Genesis 1

1 God created space, time, all things seen and unseen (Col 1:16). These are three basic components listed: time, space, and matter.

"Time" here is the linear time scale that governs the universe. It has a beginning and an end. Since God created time, He is obviously not confined by it. In fact, it is possible for Him to see the beginning and the end of time at the same time. Thus, while time is linear to us, God can see time in a non-linear fashion.

Space is indicated by the word "heavens." The heavens could be similar to the firmament (discussed later), or could express the idea that there is an earthly heaven and a spiritual heaven that co-exist, but are separate. In a similar way that time is discussed above, we are limited to the three-dimensional world, while God's realm is not so limited. God may enter our 3D world at will, but we are confined to it.

The earth represents matter -- the building blocks of the material universe. God tells us there was water, which may indicate that He transformed water molecules into the other various elements throughout the six days of creation. However, that does not necessarily preclude that the other elements were not available or that God could not have made the necessary elements as He continued the process of creation.

The eternal pre-existence of God is assumed by the Bible (Psa 90:2) -- God is not a created being. The word for God here is Elohim, which is plural. This is the first evidence for the triune nature of God. In the first two verses, we see God (the Father) and the Spirit present. In John 1:1-5 we find that Jesus was there as well.

All other cosmologies assume that matter is pre-existent. In mythology, various gods "pop out" of chaos and form it into the universe we see today. The Bible, however, indicates that mater had to be created "ex nihilo," which is Latin for "from nothing." The word for "created" is one that is only used to refer to the creative acts of God. People can "make" (i.e., reform or rearrange) things, but only God can "create" them.

2 The earth starts empty and without a shape. God's Spirit hovered over the waters, already showing intimate contact with His beloved creation to be.

There are many secular scientists who believe that the earth and the rest of the universe are much older than can be allowed by the Bible. Some people who want to believe this "Old Earth Theory" and the Bible at the same time will say that there is a time span of billions of years between verses one and two of Genesis. They retranslate the phrase "was without form" to "became without form" and suggest that God created an earlier heaven and earth, but later destroyed it (often this is linked with Satan's fall). The "Gap Theory," as it is called, is completely without merit, and has no corroborating evidence in Scripture, extra-scriptural traditions, or in materialistic science. This theory was developed only to satisfy the requirements of the anti-biblical Old Earth Theory and the anti-God "Theory of Evolution."

3 In each of His creative acts God speaks a command and it is done. God is speaking to His Son, Jesus, who then creates each component in accordance with God's plan (John 1:1-3, 10).

With this command God injects energy into His new universe. This energy would be used after the Creation to make the universe to be self-maintaining in a material sense.

Light is also the signature of God's presence. In many places light coincides with God's presence and working (Psa 27:1, 1 John 1:5, Rev 21:23).

4 Everything that God created is pronounced "good." This means that God created everything to be perfectly suited to its purpose. Only after Satan and Adam and Eve contaminated the universe with sin were created things marred to be "evil" or "unclean."

The light was called good, but darkness was not. Darkness occurs where God has not created something. "Darkness" is not inherently evil; it is simply a state of being. Only after Satan's rebellion is darkness often associated with evil (realize that God will sometimes use darkness for His own purposes -- e.g., 2 Sam 22:12). "Evil" darkness, therefore, is where creation is working against (or in the absence of) God, or where God has purposely removed His presence for the purpose of judgement.

5 On the first day God created time, space, and matter. He started energy processes (specifically light) and defined boundaries between night and day.

Darkness is given the name, "night." Here again, night is not considered evil, since sin did not contaminate the world until after the Fall (Rom 5:12). Only after Satan's revolt is evil associated with darkness, or other "hiding" places (thus, the definition for occult). But nothing can escape God's notice (Psa 139:12).

