The Significance of the Creation Account (Genesis 1:1-31)

The Significance of the Creation Account (Genesis 1:1-31)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Saturday, January 15, and Sunday, January 16, 2022

Last week we began a sermon series on foundations. My aim is to show how Genesis chapters 1-11 are foundational to our faith. Today, we talk about Genesis 1 and God’s orderly account of creation.

I read the following:

There are two very practical and human answers to the creation of man and woman. One is the man’s view; the other is the woman’s view. Are you ready? The woman’s view of creation is this: God made the man and looked at him and said, “I can do better than that,” and He made the woman. Now the man’s view is: God made the beasts and man and then He rested. And then He created woman. And neither beast nor man nor God has rested since.[1]

However, think about this:

On August 21, 2011, an American software engineer named Jesse Anderson created the Million Monkey project, which featured millions of virtual simians typing away randomly. In just forty-six days, Anderson claims, the mindless authors recreated all of Shakespeare’s thirty-eight major works. “This is the largest work ever randomly reproduced,” he crowed.

The media trumpeted the achievement uncritically. Yet the claim is so misleading as to border on deception. In truth, what the digital monkeys produced randomly were unbroken strings of letters. It took a computer program (a digital maestro) working behind the scenes to recognize correct sequences and break them up—intelligently, not randomly—into the proper words.

My purpose is not to criticize Mr. Anderson or accuse him of any wrongdoing, nor even to lament the ignorance of the popular press. It is to illustrate the lesson that creativity is not a random process. Science and the Bible agree that in order to create something from nothing, there needs to be something or someone behind the scenes directing the show.[2]

In Genesis chapter 1 we see how God created everything in six days. We see a broad view of creation. This sermon series is about the significance and because of that I am going to emphasize certain verses and not read the whole text.

My theme:

The Significance of the Creation Account (Genesis 1:1-31)

Read with me Genesis 1:1-2, and 31:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

