Back to Basics: Genesis 2

In last week’s article, we took an in depth look at Genesis 1.  A major point was that the Bible never tries to explain God as all people know that the God of the Bible is true.  We also noted that God exists unrestrained by time, space, or matter, and that He is eternal.  After that, we took a day-by-day look into the initial week of creation.  Some key truths from this chapter are that these were literal twenty-four hour periods, the sun set for the first time on day four, and that not every species was created but every kind of creature was.

Chapter two is a very important chapter as it covers a more in-depth creation of Adam and Eve (looking back into the initial creation week), establishes a day of rest, and has the first mention of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  This chapter is also misused to try and portray a contradiction in the Bible.  A new or immature follower of Christ can easily become confused by these artificial contradictions so one of our primary goals is to educate fellow believers in how to see through such subterfuge.

Verse one starts off by informing us that the heavens and earth, and “all of the host of them” were finished.  This shows clearly that nothing new has been added to creation since Genesis 1 although God has given his creation the ability to diversify within its kinds.  The next couple verses show that God rested on day seven and in verse three we see that He blessed and sanctified that day.  It is important to note that there is no mention of Sabbath or the keeping of it until Exodus 16.

The next couple verses, starting off with “these are the generations,” let us know that this is a historical account of the totality of creation, this is not an allegory or story.  This account had to be given from God to man as no man was around during this part of creation.  We also see that, at least prior to the creation of man, there was no rain but that there was a mist that came out of the ground.  Some people believe it remained like this until the breaking of the firmament and the fountains of the deep during the flood but there is no way to be certain as the Bible doesn’t clarify.  It is interesting to note that in Genesis 7:4 God does not need to explain to Noah what rain was but we do not have enough information to be dogmatic about.

As with verses four to six, seven is looking back to chapter one and the initial creation week.  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  An origin not shared by any other creature.  Remember that in the last chapter God caused the earth to bring forth land animals but here we have God personally fashioning man.  In addition to that, this is no mere creation of a physical shell but the creation of an immortal soul.  Man was a special creation of God, designed no only to have dominion over the earth but also to have a relationship with Him.  This is true not just of Adam but of all mankind.  We were purposed by God to have a wonderful relationship with Him.  If you want to find out what happened that special relationship, after finishing this article read Genesis 3.

This next section is where the blatantly deceitful contradiction is stated to arise from.  Looking back on chapter one we can see that dry land and plants were made, fowl made on day five, and that man is created after land animals on day six.  The deceiver will say that this is contradicted in Genesis 2:8,9 that has man created before plants, and in Genesis 2:19 that has man before land animals, land animals before fowl, and fowl brought forth from the ground as opposed to from the water.  If someone is not familiar with this argument and doesn’t have the time or opportunity to look at the passages in question this may pose quite a conundrum.  Thankfully, we can reveal this intentional and deceitful contradiction.  As we will see in the following verses, both Genesis 2:8,9 and Genesis 2:19 take place after man has been created but before woman, on day six, starting with God planting a Garden (the passage of plants being created after man) and then, wanting to provide Adam with a help meet and for him to realize he needs one, God forms out of the ground every “beast of the field, and every fowl of the air” and brought them to Adam for him to name them (the passage on man before land animals before fowl).  Anybody reading these passages would be able to see the fallacy of this being a contradiction.

As we glossed over in the last paragraph, on day six, after the creation of Adam but before the creation of Eve, God planted a garden, making the earth bring forth every tree that “pleasant to the sight, and good for food.”  Additionally, this is where the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were place.  Several verses describe a basic location for the garden.  God then commands Adam that he may eat freely of all the trees in the garden except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The result of eating of that tree would be that in the day he ate of it he would surely die.

After having warned Adam about the tree of knowledge, He then decided that Adam should not be alone.  Verses nineteen and twenty cover God forming beast of the earth and fowl of the air and then bringing them to Adam to name.  After it being determined that none of these animals were a suitable help meet for Adam, the Lord caused him to go into a deep sleep.  While in this sleep, God took a rib from his side, closed his flesh, formed woman and then brought her to Adam who called her woman because she was taken out of man.  Verse twenty-five gives us the original intention of God and marriage.  “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  This verse is even referred to by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7 when He speaks on the sanctity and intention for marriage.

