Here we are, in the beginning. Let’s join God as He sculpts our world. Before we begin, I want to thank you for being with me over the years and to remind you that I often like to take you right into the story. I have a feeling that is where we are going today, but only the Holy Spirit knows for sure!
There was a “beginning” before “in the beginning.” In the first “beginning” there was a conversation in the Godhead about what was to take place. John tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). God was always a triune being. He was always Father, Son and Holy Spirit but He hadn’t delineated these lines yet. I see Him more as Mind, Body, and Soul at this point. This is the way He made us and as we are in His image, it makes sense to me for now. This is CERTAINLY something I want to ask Jesus about during our bench time!
Before creation began God KNEW there was going to be problems with what He created. Kind of like when a husband and wife decide they want to have children. They are usually not naïve enough to think that their child is going to be perfect and never make a mistake. They KNOW there will be issues they have to deal with, but they want to be parents so much that they are willing to deal with whatever issues arise.
God knew ALL the issues that would arise in us. So He had a decision to make and a conference to undertake. He KNEW that Adam and Eve would sin and spoil all that He would give them. He KNEW that Satan would become the ruler of God’s own creation. He KNEW what it would take to get that same creation out of the hands of Satan. He KNEW death even before He created life. The question then was, do We REALLY want to do this? “They are going to spit in Our face!” “They are going to curse Us.” “They are going to devise all manner of evil against Us.” So WHY would He want to go through with this plan of creation?!? Because “They are going to love Us.” “They won’t realize what they are doing.” “They are Our beloved children!” “How can they learn love unless We show them love first?!” THAT is why God said, “Let there be…” What an AMAZING Love!!!
I see God looking out at an empty canvas. He closes His eyes and begins to imagine what He wants the finished product to look like. He knows that whatever He makes, it will have to withstand the careless hands of the “children” He will be giving it to. He knows they won’t be gentle with it while they learn and grow and play. He knows that He will have to make sure all the “rough edges” have been smoothed down so it won’t be a danger to His children. He doesn’t want it to be so soft that there is nothing but carefree play all day every day. He wants His children to be able to learn important lessons as they grow and to use those lessons to gain even more knowledge to grow with. He has “nothing” and yet “everything” to work with.
After His “soul searching conversation” and deep reflection, it’s time to begin and the first thing He does is shed a little light on the subject. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). “That’s good! Now I can see a little better. But I don’t want it to ALWAYS be bright like this. There needs to be some ‘down time’ for rest as I do this work. I’ll split the time in half. Half in light and half in dark. This will be ‘day’ and ‘night.’” That was the beginning of the creation process; “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (verse 5b).
Side not here: This is the first time I noticed that God’s “creation daily schedule” followed the Jewish time schedule. We are told there was “evening and there was morning” for each day. It looks like He started His work in the evening of each day. He then worked through the night and on into the morning. In the full light of day, He examined what He had created. Then when He was satisfied, He said, “This is good! Let’s go with it.” Then He waited until evening to begin His work again on another portion of His masterpiece.
I happened to click into my bible helps and they address the “evening and morning” as God finishing a regular work day that began with the new morning and ended with that evening. This sounds reasonable to me too but that puts God’s daily schedule on par with what the world uses today instead of the Jewish time clock. The Jewish people used our same “work day” schedule but their days started at sundown instead of sunrise.
Back to work with God and His creation process. The next thing God did was to create an atmosphere around a central sphere. He divided the seas from the sky. I wonder if this was also the beginning of gravity. The waters below “the heavens” gathered together in mass. The rest of the water God reserved for the air we breathe and the changes in seasons. He was planning ahead, as usual. Notice that this “expanse was “in the midst of the waters” (verse 6a). That means that the water in the middle is completely surrounded by the water around it. So much for the “flat earth” theory. That was the end of the second day.
On third day God created the dry land. This was the final piece of the structure of the earth. He doesn’t tell us how many pieces of land He originally created but He said to “Let waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place” (verse 9). I don’t know if that meant one HUGE ocean or an interconnected ocean system that allowed ALL waters to flow into each space but He called them Seas; that is a plural word in the end. We also know that ALL water eventually arrives at the ocean and the ocean is only broken up into regions by our map makers.