  1. Overview:
    1. In between Genesis 1:2 and verse 31 we see the six day creation. How important are these six days to the rest of the Bible? In a moment, we will talk about that. First, let me give an overview of this chapter.
    2. God created the earth. Now, the first two verses are an overview of the creation of time, space and matter. Starting in verse 3 God gives order to this matter. God arranges His creation so it is not such a mess.
    3. So, the rest of this chapter deals with the details of the earth and its surroundings. God chose to create everything in 6 days.
    4. On day 1, God creates light, this light may not be the sun. Most have believed the light is light emanating from God.  On day 1, God also created the idea of the day and night.
    5. On Day 2, God creates the atmosphere. Notice the waters are already there.
    6. On day 3, God creates land and vegetation.
    7. There is an idea that days 1-3 are forming and days 4-6 are filling.
    8. On day 4, God creates the moon and the stars.
    9. Notice that the Bible doesn’t use the noun “sun,” or “moon.”
    10. If you study the ancient religions of the Middle East, you can see that they worshipped the sun and the moon. So, Moses was careful not to use those terms.  In fact, if you really study this text, you can compare it with the other religions of the Middle East. In comparing you can see that Moses is writing this correcting those religions and showing that there is one God, and He is supreme.
    11. On Day 5, God creates the creatures of the sea and the air.
    12. On day 6, God creates the land animals and humans. Humans are the only creation specified. Humans are also created in God’s image.
    13. Notice also that it takes male and female to reflect the image of God.
    14. How did God do this?
    15. Why do we limit God? Were you there? If we don’t believe God created in 6, literal, 24 hour days because you don’t think it could be done, that is problematic. If you think because of evolution, God didn’t create in 6, literal, 24 hour days, then that is a problem. That is idolatry, you are putting something else in front of God.
    16. How did God create daisies? I say, “Like a child.” You throw a child up in the air or bounce him off your knee. When you sit him on the floor, the first thing the kid says is, “Do it again!” Throw him in the air; catch him; bounce him off your knee; set him on the floor. The kid’s going to yell, “Do it again!” Do it fifty times. The fiftieth time, the kid is yelling hysterically, “Do it again! Do it again!” The excitement of a little child.
    17. That’s how God created daisies. He created one daisy. I’m sure of this. In the childlike heart of God, he clapped and said; “Do it again!” He created daisy number two. Something within God said, “Do it again!” He created daisy number three and four and five. Fifty billion, trillion daisies later, the great God of the universe is still creating with childlike excitement and joy and yelling, “Do it again!”[3]
    18. I have read a lot and studied a lot on how to interpret Genesis chapters one and two. There is a lot of geological evidence for a young earth. There are definite complications with the Bible if you take evolution to its fullest form, called macroevolution. 
    19. If you have an NIV study Bible it says this:
    20. In the ancient near east most of the people’s had myths relating to how the world came to be. Prevalent in those myths were accounts of how one of the gods triumphed over a fierce and powerful beast that represented disorder, then fashioned the ordered world that people knew, and finally was proclaimed by the other gods to be the divine “king” over the world he had created—a position ever subject to the challenge of disorder. Over and against all these pagan myths, the author of Genesis taught a totally different doctrine of creation: the one and only true God did not have to overcome a mighty cosmic champion of chaos but simply by a series of His royal creation decrees called into being the ordered world, the visible Kingdom that His decrees continue to uphold and govern.
    21. God created, this implies, God is in charge. Let’s apply this.
    22. Why be afraid?
    23. We must trust God; why shouldn’t we, if He is powerful enough to create everything we see, then He is trustworthy.
    24. If God didn’t create than we shouldn’t trust Him. Why trust God if He didn’t create, but if you believe Genesis chapters 1 and 2, then you have every reason to trust God.
    25. If God is not limited by time, then we don’t need to worry about the future.
    26. God knows the future and that is important. More than that, Revelation chapters 20-22 teach us that God has a plan for the future. That plan includes followers of Christ.
  2. Significance
    1. In between Genesis 1:2 and verse 31 we see the six day creation. How important are these six days to the rest of the Bible? What is the significance?
    2. Scripture affirms God as creator and a 6 day creation:
    3. Exodus 20:11: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
    4. Nehemiah 9:6: “You alone are the Lord.
      You have made the heavens,
      The heaven of heavens with all their host,
      The earth and all that is on it,
      The seas and all that is in them.
      You give life to all of them
      And the heavenly host bows down before You
    5. Col. 1:16: For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 
    6. Rev. 4:11: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
    7. Mark 10:6: But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’
    8. 2 Peter 3:5-7: For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
    9. In that passage Peter is referring to creation and the flood and talking about people who deny these things.
    10. To change the creation account of Genesis is to change the foundation of our faith.
    11. Genesis is foundational to our faith.

In Crazy Love, Francis Chan writes:

Why would God create more than 350,000,000,000 galaxies (and this is a conservative estimate) that generations of people never saw or even knew existed? Do you think maybe it was to make us say, “Wow, God is unfathomably big”? Or perhaps God wanted us to see these pictures so that our response would be, “Who do I think I am?”

R. C. Sproul writes, “Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.

Did you know that a caterpillar has 228 separate and distinct muscles in its head? That’s quite a few, for a bug. The average elm tree has approximately 6 million leaves on it. And your own heart generates enough pressure as it pumps blood throughout your body that it could squirt blood up to 30 feet. (I’ve never tried this, and I don’t recommend it.)

Have you ever thought about how diverse and creative God is? He didn’t have to make hundreds of different kinds of bananas, but He did. He didn’t have to put 3,000 different species of trees within one square mile in the Amazon jungle, but He did. God didn’t have to create so many kinds of laughter. Think about the different sounds of your friends’ laughs—wheezes, snorts, silent, loud, obnoxious.

How about the way plants defy gravity by drawing water upward from the ground into their stems and veins? Or did you know that spiders produce three kinds of silk? When they build their webs, they create sixty feet of silk in one hour, simultaneously producing special oil on their feet that prevents them from sticking to their own web. (Most of us hate spiders, but sixty feet an hour deserves some respect!) Coral plants are so sensitive that they can die if the water temperature varies by even one or two degrees.[4]

We serve an amazing God!

[1] Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 122.

[2] Michael Guillen, “Amazing Truths: How Science and the Bible Agree,” (Zondervan, 2016), Page 98

[3] Source: Tony Campolo, “If I Should Wake Before I Die,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 124.

[4] Excerpt From: Francis Chan. “Crazy Love.” iBooks.

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