Genesis 1:1-13 — Days 1-3 of Creation
Mk 10:5-6 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
As we begin our study of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, I want to emphasize again: it is the Word of God; it is truth. Doubting what God says about the Creation will negatively affect us to doubt what He tells us about other matters throughout the Scriptures. It will weaken our faith in His Word, but it is His Word that He will not change, because He does not change. God’s Word judges us; we do not judge Him. (Heb 4:9-13) God Himself lives by His Word (which gives Him sovereign authority to do what man may not), and has magnified His Word above His Name. (Ps 138:2b) Yeshua is the Word of God, and He lived by it, and will continue to fulfill all that is written. As we trust God more to believe all that He says, our praise and worship will also enlarge.
It is not necessary to know Hebrew or Greek in order to know God and to be saved. But there are places where knowing them does help in understanding something better. As Yeshua said: “every jot and tittle will be fulfilled”; and those small things can at times make a big difference.
There is so much contained in these verses of Ch 1 in Genesis, and we will not be able to go over them all. But it is our aim to give enough to know the truth of what God says, and for each of us to be established in the truth, or at least to know that by faith we believe what the LORD says, like Abraham did when YHVH, as part of His covenant with him, promised what seemed an impossibility (and without evidence or proof, other than what YHVH said to him), and God accounted it to him as righteousness. (Gen 15:1-7; Heb 11:3 )
Gen 1:1-2 God is the Creator; He is not part of His creation, but He does enter into it by speaking, by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world, and by appearing as an Angel numerous times before coming in flesh and blood by the incarnation of Yeshua. And He is coming again! In Ch 2 we learn that the name of the God who is the Creator is YHVH (Yehovah).
Notice here in this very first verse of the whole Bible what the Hebrew reveals: singular verb; plural noun. A plural God who is one. A clue from the very beginning of what we call the Trinity. Not ‘El’ (singular, generic term for God, or Mighty One), not ‘Elohaim’ (a form implying two, a pair), but ‘Elohim’ (a plural generic term implying three or more). The verb ‘bara’, meaning created, is always used for an act of God, never of other living beings.
In the original manuscripts, there were not chapters and verses. They were put there by scribes, and they help us today to read the text. Sometimes we may wonder why they decided to end a chapter or a verse where they do. So, as we look at verse 2, we see in the Hebrew that it begins with ‘ve’, and the same word “eretz” which ended verse 1. Therefore, it is continuing the thought with no gap. There are not millions and billions of years between verses 1 and two, but simply a statement of fact about the Earth. God created the heavens and the Earth in a state of darkness, without order. This is clear from the simple grammar, and normal writing or speech. And His Spirit was hovering over the waters. The Earth has a key place in God’s creation, and water does, too.
God is Light. Outside of God’s presence is darkness. Outside of His order is confusion. The Creator is not a God of confusion, but of peace. (1Cor 14:33) We are called to walk in His light, in His truth. (Jn 8:12;2Cor 4:6; Jn 1:1-5)
v 3–5 God spoke into the darkness (2Cor 4:6) and lack of order by saying, ‘“Let there be light”; and there was light.”’ Light reveals what is in the darkness. God reveals Himself, and knows all things. God is light; He did not have to create light. He did have to create darkness. (Is 45:7) Jesus said that He is the Light of the world. Even in Judaism this ‘Light’ is the Messiah. And in the New Jerusalem, there will be no night, nor need for the sun, for the Glory of God and the Lamb will be the light. (Rev 21:22 – 22:5)
God saw that the light was good. It was according to His will. He separated the light from the darkness. God is the Judge of morality – of what is good, and of what is not good, i.e., evil in His understanding and wisdom and purpose. He separated the light from the darkness. The Creator is not a God of mixture. He is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all. (1Jn 1:5-7) And He has brought us out of the kingdom of darkness and into His glorious light, and calls us to walk in His light.
