Series on Genesis, I Creation, B The Characteristic of Creation, Text:1:2-25

Introduction

The characteristic of God's creation is order. This may seem too obvious to merit our attention, but it is not. You see the ultimate issue between Christianity and unbelief, the basic question between the Bible and secular humanism is where did the order come from?  Is it the result of evolutionary accident?  If so we may well ask the evolutionist why is there progress instead of decay? The observable laws of thermodynamics indicate that the universe is dying. Why don't we have devolution instead of evolution? Or is this order simply an order imposed by the rational mind of man. A philosophical answer which is tantamount to solopsism which means, I am real and everything outside me is just the result of what I think or the way I see it. This solution never appealed to me. Once in a college philosophy class before I was trained in Christianity, I sensed this and tried to point out that solopsism was the only logical choice apart from believing in a Creator. Nobody liked it, but they didn't have an answer either. Solopsism bears an uncanny resemblance to the post-modern view that I have my truth and you have yours, and there is no standard outside of us. The point is that the only possible explanation of order in the world is found in Genesis 1:2-25. In January, 2000 Michele Bearden, religious reporter for the Tribune wrote an article about a couple in Washington D.C. who discovered the god within. They said “We are god and have the ability to create our own godliness.” The comment was “they created a god that fills their divinity wish list.” The folly is transparent! Let’s look at that order and its implications with the pattern, the purpose and the plan

I The Pattern of Greatness

The pattern is bringing order out of chaos. This is the reason that we read first in V.2 of the primeval creation of matter,   Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  The lesson here is that disorder and darkness is not good and that disorder and darkness plus the Spirit of God equals light and order. Life cannot exist in this primeval context. The pattern established in V.2 continues throughout this section of Scripture. This is seen in the light, the life and the likeness.

A The Light

The creation of light comes first because it is essential to order. This light is much more than the sun. I John 1:5 says, This is the message that we have heard, “God is light and in him is no darkness at all.” John is saying that this is the basis of the gospel message. According to verse 3, God speaks light to the primal darkness or nothingness, and order begins, And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And, when the creation is plunged into darkness by man’s sin, what does God do? He speaks light again through the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. God’s holiness is incompatible with darkness. Whether out of the chaos of emptiness or the chaos of sin, God brings order. This is his final goal. Revelation 22:5 describes the eternal city of God, They will not need the light There will be no more night. of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Here is perfect order where nothing formless, nothing  flawed, nothing foul can flourish in the dark. You wonder how God can be the light. How little we understand. When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai the second time with the second set of the tablets of the law he had seen the glory of God. He saw it only from behind, hidden in a rock, but his face shone so that Aaron and the people were afraid to come near. And every time he entered the tent of meeting it happened again, so he wore a veil over his face. There is an old vaudeville routine where the comedian comes into a dark stage with only a street lamp lit. He is carefully searching for something, a policeman comes along and he says, “What are you looking for?” “My keys,” he answers. So the policeman helps and after a while he says, “Are you sure you lost them here.” The man says, “No, it was over there, but the light is over here.” In the consummation, nothing will lurk in the shadows. order is restored. In Psalm 43 the writer says, Send forth your light and your truth, let them lead me. Light brings order, but darkness disorder, therefore Psalm 119 declares, Your word is a light on my path.

B The Life

In the narrative of creation life follows light. This is very clearly stated by John in his gospel in chapter 1.He says of Christ Jesus, The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. The next verse says He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world did not recognize Him. The light that He gives is the light imparted to each human being by being made in the image of God at creation. Since man is the crown of creation all the other things were made for him. Everything here occurs at God’s mere command, and the waters covering the earth are separated by an expanse, that is, God sweeps back the waters to make a space for life and He gathers the waters under the expanse together so that dry land can appear and the scene is set for life. It is an ordered world over which the man can rule because he is the reflection of God. Edith Wharton said, “There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” God is the candle and life follows light so that man can be the mirror.

C The Likeness

And so, when life is brought forth it follows a progressive pattern of inter-related complexity: first the plants, then the birds and sea creatures, then the land animals culminating in the man who is the master of all. But, the key phrase in this connection is “after its kind” or according to the various kinds, which means, of course, that the Bible asserts that there is absolutely no evolution between species, but that all are immediately created by God. Nobody has ever found, nor will anybody ever find, a true missing link because there aren't any. Part of the order of God's creation is the incredible overwhelming complexity of interrelationships between plants and animals. we call these symbiotic relationships. They are only possible if God created these different kinds simultaneously. Chuck Swindoll humorously suggests, “Many, many centuries ago, steel, iron, glass, rubber, plastic, fabric, leather, and wires came up out of the ground. Each substance fashioned itself into various shapes and sizes with holes at just the right places, and the upholstery began to weave itself together.  After a while threads appeared on bolts and nuts and amazingly each bolt found nuts with matching threads.  And gradually everything screwed up tightly in place.  A little later correctly shaped glass glued itself in the right places.  And the tires became round over the years and found themselves the right size metal wheels, and just popped on.  They also filled themselves with air somehow. and the thing began to roll down the street. And one day some people were walking along and they found this vehicle sitting under a tree.  And one of them looked at it and thought, "how amazing. I think we should call it 'automobile.'" These little automobiles have an amazing way of multiplying themselves year after year, even changing ever so slightly to meet the demands of the public.  Actually, that process is called "automutations." But God alone did it for a reason. All order, all meaning, all significance come from God alone and reveal him. This is the purpose.

II The Purpose of Glory

Throughout the account God pronounces His creation good. This means not only that He is satsified as He must be with his work, but it is directed at us and means that because it is good it is therefore a proper basis for glorifying Him. The pronouncement that it is good means that it bears his imprint for only God is good. The heavens declare the glory of God. Later when God says that the loneliness of man is not good we gain further insight. What this means is that man without woman will not adequately reflect the glory of God. I Corinthians 11:7 says, A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. This is the reason that the permanence of marriage is seen as a creation ordinance by Jesus, because it is essential to the proper reflection of the glory of God. Marriage is order; divorce is confusion. You don’t think so? Over 60% of those divorced later decide they made a mistake. Kids from broken homes are almost twice as likely to drop out of school and eight times more likely to be expelled. Thank God He is not the author of confusion. If the creation is not orderly it does not reflect the creator. We are here only to reflect the creator which brings me to my last point the plan

III The Plan of Goodness

The plan is seen in God's blessing the creatures he has made in verse 22, God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” He says this not only with regard to man later but here in our text with regard to the animals. This does not mean that the animals have the same value as man as in eastern philosophy, and it does not justify protecting wild animals better than we do unborn children. What it does mean is that God created all of this to bless his creatures. He is sharing his glory with them. As the lights of heaven are not the light themselves but merely reflect his light so we have no life in ourselves except as God gives it to us in order to reflect His glory. But, to share in that glory is the ultimate fulfillment. The purpose and the blessedness of what He has created, this reveals His goodness. Later when sin enters the world disorder is again reintroduced and we see God's promise to recreate through the seed of the woman who will be the same one who created in the beginning for the one born at Bethlehem is the one who made all things and without Him was not anything made that was made. So, overarching the creation is God's purpose of redemption which will guarantee that this world and all that it contains will finally be blessed. That blessing has been lost in the natural world but it is restored in the Kingdom of God. The goodness of God is thus revealed in a way beyond our ability to comprehend. He will not allow disorder to prevail; His creation must ultimately share in his goodness.