Creation or Evolution? It’s an easy choice | Introduction to Genesis

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The truth about creation or evolution is an easy choice. This introduction to Genesis will make some re-think their positions of faith in creation or evolution.

As you probably know, Genesis is the first book of the Bible.

What is the Meaning and Significance of Genesis? Why is this the first book?

Open Bible at sunrise
The Bible begins with God the creator of all life

The word “Genesis” means “Beginnings.” In this book we read about the beginning of life, the beginning of man’s relationship with God, the beginning of sin, which means wrongdoing or failure to what is right, and the need to restore our relationship with God.

The first prophecy of the Bible is in Genesis. The serpent deceived Eve, and as his punishment, God said “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15). The serpent would bruise the heal of a descendant of Adam and Eve, but He will crush his head. Although unclear in Adam’s day, we now know this verse refers to Satan as the serpent and Jesus Christ who will crush him in the end to restore our relationship with God (Revelation 20: 10).

In Genesis we also learn about the beginning of people groups and nations, and the beginning of a particular people chosen by God, from whom would come the Messiah (Jesus). These would be the children of the patriarch Abraham. We know them today as the Jewish people. Jesus would come 4,000 years later to save his people from their sins, and then when the nation rejected him, he would offer salvation to non-Jewish people.

When Jesus died for our sins, Satan thought he won. But Jesus arose from the dead to deliver us from our sins, restore our relationship with God, and crush Satan. Belief in Christ’s sacrifice for us brings us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life.

Who is the Author of Genesis?

image of Moses

The author is unnamed, but many times throughout the Bible, the Law (meaning the first five books of the Bible) and the Law of Moses are synonymous (e.g. compare Joshua 8:1 with Exodus 20:24-25; and 1 Kings 2:3 with Deuteronomy 29:9). The Jewish people or Israelites considered Moses the author of these books.

Later, after Jesus arose from the dead, he joined two of his disciples as they talked and walked to the town of Emmaus. They were so filled with grief they didn’t recognize him. When the disciples expressed doubts about reports of Jesus’ resurrection, he rebuked them. Then Jesus shared with them and later the rest of his disciples what Moses, and the prophets, and the Writings (primarily Psalms) said about his resurrection. By mentioning Moses, Jesus attributed him as the author of the first five books of the Bible (also called the Pentateuch).

If we look at Psalm 90:1, we see Moses is the author of the Psalm. In verses 1-6, he shows us he has a firsthand knowledge of the creation recorded in Genesis. Thousands of years after the creation of the earth, God revealed to Moses the events which only the Almighty could have witnessed. Moses must have been in awe as God described how he made the universe and all its inhabitants.

Our planet earth

What is the Date of the Earth—is it young or old? Was it created or did it evolve?

The date of the beginning of the earth is uncertain. A literal reading of the genealogical record in Genesis 5-11 leads us to believe that the earth is about 6,000 years old. See an explanation of that here. Evolutionists dispute this young earth view. Many liberal theologians try to make compromises with evolutionary theories, saying each day represents an era of time. This compromise, however, doesn’t work and seriously violates the common-sense interpretation of the Biblical texts.

Moses recorded the events in Genesis 1-2 as God told him. In it, God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days. Then he records the completion of the events and the special day God set aside to commemorate it.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done .

(Genesis 2:1-3, NIV)

Well, we might argue, perhaps Moses didn’t mean six literal days. If he didn’t, later, he had an opportunity to correct himself. After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God met with him on Mt. Sinai (or Horeb) in the Sinai desert. He gave Moses ten commandments the people were to keep.This is what Moses wrote concerning the fourth commandment, the keeping of a weekly Sabbath.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

(Exodus 20:9-11, NIV)

Most of the time we can apply this principle to Biblical interpretation: if the Scriptures make plain sense, seek no other sense. What is the natural conclusion from reading the text? Moses meant six literal days. Jesus also affirmed the record of Moses. See a thorough explanation of it in this article

man questioning

What about the Day-Age theory? Can there be any compromise between evolution and creation?

Evolutionary Science and Creation Science can’t be harmonized; it just doesn’t work. “Why?” you ask?

The answer lies in the order of each day of creation. 

On the first day, God said, “Let there be light” 

God wraps himself in light

This was before the universe was created. No big bang or supernovathe light didn’t come from stars but from the only source possible—himself! In Psalm 104:2 (NIV) the hymn writer tells us “He [the Almighty God] wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent.”

On the second day, also before God created the universe, he was forming the atmospheric layers of the earth.

On the third day, again, before God created the universe, he created the sky, water, earth, and plant life. Life didn’t come from the ocean because it wasn’t created until the fifth day.

On the fourth day, God created the sun, moon, and stars. If each day were an era of time, all life would be dead and frozen if it depended on the sun.

On the fifth day, God created the sea creatures and birds of the air. This doesn’t fit the evolutionary model.

woman letting sand through her fingers

On the sixth day, God created animals and people from the dust of the ground, not from some evolving sea creatures who got washed up onshore and gradually developed legs.

Do you see? The Day-Age theory doesn’t work; there’s no natural solution or compromise possible. God either created and sustains all things or he didn’t and doesn’t. 

If the Scriptures convince you that God created the earth in six literal days, stand for that truth. Be willing to be ridiculed for believing in an all-powerful, incomprehensibly wise God. It’s better than embracing an evolutionary theory that says once upon a time the natural laws were reversed–that which was simple became complex and designed its self–you are a cosmic accident. This is a ridiculous assumption at best. For more insight, read this article

Is the debate between evolution and creation really important? Can’t we just say God created it and leave it at that? No. If we can’t trust Genesis 1-11 to be literally and historically true, how can we trust the rest of the Bible? You can learn more about the importance of this issue here.

person worshipping

For some who read this article, it may seem shocking. God is not a little more powerful than humanity. He is eternal and possesses incomprehensible power and wisdom, which he exercised with creative genius in just a week. Because we can’t possibly conceive all that power doesn’t mean he can’t do it. He didn’t just get the evolutionary process started and then let things develop for themselves. He was personally involved. The design of each creature is incredibly complex and has a purpose, even you. 

The real question might be, if God is so powerful, why didn’t he create everything in an instant? The best answer I’ve heard is that God first created the space for the things that would inhabit them, and then he created the things. [1]

After God created everything else, he made humanity. He said, “let us (the plural form of God) make man in our image.” This means we can think, have emotions, and express our will. He also gave us an eternal soul. We are unique. God made us especially for fellowship with him. As his unique creation, He wants us to accomplish good things through the Holy Spirit he gave us, if we have believed in his Son for salvation.

God the Father designed the creation, God the Son formed it, and the Spirit gave it life. These are not three Gods but three persons of the God-head intrinsically linked in nature and purpose (see how the Trinity works in this article). 

God is much greater and more powerful and wise than anyone can imagine! This same God wants a personal relationship with humanity—you and me. God loves us and sent his Son to die in our place to restore the relationship lost through our first parents, Adam and Eve. When we accept this gift from God by believing that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and then arose from the grave, we can have forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life. God comes to dwell within us and will give us the power to accomplish anything he wants. That is amazing!

As we begin the book of Genesis, permit me to ask one question: Will you begin with God as your Savior? If you have made that decision, you have spiritual life, peace, forgiveness, and his presence so that you can accomplish all of God’s will for you. If you haven’t made that decision, please keep reading and discovering God in his Word. Enjoy Genesis. This book is foundational for the rest of the Bible.

[1] from the late preacher Steve Armstrong of Northeast side church in San Antonio, Texas

Used with permission from Rodney Harrier.

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