In the world we often see opposites working against each other (e.g., light and dark, evil rises up and to oppose the goodness of God, etc.). However, in the end there will be no such conflicts. In the end there will be no light versus dark or good versus evil. All will be light (which is why it is called the "Last Day" -- singular, not plural) and good (Rev 21:23-27).

This verse shows that God starts the day-night cycle. God is orderly (1 Cor 14:33).

God defines the first "complicated" term, "day." With the common acceptance of evolutionary cosmology, some Bible scholars have attempted to modify the meaning of this word in order to harmonize the scriptures with the Old Earth Theory taught by secular cosmology. However, God makes it very clear that an alternating period of light and darkness is called a day. He even further specifies "one day." There is no way this can be stretched into a long time span required by secular cosmology. The student with integrity should be able to see that the Bible is opposed to Old Earth cosmology, and likewise, the evolutionary worldview is hopelessly opposed to the Word of God.

6 While the word "firmament" appears to refer to open space (whether atmospheric or universal space is not entirely clear), the word connotes something solid (firm). In Gen 1:8 God gives the firmament the name Heaven (but as in Gen 1:1, this may refer to 3D space, or perhaps even a subset of the 3D universe). Gen 1:15 indicates that it contains the sun and moon. This could be taken as from the viewpoint of earth if firmament is limited to the atmosphere, or it could include what we call "outer space." Gen 1:20 indicates that the firmament has a surface, which might fit better with the idea that the firmament refers to earth's atmosphere. However, it is also possible that the edge of the universe is being referred to. It is unlikely that God made the universe "infinite," since only He can be infinite. Thus, it makes sense that the universe be bounded.
7 This seems to be a description of the earth in the past since we do not see this kind of water division today (at least as far as we understand it). One theory hypothesizes that God created the earth surrounded by a bubble of water (or water vapor) which later collapsed during the Flood. A newer theory (by Humpfrey) hypothesizes that there is a bubble of water around the entire 3D universe. Both theories are heavily debated.

Another possible idea is that the waters "above" may be referring to the raw materials used to make the heavenly bodies of day four. In light of Gen 1:2, God may have divided a "universe-sized" drop of water into trillions of smaller drops that He later transformed into stars, planets, and moons.

8 On the second day God created the atmosphere and began separating waters.
9 This is the final step in the organization of the planet itself. At this point God has transformed the raw element of water into a variety of chemicals (assuming that Gen 1:2 means that the "earth" was originally a great big drop of water - also see 2 Pet 3:5). God shapes the earth's crust so that a single continent is formed. God intends to have creatures living in all three phases of His creation: gas (air, firmament), solid (earth), and liquid (seas).
10 Even though there is one body of water, the land had local regions (and perhaps inland bodies of water) that are called "seas." This kind of terminology is still used in mapmaking today.

This very brief description of the geography resembles the "modern" idea of a single continent (Pangaea) in the past that later broke into the six continents we see today. While secular science attributes this to "continental drift," it might better be explained by the breaking up of earth in the Flood (Gen 7:11).

God had finished creating a perfect home for the creatures He was about to create.

11 God had provided a place for His creatures to live, and now He is providing food for their eminent creation. Perhaps this can be likened to a host preparing for company. He first provides a place to live and sleep, and then prepares a banquet.

Here is the first utterance of "after its kind." Plants were the first creations that would grow and reproduce. However, they are limited to producing plants that are like themselves. This is a limitation that we still see today. If anything, this is a definite blow to the concept of evolution. We don't see evolution happen, and God commanded that it not happen.

12 Again, plants are "good" because they suite God's purpose -- they are incapable of making moral choices.
13 In the third day God created all plant life. There was light to sustaining these plants for a day, even though the Sun had not been created yet (Gen 1:14-16).
14 God now creates "light bearers" to carry on the work of separating light and darkness. God either removes the supernatural light that He had previously created, or He condenses it into the Sun and stars (see Gen 1:16).

Perhaps these objects are needed because "abstract" light is not suitable for signs and seasons. "Concrete" light sources are much clearer.

