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The Six Days Of Creation
When Moses spoke of the six days work of creation in Exodus 20:11 he used the Hebrew word ASAH, putting emphasis on fashioning the created objects. Moses viewed, by the Holy Spirit, these events as a spectator. In six days (Exodus 20:11 ). Each creation day refers to a day of God (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8 ).
The beginning of each act of creation is called morning and the close of that specific divine act is called evening. Here we will focus on the fact that God created, not on disputes over how long it took Him to do it.
First Day Of Creation (Genesis 1:3-5)
Genesis 1:3-5 "Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day."
God said, "Let there be light." The spoken word accomplished His will, and there was light. (Psalm 33:6,9; Psalm 148:5; Hebrews 11:3. )There was light on the earth in the daytime. God said that the light was good. He divided between light and darkness which He called day and night. This was the FIRST DAY. This was the Lord's first positive action in a creative word toward completing His deliberate plan of creation.
The work in fashioning the earth - creating animals and man took place in six creation days. God being God, He could have accomplished it all instantly, but He chose that on each creation day progress would be made. "And God saw the light, that it was good." What distinction and difference this statement emphasises between creator and creature. Man can see objects with the aid of light, God sees the light itself, making a careful assessment and calculation.
His pronouncement is 'good'. "God called the light Day, and the darkness He called night." Light was God's answer to the prevailing darkness, essential or other steps would have no meaning. God claimed ownership of both day and night by so naming them. Psalm 74:16 "The day is yours the night also is yours; you have prepared the light and the sun."
Day and night are God's words that we have received into our human language. He who owns them named them! God divided between light and darkness which He called day and night. This was the FIRST DAY. The NKJV margin says Lit. "And evening was, and the morning was, a day, one." (Genesis 1:5 ). God's evening of creation and God's morning of creation was the first day.
Second Day Of Creation (Genesis 1:6-8)
Genesis 1:6-8 "Then God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters ... which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day."
God divided the water of the clouds from the water of the seas by the firmament, or atmosphere - which God called heaven. The word 'heaven' is used in three senses in Scripture. The atmosphere (the birds of the heavens) - outer space (the stars of heaven) - the abode of God (the God of heaven) pronounced good by God.
Third Day Of Creation (Genesis 1:9-13)
Genesis 1:9-13 "Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth' ... the third day."
The dry land appeared and the rest of the water was gathered together in the seas. (Jeremiah 5:22 ). God also saw that this was good and commanded that the grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit trees should spring forth. This was preparation for the creation of animals and man.
Fourth Day Of Creation (Genesis 1:14-19)
Genesis 1:14-19 "... Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years ... to give light on the earth ... Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also ..."
The thick bank of clouds broke up and the stars, sun and moon became visible from earth. These had been created long before, verse 1. The word "made" (Genesis 1:16 ) does not mean create, but establish - God provided for the accurate recording of time in establishing the regular motion of the heavenly bodies. God also saw that this was good.
Fifth Day Of Creation (Genesis 1:20-23)
Genesis 1:20-23 "... 'Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.' ... great sea creatures ... every winged bird ... 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas and let birds multiply...'"
Earth was ready for the creation of insects, birds and fish. These creatures were commanded to multiply by natural generation. 'Creation' here is the word BARA, (Genesis 1:21 ), meaning an original creation. Even the great creatures of the sea are presented not as enemies to be feared, but part of God's good creation to be appreciated.
Sixth Day Of Creation (Genesis 1:24-31)
Genesis 1:24-31 "... Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth ... Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. ... male and female He created them ... fill the earth and subdue it..."
God created creeping things and land animals. Everything was now ready for the crown of God's creation. The Hebrew BARA is in use again - man is an original creation of God - distinct from other creatures (Genesis 1:27 ). God took counsel as it were, and decided to make man in His own image and likeness. "Then God said, 'Let us make man" (Genesis 1:26 ).
The ELOHIM for God is used throughout the chapter, which is plural in form - now the plural pronoun 'us' is used. One of the most outstanding foreshadowings of the Old Testament, is seen in the New Testament doctrine of the trinity in unity - one Person of the Godhead is addressing another. Genesis 1:26 "Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness."
To understand what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God, look over what this chapter has already revealed about God:
In the absolute sense man cannot of course, do this. Man can, in a relative sense, by making original combinations from the material in the world put at man's disposal, and introducing beauty and design into such combinations. Man can make music - art - or literature, taking a creative pleasure in them.
God speaks a word
Man has the corresponding gift of language - communication - capable of expressing command - desire - statement or question, and clothing thoughts in such a way as to prove him a rational being. Man is capable of abstract thought, and is self-conscious.
God approves the good
In this chapter God's approval has been given to the inanimate, or to the non-moral, but one of the most obvious characteristics of God in the Bible is His approval of what is morally good and His abhorrence of the morally evil. Man too, is a moral being capable of moral choice and how he chooses decides his ultimate happiness. To be obedient in believing the good news of Jesus Christ, and in embracing the will of God, man ensures eternal and abundant life. In God's image man is a creative, rational, moral being.
God gave man dominion
He was, in the divine counsel, purposed to be God's vice- regent of earth. (Psalm 8:6-8 ). Dominion lost through the Fall - 'but we see Jesus' the last Adam, crowned already with glory and honour as our representative - a fact that pledges and guarantees the accomplishment of God's purpose. We reign in life by one, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:6-8. Romans 5:17 ). Only in Christ can man truly regain the image and likeness to God. (Romans 8:29 ).
Male and female He created them
Genesis 1:27 "...In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
God's counsel brought decision and action. What He purposes He accomplishes. He created. A bringing out of nothing - made in two sexes - for reproduction - to reflect eternal relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25-33 ). Man was blessed and fully provided for (Genesis 1:28-31 ).
Seventh Day Of Rest (Genesis 2:1-3)
Genesis 2:1-3 "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested ... then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work ..."
By resting on the seventh day God established the principle of one day of rest out of the seven. Under law it was demanded of Israel to observe the seventh day as a Sabbath of Rest. Exodus 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
The Sabbath was a sign to Israel of God's covenant relationship. (Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17 ). This is the only one of the ten commandments not repeated after the day of Pentecost. The church made Sunday (the first day) the day of worship commemorating the resurrection of Christ. Acts 20:7 "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread ..."