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Recap:

So far in our study of Genesis we have looked at time and eternity, and the creation of the heavens, the earth and light. We saw that light was separated from darkness, and the earth from the water. We then covered the creation of plants and trees, and the Sun, Moon and stars.


Read Genesis 1:11-31


This study begins at verse 20, but we’ll read verses 11 first, then 20, 24-25:

11 Then God said, Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so.


20 And God said, Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the Earth across the expanse of the sky.


24 And God said, Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind. And it was so.

25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.


Well you either believe that God created every living thing in the space of a few days, or you don’t. Some believe in Theistic Evolution: believing that although God created, he used Evolution to produce everything we see today.


Immediately to my mind then come some questions:

Could God have created everything exactly as recorded?

If the answer to that is no, what is limiting God who is actually all-powerful?

Did God need to use evolution?


Evolution also contradicts Genesis 1v24-25, and someone (Wayne Grudem: Systematic Theology, chapter 15, p277) suggested that that passage should read: let the earth produce living creatures according to their kinds, and after 387,492,871 attempts God finally made a mouse that worked. And he said it was quite good, but he could probably improve it a bit.


But seriously, of all the difficulties I have with the Theory of Evolution, the greatest has to be with the whole subject of DNA. Every truly living organism has to have DNA, however small and ‘primitive’ it may be. Not only is this DNA used to maintain each cell, but it also contains the blueprint of the organism (the simplest of which are probably bacteria cells), in order that as it reproduces it creates an exact replica of the original.


But not only does it need the DNA blueprint, this simplest of cells also needs a mechanism to decipher the incredibly complex code that it contains. This could be imagined as a computer program, which can read the data contained in the sequences of DNA and then instruct each part of the cell to grow exactly as specified. And so far I have not found any satisfactory explanation of how that works, let alone how it could have evolved in order for the first cell to reproduce.


The more I look into this single topic, with its incredible complexity of protein synthesis, and the fact that DNA also has its own inbuilt maintenance and repair mechanisms which are carried out automatically and continually, I can only conclude that there has to have been a designer.


Before we leave this topic I should point out that within DNA is the provision for adapting to circumstances. It is possible to selectively breed more successful forms such as farm animals, crops, domestic animals or plants. This is not evolution but selection; the data for each of these variations is contained in the genes, but no data exists to change into another type – wheat is still wheat, dogs are still dogs.


The Peppered Moth mimicked the colour of light lichens on its roost trees. During the Industrial Revolution dark forms were gradually selected out to merge with smoke blackened trees. (Light versions were easily seen and eaten). Since smoky factories have become a thing of the past, the lichens have become light again and so have the moths.  


So we return to Creation:

How long did God need in Man-Time to produce all living things? Or did he take as long as he needed in God-Eternity, and then said ‘let it be so’?  


I can only take a view that as God is God, that is just what he did.


But something else was also needed and for this we return to verse 2 where we read:

the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters


The Holy Spirit was present at creation to breathe life into all living things. What is life? When I looked at the Clematis that had been growing in our garden and found it had died, what was now different about it to when I had last seen it? All its roots were still there; all its cells were in place, why was it not still living? What is life?


It is the work of the Holy Spirit to give life Psalm 104:


24 How many are your works, O LORD!
   In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

29b When you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit, they are created,
   and you renew the face of the earth.


And Job 34:14-15:

14 If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath,

15 all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust.


And John 6:63:

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.


So finally we can come to verse 26:

26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the Earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

   

27 So God created man in his own image,

   in the image of God he created him;

   male and female he created them.

   

28 God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the Earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.

29 Then God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

30 And to all the beasts of the Earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground— everything that has the breath of life in it— I give every green plant for food. And it was so.

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


This is what it had all been for. But why should God want to create Man?

(Man = Adam in Hebrew, but referring to the whole human race)


We are told in Isaiah 43:6,7

6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
   and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
   whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”


We were created for God’s glory, and our purpose in life is: whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)


And Ephesians 1:4-6

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace,


So men (and women) were finally created, but there was something different about them – they were made in the image, in the likeness of God. What does that mean? (remember that this was before the fall)

(Does it help to remember that Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation? (Colossians 1:15) The whole idea that man somehow carries the image of God is not easy to grasp but the more aspects of God’s nature that we discover, the more we can appreciate how we were originally created)

We accept that man has suffered corruption in ‘The Fall’ but as Christians we are assured that: we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18), that we are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son (Romans 8:29), and that: we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1John 3:2)

We will close this study by remembering Psalm 19v1:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.







If you are interested in the whole DNA question, I recommend that you look online for

- DNA decoding

- Simplest original cells: PROKARYOTES

I found the following website useful for looking into basic DNA:

http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/basics/dna

Also for protein synthesis:

http://regentsprep.org/Regents/biology/units/heredity/synthesis.cfm


If you prefer an Evolutionary view:

A suggested timeline of a 4.5 billion year old Earth, with approximate dates:


- 3.8 billion years of simple cells (prokaryotes),

- 3 billion years of photosynthesis,

- 2 billion years of complex cells (eukaryotes),

- 1 billion years of multicellular life,

- 600 million years of simple animals,

- 570 million years of arthropods (ancestors of insects, arachnids and
   crustaceans),

- 550 million years of complex animals,

- 500 million years of fish and proto-amphibians,

- 475 million years of land plants,

- 400 million years of insects and seeds,

- 360 million years of amphibians,

- 300 million years of reptiles,

- 200 million years of mammals,

- 150 million years of birds,

- 130 million years of flowers,

- 65 million years since the non-avian dinosaurs died out,

- 2.5 million years since the appearance of the genus Homo,

- 200,000 years of anatomically modern humans.





Genesis 1dGenesis 1b








Genesis 1:11-31 Plants, Animals, DNA, Life