Tag Archives: water

River Eden

Studies in Genesis 2

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. (Genesis 2:10 ESV)

Eden was watered by an unnamed stream. From this stream came four named rivers. God determined the names of the rivers and tells us but He does not give us a name for the stream which watered Eden. We do not know the exact location of the Garden of Eden nor of the rivers God mentions.

God, created the universe and the Earth to operate within specific laws, obviously placed the Garden of Eden high in altitude. The stream He used to water the Garden was the headwaters for four rivers. We cannot know for certain but the stream probably began as a spring or series of springs gushing out of the side of a mountain, growing as other streams merged with it finally breaking off into four directions. With this stream God watered the entire Garden.

“Watered” means to drink or irrigate. Every living creature, whether flora or fauna, needs water to survive and flourish. On the second and third day of creation God made an atmosphere for the planet then collected the waters on the face of the earth in low areas making oceans and seas. Yet, He also made rivers and streams to water the ground, for the next day He would create all the plants, herbs and trees. He surrounded the earth with an atmosphere and covered the earth with vegetation. While He could have easily sustained life through His will, He instead created an environment to sustain life. Most probably, the whole earth was well watered and filled with vegetable life. And the water was pure.

While God planted a Garden, a paradise named Eden, in the East, we can surmise He desired the entire planet would be a paradise. Relative to the small stature of Man, the Earth is huge, and God did not just dump Man somewhere but gave him a home. His home was filled with every kind of tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food. He had pure water to drink, delicious food, and a comfortable and beautiful home. People were blessed to fill the earth and subdue it.

Eden had physical boundaries though probably not surveyed and marked with signs that said “leaving the Garden of Eden.” Perhaps the boundaries were physical mountains surrounding a large valley with an opening through which the river flowed. We do not know and we should not allow our imaginations to dictate an unverifiable perception of reality. However, Eden was a true place with a true geography, filled with real trees and plants. An actual river flowed from Eden. God placed a real, historical Man in that Garden. Though we cannot state emphatically what Eden looked like we can use our imaginations to help us understand. Trying to imagine eternity and heaven is futile. Imagining the Garden of Eden is not because we can go to places and see and experience what may have been. Eternity is an unimaginable paradise.

As the river of Eden flowed out of the Garden it split into four rivers. God does not concentrate on Eden to the exclusion of the rest of the Earth. As the plants and animals, and especially people, reproduce, multiple and fill the Earth God readies the earth for His complete blessing.

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Principle of Separation

Studies in Genesis 1

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. (Genesis 1:6-8 ESV)

From the beginning of creation through its end God established a principle of separation.

God separated that which is below from that which is above. He made a “firmament” which may better be translated “expanse” but which means much more than expanse.  It can mean a solid surface, a flat base or support, or the space above a solid, firm surface. On the earth it is the solid surface which supports the waters, the oceans, lakes and rivers.

God calls the expanse above the earth “Heaven” which could be simply the atmosphere which surrounds the earth and holds the gaseous waters for rain. Beyond the atmosphere the Sun, Moon and stars are placed. So, the firmament is the expanse above the earth which includes the atmosphere and everything else surrounding the earth in the universe.

God uses the word “water” five times in these two verses. “Water” does not mean the chemical compound H2O as we know water. Here, water means a liquid “juice” such as urine. It is a waste, a dangerous mixture some have called a “primordial soup.” God separated that which is good, wholesome and healthy, that which is needed to sustain life, from that which is dangerous and adverse to any and all life. Without knowing exactly how He does this it would seem He begins to strain the hazardous liquid through the atmosphere to separate that which is good for life from that which is deleterious to life.

God separates out the earth, a place which He will fill with life, from the rest of the universe. He names the atmosphere and everything beyond it just as He named the period of time of light and darkness. God separates out the chemicals needed to sustain life from those which are adverse and kill life. God separates the solid earth, a small speck of dust in a beyond imaginably vast universe, from the universe. God separates.

This principle of separation He uses from the beginning of creation through its end. He separates that which is not life or harmful to life from that which is life and sustains life.

 

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.

What God Does is Good

Studies in Genesis 1

And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12 ESV)

Three times God creates and works and “sees” what He has done is “good.”  To “see” is to look upon something with approval, joy and pleasure.

