Understanding the Creation 01
Regarding the origin of our planet, there have been a few beliefs and theories of how it came to existence. The majority of Christians believe that God created the world in six days. Atheists don’t believe God’s existence; they think that the universe, the galaxies, the solar system, and the earth all came into existence by chance. While the public schools in the US have been teaching evolutionism, many Christian churches haven’t had any efforts to teach their people on that topic. The school age Christian youths need to know the truth before they will be taught more anti-faith theories when they get into colleges. We have to know the truth on the creation of the universe and our world correctly, even if it may be a little different from the Christian traditional theology.
If any Christian is willing to spend time to studying and pondering on the Genesis chapter 1, that person will find the real meaning of verses which describe the so-called six-day-creation. For example, if the sun, the moon and the stars were created in the fourth day, then, what kind of light that God had commanded it to be existed on the first day of creation (Gen.1:3–5). Before we look into those details, let’s start looking at the 1st verse: “In the beginning, God had created the heavens and the earth.” This is a complete sentence which states that the creation of the universe was completed; the Bible does not say how did God create the universe and the earth, which method that He used, how the material things were made, or how long did it take Him to do His works.
When we meditate those words, clearly the beginning refers to a considerable amount of time. It neither happened in a blink of an eye nor came into existence instantly. Genesis 1:1 only tells us that the creation of the universe was completed before God made the earth become habitable for the living creatures. The word “beginning” does not indicate “instantaneous” creation. It includes a period of time unstated length which precedes the conditions described by the second verse: “And the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:2). As we can see, Genesis 1:1 places no limits on how old the Universe may be. God had already created all material things which we can see in the Universe.
Genesis 1:1 answers a theological question concerning the appearance of life in Earth. Because it tells us that, God was already in existence before the beginning of the Universe. – The Universe was created, it did not always exist. – and the God of the Bible was the Creator of the Universe. So, what does the 2nd verse tell us? It describes the state of the Earth after the completed creation of the Universe and before the events which are described in verse 3. What was the state of the Earth then? V. 2 says “the Earth was formless and empty,” the Hebrew words in v.2 were translated to be “formless and empty” are ‘tohu‘ and ‘bohu.‘ Correctly understanding the meaning of these 2 words is very important. What do these words mean? Tohu = desolation; bohu = emptiness.
Tohu and bohu can be translated as “unsuitable for human life and empty of human life.” So, Genesis 1:1–2 functions as an introduction to God’s creating works on the earth. These 2 verses completed befor the “And God said” of Genesis 1:3; because v. 1:2 is completed before v. 1:3, Genesis 1:2 places no restriction on the age of the planet Earth. In another word, we can understand that Genesis 1:2 states that the Earth was in existence before the start of the first creative period. How long the Earth continues in the state of “tohu and bohu” before the command of Genesis 1:3 is also unstated and unknown. Therefore, to complete this session, we can know for sure that the timeline of Genesis 1:1–2 was very long time unknown to mankind. In the next session we will examine the creative periods to see if they were six days of 24 hours each day or else. Then our faith will be very strong when we know the truth.
Understanding The Creation, 01
Rev. Dr. CTB