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Have any of you ever bought a pet -- maybe a dog or a cat, a guinea pig or a hamster, or maybe some fish? If you have, what was it you had to get ready for them before you could bring those animals home? First, you had to arrange some kind of place for them to live. You had to buy or build a dog house for the dog, or a cage for the hamster, or an aquarium for the fish. Then you had to buy some other things to take care of your pets, like a food bowl and water dish for your dog, along with some food and water; some litter, food, a water bottle, and a wheel for your hamster; and for your fish, some gravel, an aerator to put oxygen in the water, some dechlor to take the chlorine out of the water, maybe some plants, and some food. Once you had these things and put them all together in the right way, then you were ready, then it was time to bring your pets home and put them into their new surroundings. Then you had a place where they could live. In a similar way, this is what God did for us. Before He made any of His creatures, He first made a place for them to live and then food for them to eat. He got their environment ready first. He created a perfect world for them to live in and then He made them. This evening, I would like to begin a series on the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings. I think it will be helpful for us to know where we came from, why we were made, and why we do some of the things we do. Just about everything that’ important to us today, and s many of the things we do, had their beginning in Genesis. Genesis answers questions like these: Why are there so many stars and planets? Why is there day and night? Why are there so many races of people, instead of only one? Why are there so many different languages and nations? Why do people wear clothes? Why do they work? Why do they get married and have children? Why do all the people in this world have a seven day week? Why are there so many kinds of plants, that bear such a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains? Why are there so many different kinds of animals? Why does this world look like it does? Why are there earthquakes, tidal waves, and hurricanes? Why is there so much hatred, violence, war, greed, and other kinds of evil in this world? Why does God allow the world to continue to exist when there is so much corruption in it? As we go through the book of Genesis, we will look at the answers to these questions, as well as how God first revealed His plan of salvation and how He continued to reveal more and more about it as time went on. The first thing we will look at is how God prepared the world. We will do this by considering six things: 1) What God made the world out of, 2) What it was He actually made, 3) How He made what He made, 4) How He arranged everything He made, 5) What the world was like that He made, and finally, 6) Why He made the world. The first thing we will look at is what God made the world out of. The book of Genesis begins by saying, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It simply says that God made the heavens and the earth. It doesn’ tell us what He made t it out of. Many astronomers from as far back as ancient Chaldea and Egypt to the present day, as well as many of the philosophers throughout history, and many people today, believe that the universe has always existed, that it had no beginning. One day a great big rock somewhere out in space blew up, and after it did, it just kept on changing and developing until it became everything that now is. They believe that this is a reasonable explanation for everything that we
2 see. There’ really no mystery as to how we got here. It was a cosmic accident, a freak s occurrence, one that may never happen again. The universe had no beginning, and it will have no end. But there are still others who realize that we really can’ explain what we see in this t way. If all this stuff in our universe that is moving and changing really is eternal, if it’ been s around forever, then it would have stopped moving and changing a long time ago. It would have run out of power, like a toy when its batteries go dead. And so they believe that there must have been an ultimate beginning several billions of years ago. One of the current theories is that the space always existed, but a long time ago, a particle of pure matter the size of an electron, one day became unstable, exploded, and became all that we see. But if that is the case, where did the particle come from? Stephen Hawking, a professor of Gravitational Physics at Cambridge University in England, apparently believes that there was a time when there really was nothing, that for some unknown reason there was a fluctuation in that nothingness, and then suddenly, everything sprung into being for no reason at all. All the matter just suddenly appeared and then eventually shaped itself into what we see today. Unbelievers say that Christians are naive and credulous for believing that God made everything. But there are those who believe something similar, only no one did it, it just happened by itself. But could this possibly happen? There is an old saying, “Out of nothing, nothing comes.” This is absolutely true. But not in this case. Hawking believes, Out of nothing, everything comes, with no explanation at all. Now who is naive? But this isn’ reasonable, and it’ not biblical. If there is one thing that we have learned t s from the creation, it’ that every effect has a cause. If you ask the question, Where did this come s from? Or what caused that to happen? and traced it back as far as you could, you would eventually arrive at God. Children, if you ask where did I come from? The answer would be, You came from your parents? If you asked, Where did they come from? The answer is, They came from their parents. If you continued to ask this question, you would eventually arrive at Adam and Eve. And if you pushed it back one more step, you would arrive at God, the One who made everything, but who Himself is unmade. This is what the Bible teaches us. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God didn’ make what we see out of what t was already here. Instead, He made something entirely new when before He was the only thing that existed. The author to the Hebrews writes, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). And Paul writes, “For by Him [that is, Christ] 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 by Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16). God made everything, when before only He existed. But what did God make? He made everything there is. He made time. He made space. And He made matter. Before God created, there was no time. God lives in eternity. He dwells in the eternal now. If you were to ask God what time it was in eternity, He would say, It is now. But when God made everything, He started something called time. We really don’ know what it t is. We only know that we have so much of it in this world and no more. When our time is up, we die. But time doesn’ stop for us, we simply begin to spend it in another world. He also t made space. This is all the room in which He put the stuff He made. We really don’ know how t much space He made, we just know that we can’ find the end of it. It seems to go on and on. t But we know it’ not endless. It does stop somewhere. What does it run into? God. He is the s only One who is infinite. And He made matter, the stuff that we can see and touch. Moses
