Episode 23: The Creation of the World, Part 1- Days 1-4

Peace to Live By Episode 23: The Creation of the World, Part 1- Days 1-4 - Daniel Litton
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[Transcripts may not match broadcasted sermon word for word, and may contain extra material that was cut from the broadcast due to time constraints]

       Everyone who resides in our world today undoubtedly believes, or has developed, a thought construct of how they think the world came about. It is only human nature to wonder how everything that we see with our eyes began. And our world provides no shortage of theories and opinions about the beginning to everything, and when the world came about. I believe that truth, reality about the world, can in fact be known. It seems only reasonable to presume that there really is only one way the world could have come into existence. There has to be one explanation for the beginning of what we see that is the only true and correct explanation. Obviously, though, people have varying beliefs about this, but only one of these beliefs can in fact be correct.

       In reality, God's Word is always correct in what it says. The Christian has to take Scripture, as written by God, as first and foremost to the understanding of what is true. Therefore, if the Bible says the universe was created by God, we believe that it was, regardless of whatever anyone else or anything else says. If a scientist says that, “No, the universe came about through natural processes,” he or she is in fact incorrect and deceived. We know this because, if God is wrong on any point, then he has been undermined and cannot be trusted. There would be no point in believing in his Bible, in this case, as he would be a lair.

       But someone might say, “Don't most scientists disbelieve in God and believe that everything came about naturally?” The answer to this would be, “Yes, they do.” Then the person might respond, “Well, how can so many people be wrong, then?” I would say, though, why can't they be wrong? Jesus said only a few people in the world would find the truth and believe in it. Most people in our world today don't follow Jesus—don't believe what he says in the Bible is correct—and we easily believe, as Christians, that they are wrong. So, why can't we believe opposing scientists are wrong?

       Then someone might say, “What about all the research and methods scientists use to so called ‘prove’ what they say?” Over the last 150 years, there has been a lot of attention given to the subject of the beginning of the world. Scientists have come up with many so called techniques, whether mathematically or otherwise, and many measurements in order to try to tell us when everything began, and when the earth began. Remember that what scientists present as true are in fact human derived theories, even though many of them present their research as truth. Only God's Word is completely true.

       Let's look at the Theory of Evolution, for instance. No one has ever 'proven' that evolution is in fact correct. As a matter of fact, nature itself shows us that evolution is a farce because we don't see it continuing in this day and age. If evolution was a natural process, then why don't fish still turn slowly into alligators today? Why don't we see fish trying to leave the water nowadays? Or, why did the developmental process of the Creature stop at the human? Evolution says the gorilla turned into a human, so why doesn't the human turn into anything? Why don't we turn into little green men with big heads or something like that? Why don't all the creatures before us die off, since we are superior? So, with little analyzation, it can be seen that evolution, while interesting, is in fact incorrect.

       Remember that the Bible presents creation as an event that happened in the past, whereas evolution presents the things seen as concurrently continuing. That is, what God created in the past is done, and he is no longer creating new things—at least, right now. He will create a new heaven and new earth in the future, but that is a whole 'nother topic (see Revelation 21). Evolution allows for new things to be created at any time. But interestingly enough, we don't see this around us.
       But there are many Bible passages that show evolution to be false, outside of our text today in Genesis chapter 1. Let's look at what the Apostle John tell us in John chapter 1. He penned: “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, ESV). So, all things were made through Jesus, and not a thing was made outside of his control. Evolution therefore is not compatible. The Apostle Paul noted in Romans 4 that God is the one “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Romans 4:17, ESV). Evolution did not make things exist that hadn't existed beforehand, God did. Finally, the writer of Psalm 33 noted: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host” (Psalm 33:6, ESV). So people and animals were made by him.

       With God, everything that he made he called “good.” Nothing that he created died, as it wasn't capable of dying until sin was brought into this world, and the world was corrupted, through Adam and Eve. There again, this shows evolution as incompatible with the Creation account because it could not have taken place until after Adam and Eve sinned. Don't listen to ideas that marry in evolution with Genesis 1 and 2; it's not possible as death is necessary for evolution to work. As an aside, when thinking about things like evolution, just look at the theory with a fresh set of eyes. Just think logically, with the wisdom that God has given you, and it's easy to see truth and debunk error. Usually, it can be done simply.

       Undoubtedly, someone out there at this point is thinking, “But doesn't the Bible present the earth as flat, instead of round? Doesn't that prove the Bible isn't scientifically sound?” The answer to this concern is that, “No, the Bible does not teach the earth is flat.” This is simply debunked by the verses, “Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:21-22a, ESV). Not everyone 'of old' believed the earth was flat, like Christopher Columbus and his men. This is an old wives’ tale. But then the response might be, “What about when the Bible talks about 'the four corners' of the earth?” Stop and think about it for second. This is no different than today when we use a compass to differentiate North, South, East, & West.

