God Created the Earth and All that is in it: Day 3
By John MacArthur
Let’s open our Bibles to Genesis chapter 1. We are continuing in a study of creation, the account of creation; the only authoritative account of creation given in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, the book of beginnings, Genesis.
Let me read down through verse 13. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness, and God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Then God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse, and it was so. And God called the expanse heaven, and there was evening and there was morning, a second day. Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear,’ and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas, and God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them, on the earth,’ and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and the trees bearing fruit with seed in them after their kind, and God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning, a third day.”
Now, let me sum up what the Word of God in this much of Genesis has taught us about origins. With plain, understanding of the text, the inescapable account says that the eternal God created out of nothing, without preexisting material, the heavens and the earth, which simply means the universe. He created the universe as it is now, in a sequence of six solar days, the first three of which we just read. He capped His creation, as we will find out, on the sixth day, by creating man in His own image; an intelligent being with personality, with self-consciousness and cognition. This creation occurred in a period of one week of normal days, about 6000 or so years ago, and the entire creation was mature and aged at the instant of its creation. Death did not exist, nor any corrupting influence; and the creation was good. Death and corruption entered the creation for the first time at the Fall of Adam and Eve, which is recorded in the third chapter of Genesis. When they sinned in disobedience to God, death entered the scene; prior to that there was no death. That means there could be no evolutionary processes because nothing died.
Later the surface of the earth was reshaped, drastically and dramatically, by the great universal Flood, described later in the book of Genesis; a flood which rearranged the earth cataclysmically, as water rose literally above the mountains, coming down from above and surging up from the bowels of the earth. As a result of that flood only eight people survived: Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives, and the animals survived which were in the ark, and from that the replenishing of the earth occurred. That is the Genesis record.
And as I told you last week, science is not a hermeneutic. Science is not a principle for interpreting Genesis, or for that matter, any other passage of Scripture. And the accuracy of the Genesis account is no different than any other biblical text. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. All Scripture is moved in the hearts of men, produced in the hearts of men by the working of the Holy Spirit, so that they wrote down precisely what the Spirit wanted them to say. And Jesus summed it up when He said in John 17:17, “Thy Word is truth.”
Now, from that foundation we must conclude that any form of evolution is a contradiction and a denial of the clear revelation of Scripture, and I mean any form, whether it comes from an atheistic evolutionist like Julian Huxley, or whether it comes from a theistic evolutionist like Hugh Ross. Any form of evolution is a contradiction and denial of the clear revelation of Scripture, which indicates that somewhere around 6000 years ago, God created the entire universe as we know it in six 24-hour days.
There’s only one source of the account of origins and that is the Bible, the Word of God, and in particular and in specific, Genesis chapter 1. As I have been saying, there are no scientific facts that necessarily contradict the Genesis creation account. Rather, all true science supports the biblical creation teaching. It has to be that way because Genesis is true. Therefore all true science is in support of the Genesis account.
It’s a hard thing for people to admit this because science for so long has reigned supreme on the throne of contemporary thinking. Evolution has been a given. In fact, it’s become an absolute in our society, but it is systematically coming apart at the seams. The more we know about the nature of the universe, the more we realize the utter impossibility of any form of evolution, even to the degree – and this is an interesting source to quote – that Robert E. Smith, a member of the western Missouri affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, whom you would know to be no friend of Scripture, says this, and I quote: “For the past five years, I have closely followed creationist literature, and have attended lectures and debates on related issues. Based solely on the scientific arguments pro and con, I have been forced to conclude that scientific creationism is not only a viable theory, but that it has achieved parity with, if not superiority over, the normative theory of biological evolution. That this should now be the case is somewhat surprising, particularly in view of what most of us were taught in primary and secondary school.” He goes on: “In practical terms, the past decade of intense activity by scientific creationists has left most evolutionist professors unwilling to debate the creationist professors. Too many of the evolutionists have been publicly humiliated in such debates by their own lack of erudition and by the weakness of their theory,” end quote.
