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Monday Evening Bible Study
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Monday, July 12, 2021
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Low Self Worth: Made in God's Image (Genesis 1:1 - 2:3)

Ice Breaker: What’s something that has been invented you think is amazing?

The History of Creation

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

These first four words of the Bible form the foundation for faith. Believe these words, and you can believe all that follows in the Bible.

Genesis provides the only authoritative account of creation, meaningful for people of all ages but exhaustible by no one.

The divine record assumes the existence of God rather than seeking to prove it.

The Bible has a special name for those who choose to deny the fact of God. That name is fool (Ps. 14:1 and 53:1).

Just as the Bible begins with God, so He should be first in our lives.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

One of several conservative interpretations of the Genesis account of creation, the creationreconstruction view, says that between verses 1 and 2 a great catastrophe occurred, perhaps the fall of Satan (see Ezek. 28:11–19). This caused God’s original, perfect creation to become without form and void (tohu wavohu).

Since God didn’t create the earth waste and empty (see Isa. 45:18), only a mighty cataclysm could explain the chaotic condition of verse 2. Proponents of this view point out that the word translated was (hayetha) could also be translated “had become.” Thus the earth “had become waste and empty.”

The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters, preparatory to the great creative and reconstructive acts to follow. The remaining verses describe the six days of creation and reconstruction which prepared the earth for human habitation.

Genesis 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. :4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. :5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

The jussive form of the Hebrew verb is very significant in Genesis 1 as it functions as a third person command (cf. vss. 6, 9, 14). This suggests a divine plan and purpose for the creation, not the result of mere accident or chance.

Neither is it seen to be self-sustaining or self-perpetuating. It also demonstrates God’s power. God merely spoke creation into existence by the word of His mouth.

The psalmist says, “… he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps 33:9). We are reminded in Hebrews that “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God …” (Heb 11:3).

Each of the six days begins with the announcement, Let there be light: and there was light. This light is not the sun, which was created on the fourth day according to verse 16, it must have been some fixed light source outside the earth. In reference to that light, the rotating earth passed through a day-night cycle.

Our Lord wrought miracles while He was on earth through His words, and in almost every case the miracle occurred instantaneously after He spoke; Mark 8:25 is the only recorded exception.

Whatever the light was, God saw the light, that it was good. Therefore, He divided the light from the darkness and called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. The word day is used in three different senses in Genesis: (1) a twelve-hour period of light (1:5, 14, 16, 18); (2) a twenty-fourhour period; and (3) the entire creative week (2:4); the qualifying phrase, And the evening and the morning were the first day, indicates beyond any doubt that the word, as it is used here, is a twenty-four-hour period of time.

Genesis 1:6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” :7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. :8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

We have here an account of the second day’s work, the creation of the firmament, in which observe, The command of God concerning it: Let there be a firmament, an expansion, so the Hebrew word signifies, like a sheet spread, or a curtain drawn out.

This includes all that is visible above the earth, between it and the third heavens: the air, its higher, middle, and lower, regions—the celestial globe, and all the spheres and orbs of light above: it reaches as high as the place where the stars are fixed, for that is called here the firmament of heaven (v. 14, 15), and as low as the place where the birds fly, for that also is called the firmament of heaven, v. 20.

When God had made the light, he appointed the air to be the receptacle and vehicle of its beams, and to be as a medium of communication between the invisible and the visible world; for, though between heaven and earth there is an inconceivable distance, yet there is not an impassable gulf, as there is between heaven and hell.

This firmament is not a wall of partition, but a way of intercourse. See Job 26:7; 37:18; Ps. 104:3; Amos 9:6. 2. The creation of it. Lest it should seem as if God had only commanded it to be done, and some one else had done it, he adds, And God made the firmament. 

What God requires of us he himself works in us, or it is not done. He that commands faith, holiness, and love, creates them by the power of his grace going along with his word, that he may have all the praise.

The firmament is said to be the work of God’s fingers, Ps. 8:3. Though the vastness of its extent declares it to be the work of his arm stretched out, yet the admirable fineness of its constitution shows that it is a curious piece of art, the work of his fingers.

The use and design of it—to divide the waters from the waters, that is, to distinguish between the waters that are wrapped up in the clouds and those that cover the sea, the waters in the air and those in the earth.

He has also treasures, or magazines, of snow and hail, which he hath reserved against the day of battle and war, Job 38:22, 23. O what a great God is he who has thus provided for the comfort of all that serve him and the confusion of all that hate him! It is good having him our friend, and bad having him our enemy.

The naming of it: He called the firmament heaven. It is the visible heaven, the pavement of the holy city; above the firmament God is said to have his throne (Eze. 1:26), for he has prepared it in the heavens; the heavens therefore are said to rule, Dan. 4:26. Is not God in the height of heaven? Job 22:12. Yes, he is, and we should be led by the contemplation of the heavens that are in our eye to consider our Father who is in heaven. The height of the heavens should remind us of God’s supremacy and the infinite distance there is between us and him; the brightness of the heavens and their purity should remind us of his glory, and majesty, and perfect holiness; the vastness of the heavens, their encompassing of the earth, and the influence they have upon it, should remind us of his immensity and universal providence.

Genesis 1:9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. :10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. :11 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”; and it was so. 

McDonald, Knoll, Farstad; Hinson and Knoll