In the last 10 years or so, many companies became extravagant in the way they set up their offices and workplace amenities for employees. At companies like Pixar or Lucasfilm it’s not unusual to see huge open floor plans, surrounded by lavish landscaping, with toys in every corner and employees zipping around on scooters. It’s not just entertainment studios that got in on the trend. Other firms started to provide what are sometimes called “Amusement Perks” like gourmet meals, subsidized massage, full-service desert trucks and hammocks all on site. Sometimes even animals are involved. BuzzFeed once bought a pony who would visit workers. Later she visited with a piglet and a bandana-wearing goat.
There are many examples, but a biotechnology company called Genentech caught my eye. Here are a few of their amenities for office workers:
Full service cafeterias
On site child care
Free counseling, financial and legal advice
Concierge and travel arrangements
Sponsored employee sports teams
On-site car wash, bicycle repair and haircuts
Full service, on-site dental care
I’m not sure how much these perks will matter in the future. In March, CNET reported that, in the wake of the pandemic, “over 80% of workers don’t want to go back to the office full time.”
Companies build workspaces like this hoping it will encourage creativity and collaboration and productivity. WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey told The Observer: “I definitely think that there is something that makes you feel more excited to come here in the morning and stay late at night.”
In our last study we saw how God created our cosmos, with all its elements, energies, and forces. His purpose was to design a space where human beings would be able to live and work and enjoy all that He desired to give them. Humans are not just another inhabitant of the earth, we are unique creatures – objects of God’s special affection, attention and intention. Humans are not mere animals. We’re not just the top of the food chain. We are specially crafted by God to be in communion and cooperation with Him. And, because of that, all the galaxies around us are simply the backdrop behind and the stage upon which our lives play out before the Lord.
Tonight we’ll see God get down to business, preparing the place where He could be in partnership with those creatures that He had such a special plan for. Let’s see what God set up for us.
Genesis 1:3-5 – 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day.
The first decision we should make is what is meant by the term “day.” We’re going to see it many times in these verses. We saw last time how there is historic debate over the creation account. We couldn’t even get to the second verse of the Bible without there being a theological disagreement over whether there was a great gap of time hidden there.
In this section there are some who feel that “day” doesn’t mean a 24-hour day, but rather a long, millions-of-years period of time. It’s called the day-age theory. Proponents feel that it helps to reconcile what some scientists describe as millions of years in the fossil record or geology.
Let me say this: If you ascribe to the gap theory, or the day-age theory or one of the other perspectives that has a hard time accepting the Creation Week as being seven, literal, 24-hour days, that’s fine. No one is going to excommunicate you or make you wear a scarlet D-A around your neck. It’s a non-essential issue. We recognize that there are hard questions that need to be thought about when it comes to studying the world around us and how to make sense of it while also putting our faith in what God has revealed to be true in Scripture.
With that said, our pulpit perspective here at Calvary is that the creation account is a true, literal, historical record of seven 24-hour days, in which God created everything according to its kind.
There are a bunch of reasons why. Let me give you four. First, while it’s true that the Hebrew word used for “day” here can mean an indefinite period of time, it is never used that way when a number is attached to it, as is the case throughout this chapter.
Second, as Moses records this process, he references 12 hour periods and days and seasons and years. You have to go out of your way to assume that he isn’t using the regular, natural sense of these words. And if he’s speaking naturally about years and seasons, we have little footing to think that he means something wildly different when he uses the term “day.”
Third, in Exodus 31, Moses is laying out the law of the Sabbath (a law which, if you violated, carried the death penalty!) and he says, “Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of…rest…for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth but on the seventh day He rested.” It makes little sense to suggest he meant a 24 hour period in the first use but millions of years in the second.
Fourth, ascribing millions of years or “theistic evolution” to the creation of the cosmos not only doesn’t match what’s written in the text, it also doesn’t solve apparent difficulties in geology or the fossil record. The sequences don’t harmonize. And these perspectives require death before the fall of man, which we’re told was the cause which brought death into the world. Plus you have the problem of Adam himself. Adam was created on the sixth day, lived through the seventh and (we’re told) died at age 930. This, obviously, does not allow for millions of years.
