The First Days of Creation

Genesis 1:1-13

 SS Lesson for 09/02/2018

 

Devotional Scripture: Ps 8:1-9

Introduction

Overview and Key Verse of the Lesson

The lesson helps us to see how God had a master plan for the creation of the world and us as human beings in The First Days of Creation. The study's aim is to remember that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The study's application is to recognize that God’s Spirit was there in creation and is here to help us today.

                                                                    (Adapted from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary)

 

Key Verse: Gen  1:2

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters

 

Commentary from the Bible Knowledge Commentary

The account of Creation is the logical starting point for Genesis, for it explains the beginning of the universe. These verses have received much attention in connection with science; this is to be expected. But the passage is a theological treatise as well, for it lays a foundation for the rest of the Pentateuch. In writing this work for Israel, Moses wished to portray God as the Founder and Creator of all life. The account shows that the God who created Israel is the God who created the world and all who are in it. Thus the theocracy is founded on the sovereign God of Creation. That nation, her Law, and her customs and beliefs all go back to who God is. Israel would here learn what kind of God was forming them into a nation. The implications of this are great. First, it means that everything that exists must be under God’s control. The Creation must be in subjection to the Creator. Forces of nature, enemies, creatures and objects that became pagan deities—none of these would pose a threat to the servants of the living God. Second, the account also reveals the basis of the Law. If indeed God was before all things and made all things, how foolish it would be to have any other gods before Him! There were none. If indeed God made man in His image to represent Him, how foolish it would be to make an image of God! If indeed God set aside one day for rest from His work, should not man who is walking with God follow Him? The commandments find their rationale here. Third, the account reveals that God is a redeeming God. It records how He brought the cosmos out of chaos, turned darkness into light, made divisions between them, transformed cursing into blessing, and moved from what was evil and darkness to what was holy. This parallels the work of God in Exodus, which records His redeeming Israel by destroying the Egyptian forces of chaos. The prophets and the apostles saw here a paradigm of God’s redemptive activities. Ultimately He who caused light to shine out of darkness made His light shine in the hearts of believers (2 Cor. 4:6) so that they become new creations (2 Cor. 5:17).

1:1-2. These verses have traditionally been understood as referring to the actual beginning of matter, a Creation out of nothing and therefore part of day one. But the vocabulary and grammar of this section require a closer look. The motifs and the structure of the Creation account are introduced in the first two verses. That the universe is God’s creative work is perfectly expressed by the statement God created the heavens and the earth. The word bārāʾ (“created”) may express creation out of nothing, but it certainly cannot be limited to that (cf. 2:7). Rather, it stresses that what was formed was new and perfect. The word is used throughout the Bible only with God as its subject. But 1:2 describes a chaos: there was waste and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. The clauses in verse 2 are apparently circumstantial to verse 3, telling the world’s condition when God began to renovate it. It was a chaos of wasteness, emptiness, and darkness. Such conditions would not result from God’s creative work (bārāʾ); rather, in the Bible they are symptomatic of sin and are coordinate with judgment. Moreover, God’s Creation by decree begins in verse 3, and the elements found in verse 2 are corrected in Creation, beginning with light to dispel the darkness. The expression formless and empty (t̠ōhû wāb̠ōhû) seems also to provide an outline for chapter 1, which describes God’s bringing shape and then fullness to the formless and empty earth. Some have seen a middle stage of Creation here, that is, an unfinished work of Creation (v. 2) that was later developed (vv. 3-25) into the present form. But this cannot be sustained by the syntax or the vocabulary. Others have seen a “gap” between the first two verses, allowing for the fall of Satan and entrance of sin into the world that caused the chaos. It is more likely that verse 1 refers to a relative beginning rather than the absolute beginning (Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament. 2 vols. Chicago: Moody Press, 1981, 1:5). The chapter would then be accounting for the Creation of the universe as man knows it, not the beginning of everything, and verses 1-2 would provide the introduction to it. The fall of Satan and entrance of sin into God’s original Creation would precede this. It was by the Spirit that the Lord God sovereignly created everything that exists (v. 2b). In the darkness of the chaos the Spirit of God moved to prepare for the effectual creative word of God.