Paul Ackerman has written a book called It’s a Young World After All, and in it he says this – some of you have been to Disneyland, I can tell. In the book he says this: “Let me be blunt on this matter. Evolutionists around the world have had to learn the hard way that evolution cannot stand up against creationism in any fair and impartial debate situation where the stakes are the hearts and minds of intelligent, undecided, but nevertheless objective and open-minded audiences. Experience will prove that the same is true for the age issue as well. Evolutionists’ beliefs regarding the origin and development of life cannot withstand the scrutiny of an informed opposition, and neither can evolutionists claim to the effect that the universe has existed for 10 to 20 billion years, and the earth for 4.5 billion years. To delay the collapse of widespread public acceptance of such claims, it will be necessary for evolutionist scientists to carefully avoid debate,” end quote. They cannot survive a debate, and so they won’t debate.
Now, this is an illustration after an illustration about science, some facet of science that supports a young earth and a biblical account of creation. I’ve tried to give you a few as we go along. Here’s one that I find somewhat fascinating. Every once in a while you see on the weather report that there’s some indication of how many raindrops fell, and it added up to a tenth of an inch, or an half an inch, or three inches, or whatever. It’s not a very sophisticated test that they do to determine that. They just have a container with an open top, and when it rains they measure how much water is in the container. You can do that science yourself. It rains a certain number of raindrops, and it fills up the can to a certain level, and they can then go out after it stopped raining and tell how much it rained by measuring the amount of water in the container.
Now, it is possible, by that simple method, that with a slight modification in your procedure, to turn the rain gauge into a kind of clock. Let’s assume that we live in a location where it rains continuously, and rains at a known rate. When we set the container outside under those conditions of continuous rain and a known rate, we can therefore, by measuring how much water is in the can, determine how much time has gone by – pretty obvious – so that the can with the water in it becomes a measure of time. It becomes a kind of clock. The longer the container has been exposed, the more water is in it. The more water is in it, the longer it’s been exposed. So we can measure a certain amount of time having gone by, by the amount of water that’s in the can. Now, I know I’m not taxing your intelligence with that; I don’t want to. I just want to give you a simple illustration.
And when you see the people in southern California make a road through a mountain, and they cut a wedge out of that mountain to make a road, and you look at the side of that cut mountain, you see various lines of stratification. Or when you go to the Grand Canyon, and you see the amazing geological stratification that has occurred there, you’re seeing what evolutionists assume has been this continual building up of sediment for billions and billions and billions of years.
Now, evolutionists believe this. They believe that for billions of years, this sediment has been building up, but there are a number of ways to pose problems to them. Here’s one that I find very interesting: scientists can tell you just about how regularly meteors shower the earth. They’ve measured that for a long, long time. They can tell you how many meteors burn up in space before they hit the earth, and how many meteors generally, some very small, hit the earth each year. With the passage of billions and billions of years, and the building up of sediment, it should be true that that sediment has within it meteors at every interval. If the continuity, and the perpetuity, and the uniformity of meteor life is equal to the continuity, perpetuity, and uniformity of everything else in this theory of uniformity, then this earth has been being showered with meteors for 4.5 billion, or however old it is. And so you should be able to go down the strata, you should be able to go down the geologic column and find meteors all through that column, like the rain shower, therefore you could measure the age of the earth.
Interestingly enough, this is what the data shows: a survey of all literature on the occurrence of meteors in sedimentary rock failed to turn up one single case of a meteorite being found anywhere in any geologic column. The meteorite clock indicates we have a very young earth; all the meteors are on the top.
Philip Johnson has written a fascinating book called Darwin on Trial. If you’re interested in more scientific information, read that book; he marshals abundant scientific evidence against evolution, as do many, many other writers. Now, that’s just sort of a little bit of an introductory tidbit about the science side of things. I want to mention one other thing that’s a biblical issue before we look at day three.
The question always comes up, at what point were angels created? They’re not mentioned in Genesis 1, so how do we know when angels are created? Well, neither Genesis, nor for that matter any other text of Scripture, states specifically when angelic beings were created. What is definite is that they are creatures, and they were created, and they did have a beginning. They are immortal. Once created they live forever, but only the triune God is eternal, without beginning and without ending. Angels are created beings.
Now, some have suggested that they had to be created on the sixth day, because it was on the sixth day that God created man, and angels, according to Hebrews 1:14, were created to be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who will be the heirs of salvation. And since they were created to serve those who were human, and who receive salvation, therefore they would have been created along with them on the sixth day. I find that a pretty weak argument, frankly, because that’s not all angels do. They don’t just minister to the saints. In fact, if you go into heaven in Revelation 4 and 5, you find them doing what? Worshiping God.