On the first day God said “let there be light” (Genesis 1:3 ESV) and “saw” the light was “good.” He specifically differentiates between light and darkness.

Then, on the second day, God separates the water on the chunk of matter which will be Earth, making an expanse between the water above from below, creating an atmosphere for the planet.

On the third day, He separates the waters from dry land, making oceans and seas, raising the land into mountains and valleys. What He “sees” is “good.”

Now He covers the dry land with life, vegetation, plants, grasses, herbs and trees, each species unique, suitable for the climate of the mountain or valley, able to reproduce and make more, covering the land. What processes He starts will not stop until He declares they cease.

He covers and fills the earth with food. There are no animals, only plants and trees. He “saw that it was good.”  This word “good” has a number of implications. Everything God does is according to His eternal personality and character. God is good, therefore, what He does is good.

But that which is good also demands purpose and function. When He separates water from water, first making an atmosphere and then the land from the sea it was to allow for the growth of vegetation. When He created the vegetation it was to provide food for that which He will create.

God works and will not stop until all is finished.

Everything is Designed

Studies in Genesis 1

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10 ESV)

There is no life on the planet, yet. God is laying the foundation for life by preparing the planet to grow, encourage and sustain the life He will create in His time and by His design.

Everything He does has purpose and follows an intricate design. We usually work from incomplete ideas to blueprints and exact measurements, seeking to discover ahead of time the issues which may arise, making decisions to accommodate or overcome possible problems. For us, there are always unknowns. There are no unknowns in God’s design and accomplishments.

He took a planet covered in liquid hostile to life and created water which supports life. He created an atmosphere which could hold and distribute water to the land. He moved the geology of the planet, raising up mountains with canyons and valleys to channel water from them into the lower places. He lowered other places so the water would collect. In all of this He sets everything in motion, moving the planet, the atmosphere and the water in a purposefully designed direction.

He called the dry places “Earth” which means firm and land. He called the places He gathered the water “Seas” which means noisy (surf), river, basin or any large body of water.

Everything is designed.

Land and Sea

Studies in Genesis 1

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10 ESV)

By now God has probably formed and shaped the rock into a spherical planet, probably spinning on its axis, probably revolving around a huge light which will be the Sun. Nothing in the first chapter of Genesis gives detail about the formation of the planet other than basic information.

On the first day God created all matter and then began shaping and forming that matter into what is now in the universe, telling us specifically what He is doing with the hunk of rock which will become Earth. He made light and separated light from darkness. On the second day He separated water from water, creating and atmosphere and cultivating the planet, making it ready for life.

Day three begins and God moves the geology on the planet. He creates deep rifts and high mountains, separating the dry places from those filled with water. Earth is an active planet, from its core to its surface, to the atmosphere surrounding it, to its place in the universe.

Verse 9 states God “gathered together” or collected, all of the liquid water into “one place” which may mean a single, huge ocean before he separated the continents. But “one place” probably means the deep areas with boundaries across which the waters cannot move.

God continues to separate one thing from another. From His first few words in Genesis to the last few words found in Revelation, God declares Himself and His work.

 

The Second Day

Studies in Genesis 1

And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. (Genesis 1:8 ESV)

If we only count the words, not much happened on the second day of creation. God separated water and made an atmosphere. Though water is basic to life it does more than support life.

Water cleanses and forms. Running and flowing water washes away impurities. Yet, as flowing water moves it also forms and shapes. I imagine, and this is just my imagination, God uses the second day to begin forming and shaping Earth into a planet with a gravity strong enough to hold an atmosphere and not lose the newly formed water.

Evaporated water moves through the atmosphere picking up particles, forming clouds and rain. Each rain drop contains minute particles of dust with just the right molecular geometry for the drop to form and may become heavy enough to fall. God washed and cleansed the atmosphere.

Falling rain cultivates the ground, softening soil, preparing it for growth. God used water, integral to live, to prepare the Earth for life.

Water interacts with light. Even though we do not hear about rainbows until after the Flood in Genesis 9, God filled His creation with color. Flowing and moving water reflects and refracts the surrounding light. God creates beauty.

God finishes the second day of creation with the Earth ready for life.