The Book of Genesis contains some of the oldest words in human history. The book takes its name from the opening line, the word beginning is bereshith in Hebrew. The name for God is Elohim, which has strong implications and I will get to that in a moment. Bereshith bara Elohim is the Hebrew translation of the opening line.

Ancient customs often named books from the opening lines, and the book is named after bereshith – which means beginnings. 250 years before Christ, a group of scholars translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek and translated bereshith as Genesis, which also means beginnings. After the resurrection, both Latin and Greek Scriptures adopted the Genesis name, and here we are to this day.

For our purposes here, I will treat the creation days literally. In later posts I offer a more in depth of view of alternative views you should at least know about.

The Beginning of the Universe


Chapter 1 

V. 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

In The Beginning  

When children ask who made God, the answer is no one. God has always existed, and will always exist, that is why he is God. The universe however had a beginning.

The Big Bang

The Big Bang Theory has many nuances to it, but the basic scientific concept says that in a moment of time, the physical universe began, and expanded to what we have today. Academics debate the age of the earth, as well as the mechanics of how it all took place.

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Definition of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Net flow of energy always flows from from warmer to cooler and never in reverse – entropy always increases.

The existence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics points to the universe having a beginning, and is arguably the most important of the three laws of thermodynamics – the truth of this law is impossible to dismiss. The law is why your hot coffee cup becomes cold when left alone – things will always cool unless something is done to stop it. The law tells the story of a fundamental and simple truth about the universe, because the perfect amount of heat flows from the sun to earth, the universe obviously had a beginning. The heat had to start from somewhere, it’s not eternal.

Irreducible Complexity

Definition of Irreducible Complexity: A single system composed of several well matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of anyone of the parts causes they system to effectively cease functioning,” (Darwins Black Box, Michael Behe, 39).

Take Irreducible Complexity seriously, it is a profound truth. There are many biological systems in nature defying evolution because they are too complex. Another way to say that is, they could not evolve, because the missing piece brought about immediate death. The reason for that is because if  you take one part of the equation away, the entire system dies or doesn’t work. Michael Behe made this famous in his book Darwin’s Black Box. In that book Behe devoted a whole chapter to blood clotting, using it as an illustration to make his point – evolution has no answer for irreducible complexity. Behe noted that the blood clotting mechanism in the body, known as a cascade, is a big problem for Darwinian evolutionists  – take one part of the cascading clotting mechanism away, and the body bleeds out and dies a quick death.

About God’s Existence 

William Lane Craig grew up in the Mark Twain country of Keokuk Missouri. The sky was big and clear during his boyhood years leading him to wonder about who made it? He’s not alone in thinking that way. During the eighteenth century a mathematical giant by the name of G.W. Leibinz was wondering the same thing. Among other things , Leibniz is credited with having discovered Calculus separate from Issac Newton. As a result of his academic work he set up the following argument proving God exists, and that the universe was created. Logically, his argument is airtight.

Leibniz’ Argument

Step 1 – Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence.

Step 2 – If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.

Step 3 – The universe exists.

Step 4 – The universe has an explanation of its existence

Step 5 – Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God.

If the first three steps are true, the rest follows into place.

Leibniz was not the only person to ever think this way. Dr. Craig found similar arguments during the Medieval period of church history and named his work the Kalam Cosmological Argument (Kalam is the Arabic word for medieval).

Dr. Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument

Step 1 – Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Step 2 – The universe began to exist.

Step 3 – Therefore, the universe has a cause.


What’s important to understand, is that both lines of reasoning, Dr. Craig’s and Leibniz’ lead to the same biblical truth found in Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, because God is greater and grander than the things he created, and by his nature, has always existed. (William Lane Craig, On Guard, 54,74).

God – Think Elohim

Genesis is about God. The reference here for God is not God’s divine name — YHWH —- the name God’s chosen to be known by forever (Exodus 3:15). The reference here Elohim, since God has chosen not to reveal more of himself. The description of God as Elohim, occurs thirty-five times in chapter 1 alone. It seems God reveals himself this way so that we can first begin to understand his Trinitarian nature. Writes R. Kent Hughes, “Remarkably, the mystery of the Holy Trinity is embedded in the first three Hebrew words of the text, (Bereshith bara Elohim), because the name of God, Elohim is in the plural, and the verb created (bara) is in the singular so that God (plural) created (singular)” Kent Hughes, Genesis,  page 18.