Some have argued that the previous days of creation were not necessarily 24-hour time spans because God had not yet created the Sun. However, this verse says that God created the Sun so that we would know what a day was. There is no indication that God changed units of time when He created the Sun. It is also important to note that this verse specifically indicates there are different units of time. For example, a "day" is different from a "year." God (obviously with foresight) makes it emphatically clear that the six days of Creation can not be stretched into billions of years to satisfy the Old Earth claims of secular science.

15 Of course, the primary purpose of the lights was to provide light for the earth. The next verse specifically states that the sun and the moon would be the primary sources of light for the earth.
16 Even the darkness had light now.

The word "made" here is different than the word "create" in Gen 1:1. Since light had been created on Day 1, this verse may indicate that God condensed the light into bounded objects. Alternatively, God may have ignited "globs" of the matter that had been created on Day 1 and then removed the "supernatural" source of light.

These three verses indicate that the stars were made on Day 4. The laws of physics lead to the conclusion that it would take billions of years for the light from distant stars to become visible to earth. This is a significant "problem" for some, but Bible believers have to believe that it is possible for God to have created the distant stars on Day 4 and have them be visible. Scientists have not been able to provide an adequate materialistic answer to this problem, but we must remember that God is not bound by materialistic limitations.

One example of an attempt to explain this problem is Humphrey's cosmology theory. It has star formation starting on Day 1, but the stars do not become visible until earth's Day 4 (in the meantime the stars aged millions of years due to the theory of relativity). This part of the theory, however, does not reflect what the words of this verse say.

Another theory is that the speed of light may have once been faster than it is today. The evidence for this is not very conclusive, but there may still be possibilities here.

Certainly continued work in these areas is worthwhile since there is still so much we can learn about the universe that God gave us.

17 The universe was created with purpose. Even the most distant star is given the "job" of shedding light on the earth. Somehow, even those stars that are dim and too far away to see with the naked eye must serve this purpose. The fact that some light does reach the earth apparently fulfills this purpose, even if we need special equipment to see them (1 Cor 15:41).
18 As subsets of their purpose to give light to the earth, the lights rule or dominate their particular domain. The sun and the moon are distinct icons of their respective domains. The sun is never seen at night (of course), and although the moon makes the occasional appearance during the daytime, we still find it an odd spectacle (Jer 31:35).
19 The sun and moon will remain until the end of the age (Isa 13:10, Isa 60:19, 20, Mat 24:29, Rev 21:23).
20 Now that God had finished creating habitats, food, and the cycle of days and season, He is ready to fill it with living creatures. Note that plants are not said to have "life." Later on, life is further defined by the presence of blood (e.g., Gen 9:4).

God also chooses to fill the depths and the heights first. Mankind is typically limited to be within six or seven feet of a surface (even if the surface is a plane or a space ship).

Here is another reference to the firmament. It seems odd that the firmament has a surface. Here it might be taken to refer to the boundary between the atmosphere and outer space (outer space being the "heavens," while the atmosphere being Heaven proper).

21 The wording indicates that all the types (or "kinds") of birds and fish were created on Day 5. Likewise, all plants were created on Day 3. A "kind" is generally held to be similar to the "family" as defined in scientific classification.

These creatures, like plants, would only be able to reproduce after their own kind. Thus, a fish could never be the ancestor of a bird. In addition, since birds were created before land animals, it would not be possible for a reptile to have evolved into a bird, as many secular scientists propose.

As with everything God created, birds and fish were created to suit God's good purpose.

22 This is the first time that God speaks to His creation. Even though we consider other creatures to be of little intelligence, and relying mostly on instinct, the creatures can (could?) apparently hear and understand God. This doesn't mean that animals have either free will or souls. But they were blessed by God and given the command to reproduce.

Birds are also acknowledged to live on the earth as well as in the sky.

