The Book of Genesis
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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise
Ø Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
You could ask a million people to tell you this verse and they all could. But would they tell you that this statement was true?
Would they say that God created the heavens and the earth, or that they believe in the "big bang theory".
Maybe they believe in evolution. They may say that we came from a monkey or from a single cell at the bottom of the sea.
What other things have you heard about creation and how man was created?
One important fact is, if someone says that God didn't create the heavens and the Earth, then they are calling God a liar. God said that He created the Heavens and the Earth, who can argue with God?
· Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
This week we will look at this as we start our study into the book of Genesis.
Let's start out at looking at who wrote the book of Genesis and when.
Moses wrote the book of Genesis around 1450-1410 B.C during Israel's wandering in the wilderness for forty years. That's about 3400 years ago.
In fact Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible which is called the Torah.
Since the book of Genesis was written around 3400 years ago, does that mean the earth is only 3400 years old?
Even though the book of Genesis was written 3400 years ago doesn't mean it was written when the world was created, because then it would have had to be written or at least started by Adam.
In fact, there is an older book in the bible written about 400 - 600 years earlier then Genesis. That book is Job.
But it still doesn't date the earth because that would make it around 4000 years old.
The Christian belief is the world is around 6000 years old, give or take a couple seconds. : )
One way you can date this is by looking at the genealogies in the bible.
Another way is also by looking at the Jewish calendar. This is about the year 5760 on the Hebrew calendar.
So that's a little look at who wrote Genesis, when it was written, and how old the earth is.
We will look at the question of fossils, Dinosaurs and more on the age of the earth as we study the first few chapters of Genesis. I just wanted to give you a little appetizer.
So let's get started.
Ø Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The Hebrew word for God is 'elohiym (el-o-heem') which is not a single God, but God in the plural form.
What does that mean? It means that there was more then one God.
Remember the study we did on the Holy Spirit, where we determined that God the Father, Jesus & the Holy Spirit where one God, what we call the Trinity?
Well here it is in the very first verse of the bible.
God in the plural form meaning, God the Father, God Jesus, & God the Holy Spirit created the heavens and the earth.
Verse one is like an introduction saying God created the heavens and the earth in verse 1, and in the proceeding verses it is told how God created the heavens and the earth.
Ø Gen 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Form = confusion or formless void = emptiness
We could read it as the earth was only confusion and full of emptiness.
Once again we see a reference to the Holy Spirit (The Spirit of God).
When we were unbelievers, the Holy Spirit was hovering over us in a sense, seeing our emptiness and confusion, desiring to relieve us of this emptiness and to fill us with Gods forgiveness and love.
"and darkness was on the face of the deep."
Believers can see the darkness on people's faces. We can also see the emptiness in people's lives as the world searches for that right thing to fill them. But nobody does until they come to Jesus.
If you gave been empty for all theses years, ask Jesus to come into your life and fill you with His love and remove that emptiness and He will.
Ø Gen 1:3-5 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Here we see that God first created light at the beginning of His creation of the heavens and the earth.
God took a mass of emptiness and confusion, and out of that mass He created the light to remove the emptiness and confusion.
This is the same thing He does with us.
When you were (are maybe still are) searching for the truth you were like a mass of confusion, empty inside.
Then God opened your eyes to the light, His son Jesus Christ. Then all of a sudden, no more emptiness or confusion. Why, because Jesus is the light of the world. And He fills that darkness and emptiness inside you.
· John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
Then after we receive Jesus he says this about us:
· Matt 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
· 2 Cor 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
And what did God say about the light? That it is good. The light that is in you (Jesus) is good.
There is another question here you may have. Is the term used here for day and evening a 24-hour period or a longer space of time?
In the Halleys bible handbook it speaks of this time as follows:
Genesis 1:5 used as a term for light
1:8, 13 seems to means a 24 hour period
1:14, 16 seems to mean a 12 hour period
In 2:4 it seems to cover the whole creation period.
The original Hebrew for night is Laylah, which means "night," the period of time during which it is dark:
And the term for day in Hebrew is yom: "daylight; day; time; moment; year."
So my answer is, I don't know. Whether it is a time period of 24 hours or a 1000 years I couldn't tell you.
But I know God is awesome, and He could create all the heavens and the earth in 6, 24-hour days. But if he choose to take longer, He's still awesome!
But you say, "What about where it says Morning and Evening?
Evening = This word represents the time of the day immediately preceding and following the setting of the sun.
Morning = This word means "morning," though not the period of time before noon. Rather it indicates the point of time at which night is changing to day or that time at the end of night:
We always think in English terms, but as we see it is a period of time not like we would say day or night, but a changing from the darkness to light which could be in this case any amount of time.
Ø Gen 1:6-8 6 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Reading this it is a little difficult to understand with the word firmament. So let's look at a couple other versions.