The chapter ends by telling us that Adam and Eve were both naked and were not ashamed.  This a very important verse that can really help us understand how thoroughly sin has damaged us.  Contrast their innocence with life after the fall, fears of inadequacy, self-consciousness, our need for constant guard against lust – falling to it or tempting others to fall by our lack of modesty.  Verse twenty-five shows us the child-like purity present before the fall to sin in chapter three.

Chapter two really covered a lot of material.  Hopefully, we’ve prepared you to handle any supposed contradictions between Genesis 1 and 2.  It also gives us a perfect glimpse of how God envisions marriage with man and woman becoming one flesh.  In addition to that, this chapter really covers the uniqueness with which God formed mankind as a living soul, capable of having a relationship with Him.  If you are unsure about your relationship with God you can read about the Gospel or contact us, we would love to help you find the answers you seek.

Back to Basics: Genesis 1

Our goal is to equip believers with the knowledge they need to have confidence in Scripture and to counter the arguments of modern humanism and evolution.  In this article, we are going to focus on the basics of Biblical creation.  This week, we will review Genesis chapter one, and in the following weeks we will look at chapter two, other passages in the Old and New Testament relating to creation, and how an incorrect view of creation can keep us from an accurate understanding of Biblical doctrine.

In the beginning God created the heaven and earth.

— Genesis 1:1

One of the key points to note about the beginning of Genesis, and by extension the Bible, is that God is never explained.  The Bible does not try and provide evidence for God’s existence or to convince people that He exist.  The book begins with “in the beginning God.”  As Paul writes in Romans 1, everyone has an innate knowledge of God that is also confirmed by what is seen in creation but that many will “hold the truth in unrighteousness.”  “Hold” here means hinder, or suppress, and that is exactly what unbelievers are doing, they are suppressing their innate knowledge of God’s existence in an attempt to get out from under His authority. It is very important to remember that all people know that the God of the Bible is real and true.

As we continue to look at verse one we can see that God is eternal, having no beginning or end. He created time when He created space (heaven) and matter (earth) in verse one.  This is important to note as time, space, and matter must all come into existence at the same time and that God is not bound by the rules that constrain them.  This can be difficult to understand because our lives on earth are bound by order God has set in place to govern time/space/matter.

The rest of chapter one is detailing God’s day-by-day creation of everything with the creation of light on day one, the firmament on day two, dry land and plants on day three, lights in the firmament of heaven on day four, sea life and fowl on day five, and culminating with land animals and man on day six.  There are a couple points of interest here that we will look at as we move through the different days.

In day one we see God create heaven and earth and that, at first, all was dark and the earth was covered in water.  In verse three we have Him bringing light into existence and then in the next two verses He sees that the light is good and then divides light, which He called day, from darkness, that He called night.  Verse five ends with “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”  This phrase is clearly showing us that this is the same twenty-four-hour day that we have now and isn’t alluding to any great periods of time as some who try to mesh the Bible with the false belief of evolution.

Day two starts in verse six with God making a firmament to divide the waters that were under it from the waters that were above it.  Something important to realize when reading this passage is that the word “made” is different in meaning from the word “created,” with made meaning appointed or ordered.  The firmament wasn’t created from nothing but was appointed by God to separate the waters.  In verse eight we see the firmament is named heaven but this is not the heaven that is the abode of God but, as we see in verses 14 – 15 and 20, this is totality of our atmosphere plus space.  This concludes day two.

In verse nine we have God speaking the waters under the heaven to gather together into one place so that there would be dry land.  This lets us know that prior to the Flood, there was one large body of water, called seas, surrounded by dry land, called earth.  God then commands the earth to bring forth grass, herb yielding seeds, and fruit trees.  Again, note that this is not “poof” and they are there but that they literally spring forth from the ground rapidly enough that God was able to look at the trees bearing fruit before they day was out and see that there were good.  At the close of day three we have plants with light but no sun, moon, or stars for those come on the next day.

On day four we have God creating the sun, moon, and stars.  God gives us the reason behind creating these celestial bodies in verse fourteen, “to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  and let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth.”  This is another instance where God is not creating these lights but rather appointing them as seen in verse sixteen.  The words light used in this verse is not referring to the actual light that we see but is more of a title for the sun and moon.  This is easy to discern as we know the moon does not create light but reflects light from the sun.  Almost as a side note, “He made the stars also.”  With the first setting of the sun we have the end of the fourth day.