24 The creatures of the earth are said to come from the earth. Like Adam, God probably shaped pieces of earth and gave them life, even though it is not explicitly stated here. The primary difference might be that mankind was specifically made as bearers of His image and containers of His Spirit, among other things.

Again, all species and types of creatures are made at once, in a single day. There are no transitional forms or long periods of time. While evolutionists often argue about a very few creatures that appear to share characteristics of otherwise distinct kinds of creatures, the insects (i.e., the creeping things) show no such transitional forms.

During creation, there were no questions or second-guessing. God spoke, and things happened ("and it was so"). As Christians we are supposed to be obedient, but how often we question everything that God tells us to do.

25 God specifies three large classifications for animals: domestic (i.e., they would be domesticated), wild, and the smaller animals. As with everything else, God created these creatures good, even the insects.
26 God speaks again to Himself (within the Trinity). He wants to create a creature that will be more like Him. As is laid out in the rest of the Bible, God wants to have a creation with which He can have a loving relationship. The animals were not sufficient. I suppose that it is similar to us having pets. While we often will become attached to a pet, we can never develop a deep, intellectual relationship with them. Man, however, was to be different. Man was to be according to God's likeness. Some of the characteristics that make humans different from the other creatures include creativity, reasoning, among other things.

What is more, man is to be given a special responsibility: taking care of everything that God made. While "dominion" is often confused with tyranny, the meaning is later clarified to mean, "tending the garden" (Gen 2:15). As a side note, rulers are charged with caring for those being ruled over (Rom 13:3, 4). This applies whether God has given one charge over creation or over other people.

27 Both male and female bear the image and characteristics of God. Each is equally capable of developing a relationship with God and displaying other characteristics of godliness (i.e., having the likeness of God).

Physical characteristics, personalities, and talents make us different from other another, but we all carry God's image. There is no indication anywhere that anyone has more or less of God's image than anyone else. We all stand equal and equally responsible before God.

There are no "self-made men." God creates each.

28 God "blessed" people, similar to how He blessed other creatures. To bless probably refers to bestowing happiness to them. They were to find happiness in multiplying and in ruling over the earth. Note that both male and female were charged to share this responsibility.

"Subduing" here does not mean the same thing as taming something savage and wild. Since there was not violence in the garden at this time, subdue more likely means something like "organize" or "direct." We do not know exactly what Adam and Eve did on a day to day basis, or why animals were needed for their employ. It is probably because our modern lifestyle pushes us to work harder. Back then working a perfect garden, tending the creatures, and enjoying the rest of creation was enough to fill a satisfied life.

29 Only plants were given for food. There was not eating of meat at this time. Some object that eating plants is as much "killing" and eating an animal. However, this is not how God sees things. First, only creatures with blood can be "killed" (Gen 9:4). Secondly, most plants today (and perhaps all originally) have a characteristic called "indeterminate growth." This means that plants do not have a preset limit on how big they will grow, or how many "parts" they will have. Humans, for instance, are pre-defined to have two hands, two eyes, one nose, etc. If a human loses a hand, another does not grow in its place. If a plant loses a leaf, branch, root, etc., another can take its place. Thus, the plant as a whole does not "die" unless the entire plant is destroyed. From what we know of the non-violent nature of the Garden, it is unlikely that there would be the need or desire to destroy an entire plant. Eating portions of leaves and fruit would be sufficient to satisfy one's physical hunger.

This verse indicates that humans could eat from "seed-bearing" plants, while Gen 1:30 indicates that animals could eat all green plants. We can only speculate on how clear this division was. It may be that spore-bearing plants (such as ferns) had less nutritional value for humans while the seed-bearing plants provided all their needs.

30 There were no poisonous plants in the beginning. All were palatable and usable for food. Everything needed for proper maintenance of the body would be found in plants.
31 Now God takes a step back and looks at everything He has made. If we were to doubt that anything was good, here God makes the general pronouncement: "Everything I made is good." It was made the way He planed it, and it suited His perfect sense of order and beauty.