       Today, I want to look at the creation of the world as it actually happened, as God tells us it happened in his Word. Now, going through the whole seven day creation is a lengthy process, and we will not get through it all today. We will talk about creation days one through four, of the six total days, plus the day God rested.

       Before we start, though, note with me that the Bible states that God created the earth, the sky, and the universe in six, literal, 24-hour days. But this should be no surprise to us, as Christians, that God would be able to accomplish this. God is so much greater than our own, finite minds can understand. Creating everything we see, and most of it we don't see, in 6 days is not a problem for God. Don't get caught up in your own human perspective; look at it from God's perspective. God also presented a model for Christians to live by in creating the world in 6 days, and resting on the 7th day.

       When God created the world and the things in the world, it is important to note that he spoke it into existence. That is, he simply said something, and it appeared. This shows the powerfulness of God. This also means that things were created with the appearance of age. The universe, the earth, Adam—whatever you consider—was created with this 'appearance' of age. A doctor might look at Adam five minutes after God created him and say, “This is a full grown man. He must have been alive for many years.” But that would in fact be incorrect. This is why scientists are wrong when the look at the age of the universe and the earth. It has the 'appearance' of age, but in fact is about 6,000 years old. God spoke it into existence and it looks old, but it isn't.

       Turn with me in your Bibles, or tap in your Bible apps on your digital devices, if you would, to Genesis chapter 1. Our text today will cover verses 1 through 19. I will be using the English Standard Version of the Bible today. Let's go ahead and start at Genesis 1:1. It states: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (ESV).

       First and foremost, let us note that God was existing before the creation of the world. The Bible does not start with God's existence, but rather starts with the creation of the universe, the sky, and the earth. As a matter of fact, God has always existed, and he was never created. God is an eternal being, in that he was never created and has no end. Humans are eternal as well, but they do have a beginning. They just have no end.

       But there is more here we can understand. Note in the very essence of the verse it says, “God created.” That means everything that we see around us is from the hand of God himself. This very verse, in and of itself, discredits scientific theories like the Big Bang theory and Evolution right off the bat. The Big Bang theory cannot be correct because “God created.” The universe didn't create itself. Evolution is also seen to be incorrect because again, “God created.” The world—or life on the earth—didn't evolve. Evolution is based on random actions taking place to produce living things.

       Is this whole “God created” thing just figurative or a good story? Or is it actually literal, and based in reality. A good way to determine this is to see what others thought in the Bible. The writer of Psalm 148 stated the following:

“Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.” (Psalm 148:1-6, ESV)

The Apostle Paul talked about the world as being created. He noted in Romans 8, in part:

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19-21, ESV)

By why not just look at the words of the Lord Jesus Christ himself? He stated in Mark when talking about the end times, “For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be” (Mark 13:19, ESV). So Jesus clearly believed that God literally, actually created the world.

       Genesis 1:2 states, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” So, when God created the earth, he created it as a blank slate, if you will. At this point, it was completely dark because God hadn't created any light yet. The Holy Spirit's presence over the whole earth shows his position as Creator, and it shows his complete control and power.

       Now we read in Genesis 1:3 and 4: “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Note how God created light before he created the actual sources of light. God doesn't create the light sources for the world until Day Four. So, for the first three days God worked under 'rays' of light that he created in the empty space. Neil deGrasse Tyson mentioned in the TV Show 'Cosmos' that, to paraphrase, the light from the stars wouldn't reach the earth for millions of years (see episode four of ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’). But he is in fact incorrect because God created just 'light' first, as rays, before he created the actual objects of light.

       Let us note how the text states, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Now, the use of the words “evening” and “morning” show that this day in question is actual a literal 24-hour day. Someone, again, might wonder how God could do all these things in 'one' literal day. But remember that God is God, and he is far more powerful than our minds, as humans, can even imagine. God is speaking the created things into existence. This is his way of creating. He is not like us, humans, where we have to actually build a thing to create it. God sometimes does build, but he can also speak something into existence.

       Next, we read, “And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.” On Day Two, God creates the sky of the earth, which in the text is called the “expanse.” Now, in the original world, the one before The Flood of Noah, it appears there was water which was high in the sky, in the atmosphere, before entering space. This appears to be what the text is stating. The waters below the expanse were the ocean of the earth and the other waters—for there was only one ocean (as there was one continent). The text has “Heaven” capitalized, but it probably shouldn’t be. The expanse is just simply the sky in this understanding. Another possibility, though, is that there were waters in Heaven, where God is, and he made an “expanse” between Heaven and the waters of the surface of the earth. In this case, the “expanse” would include both the sky and space. Either explanation is plausible, but I prefer the first one.

