Summary: God creates, sees, blesses and commands
• Out of nothing (1:1, ex nihilo)- Hebrew: bara, rare word applied only to God
cf. Man born blind (John 9:32)- literally, “Before the aeons, before the ages, it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.”
• Through recycling!- Hebrew, yasar- a technical potter’s word, humans (2:7) and animals (2:19) formed from clay of ground!
cf. John 9:6- Jesus “spat on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.”
• By dividing- the cosmos is formed by making distinctions. God differentiates between:
o Light and dark (1:4)
o The seas and sky (1:6,7)
o The seas and earth (1:9)
The parallel passage in John 1 describes the Son of God as the Word and as the true Light that shines in the darkness. Jesus says to Nicodemus, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness, instead of light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). On the day of judgement, Jesus will divide the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25). Evil- chaos- mixes up good and evil in a big muddle- “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
Do we make distinctions between good and evil? Or are we performing good deeds to compensate for the evil in our lives? Can we learn, as John says, to sharply hate the world just as much as we love the Lord?
• Through speaking- 8 x “God said.” Until God spoke, nothing existed. Such is the power of God’s words that once He has said them, there is a 100% probability they will become reality.
cf. Jesus- John 11:43- “Lazarus, come out!”- the dead man came out. Simple as that!
Every word that proceeds from the mouth of the mouth of God is true and each of His promises to you will come true with a 100% probability. It is as likely as God will keep His promises to you as it is that He made the universe. “Thy word is true from the beginning, and ever y one of thy righteous judgements endureth for ever” (Ps.119:160). Most common promise in the Bible? Do not be afraid!
Something else: even the devil knows this- “Tell this stone to become bread” (Luke 4:3).
2. Sees & blesses
• As finishing touch. 7 x “God saw that it was good.” There is a chain of progression: God speaks, things come into being, He sees they are good and He blesses them. But what is the difference with us? When God made man, His creation was finished (2:1) and it was very good.
• What? Man as the crown of His creation, as the only creature made in His image. Verse 26, “Let us…” Elohim, plural noun, singular verb! Clue of Trinity. All other pagan uses of similar words have plural verbs. Only our God is the true God, only one God, three distinct Persons.
So we are made in this tripartite image, body- soul (mind/emotions/will)- spirit.
o Moral- made to do what is good and right and to shun what is evil
o Spiritual- made to endure, even after the physical is done away with
o Ruling- made to govern creation as God’s viceroy
Fool has said in his heart, “There is no God!” Calvin- no atheists. See don’t forget God sheet. Biggest problem in my life. Remember God sees your goings out and your comings in, He knows when you sit and when you rise (Ps. 139). It’s madness- because whatever God speaks, comes to life. Whatever comes to life, He sees as Good and blesses. Why should we forget God, the only source of all our happiness (“every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights”- James 1:17 paraphrase).
• To the animals, that they multiply- they’ve certainly kept up their end of the deal (1:22)- as many rats in the UK as there are people- 60 million, and you’re never more than 10 metres away from one!
• To the humans, that we multiply- seem to have little problem with this, despite our murder of 6 million babies in the UK since 1967, over 130 wars since WW2, massive epidemics in Africa, thousands dying every day from poor water and malnutrition, world population still growing,
• Name the animals (2:19)- no problem, given the size of Biology textbooks and the scope of zoological and botanical dictionaries!
• Work (1:28; 2:5). In 2:5 it seems Adam’s very raison d’etre was the till the ground, and the ground’s raison d’etre was to be tilled by Adam. Adam = man, adamah = till the ground. The very mannishness of man is to work. Instinctively, we feel the need to work, which is why unemployment and boredom are so very depressing.