Genesis 1

Genesis 1 is the key (and perhaps only) passage in the bible dedicated explicitly to the moment of creation. Yet it doesn’t tell us much about the intricate details of how (or when and what) everything was created. Everything is spoken of in broad terms and human constructs.

Here I would like to detail what we can gather from the passage and contrast it with what we cannot.

What we can conclude from Genesis 1:

  • God was not caused or created
  • God is creator and all else is creation
  • God created everything exactly as He saw fit (purposefully, not accidentally)
  • God who is creator created everything by speaking it into creation
  • There was an order to creation
  • What was created was good
  • God created and enabled reproduction
  • God has a desire and command for man, animals and plants to procreate
  • Mankind was created in God’s image
  • God made distinct separate genders

What we cannot conclude definitively from Genesis 1:

  • The precise state of non-existance prior to all of creation’s existance
  • Exactly how God’s words created things (and meta-matter) out of nothing (this is not to say that this didn’t happen, but the workings of it)
  • The exact duration/time of creation
  • Any prescriptive instruction
  • The power of words
  • Whether the earth was created old or not
  • Whether evolution had any part to play in creation

And one more note on the act of creation: Psalms 102:25, Isaiah 42:5, 45:12 tells us there is much more to creation than we can imagine to understand. Who can understand the workings of God?

Genesis 1 sets the scene very well right from the beginning. God is the sovereign and creator God. He is central, everything else is secondary.

Day Two

God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water. So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expense from the water above it. It was so. God called the expanse “sky”. There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let dry ground appear.” It was so. God called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas”. God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:6-10

On day zero, God created the God created the universe. And on the second day, He made light and time. He also defined light and darkness, distinguishing between them. We must remember that these things didn’t exist before God came along and light and darkness wasn’t defined. Everything was pretty much an undefined mess of stuff before day one.

Now on day two, God created again with just His speech. This time, God created the sky. This he created as a separation between the waters above and below. And on day three, God gathered the waters below into seas so that dry ground appeared. At the end of the third day, the planet is ready to support life. It seemed that this has been the plan all this while. God considered again and concluded that His creation was good.

Pause for awhile and think:

  • God separated the water. God gathered the water. In that way He created sky and land. His creative work isn’t restricted to creating something out of nothing. Here he manipulates a single substance, creating two different things. In three days, He has displayed three different ways of creating.
  • First God considered the light good. Now, He considered the sky, land and sea good. This was God’s reflection of His own work. It was good simply because it was His own work. Creation didn’t need to be complete (we know now that he wasn’t done creating at this point) for it to be good. It simply needed to be His handiwork.

We start seeing the trend here: he creates out of nothing (before this, there was no expanse), he then defines and names. All the while showing God is the central character in creation. It all begins with Him and He is sovereign over all of creation.

Day One

Now the earth was without shape and empty, and the darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night”. There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.
Genesis 1:2-5

Where Genesis 1:1 is the title of the chapter, Genesis 1:2 sets the scene for the coming narrative. This verse can be seen as a prologue for God to take center stage in his act of creating.

The earth here is described as “without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep”. This is the state of the earth in it’s primitive stage after being created (Genesis 1:1); not that it had no shape or is empty (matter less), but it was without structure and formless. It was no more than a ball of mass covered in deep abyss like water without any light. The picture it paints is a dark, depressing and meaningless place – nothing happening, not going anywhere.

That is precisely the state of our lives before God comes along. The scene of our lives before God is primitive, meaningless and dark. But God isn’t absent, He is there even in this meaningless state. God isn’t observing in the distance, He is right there on the surface of the water – moving. In that word carries the sense of God preparing and incubating for His work of creation.

In God’s time, at His own pace, He then does the act of creating through his spoken word. When the Creator calls creation into existence, the calling is fulfilled immediately and completely in the creation’s existance. There is no gap between his Words and the existance of what is created. And the first thing that the Creator corrects with His creative power is the darkness. He created light where there was none.

When He saw the light that He had created, He considered it good. The words here means that God reflected on and concluded that the light he had created is good. What we have is a record of God’s personal opinion that light is good, and not darkness. And so God made a distinction between them. In the act of creating, He didn’t remove the darkness that was there (Genesis 1:2), instead it was separated from the light. This separation is important and is a theme that runs through Genesis and the rest of Scriptures.

God then named light and darkness. This is a sovereign act of defining and showing himself sovereign over light and darkness. Stop and think about the fact that God is sovereign over darkness and that he defined darkness. That is where our comfort lies in times of dispair and darkness. We rest in the fact even then, God is sovereign.

Day Zero

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

The beginning was no simple matter. Genesis wasn’t the beginning of the world, the universe or time. It was simply the beginning; the absolute state of beginning. And right at the beginning was God.

This says so much about God. This isn’t about the beginning of God, He doesn’t have a beginning. It simply states that at the absolute beginning, God was. God exist without having any cause and apart from the idea of a cause. Elohim, the plural form of God is used here, expressing his triune nature and ultimate sovereignty as the “God of gods”.

Creation is God’s first piece of work. Here creation is the act of making something entirely new and perfect, not necessarily creating out of nothing, but certainly making anew or reforming into something new. This new thing is “the heavens and the earth”, representing the earth or land and all that is above it – the universe. This is the beginning of the visible and invisible – matter and meta-matter.

This is an amazing truth. That God, the uncaused cause, created everything. And thats where it all starts and revolves around – God. He is central to the whole universe.

Thats where a whole bunch of man’s problems lie. We imagine ourselves to be the center of our own universe. We imagine ourselves to be the creator of our own destiny. We lift mankind (and ourselves) up to be like gods and refuse to acknowledge our Creator. Thats whats wrong, we’re not acknowledging the Creator.