       Let's take a look at Day Three: “And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” Number one, then we note that the waters are separated from the land, and there is one big body of water—the one ocean. But in the text it is also noted that there are seas, plural. So, there would have been other smaller bodies of water. The dry land is noted as one continent.

       Also on Day Three, after God made the dry land appear, he created nature: “And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”

       So, God created all the different types of plants and trees. This vegetation that God creates, appears by the Word of his mouth. That is, nature didn't have time to grow up for Adam when he was alive on Day Six. God simply spoke these things into existence. And these things created by God had the appearance of age.

       Finally for today, let's look at Day Four: “And 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, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.”

       Here, we see that God creates the Sun, the Moon, and all the stars of the universe. Remember, don't wonder how God could have done that in one day! He is God. He spoke them into existence. Also, remember that he created light on the first day. So, light and darkness already existed before these objects of light. The Sun, obviously is the greater light, while the Moon is the night light. The stars are created I think with less importance. It is noted later in the Bible that they will be destroyed very simply, as they will all fall from their places and cease to exist. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 24: ““Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken”” (v. 29, ESV). So, after the Tribulation Period, all the sun will go out, and the Moon will thusly lose its light, and the stars will fall.

       I want to briefly talk about the fact that the Bible says the Sun rises and the Sun sets. Doesn’t this mean the Bible got something wrong? No, like with anything else, this is easily understood. First, understand that in this day and age, we still use these terms to understand what we, as humans, see in the sky on a daily basis. That is, from our human perspective, the Sun does rise and set. Saying the Sun ‘rises’ and ‘sets’ is absolutely true from a human perspective standing on the earth. If someone says, “I am sitting still,” that is true—from a human perspective. However, we all know, though, thanks to our understanding of the earth’s movement—that we are never really sitting still. The earth is constantly turning through space. So, we are never still. In the same way, the Sun also is constantly moving through space, as some scientists have noted, and thusly, is rising and setting in one sense. But either way you look at it, there is no error here.

       God therefore setup our solar system in space, just like setup the other solar systems in the Universe. Remember, according to the Bible, the earth is the center of the Universe, after all, because it is where mankind dwells—the people created in God’s image. Jesus said that the stars would fall before the earth is destroyed—hence, showing the earth as center. This does not mean there couldn’t be physical life elsewhere in the Universe, it is just that the earth is center. The Apostle Paul does tells there is life in the Universe. He called them the “cosmic powers over this present darkness.” Nonetheless, in reality then, you could say the Sun, theoretically speaking, revolves around the earth, as does everything else, if the earth is the center piece of the Universe. That invariably would then mean the Sun rises and sets, literally. Give this one some thought.

       So, in conclusion today, we have looked at the first 4 days of the Creation process, by God. We have observed the creation of the heavens and the earth, including the vegetation of the earth and the objects of outer-space. Perhaps, as you've listened today, you have realized that the Bible isn't unreasonable in what it says about the beginning of our world, and perhaps you believe God really could have created everything, like he said he did.

       Perhaps today you don't know God, and you feel estranged from him. Well, I have Good News for you today. You can come to know God the Creator, the One and True God, through faith in his only Son, Jesus Christ. You see, everyone is born into this world separated from God. The only way people can be reconciled to him is to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Jesus came to the earth, some 2,000 years ago, and died on a cross in order that anyone who believes in his death for sins our their behalf, may be saved from their sins. If you will simply believe Jesus died for your sins—the offenses you've committed against God—taking your place, you can have a personal relationship with God. Jesus died and rose from the dead on the third day after his death, and now resides with God in heaven.

       If you would like to give your life to Christ—to believe in Jesus today—then following my lead in this prayer:

God, I am currently separated from you. But today, I want to come into a personal relationship with you through faith in Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died from my sins and that he rose from the dead. I want to give my life to you today, Father, because you know what is best for me. Please change my life, and lead me, and make me become more like Jesus. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

       Let's pray:

       Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to consider this passage of Scripture today, this text from Genesis chapter 1 about the creation of the world. I thank you, Father, that you have made things so clear to us that we do not need to be concerned about what the world tells us about the beginning of things. We can trust what you have said in your Word, just as the Lord Jesus Christ did, and we can be certain that you are correct in what you say.

       Father, please help those who have accepted Jesus today as Lord and Savior. Help them to be grounded in your truth from this point forward, and to live for you. Help us, who are already Christians, to live lives which are pleasing to you. Help us to be in step with the Spirit, and to follow the guidelines you've laid out for us, without wavering. Bless each and everyone of us today, Father, as we go about the rest of the day. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

-Daniel Litton