Robert Alter, a world-renowned scholar in Hebrew Literature explains it this way, “The most common designation of deity is Elohim, a word that is plural in form but is generally treated  grammatically as singular.” (Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible, xl)

Christians and Jews are monotheists, because God is one, “Here O Israel the Lord our God is one,” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Corinthians 8:6). The one united God, living as three persons,  is active in creation. God the Holy Spirit is present and active (Genesis 1:1-2). Jesus is present and active (John 1:1-3, 10, and Colossians 1:15-17).

God Created

Genesis 1:1  is the beginning of human dignity, and the fountainhead of existence. The Lord is the God of science, yet chose romantic words to describe his actions. God intentionally chose to limit his scientific explanations. Instead, he invites us to his banqueting table, to enjoy the celebration of his love. Who am I? Why am I alive? What does God have to say to me?  Those questions are answered right here.

God Created A Finely Tuned Universe

Academics notice a perfectly fine tuned universe. This is known as the “Anthropic Principle.” The only way life is possible on planet earth is through perfection. Everything had to be perfect. Atheism wants to claim this perfection took place by chance, through evolution. Scripture plainly says it is God’s handiwork. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork,” (Psalm 19:1). McDowell writes, “Our best cosmic research tells us that much of the vast universe is uninhabitable. Regarding a finely tuned world making life possible for humans several things demonstrate the handiwork of God (Sean McDowell/Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict, lxvii).”

Here are a few examples of God’s finely tuned handiwork:

1. For life to exist, life must be in the right type of galaxy. There are three types of galaxies, earth is in a spiral galaxy perfectly suited for life.

2. For life to exist, life  must in the perfect location within that galaxy. Earth is perfectly aligned within the Milky Way, any slight degree of variation in any direction and earth becomes uninhabitable.

3. For life to exist, life must have the right kind of star. Too big or too small, or too old or too young and life on earth ceases to exist

4. For life to exist, life must have the perfect distance from the star. Too close or too far by the slightest variable and life on earth is impossible.
5. For life to exist, life must have the perfect amount of orientation to surrounding planets, this is for cosmic protection. For example, if Jupiter were not in it’s current orbit earth would be bombarded by space material. This is more significant thanmost people understand, in a fascinating way, teh large celestial bodies of Jupiter and Saturn remove most of the asteroids and comets from our solar system creating a stable order.
6. For life to exist, life must have the right kind of moon. As with the rest of the ordered cosmos, the earth’s moon needs to be perfect kind of szie and distance for earth to survive.

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross observes the following regarding God’s perfectly fine tuned universe. 

Humans die if the lightning rate on planet earth is not in its exact range and frequency. Lightning plays an important role in balancing the planets need for nitrogen and fire.

Humans die if the earth axis tilts too much, this would immediately alter the earth’s temperature and destroy life on earth.

Humans die if the crust of the earth is changed. The slightest variance brings volcanic and tectonic activity ending life on earth. (Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol. 2, 667

Heavens and Earth

There is no Hebrew word for universe, so the language of heaven and earth is used. The intent is to communicate God created from nothing, everything. Heaven and earth refer to how God works in creation. He created what he created, by a spoken Word. What God speaks is by definition not only right, but good.  Whatever God speaks, is therefore right and good, and that which he speaks into existence belongs to him.

There was no pre-existing matter (as some have inferred), nor material of any kind. Creation in this sense, is one of many pronouncements in scripture demonstrating that God is the Lord. God  is the Promise Keeping – Covenant Lord spoken about in all Scripture, of which there is no other. Nothing compares to this mighty God who can speak into the bankruptcy of nothingness, and moments later a created order exists. In creating the heavens and the earth, the Lord God then created the matter and materials by which all creation would rest upon.

A few clarifications are in order:

  1.  Creation is not made out of God’s own being. This is surprisingly important. Some hold strongly to Pantheism and Monism, both falsely claim heaven and earth come from God’s own material being —that is a false understanding of Scripture. Creation is not an emanation from God, where some say it operates in the same connection that light and sun have together. Such thoughts are entirely unbiblical, and inaccurate.
  2. God created the world without any preexisting conditions, and created the world without a medium.
  3. There was nothing but God, and then God created the heavens/earth, and at that singular moment time, matter and physics came into being —all done by the miraculous work of God.

