In this study we will be taking another look at the creation account as outlined in Genesis, however in order to properly lay a foundation for our particular position on this subject it will prove necessary that we first venture a bit into speculation that is with regards to events proceeding the creative days. There are of course as many theories on what preceded Gods work as it relates to the readying of the earth for man as there are theories on the Genesis account itself. Our object here however is to find a way in which both natural laws and the Word of God can coincide one with another, naturally with the LORD’s Word taking precedence.
As a Christian always bear in mind that it is the theory which must harmonize with the divine testimony, NOT the other way around.
“The universe obeys certain rules—laws to which all things must adhere. These laws are precise, and many of them are mathematical in nature. Natural laws are hierarchical in nature; secondary laws of nature are based on primary laws of nature, which have to be just right in order for our universe to be possible. But, where did these laws come from, and why do they exist? If the universe were merely the accidental by-product of a big bang, then why should it obey orderly principles—or any principles at all for that matter? Such laws are consistent with biblical creation. Natural laws exist because the universe has a Creator God who is logical and has imposed order on His universe.”
Everything in the universe, every plant and animal, every rock, every particle of matter or light wave, is bound by laws which it has no choice but to obey. The Bible tells us that there are laws of nature—“ordinances of heaven and earth” (Jer 33:25). These laws describe the way God normally accomplishes His will in the universe.
God’s logic is built into the universe, and so the universe is not haphazard or arbitrary. It obeys laws of chemistry that are logically derived from the laws of physics, many of which can be logically derived from other laws of physics and laws of mathematics. The most fundamental laws of nature exist only because God wills them to; they are the logical, orderly way that the Lord upholds and sustains the universe He has created. The atheist is unable to account for the logical, orderly state of the universe. Why should the universe obey laws if there is no law-giver? But laws of nature are perfectly consistent with biblical creation. In fact, the Bible is the foundation for natural laws.” (“God & Natural Law” by Jason Lisle, Ph.D.) http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/God-natural-law
So in essence the natural laws which we hope to coincide with the Word of God were in fact of His own creation, so it shouldn’t be all that difficult to arrive at some logical conclusions in our study, but first before we begin let us first take a closer look at the opening statement of Genesis, as we wish to explain the reasoning for the statement, “In a beginning” in our posts opening diagram.
VERSE 1 “In the beginning …”
The original Hebrew text translates it thusly,
b·rashith bra aleim ath e·shmim u·ath e·artz
in·beginning he-created Elohim » the·heavens and·» the·earth
“As noted the qualifying “the” does not appear in the Hebrew and hence a more accurate translation would be “a beginning.”
“In a beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
“This is not the beginning of God, but the beginning of His physical and visible works. God has no origin, nor initiation, nor genesis. He has neither end nor termination. “He is from everlasting to everlasting.” (Psa 90:2) He existed before time itself, (Isa 43:12). His life principle is like a circle unending without origin or end. Like a perfect circle try to find where it begins or ends. This is a mind boggling concept. God is self-existent, self-contained and self-perpetuating. This is not an attempt to define God for God cannot be defined. He can only be encountered. Only a vague perspective can be grasped. God is a spirit, eternal and unchangeable. “TEN BAD MISTAKES ABOUT GOD” Pages 234-235
“We are to remember that this beginning relates NOT to the universe as a whole, but merely to our planet. Then it was that ‘the morning stars sang together’ and all the angelic sons of God ‘shouted for joy’ – when the Lord laid the foundations of the earth and ‘made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness its swaddling band’ (Job 38 4-11).
Even yet a still earlier beginning is mentioned in the Bible; a beginning before the creation of those angelic sons of God; as we read in John 1:1- 3: ‘In a beginning was the Word (the Logos, the divine mouthpiece, the representative), and the Logos was with the God and the Logos was a God: the same was in the beginning with the God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.’ (See Volume 5, Chapter 3.)