Instead, the text belabors the idea of 24-hour days. Of course, God could’ve created everything, top to bottom, in what we call an instant of time. Why didn’t He? Well, for one thing, He was establishing a pattern that would be the basis for human activity. It was even codified in Exodus. Humans were meant to work the way God worked and so He showed them how.
It also reminds us that God is a God of timing. He has His ways and His opinions and His perfect wisdom. He operates according to a schedule. We don’t always understand it, but we can trust it.
He called the light “good.” This and many other passages indicate that darkness is not good. God separates them. That is another theme in these verses: God making distinctions between things. If the light is good and the dark is not so good, why not simply eliminate the dark? After all, that’s what He’s going to do in the end, right? Of course, He knew that in this world we would need physical rest and night is the natural time to get it. But what we’ll also see is that God continually sets up choices for people. Will they walk in the light or will they walk in the dark? Remember, Jesus is the light of the world, and anyone who follows Him will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
Genesis 1:6-8 – 6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters, separating water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above the expanse. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” Evening came and then morning: the second day.
Scientists like Dr. Henry Morris believe that the pre-flood world was surrounded with a vapor canopy. We’re told there was no rain in those days, and yet there was much vegetation. This vapor canopy would’ve made a remarkable ecosystem. Earth would’ve been one enormous greenhouse, shielded from harmful radiation. There would be no windstorms, no barren deserts, no ice caps. Some read Psalm 148 and suggest that this vapor canopy will be restored in the Millennial Kingdom.
Here we’re told after God’s creative work “evening came.” Which means that these acts during the creation week did not take 24 hours, He did it all in 12 hours each day!
Genesis 1:9-10 – 9 Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land “earth,” and the gathering of the water he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
So, clearly at this starting point there was enough water to cover the entire earth. Given what we’re told, a global flood (in Genesis 7) is not unreasonable. But here we see this refining process where the Lord is getting space ready for humanity. We’ve got a universe and stellar heavens, now a planet, then an atmosphere, now the Lord brings out land where His people would be able to live and work.
Genesis 1:11-13 – 11 Then God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” And it was so. 12 The earth produced vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 Evening came and then morning: the third day.
Here we have a new phrase that will be repeated: “according to their kinds.” This simple statement repudiates the theory of evolution. As Biblical creationists we have no issue with observable adaptation or what some might call microevolution, but there is no Scriptural or historically observable basis for macroevolution. Rather, a multiplicity of kinds were created simultaneously.
Interestingly we note that God does not name the plants. He won’t name the animals either. Why is that? It’s because He intended that human beings do that. Man’s work in the Garden was not just meant to be busy work or menial drudgery. God was going to include them at such a high level that He allowed us to name and categorize and administrate cooperatively with Him.
We should also note here that our God is a God of great variety. All sorts of plants. All sorts of trees. In a similar way, He has a great variety in the type of fruit He wants to bear in your life. He doesn’t intend for us all to be cookie-cutter replications. He delights in a variety of gifts and a variety of fruit.
Genesis 1:14-19 – 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for seasons and for days and years. 15 They will be lights in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night—as well as the stars. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth, 18 to rule the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 Evening came and then morning: the fourth day.
Now, this is significant: God created light before He created the sun. For three days the earth was lit up by a source that was not the stellar bodies. Why would this matter? Well, some folks have trouble with what they call “the appearance of age” in creation. The idea is this: We seem to know how fast light travels. We seem to be able to calculate distances to certain stars. Therefore, the cosmos must be old enough to accommodate the millions of lightyears of distance between us and those stars. And, if God created the light from those stars having already arrived at earth, that is in some way dishonest or deceptive. That’s an argument you’ll hear from time to time.
Again, if this describes your perspective, it isn’t my intention to belittle it. But, let’s think through this. If God made the universe with the appearance of age, is that a cheat of some kind? Well, first of all, it’s clear that there was light before stars, but let’s set stars on the shelf for a moment. Were Adam and Eve created as human embryos? It’s clear they looked like full grown adults at the moment they took their first breath. On day six of creation we also see animals created – mammals included. If they were created as tiny babies, just born, who would’ve nursed them to keep them alive?