Primarily, and throughout all eternity, they will be worshipers of God. So it would be fair to the purpose of angels, which is primarily to worship God, to associate them in the created order with some point at which they would begin to praise and worship God. They – they’re definitely seen in the book of Revelation, worshiping God at the consummation of history, and it seems to me likely that they could well have started worshiping God at the beginning of history.
In fact, there is one passage of Scripture to which we can turn. I’ll just refer to it; you can look at it another time. Job 38 verses 4 to 7; Job 38 verses 4 to 7. And it tells us that the angels were present when the foundations of the earth were laid, and were rejoicing over it. So it could well have been that that was day one, if the foundations of the earth means that original formless, void earth that had not yet been shaped and refined into its final form. If it means the foundations in the sense of elements and the components that were there, but as of yet not shaped into their final form, then the angels would have been created at that time. Psalm 104, write that down, Psalm 104 verses 2 through 5 speaks of the shining of God’s light during the original creative process and mentions the angels just before referring to laying the foundations of the earth.
Now, if the shining of God’s light refers to verse 3, “Let there be light,” which occurred on day one, and it was followed by the foundations of the earth, and it means therefore the shaping of the earth that occurs actually on day three, it could well be that the angels were created after that shining light and before the foundations of the earth, meaning the shaping of the earth rather than its unformed character; the shaping which took place, as we will see, on day three.
So you can take your choice; but I believe that the angels would have been created by God either prior to the full creation of the earth that is described on the first day of creation, so that they could worship God for doing that, or they were certainly created before the shaping of that earth on day three, when the land was separated from the waters, as we read.
Now, the question of when they were created obviously isn’t important enough for God to include it. What is important is to know that they are created by God. They, as it says, in the Nicene Creed, are the product of the creator of all things, visible – that would be the material world = and invisible – that would be the spirit world of angels.
Now let’s return to the text of Genesis chapter 1. I think it’s fair to assume at this point the angels have been created, and they are there praising God and worshiping God for the wonder of what they are beholding as He is bringing His creation into magnificent and beautiful shape. Verse 1 gives the overview: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That’s simply an overview of everything. Verse 2 then goes back to describe how He did that. Obviously, it includes all of the elements and all of the components; ex nihilo, out of nothing, He made all the necessary materials from which to shape His universe. And then there came the earth in its, its preliminary condition, formless and void; that is, it was chaotic. It was not yet pulled into the order which would sustain life, and it was not yet inhabited. And God then, creating that earth surrounded by darkness, adds light to it in verse 3. And so you have this unformed, uninhabitable earth, a kind of a composite of elements not yet put together in their final form, and you have that surrounded by darkness until the light is created that surrounds it.
And then on day two, starting in verse 6, God creates the heavens. The earth is engulfed in water, as we remember, clearly indicated to us in verse 2. The earth is engulfed in water, God slices into that and sends some of that water upwards. And it seems to me best to understand that that water goes all the way up beyond the stellar heavens, because the space between the upper water and the lower water is called the expanse or space. It’s called heaven, and it’s where the light is, and it’s where, later on, the stellar bodies, the celestial bodies, the sun, the moon, the stars, are all placed. And so that part of that water goes to the infinite ends of the universe in some fashion. We don’t know exactly how to explain all of that; nothing more than what’s in Genesis is a justification for being dogmatic. But God then leaves the earth still engulfed in water, but He has created heaven. That heaven then is filled with light when you come to the end of day two.
The earth is still uninhabited, uninhabitable, and not in its final form until day three. Before we go to day three, I just want to stick something in here for your thinking. On the day that God created the expanse, there was this tremendous cataclysmic movement of water coming off the earth and just literally moving to the extremities of the infinity of heaven. This great expanse that we know as space, the great expanse that we know as heaven, takes its shape, and it came into being. Just imagine the speed with which the whole of the infinite heavens were created. A little later when we talk about stars, we’re going to talk about how vast outer space is; it just staggers your mind. And all of that came into being instantaneously, the full vast universe.
Science has come to the place where they have to recognize this. There are scientific clues; they call it the “Big Bang” theory. We like to call it the “Big God” theory. We know it was a big God. They think it was a big bang. World magazine records this. Now, this was the May 1 issue this year; I just read it. Scientific evidence for the Big Bang becomes more and more theological, according to cosmic inflation cosmology. The idea is that somehow the whole universe just went like that..