At the end of this day God brought “food” for His creations into the equation. One could argue that He is completing His “habitat.” Which makes perfect sense as none of the sea creatures, birds of the air, animals, or man could survive without His careful preparations FIRST.
I find it interesting that God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding see, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth” (verse 11). He didn’t transplant trees and flowers and grasses from some other world He had already created. He used the raw materials He placed in THIS creation to generate the next step of His creation. Pine trees, oak trees, apple trees, cherry trees, roses, tulips, daffodils, grass, plankton, seaweed, ALL put in place to provide for His children. “I like the color in this one! What about a flower with a thousand points? Yes! That’s perfect! And over here how about some…”
I feel like the fourth day was actually the beginning of time for us. There was day and night upon the earth and plants grew under these controlled conditions but now God made something else happen; He created seasons. He “pushed the start button” and put His universe in motion. He placed the sun, moon and stars in the sky to mark the days and nights. He set how long it would take for the earth to rotate each day to provide exposure to the light without damaging effects. He ordered how long it would take for the earth to travel around the sun creating the seasons by its position. He arranged the sister planets in our solar system to provide just the right amount of pull to keep things in motion. “I want a fairly large mass over here that will provide enough pull to prevent these others from being pulled into the center. This size of a sun will be perfect to bring just the right amount of light, warmth and work and rest time to this whole design. Yes. That’s perfect!”
The stage is now completely set. It’s time to introduce the inhabitants to this wonderful creation. On the fifth day God fills the seas and the sky. “God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind” (verse 21). I would have LOVED to see Him fashioning the birds! I wish He would have felt like giving me wings too. “Hollow out the bones to keep it light. Add appendages that have a webbing between body and tip and cover it with feathers. That will allow it to take to the heavens and soar on the wind. Now how about one in blue, green and yellow. That’s beautiful!” And the variety of sea creatures is MIND BLOWING! A special place for each kind. Clams, clown fish, dolphins, whales, and seahorses. What creativity!!! This process filled up an entire day in God’s plan.
The sixth day fills the land and completes His creation process. The excitement is building as God creates one species at a time. We start with the worm who moves through the dirt digesting and nourishing at as it moves. He moves on to the rabbits with their enormous ears and big feet. Why? Why not? He’s God and He can make His creations any way He pleases.
All the land animals that creep on the ground or run in herds, swim in the seas, or fly in the heavens have something special in common. They ALL get along together. There is NO death! There are no “meat eaters.” ALL God created derives their food from plants. There is plenty to go around in both food and water. There is no need for competition for resources.
Now for the crowning glory in God’s creation. The one He made it all for to begin with. Something created after HIS image. The thing that drives us to follow His example by bringing children into this world. God creates His child. “This one is special. It will be able to choose what it wants from life. It will understand when I speak to it. It will also to choose whether it wants a relationship with Us.”
I believe this is the hardest part of creation because God knows what the first choices of man will be, but He doesn’t abandon His creation, abort it, or even change it so there won’t be any problems. He forges ahead with His masterpiece.
Not only did He create man, whom He KNEW would fail, but He also put everything under him. “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (verse 26b).
EVERYTHING is finished! From first light to the completion of man. It’s time to “let the children play” and grow. It is also time to set down a few ground rules. He could not fault us if He never told us what was right and wrong.
God meticulously showed man what He had made. He showed him the animals. He told him that he would be in charge of ALL of them and that he was to care for them too. He also showed man EVERY green thing on the earth. He told them which was for food, both for themselves and for the animals, and which was OFF LIMITS. And for “today” everything was fine. That was the evening and morning of the sixth day.
Thank You Father God for moving ahead with Your creation, knowing what the outcome would be. I’m sorry for my part in not taking care of what You have entrusted me with. I know that You made this world strong enough to withstand my misuse of its resources, including time. Thank You that You continue to hold it together, even against all the damage done to it by Your very own creations. Please forgive me for my part in it. Help me remember to care for what You designed in whatever way I can.
Thank You Jesus for considering making me worth the price! You DIDN’T go into creation blind or with “rose colored glasses.” You went in knowing full well the cost that would be required. Oh how I wish there would have been some way to turn back time and undo what happened in the garden. But since there isn’t, help me at least be faithful in caring for the gift You gave to restore our relationship to what was the original intent. I LOVE You and want to be Your faithful child, in all things. Change me daily Jesus to be more like You.