Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #3 of Genesis, chapter 1 and I will read Genesis 1:1-5:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
I will stop reading there. We have been discussing the Bible’s statement: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The word for God is a plural word. We also saw that the “Word of God” was said to be in the beginning, as we read in John 1:1-3:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Everything that was created was made by the “Word of God,” the Lord Jesus Christ, as it says later in John, chapter 1 where it says, “The word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The Lord Jesus entered into the human race when He was born of the Virgin Mary. It was Christ who in the beginning created the heaven and the earth. Of course, it was God in the fullness of His Being, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is mentioned in Genesis 1:2: “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The entire Godhead was involved in the creation of this universe.
In Proverbs, chapter 8, the Lord is speaking of Jesus Christ and likens Him to “wisdom” personified, which means it is giving “wisdom” the characteristics of the Lord Jesus. It says in Proverbs 8:22-30:
JEHOVAH possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
We find that in the beginning was “the Word” and in the beginning was “Wisdom.” The Lord Jesus Christ and God in His infinite wisdom was first. God is the cause of all things. He is the first “mover.” In attempting to explain the origin of all things, some theologians use the illustration of a pool (billiards) table. They liken the creation to the balls on a billiard table and they are just sitting there, waiting to be acted upon. God would have had to first create the table and the balls and then He would set them in motion as the cue stick hits the cue ball and the cue ball hits the other balls, and so forth. God is the “doer.” He is the “cause” and He is the one behind the creation of all things and “by him all things consist.” The Bible says that “all things were created by him, and for him,” as it says in Colossians, chapter 1. Everything belongs to God. He is the Maker. He is the Potter and we are the clay, the Bible tells us. Mankind is likened to vessels of pottery that God has fashioned and formed and so, too, is the entire creation. The earth belongs to Him. He made it. It says in one of the Psalms that God is the maker of man “and not we ourselves” and, therefore, God owns the earth and He owns every person on the earth. Satan did not make the earth. The fallen angels did not make the earth. Mankind that lives upon the earth today act as if they own the earth, but they do not own it. God made it. God made the moon and the sun and the stars. God has formed everything that we see, no matter where we look into space or into the microscopic particles of creation we see through a microscope. All were made “by him, and for him,” and all things belong to Him.
When we make something, we recognize the “copyright.” You made it. You designed it and formed it and it belongs to you. You are the owner of it and that is how it is with the world, as it says in Psalm 148:1-5:
Praise ye JEHOVAH. Praise ye JEHOVAH from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of JEHOVAH: for he commanded, and they were created.
Notice that it says they are “his hosts” and it is God’s sun and God’s moon. It is God’s earth and all the creatures are His – the cats, dogs, chickens, fowls, fish and insects. All creatures belong to God. That is why the Psalms tells us that He owns the cattle upon a thousand hills. We looked at that verse before when we were trying to understand the spiritual definition of the number “thousand.” We realized that God does not own only the cattle on a thousand hills, but it represents the complete ownership of God in regard to all cattle upon all hills. God owns the cattle. He owns the hills. And God owns mankind. We will get into this later on when we discuss the creation of man. From that perspective, God owns all mankind and He can do with them as He pleases. Of course, everything God would do with one of His creatures would be right and perfect and just and fair because He owns them. Also, God is “right and perfect and just and fair.” He cannot go contrary to His nature and do that which is unjust or unfair. God always does right. He owns all creatures He has made from the very beginning.
More than that, only mankind has rebelled against Him and resisted the will of their Creator. They have dared to “shake their fist” at their Creator and strive with Him and they say to Him, “I will do as I please. I will live as I want to live. You command me to do certain things, but I am not going to listen to you. I am going to do what I want to do. I am going to do it my way.” This is the rebellious nature of man and it brought man into his fallen condition where his soul is dead within because he is a creature that has usurped the authority of its Creator. He does not recognize the authority of his Creator. Man is nothing but a piece of pottery that has fallen off the table and is a broken vessel and, yet, he acts as if he is the maker and he will determine what laws he will live by. He makes his own laws; he does not like God’s laws concerning marriage and divorce. He does not like what God says about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. He does not like God’s law concerning the governing of man’s thoughts, words and deeds and, therefore, he will devise his own laws. He sets himself up in the place of His Maker when he is nothing more than a tiny, finite and fallen creature that has gone astray from the right way and his soul has died within him.
