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The How, Why, and When of Creation, Part 1
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Now there is the accurate, eyewitness account of the creation of the universe. The creation account is laid out from Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3 , and the outline of the book of Genesis falls into two parts.
The first part is the creation, Genesis 1:1 to 2:3. The second part is called the generations. Starting in chapter 2, verse 4, you start to follow the history of man. The whole creation 1:1 to 2:3; starting in 2:4 you start to follow the history of man all the way to the end of Genesis and through the patriarchal period. We could say then that Genesis 1:1 gives a general and inclusive account of creation, God created the heavens and the earth. You cannot make a broader statement than that; that covers everything.
That's a way of saying God created everything in the universe. Everything that exists, whether you're talking about galaxies or whether you're talking about nebulae or solar systems, whether you're talking about those things that are at the farthest reaches of the universe in space, or whether you're talking about the smallest grain of sand or whether you're talking about a bacterial microbe on the planet earth, absolutely everything was created by God. He is the creator of all things visible and invisible. All things means everything, from various ranks of angels, every from of life from whales and elephants to viruses, everything.
All things include every form of energy, every form of matter, the speed of light, nuclear structure, electromagnetism, gravity, every law by which nature operates was created within the framework of this creation. All things. Behind the creation of everything in the universe stands the living God who had eternally existed as God, but had not always been creator. But here He becomes creator and He creates everything, absolutely everything. Starting in chapter 2, verse 4, as I said, He singles out man and goes back over the creation of man and then tells the story of man, which flows right really to the end of Scripture.
But this is the only eyewitness account of creation, Genesis 1:1 to 2:3. It is not allegory. There's nothing in the Hebrew text, or in the English text for that matter, to indicate that this is a fanciful story, that this is some kind of an allegorical picture. There's nothing here to indicate that this is some kind of mystical poetry, that this is some kind of lyrical, literary style that is something other than actual history. To put it to you, this is purely expressed history from God written down by Moses. The Creator himself gave Moses this accurate account of history.
We accept the Scripture as inspired of God and inerrant, and there's nothing in this text to indicate that it's anything other than plain history. Now when it says in verse 1 “in the beginning God created,” it uses the word barah. Barah when used in the – what's called the kahl stem of Hebrew is used in Scripture only with reference to the divine work of God. It has a uniqueness about it here, and that uniqueness is its absoluteness. It means basically that the infinite, eternal, personal, triune God of the universe brought things into existence which were not in existence prior to this moment. He created - in Latin says ex nihilo, “out of nothing.” That is, there was no pre-existing material. Hebrews 11:3 says, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made out of things which do appear.”
The things that we see in the created universe were not made from something else. They were made from nothing, ex nihilo , without pre-existing material. So it's a way of saying everything around us, your body, the bench you're sitting on, the building you're in, the streets around us, the trees, the flowers, the city, the state, the nation, the continent, the world - all of it - the stars, the moon, everything. Everything you can see; everything you can't see, protozoa, amoeba or sheer dust. Any arrangement of matter at all came into existence instantaneously, out of no pre-existing material. It didn't come from things that do appear; it came from nothing.
Genesis is the only record of creation; it is the only source of creation information. Now as we look at this first verse let's ask three questions. I think these are fascinating questions, and I think you'll find that out as we go. First question, How? How did God create, by what method? We've already suggested to you that he couldn't have used evolution for two reasons. We affirm that, number one, the text of Genesis 1 leaves no room for evolution, and two, evolution doesn't happen.
How did He do it? How did God do this? Very simple really; verse 3, “And God said, ‘Let there be light'; and there was light.” Verse 6, “Then God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the heavens,'” and that's what happened. Verse 9, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear'; and it was so.” Verse 11, “Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them'; and it was so.”
Verse 14, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate 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 expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth'; and it was so.” Verse 20, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens,'” and it goes on to talk about that creation, and God saw that it was good. Then in verse 24, “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind'; and it was so.” Verse 26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man.'” How did God do this? What was His method? He spoke. He spoke. He spoke it into existence out of nothing. This is God.
Psalm 33, 6 and 9, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth, for He spoke and it was done, He command it and it was established.” That is the Psalmist's affirmation of the Genesis account of creation. God said let there be, let there be, let there be, and every time He said it, there was. This is what we call fiat creation. He willed it and spoke it into existence. Psalm 148:5 says, “He spoke and they were created.” This is where everything came from. It didn't exist, God willed it to exist. He spoke and it came into existence. That is the divine account of creation.
In Mark 13:19 it talks about the beginning of the creation which God created, just in case somebody might question. You have that all through the New Testament, the emphasis on the fact that God created. Matthew 19:4 , “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female.” Again and again the Scripture makes reference to God as creator. Romans 1 says it's so evident that God is the creator that if you don't see it you're without excuse. Colossians, that great first chapter, verse 16, where it says, “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him.”
That sums it up. That is always the biblical, the New Testament and Old Testament affirmation of God as creator. Hebrews 1:10 , “And Thou Lord in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the works of Thy hands.” I mean Scripture just continually affirms God as the creator, and He created simply by willing it and then speaking it into existence. Listen to Romans 4:17 , this is another testimony, it says, “As it is written the Father of many nations have I made you. In the sight of Him whom he believed, even God,” here's the definition of God: “God who gives life to the dead.” Listen to this, “and calls into being that which does not exist.” That's Romans 4:17 .
Creation is God calling into existence what does not exist. There's no room in that for evolution. Evolution is something appearing that has mutated from something else; that's not creation. At a particular point in eternity the eternal God spoke everything into existence, made up of components which had never before existed. Therefore, we say the material space, time, universe had an absolute beginning. Not some kind of relative beginning, and the plain – going back to Genesis - the plain meaning of Genesis 1:1 is frankly not arguable. It's unmistakable.