Tag Archives: fish

Authority

Studies in Genesis 1

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 ESV)

Dominion does not mean ownership. God created all things, which means God is the owner of all things created. This includes Man. Though created in His image, no person created has absolute, autonomous ownership of themselves. Ignoring God and acting like He is not there will not dissolve the connection any has with their Creator.

God tells us what it is over which people have dominion, control, responsibility and privilege. His list follows the days of creation, beginning with the sea creatures and the birds of the air. He then states in verse 26 that people have dominion over the “livestock” and every “creeping things” which includes reptiles and snakes. God repeats His direction of authority given people in verse 28 when He includes everything that lives. It is not that God forgot to include all living creatures then remembered in His next declaration. His second declaration of authority given people is an affirmation, a statement for us that tells us He is not going to change His mind. It is a sure thing. Throughout Scripture God will make a statement two or three times telling us His mind and will are set.

People are given authority over the Earth as God’s physical representative. With His image we speak and act and judge for Him. This does not mean He is not present, distant or completely absent. He is everywhere. This does mean when we speak and act based upon the moral standard embedded in the image of God we uphold and reinforce His purpose and intent. God views our speech, acts and moral decisions as if He Himself was speaking and acting based on His moral attributes and will uphold and stand by our speech, acts and moral decisions.

Again, I do not want people to misunderstand. Those given the image of God are given all they need to fulfill His purpose by functioning as He designed. There is no thought of rebellion built into the image of God. His eternal knowledge of the coming rebellion, knowing sin will happen, does not change God’s purpose and intent for people, nor their place in God’s created order. Sin affects how people relate to God and to Creation but does not change God.

All God is doing in these verses happens in eternity but before sin and rebellion in the space-time universe. Sin and rebellion change Man’s position and authority before God. We are seeing Man the way God intended.

 

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The Fifth Day

Studies in Genesis

And God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23 ESV)

By the end of the fifth day God accomplished everything He determined to do up to that time. An environment is in place made to sustain the living plants and creatures He created and to provide all of the food needed for life. He always perfectly finishes what He begins.

Over what appears as a long period of time God creates life that breaths, moves and flies. Previously, on the third day, He created plant life, flora, fruits and vegetables, grass and trees. Then, on day four, He created the Sun and Moon, the greater light to govern the day and the lesser to govern the night. On fifth day He created some animal life, fauna, the sea creatures and the birds of the air.

Every living thing He created, and will create, filled the Earth, blessed with the natural ability to reproduce after its own kind. Each species of grass reproduces the same grass. So, too, each different species of vegetables and fruit tree are blessed, making more of the same. Plant life, as part of a life cycle, produces seeds which grows more of the same. So too, the sea creatures and the birds of the air reproduce after their own kind. A fish does not reproduce a bird, or that which is rooted reproduce that which moves, swims or flies.

All He has done is according to His eternal logic and design, in His power and strength. He established the laws of nature and of the universe according to His eternal determination. Our comprehension of His laws suggests a different order of events. For example, the solar system needed to be in place before life on earth could self-create. Plants need light and without a sun there is insufficient light. Yet, on day one God tells us He created light. Combined with the atmosphere He created on day two, this light and environment was sufficient to sustain plant life He created on day three.

Another example is the fossil record, which shows a great many land animals coming into existence somewhere between the first sea creature and the first flying bird. Most, if not all, of these land creatures are now extinct. Yet, sea creatures and creatures of the air, birds, are plentiful.

God does not give us a blow by blow with encyclopedia entries for any of His creation. He does tell us what He has done on each day in a broad, all encompassing way. We want to know exactly what happened so we can control Him. He told us what happened because He is in control, and we are not.

Blessing

Studies in Genesis

And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23 ESV)

I do not think we have a good understanding of what God means when He “blesses” someone or something. God uses a word which in its most primitive form means to kneel before as when one bestows an honor upon another. Instead of towering over one blessed the one blessing comes down to a lower level. Blessings are gifts given from a heart attitude of pleasure with the one receiving the gift. Imagine a father kneeling to give a gift to his young child.

Here, God bestows upon creation, specifically the sea and air creatures, His desire for His creatures to be fruitful and multiply, each after their own kind. These animals are to fill the earth. God is completely involved in His creation on Earth. Did He lower Himself, showing Himself less than who He is, to give a blessing? No. Did He raise up any creatures, making them more than they are, to receive the blessing? No. He, the eternal God and the eternal Great, brought Himself into His creation giving His creation intrinsic value.

Everything He has done to this point has prepared the universe, solar system, the Earth, ready and more than able to sustain and propagate life. He, Himself, does more than sustain life. He increases life according to the laws of nature binding creation and His good pleasure.

However, Jesus did lower Himself without decreasing any of His divinity. Jesus, God, the Son, set aside His eternal position and lowered Himself into His creation, to bless those made in His image.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

As we will see, He created Man, all people, for an intimate relationship with Himself. We are uniquely created for intimacy with God. So, loving all intimately, He knelt down and blessed a rebellious people, humbling Himself to the place of a servant and giving a gift of eternal life.

Beginning and Ending

Studies in Genesis 1

And God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Genesis 1:21-23 ESV)

If we accept the archeological evidence on its face, without adding any theory as to how animal life came into existence, then we can draw several inferences. First, a massive number of species of marine animals came into existence over a relatively short period of time almost 500 million years ago. Somewhere between 150 and 200 million years ago birds came on the scene. These times are assumed because no one was there and there is no physical evidence of shorter timeframe. Everything looks old.

Whatever the dating used the circumstantial evidence suggests a long period of time between the first marine animals and birds. How much difference for us is there between hundreds of millions of years and simply millions of years, or even shorter thousands of years?