Of course, God goes after certain individuals He predestinated to save and He restores their souls. God has said of those people He saved for Himself, in 1Corinthians 6:19-20:
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
It is the same with the unsaved because they belong to God, too, but they are in denial and they refuse to admit or recognize it, so God lets them go their own way. But with His elect, God has redeemed them and paid for all their sins, restoring them to their original position in creation and in a right relationship with Him. He has bought them and made them His own. We are His creatures and God’s elect learn to recognize this and they submit themselves to their Creator.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves because we are in Genesis 1, verse 1 where God is just beginning His creation. Is it not remarkable that God took six days to create the heaven and the earth? He could have done it all at once in an instant. When it says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” God could have created it with everything already in its place, with the dry land created dry and the seas in their positions and the creatures and man already fully formed. God could have created it altogether at the same time, but He did not do it that way. Instead of doing that, He took time and He created this world and everything in it over a period of days or in stages. He would create one aspect and then He would stop creating. We should not think that it took God 24 hours to create the earth without form and void. He spoke and there it was. Then on that first day, He divided the light from the darkness and, again, God would have done that in an instant. But God created and then He waited for the 24-hour period to elapse and then He did the same thing on Day #2. He created another aspect of things and then He waited for the 24-hour day period to elapse, so the creation was slowly taking shape and forming. Of course, six days is not very long. By the way, six day is 144 hours and in Revelation 21 when God pictures New Jerusalem (His elect) and likens it to a city that is formed, we have the number “144” in view. It says in Revelation 21:17:
And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
Everything in this chapter has to do with the number “12,” as the number “144” is “12 x 12.” It is interesting that when God worked six days to create, He worked 144 hours and then He rested. It is something for us to keep in mind because God tells us that He declares the “end from the beginning” and in Genesis, chapter 1, we have the beginning. It does not mean that in chapter 1 He is declaring the end, but we can find information to help us to understand the end, here or anywhere in the Bible.
So as God was creating the world in the beginning of this world, He already understood that mankind would fall. The purpose of this world is to glorify God in creating a people that would be His elect and live with Him in the next world. Right from the beginning, God knows that this world will serve His purpose over a certain period of time and then it must be destroyed and a new world must be formed and, therefore, the all-knowing God that inhabits eternity certainly had that in mind as He created this world. He is also able to give us information concerning information about the next world He will create. One thing we can see is that God created this present earth and universe over the course of several days. He did it, little by little, which is a statement the Lord makes concerning the conquest of the land of Canaan which typified the new earth. God said he would not drive out the inhabitants of the land all at once, but “little by little” He would drive them out and Israel took possession of the Promised Land in stages.
Again, for some reason, I am having a tendency to jump ahead, but let us continue to look at this wonderful creation and His enormous handiwork and the power of the Word of God. The heavens declare the glory of God, as God says in Psalm 19:1-6:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Is this not something? God says that the heavens declare His glory and show His handiwork and “in them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.” He is using a picture of the “sun” dwelling in the heavens. The heavens are like a “tent” or “tabernacle” and they are like a tent God has stretched out. God speaks of stretching out the heavens in Isaiah 40:21-22:
Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
God is the one sitting on the circle of the earth and He spread out the heavens as a tent to dwell in and later on we will see that God will create the “sun, moon and stars” or the celestial bodies after creating the heaven and the earth. He is working with these elements He creates. Just imagine that as He places the stars, He is stretching the curtains of a tent and pushing it back, back, back and the galaxies are forming and the universe is taking shape. God stretches it out and places the stars in their course and He places the sun, the earth and the moon in position. This is the amazing thing – all of this was stretched out as a “tent” for the “sun.” And this sun typifies God and it is that great light that lightens the earth. The focus is on the earth where life will be brought forth and where the creatures that will be formed will live. The sun is bringing the conditions for life to function on the earth. However, there is no life “out there,” but it is all a “tent” for the sun to be occupied in or for God to dwell in, in a sense. Is that not something?
You know, scientists today can look into deep space with their super telescopes and they have seen that the universe is still expanding (according to them). It is still stretching out or reaching further into the depths of this universe. It is as though God started this process of expanding the heavens and they have continued to expand ever since and reach out further and further. Of course, scientists credit the “Big Bang.” I guess if you recognize the Word of God that is full of power and majesty as being the cause of that “bang,” that is fine, but it is the declaration of God that He created it: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”