A Mr. Gregg Easterbrook explains, quote, “The entire universe popped out of a point with no content and no dimensions, essentially expanding instantaneously to cosmological size. This is now being taught at Stanford, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other top science schools. This explanation of the beginning of the universe bears haunting similarity to the traditional theological idea of creation ex nihilo, out of nothing.” Mr. Easterbrook quotes one of the world’s top astronomers, Allan Sandage, of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution, as saying, quote, “The Big Bang can only be understood as a miracle,” end quote.
Day two was a big bang by a big God, who instantaneously created the universe. Now we have an unformed earth, we have light, and we have a vast universe, and we come to day three in verse 9. “Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens’” – now, that would be the waters that are on the earth still; the other waters have gone above the heavens by contrast, and clearly that language indicates that. “‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so.” Now God, on day three, is going to shape the earth.
It begins – verse 9 does, as always in the Genesis account, “Then God said…” You see it again in verse 11, “Then God said…” In verse 14, “Then God said…” In verse 20, “Then God said…” And so it has been in the past, verse 2, “Then God said,” verse 6, “Then God said.” Everything comes into being from nothing by God simply speaking it into existence.
On the first day, God divides light from darkness. On the second day, God divides the water below from the water above. On the third day, God divides land from sea. “Let the waters below the heavens…” Now, that clearly is the water that still remains on the earth. The water above has gone into the expanse of heavens. The waters now still remain on the earth. Back in verse 2 the earth is covered with the water. The surface of the deep, it’s called, and the surface of the waters. Still, the earth is engulfed in this water. Beneath the water is the solid matter, hidden beneath the waters covering the earth.
God then commands these waters that cover the earth to be collected or gathered into one place. The Septuagint uses the word “synagogue,” a gathering place. All of the water surrounding the earth is now gathered into one place, and at the same time verse 9 says, “God said, ‘And let the dry land appear,’ and it was so.” So God separates the water from the dry land. Now, this is just a simple statement, a simple sentence, but can you even begin to fathom the cataclysm that occurred when that was spoken by God? All of a sudden, the material that is in its unformed condition, buried under the depths of the surface sea, starts to move, and all of those necessary elements start to work to produce land, to push up to create the surface of land. The water moves, gathering itself into one place. Tremendous chemical reactions get under way as the elements combine with each other to form the complex of minerals, the complex of rock and soil, making up the solid earth as to its crust and its mantle and its core. Just a staggering act of creation.
Henry Morris writes, “Great earth movements got under way. Surfaces of solid earth appeared above the waters, and an intricate network of channels and reservoirs opened up in the crust to receive the waters retreating off the rising continent.” Continent rises – it may well have been only one great continent, later divided into multiple continents by the cataclysm of the breaking up of the tectonic plates during the Flood, when the fountains of the deep broke open the continent and pushed it into its current form. But at this time, the continent, perhaps only one continent, rises, and all the water is gathered into one place. This is an incredible thing. The water is assembled, and not only in one great sea, but assembled certainly into numerous distinct basins. The gathering of the waters is a plural term; there were multiple waters. They were all gathered so that they touched each other, in the sense that they were all connected. There would have been underground reservoirs, there would have been underground tubes, streams, and rivers, and springs, and fountains, but all connected together. All the water flowing everywhere in the earth interconnected. And the condition would not be, as I said, the same as our post-flood seas. Everything changed at the time of the Flood. But God created the seas and He created the dry land.
Now, I want to show you that this is the clear testimony of Scripture, that God created all of this instantaneously. Look at Job 38, and this is worth a look because I’m going to take you in to something that is fascinating to me. Job 38, verse 8: now, the Lord is talking to Job here, and believe me, the Lord is not an evolutionist. Job 38:8, the Lord asks Job, just reminding Job that he ought to keep his mouth shut, you know, in verse 4 before we get to verse 8, He says, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” That’s not evolution, folks, that’s creation. Where were you? “Where were you when the morning stars,” the angels, “sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy in creation?” That’s that text that indicates that they were there at creation. In verse 8: “Or who enclosed the sea with doors, when bursting forth it went out from the womb, when I made a cloud its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band. And I placed boundaries on it and I set up bolt and doors and I said, ‘Thus far you shall come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves stop.’“ Where were you, Job, when I created the sea and I bounded it with shore lines? And I told the sea, “You can’t go beyond that; that’s your limit.” It’s a reference to God’s creative work, as described on day three in Genesis.
