Thursday, September 18, 2008

Two Amazing Creation Patterns

I can't wait for this Sunday. I will be preaching on Genesis 1:1-25 during the morning and evening services (Last Sunday I preached on just Genesis 1:1). It has been a great pleasure this week to study through this text. I am always amazed by how God shows me new things whenever I read over a text that I have studied many times before (with the help of study bibles, commentaries, etc.). In studying Genesis 1, I came across two patterns that I had not previously thought about. You may already be aware of these, but if not, then enjoy. Either way, we should stand in awe of both the splendor and the order of God's creation.

The first pattern, which I had been somewhat aware of but hadn't given much thought, is the five step process that is followed on almost every day of creation (Just in case you are curious, I believe creation occurred in 6 literal 24 hour days. If that labels me a fundamentalist, then so be it).

The five step process goes like this:

1. The announcement - "God said..."
2. The command - "Let there be..."
3. The report - "and it was so."
4. The evaluation - "God saw that it was good."
5. The placement in time - "the evening and the morning, ____ day."

The second pattern, of which I was not aware, is how God first creates locations or spaces on days 1-3 and then fills them up on days 4-6.

Day 1 - God creates light.
Day 2 - God separates the sky from the seas.
Day 3 - God creates land and plant life.

Day 4 - God fills the light with the sun, moon, and stars.
Day 5 - God fills the sky with birds and the seas with sea creatures.
Day 6 - God fills the land with first animals and then humans.

These patterns indicate that God was intimately involved with His perfect creation. There is no suggestion of either a "Big Bang" or any sort of evolutionary process. It seems that the author (probably Moses) went out of his way to emphasize God's active role in even the details of creation. This account portrays God as an artist bringing about a masterpiece. Of course, a human artist can't do it ex nihilo like God did.

What an amazing God we serve!

On a related topic, below is my Genesis 1:1 sermon on Wordle.


Joe Blackmon said...


You can count me as a "fundy" right along with you, buddy. It amazes me that there are Christians who guffaw at the idea of a literal 6 day (day being 24 hours) creation just because of the "scientific proof" to the contrary. I guess that makes me an ignorant ol' hillbilly. How fortuitous that I live in Tennessee.

Eric said...


It amazes me, too, that many Christians who believe the bible is true also believe in some sort of evolutionary process in creation. The big problem with that view is that it means that death must have come into the world before sin did. If that is the case, then death is natural. If we believe that, then we have all sorts of salvation-issue problems.

Thanks for commenting.

bethyada said...

There are patterns there, but there are also diversions from the pattern. I find the diversions somewhat interesting.

In the first pattern you mentioned God named the first day, "day one." Ie. he uses a cardinal number rather than the ordinal as thru the rest of days 2–6. This is interesting. Is the first mention using "one" (rather than first) to suggest a definition? There was daytime and nighttime = 1 day. And the subsequent days are just labelled by their order.

I find the second pattern less convincing. This is what I have written previously.

Eric said...


Thank you for your comment. I also enjoyed reading your post on this topic.

Let me emphasize that I believe in a literal 6 24-hour day creation. I do not see any contradiction between patterns ans literal interpretation.

I agree that it is interesting that the first day is referred to as "Day 1." This very well may be a definition. The emphasis and straightforward reading indicates a normal day (24 hours).

As for the second pattern, I do think it exists. I believe the emphasis from Day 2 is on the separation between the seas and the sky. On Day 5, God filled up the seas and sky.

As for the rest of that pattern, I already stated it in the post.

Thanks again for your input.

bethyada said...

Let me emphasize that I believe in a literal 6 24-hour day creation. I do not see any contradiction between patterns ans literal interpretation.

Agreed. The 6 days were literal, and if God creates using a pattern that does not mean that Genesis 1 is symbolic. The Flood story is told via a giant chiastic structure but it is still true.

You have a colleague in James Jordan who is a creationist and thinks there is layers upon layers of structure.