Next, these animals reproduced, lived and died. Their lifespan was not long but short. While some trees live for thousands of years most plants live only a single or a few seasons. So, too, the animal life which filled the Earth lived for a relatively short time, during which time they reproduced and then died.

Next, the circumstantial evidence suggests some of the animals ate other animals. God did say He gave the plants and fruits for food. This does not preclude some animals eating plants and other animals. Whales open their mouths and scoop anything in the way.

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30 ESV)

Finally, the evidence tells us not all species of animals which originally appeared so long ago are still in existences.  Many species have become extinct.

Most people hold a theology which demands death not happen until after the sinful disobedience and fall of Adam. Yet, there is Scriptural evidence and physical evidence death was known by God and accounted for in creation. From the beginning there was “darkness” before God instituted “day” and “night.” Both “darkness” and “night” suggest physical death and dying and the possibility of spiritual “death” and “dying.” It would appear physical “death,” a beginning and end, is a natural part of creation. God exists outside of space time creation, began creation at His discretion and will end creation by His authority.

 

Alive

Studies  in Genesis 1

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Gen 1:20-23 ESV)

When God created the heavens and the earth, the universe in which we exist, He knew both the beginning and the ending of time. He exists outside of time and space looking down upon that which He created from a vantage point, seeing everything that is, was and will be. That which begins will also end. Nothing in the physical realm was designed to last for eternity.

Yet, we know from the words of Christ and the plain teaching of Scripture, that God created Man for Himself, for “everlasting life.” Physical bodies are exchanged for spiritual bodies which are just as real as the physical. Time, which begins and ends, is surrounded by eternity, which has neither beginning nor ending.

God tells us in Genesis 1 the creatures He created were “living” in Genesis 1:20. This word in English is a combination of two words in Hebrew. First, a word for “breathing” or “vitality” combined with a word for “alive” “fresh” and “strong.” Every animal which is alive breathes and moves. Plants take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide and grow but do not move. Both are alive. One the third day God created life which does not move. On the fifth day God created life which moves. All of this life He placed on a planet, in a solar system, in a galaxy, in a universe which is not alive, does not breathe, yet moves. God created that which is not alive and that which is alive.

When God created plant life on the third day He did so as food for the animal life He creates on the fifth (and sixth) day. Plants are food for animals. Are some animals food for other animals? This is true now, at this place in time. But were these animals, the fish and birds created on the fifth day, created as food for the animals He will create on the sixth day? Was that which had life created and given life to eventually die?

For Man physical death does not mean spiritual death. I have been saying for years that Man, each individual person, was not created to cease to exist but to exist in eternity, outside of space and time. Is this also true for all life created by God? We have circumstantial evidence only.

Assumptions?

Studies in Genesis 1

So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22 ESV)

God created a wide variety of creatures in large numbers and gave these creatures the drive and ability to reproduce. There are several assumptions we can make because of His declaration.

God covered the earth with food for these creatures. After He creates Man He tells us that all the green plants He created are for food. “And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food” (Genesis 1:30 ESV). No creature God created was supposed to eat another creature. There was enough food in the green plants to support the planet.

Next, God’s creatures are to grow numerically, filling the earth. Can we assume that when the number of creatures reached maximum capacity, as determined by God, they would stop multiplying? Or can we assume these creatures had a specific life span and then would die? Some assume God created living creature to not die but to live for eternity. Yet, there is nothing in Scripture which suggests living creatures, other than Man created in His image, do not die. Earth is a finite space and can hold only so much, albeit much more than we think.

If we examine the physical evidence we see life, birth and death.

The discovered archeological record suggests fish first appeared about 500 million years ago. Yet, the same archeological records do not discover the first birds at the same time. According to the discovered fossil records birds come much later with the assumption they evolved from early dinosaurs. We are faced with a conundrum. Do we believe what God declares in Scripture or do we believe what the fossil record is telling us? Our understanding of both God and the fossil record is not complete.

I do not believe in evolution. Nor do I believe God is a liar. Those who hold to evolution have completely removed God from the equation. This is foolish. Those who suggest the earth has existed for only a short period of time, thousands instead of millions of years, try to explain away the evidence of the fossil record, essentially making the fossil record a lie. This is equally foolish.

Our purpose in this life is to learn about and know God both intellectually and intimately. We will explore this purpose in more depth when we study the image of God in man. For now we must listen to God’s special revelation and the evidence of His handiwork and hold our unwarranted assumptions at bay until we have a more complete knowledge.

 

Animal Life

Studies in Genesis 1

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” (Genesis 1:20 ESV)

God created a physical planet in a hostile universe and filled it with life. He separated the waters forming oceans and lakes, rivers and streams. He set the boundaries of the atmosphere and made an environment capable of sustaining itself according to the laws of nature He put in place.

He created a perfectly balanced universe and a solar system within the universe to hold the life He created on Earth. Yet, by the fourth day, life on Earth is only food, green plants and vegetables and trees with their fruit. He covered the surface of the land with vegetation. He has also put food into the waters.

Now, on the fifth day, He creates animal life. He fills the waters with living creatures. He uses the word “swarm” which means to abound and to move while abounding. Plants and trees do not move. Animal life moves.

He does not create just a few creatures. He fills the seas with moving animals of an unknowable variety, from the smallest single cell animal to massive sea creatures. These creatures are designed to live and proliferate in water. They are not designed to survive on dry land.

He didn’t create only animal life in the waters. He filled the air, the atmosphere which surrounds the Earth, with birds and other creature which fly. Not a few birds or a few species of flying creatures but innumerable varieties and sizes and kinds. Like the fish, He uniquely designed these flying creatures to move through the atmosphere. We know these creatures rested on the land when not flying.

Early Earth was wondrous because God is wondrous. Occasionally, we discover the evidence of life from the earliest time. This evidence points to the creativity of the God of all.