Do you not know? Were you not told long ago? Have you not heard how the world began? It was made by the one who sits on his throne above the earth and beyond the sky. (Isaiah 40 v 21-22)
The word “Genesis” means “origin” so this is where we are starting this new year – at the beginning. The creation of the universe and the human race. We will learn about famous characters, their triumphs and failings and see God move in miraculous ways to bring his people out of oppression and slavery and the covenant of love that he made with them.
In the beginning when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Spirit of God was moving over the waters. (v1-2)
The Bible is clear about God’s existence, there is no doubt;
Before you created the hills or brought the world into being you were eternally God, and will be God for ever. (Psalm 90 v 2)
In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God and the Word was God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. (John 1 v 1-5)
We also see from these verses that the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were evidently in existence at this point, before the creation of time as we understand it. The Holy Spirit is moving over the waters, Jesus (The Word) was involved in the creation. The Hebrew word Elohim is used in Genesis 1 which is the plural name for God meaning that all parts of the Trinity were involve. In Revelation 13, we see reference to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. It was all set up; Adam’s fall which we will read about in chapter 2 was not “God’s plan being messed up,” He already had it sorted in that Jesus was already the Lamb who is mentioned many times through the Bible.
Now onto the Creation v Evolution debate;
Verse 1 states that in the beginning God created the universe. We are not given any idea of a time-frame, time as we understand it is not created for the earth until verse 5
Verse 2 then states that the earth was formless and desolate. Some translations indicate that it “became” this way. So it existed in some form beforehand, maybe dinosaurs roamed then. The “Ice Age” that formed and shapes our valleys may well of happened during this “pre-Creation” state. So from this viewpoint I have no problem with those who say that the earth is more than 6,000 years old, possibly billions, as we do not know how long God allowed the earth to exist in that state. I don’t see how they can attempt to measure the time though and say that something is X million years old.
What is exciting though is to read on in verse 2 to see that the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) was moving, hovering over the waters, some translations say “brooding” meaning an expectancy that something was going to happen, there was a desire for something to happen. What a day that must have been in Heaven when God announced his plan and the work began.
Everything was in darkness until God said in verse 3 “Let there be light” and light appeared. It then says that God was pleased with what he saw and then he separated the light from the darkness. Now this is amazing because if there is light anywhere it drives out darkness. We saw in John 1 verse 5 that The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. It is impossible in our world to stop light from shining unless we extinguish it or cover it, yet God is able to separate it.
He then names the light “Day” and the darkness “Night (v 5) and the first day was created.
Light had to be the first thing created so that all his other creations could be visible and life possible. We know that we cannot exist for any length of time without light and the plants and vegetation need light to be able to grow. Yet even our benevolent God uses the darkness and the deep for good use. In Psalm 104 v 19 to 23, the Psalmist speaks of the moon marking the months, the sun knows when to rise and go down, the animals come out at night to hunt and man rests from his labours.
By naming the Day and Night, God claims dominion over them. We will read soon how all the subsequent creation was brought to Adam for him to name, giving him dominion under God’s authority and power. My belief is that this “Day” is the day as we now understand it, a 24 hour period. This was the point that it was created.
So we see that indeed the world has existed for a time that we are unable to measure because our measurement of time did not exist before this point.
A thousand years to you are like one day; they are like yesterday, already gone, like a short hour in the night. (Psalm 90 v 5)
All quotes from The Good News Bible