Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday, May 14th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 29-30; Psalm 96; Acts 7
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 1:9-13

Sorry for the delay in today`s post - life happened.

Genesis 1:9-13

English Standard Version (ESV)
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Creation Day 3

Can you imagine witnessing the amazing display of God's power through creation?  Obviously there were no human observers, but wouldn't it be amazing?!  The angels were likely there to watch it happen - which would make sense because that would give glory to God the Creator.

In his sermon, MacArthur acknowledges that there is no place in the Bible that specifically states when angels were created, but we do know several things about them.
What is definite is that they are creatures and they were created and they did have a beginning. They are immortal. Once created they live forever. But only the triune God is eternal, without beginning and without ending. Angels are created beings.
Job tells us they were there worshiping God when the foundations of the earth were laid - which would either mean Day 1 or Day 3, depending on how you would interpret the the foundations of the earth being laid - either the original formless void earth of Day 1, or the shaped earth of Day 3.

Before Day 3 we have an unformed earth, light, and a vast universe (and possibly angels).  Now, on Day 3 God forms the earth by gathering the waters into one place and letting dry land appear.
MacArthur's commentary:
This was caused by a tremendous, cataclsymic upheaval of the earth's surface, and the rising and sinking of the land, which caused the waters to plunge into the low places, forming the seas, the continents and islands, the rivers and lakes.

Can you imagine that?  Simply awe inspiring.

The continents could quite possibly have all been joined together (called Pangaea), until the flood`s breaking up of the tectonic plates where the fountains of the deep broke apart the continent into it`s current form.

Incredible. The majesty of creation takes my breath away.

God also made plants today - which is neat, considering at this point light existed, but not the sun.  God created the plants in a mature state, with seeds already in the vegetation, ready and capable of reproduction.
God set in motion a providential process whereby the vegetable kingdom could reproduce through seeds which would maintain each one`s unique characteristics. The same phrase is used to describe the perpetuating reproduction of animals within their created species, and indicates that evolution, which proposes reproduction across species lines, is a false explanation of origins. 

MacArthur also make an interesting note about a well-known fable - Rahab (pronounced rahHOB) was a legend, a sea monster who fought the gods in creation to stop them from creating dry land.
this legend found its way into some of the rabbinical tradition. And Rahab then became a name that would refer to any sort of...any reality or any fantasy which caused havoc, which rebelled against God, which fought against divine purposes, or the people of God. And you find a number of references to Rahab, to the sea monster in rabbinic literature. They called Rahab the lord of the sea, the great monster of the sea, I suppose his name would be Neptune. And he was always opposing the will of God in these legends. But the Holy One was able to contain him and control him.

It seems as if the Jews then borrowed the idea of Rahab and turned it into a sort of a metaphor for anything that resisted the power of God, anything real or anything in fantasy that resisted the power of God. And you find the references to Rahab, as I noted them, all throughout Old Testament wisdom literature. (Job 7:12, 9:13, Isaiah 51:9, Psalm 89:10)

What is so interesting to me about that is when you come to the Genesis account and the actual account of creation, there is no Rahab...there is no sea monster. There is no other existing power. There is no other existing force or existing deity in a sea monster form. What you have in Genesis is a very careful detailed believable real account of creation with nothing poetic, nothing legendary, nothing mythical whatsoever....The writer of Genesis meticulously avoided making any use whatsoever of a well-known legend that even appears in other wisdom literature, and is even referred to by the prophet Isaiah. He using it metaphorically to speak of anything that reeks rebellion and havoc. There was no such battle (in creation). God said it and it was so.

The writer of Genesis was careful to write this out as historical fact, not allegory or poetic license.

One other note MacArthur makes.  God refers to the light as being good, but He doesn`t refer to the earth that way on Day 2 because it wasn`t yet habitable for humans.  After Day 3, it had reached the point where it could contain and sustain life, and God called it good.

What an amazing God we serve!

Tomorrow's scripture focusGenesis 1:14-19
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Samuel 31; Psalm 97; Acts 8

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