Turn to Psalm 74. Psalm 74, first of all, and verse 13; here the psalmist is extolling God. And in verse 12 he talks about God being his King from of old, his ancient King whose works, deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth; who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth. Then in verse 13, “Thou didst divide the sea by Thy strength.” Thou didst divide the sea by Thy strength. In other words, it was You that created the sea. But he adds in verse 13 this most interesting statement: “Thou didst break the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.”
Go to Psalm 104. I’ll come back to that in a minute, but Psalm 104, verse 7. He says in verse 5 He established the earth on its foundations so that it wouldn’t totter forever and ever. Can you imagine a lopsided world going around like this, and we’d all be going around the same way, jumping off a few feet every rotation? That’s called the science of isostasy, that the earth is in perfect balance. The heavier materials of the earth sunk to the center, the lighter ones to the outer part, and it is perfectly balanced.
Verse 6: “Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment.” That’s exactly what Genesis 1 says. “The whole of the earth was covered with water; the waters were even above the mountains. But at Thy rebuke” – verse 7 – “they fled. At the sound of Thy thunder they hurried away. The mountains rose, the valleys sank to the place which Thou didst establish for them. Thou didst set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth.” Certainly, that could refer to the creation work of God; it could also refer to what God did after the Flood, had it engulfed the earth. I think I lean toward the fact that it refers to creation, because of the description of Him establishing the earth in verse 5, and covering the earth with water in verse 6, as with a garment. I think that this is a creative context and the language of the psalmist is describing what happened when God drew the land together and separated the sea. Verse 10 continues the same creative context. “He sent forth springs in the valleys, they flow between the mountains,” and so that again is a creative statement.
In Proverbs chapter 8 – and notice this is all in the wisdom literature, in Job and Psalms and Proverbs. It has a certain poetic design. But in Proverbs chapter 8, verse 27, it’s talking about wisdom, wisdom personified here, and verse 27, actually, you can go back to His everlasting nature. God at the beginning possessed wisdom, verse 22; from everlasting He possessed wisdom. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills were brought forth, verse 25, and again, it’s in this creative context again. Verse 26, “While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, nor the first dust of the world, when He established the heavens” on day two, “I was there,” wisdom was there. “When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, when He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed, when He set for the sea its boundary,” all of that precludes any evolutionary activity at all. All of it is attributed directly to God. God did it all, just as described in Genesis chapter 1.
Now I read earlier from Psalm 74 the mention – this is an interesting footnote – the mention of a sea monster. And as you study the wisdom literature, you see that sea monster coming up a number of places. In Job, for example, chapter 7 and verse 12, “Am I the sea or the sea monster that Thou didst set a guard over me?” And again it’s saying that God set a guard over the sea, but very often when it talks about God setting a guard over the sea, it mentions this, this sea monster. You also see it in Job 9:13, “God will not turn back his anger, beneath Him crouch the helpers of Rahab.” And rahab is translated “sea monster.”
Now, what is this? Well, Rahab apparently was the name of an ancient mythical sea monster. Rahab was a familiar term to describe a sea monster that rebelled against God. There were apparently some ancient myths among the pagans that when the gods were designing the world, and wanting to provide land and the sea, there was some great, rebellious sea monster they called Rahab who was trying to prevent God from separating the land from the sea – who wanted the sea to overrun the land. And God had to confine the sea, and confine this sea monster that was wanting to rebel, and so God, in defining the borders of the sea and the shoreline, in legend, had to defeat this great monster known as Rahab, who wanted to fight against God. That was the legend; that is not in the Genesis account, but that was the legend – that there was some monster trying to prevent God from separating land and sea.
Isaiah 51 also mentions this, and it mentions it in a different context. “Awake, awake” – verse 9 – “put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not Thou who cut Rahab in pieces?” And again, here is this same mention of Rahab again, this, this sort of pagan mythical sea monster. You see it also in Psalm – one more and I’ll leave you alone on this point, but I think it’s an interesting point – Psalm 89, verse 10, “Thou thyself didst crush Rahab, like the one who was slain.”
