Promises and Secrets
A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.
Six Days of Creation
Have you ever stopped to think about how the process of creation would appear to an onlooker? Since we were told a little about what took place, we have some kind of thoughts about how it must have been. Because we are only human, I wonder how close our imaginations could even approach to the reality.
The Bible says that God created the universe, and everything that is in it, in six days (Exodus 20:11
11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
What do you think?
Fire up your imagination
Let's use a technique employed by Randy Alcorn in his book Heaven. However, we will not try to prop up some imaginary truths on which to build a scenario that fits concepts that originate outside the word of God. Let's just imagine the magnitude of what we see described in the first book of the Bible. Ready?
In the beginning...
The first verse in Genesis 1 says that God created the heavens and the earth. This "creation" was the result of God speaking a command aloud, and creation "obeyed". Now, while a lot of people think of those created heavens as the stars and planets, there is specific mention of those things as being created on the fourth day. So what do we know that we have after verse 1? The heavens and the earth. So, the heavens would be what we think of as the atmosphere with air and clouds. The earth, as we know it now, is the land over molten lava, in the shape of a globe with a relatively thin atmosphere on the outside of that. But, that would not be called formless.
Formless and empty
Now, Genesis 1:2
2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
says that after God created it, the earth was formless, empty, and dark. OK, the literal meaning of formless is "without specific shape or structure". That would be solid, gaseous or liquid mass, or some combination of these three known states that has no defined form - just a blob. Since there was nothing else, it would be floating, by definition, in empty space. That's why we call it space, because there is a lot of, er, space. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. So, this big blob consisted largely, or at least partly, of waters.
How could this be? Remember, we don't know if God has created gravity at this point. If He had not yet installed it, that would allow all this creation to be just floating around without form. Sure, it could be something else, but how would you describe what is written in these verses?
Let there be...
Next, I guess God got tired of working in the dark. Well, probably not literally, but there were no living things that required the light, so we can only guess as to why He created light on the first day, but it was good. There was a period of time when it was dark that God called night, and the lighted time was called day. This wasn't from the sun, moon, or even the stars, since they are not made until the fourth day. However, since there was evening and morning, there was evidently God's designation that the place that received the new light was in daylight and before the light it was night. So, at the end of the first day we have a lighted blob of formless matter.
In verse 6, we see the beginning of order that starts to give some "form" to the earth. Here, I have to make some assumptions. Since there is a separation of the waters by an expanse He called "sky", leaving waters above and below the expanse, we have some kind of force that held this separation in place. The only thing that, in our time, keeps the ball of this earth together in a semblance of order, or "form", is gravity. It causes the mass of earth to form a ball in space.
This would have caused the atmosphere in the "sky" and the waters below the clouds to gather on the earth above the heavier dirt. Since the water was heavier than air, the waters of the seas would be below the air as well. And there was some sort of water barrier above the sky, whether it be clouds or some other type of layer, we aren't told.
Then we have the end of the second day. Now we can actually safely speculate that the mass was rotating because of the statement that the evening and the morning were the second day. Either that or God made a timer that turned off the light during the time called night (just being thorough, here). It started out dark and became light, and the end of the light period ended the second day. It seems from the description that the light source was stationary so the rotation would have an effect. We do know from Revelation 22:5
5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
that we will not need the sun in eternal life because God will provide the light as He evidently did on the first three days of creation. So, He could be the stationary source of light.
In verse 9, another effect of gravity causes water to seek the lowest possible level where it is finally contained. There is by now a crust over the earth, and it is not level, but it is firm enough to prevent water from just soaking through. Some variation in land height causes the waters to seek the lowest level, gathering in pools called seas. This also allowed the land to dry out, as we see in verse 10. Again God saw that this was good.
Until this point, all things created so far have been inorganic, without life. In verse 11, God does something that rarely stirs a thought, even in Christians. God creates life. Not only that, but a life that is a specific type of life - vegetation. Since there is nothing on earth with which to compare it, any observer might just be thinking, "Well, that's nice." But looking closer, we see part of the plan of God. This life is complete with the means to produce fruit and with seeds to reproduce after its kind with no mention of a purpose for them. And, for some reason, it grows out of the land. What we can't see is the preparation for another kind of living orgnism to follow. But, it was a good end to the third day.
Next, in verse 14 we get a bit of an explanation about why something was done. God created lights in the "expanse of the sky", and then explained that they were not only to separate the day from the night, but to also mark the seasons, days and years - whatever they are. Our mythical observer might respond with, "What are seasons and years? What purpose do they serve?" Now these lights were the stars we see at night, but also the sun and the moon. We know now what they are, but try to imagine the plan in God's mind, knowing the end of His plan from the beginning. This is a good end to the fourth day.
Another kind of life...
In verse 20, God spoke another word and, well, it's hard to imagine. The waters teemed with living, moving creatures. Not just plant life now, but living, moving creatures, both in the sea and in the air. The birds knew how to fly instantly, which requires energy in an ongoing process that must be replenished. We now know that each of these creatures had bodily functions with needs that must be met for another new concept that came with creation - survival.
But, think about it. Consumption, elimination, and reproduction all had to be ready for these creatures or they would cease to be comfortable after a short time. Well, we know that they ate, but there was no such thing as death yet. Well, not for humans, anyway. They hadn't even been created yet. But, maybe animals did not live forever even at this point. As far as we know, animals cannot sin. We aren't told. And, what about the impression on our startled observer? Did he imagine that far about these needs, or was he just asking millions of questions?
Fill the seas and the earth
Indeed, God did answer one of the questions with Genesis 1:22
22God 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."
