03: The Creation Completed – Thoughts Starters
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[Thought questions for The Creation Completed January 16, 2013]

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

1. Finished. Do you think God was exhausted when He finished the work of creation on this earth? Or was he enormously relieved and filled with satisfaction? What is the most important benefit of the Sabbath–to God? to man? Does a Sabbath day of rest fit best at the end of the regular week? Why? Should we thank God not only for creating the Sabbath, as magnificent and holy as it is, but also for establishing a seven-day week?Why?

2. Sun, moon, stars. Why is the work of the fourth day of creation discussed more than that of any other day? From believing that God created all aspects of the cosmos in one day to being sure that He revealed the celestial bodies already present, where do you place your belief? Since the Bible doesn’t tell us, does that make it unimportant? Do you anticipate asking God many questions about how the fourth day came to be? Will He answer your questions?

3. Air and water animals. Once clean air was provided along with abundant water between land masses, did God have enough raw material to create birds, fish and other air and water creature? Or did He create them from nothing and then place these creatures in the air or the water? Scientists have tried to copy key features of birds and fish to help us build better and faster airplane and ships? Have they been successful? What is missing in their attempts?

4. Land animals. Were more or fewer types of animals created during that first week than what we see around us today? Have you ever heard the concept, “fixity of species,” taught in creation-believing churches? Until I read this lesson, I didn’t realize we now accept at least limited interbreeding of species as a fact of life well demonstrated in nature. Should that affect our respect of our creator? Or of our church’s firm belief in God as the ultimate creator of all that lives?

5. Creation completed. For God to announce the end of creation week, does that imply He had a plan all along? Or was Creation week the spontaneous out-breaking of God’s creative abilities? Was the Sabbath God’s natural conclusion to a week of nonstop creative effort? Or was it a gift to us? How tired was God? How tired are you and I at the end of a week? What makes Sabbath especially enjoyable to you?

6. The literal day. Why is it important for us as Seventh-day Adventists to accept the first Sabbath as a literal, 24-hour day? Do you find a hopeless incongruity between creation week extending over thousands of years and the Sabbath taking just one literal 24-hour day? If you do, how do you explain your position to a person who believes in a long creation? Can a person with such a belief be saved? How?

7. Keep thinking. Did you read, carefully, the second full paragraph for Friday’s lesson? This passage tells us that the fossil record does not repeat the same succession of life as does the Creation week account. For example, in the fossil record, “water creatures come before plants and land creatures come before air creatures,” and flowering plants and trees come last. Does this observation build a case for a seven-day Creation week? How?

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03: The Creation Completed – Thoughts Starters — 16 Comments

  1. Why did God decide to use a rib which has no life in the creation of a woman and not the reproductive organs

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    • If the man had given birth to the woman, some might conclude that the man was/is somehow superior to the woman. But the Bible says that both man and woman were created in the image of God. "And God created man [humanity] in His own image ... male and female He created them." Gen 2:27 And in the more detailed account in Gen 2:22 we get the picture of God fashioning Eve from a rib taken from the side of Adam. Ellen White describes beautifully what that signified:

      Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” Ephesians 5:29. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 46.2)

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      • On why the rib.

        One of the mistakes we commonly make when looking at the Creation Narrative, is to combine the first account of Creation, in Genesis 1:1-2:4, with the second account which is in 2:5 to the end of the chapter.

        Relatively recent evidence demonstrates that 2:2-4 serves as a "colophon"-- think of it as a title page, but occurring at the end of the account, rather than the beginning. This colophon summarizes what the previous verses were about.

        "This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens"
        So that’s what the first account is about—God creating, organizing, and ordering everything, the heavens and the Earth. In that first account, there is no mention of a rib. In fact, neither Adam nor Eve is named in chapter one. As Inge pointed out, both male and female are 'man.'

        Chapter 2:5 begins a second account, which describes the organizing and ordering of the Earth, specifically the land portion, and even more specifically the Garden of Eden. Space prohibits going into great detail here, but the second account parallels the first. The second account does not take a day-by-day approach, as the first did, but a functional approach. Which day things took place is not important in the second account, as evidenced by the fact that no time periods at all are mentioned. What matters is the progression from chaos to order, from barrenness to fruitfulness.

        The first account begins with a declaration of chaos and barrenness: “ Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep,”

        So does the second: “Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,”

        In the first account, God brings light out of darkness; in the second, He makes life out of dust. In both accounts, waters are divided, etc. as the functional parallel continues. Again, space prohibits a detailed examination. Then, in the second account, we find the first thing that is “not good”—for man to be alone. This is “not good,” because Adam cannot fulfill his commission to be fruitful and multiply by himself.

