engineer looked back on his life and gave this interesting description:
“In 1961, President John Kennedy set a national goal for the United
States to land a man on the moon before the decade was over, and in the
summer of 1969 Neil Armstrong made his famous 'giant leap for mankind'
onto the lunar soil. . . . This milieu was the incubator for many
careers in science and engineering, and so it was for that of the
author. Public education
introduced the sciences of the space program, but also proclaimed as
fact the 4.5 billion-year age of the earth and that life had gradually
evolved over millions of years from a single-cell organism, supposedly
formed by chance in a primeval ocean.
Students were compelled to accept the evolutionary model of earth
history, as is the case for most people educated in this century.
The ancient writings of Genesis were relegated as outdated and
allegorical, and most Christian students reconciled an immature faith in
God and the Bible with a casually contrived version of the 'day-age'
interpretation of the creation account. The days of Genesis were assumed
to somehow represent the ages or stages of cosmic development that the
scientists were now beginning to understand and describe more fully in
our modern world. For
multitudes today, the story is the same. The implicit authority of the
classroom combines with modern technological achievements to validate
the 'scientific' models of origins and the [supposed] great antiquity of
the universe. Genesis is
viewed as myth, if not fairy tale, and our concept of truth is limited
to the empirically derived [or what is discovered through our five
senses] ...” (J. Walter www.answersingenesis.org).
That's a lengthy quotation, but it gets us right into our topic
for today—the importance of the account of creation in Genesis 1.
Were you taught origins by evolution when you were in High
School? Some of you
old-timers may not have been, but your children and your grandchildren
have certainly heard it. And
if you weren't taught it in school, certainly the mass media has
trumpeted the origin of the universe through evolution long and loud.
We see how our engineer friend said that many of the tenets of
the evolution model were taught as fact: an old earth of 4.5 billion
years, life gradually developing over millions of years from a
single-cell organism, all of this by chance from a primeval ocean; truth
limited to the senses, and the account in Genesis was viewed as
outdated, allegorical, myth, or even a fairy tale.
The evolution model is greatly challenged by the creation model
for its tenets are very different: “the universe and all that is in it
came into being through the design, purpose, and deliberate acts of a
supernatural Creator, the processes He used are not continuing as
natural processes today,” and all of this over a short period of time
(Thompson). So, here are our
two options concerning the origins of the universe and life.
Another brother observed: “. . . the choice is between matter
only or more than matter,
. . . between the
evolution model of time, chance, and inherent properties of matter or
the creation model of design, [purpose], and the irreducible properties
of organization” (Ibid). Now
we can see why evolutionists want to discredit the Genesis account of
creation as much as possible; it is the option they want to keep out of
the public educational system at all costs.
In fact, they have an interesting strategy described by an
insider who knows the score: “The National Center for Science
Education tells school boards that 'evolution isn't scientifically
controversial,' so 'arguments against evolution' are 'code words for an
attempt to bring non-scientific, religious views into the curriculum.’
Since U.S. courts have declared it unconstitutional to teach
religion in pubic schools, this amounts to a warning that the school
board is contemplating something illegal.
If [this] warning doesn't work, the NCSE will call on the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for backup, and the ACLU sends a
letter to school board threatening an expensive lawsuit.
Since every school district in the country is already struggling
to make ends meet, this bullying by the NCSE and the ACLU has been quite
successful in blocking overt criticism of Darwinian evolution in public
school classrooms (Wells).” So
let's look more closely at the account of creation in Genesis.
Let's examine three question?
Is the account of creation in Genesis mythical or historical?
Is the account given in Genesis really presenting two creations
or just one creation? Is the
account in Genesis showing a development over several ages or over
first question: Is the account of creation in Genesis mythical or
historical? Although there
are many denominations and theologians that see this account as
mythical, there are at least four good reasons for seeing the account in
Genesis as historical: the unity of the book of Genesis, the style of
the book, the references in the New Testament to it, and the importance
of preserving the line of the Messiah and the salvation offered by
Christ. Let’s examine each
of these reasons. First of
all, the account is historical because of the unity of the book.
There is an interesting phrase that ties the unity of the book
together; it is the expression “this is the genealogy of”.
It comes at least 10 times in the book; we'll look at four in
just a moment. Now here's
something else interesting. If
Moses wrote this book in sections on tablets of clay rather than upon
papyrus and followed the custom of his day, the writer would put a brief
explanation of what was on the tablet at the bottom of it (just the
opposite of us, we put a title at the top, but they put it at the
bottom). This means that
when we read this expression “this is the genealogy of” it refers
back to the material that comes before it.
Now look at Genesis 10:1: “Now this is the genealogy of the
sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
So if we want to find out about their ancestry and history, we
read what comes before this verse. Now
look at 6:9: “This is the genealogy of Noah.”
So we read what comes before this to discover his ancestors and
history. Now look at 5:1: “This
is the book of the genealogy of Adam.”
And we look at the previous verses.
Now notice one more at 2:4: “This is the history [its the
exact same word as in the previous passages] of the heavens and the
earth when they were created.”