1:3-5. The pattern for each of the days of Creation is established here. There is (a) the creative word, (b) the report of its effect, (c) God’s evaluation of it as “good,” (d) at times the sovereign naming, and (e) the numbering of each day. Regarding the word day (yôm) several interpretations have been suggested. (1) The days of Creation refer to extended geological ages prior to man’s presence on earth. (2) The days are 24-hour periods in which God revealed His creative acts. (3) They are literal 24-hour days of divine activity. In favor of the third view is the fact that the term yôm with an ordinal (first, second, etc.) adjective means 24-hour days wherever this construction occurs in the Old Testament. Also the normal understanding of the fourth commandment (Ex. 20:11) would suggest this interpretation. God’s first creative word produced light. The elegance and majesty of Creation by decree is a refreshing contrast with the bizarre creation stories of the pagans. Here is demonstrated the power of God’s word. It was this word that motivated Israel to trust and obey Him. The light was natural, physical light. Its creation was an immediate victory because it dispelled darkness. Light and darkness in the Bible are also symbolic of good and evil. Here began God’s work which will culminate in the age to come when there will be no darkness (Rev. 22:5). Israel would know that God is Light—and that the Truth and the Way are with Him. In the darkness of Egypt (Ex. 10:21-24) they had light; and in the deliverance they followed His light (Ex. 13:21).

1:6-8. On the second day God separated the atmospheric waters from the terrestrial waters by an arching expanse, the sky. This suggests that previously there had been a dense moisture enshrouding the earth. God’s work involves making divisions and distinctions.

1:9-13. Dry land with its vegetation was formed on the third day. Vegetation is part of the ordered universe of the true God. There is no cyclical, seasonal myth to explain it. God started it, once and for all. Moreover, while pagans believed in deities of the deep as forces to be reckoned with, this account shows that God controls the boundaries of the seas (cf. Job 38:8-11).

 

Commentary from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

My grandfather was a man who loved working with his hands. He was constantly mending something, working the soil, or caring for his animals. In his later years, Granddad used his hands for woodworking. He loved to make those black silhouettes. It brought him joy. He was at peace among the tools and materials of his workshop. What astonished me was how he could imagine and create something out of a slab of wood. He would hold up a sheet of plywood and ask, "Can you see a fellow running? He is on the move to somewhere fast." In a scant amount of time, the figure would emerge. He would set it against the wall, pleased with his creation. But could we still create if there were no raw materials to make something? That is exactly what God did. Before this earth and the universe ever existed, they were in the mind and heart of God. When He put the Creation into motion, there were no raw materials. All He had was dark, formless chaos. God saw what would be, and He lovingly brought it about as a perfect, breathtaking masterpiece. What compelled God to create? After all, He had no need of a universe. God has no lack of anything. Why, then, would He want an earth? The answer to that question is also the reason why my grandfather made his silhouettes—joy. God found joy in the act of creation, just as my grandfather took pleasure in his woodworking. Stop a moment and think. At this point in earth's creation, our world was just a blob in the universe. There were no plants, animals, or anything. Yet God was still excited about what was happening. Why would God be ecstatic about a formless void in the darkness? Like my grandfather, God did not simply see what was there. When He gazed at that formless void, He saw more than that. God saw what it would become— a place with plants, many amazing animals, raging seas—and even us. When was the last time you marveled at our created world? We can spend hours gazing at fine paintings, detailed sculptures, and even photographs. We put them on prominent display. But what about fallen maple leaves on the sidewalk? Do you always just crunch them under your feet, or do you pick one up once in a while and marvel at its intricacy? Do you consider the thousands of tiny cells in it, each with a purpose? Creation is so vast and immense that it cannot be understood by our minds. My challenge to you is to spend some time each day reflecting on the world God created for us. Take a moment to stop and consider its beauty, its power, and its vast detail. There is no man-made thing that has even come close. It is truly wonderful and awe-inspiring. Only the Master could have formed such an immensely beautiful world. Creation humbles me and points me back to the One who formed it all for us. As the psalmist did in Psalm 148,1 find myself calling out to all around me to give praise to Him for His glorious gift that He carefully made. Perhaps His marvelous works will do the same for you.

 

Lesson Introduction and Background

From the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

Ironically, polytheism (belief in many gods) and atheism (denial of any god) both seem to be growing in popularity in Western democracies. Neither viewpoint is new. Scholars have identified more than 2,000 named deities in the ancient Near East, the region of biblical events. As for atheism, the psalmist from centuries ago wrote, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1). Polytheism leads to a chaos of competing, fickle gods of equal or shifting strength, and mortals must try to get on the side of the one(s) who will win. One feature of polytheism is the absence of a singular basis of moral absolutes; atheism ends up in the same place. The inevitable results in both cases are moral relativism and the rule of the powerful over the powerless. Genesis 1 reveals, however, that there is only one true God. Only in the existence of a personal God can there be a designed, absolute standard that governs all human behavior and makes sense of the universe. This great truth forms the doctrinal foundation for the rest of Scripture.