3 writes, “In the beginning [time], God created the heavens [space] and the earth [matter].” The only thing which doesn’ seem to be included here are the things which are spiritual: the creation t of heaven, the angels, and the souls of men. Dr. Kline, a professor of Old Testament at WTS in California, believes that the heavens in verse one really refer to the heaven in which God dwells and the angels. He also believes that the next several days really describes what happens to the earth He made in verse one, which include the starry heavens. Others believe that God created them sometime during the creation week. But how did God make what He made? This is what shows us how powerful God is. He did it by the Word of His power. God spoke, and it happened. He said, “Let it be,” and it was. The psalmist writes, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host” (Psalm 33:6). Have you children ever been to an Observatory and seen the wonderful pictures those giant telescopes can take? If you have, if you’ seen the pictures of ve the thousands of galaxies in space, the billions of stars, and the great clouds of gas called nebulas, then you can begin to understand something of the greatness of God. If He can do all this by simply speaking a word, is there anything He can’ do? No! Jeremiah writes, “Ah Lord t God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee” (32:17). But now what did God do with all the things He spoke into being? He tells us that He arranged it all into a perfect environment in which to put His living creatures. He made it into a place where they could live, just like in our analogy of preparing a place for our pets. When He first spoke everything into existence, it was “formless and void” (v. 2). It still needed some work. And so God arranged it in a very orderly way. First He arranged the places in which to put His creatures. He made the space in which to put everything on day one. He made the sky and seas in which to put the birds and the fish on day two. And He made the dry land in which to put His land animals and man on day three. After He made the places, then He made the food. On day three, He also caused all kinds of plants to grow, many of which He would give to His creatures to sustain them. Now everything was ready for the rest of His creatures. Now when He made His living creatures they would have everything they needed to live. He didn’ make t the fish, or the birds and other animals, and man on the first day. If He had, there wouldn’ have t been any place to put them. He would have had to keep them stored somewhere else while He worked on the world. But He didn’ He got these other things ready first, so that He would t. have a place to put them when He created them. The reason I say this is because some Christians believe that since there is a parallel between the first three and the last three days, that Moses put the days in this order simply to make a point. God didn’ really create in this order. As a matter t of fact, they believe that God definitely is showing us here that He didn’ do it in this order. t When we get to Genesis 2, I will explain this a little more fully. But when you really stop and think about it, would it really have made sense for Him to do it in any other way? What He did is so logical. You get the home ready first, and then you move into it, not the other way around. When His world was finally ready, He made His creatures and put them in their proper place. He filled the heavens with the sun, moon, planets and stars on day four. They were to help man tell time by showing him the seasons, the days and the years. He made fish to fill the waters, and the birds to fill the skies on day five. And on day six, He made all the land animals and insects to fill the land. And finally, He made man in His likeness to rule over all that He had created, also on day six. God did all things in the right order to get the best results. What was this world like and what were all His creatures like that He made? He tells us
4 in verse 31, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Everything was good, everything He had made. It was the best of all possible worlds. Everything was working the way that it should. There were no problems. There was no evil, no moral corruption, which tells us, by the way, that the fall of the devil and his angels didn’ happen during this week, but t sometime very shortly after. God made a world that was perfectly suited for what He wanted to do. And what was it that He wanted to do? Why did He make all these things? The Bible tells us that it was so that God could reveal His glory. He wanted to create an audience and to show them all His glory, what He is like. He shows us through the Creation how powerful He is. Who is there who can speak and have all these things happen? He shows us how knowledgeable and wise He is. Consider how ordered the universe is and how everything works together. He shows us His eye for beauty. Look at all the color and design and beauty in this world. He shows us how kind He is. He is the One who made all the good things in this world, including food, family and friends. He shows us how holy and just He is. Think about what has happened to the creation, what He does to the wicked in this life, and how He says He will punish them forever in hell. And He also shows us how gracious and merciful He is. He sent Jesus Christ into the world, His only begotten Son, to die in the place of sinners, that they might have life. This world and all of its creatures are perfectly fitted to show us everything God wants to reveal about Himself. He made it to show us what He is like. If we can only remember this, it will help us to make sense out of everything God does. This world doesn’ exist for us, God didn’ make it for t t man. He made it for Himself. He created everything for His glory. Our purpose then is to live for His glory. Paul writes, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36). As we begin to look at the book of Genesis, let us remember that God is our Creator, and we exist only for His glory. Let us then learn those things that give Him glory, and do them with all our might, for God is worthy. Amen.
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