· Gen 1:6-8 (New Century Version) 6 Then God said, "Let there be something to divide the water in two." 7 So God made the air and placed some of the water above the air and some below it. 8 God named the air "sky." Evening passed, and morning came. This was the second day.
· Gen 1:6-8 (NRSV) 6 And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7 So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
So reading these versions it would appear that there was a mass of water, and God separated the water by having part of it being a ball of water (the earth) with a mist of water above it. This is where the separation occurred.
Even scientist will tell you that there is water in space and on other planets.
Notice back in verse 2 again and how it tells of "the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters."
· Jer 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. "Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the LORD, The fountain of living waters."
· John 4:13-14 13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
· John 7:37-39 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
We see God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, all being referenced to as the living water.
Think of the woman at the well in John 4:13-14 and how Jesus used the illustration of two types of water. First the water which she would thirst for again, then the Living Water.
It's like us as non-believers, always thirsting for more to fill our emptiness; drugs, alcohol, sex, material things, and even false spiritual things.
But as we became Christians, our thirst was satisfied, we were separated from the desires of this world, no longer desiring them, but desiring the pure water from the Lord.
Ø Gen 1:9-13 9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
Notice how God is a God of order. He first creates the water, then the dry land, then the plants. As we look at the creation account, just try to imagine if it was done in any different order. The results would be chaos.
· John 12:23-26 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
· John 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
· 2 Cor 9:10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
As we witness (plant seeds) we see the results of our witness, and the results produce fruit, which in turn bears more seeds that are planted producing fruit again.
And through this we can see God not only creating the heavens and the earth, but also how He created us and brought us into the state that we are in right now as believers, just as he did with the creation of the heavens and the earth.
Ø Gen 1:14-19 14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 "and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
You maybe saying, "Wait a minute, didn't God already create the light on the first day?"
The answer is yes, but as we think about the light being created in verse 2 and the light talked about here there is a difference.
The first light was a light that separated darkness and light, but the second light was, as you'll notice in verse 16 two lights, a greater light (the sun) and a lesser light (the moon and stars).
The first light was light, but the evening was darkness.
Just imagine the sky with no stars or moon. We would be in total pitch darkness without our man made lights. Possibly an awful darkness that's talked about in Exodus, so dark that you could even feel it.
· Ex 10:21 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt."
The example of this darkness was to the extent that they could feel the darkness. I believe that this was the darkness talked about in verse 2.
Once again this is what happened to us as non-believers. We were in total darkness, to the extent that we could feel our darkness, but had become accustomed to it.
But now that we have the light we see the darkness for what it is. And even though we sin the light of Jesus still shines through, although not as brightly.
Think of it this way, Jesus is the SUN and we are the moon. The Sun is the true light, and the light from the moon is a refection of the Sunlight.
So it is with us, Jesus is the true light and we are the reflection of that light.
The reason there is not always a full moon is that the earth blocks part of the sun so only part of the reflection shines.
What, in the world, is blocking the full reflection of the true light, Jesus Christ, from shining completely in your life?
Ø Gen 1:20-23 20 Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
This is the first time there are living creatures on the earth, the fish and creatures of the sea and the birds of the air.
As you think about it, the plant had to be created first to feed the birds and sea creatures.
Water and air produced living things that God created.
So once again with us, the living water produced life in us, that was once, only death.
Ø Gen 1:24-25 24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
So here God created, all the land animals, and the bugs too.
Notice it says "according to IT'S KIND" meaning from a dog you would have different breeds of dogs. But from a dog you can not produce a cat.
That is against what the evolutionist say. They think we came from a monkey and evolved into a man.
God says here No, I created animals to breed only their own kind, and nothing else.
We will look at this in more detail next week.
And next we will see that God created man on this same day.
· Gen 1:26-31 26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 "Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Let Us make man in Our image, God made man in His own "image," reflecting some of His own perfections: knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, and with dominion over the creatures.
The word "Our" you will notice is in capital letters which means as we saw in verse 1 the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We need to remember that, God created us in His image. We shouldn't try to create God in our image!
We will discuss the creation more next week, but I wanted you to notice something.
If you didn't know, Adam and Eve were vegetarians, there was no eating of any meat, no hamburgers, no steak, and not even fish.
But what else I wanted you to notice is, that not only was man vegetarian, but the animals were to (see verse 30).
We have all seen the nature shows with animals hunting other animals. But not here, no they were all vegetarians.
No lions eating other animals, and the same was true for all other animals, no eating each other, no so called circle of life, because there was no death, yet.
When we are new born babies we are young and innocent not knowing of the meat of sin, but as we grow we move from the innocent vegetarian to the hunger to have more sin in our lives.
But then that's when Jesus came into our life and removed that desire for the meat of sin and given us the pure desire for the water of His word.
Next week we will look at the seventh day, and a more in-depth study of the creation of man, also the question of what we are taught as children as far as creation is concerned and seeing the truth in the Bible.
Let rivers of living water flow from you!