As day five opens in verse twenty we have the first creation of life on earth.  God commands the waters to bring forth “abundantly” sea life and fowl.  This verse, along with placement of the lights from the last day, show us that the firmament refers to our atmosphere (where the fowl’s fly) and space (where the sun, moon, and stars are).  We see that these animals were brought forth after their kind.  It is important to remember that the animal classifications of species, genus’s, etc. are affectations of man and, as such, will be imperfect.  Was every sea creature and flying creature we have today brought into existence on day five?  No, most assuredly not, but every kind was and within the genetics of those kinds was the programming to produce the variety that we have presently.  Day five ends with God blessing these creatures and commanding them to be fruitful and multiply.

Day six picks up in verse twenty-four with God commanding the earth to bring forth cattle, creeping things, and beast of the earth.  Just as with the prior day this is not every breed of land animal but every kind with the genetic information to produce every species of land animal. 

Verse twenty-six continues day six with a very unusual occurrence.  God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”  The “us” here refers not only to God and the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God, verse 2) but also to Jesus as we know from John 1:1.  They, together, have decided to make man and to give him a purpose, as we see in the continuation of the verse, to have dominion over sea life, fowl, cattle, the earth, and everything that creepeth upon the earth.  In verse twenty-seven we have God creating both male and female, which we will take a more in-depth look at in our next article on Genesis chapter two.

Verse twenty-eight sees God blessing mankind, commanding them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth which here doesn’t mean to refill but to fill from emptiness.  They are also commanded to subdue the earth and to have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  Verses twenty-nine and thirty shows us that God’s initially created all living creatures to eat fruits and vegetables which God later countermands in Genesis 9:3 but for the first several hundred years all life subsisted on plant matter.

Chapter one concludes with God looking over all he had made and “it was very good.”  Next week we will go through chapter two and a more in-depth look at the creation of Adam and Eve.  We will also see that the events of chapter two are about the garden of Eden and not about creation week.  This is an important distinction as some people who oppose the Bible will try and say that chapter one and two contradict each other.

Real Love Confronts

We shouldn’t be doing what is “popular” or “convenient” but rather that which is right.

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

— Matthew 4:17

I believe that there are many sincere Christians who honestly think that if they just love everyone and act “Christian-ly” that will inspire people to follow Christ. It is good to love people and behave seemly but real love confronts.  All the lost people around us have a disease, sin, and it is not only killing them but will have larger consequences in the scheme of eternity.  There is, however, a cure and we can help get it to those who need it.  The problem is that we don’t want to tell people that they have this disease and people who believe they’re healthy won’t see the need for the cure.  This is what Jesus was saying in Matthew 9:12.

If you truly love someone, you care more about their well-being than about their opinion of you.  For example, if you have a loved one who has a drinking problem you will not simply “be nice to them while acting sober” instead you will confront them with the problem.  That would not be easy and would most likely make them upset with you.  However, they need to recognize and admit that there is a problem for them to start looking for a solution.  This is the exact same principles as confronting non-believers with sin, they need to see their predicament before they’ll seek the remedy.

Now this comes with a caveat, we are not here to condemn people.  Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world (because it’s already condemned) but to bring salvation.  We cannot go to people in self-righteous indignation but rather as people who once bore that very same disease.  It is imperative that we tell them of God’s law that they are violating.  Therefore, we must warn them of the consequences, not just of hell but eternal separation from God.  Only when they recognize the serious peril they’re in will they look for a Savior.

Hebrews 10:14 states, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”  The word preacher here doesn’t means the pastor of church but rather people who proclaim the Gospel of Christ.  The real difficulty lies in the fact that many that claim to follow Jesus Christ aren’t willing to bring the true message of the Gospel to those who so desperately need it.  Moreover, it seems that many are resistant to confronting people with sin and calling for repentance but instead just want to show love and kindness.  However, real love confronts, and if there are lost people around you who will die and face eternal separation from God and you aren’t sharing the cure then you don’t really love them.

For more information and what the Gospel is click here!