Bible Reading: Genesis chapter 1
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1v1Genesis 1v1 KJV
How did it all begin? Was it with a big bang? Did the universe begin by chance or by God’s special creation? How old is the earth? Did life evolve by chance over millions of years? Is it true that all thinking people accept evolution?
You and I were not there to witness how it all began but God was there and He ought to know. He tells us in His Word the Bible how it happened. Perhaps you think that I am being biased and old-fashioned and ask, “But what about all the scientific evidence?” May I point out, the creationist and the evolutionist view exactly the same evidence but each interprets it according to his own way of thinking. So is the evolutionist not biased too? Also, true science agrees with the Bible. In these studies we will be working within a Biblical framework and I pray that you will see God, life, and the Bible in a different light as a result.
The Bible opens with the words, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen 1v1) This assumes the existence of God. God was there from all eternity and is not limited by time. This verse is a summary of how the universe began. Just as a computer needs a designer, so this universe with all its complexity could never have come into being without the Great Master Designer. God wants us to know right from the start that He created us and that we did not come about by accident.
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”Psalm 14v1 KJV
Does It Matter What We Believe?
Yes, it does. If evolution is true:
- Then there is no need for God for we arrived here by chance without God.
- Then man is not responsible to God for his actions. As Creator God owns us and has the right to tell us what to do and to judge us. If people are just evolved animals, then no one owns them, so their body is their own to live whatever sort of ungodly life they want, provided they get away with it. If everything in existence today developed without God, then there is no Judge before whom we must all appear.
- Then there is no sin and no need for a Saviour. Sin is rebellion against God’s law (1 John 3v4). If man developed without God, then sin is not moral rebellion against God. If there is no sin, man does not need salvation.
- Then moral values have no basis and life has no purpose. If life evolved by chance, then nothing has purpose. If this life is all there is, and death ends it all, then when things get tough, why not commit suicide? If we get rid of spare animals by killing them, then why not get rid of spare babies by abortion? However, the Almighty Creator gives us basis for moral values and meaning to life.
- Then the Bible is unreliable and Christianity is false. If one part of scripture is unreliable, what assurance do we have that other parts are not also unreliable? If Genesis is not taken literally, then it leaves the way open for people to reject any part of scripture they want.
Principles of Creation
- Creation required an All-Wise Creator. Psalm 104v24; Proverbs 3v19; Jeremiah 10v12; 1 Timothy 1v17. Evolution has no intelligence working behind it.
- Creation had a purpose – God’s glory. Psalm 19v1. “for Him” Colossians 1v16. In evolution, life progressed haphazardly and has no purpose or goal. Creation gives true meaning to life. We ought to live our lives to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
- Creation was orderly and planned. As you read through Genesis chapter 1, notice the order in creation. Before God made the plants He already had water, light, air, and soil in existence so that they could survive. God created the vegetation for food before He created the animals and man. God made the animals before He made man to rule over and care for them. Isaiah 45v18; Psalm 115v16. In evolution, life progressed in an aimless haphazard fashion without the planning of a Master Designer.
- God made all things out of nothing, by merely speaking the word. “God said…and it was so” cp. Genesis 1v3, 6,9,11,14,20,24, +26. Notice that God created one form after the other, not from the other. As soon as God spoke, things came into existence. Psalm 33v6; 148v5; Hebrews 11v3. Evolution has no Master Designer ordering the sequence of events.
- The original state of creation was very good. Genesis 1v4, 10,12,18,21,25+31. God’s work was not of inferior quality. It was excellent and perfect in every way – not like evolution that leaves room for lots of mistakes.
Days of Creation
DAY 1 Genesis 1v1-5
Notice that it is Planet Earth that Genesis 1 concentrates on. “The heavens and the earth” in Gen 1v1 mean the entire universe, in which earth is singled out as the planet uniquely prepared by God for man. God would shape and fill the earth in 6 days. Day and night established. Notice there is light before the Sun. Light provides energy and heat.
DAY 2 Genesis 1v6-8
“Firmament” refers to an “expanse” or atmosphere, rather than a solid dome. The “waters above the firmament” were probably in the form of a layer of water vapour. Most creationists do think that pre-Flood atmospheric pressure and water vapour levels were higher than now, with a resultant milder climate over all the earth. Now there was air to breathe. Sounds travel through air.
