After a bit of a hiatus, let’s pick back up in Genesis.
Order/Structure of Creation
Having discussed the nature of “days,” what did God do with them? Moses tells us that the “earth,” the cosmos, was without form and void. Then he tells us that God gave it form on the first three days and filled the void in the last three days. Creation itself is stamped with the character of God. There is order and structure to creation.
Notice the formations we are given in the Creation account? God forms the sky, the sea, and the land. Each is given structure and boundaries.
An important point to recognize here is that because God is orderly and provides structure, we have science. Reproducible hypothesis can be tested. We expect properties to act a certain way. If all of the universe were chaos and chance, what would we expect? If the universe were all chaos and chance, it would be impossible to test and formulate anything we could count on. Everything would be chance. It may work one way for a while, but you couldn’t say it would happen again with certainty.
God’s Sheer Power Is Expressed By Mere Speech
Unlike the narratives of the surrounding culture in the Ancient Near East, there is no secret sword or weapon to conquer rival gods. No crystal. Just words. Just speech. God says it and it comes into being. By eight simple commands, the eighth being the creation of man as we’ll see next time, Moses stresses to us that God spoke reality into being.
One commentator says,
“This reality that God spoke the world into reality leaves no room for notions of a universe that is self-existent, or a universe that is struggled for, or a universe that is random, or a universe that is a divine emanation.”
God Brings Order to Chaos Through Division, Differentiation, and Distinction
Notice the distinctions He makes in creation.
- On day one, He separates light from darkness.
- On day two, He separates the upper waters from the lower waters.
- On day three, He separates water from land. He divides between the kinds of plants, according to their kind.
- On day four, He differentiates between the greater light, the sun, and the lesser light, the moon, and uses them to divide time and seasons.
- On day five, He divides the kinds of swarms of living creatures in the sea, the kinds of birds in the air.
- On day six, He brings forth land creatures according to their kinds and divides them between livestock, creeping things, and beasts of the earth, each according to their kinds.
Additionally, He distinguishes things by name. We saw that in an earlier post by recognizing that naming something shows lordship and authority over it in the ancient world.
God Is Shown to Be Ultimately Responsible for the Earth’s Productive Power
On the third day, the focus shifts from formation to filling of the void. “Let the earth sprout…” Moses makes it clear that, in spite of what Al Gore would have you believe, mother earth in and of herself does not have the power to procreate. Only God gives the earth the power to bring into being other things. God, and God alone, is sovereign over the earth.
God is sovereign over the markers that order our lives. In his day, Moses witnessed people worshipping the sun and the moon. But, Day 4 shows us that the sun and the moon are not to be worshipped as gods. They’re simply markers put there by the true God of Creation. Look at that phrase, “he made the stars also”…almost like it’s an afterthought. They are an afterthought to God, a garnish on the plate of His night sky.
God Is Sovereign over the Most Powerful Forces on Earth
The heavenly bodies are His servants. He controls them, they are not rival gods. The tallest Redwood to the dandelion are His servants. The oceans rise and fall at His command.
Powerful sea creatures are created on Day five, and are blessed by God so that they may reproduce. They would wither without His blessing. All creatures of the sea are merely the creation of God.
You’ve seen the promos of the apocalyptic movies like, “The Day After Tomorrow”…what’s the big scary scene in the commercial? It’s the tidal wave higher than the tallest building in the city coming to swoop down and swallow everyone up.
Tidal waves can cause us anxiety. Asteroids hurtling toward earth can cause you some pause. But, they are mere creations of God. He is sovereign over them. We can worship God in peace.
Those who worship many gods can never worship in peace. What if there’s a stronger god who’s plotting against you and your god? However, Scripture teaches that there’s only One God and all of creation serves Him.
Conclusion: God Sovereignly Provides
Isn’t it amazing the detail in which God has ordered this universe to provide for His creatures? Among the Persons of the Godhead, Who was the Agent of creation?
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)
Scripture teaches that Christ created the world. Notice the irony. Look at how many of these things serve to remind us of God’s provision for us in Christ. Here are eight, I’m sure you may see more.
1. Christ, Who said,
“Let there be light!” also said,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
2. Christ, Who said,
“Let there be an expanse” suspended in the midst of the waters that separated waters above and below, was Himself suspended between heaven and earth. But Christ was not suspended to separate, but to unite.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph. 1:7-10)
3. Christ, Who said,
“Let dry land appear” and “Let the earth sprout vegetation” did so knowing at that time preparation was made for land that would serve as His tomb and the seed was planted for the tree that would one day be used as His cross.
4. Christ, Who said,
“Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens…and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years…,” and Who set in place the regulation of time, did so knowing that the countdown had begun to the time when He would say,
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” (John 12:27-28)
5. Christ, Who said,
“Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures,” would one day say to men whose life depended on catching and selling those fish, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” He would later demonstrate His ability to provide for them while they served Him by taking two of those fish and feeding five thousand men, with their wives and children.
6. Christ, Who said,
“Let the earth bring forth living creatures – livestock, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth,” did so knowing that it would be said of Him to the Apostle John, that He is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb Who has been slain. (Revelation 5:5-6)
7. Christ, Who said, (as we will see next time),
“Let us make man in our image…” did so knowing that He would come as the Son of Man to seek and save the lost.
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'” … And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Heb. 10:5-10)
8. Christ was provided a body.
We were provided reconciliation through the killing of that body on a tree.
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:14-16)
So, you see, provision was made, not just for sustaining the life of creatures, but for eternal life through belief in Christ as our just substitute. Provision was made in the theater of Creation; the stage is set, so that God would magnify Christ as the Redeemer King of a people, for our good and His glory.