Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday, May 12th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 25-26, Psalm 94, Acts 5
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 1:1-5

Genesis 1:1-5

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Creation of the World

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Accompanying Bob Deffinbaugh sermon: The Creation of the Heavens and the Earth
Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: The How, Why, and When of Creation Part 1 and Part 2

According to MacArthur, the Hebrews didn't have a single word for "universe".  They had a phrase for "universe" and that phrase was "the heavens and the earth".  So, verse 1 could really be translated "In the beginning, God created the universe."

Obviously, as Christians, we all believe in Intelligent Design, and that that Intelligent Designer was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  I'm not get into the official debate of old earth vs youth earth creationism, except to say that I personally am of the opinion that we have a young earth.

God created the universe out of nothing.  And the world He created was created in a mature state.  Adam and Eve are the only people to never experience being in utero, infanthood, toddlerhood, etc.  Both of them were created as fully developed adults.  Similarly, God created the world and all that is in it in a mature state.  The chicken came first, not the egg.  On the day God created trees, they were all only a day old, but if you cut an oak tree down and examined it's rings, it would have appeared much older.  

There are many other evidences for a young earth, including the current population of the world, but that's where I'll leave it for now.

How did God create?  By His Word.  What an amazingly powerful God we serve, that merely the sound of His voice speaking into nothing would cause the universe to be created.

Why did God create the universe?  MacArthur contends a couple of reasons.  Quite simply, He created the universe because He wanted to.  Why did He want to?

In order to display His glory - to both the angels and mankind.  So much of His character is revealed through creation - His power, His wisdom, His intelligence, His creativity and imagination, His love of beauty and order.

He also created in order to display His grace and mercy through His plan of redemption.

He also created in order to provide a bride for His Son.
MacArthur: This glorious plan of God to give to His beloved, the second member of the trinity, an expression of love, of eternal divine love by granting to Him a redeemed humanity who would reflect His glory and serve Him and praise Him forever. What an immense thought. What a glorious thought. And that's bound up in the purpose of God in creation.

And so we see the beginning of the universe, which began with the creation of time.

The earth was formless and void.  Formless means that it was like a wilderness - a devastated, waste place.  Void means that it was completely empty.  Utter desolation.
Now these words have to do with a waste place, a desolated place without inhabitants. Devastation and depopulation, without shape and form and without inhabitant. So when you see the words tohuand bohuin Genesis, it's not some tricky technicality that you're seeing there, it's just the word for devastation and emptiness. It was a waste place and there was no life there. That's exactly what it means. Maybe the best way to say it would be the earth was unfinished as to its shape and unpopulated. That's exactly what it means. And that's understandable when day one started.
The material was there. There was time and there was space and there was matter, but it was unformed and unpopulated....God created them, God spoke them into existence but yet they were undifferentiated, unseparated, unorganized and uninhabited.
This empty wasteland was covered in water and utterly surrounded by darkness.  There was no light.

And the Spirit of God hovered over the water - He was completely in charge of every aspect of creation. He is the energy behind creation.

And then God created light - as well as day and night, even though He had not yet created the sun.  We know that God does not need the sun to be a source of light.  How He provided that light before He created the sun we do not know.  But we know that He did because He said that He did.  And immediately, the earth was placed on its axis and began to spin, creating day and night.

I liked MacArthur's point....
This starts the cycle of days. He separates the light from the darkness. He created the light but didn't destroy the darkness. It was never His desire as the creator that there be perpetual light, not at all. But that both darkness and light would operate consecutively. And that was good. And that they would operate consecutively for given periods in an unchanging cyclical order. He made it so because it suited His creative plan. It suited His plan to have the earth revolving, to have light and to have dark.

And it was good.

God took chaos and began to transform it into cosmos - beauty and order.

I loved Deffinbaugh's closing statement:
If you have never come to Christ, I can say with total confidence that your life is formless and empty; it is chaotic and lifeless. The same One Who turned chaos into cosmos can make your life anew.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Genesis 1:6-8
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Samuel 27-28, Psalm 95, Acts 6

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