DAY 3 Genesis 1v9-13
Gen 1v9 gives us a clear indication that at first there was only one ocean upon earth. There was a smaller proportion of the earth’s surface under water than today. God created the vegetation and all kinds of seed-bearing plants before He created the sun. The mild warm moist climate would have been ideal for producing lush vegetation. All creatures were vegetarian, at first. Gen 1v29+30.
DAY 4 Genesis 1v14-19
Psalm 8v3+4; 19v1. The sun and moon are for light, signs, seasons, days, and years. God so controls earth’s relationship to the sun and moon that these events happen so perfectly. Astronomers estimate there are ten million billion billion stars in the known heavens – uncountable to man. Jeremiah 33v22. God knows each star by name. Psalm147v4. Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis.
DAY 5 Genesis 1v20-23
God gave every creature exactly what it needed to live where He put it. Fish have gills, scales, and fins to live in water. He gave flying birds lungs, lightweight bones, wings, and feathers to soar through the air. Notice God blessed them to reproduce after their kind. Flying reptiles such as the pteranodon and marine reptiles such as the plesiosaurs would have been included here, although they are now extinct.
DAY 6 Genesis 1v24-31
God refers to land animals in 3 distinct groups – cattle, creeping things, and beasts of the earth. “Cattle” probably refer to livestock and domesticated animals e.g. cows, sheep, and camels. “Creeping things” probably includes insects, frogs, and snakes. “Beasts of the earth” probably refers to large wild animals e.g. elephants, dinosaurs, and rhinoceroses. Man was created in the image of God. This makes man special.
How Long Were the Days in Genesis 1?
Some suggest that the days of creation were not literal 24-hour days but long periods of time – even millions or billions of years. However
- When the Hebrew word “Yom” for day is used with a number (first day, second day, etc.) it means a solar day. Also it is used with the phrase “evening and morning” (Genesis 1v5, 8,13,19,23, +31).
- The wording of Exodus 20v11 teaches us that the universe was created in 6 literal 24-hour days. Otherwise it makes no sense to say that God rested for millions of years.
- Each of the 6 days in Genesis 1 had a “light” portion (day) and a “dark” portion (night). If each day were millions of years then plants would have been in darkness for millions of years.
Did God use evolution?
No. You cannot believe both creation and evolution. They contradict each other.
|The Bible Says||Evolution Says|
|Earth (day 1) before the sun and stars (day 4)||Stars and sun before Earth|
|Earth (Genesis 1v2) covered in water initially||Earth a molten blob initially|
|Oceans first (day1), then dry land (day 3)||Dry land, then the oceans|
|Life first created on the land (day 3)||Life started in the oceans|
|Plants (day 3) created before the sun (day 4)||Plants came long after the sun|
|Land animals (day 6) created after birds (day 5)||Land animals existed before birds|
|Whales (day 5) before land animals (day 6)||Land animals before whales|
A Matter of Faith
You choose to believe in either creation or evolution. Please read Hebrews 11v3+6. Note, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Good works are not enough to please God (Ephesians 2v8+9). True faith has a right view of God. Notice that this involves believing God exists – “he that cometh to God must believe that He is” (Hebrews 11v6). God is Who He declares Himself to be in the Bible cp. Romans 10v17. God created all things out of nothing by His Word. Hebrews 11v3; John 1v3. God alone is to be sought and found Hebrews 11v6 cp. Jeremiah 29v13. Biblical faith does not add the idea of God to evolutionary notions. The Genesis account is factual and provides the proper basis for Christianity, moral standards, as well as giving meaning to life.
The Gap Theory
Some people try to place a gap of millions of years of geologic time, including billions of fossils, between the first 2 verses of Genesis chapter 1. However
- This is inconsistent with God creating everything in 6 days, according to scripture. Exodus 20v11. If God made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in 6 days, where is the time for a gap?
- This puts death, disease and suffering before the Fall, contrary to scripture. Death is the result of Adam’s sin. Romans 5v12. There could not have been a race of people before Adam as 1 Corinthian 15v45 tells us that Adam was the first man. The fact that animals and man were originally created vegetarian is consistent with God’s description of creation as “very good.” Genesis 1v29-31. How could a fossil record that gives evidence of disease, violence, death, and decay be described as very good?
