Summary: Creation. What is "the image of God"?
October 24, 2012
Genesis was written nearly 3,500 years ago by Moses. It’s an important book because it gives us a history of the world and of the Israelites. It covers nearly every major doctrine including the triune Godhead, sovereignty, original sin, death, election, reprobation, propitiation, atonement, and many others. It’s also important because it reveals the origin of life. Genesis means “beginning,” and we see from the very first sentence that God created all things. We don’t owe our existence to an electrical spark or primordial goo or some aliens who happened by.
But most importantly, Genesis is a book about Christ. For instance, we know that no one has ever seen the Father (Jn. 1:18), and yet we see the people in Genesis interacting with and looking on someone they rightly worship! We can study Genesis and actually see the “preincarnate” activity of the Word. We also see several types or shadows of Him in the slaying of the first animal, the ark of Noah housing the people from God’s judgment, Isaac offered up as Abraham’s only son, and so many more! As we read we’ll have to remember that “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning” (Rom. 15:4). Every word (even the genealogies) is written to point us to Christ and show how He is our rest and our hope.
Let’s start now with the creation of the world:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
These first words set the tone for the rest of the book and are the foundation for every book which follows. From just this one sentence we can know that God exists, that He personally created the realms of existence, and that as Creator of these things they are under His rule. He is not only the Lord and King of these places by His power, but He has the right to be over them because they belong to Him and are His possession. Paul uses this very point in Romans 9 to show that God is the sovereign Potter who can do whatever He desires with His own clay (Rom. 9:20-21).
Now, I told you that Genesis is a book about Christ, and from the beginning we aren’t disappointed. Let’s skip ahead to the New Testament: “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands” (Heb. 1:10). We understand that Jesus Christ is God and the Creator of the heavens and the earth! “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (Jn. 1:3).
2And the earth was without form, and void;
Now, I don’t want to waste a lot of time arguing about the age of the earth right here because that’s not even the point being made. However, sometimes it comes up that there’s a multi-billion year gap between verses 1 and 2. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth [billions and billions of unaccounted years go by and then] the earth was without form and void.” Apparently the earth became evil because of Satan and God punished everything and that’s why we have all these dinosaur fossils now. The scene in the garden is just take-two of this whole account. There’s so much wrong with this, but the most apparent problem is that it’s just so forced into the text. The plain reading simply tells us that when God first began to create the world, it was an empty mass or an unformed body of water. If there is a great gap it’s is awfully vague, and this argument didn’t even exist until the 1600’s. I find it to be a particularly irritating addition to the Scripture, so I’m not giving it any more credence: