Tag Archive for Genesis 1

Creation Will Be Redeemed

For all the elegant beauty of this natural earth, it is also a violent, tumultuous place where life is always in the grip of death. How can this be, if God rules all creation? How can a good God claim to be sovereign in a world such as this?

Genesis 1:26-28 proclaims two truths about God’s creation of the human race:

  1. He made us in His own image and likeness.
  2. He created us to rule over the earth as His stewards, sharing in His sovereignty.

We are inseparably connected to God our Creator, and we are inseparably connected to this earth, over which we rule. God subjected the earth to us.

When we rebelled against our Creator, we chose to use creation for our own selfish purposes (Genesis 3:1-6). When our relationship with the Creator was corrupted, so was the earth over which we ruled, now as unfaithful stewards (Romans 8:20). As our home and our responsibility, the earth shared in our fractured relationship with the Giver of all life (Genesis 3:17-18; see Psalm 104:27-30). The results were corruption, futility, and death, both for us and for our beautiful home.

Consistently in scripture, our obedience or disobedience to our Creator brings us either God’s blessing or His cursing, respectively. This blessing and cursing are shared by our natural home as well (e.g., Deuteronomy 7:12-15; 8:6-10; 28:4, 18). As Creator God subjected this earth to us, this earth unwillingly shares in the fruit of our rebellion.

We see the turmoil in our natural world and know that as violence, pain, and death shrouds all human life, it shrouds our natural home as well.

But the good news is this: the corruption, futility, and death that rule this earth are only a passing phase. Creation’s present turbulence is only the pain of childbirth (Romans 8:19-22). When we are redeemed and freed from our suffering, our earthly home will be as well (Isaiah 11:6-9; Revelation 21:1). Our destiny, God’s unchangeable promise, is that we and our beautiful home will be perfected to the full glory of God. As it has shared our curse, it will share our blessedness. All the earth will be permeated with His life, His love, His holiness, and His perfect peace.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Creation Will Be Redeemed
Printed Music & Lyrics

The God of Life

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Genesis 1

God gave both plants (vv.11-12) and animals (vv.21, 24-25) the ability to reproduce themselves. He made life self-perpetuating. What an amazing gift! He shared a portion of His life-giving ability with each of His creatures.

My wife will often ask me what is the purpose of some particular animal. I don’t really have an answer, except that life is the purpose. God is a God of life! Overflowing, abundant, infinitely varied life! Life fills earth’s macro-systems (some look at this entire earth as a single, living organism). And life fills our micro-systems, with tiny drops of water containing varied communities of their own.

When God created non-human life forms on this earth, He said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of creatures” (v.20, NASB) or “Let the earth bring forth living creatures” (v.24, NASB), but with human beings, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (v.26a, NASB). All living things derive their life from God, but we in a special sense. 

God…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, NASB).

He patterned us after Himself – not physically, but spiritually, intellectually, morally. He shared Himself with us. He even shared a bit of His sovereignty, allowing us to rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (v.26b, NASB).

Life is a gift. We human beings didn’t originate ourselves, nor did we ask to be created. What’s more, our physical lives are in many ways self-perpetuating. Most of our physical functions are automatic and self-administering. Our heart beats without our input. We breathe without deciding to do so. Our cells do their work without our conscious involvement. About all we need to do is feed and water ourselves, and for that we’ve been given powerful drives as reminders. Life is truly a gift!

Even our physical bodies point to God as a magnificent, powerful, all-wise, and deeply-loving Creator. How should we respond? By thanking Him sincerely and often, and by treasuring His image in all human life, both in ourselves and in others.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Praise to You, Giver of Life!
Printed Music & Lyrics

Perfect in Every Detail

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Genesis 1

As I read Genesis 1, not only does God’s youthful enthusiasm strike me, but the orderliness of His process.
In days 1-3, God prepares the earth, layer by layer.
In days 4-6, He goes back and populates the earth, layer by layer.

Or to put it another way:
In days 1-3, He sets the stage, room by room.
In days 4-6, He goes back and brings in the furniture, room by room.

The two halves of the process parallel each other. Specifically:
On day 1 (vv.3-5), He creates light.
On day 4 (vv.14-19), He creates the sun and moon.

On day 2 (vv.6-8), He places the sky as the separation between the waters above (the heavens) and the waters below (oceans, seas, etc.).
On day 5 (vv.20-23) He puts life in the water and sky.

On day 3 (vv.9-13), He creates the dry land and vegetation.
On day 6 (vv.24-26), He creates living creatures on the dry land, including man.

He creates our home as would any careful builder: layer by layer, starting from the general and working to the particulars.

This brand new, uncorrupted home speaks His love and careful attention in every detail. As Isaiah 45:18 says, He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited.” (NASB)

Examine human handiwork under a microscope, and the closer you look, the more rough edges you find. It’s inevitable. Our tools and manual abilities are limited. But look at God’s handiwork under a microscope, and the deeper you go, the more organization and detail you find.

Look at His creation from a broader and broader perspective, and you find more and more order and meaning. Look at smaller and smaller levels, and the same is true. His wisdom and care extend to infinity in both directions, to galaxies and beyond, and to sub-atomic worlds and below. His marvelous world speaks truths about Him that words cannot capture.

Our Relationship with God

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Genesis 1:26 – 2:9

What is the basis for God’s claim on us? Why is He interested in us, and why are we obligated to Him? Why can’t we simply ignore Him the way we ignore many other beings in our universe? Does He demand our obedience because of His raw power? Does He get attention because He’s simply the biggest bully on the block?

God created us. We cannot ignore Him because we are His. We are permanently, totally, inescapably linked to Him.

Specifically, He created us from Himself. We are patterned after Him. To understand ourselves, we must understand Him. He is deeply, unavoidably relevant to us. He is the source, the pattern, and the goal for all we are. Our entire existence, our whole being is wrapped up in Him.

In Him we live and move and exist. (Acts 17:28, NASB)

From Him and through Him and to Him are all things. (Romans 11:36, NASB)

Get the big picture: dwelling in unmeasured eternity is a self-existent Being, complete and at peace in Himself. He is complete in power, wisdom, and love. His love comes not from need – need for us, or for fellowship, or for anything else. The opposite is true. His love comes from His fullness, not need. He is forever full to overflowing. From this overflowing, this giving, this love, He conceives the idea of creating…creating a race of beings somehow like Himself. He sets about to create a home for these beings, a home that meets all their needs – not just physical needs, but needs for beauty, order, rulership, challenge, discovery, and responsibility…the need to know their Creator.

God created all that is, and specifically, He created us from Himself and for Himself. That truth should transform our entire understanding of Him, ourselves, life, and all of reality.