This Brings Us To Worship

These first verses in Scripture, are God’s chosen revelation to us. God creates the world as the Lord. “And when we think of God as creator, we encounter his holiness, and we are moved to worship,” (John Frame, Doctrine of God, 291).

So the God of Scripture is entirely unique and unlike anything else. He is beyond human description except for the wonderful gift of his love toward us, choosing to make himself known, so we may know him – which is his intimate desire.  “The Lord first reveals himself as a holy being, one before whom we must bow in worship. Many references to creation in Scripture are liturgical: they present creation as a reason for worshipping God (Psalm 19:4, 50:6, 89:5, 98:7-9, 148:1-14).” (Frame, Doctrine of God, page 291).

Isaiah 66:1 instructs us that God made the heavens and the earth to be his temple, a place where he can abide and make his presence known. The heavens and the earth are an intimate expression from God’s heart. Creation then reveals the Lord God as Lord. Others call this aspect of God his Lordship, and as the Covenant Keeping Lord God Almighty, he has ownership over his creation. Since he created the seen and the unseen (all things), he has the right to do as he wishes with that which he owns.

V.2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Without Form and Void

At this point the world is uninhabitable. Once there was only God, and he once lived without creation, and exists independent of it. But now there is matter, energy and the laws of physics, tools God created and uses to shape the universe.

Darkness was over the Face of the Deep

The universe at this point is just empty. The phrase “Without form and void,” is tohu wabohu in Hebrew. It’s found only here and two other places pointing to this reference. According to Robert Alter, tohu by itself mean emptiness of futility. R. Kent Hughes arrives at a similar conclusion, “It is an expression for a place that is disordered and empty,” (R. Kent Hughes, Genesis, 21), (Robert Alter, Genesis, 11).

The Spirit of God was Hovering

The Holy Spirit is present and active at the moment of creation. Some see a connection between the creative work of the Holy Spirit in this moment, and the creative work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the church in that sense being the child of the Holy Spirit.

We must clarify some things as we talk about the Holy Spirit. “The fact is this: Scripture testifies from beginning to end that God is one, but it also presents three persons who are God: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Their deity pervades scripture and assures us that our salvation is from beginning to end a divine salvation, the work of God himself. Nor can it be debated that God is one. Indeed, his oneness is also important to our salvation. He is God alone; there is none beside him. So no one can prevent him from bringing salvation to his people.” John Frame, Doctrine of God, 621

More than one Old Testament passage speaking about Yahweh, has a  New Testament reference of the same passage as the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah 31:22-34 has an identical parallel in Hebrews 10:15:17. The same thing is found in Psalm 95:7-11 and Hebrews 3:7-11. See also the connection between Isaiah 6:9-10 and Acts 28:25-28. My personal favorite in this series of connections is Isaiah 64:4 and 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.

Know The Hebrew Word Panim (Paw-Neem)

Both the King James and English Standard Bibles translate the Hebrew word panim with the English word face. Many translations follow in the same way. The idea of enjoying God’s face is also connected to enjoying God’s presence, and experiencing his love and power. A person’s face is an invitation to know them, and be with them. It’s likely best to understand God’s face as an intimate expression of God himself, here being expressed openly during creation – creation being an intimate expression of his most personal desires. The testimony of scripture is God’s continual pursuit of his creatures so that he can enjoy them with panim. Adam was created this way (Genesis 2:7). After the fall the Patriarchs encounter it in some way. Scripture indicates fairly consistently, that God’s face is seen as shining, and the experience comes with blessing. “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face (panim) shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up his countenance (panim) upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).” In Revelation 22:3, John says, “God’s children will see his face.”

The Six Days of Creation

Day 1 – Light

(V. 3 – 5) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.


We will handle the Hebrew word for day, yom, in a later post, and explore it briefly under the heading of Day7/Sabbath. For our purposes here, there are generally two lanes commentators tend to walk down. In one lane, the sun is created at this moment but is only clearly seen in day Day 4 (Genesis 1:14-19). This makes logical sense with science and doesn’t violate what the text is saying. In the other lane, light here exists supernaturally in the same way it will in the book of Revelation (Revelation 21:23), according to God’s glory. It’s best to keep in mind, in terms of scientific basics, lots of things are going on simultaneously.