 

Cosmology refers to one’s concept of the universe. The cosmology of the ancient Near East, which was the historical and cultural context of the Old Testament, was different from popular cosmologies today. Michael S. Heiser has described the ancient cosmology as envisioning three realms: (1) the heavens, the place where the gods are; (2) the earth, the place of humans and other creatures; and (3) the region below the earth. This three-tier concept was held by the peoples of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Canaan; it was also assumed by the writers of the Old and New Testaments (see Psalm 33:6–8; Proverbs 8:27–29; Philippians 2:10; Revelation 5:3). This cosmology may be compared with a flat plate that has an upside-down bowl atop it. People and animals lived on the plate underneath the bowl. The arc of sun, moon, and stars across the sky (the surface of the bowl) marked where the gods lived. The depths and supports of the earth were below the plate; the dead were located there as well. The basis of this cosmology was how the earth appeared in relation to everything else as one stood on the ground, not as one looking at the earth and galaxies from the vantage point of an orbiting space station. For ancient peoples, the mountains seemed to reach up to the heavens and support it (2 Samuel 22:8). Bars and roots of the mountains formed the lower regions to support the earth and provide depth for the seas (Jonah 2:5, 6). Such language is not meant to describe the geology of creation in a scientific way, but rather its appearance. This is no different from our speaking of the sun’s “rising” when we’ve known since childhood that the sun does not actually rise but only appears to do so from our vantage point on the earth. When we speak of the sun’s “rising,” we are not speaking untruthfully from ignorance; rather, we (and the Bible authors) are speaking phenomenologically. Skeptics often put Genesis in the same category as ancient Near Eastern myths. But Genesis does not borrow from those myths; the Genesis creation account stands alone, in stark contrast to rival accounts of the ancient world.

 

Major Theme Analysis

(Scriptural Text from the New King James Version; cross-references from the NIV)

Day One of Creation (Gen 1:1-5)

 

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

 

God was before the Beginning (1)

God was before all things (Col 1:17)  

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

God, the Trinity, "was" already existing before the beginning (John 1:1)   

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

God brought forth wisdom from eternity (Prov 8:22-23)  

22 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;  23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began.

Grace was given by God "before" the beginning of time (2 Tim 1:9)  

who has saved us and called us to a holy life-- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

God promised eternal life "before" the beginning of time (Titus 1:2)  

a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

 

God created all things (1)

God founded the world and all that's in it (Ps 89:11)  

The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.

All things are from God and through God (Rom 11:35-36)  

35 "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?"  36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

God even created the invisible things and powers that rule (Col 1:16)  

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

 

God was in control before the formation of the universe (2)

God was the One who marked off the boundaries of the universe (Isa 40:12-14)

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?  13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?  14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?

God created just by the Word of His mouth (Ps 33:6)  

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

Just as God told Job, He laid the earth's foundations (Job 38:4-5)  

4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.  5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

 

God created light (3)

Light for guidance (Ps 78:14)

14 He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night.

Light that dispels darkness (Ps 112:4)

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. 

Light that is sweet and pleasing (Eccl 11:7)

7 Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

Light that will one day will not be from the sun but from God alone (Rev 22:5)

5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light . And they will reign for ever and ever.

Light of God's presence (Ps 89:15)

15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.

 

Day Two of Creation (Gen 1:6-8)

 

6 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."

7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

 

God created the sky (6-8)

The sky for interpretation of weather (Matt 16:2-3)

2 He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

The sky that will be a sign of distress in the last days (Mark 13:24-27)

24 "But in those days, following that distress, "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'  26 "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

The sky that Jesus will appear in with power and glory (Matt 24:30)

30 "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

The sky that Jesus will return in (Acts 1:11)

11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

 

Day Three of Creation (Gen 1:9-13)

 

9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

 

God created land (9-10)

Land that bounds the waters (Jer 5:22)

22 Should you not fear me?" declares the Lord. "Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.

Land that produces food (Isa 30:23)

23 He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground , and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.

Land that is to be cultivated  (Gen 3:23)

23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

Land that belongs to God (Ps 24:1)

The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

 

God created the plants (11-12)

Plants that are pleasing to see and for food (Gen 2:9)

9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Plants that produces fruit that can be used for offerings to God (Deut 26:2)

2 that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you bring in from your land that the Lord your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to establish His name.

Plants that yield crops (Ezek 34:27)

27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.

 

Conclusion and Other Thoughts

Concluding Thoughts from Bob Deffinbaugh

The Meaning of Creation for All Men

The theme of God as Creator is prominent throughout Scripture. It is significant that the last words of the Bible are remarkably similar to the first.

And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5).

The truth that God is the Creator of heaven and earth is not merely something to believe, but something to which we must respond. Let me mention just a few implications and applications of the teaching of Genesis 1.

(1) Men should submit to the God of creation in fear and obedience. The heavens proclaim the glory of God:

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge (Psalm 19:1-2).

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened (Romans 1:20-21).

Men should fear the all powerful God of creation:

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast (Psalm 33:6-9).

