation of all of the law: Love God: 1-4 and Love neighbor: 5-10. (See how Jesus uses them in Matthew 5! From murder to anger. From adultery to lust. From oaths to telling the truth. From our image to God’s. We are to love our neighbor in the way that God loves!)
Which of the Ten Commandments is reinforced in the creation account? All of them that are related to God for sure!!
And it is the Sabbath statement that clues us in to the great purpose of the whole account in reinforcing the Ten Commandments!
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Why? Because there is only one creator God. The other “Egyptian God’s” are not Gods!
The sun is created by God.
The sun is created on day 4.
The sun God CAN NOT BE the High God!!
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
Because an idol is not living.
Because an idol cannot speak.
Because an idol is made by man.
Because God has made everything.
The Israelites struggle with idolatry as a nation from the very beginning until the exile!
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Name equals character. This commandment is about honoring God’s character! God’s character is paramount in our obedience to Him. We must not misrepresent His character.
He is not a coke machine.
He is free to act in whatever way fits His will.
He is not a natural law.
He is completely good, defines loving, all powerful and always wise!
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
We are called to set aside one day out of seven for rest and reflection on God.
This leads us into a fuller discussion of…
- The Purpose of the Creation Story
- Establish a proper relationship with God
- Worship Him only
- Do not make an idol as a representative of God
- Do not misrepresent God’s character
- Obey the Sabbath! This is going to demonstrate faith in God as our provider!
God is good!! Even when life is hard! Especially when life is hard!
- Demonstrate the importance of God speaking!
- When God speaks, light, substance, purpose, and life come into existence. God is powerful. Everything He does is good!
The most necessary thing in all of time and space is that God would speak!!
John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son… Hebrews 1:1-2a
The Egyptians believe in gods. Everyone does typically. But do they have a relationship with THE God? It is only as God speaks that a relationship with Him can come into form!
- Establish a proper attitude toward creation
- This is God’s creation.
18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your people who revere your name, both great and small—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
- All of creation is good! Repeated after every event
- Establish a proper attitude toward people
- A creation poem: a special event inside of the story!
- Created in God’s image: unique among all creation.
- Good good.
Are people basically good? Or are people sinful? The answer is both! People are made in the image of God. They are meant to be good! That is our calling!
If you were slaves and mistreated by people, this might be a tough sell for you. We will see in the following passages how it is that the people created in the image of God can act in such terrible ways. And the key to this understanding is so that we might not find ourselves acting in that way ourselves!!
- God’s call on your life is right here!
Your calling is to reflect God’s character as your character. You will not find your best life until you do. Respect creation. Honor people as created in God’s image. Rest every week. Honor God as your creator and sustainer. Work to bring order and light from chaos. Produce something with your life that is of quality and utility. Make beautiful, useful things.
Will you believe that God has spoken? This will be reflected in whether or not you obey His Words! Jesus is the Word of God. We are followers of Jesus! This has always been the call of God for people.