God is Light

 One of God’s deeper character attributes is that God is light. Scripture plainly says, “This is the message we heard from him and proclaim to you, God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God made light out of his glory, yet in the physical world it exists apart from him, as does all creation. So light describes a part of God’s nature, and also describes creation now having physical light of its own.
Norman Geisler writes, “The Bible declares that God is light; however, by this it does not mean that God is physical light, since God is pure spirit light (John 4:24). God made physical light (Genesis 1:3, Isaiah 45:7), so he must be beyond it.”  Geisler goes on to say, “God’s glory is the outward  radiance of his nature, and in this light is displayed the outward expression of the inward character of God.”  Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology Vol. 2, 225-226

God and Spiritual Light

Scripture records the impact of God’s light as a blessing.
Here is a partial list:
1. Psalm 4:6 – There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
2. 2 Samuel 22:29 – For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness.
3. Isaiah 10:17 – The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day.
4. Micah 7:8 – Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.
5. Isaiah 60:19-20 – The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light;  but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.

Day 2 – The Expanse 

(V. 5-8) And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

The Expanse and Separation

The King James Bible translates expanse as “Firmament.” Firmament means some sort of expanse. The assumption being it was beaten or stretched into place.  At this moment, Scripture calls the expanse “Heaven,” but do not think of heaven at this moment the way we think of eternity. Heaven here refers to the physical placement of outer space, reaching all the way to planet earth in what we see as the sky. Henry Morris mentions raqia is best thought of as the atmosphere (Henry Morris, Genesis, 58).  Firmament/Expanse in Hebrew is the word is raqia (raw – kee – ah). It seems best to understand raqia, here as a first mention in the scripture, not as a rock solid material, but as a boundary that God put in place, so that creation can consistently operate according to the physical laws he now put into place.

Lots of Water

The earth at this point is enclosed in a robust water canopy. The canopy will exist in some form until the flood. It’s likely that the water canopy played a role in the longevity of our ancestors, since the water canopy created hyperbaric chamber type conditions on earth. Modern hyperbaric therapy, under certain conditions, can play a role in health and longevity. Others consider the water canopy to have filtered the more dangerous aspects of sunlight.

God is Immense

God is the Lord of space and time. He existed without it, and is not subject to it as we are. Another way to think about it, is to say that God is the Sovereign Lord over the material universe. If we sit in a car or train, our bodies fill that seat, and that is it. We are bound by the constraints of time as we go from one place to another, but not God – God is immense and not bound by the restraints he created. So God is immense, greater than the physical universe and world he created, yet fully alive inside it.

Solomon – God is Immense

As the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the Temple, a cloud came over it “For the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD (1 Kings 8:11). The intensity of the moment meant there was the possibility of misunderstanding what was happening, as well as missing who God is. Solomon turns toward the Lord and speaks directly to the large assembly. and said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath (1Kings 8:23).  But Solomon must make something clear, the Lord God Almighty is not like some other pagan deities whose pagan temple can contain the sum total of that deity. A house has been built for the Lord, a Temple, but God is greater than any physical space. “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! (I Kings 8:27). Solomon makes sure that people know this about God – God not only fills the heavens and the earth, but completely transcends them. The heavens and the earth are the some total of the space around us, it’s what we know day to day as we go about our lives. But no space can contain God, not even the heavens and the earth.

Isaiah – God is Immense

Isaiah admits that heaven is God’s throne, but God as King is greater than the throne he sits on. “Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word (Isaiah 66:1-2).

Day 3 – Land. Sea. Veggies. 

(V.9-13) And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. V.10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.


Earth is coming to life. As dry land appears vegetation immediately begins to grow. Plant life is either created mature or God placed an accelerator on the maturation process. R. Kent Hughes divides the creation account into days of forming, and days of filling. Some take the form/filling concept and use it as justification against a 24 hour day, but in reality, it fits nicely within the plain reading of the text as a 24 hour day. Form/filling is a linguistic observation, showing the beauty of God’s handiwork, and the preciousness of God’s artistry. “A quick read reveals that the six days of creation are perfectly divided, so that the first three days describe the forming of the earth and the last three it’s filling. The two sets of days are a direct echo and remedy to the opening statement that the earth was ‘without form and void.’ The earth’s formlessness was remedied by its forming in days one  to three, and its emptiness by its filling on days four to six,” (Hughes, Genesis, 24)

The Form/Filling Paradigm Looks Like This

Day 1 Light/ Day 4 Luminaries
Day 2 Sky (waters below)/ Day 5 Birds and fish
Day 3 Land (plants)/ Day 6 Animals and man (plants for food)


The reason why the waters were gathered into one place is because God was designing a place where humans could abundantly live.

