Monthly Archives: May 2015

Darkness

Studies in Genesis 1

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. (Gen. 1:2 ESV)

Not only was earth a chunk of uninhabitable rock there was “darkness over the face of the deep.” Darkness is absence of light. As part of the physical environment of the rock darkness lends further description to the state of the non-planet. We can’t even call the rock a planet yet. For darkness implies there is no sun about which the rock revolves which would shape it into a planet.

Life cannot exist in the total absence of light.  Nor, could life exist without an atmosphere to sustain the food, which is also life, needed for life. When God created the heavens and the earth there was no life in the universe.

But what does God mean by “over the face of the deep?”  Is He describing the universe or an abyss found within the rock filled with unknown stuff? We do not know because no one was there but God. We must rely upon His description for our understanding.

Being careful of our imaginations I would suggest that not only was the earth incapable of sustaining life but was actively hostile toward any natural life. Were there even a possibility of life such life would be extinguished by the turbulence and aggressively inhospitable environment.

God took a mass of metals and chemicals surrounded by darkness and filled with everything detrimental to life and formed it into something which will not only sustain life but the unimaginable variety of intricate life He will create.

A Blank Canvas

Studies in Genesis 1

The earth was without form and void. (Gen. 1:2)

When God created earth it was a rock, a hard place in the heavens. God describes the earth for us. He calls it “without form and void.”  Something which is “without form” is a desolate waste land, a desert where nothing lives or can live. It is a worthless thing. It has no purpose and no value. It just is. Earth was one of the known only to God chunks of rock hurtling through the universe.

Not only is the earth a wasteland it is “void.” There is nothing but rock. There are no active chemicals. There is no atmosphere. There may be metals like nickel or iron, gold and silver. Everything on the rock is inert. It is a dead piece of rock.

But isn’t this a description of most of the matter in the universe. When we look at our moon do we not see a ball of rock which does not and cannot sustain life. NASA has recently discovered the Moon does have an atmosphere and a small amount of water. But, the necessary requirements for life are not found on the moon. So the earth, when it was first created, was nothing but dead matter.

Without stretching an analogy, God created a blank canvas upon which He would paint an intricate and complex image. Before God created the earth He decided that it would support life. However, without His direct and purposeful intervention life on the earth would never have developed.

God Knows

Studies in Genesis 1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. [Genesis 1:1 ESV]

God has a plan and a purpose for everything He creates.

He, the Eternal Designer, finishes what He begins. He exists before creation and when creation ceases to exist He will continue.

When He created the heavens He also created the Earth, suspended in the heavens and revolving around the sun. All which exists has a nature determined by Him while moving in a universe governed by specific natural laws as set in place by Him. These statements are assumed true just as the existence of God is assumed true by the first sentence in Genesis.

We do not know if the Earth is unique of all the planets in the universe. We can say God focuses His attention upon the Earth. Genesis chapter one suggests God designed the Earth specifically for people. Of all He created on the Earth people are unique. When the time comes we will examine the image of God in Man.

Since God exists outside of space and time and sees the beginning from the end, He is fully aware of Man’s spiritual condition. He sees and intimately knows the thinking of the heart of every person. When He created the universe He knew He would create the Earth, knew He would create people to live on the Earth, knew people would rebel against Him. He knew He would send His Son as the only means of reconciliation between Himself and those He created who rebelled.

We must keep this in mind as we continue the study of Genesis 1.

Size Matters

Studies in Genesis 1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. [Genesis 1:1 ESV]

Look into the night sky, on a clear night and far removed from the ambient light of civilization, and you will see thousands of stars, maybe a few of the near planets and possibly the Andromeda galaxy. You may even see the Milky Way, the galaxy in which the Earth is placed.

It does not take much imagination to realize how small the Earth is in relation to the rest of the universe. Yet, I think few contemplate the size of our planet or the size of themselves on our planet. People are unique, built with an awareness of self which tends toward self-absorption, which places self at the center, unaware of anyone who does not exist within a small circle of influence.