The “Only Begotten” has the highest distinction above all other beings, for he is “The beginning of the creation of God”– the “first born of every creature”, “the First and the Last”, (the only) direct creation of God (Rev 3:14; Col 1:15; Rev 2: 8). “For by him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.” (Col 1:16-17). “The LORD formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else” (Prov 8:22 New Living Translation).
Other beginnings came in turn as the various angelic orders were one by one created; and these beginnings were in the past, so that their hosts could shout for joy when our earth’s creations, related in Genesis, had their beginning.
A possible synopsis would be the following,
1) First there was and always will be God.
2) Then came the very first beginning, our Lord, the first born and only direct creation of God through whom all subsequent things were to be made, but not by means of His own power or by His own authority, but by the power and authority of the Father, the author of all creation.
3) Following this came the future abode or dwelling place for the various angelic orders soon to be created, “In my Father’s house are many mansions (conditions or levels of being)… I go and prepare a place for you” (John 14:2, 3) it would seem but natural that an abode or dwelling place would first precede the creation of these new beings even as the dwelling place of man was prepared before his arrival.
4) Then came the angelic hosts themselves. Although we are not thoroughly advised as to how many exact orders exist, that is besides angels the scriptures do mention “Seraphim” and “Cherubim,” and that some of these possessed more authority than others, whether this implies that they were of a different type or level of angelic being or simply were given more authority is not precisely clear.
5) Next came the beginning in which God (through his Son, then known as the Logos, recall once again Col 1:16 as noted above) created the heavens and the earth, the cosmos, the universe with its untold millions upon millions of galaxies, stars, and planets, around which one star a small but insignificant planet was created, how long a time existed between this beginning and that which begins in Verse 2 of Genesis is unknown. It is very much a possibility that it encompassed billions of years; remember “He who inhabits eternity has no need to be in a hurry”. All of God’s plans and purposes are working out according to his own will and his own pleasure and naturally according to his own “due time”.
6) And then it was, the time appointed, the beginning of the work of creation as outlined in the Genesis account the preparation of the earth for the arrival of God’s earthly sons.
“In the beginning God created…”
Why? Why should God create? Why should he feel the need to create anything if he is immortal, self-existing and in need of nothing?
Is it true that God does not need anything?
The answer we seek may be found in the very character or nature of God. God is love, (1 John 4:8) love is unselfishness, “Love seeks not her own.”
God is love, and love gives. “If love, (and therefore, God) has one pre-eminent need or quality that need is GIVING. God created so that He would have beings for which He could GIVE or share blessings.”
Our God is a benevolent God, a giving God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, the giver of life and breath to all things.
I believe Brother George Tabac summed it up rather nicely when he stated,
“How can one begin to describe the awesome attributes of our God, the great first cause, who is from everlasting to everlasting, a being who was eternally self-sufficient, needing nothing beyond his being to make him happy, because he was infinitely perfect and complete in himself. Therefore when we consider the reason why God began his creation, we believe it was not for his own pleasure or companionship. But rather it was because of what the apostle John told us, that GOD IS LOVE! It was God’s love that was the motivating factor in the creation of angels and man.
He wanted to create other beings NOT for his pleasure, but for their pleasure. He created life simply so that others could enjoy all the blessings and joys that life has to offer. Thus we see the creation of other intelligent beings demonstrates LOVE as one of the prime attributes of our God.”
“In the beginning God created the heavens…”
Some students of the word are of the opinion that the “heavens” here mentioned refer to firmament, the atmosphere which surrounds the earth rather than the starry heavens themselves, note the following remarks,
“It is commonly assumed that these “heavens” are in reference to the starry heavens, the universe above, that Verse 1 refers to a time long ago when the universe as well as the various stars and planets including the earth came into existence, however some are equally convinced that this reference to “heaven” refers not to any point remote from the earth, but rather to the underside of the canopy which surrounded the earth at the time. This expanse located between the core of the earth and beneath the canopy assumed to be roughly 22,000 miles in depth was occupied at the time by super-heated gases which suspended the canopy above. The evidence in support of this position is based upon Verses 6- 8 of Genesis in which after God had created a “firmament” (the expanse or atmosphere), which separated the waters which were above from those which were below He referred to it as the “heaven”.