Now, here’s the way it goes. The Gentiles, or the people around – it wouldn’t be Gentiles at that point, since Israel wasn’t necessarily defined that early – although it would’ve been Proverbs times. But the pagan people around have invented these creation myths in which the gods were attempting to separate land from sea, and there was resistance by this great sea monster who was fighting to preserve his sovereignty, and to be able to overrun the land and drown whoever he wanted to when he wanted to. The great gods were able to defeat the sea monster.
Well, this legend found its way into some of the rabbinical tradition. And Rahab, then, became a name that would refer to any sort of any reality, or any fantasy which caused havoc – which rebelled against God, which fought against divine purposes, or the people of God. And you find a number of references to Rahab, to the sea monster, in rabbinic literature. They called Rahab “the lord of the sea, the great monster of the sea” – I suppose today his name would be Neptune – and he was always opposing the will of God in these legends. But the Holy One was able to contain him and control him.
It seems as if the Jews then borrowed the idea of Rahab, and turned it into a sort of a metaphor for anything that resisted the power of God; anything real, or anything in fantasy, that resisted the power of God. And you find the references to Rahab, as I noted them, all throughout Old Testament wisdom literature. And what is so interesting to me about that is when you come to the Genesis account, and the actual account of creation, there is no Rahab. There is no sea monster. There is no other existing power. There is no other existing force, or existing deity in a sea monster form.
What you have in Genesis is a very careful, detailed, believable, real account of creation, with nothing poetic, nothing legendary, nothing mythical whatsoever. And the very fact of that, I think, acts as a protest against those ancient myths which tended to corrupt even the thinking of Jews as time went on. The Torah, the law of God, Genesis would spell it out like this: far be it from you to think, as do some pagans, that the sea is endowed with an autonomous divine power that fought, as it were, against the creator of the universe. Far be it also from you to imagine, as some Israelite poets relate, that the sea refused to do the will of its maker, and that He was compelled to subdue it and force it to obey. It is true that the Torah records that God assigned a fixed place for the waters of the sea, but this was not done by suppressing the will of the sea which sought to rebel against God, the God of heaven. God simply said, “Let the waters be gathered together, and it was so.”
Now, I said all that just to take a shot at those critics of Genesis who want to turn this text into legend, or myth, or give it some unfounded poetic license. The writer of Genesis meticulously avoided making any use whatsoever of a well-known legend that even appears in other wisdom literature, and is even referred to by the prophet Isaiah, he using it metaphorically to speak of anything that wreaks rebellion and havoc. There was no such battle. God said it, and it was so.
Back to Genesis 1: so verse 9, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place,” and that would include subterranean lakes, subterranean rivers, and streams, and springs, and wells, all interconnected; and the land, probably in one great massive continent. And by the way, just as a footnote, if you take the continents of the earth and push them all together, it’s almost a perfect fit, almost as if they cracked and split apart.
Verse 10 then tells us that God named what He had made. “He called the dry land erets” – earth – “and He called the gatherings of the waters mayim” – “seas. And God saw that it was good.” It was good. It had been so; He said back in the very beginning that He created light, and there was light. He said He created heaven, and it was so. And He created in verse 9 dry land and seas, and it was so. But now He says it was good. It was good. Why? Because it was now habitable; it was now habitable. Oh, the light was good in and of itself, according to verse 4. But the earth now became good. And then the plants, verse 12, were good. And verse 18, the bodies in heaven were good. And verse 21, everything He made in the sea and in the air was good. And verse 25, all the animals were good. And verse 31, He made man, and He looked at all of it, and it was very good. There’s no sin there, folks. There’s no death. It’s just good.
So by the time you get to where we are in verse 10, you have the tripartite universe; tripartite meaning three parts, earth, sea, heaven. That’s the created universe, and it was good. And God could say it was good because it had reached the point where it could contain and sustain life. And so God moved into the second phase of creation on day two, verse 11, “Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them on the earth,’ and it was so.” Again I remind you it came because God said it, He spoke it into existence, verse 11. Always and unmistakably God speaks it into existence. And this is vegetation; verse 11, “Let the earth sprout vegetation.” Now, I think that’s a general category, and there are two parts to that category. There are plants, verse 11, and trees. Vegetation is divided into two parts: plants and trees.