God called the light day and the darkness night. And there was evening, and there was morning – One Day. What we call the first day, God called one day, the “one” of the week. He described the unity of one day being that there is evening and there is morning – and between these two times of some light and some darkness, there is night and day. He has defined the length of time in a day, and it is this time that He used throughout the six days of Creation that He reveals to us through what Moses wrote to Israel. This time period for a day marked by evening and morning is the same before the sun and after the sun. It is 24 hours in a day, not some indefinite period of time open to conjecture; which, in any case, the Bible never acknowledges. The Hebrew word ‘echad’ for one day speaks of unity in the day: it includes evening, night, morning, and day – together making for one full day.
v 6-8 There was still water everywhere, and God spoke that there should be a rakia in the midst of the waters, and to divide the waters from themselves: some above, some below the firmament. Above the firmament He called Heaven, or skies in our understanding. (The Apostle Paul spoke of the third Heavens: the first being our skies that we see during the day; space, that we see at night; and the Heavens where God’s Throne is. The first two heavens are created; where God dwells is not.) So the evening and the morning were a second day, the same timeframe as the one day of Day One, the first day (now that there is more than one). The second day was not called ‘good’.
v 9-13 God said, “Let all the waters be gathered into one place, and let dry land appear. And it was so.” The dry land God called ‘Land’; the gathered waters He called ‘Seas’. And God saw that it was good.” It was according as God spoke and wanted. This builds up our faith in His Word when He speaks to us, or as we read the Bible through which He speaks. It will be as He has spoken, and in perfect accord with His will.
There was already the ‘Earth’ as part of the beginning of the Creation. Now, here is the first mention of dry land, when the waters were all gathered together in one place. (2Pt 3:5-6) This tells us that in the beginning, the dry lands, or what we today call continents (same Hebrew word), were joined all together in one land mass. (In Gen 10:25, God informs us when He separated the lands, as we see them today.)
And God spoke again that the Land should sprout forth all kinds of vegetation, each with its own seed. And it was so. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were a third day. On the third day, God twice saw that it was good, just what He wanted.
This is also a proof against evolutionary science, which says that everything came forth from one thing over very long periods of time. But here God the Creator is telling us that He formed the Earth and the dry land, and made all kinds of vegetation, each with its own seed, and each therefore being able to propagate itself, after its own kind. Corn will not produce a carrot or a fig. A rose will not produce a myrtle. Man may intervene to make hybrids of some fruits and flowers, but this is an intervention into nature, not natural itself, and hybrids can not reproduce themselves! Within each kind, there can be variations, but, for example, a poodle and a German shepherd are both dogs. We can look at photos of our great-grandparents, and notice that they may look a bit ‘dated’; but, they, and we, are still human beings. Each seed according to its kind!
It is also of some interest that all plants must die before they can grow. This is a picture of resurrection. Paul wrote that the Messiah rose from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures. Yeshua is the Tzemach – the Branch/the Plant – of YHVH and of the House of David. God spoke to the land to sprout grass, plants, trees on the third day of His Creation plan of order.
God’s Word, and His will in the Creation helps us to learn to also make distinctions – between what is good and what is evil; between what God approves and what He disapproves; between what agrees with God’s sayings, and what opposes them; between what is holy and what is profane; between what is clean and what is defiled. We want to learn to make choices which bring glory and pleasure to our Father in Heaven and to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Creation and its development took six days. The finished work was after the sixth day. The first three days God created and then formed the Earth — He “laid the groundwork” – to be sustained and filled and inhabited to glorify His Name, and for a praise to Him by His saved people for His great power and wisdom. (Is 45:17-19) Is there anything that the LORD can not do!? Is a virgin birth too difficult for the Creator of the universe?! Is raising up the dead to life too difficult for the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and the seas, and all that is in them?! Is there anyone else, or any other god, worthy of fear (for YHVH forgives our sins!), and of praise and worship?! God’s plan of redemption is taking about 6000 years. The Sabbath for this creation will be fulfilled during the Millennial Kingdom to come, after the Lord Jesus Christ/haAdon Yeshua haMashiach returns.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, March 16, 2019, and reposted with permission.
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Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.