All previous references in Genesis using this expression referred
to historical people and events. So,
we have absolutely no need to switch gears in Genesis 1.
It is also referring to historical people and events.
The second reason that the account is historical is because of
the style of the book. Most
biblical scholars divide Genesis into two parts: chapters 1-11 explain
the origin of the world and various cultures while chapters 12-50
explain the origin of the Jewish nation and its eventual relocation in
Egypt. In both parts of
Genesis, there are similarities in the style of writing because all
parts are told in the literary form known as historical narrative.
As one scholar noted: “The style of these chapters [i.e.
12-50,] as indeed of the whole book of Genesis, is strictly historical
and betrays no vestige whatever of allegorical or figurative
description” (Thompson quoting Horne).
The third reason that the account is historical is that Jesus and
the apostles confirm its events and characters.
Jesus referred several times to the events in Genesis 1-11: He
spoke of a historical command given to Adam and Eve (Mark 10:6-7 and
Genesis 2:4); He spoke of Satan as the father of lies (John 8:44 and
Genesis 3:4); He spoke of Abel as a real person (Matthew 24:37 and
Genesis 4:8). The apostle
Paul labeled Adam as the first man and said that Eve was made from him
(1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Timothy 2:13).
All the books of NT quote from Genesis with the exception of
Philemon and 2-3 John. You
see, “Denying the historical validity of the Creation account also
undermines the authority of the New Testament and Christ Himself”
(Thompson quoting Morris). The
fourth reason that the Genesis account is historical is the importance
of preserving the line of the Messiah and the salvation offered by
Christ. Another brother has
made this good observation: “If the Genesis account of our origin and
fall is viewed as mythical, then mankind cannot be viewed as fallen and
in need of salvation. What
then would be the need for God to preserve the Messianic seed-line from
Adam through his descendants, Noah, Abraham, David, etc., as the Bible
says He did? . . . Any view of these chapters in Genesis other than
authentic history will necessarily regard the genealogies and the
tracing of the Messianic seed-line as unhistoric and unimportant.
This will eat away at trust in God's Word and cause faith's fire
to go out” (Wharton). “Blessed
be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of
heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas
and all that is in them. And
You preserve them all” (Nehemiah 9:5-6)!
let's look at the second question: Is
the account given in Genesis really presenting two creations or just one
creation? What do I mean by
two creations? An
evolutionist once made this affirmation: “Time is in fact the hero of
the plot. ... Given so much time, the 'impossible' becomes the possible,
the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain.
One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles” (Wald
as quoted by Dickson). The two creations interpretation began with Dr.
Thomas Chalmers of Edinburgh University in 1814.
He felt that his interpretation could make room for the vast
expanse of time which the geologists of his day were demanding, and at
the same time maintain a literal interpretation of the creation account
(Whitcomb quoted by Thompson). This
interpretation “states that the primeval creation of a perfect world
by God as recorded in Genesis 1 may have taken place billions of years
ago. This creation is
represented by the words of Genesis 1:1: ‘In the beginning, God
created the heavens and the earth.’ This [interpretation] then
states that between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 a vast 'gap' of time intervened,
and that during this 'gap' there lived successive generations of plants,
animals, and even pre-Adamic men. This
'perfect creation' was then made imperfect through the rebellion of
Satan. God cast him from
heaven with his followers. As
a result of Satan's war with God, a cataclysm followed, and God
destroyed the original creation, leaving the earth in a state of
darkness and death, described in Genesis 1:2 as “formless and void”.
This interpretation often translates 1:2: “The earth became
formless and void.” So,
in Genesis 1:3ff, the 'creation days' are actually a 're-creation' or a
second creation of the earth and all its inhabitants” (Thompson).
You see, by seeing two creations in Genesis 1, some believers
could harmonize the time of evolutionary geological ages which demanded
millions of years and the problem of evil which demanded a malevolent
opposition to God by pigeonholing both of them in this supposed
“gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
It may sound ingenious at first, but there are at least four
reasons why this interpretation must be rejected: it contradicts Exodus
20:11; it contradicts Romans 5:15-16; it places doubt on God's
credibility, and it misreads Hebrew vocabulary.
Let’s quickly look at these reasons.
Exodus 20:11 affirms: “For in six days, the Lord made the
heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and
rested the seventh day.” Notice,
now if everything in heaven, earth, and the sea was made
in six days, then nothing was created prior to those six days
(Thompson)! Romans 5:15-16
declares: “But the free gift is not like the offense.
For if by the one man’s offense many died [and that “one
man” refers to Adam], much more the grace of God and the gift by the
grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
And the gift is not like that which came through the one who
sinned [again referring to Adam]. For
the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but
the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in
point, based on this passage, is that death and condemnation came with
Adam’s sin and not prior to Adam as a two creations
interpretation proposes (Ibid)! If
there are two creations, one might logically ask, “Has God been
deceiving us by letting us believe that Genesis 1 was the initial
creation of all things? Has
He misinformed us since all emphasis in the rest of the Bible concerning
creation goes back to the six days of creation in Genesis 1 and not to
any time before that?” Those
who promote the two creations interpretation like to say there is a
distinction between two Hebrew words: bara means to create and asah
means to make. In this way,
they can argue that God created the first creation, but He made the
second one. But such a
distinction will not stand. In
Genesis 1:21, we read that God created (bara) great sea creatures, and
in verse 25, we then read that God made (asah) the beasts of the earth.