Down to verse 29, God said, “Behold, I have given you” – speaking to man – “every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you and for every beast.” So God divides the vegetation into two parts, plants and trees. And what is the difference? The difference is the plant has the seed in it, and the tree has the seed in its fruit. That is clearly indicated in verse 11. Plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit with seed in them. That’s the distinction. All the vegetation which itself contains the seed would come under the plants; all the vegetation which in its fruit contains the seed would come under the trees. So as soon as the inanimate material was ready to sustain life, without delay, life in its simplest form was created and intended to be the food for all of the higher life yet to be made.
Now, I want you to notice that first of all in describing the plants, He says of them in verse 11, “plants yielding seed.” He says it again in verse 12, “plants yielding seed,” then again in verse 29, “plants yielding seed.” He continues to repeat that feature to let us know – this is so important – that the vegetation was capable of what? What? Reproduction. That’s the whole point. He made full-grown, fully-mature vegetation with seed in it that could be dispersed. One of the great, great wonders of the world is the science of seed dispersal. I watched an entire video on that; just absolutely astonishing to see how God designed seed dispersal, not the least of which is accomplished by birds in your own yard, and sometimes even attempted on your car and on your head. Pre-fertilized seed dispersal is very efficient. I’ll leave it at that.
There are a number of other ways. One of the wonderful works of the wind is seed dispersal. The whole science of seed dispersal is just absolutely phenomenal. Plants were made, then, by God, not as seeds, but as full-grown plants, containing seeds that could then multiply. That’s the way the whole of creation was made, and I remind you of that again; it was made mature. When man was created he wasn’t created as an infant, had to grow. He was created as a full-grown man. Everything was created full-grown. There were plants – edible ones, of course – that yielded seed – verse 11 – and fruit trees whose seed was in their fruit, bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them on the earth, and it was so. So he had those two categories of vegetation. Just one very important note: catch this little phrase. It’s repeated over and over – after their kind: verse 12, after their kind; once in the middle of the verse, toward the end of the verse, after their kind. May I encourage you a little bit? That phrase is repeated ten times in the first chapter of Genesis; ten times. The Hebrew word for kind is min, M-I-N; what is does is indicate the limitations of variation. A plant can only bring forth something of its own kind. A tree can only bring forth something of its own kind. It only has the capacity to function on the basis of a genetic code that is in it.
Now, whether in the Hebrew, kind corresponds to our word genus, or our word species, or our word family, or our word phyla, or whatever you want to use – and I’m remembering words from my college class, and I have no idea what they mean. But whatever the Hebrew word min means, or whatever it corresponds to in English, the one thing it does do is eliminate any possibility of an evolutionary process. Because whatever the plant is, and whatever the tree is, it can only reproduce after its own kind. To say that all living things come from a common ancestry is refuted by the ten times repeated phrase, “after its kind.” After its kind; I used to illustrate this with college students by talking about amino acids. I mean it get so individual that you’re made up of amino acids, and your body, no matter what you put in it, will only reproduce more of you. In fact, if you put too much in it, it’ll reproduce more of you than you care to see. But amino acids are called the building blocks of life. Now, you could decide that you were going to eat fried chicken the rest of your life; 20 years from now, you would not cluck. No combination of chicken amino acids and human amino acids will produce Big Bird. All you will ever produce is more of you, no matter what goes in – that’s after their kind.
In the wonderful resurrection chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, verse 38, God gives it a body – well, go back a little bit, “That which you sow doesn’t come to life unless it dies,” in verse 36, verse 37, “That which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be but a bare grain or a seed, perhaps of wheat or something else. God gives it a body just as He wished and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh isn’t the same. There’s one flesh of men, another flesh of beast, another flesh of birds, another of fish, and God is saying there are distinctions. There are designs beyond which any living organism cannot pass.
The meaning of seed can be easily grasped. Seed is clearly the ability to reproduce a form of life in its own likeness. “Implanted,” says Henry Morris, “in each created organism was a seed programmed to enable the continuing replication of that same organism. The modern understanding of the extreme complexities of the so-called DNA molecule and the genetic code contained in it has reinforced the biblical teaching of the stability of kinds. Each type of organism has its own unique structure of the DNA and can only specify the reproduction of that same kind. There is a tremendous amount of variational potential within each kind, facilitating the generation of distinct individuals and even of many varieties within the kind, but nevertheless precluding the evolution of new kinds. A great deal of horizontal variation is easily possible, but no vertical changes.”