        And that is part of this second account because humans are to expand the Garden until it fills all the habitable land. As God was organizing and filling the heavens and the Earth in the first account, Adam is to fill the Earth with humans who will bring organization and order to the land: “to work it and take care of it.” (v. 15)

        So, how is God to remedy this “not good” situation? Should he form another human from the dust? No. That would make two totally separate and independent individuals, and that is not His purpose. Should he let Adam help design his ‘helper?’ No. Adam—poor man—doesn’t know what he really needs.

        Adam is put to sleep because he is not to have the status of designer or creator of his helper, which would make him her superior. God takes Adam’s rib, and forms that rib into the helper. I’m not using the name Eve for one simple reason. She is not named Eve until after the fall.

        So, why the rib?

        Because, as Adam says, ““This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” The two are literally ‘one flesh.’ Instead of two independent individuals, they are an interdependent, bonded pair.

        Still, why the rib? Why not some other body part? First of all, ancient notions of body parts would have taken note had woman been made from the foot, the hand or the head. She was not created subservient (the foot), superior (the head), or as a tool (the hand).

        The emphasis on the side or rib probably indicates that the two/one flesh will go through life side-by-side.

        I would add that I don’t think there’s anything here of ‘male headship’ either. The two were literally one flesh. They were in one accord, so there was no need for a ‘tie-breaker’ vote. That need arises only after the fall.

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        • Does it mean that God created Adam and Eve in one event and in the same way (first account of creation) and He created Adam and Eve in separate events (divided by naming the animals) and different way (Eve from living organism, and Adam from non-animate matter)?

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        • Cezary,

          The text is not indicating two separate creations of Adam and Eve. I don't know if you looked at my chart and explanation at the link I gave.

          The two accounts are describing the same events, but in the context of two different perspectives. Chapter one is looking at 'the heavens and the earth,' while chapter two focuses on 'the land,' meaning, essentially the Garden of Eden.

          In chpater one, man (male and female) is created in the image of God to rule over the Earth, told to rule and fill it.

          Chapter two focuses on man as ruler of the garden. In the garden, man is part of the ordering process, as the opening verse in the second points out "Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet sprung up, for . . . there was no one to work the ground" Man acts as a steward of the Creator when he orders the garden by working the ground.

          The ordering of the garden by God parallels His ordering of the whole planet, as the text indicates and my chart demonstrates.

          The animals are brought to man for two reasons: 1) so that he can bring order to them by giving them names, and 2) so that man can understand that 'filling'==being fruitful and multiplying--requires a helper.

          God then creates woman out of man's rib to indicate they are the same--"one flesh"--and equal. With man and woman together can fulfill the commission to be fruitful.

          The second creation account zooms in, so to speak, shows how God orders and fills the world in a detailed rather than general manner.

          But both accounts describe the same events, one in time sequence on the grand scale, and the other in a more functional sequence on an intimate scale.

          Hope that helps.

          But ordering is only part of the creative process. The other is filling

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    • He is God who created the reproductive organs and can not be questioned as to why. Man's impossibilities are God's possibilities.

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  2. The other day, I was telling members in my Sabbath School class that the old question about whether the chicken or the egg came first was settled at creation when God created the chicken. However, after an explanation from another member, I now believe that God created both the chicken and the egg at the same time. At creation, the hen was fully equipped to reproduce, and already had eggs in her that she later laid to produce chicks. As the song says, whatever God needed, he provided. The chicken, like other creatures did not have to wait to evolve into something else. It was complete. So in life when we put our implicit trust in God, we do not need to dabble with other distractions. God will complete the work He started in us until we are thoroughly refined
    and ready for His kingdom.

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    • Jacob please remember God gave the animal the go ahead to multiply after he made them. So then it was after the rooster mated with hen the egg came then the process of incubation begins and after a few weeks there comes the chicken.

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  3. I am not sure that some of us have really grasped the intent of the first couple of chapters of Genesis. We bog down in detail about when and how. But I think that God had another intention. I think his main intention was to let us know that we are special. He spent time creating a universe and an environment, then he created man in His image. Man lost that connection soon after, and the rest of the Bible is about the restoration of that connection.

    Irrespective of our respective view of the mechanics of creation or the precedence of chickens and/or eggs, the intention of Genesis is to tell us what we once had and what we can now reclaim - the image of God. Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

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    • Maurice, I think you are right only I would also add our relationship to the creator which we often choose to ignore. In my opinion we all too often major in the minors and get caught up in ridiculous disputes like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin while forgetting what is really important. In doing things like that we often miss the flow of thought in the entire book and thereby circumvent the context which gives relevance to what is being discussed - a kind of can't see the forest from the trees sort of thing.

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  4. We are God`s complete creatures...God`s image..both men and women are equal and special to each other and to our Creator.

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  5. The function of any creation narrative, whether in Genesis or in John, or even pagan ones such as the Enuma Elish, is to define the relationship of God (or the gods) to Creation, God to Man, and Man to Creation.

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