In Gen. 1:26, we read: “And God said, ‘Let us make man (asah)
in our likeness . . .” Now
drop down to the next verse: “So God created (bara) man in His own
image . . .” All these
passage from Genesis 1 itself show that both terms are synonyms and are
describing the exact same action! Genesis
1 tells us about only one creation.
Jeremiah 10:12 affirms several actions in that one creation: “God
has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His
wisdom and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion!”
the third question: Is the account in Genesis showing a development over
several ages or over several days? Why
is this question even raised? Again,
the evolution model is the answer. A
former editor of the Gospel Advocate put it this way, “The
day-age theory is a consequence of the evolutionary theory.
But for the speculative view, such a hypothesis would never have
been advanced” (Woods quoted by Thompson).
Another brother gave a similar reply: “In an effort to
harmonize the six days of the creation account with the length of time
required for evolution, many have said that the six days of creation of
Genesis 1 were actually long periods of time and not six literal 24-hour
days” (Dickson). Here are
five good reasons to accept the word “day” in Genesis as meaning a
24-hour time period: God defines the term in Genesis 1; whenever the
word “day” is preceded by a number in the Old Testament, it always
stands for a 24-hour day; there’s a botanical problem; there’s the
seventh day difficulty; there’s a contradiction with Exodus 20:9-11
again. Let’s again look
quickly at each of these ideas. God
defined “’day’ in Genesis 1:5 as the light period in the regular
succession of light and darkness, which, as the earth rotates on its
axis, has continued ever since. This
definition obviously [prevents] any possible interpretation of a
geological age” (Morris quoted by Thompson).
We see the terms in Genesis: first day, second day, third day,
etc. In every other
passage in the Old Testament where a number comes before the word
“day,” it always refers to a 24-hour period!
People only make Genesis 1 the exception in order to harmonize it
with evolutionary theory. Here’s
the botanical problem: The plants were made on the third day, but the
sun was made on the fourth day and insects needed for cross-pollination
of those plants were created on the sixth day.
If we accept the day-age theory, how will plants survive for
millions of years without sunlight and with no insects to help in their
reproduction? The seventh
day difficulty is this: if the first six days are to be interpreted as
ages, then why must the seventh then be interpreted as literal?
Answer: Because if we didn’t get back to literal days, then
Adam’s age would be millions of years old and God would continue to be
resting right now (what’s 6000-7000 years compared to a 1 million year
age?)! In Exodus, a pattern
is established for the Jews’ week; according to 20:9-11, they were to
work six days and rest on the seventh day (these were all 24-hour
periods, and their work and rest was based on the precedent of God’s
work and rest found in Genesis 1). A
geneticist once had problems with the six days of creation in Genesis 1,
but as he read through Genesis, he came to this conclusion: “I then
realized that had God wanted to say a billion years rather than six
days, He could have said it, very simply, in the way He spoke to
Abraham: “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so
that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be
counted.” In the same
way, He could have said, ‘I took as many years as there are particles
of dust on the earth to create the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all
that is in them,’ and it would have sounded very impressive, but He
said six days. Would
He have said this if it were of no concern?
I now believe that God means literally what He says and writes,
and that there is no reason to look for symbolism. The word ‘day’ is
used so often and with such a clear implication of being a normal
24-hour period that to interpret it otherwise requires, to my mind, an
unbelievable stretch of the imagination” (J. Allen).
1 is historical, describing only one creation, that took place during
six 24-hour days. I know
that this lesson does not address all the issues of the evolution model,
but, hopefully, it can serve as a start.
God willing, some future lessons will address further issues.
A chemist once observed: “Since creation requires a
supernatural, omnipotent Creator, and the Bible is the only convincing
source of who this creator God actually is, then the biblical account of
creation must be accurate in every detail, including six 24-hour days
for completion from beginning to end.”
Let’s close this morning by reading the last verses of Genesis
1, beginning with verse 26: “The God said, ‘Let Us make man in
Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the
fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over
all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He
created him; male and female He created them.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and
multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of
the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that
moves on the earth.’ And
God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is
on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to
you it shall be for food. Also,
to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything
that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every
green herb for food’; and it was so.
Then God saw everything that He had made, and it was very good.
So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were
finished. And on the seventh
day God ended 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.
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were
created.” Our God is
an awesome god, our Savior is a benevolent king, and our Comforter is a
Holy Guide who leads us in the paths of righteousness!
Believe God’s Word because the truth will free you from Satan,
from sin, and from the wicked world’s ways!
Won’t you believe His Word and obey it, and show others your
seriousness about living a holy life?