The greatness of God is evident in the work of His hands—the creation which is all about us. Men should fear and reverence Him for Who He is.

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Thyself with light as with a cloak, stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, flaming fire His ministers. He established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter forever and ever. Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters were standing above the mountains. At Thy rebuke they fled; at the sound of Thy thunder they hurried away. The mountains rose; the valleys sank down 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 (Psalm 104:1-9).

(2) Men should trust in the God of creation, to provide their every need.

Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all. And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share (Genesis 14:17-24).

Abram offered tithes to Melchizedek on the basis of his profession that Abram’s God was “God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth” (verse 19,20). And yet while Abram gave a tithe to Melchizedek, he refused to benefit in any monetary way from the pagan king of Sodom, for he wanted this man to know that “God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth” was the One Who made him prosper.

We sing, “He owns the cattle on a thousand hills … I know that He will care for me.” That is good theology. The God Who is our Creator, is also our Sustainer. You see God did not wind up the universe and then leave it to itself, as some seem to say. God maintains a continual care over His creation.

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, so that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine which makes man’s heart glad, so that he may make his face glisten with oil, and food which sustains man’s heart. The trees of the Lord drink their fill. The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, where the birds build their nests, and the stork, whose home is the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers. He made the moon for the seasons, the sun knows the place of its setting. Thou dost appoint darkness and it becomes night, in which all the beasts of the forest prowl about. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God. When the sun rises they withdraw, and lie down in their dens, man goes forth to his work and to his labor until evening (Psalm 104:14-23).

The New Testament goes an additional step by informing us that the Son of God was the Creator, and continues to serve as the Sustainer of the creation, holding all things together:

For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16-17).

(3) Men should be humbled by the wisdom of God as evidenced in creation. Job had endured much affliction. But finally, enough was enough. He began to question the wisdom of God in his adversity. To his questioning God responded,

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth! Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements, since you know? Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:1-7).

Job was challenged to fathom the wisdom of God in creation. He could not explain or comprehend it, let alone challenge it. How, then, could Job possibly question the wisdom of God’s working in his life. True, he could not see the purpose in it all, but his perspective was not God’s. Let any who would question God’s dealing in our lives contemplate God’s infinite wisdom as seen in creation, and then be silent and wait upon Him to do what is right.

If man should choose to ponder any question, let him attempt to fathom why an infinite God would so concern Himself with mere man:

When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the Stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? and the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, and dost crown him with glory and majesty! (Psalm 8:3-5).

(4) Man should find comfort in times of distress and difficulty, knowing that His creator is able and willing to deliver him.

Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right (I Peter 4:19).

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary (Isaiah 40:27-31).

Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk in it, ‘I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations’ (Isaiah 42:5-6).

I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these (Isaiah 45:5-7).

(5) Man should respond to the God of creation with the praise that is due Him:

Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; let the Lord be glad in His works; He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; as for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 104:31-35).

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! Praise Him, highest heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away (Psalm 148:1-6).

Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker (Psalm 95:6).

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth, Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens! (Psalm 8:1).

                (Adapted from URL:https://bible.org/seriespage/2-creation-heavens-and-earth-genesis-11-23)

 

Concluding Thoughts from the NIV Standard Lesson Commentary

There are really only two viewpoints regarding the ultimate source of all things. In one view, the ultimate source is eternally existing matter, the substance of which all things consist. Such a “god” is impersonal—without will or purpose, unable to possess or impose morals. In the other viewpoint, the ultimate source is a person. A person has qualities such as self-awareness, will, morality, and the power to act. The difference is profound. In the universe of an impersonal god, there can be no absolute standard of right and wrong. Humans have no eternal destiny; they do not suffer eternal consequences for behavior. But in the real universe of the personal God, it is he who decides what is right and wrong. The uncreated God of the Bible is the Creator of all that exists, and his creation is obligated to obey him. The Scriptures tell us about the designer of the universe. God has sent us instructions of how to live, the rules of right and wrong, and the consequences of breaking the rules. Humankind has been granted freedom to choose whether or not to obey the rules, but humankind has not been given the right to decide what the rules are.

 

Practical Points from the Bible Expositor and Illuminator Commentary

1.      Creation powerfully demonstrates God's intention to be known (Gen. 1:1; cf. Rom. 1:19-20)

2.      Only God can create something out of nothing (Gen. 1:1-2)

3.      God has not changed—He still brings order into chaos, substance into emptiness, and light into dark places (vss. 3-5)

4.      God provides order in nature so that all creation functions effectively (vss. 6-8)

5.      We can trust God, our Creator, to provide everything that we need (vss. 9-10)

6.      We can trust that God's goodness will be displayed at the proper time (vss. 11-13)