Moving out of Genesis, do we ever see God performing acts that give what might be called the appearance of age? I think we do. Jesus, through whom all things were created, once turned water into wine. In that instant a process was completed that usually takes a longer period of time. Wine can be fermented in as little as a week, but other methods, like barrel aging, takes months or years. That wine, a few moments “old,” had an appearance of age and natural processing.
We also think of the withering of the fig tree in Matthew 21. That miracle happened so fast the disciples said, “how did it wither so quickly?” There was a sudden occurrence of something that normally takes a long time. So, the appearance of age in our universe does not need to stumble us.
Now, here we see the sun and moon were given to “serve as signs for seasons, days and years.” So many cultures at the time were worshipping the sun and moon. Here it’s revealed that they weren’t gods, they were servants given as tools to mankind. And, knowing how much the calendar would be involved in the spiritual life of Israel, we start to get a sense that this living relationship with God wasn’t going to be some compartmentalized or remote thing. It was going to be a whole way of life, where you would get up and see the cycle of the moon and that would bring you thoughts not only of God’s provision but also of the regular times of worship and thanksgiving that we part of your life.
We also see there how the text says the lights would be “in the sky.” And so, the vantage point is not from way out in the galaxy somewhere. The Lord was describing what was happening from our vantage point, looking up. So, more and more we’re seeing God’s heart to commune with us. We are the focal point of His attention and His intentions in this creation. He identifies with us.
Genesis 1:20-23 – 20 Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 21 So God created the large sea-creatures and every living creature that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds. He also created every winged creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them: “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 23 Evening came and then morning: the fifth day.
Verse 21 sends another volley at the theory of evolution. Birds and fish together. Large animals right from the start, not beginning with tiny organisms eventually becoming different species.
The term used for “large sea-creatures” is also used for monsters and dragons. Leviathan was a real creature. And, it seems, in ancient times, there really were fire-breathing dragons.
To these creatures God gives an assignment: Multiply and fill your domain. And not only was it done instantaneously, they went on obeying the Lord in this command.
Genesis 1:24-25 – 24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that crawl, and the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 So God made the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that crawl on the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
While God would leave the job of naming all the animals to Adam, we do see a categorization of animals here. God makes a difference between domestic and wild, and between large and small. Here is where dinosaurs were created, along with all other land animals. Of course, at this point there were no carnivores. Verse 30 will tell us that every living creature would be vegetarian (which is what will happen again in the Millennium).
So now all things were ready for the Lord to introduce human beings to what would be their home, their workplace, and their temple. It was a splendid domain, full of life and potential and variety and adventure and wonder. It was meticulously designed so that men and women would not only survive, but thrive in God’s presence. The Lord’s intention was to give us a place full of beauty and room and grandeur where we would walk with Him in complete joy and satisfaction.
As Christians, this should build great anticipation in our hearts for the restoration of all things. There is going to be a redemption of this world and things will be put back to the way they once were. And then, somehow, things will get even better as we spend eternity with our Savior in the New Jerusalem – a place He hasn’t been prepping for 6 days, but for thousands of years!
Before we close, I’d encourage us to take what we’ve seen and apply it to ourselves this way: We notice that, again and again, we read “God said, ‘Let there be…’ and it was done.” The sun did not refuse to shine. The birds did not refuse to fly. The plants did not refuse to grow. When God spoke, when He commanded and directed, it was so. The cosmos had no other choice.
But God does things differently with human beings. He still commands, but He gives us the choice whether we will obey or not. Today, right now, God has commanded you in all sorts of ways – ways that are communicated very clearly in the Bible. What if we think about some of the “let the” commands from the New Testament? The Lord turns to us and says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” He says, “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you,” and “Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts.” He says, “Let the children come to Me…let anyone who is thirsty come to Me.” He says, “Let the thief no longer steal” and “let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Are those commands any less imperative than “Let there be light?” God created an entire cosmos so that He might have personal fellowship and cooperation with you. He made everything there is so that you could have an abundant life, not conducted according to the way you think it should go, but lived out in thankful subordination to His provision, His direction, and His design. Throughout these 6 days we see God designing, separating, evaluating, revealing what is good and what should happen. Our part is to join in with obedience. Trusting this great, loving God to fashion for us a good, good life, unmatched by anything a fallen, dying world could try to offer.
references & footnotes available at calvaryhanford.com/atruebeginning