When God created the universe He deliberately placed the Earth in its precise location. Relative to the rest of the universe the Earth is smaller than a speck of dust. Stars have been seen which are so large they would hold an estimated 70 quadrillion planets the size of the Earth.

There are 15 zeros behind the 70 (70,000,000,000,000,000).

Considering the size of the universe and the fact of life on Earth many speculate there are other planets in other solar systems, inconceivably far away, which support life. This is pure speculation. An imaginative science fiction grows from this speculation.

We know about the Earth. Life on Earth is not speculation but a reality. God designed and created the Earth for human life.

By Design

Studies in Genesis 1

In the beginning, God created the universe. [Genesis 1:1 ESV]

God built and designed the universe. Before, there was nothing. Then there was something. He created ex nihilo, out of nothing. Then, from matter and energy God brought into existence He designed and fashioned all there is in the universe. He built the elements, made stars and solar systems and galaxies and set everything in motion.

Each galaxy is made of billions of stars with the greatest concentration toward the center. This massive concentration of stars has a gravitational pull which keeps them within the confines of the galaxy which moves and spins at a constant rate of speed.

Every star is unique and may be smaller than our sun or so large our solar system would fit within its diameter. Every star has a different color, level of energy, mass and temperature. Every star has gravity pulling near objects toward its self. Orbiting objects maintain a steady speed and distance from its star because of the exact pull of gravity.

There are uncounted galaxies filled with uncounted stars. We may make educated guesses about the number of galaxies and stars within each, but cannot know. Yet, God knows the exact number of galaxies and stars because He created them and placed them in the universe by design. No star is birthed or dies without His knowledge and direction. Every galaxy, star, solar system, planet, object with their mass and speed and unique characteristics are there because of the design of God.

God Abiding

Studies in Genesis 1

In the beginning, God created the heavens. [Genesis 1:1 ESV]

God abides outside our universe. Those boundaries which constrain the universe cannot limit God. Since the universe is a closed system, even as inconceivably large as it is, nothing can leave it and nothing can get into it without the direct involvement of God. All of the matter and energy contained in the universe remains constant, neither losing nor gaining either.

Space has a boundary. Our universe takes up a certain amount of space and seems to be growing at a rapid rate. From the earliest time of the supposed “big-bang” until now and into the future, the universe is growing. Galaxies, each with a vast number of stars, are moving away from each other. Still there is a physical boundary, even if it is stretching and growing, that comprises the space of the universe.

Time moves forward in our universe. Time is another boundary, always moving in one direction. It does not stop nor stand still. Again, this is true unless God intervenes. Only He can do this.

These boundaries are absolute, God designed laws which rule the universe. God created these governing laws as surely as He created the physical universe. As the Creator, existing outside of the created, He is not constrained by the laws He emplaced to rule the universe. Everything that exists must adhere to the physical laws set in place to govern their existence. These laws are discoverable but are not debatable.

Timeless

Studies in Genesis1

In the beginning, God created the heavens. [Genesis 1:1 ESV]

Scientists, astronomers and others have dated the age of the universe as close to fourteen billion. In 2013 a group of astronomers saw a blur of light and through a series of tests determined it was the oldest galaxy yet discovered. 13.1 billion years old. Astronomers have suggested this galaxy came into existence a mere 670 million years after the Big-bang.

Throughout the history of the Church many Christians believed the universe was, at most, somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000 years old. There is an ongoing disagreement over the age of the universe between old and young Earthers. This debate is a subterfuge meant to direct attention away from the God who created everything to speculations about when God created the universe. We are confronted with mysteries known only to God and cannot force Him to share these mysteries.

How old is God? He is timeless. We do not get to use words which signify time to describe God. When these words are used they misrepresent who He is. He is not constrained by time just as He is not constrained by space, or matter or energy or any other being.

He is infinitely larger than our universe. I imagine God holding the universe in His hand. Since He exists outside of the universe then the boundary of time has no effect upon Him. We must be careful to never think of Him as if He were created and constrained.