Now personally I have no problem with either as regardless of whether the reference were in respects to the “firmament” or the starry heavens this would in no way detract from the fact that both the universe and the planet earth (the physical globe) came into existence long ago, long before the work of creation as narrated in the Genesis account, however… just for the sake of argument let us take a look at the original Hebrew translation once more that we might determine the facts for ourselves.
In Verse 1 note the Hebrew “e·shmim” is used with the qualifying “the” added, i.e. the·heavens, “In the beginning God created the heavens”, which appears to invoke special emphasis to these “heavens”.
Now take a look at the same as found in Verse 8 and you will note that the same special emphasis is not indicated in the latter, the qualifying “the” is absent.
u·iqra aleim l· rqio shmim
and·he-is-calling Elohim to· ·atmosphere heavens
Both are plural but one has special emphasis thus possibly distinguishing a difference between the two “heavens”.
Another thought is this, in the opening verse it states that God created the heavens and the earth, the heavens (the universe) apparently preceding the creation of the earth, whereas in Verse 8 it appears that the earth existed prior to the creation of the firmament or heavens.
The evidence seems to favor the idea that the “heavens” spoken of in Verse 1 refer to the cosmos, the starry heavens.
VERSE 2 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
The original Hebrew translated.
u·e·artz either theu u·beu u·chshk ol – phni theum
and·the·earth she-became chaos and·vacancy and·darkness over surfaces-of abyss
u·ruch aleim mrchphth ol – phni e·mim
and·spirit-of Elohim vibrating over surfaces-of the·waters
The Emphasized Bible (Rotherham) a version highly rated for its translation accuracy translates it thusly,
“Now, the earth, had become waste and wild, and darkness, was on the face of the roaring deep,-but, the Spirit of God, was brooding on the face of the waters.” (Gen 1:2)
There is some dispute over whether it should be read as, “And the earth was…” and/or “And the earth became…”
It is very much a possibility that too much has been read into this phrase “had become” with opinions veering from one extreme to another, with some implying that there was a world which existed before this world, a world inhabited by angels or by both angels and men a world which God had to destroy because it had become destructive and evil, that it was at this time that Lucifer fell none the lease of which is scripturally sound. Why should angels who were given a heavenly abode wish to confine themselves to an earthly sphere? As for men we are expressly informed that Adam was the first man that no human sons existed prior to him.
Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best answer, this phrase “became” simply implies that the earth was in a stage of formation evolving from a mere collection of matter into a celestial body or planet and that in consequence this formation naturally involved many volatile (wild and inhabitable) stages of development as the earth crusts was still in its infancy. Thus the earth at this stage “had become” a waste and wild world covered in waters both upon its surface and in the swaddling band or canopy which shrouded it in darkness.
“At first the earth was but a mass of energy, and as an earth (a stable world) it was as yet, unformed, and as far as life was concerned, empty and void. Then we saw that the water and gaseous matters were thrown away from the center core, forming a great cloud, or deep, around that core. Since there would be too much earthly material in this deep for the sun’s rays to penetrate to the surface of the core, it would have been true that “darkness was upon the [inside] face of the deep,” even though the sun shown upon the outside, even as it now shines upon the planets which still have their canopies, the gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.” (Rings and Canopies, Appendix)
“The Hebrew word Bar’a, “created” in Gen 1:1 comes from the root Barah, meaning “to fill.” So by “creating” the heavens and the earth, God really “filled” the heavens and the earth to the ancient Hebrew mind. Think about that for a moment. As far as we know there was at some point only God and the rest was void. So God filled that void, so to speak, with what we now call the heavens with all those stars, galaxies and things we probably don’t even know about.”
“In the beginning God filled the heavens and earth” filled the void which was empty of substance, with respects to the universe he filled it with galaxies, stars, and planets, and the earth he filled with life.
Continued with next post.