Day 4 – Sun and Moon Appear

(V. 14-19) And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Lots of Controversy

This section might be the most controversial section in the whole chapter. Much of that revolves around questioning how light instantly streaked across the universe. It seems most logical to say the sun/moon were created on Day 1, but their light sources were not seen until now, and that is by design. The earth until the Flood was encompassed in a water vapor that likely extended all the way to earth’s outer orbit, making earth look like it had rings around it. The earth then was a giant greenhouse, and the weather patterns inside were highly consistent, perfect for growing everything and anything. Longevity and health in all living things was the absolute norm.

Astronomers rightly look for clues and markers in the universe regarding past activity. My purpose here is to communicate what Scripture plainly says —A being of enormous power exists capable of willing the universe into existence and did so. Such a powerful being is more than capable by supernatural power, beyond the laws of physics, of instantly doing things that normally would take much longer. God then instantly placed the light streaking across the universe, in much the same way an artist takes a brush and instantly places a streak across their canvas.

The Sun and Moon as Religion

Moses penned these words to Israelites in the wilderness whose ongoing problem was idolatry. Egypt was still inside them. Many ancient cultures worshipped the sun as a god or goddess . The Egyptians worshipped Ra, and Pharoah was connected to Ra as the Son of Ra.  Ra was falcon headed. A sun disk was either a crown or headdress, and Ra brought out the sun in a solar boat. Accordingly, they believed Ra played a role in creating matter, so matter came from the sun/god Ra. That is exactly the opposite of what Moses is teaching the Israelites, and was part of the reason for the demonstration of Yahweh’s power over all the false god’s of Egypt.

Day 5 – Creatures

(V. 20 – 23) And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

Soul Means Life

Anything that has life has a soul, but not all souls are the same. Animal and human souls are different, same for the soulful life found in organic plant life. Take note of how direct God is with the animal kingdom, he speaks and commands them directly, and personally. The animal kingdom heard from God to live, be alive, and most certainly multiply. While it is entirely possible that heaven has animals, there is no biblical text confirming that our beloved pets are in heaven. So for example, dogs and cats, perhaps are in heaven, but it’s doubtful those are the same home raised animals we know and love  – because – those animals do not have eternal souls and are not saved.

Humans have souls that migrate from one body to another, this is called Substance Dualism. A human soul can live in a temporal body, and then move to an eternal one. So for example, in heaven we will instantly recognize our loved ones, even though our loved ones will abide in heaven in glorious perfect bodies, far beyond what they had on earth.


The Hebrew word for Sea Creature is best understood to be a dragon. It’s uncertain what all that means, but context shows that the Sea Monster Creature/Dragon was a beast of impressive size and ability. This may or may not refer to a dinosaur.

Day 6 – The Reason Anything Exists

v. 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.

v. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

v. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

v. 27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

v. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

v. 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food

v.30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

v.31  And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Day 6 – Brings Forth

In the initial formation of the universe, God created matter, and from that matter God made earth. The created material became part of the tools God used in filling newly formed earth. In this instance the rest of the animal kingdom is made from the material now found on earth. The phrase, “Let the earth bring forth” is a great example of God now filling from what he has already shaped. Animal and human bodies decompose for this reason, and both bodies are perfectly suited for earth, and being made from it, both return to it.

Six times the phrase “And it was so,” is used in chapter 1, and each instance refers to the filling aspect of God’s handiwork. “And it was” in Hebrew is naya (naw-yaw) and carries with it the idea of becoming, or existing.” The Hebrew word “So” is “ken” (kane), and emphasizes something is right. What God did in creation, was right and good.


This is arguably where the deepest waters flow, why did God make people?