- The gap theory undermines the gospel at its foundations. Physical death as well as spiritual death is the result of Adam’s sin. Christ suffered the curse and agony of death when He died in our place on the cross at Calvary so that we could have salvation free. Hebrews 2v9; 1 Peter 3v18. If physical death is not part of the curse for Adam’s sin (Genesis 3), then why did Christ have to suffer physical death for us?
- The gap theory ignores evidence for a young earth, probably about 6000 years old.
Some Creation Facts
- All creation testifies to the Lord as the Almighty Creator, creating everything for His glory. Job 12v7-9; Psalm 19v1; Revelation 4v11.
- The 3 Persons of the Godhead were actively involved in creation. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 1v26. God the Father as Creator – Isaiah 64v8; Acts 14v15. Christ as Creator – John 1v3; Colossians 1v16. The Holy Spirit as Creator – Genesis 1v2; Job 26v13.
- Creationists do not believe that the earth is flat. The earth is round. “He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth” Isaiah 40v22. The earth is suspended in space without support. “He…hangeth the earth upon nothing” Job26v7. These verses were written hundreds of years before scientists discovered their truth.
- The earth was created with the appearance of age. When the earth and everything in it was just created, it looked as if it had been around for years. Adam looked maybe 20 or 30 years old when, in fact, he had just been created.
- God prepared Earth for life. Earth is the only planet with water and air, both of which are necessary for life. Also, earth is correctly positioned in the solar system for life. If it were too close to the sun it would be too hot for life. If too far away from the sun it would be too cold for life. Is it therefore any wonder that no life has been found on other planets?
- According to the Bible, dinosaurs first existed around 6000 years ago – the approximate date of Creation obtained by adding up the years in the Bible. God made the dinosaurs, along with the other land animals, on day 6 of creation week (Genesis 1v24+25). Adam and Eve were also made on day 6 – so dinosaurs lived at the same time as people, not separated by eons of time. Dinosaurs could not have died out before people appeared, because dinosaurs had not previously existed, and also death, bloodshed, disease and suffering are a result of Adam’s sin (Romans 5v12; 1Corinthians 15v21-22).
- Man is God’s special creation. Genesis 1v26+27. God created man in His own image or likeness. This made man distinct from the animals and is the basis for the sanctity of human life. Genesis 9v6. Man is not just an evolved animal. Concerning Adam and Eve the Bible says, “male and female created He them.” Christ believed this and said, “He which made them at the beginning made them male and female” Matthew 19v4; Mark 10v6. These verses only make sense with a timeline beginning with the creation week thousands of years ago. It makes no sense at all if man appeared at the end of billions of years.
- Christ holds all things together. “Upholding all things by the word of his power” Hebrews 1v3. “All things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (or hold together) Colossians 1v16+17. Cp. Nehemiah 9v6. God originally established all the laws that control the universe. In our solar system 9 planets, including earth, orbit around the sun; and dozens of moons, in turn, orbit these planets. God created a force of attraction between all these heavenly objects called gravity. Without gravity our solar system would fly apart. Gravity pulls a planet toward the sun. Inertia – a planet’s tendency to keep going straight – pulls the planet away from the sun. God balances these 2 forces to hold each planet (and moon) in its perfect orbit.
Listen 10 Times God Says…
LISTEN 10 TIMES GOD SAYS “after his/their kind” in Genesis 1 (v11,12,12,21,21,24,24,25,25, +25). When God speaks once it is important but when He says something 10 times it is vitally important that we listen to Him.
- God created plant and animal life to reproduce according to their individually created kind, not from one “kind” into another (i.e. cats produce cats, dogs produce dogs, and not dinosaurs to birds).
- When evolutionists look at the various breeds of dogs they interpret these differences as “change” or evolution. Creationists more appropriately view this as variation “within kind,” not a change from one kind into another. When we observe the species present in the world today, we find distinction between each kind and no kinds that represent a “transitional form” e.g. partly formed feathers. For example, although we have all kinds of dogs ranging from poodles to Great Danes, they are all dogs and can interbreed. They are not, on the other hand, part dog and part cat. Breeding produces variety, but it can never change a dog/wolf into a new kind of animal.
- If evolution had occurred there should be an abundance of intermediate types of fossils showing the transitions. There are a handful of disputed ones.