. Yep, He had planned it perfectly. Each creature had a stomach, a certain kind of food it could find, and knew how to obtain and ingest the food. It had a way to get rid of the waste material from the digestion process, and it knew to look for a mate with which to be fruitful and increase in number. Every creature had this ability.
Just to add some thoughts, some creatures did not have what we know as stomachs and reproduction organs, like single-celled amoebas and the like, but there was a "natural" God-given instinct present to allow those creatures to obey God's will and follow His commands. Imagine the ability to duplicate all your internal organs and just split into two separate beings. Once again, we have a good end to the fifth day. Also, imagine God caring about even creating these processes for a creature so small it can't be seen by the naked eye.
Where does it end?
On the sixth day, verse 24 tells us, God created land animals. By this time, our mythical observer is probably babbling to herself - no wait - it would only be a male that God allowed to observe because He wouldn't want any advice on how to do it. Everything is so amazing at this point that we can't imagine what is next. Everything God has done to this point has been "good". However, what He is about to do on the sixth day will cause Him severe regret (Genesis 6:6
6The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
"You mean I'm responsible...?"
Now we learn in Genesis 1:26 that God is going to create rulers for all that He has created on earth and call them man. He is going to create them in His image, whatever that means. I suppose it's a good thing that He did not give us the part of His image that is the power in His right hand. In Genesis 1:27, He creates man, male and female, but we are not given any details until chapter 2. However, we are told that we do have all the commands and processes that He gave to his other living creatures - including reproduction. And, we are the "rulers" with dominion over all the other creatures. And there was a very good end to the sixth day.
God explains some details
Chapter two starts out by describing what God did at the end of creation, then adds more details to the account. We can only guess that this is information we need to know.
1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Oops, a boo-boo?
In chapter 2, verse 5
5Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,
tells us something that seems to contradict our understanding of the events in the first chapter - that "no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up". I mean, we were clearly told in 1:11-12
11Then 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. 12The 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.
that the land produced vegetation. According to the logic of many, this is cause for discarding the creation story as a myth created to fool the incredibly dense minions of the earth to follow the orders of the clergy and give them money. But, hold on a minute.
Nah, people messed it up...
Let's go back and read the "contradictory" verse for what it says. Reading the NIV translation of verse 5
5Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,
we read that blatant "contradiction". Now, when I see something in the Bible that seems to defy logic, I wonder first about how other Bibles state the same thing. Here are some other versions:
New Living Translation
neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil.
English Standard Version
When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up - for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,
Berean Study Bible
Now no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth, nor had any plant of the field sprouted; for the LORD God had not yet sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.
King James Bible
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
The NLT seems to agree with the NIV, but look at the other three versions. Something is different here. That word field means something. Where did it come from? When I see this, I go to the interlinear to see if something may have been translated differently in the many versions:
In case this is too small for you to read, the third Hebrew word from the right on the top line says hassadeh, which means "of the field". Somehow, this word was left completely out of some "translations". The rest of the verse explains that there were no plants in the fields because there was no man to till the ground. If you put all this together, there are no plants in the fields because there were no fields set aside to grow the plants because there was no farmer. Plants were growing everywhere, just not cultivated to grow in the fields to be reaped for food. Yes, this is conjecture, or actually, logic, but it fits better than to think that it's all made up just because someone did not translate a simple word into English.
Have Adam tend the "trees of trouble"
Presumably as a result of this very condition of not having a farmer, God then created man, just the male part, to tend the garden He had planted (Genesis 2:8
8Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
). Then He caused the trees to grow out of the ground (Gen 2:9
9The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
), which only makes sense if we are speaking about the "field" in the garden that is to be tended by the man. Plants are already growing all over the place. Also, the man has no name at this point.
Where was the garden?
10A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.
gives some information that many try to use to identify the previous location of the garden. Those who do this forget that a very large, worldwide event changed some of the earth's structure details that would allow this approach. The flood. Flowing into the Gulf of Persia are two rivers that join together just before they enter the gulf. They are now called the Tigris and the Euphrates. However, if you read verses 10 to 14, you see that there was one river flowing out of the garden, splitting into four rivers, with no destination given for them. But, people still persue the location of the Garden of Eden. In fact, the Mormons were "informed" by their founder that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri (from kbia). Many modern day Mormons are following the supposed physical path of Adam when he went East of Eden to what they claim is the "birthplace of the human race."
One lousy rule, and guess what...?
In verses 15-17
15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."
the man gets his instructions and some fairly stringent requirements for compliance to God's command to the man. Now, because many of today's pastors teach their congregations that we Gentiles do not have to follow the law of God, especially the ones from the Old Testament, it seems likely that we would feel justified in eating that fruit without any sort of punishment. At least, it seems that way when it is supposedly OK to violate any of the laws that "were not given to us" Gentiles, but only to others. It seems to me that all of God's commandments were to the human race, this includes Gentiles, and that the "you will surely die" refers also to the second death, not just the physical death ending this life on earth. Unless we honestly repent, of course. But, that is for another discussion.
"Come here...uh, Tyr, uh...Rex? What do I call you?"
None of the animals and land creatures had names up until verses 19 and 20. For the first time, rather than issue instructions, God wanted to see what the man would do in a situation. Interestingly, when the man finished naming the creatures of the earth, he wound up with a name himself - Adam (Genesis 2:20
20So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
Now, think about this. All the creatures were to be fruitful and multiply, kind of implying that there were both male and female counterparts of the various species. However, Adam had been created without a "helper" up to this point. Not that it matters at this point, but I sometimes wonder why He did it that way.
Uh-oh, now it starts...
So, God creates a woman for Adam and completes the six days of creation. We come to chapter 3 of Genesis and things go downhill from there.
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