God never created man out of deficit, that has to be clearly understood. God is the only whole being in the universe who is complete and holy unto himself. Next, God never experiences the kind of psychological break downs and dysfunctions common to man. The Lord’s only moment of isolation was sacrificial and intentional. At the cross (John 19:30), the Father and the Son were purposely cut off from each other,  an action necessary for  the salvation of the human race. “God did not need to create man, yet created us for his own glory,” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 440. Grudem explains his point further, “God did not create us because he was lonely or because he needed fellowship with other persons — God did not need us for any reason.” (ibid)

A Glorious Reason

The Westminster Confession says, “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God and fully to enjoy him forever.” John Piper shortens and alters the statement by changing the preposition. “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.”

Here is my version: Man’s true purpose is to glorify God by enjoying him greatly, and eternally.

I don’t claim to have written a theological statement grander than the Westminster Confession, nor John Piper’s illustrious works. What I have written works for me — so I pray it blesses you.

The true purpose of man is to glorify God by enjoying him greatly, and eternally. God had deep sacred eternal desires in mind when he created humans. God seeks his own glory, because as creator he is not corrupted by such a desire. God robs no one of their glory when he seeks his own. Humans, not so. God desires man to bring him glory by enjoying him greatly.

Irenaeus says it this way, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”

Created For Joy

Scripture declares the promise of a relationship with God, is joy and God’s presence, even in the midst of life’s darkest hours.

  1. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
  2. King David proclaims, “You make know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
  3. King David said, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord…(Psalm 27:4).
  4. Sons of Asaph led worship with these words, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God (Psalm 84:1-2).
  5. The Prophet Isaiah said, “So shall God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62: 5).
  6. The Prophet Zephaniah said, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17-18).

Each of the references above finds its fulfillment in the New Covenant. See also – Romans 5:1-2, Philippians 4:4, 1 Thessalonians  5:16-17, James 1:2, 1 Peter 1:6,8)

Let Us

Seeing Christ in all Scripture, the first Trinitarian statement is found here, and it comes surprisingly early. God is clearly talking to himself and within himself. In verse 2 we have already seen the Holy Spirit at work in creation. Later Scripture will reveal the work of the Savior in the same way (see John 1:1-3, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:15-18, Hebrews 1:1-3, Revelation 4:11).

Yahweh is the divine name, the name of a person, and Moses knew this. Yet God leads him to write Elohim, which speaks to a plurality, so his Triune nature can be known. Obviously the Trinity is not a fully developed doctrine at this point, but Elohim is an invitation to know the Lord as such.

Image and Likeness

I find this highly interesting. Genesis is literal history. Yet at this moment, God poetically describes, for the first time, what he has done. This is why in a literal translation of Scripture you will see verse 27 set apart from the rest of the text. Such artistry by God has the aroma of worship – God being worshipped for creating something as glorious as man.

“Verse 27 is the first poetry in the Bible, consisting of three lines, each with four stresses and three repetitions of the verb bara (created). This is the high point toward which God’s creativity from the opening verse is directed,” (R. Kent Hughes, Genesis, 36).

At this point God has created the entire animal kingdom, but is not done. The capstone of his desires is right here, in the Hebrew words image and likeness.

The beauty of God’s image and likeness shines through the darkness of sin. After the flood, Noah made murder illegal. His rationale related to the sacred nature of humans being made in God’s image and likeness. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image,” (Genesis 9:6).

James was the half – brother of Jesus, and an Apostle. He appeals to a proper use of the tongue based God’s image and likeness still being evident amongst sinful people. “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God,” (James 3:9). Writes R. Kent Hughes, “The image of God still persists in sinful men and women, though marred…Nevertheless, the image of God that we all bear is wonderous and holds eternal potential,” (Hughes page 37).

Becoming Like Jesus

Scripture speaks about a genuine transformation occurring through salvation and discipleship, as we become more of God’s image bearers. “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator,” (Colossians 3:10). The promise of transformation toward Christ – likeness is a constant in the Christian life, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit,” (2 Corinthians 3:10). Sin made us like Adam, but Jesus make us into his image. ” Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven,” (1 Corinthians 15:49). In Jesus we see human likeness to God as it was intended to be, and it should cause us to rejoice, (Grudem, 445). Jesus is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). The Apostle Paul writes we are “Conformed to the image of his son romans 8:29, and in the end, When he appears we shall be like him (1 John 3:2).

What Does It Mean?