- All the kinds of living organisms that ever existed appeared together when God spoke. The passing of time has brought the extinction of many creatures that will never appear again. BUT evolution says there was one kind to start with and over millions of years more and more kinds have evolved.
- God wanted this planet to be filled. Isaiah 45v18. Notice that all the creatures were to reproduce after their kind so as to fill the earth (Genesis 1v20-25). Adam and Eve were specifically commanded by God to populate the earth (Genesis 1v28). ‘Replenish’ simply means ‘fill.’ This is important because it dispels the notion that Adam and Eve’s sin was sexual relations.
- God gave man dominion over every living thing. Genesis 1v28. God intended Adam and Eve to be rule over the earth as His good stewards. God had planted the beautiful Garden of Eden and put Adam in it to dress it and keep it (Genesis 2v15). Thus Adam became the world’s first farmer, to caringly and respectfully look after the plants and animals with Eve’s help.
- Animals and man were originally vegetarian. Genesis 1v29-30. This is consistent with God creating everything ‘very good’ (Genesis 1v31). God made everything perfect and there was no bloodshed or death. Animals lived in harmony and without fear of each other or man. Only after Adam sinned (Genesis 3) did animals start to kill each other. After Noah’s flood God permitted man to eat meat (Genesis 9v3).
Evidence For a Young Earth
By adding up the years in the Bible we arrive at the date of Creation to be approximately 6000 years ago. This is very different to what evolution demands. So where is the evidence for a young earth?
I am just listing a few examples below:
- The continents are eroding too quickly. If the continents were billions of years old, they would have eroded by wind and water many times over.
- There is not enough helium in the atmosphere to justify its assumed 3000 million year age.
- Many fossils indicate that they must have formed quickly, and could not have taken long time-spans.
- Many processes, which we have been told take millions of years, do not need such time-spans at all, e.g. coal formation, stalactites and stalagmites, opals, rock and fossil formation.
- The oceans are nowhere near salty enough to be billions of years old.
- We have all been conditioned by our culture to see the earth as millions or billions of years old. However it is best to believe what the Creator of the world says in His Word the Bible about the world being only thousands of years old.
What about carbon-14 dating?
Most people still associate carbon-14 dating with time spans of millions or billions of years. However what many fail to recognise is
- The rapid disintegration of carbon-14 generally limits the dating period to approximately 50 000 years. Anything over about 50 000 years should theoretically have no detectable carbon-14 left.
- This dating method works only for things that were once living. It cannot be used to date volcanic rocks, for example.
- Some dates arrived at by this method may even be too old. The effects of the Genesis Flood would have resulted in fossils formed then having radiocarbon ages older than they really are.
- Radiocarbon dating cannot give evolutionists the millions of years they require.
Facts About the Radioactive Dating Methods
It is not my purpose to get into a very technical consideration of any dating method here. However
- All dating methods, including those that point to a young earth, rely on unprovable assumptions e.g.
- Assuming how much of a particular chemical was originally present
- Assuming that there has been no leaching by water of the chemicals in or out of the rock
- Assuming that radioactive decay rates have stayed the same for billions of years.
- Radiometric dating labs do not measure age – they measure amounts of chemicals, then from this they infer age, based on the underlying assumptions.
- When the assumptions are tested by measuring rocks of known age – e.g. recent lava flows – they often fail miserably.
- When dating methods conflict then the date consistent with the evolutionary age will be taken.
It is best to believe the sure testimony of the Word of God as to the true history of the world, rather than to accept the fallible dating methods and evolutionary theories of man. Read Romans 1v20; Notice:
- All creation points to the Almighty Creator. “The invisible things of him… even his eternal power and Godhead” are “understood by the things that are made.” We can easily see evidence of His existence, of His Divine power, of His infinite intelligence, and of His Divinity.
- There is no excuse for unbelief. “So that they are without excuse.” No one has an excuse for not believing that God is the Master and Creator of all things.
Yes, it is true that as we look around us in this world we see evidence not only of the Almighty Creator but also that sin and death have spoiled God’s beautiful creation. God the Son is not only Creator but He became Man so that He might suffer, bleed, and die to save us from our sins. He wants us to put our faith in Him alone for salvation. Matthew 1v21; John 3v16; 1 John 4v14.
Have you trusted Christ as your Creator Saviour?
For further information on the age of the earth, please visit:
How old is the earth? by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M.
For further information on creation/evolution issues visit: