Have you ever wondered why God inspired the Bible to be written as it is? Ever wondered why God tells us what He tells us? Romans 15:4 says, “whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.” In today’s study of Genesis 1, we will learn God’s process for creation and why He chose to create in this manner.
- Beginning: Formless & Empty (v. 2). In the beginning, God created the earth “formless and empty” and “darkness was over the watery depths.” Why did God create the earth in this unfunctional and thus uninhabitable condition? It is because He desires to show His power and goodness. Consider that God chose an ominous beginning: darkness was over the earth’s surface. This was intentional because, while there is nothing inherently evil about darkness, it is used in the Bible to signify sin and evil (see 1 John 1:5). Notice what God does in response to the darkness, He tells us that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” Darkness was over the earth, but now God’s Spirit is over. The imagery is powerful for two reasons: 1) it is a demonstration of God’s goodness in that He is distinct from darkness and 2) it is a demonstration of God’s power over darkness in that He is above it with authority over it.
- Days 1-3: Form & Function (vs. 3-13). On days 1-3, God brought form and function to the dark earth. On day 1, God formed light and separated it from darkness to function as a means of telling time on earth (day and night). On day 2, God formed “an expanse between the water” to function as a means of sustaining life on earth with water. On day 3, God formed the dry land to function as a place to dwell with food and oxygen provided for their survival. These days are vital. In them God demonstrated His power and goodness by preparing His creation for its first inhabitants through the provision of the necessities of life: time, water, land, oxygen, and food.
- Days 4-6: Filling & Instruction (vs. 14-31). On days 4-6, God filled His newly formed earth with its occupants and gave them instructions. Notice the connection between days. On day 1, God formed light and on day 4 filled the light with the sun and moon with the instruction to “serve as signs for festivals and for days and years.” On day 2, God formed the seas and sky and on day 5 filled the sky with birds and the waters with fish and instructed them to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill.” On day 3, God formed the land and on day 6 filled the land with creatures and instructed them to “be fruitful and multiply.” Then, on day 6, God created man “in His own image” (Gen 1:27) and instructed them to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth” (Gen 1:28).
This week, reflect on Genesis 1 in the context of Romans 15:4. Why did God tell us He created the world in this way? Why is it important that God created in 6 days? What is special about each day? May God build our faith and increase our hope!