The creation story is one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture. Imagine Moses, wrapped up in the awe of an Almighty God sweeping the history of time. With humility and awe Moses describes the beginning of earth and all that is within it.[1. The Hands of God Creating Man Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com]
Day 1 God establishes light. Three days later, on Day 4, God reveals the sun, moon, stars in the light of the sky.
Day 2 God develops land and sky. Three days later, on Day 5, God fills the land and sky with fish in the water and birds in the sky.
Day 3 God creates vegetation to grow on dry land. Three days later, on Day 6, God fills the earth with animals of every kind and then he forms man from the dust of the earth and woman from the man.
Day 7 God rests. It is the Sabbath. God appreciates the work of His hands and it is very good.
Some people argue about exactly what was created and what just happened, about whether certain creatures were even created, and how it could be that Creation Week could possibly have unfolded as described in Genesis 1. I may sound like a cross current (I hope not), but I confess I do not know. I wasn’t there. Neither was Moses. All I know is that the power of God is so great He was capable of forming the earth and all within it by the word of His mouth.
That is enough for me.
[Thought Questions for In the Beginning January 11, 2012]
1. Creation versus evolution. Our lesson authors took on a big load this time, didn’t they? Creation versus evolution in one week! In the memory text (Colossians 1:16) does Paul mean to say that God created everything that is good as well as everything that is bad? Did God create the sabre-toothed tiger, the man-eating shark, the lethal brown recluse spider? What has changed since God created the world full of wonder and beauty? Could God eliminate all that is deadly and sinful by the spoken word of His mouth? If He could, why doesn’t He?
2. Nothing to chance. As presented in “The Symmetry of Creation” at the top of this lesson and in the lesson guide, did God have a definite plan for each day of Creation Week? Why? Couldn’t God have mixed all the elements and processes together in a giant stew and then stirred the pot and watched over billions of years while life emerged? What was God’s overall plan in creating this earth and making it capable of supporting life?
3. What the sky tells us. The sky, the oceans and seas, the mountains and valleys: What do they tell us about God? Even with six thousand years of turmoil and damage on earth from the evil one, can we still see the works of God when we look to nature? Do you ever look to the sky and wonder about what Moses and Isaiah and John saw when they looked? Why do you think David was so attracted to the workings of nature in the sky and on earth? What could we do to get our children more excited about the beautiful things God created?
4. The Cross and Creation. Which requires more creative power: creation or redemption? Why? Can people who believe they evolved from a primate have a saving relationship with God? Why or why not? How should we treat those who subscribe to an evolutionary perspective? If evolution doesn’t make sense to us, is there anything wrong with making jokes about evolutionary theory or telling evolutionists how wrong they are? Did God make provision for sin before there was sin? How does that provision relate to God’s creative powers?
5. Creation all over again. Has a “natural” disaster ever come close to you or caused damage to your property or to someone you knew? Do you watch TV coverage of earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and tropical storms with a touch of fear in your heart? What about disease and poverty? Do they trouble you? Does your heart cry out for a new creation and a new earth? Or are you able to get along the way things are?
6. The resurrection and creation. What happens to our dead bodies when Jesus comes? What about people whose remains have been reduced to ashes? How is God going to raise them up at the resurrection? Now that you accept the reality that God can create in an instant, can you also accept that He will preserve your identity and the essence of “you” even though you’ve been dead a very long time? Do you think that could be more of a miracle than God’s original creation of your life?
7. Cause and effect. In your daily life do you see evidence of cause and effect? Does everything you see exist because of something that happened? Is that “something” God? You drop a glass and it shatters. Are you the cause of the broken glass? Your children grow up and leave all pretense of Christianity. Did that happen because of something you did or didn’t do? Is God the Master of cause and effect? Why doesn’t He use His power and intervene between what people do and the bad effects of their choices?