From Wayne Grudem, “Out of all the creatures God made, only one creature, man, is said to be made ‘in the image of God.” What does that mean? We may use the following definition: The fact that man is in the image of God means that man is like God and represents God.” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 442).

“When God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Gen 1:26), the meaning is that God plans to make a creature similar to himself. Both the Hebrew word for “image” (tselem) and the Hebrew word for “likeness” (demut) refer to something similar but not identical to the thing it represents or is an image of. The word image can also be use of something represents something else” (ibid).

It would best to focus our attention primarily on the meanings of the words image and likeness. These terms had quite clear meanings to the original readers. When we realize that the Hebrew words for image and likeness simply informed the original readers that man was like God, and would in many way represent God, much of the controversy over the meaning of image of God is seen to be a search for too narrow and too specific a meaning. When Scripture reports that God said, ” Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), it simply would have meant to the original readers, “Let us make man to be like us and to represent us” (Grudem, 443).

And God Said To Them

Humans can hear God’s voice because he gave them the ability to do so as part of being made in his image and likeness. The animal kingdom does not speak to God, let alone hear from him in the same way. We were created for prayer. We are bent Godward with desires for communion and conversation with God, things he deeply loves.

Rule and Subdue

The most common translation for rada (raw daw) is dominion, found in the King James Bible, the ESV, and most other literal translations. Dominion is to rule, as a king (small k), or as a divinely sent regent. For emphasis, no other creature is made in God’s image and likeness, and no other creature is God’s representative on earth, not even angels. God’s rulership on earth goes through his human creation. From R. Kent Hughes, “God views his image bearers as royal figures, his viceregents over creation,” (Hughes, 37). For our purposes, God is commanding humans to execute mastery over God’s creation.

Rule in Hebrew is Kabas (kaw bash), and it literally means to use force. All other references of kabas carry the same exact meaning. Rada and Kabas, when put together bring about the phrase fierce mastery. There is great debate as to why God would say that here. Is this a clue toward life after the fall? Is it a command to subdue demonic powers and principalities?

Created Male and Female

Scripture states the obvious, there are only two genders, male and female. This is not only biologically true, but spiritually as well. One’s gender is not determined by how they feel, nor by how they are raised, educated or socialized. Psychological disposition does not determine gender, but God’s natural order does. The body parts are designed by God and fit perfectly together, because God finds such a thing glorious.

How Genetics Work

For our purposes, I will use the terms sex and gender interchangeably. Trigger Warning:  I describe human anatomy using biological terms.

First, sex is not assigned  at birth, and that is biologically true. Sex and gender is assigned at conception, when the male sperm fertilizes the female egg. From this point, every cell in the body will be coded and developed within the womb as either male or female. Transitioning a person genetically requires every cell in their body to transition as well, something that is impossible because of how DNA works. It is biologically impossible to change one’s sex.

Second, in terms of what is a man or a woman – male and female possess sexual parts reflecting their sexuality, broadly known as their “Gametes.” For example,  males possess male body parts such as penis, scrotum and testes. Females contain body parts such as vagina, uterus, and ovaries. The external body parts can be cut off or otherwise manipulated for what is commonly called sex change, but those persons are still male and female, as assigned to them at conception. Hormone therapy and psychological training will not change the DNA in their body.

Third, human DNA stores the genetic codes for building genitalia and all other body parts as well. This is part of the reason why biological sex change is impossible.  DNA contains 23 distinct chromosomes. Only 1 of those 23 chromosomes determines sex and sexual development. There are two sets of 23 chromosomes, and they are designated by the letter X or Y.  A male is XY and a female is XX. No one is ever YY.

The Lord God Almighty created these biological systems in the human body for pleasure and reproduction. Two males cannot reproduce, nor two females, this is obvious and self-evident. Males and females do not possess enough genetic information in themselves for conception, they need each other — which is exactly what brings God glory.


Very Good

Good is the Hebrew word tob, used 565 times in the Old Testament. It means good, excellent, and pleasant. The emphasis found in the word very, is mod (meh ode), and means exceedingly. When God made man, he saw his handiwork, and proclaimed, “It is exceedingly good!”

I conclude with a worship hymn, seems right to do so.

Indescribable – Chris Tomlin

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation’s revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing God
You are amazing God


Click Here For Genesis Chapter 2