Moms, Dads, teachers… think quick… What was the first thing God created?
If you said light or the sun, you might want to return to Genesis 1 and start reading again. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The text goes on to describe it as formless and void, but he had already created waters to hover over before he created light.
So maybe I got you on that one, but what difference does it make? Politically correct scientists are going to laugh at Christians who defend the Genesis account of creation anyway. Who cares what came first or second?
If Christians hope to defend their faith against the scoffers in today’s world – and that includes the children in elementary school as well as teens and adults – then we will do well to look at the Biblical account in the light of some simple basic science. Then we might not feel so intimidated when we are questioned by the mockers.
For the Christian thinker, there is a scientific thread that runs right through the Genesis account of creation. Close scrutiny flies in the face of anyone who wants to claim the account was dreamed up by cave men telling tales around the campfire. Consider the sequence… Before making light, God was engaged with water and formless void.
Day 1: Light, separate it from darkness
Day 2: Separate waters, sky
Day 3: Land and plants
Day 4: Sun, moon, stars, seasons
Day 5: Aquatic life and birds
Day 6: Land animals and people
Day 7: God rested
Now let’s analyze the sequence a bit. The first thing God created was the raw materials, the mass, the water that would become the earth and the universe. Second God created light waves and separated the light from the darkness. This was needed before he could declare day and night. Then he separated the waters and created the sky – the air that both plants and animals would need to survive.
Following that God created the land on which the plants could grow. Plants had to come before the animals, as they are the source of energy for all of the food chain. Plants can turn sunlight, water, and minerals from the soil into energy. Animals cannot do this.
Then God created aquatic life – the simpler forms of life – and birds before creating the more sophisticated land animal and people. Ancient people did not have the benefit of modern science to create this sequence which was recorded in the earliest writings known to man.
The Bible does not specifically define a day as twenty-four hours, nor does it deny it. We need to recall that it wasn’t until the 4th day that the sun, moon, and stars were created by which we could measure a day. So up until that point, at least, a day was however long God chose to make it. Consider the verse in 2 Peter 3:8, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (NIV) The same concept is also found in Psalm 90:4. It seems that Christians take on unnecessary battles by insisting on 24-hour days. At the same time, we must let God be God, and recall that nothing is too hard for God.
This post is the first in a series of four articles on the theme of the creation. I would like to see churches who do their own VBS curriculum consider using some of these ideas in their VBS this summer.
Article 1 – Basic Science in Genesis 1 (this article)
Article 2 – Created in God’s image
Article 3 – Making a Creation Quilt from Coloring Pages – youth activity
Article 4 – Our Awesome God – a VBS plan
The Creation by Janice D. Green can be purchased at the Honeycomb Adventures Shop on Etsy.com.