For lesson two of the Bellevue Women's fall Bible study, Donna Gaines teaches about how God's pen is sovereign. Parallel to how God perfectly designed and spoke creation into existence, He meticulously crafted each of us with our own unique stories.
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The Beginning: HisStory in Genesis 1-11
Lesson Two: The Story of Creation – Genesis 1:3-2:3
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
I. By Faith
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’” (Genesis 1:3).
Christians take these verses literally. We have had our minds illumined by God’s Word, our spirits awakened to new life and our faith is in God and His Word. We believe that science evolved out of creation. One of my good friends, who is trained in science and taught science, emailed me recently with these thoughts:
- Science takes the posture that everything is knowable with the right tools. We can figure this out.
- Faith takes the posture that some things are not knowable, even with the best tools. We are not God.
- Genesis gives us a vision of our identity that science cannot.
- Creation vs evolution is not primarily a debate of evidence. It is a difference in faith (Joni Shankles).
“The Bible is not a handbook of astronomy or of any other science. However, each time the Spirit of God refers to a subject that can be scientifically investigated, He does so with unerring precision” (John Phillips, Exploring Genesis, p. 43).
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, completely unknowable by us have reached down and revealed creation and God’s great love through His written Word and the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.
“The Bible takes some fifty chapters to discuss the construction and significance of the Tabernacle. Yet it was only a very temporary sanctuary. Fifty chapters about the Tabernacle and five words about the stars. Truly the Bible looks at things form quite a different perspective from ours. The Bible is a handbook of redemption, that is why. It was nothing for God to create; to create He had only to speak. But to redeem, He had to suffer. That is the perspective of the Bible” (John Phillips, Exploring Genesis, p. 43).
II. The Six Days of Creation – Genesis 1:3-31
We begin with the cosmic creation and then move to the human-centered account in Genesis 2.
A. 24-Hour Days
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?
On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7)
“When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed, When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;” (Proverbs 8:27-29).
B. Forming and Filling
“Once the initial universe is created by the will and purpose of God (Revelation 4:11), the Triune Godhead now ‘makes’ and ‘shapes’ the earth (eretz) and the heavens (shamayim) into an organized and functioning cosmos in preparation for the life that would be created on Days Five and Six. The crowning ‘image of God’ would becharged with the responsibility of caring for the creation” (Henry M. Morris, III, The Book of Beginnings, p. 57).
“The basic command for all living things was that each reproduce ‘after its kind’. The expression occurs ten times in Genesis 1. It is the rock upon which the whole theory of evolution perishes. God has decreed that there be no change from one kind to another kind There may be mutation and change within any given kind, but no kind is changed into another kind The principles of genetics have firmly established the fact that inherited life characteristics are implanted in the genes” (John Phillips, Exploring Genesis, p. 42).
III. Created in His Image – Genesis 1:26-27
We have been given God’s imprint. We are set apart from the rest of creation.
We saw last week that man was created as a trichotomy. Just as God is a trichotomy – God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are a trichotomy – Spirit, Soul, and Body.
God is Spirit and man connects with God Spirit to Spirit. We are eternal beings. He created us in His image, male and female.
Man is a person and has intellect, emotions, and the capacity to connect and interact with his fellow man. Man understands moral responsibility and accountability. “Although Adam knew what was right, he was given independence of action and could choose the wrong” (R. David Skinner, Studies in Genesis, p. 78).
IV. God’s Blessing – Genesis 1:28-30
A. Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth
B. Subdue and rule – Man is over creation
It takes male and female to procreate. Just as it takes male and female to share the gospel and experience people being born spiritually. We will go into more depth next week about the significance of male and female.
God granted the vegetation as food. Man was vegetarian until after the flood.
V. The Seventh Day – A Day of Rest
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God;” (Exodus 20:8-10).
Dallas Willard gave a very astute answer in response to the question, “What do I need to do to become the me I want to be?” He said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” He went on to say, “There is nothing else. Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life” (John Mark Comer, The Relentless Elimination of Hurry, p. 18).
Comer continues, “Could it be that Willard was right? That an overbusy, digitally distracted life of speed is the greatest threat to spiritual life that we face in the modern world? I can’t help but wonder if Jesus would say to our entire generation what he said to Martha: ‘You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one’” (Th Relentless Elimination of Hurry, p. 27).
Has the enemy ensnared us by hurry and caused us to dismiss the Sabbath, knowing that a hurried soul cannot commune with God?
How do you remember the Sabbath? Do you have margin in your life?