I mean, look around; look at all the different-looking people here – a lot of different looking people, all people. The exact limits of kind may be a little more challenging. We don’t exactly what Genesis meant, but we do know limits were set, and we understand that organisms were to stay within their own kind. The biggest thing we could say is birds remain birds, and animals remain animals, and fish remain fish, and reptiles remain reptiles, and insects remain insects. And that itself halts the entire evolutionary process, and that’s how God created.
So we have already talked about genetics, and how genetics guarantees that no evolution can occur. It is absolutely impossible. Michael Behe, whom I mentioned, who wrote Darwin’s Black Box, not a Christian but literally questioning everything about evolution, devotes two chapters in his book to showing that as more is learned about the amazing complexity of cellular structure, the theory of chemical evolution is becoming more and more impossible. He says, “This stuff is the pre-biotic chemist’s nightmare.”
So what do you have? Go back to the text. In Genesis 1:11 and 12, you have the origin all vegetable life, and you have not only its origin, but you have its orderly continuity fixed by means of certain seeds and kinds that perpetuate that life. Never has a plant evolved into something higher; only on the Sci-Fi channel, not in reality. In fact, if you study mutations and change in genetics, it’s always negative. It is always negative. It is always downward. The study of fruit flies has been something evolutionists have given their life to because it – fruit flies have such a short life span they can observe it over many generations. And the theory is you can see enough generations to see change, to see the evolutionary process taking place. The only problem is they take these fruit flies, and in order to make them mutate rapidly, they bombard them with radiation, they radiate them. And radiation, exposure to heat, chemicals and radiation can create mutations, we know that that is true. We understand that even in the chemistry of radiation that’s used with regard to cancer. It has the ability to cause cells to be killed and to change. But mutations do not create new structures. You may have in the study of fruit flies crumpled wings, oversized wings, and undersized wings, you may have double sets of wings, but you don’t have a new kind of wing; nor does the fruit fly become a honey bee. Mutations, by the way, are very rare, and this is fortunate, because they are virtually all harmful. They all decline, and in most cases mutations never even survive. That’s why evolution has been called “fact-free science.” Thought you’d like that one.
So, what are we learning then? Genesis 1:1 to 12 shows us that the intelligent agent is the living God, who on the third day of creation separated the land from the sea, caused plant life to sprout from the land. Two categories, plants which have their seed in them, trees which have their seeds in the fruit that comes from them; they therefore are able to replicate themselves throughout the end of time as long as a given species exists. God looked at it all in verse 12 and saw that it was good. And then God signs off again in verse 13, “And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.” There was ereb and there was boqer. There was a 24-hour day; that is so clear. Those terms, evening and morning, are used more than a hundred times in the Old Testament, and they always refer to a 24-hour day. God did it on the third day.
Let me close – Job 26, verse 7. God’s the object of this, the subject of it. “He stretches out the north over the empty space.” What a statement! “He stretches out the north over the empty space. He hangs the earth on nothing. He wraps up the waters in His clouds and the cloud does not burst under them. He obscures the face of the full moon and spreads His cloud over it. He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters,” that’s the horizon of the earth, “and the boundary of light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble and are amazed at His rebuke. He quieted the sea with His power, and by His understanding He shattered Rahab, by His breath the heavens are cleared, and His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent. Behold, these” – I love this – “are the fringes of His ways and how faint a word we hear of Him, but His mighty thunder, who can understand?”
When God – he’s talking about rain, and when God breaks into the darkness with light, and rain, and storms, and lightning, and fury, and all of this, we’re just hearing a faint sound, a faint indication of His immense incomprehensible thunder. We’re only looking at the fringes of His ways. What a God we have!
Father, we thank You again for the Word which gives light in this most important and urgent area of creation. Thank You for this tremendous portion of Scripture, and may we worship You all the more for the greatness of Your power, to call these things into existence which were not. You are the creator, You are our Lord and Savior, and our great Redeemer, and our friend, a friend to sinners. What a glorious truth that is. Thank You. Thank You. Amen.
Copyright GTY John MacArthur