The Six Days of Creation in Genesis 1

At the beginning of the Bible we see an account of the creation of the universe. Here is the order of creation as outlined in the first chapter of Genesis:

Day One

Light

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.

Day Two

Separating the Waters

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.

Day Three

Plants

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the third day.

Day Four

Sun, Moon, and Stars

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the fourth day.

Day Five

Fish and Birds

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the fifth day.

Day Six

Land Animals and Humans

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.

Day Seven

Rest

On the seventh day, God rested…not because He was tired, but because His work had been completed.

There’s more to the story, of course. Genesis 1 isn’t simply an account of creation, but the start of God’s relationship with us. He created us, and we were good. He loves us like a perfect father, and wants us to know Him.

Seeing What We Want to See

Is the Bible true? Are Bible translations bad? What language is the Bible?

The video below is a bit long, but it illustrates a very meaningful point: we tend to see only what we want to see. Belgian painter Luc Tuymans is apparently very, very famous in the art world. He agreed to help with an experiment.

He painted on a wall on a busy pedestrian street in his hometown to see how many people would notice that they were walking past really good art. Interestingly, an art person (in the video) suggests that (hopefully) 90% of the people passing by would stop and see the amazing art. The result? 96% completely ignored it.

To be fair, one person did explain that context has a lot to do with art appreciation. I find it funny (not being an art person) that these artsy-fartsy folks, immersed in their own little world, think that the rest of the world revolves around art.

You can see that this post is in the Christianity category…because I’d like to make a point. A lot of people (not being church people) think it’s funny that church people, immersed in their own little world, think that the rest of the world revolves around church.

We see what we want to see.

Most people, even non-artsy people like me, can appreciate good art in the right context. Being a web designer, I have to say that I might find artistic beauty in more places than average…but I’m sort of immersed (or slightly dipped, depending on your perspective of my work) in the art world myself.

Most people, even non-religious types, can appreciate the good things that God has to offer…in the right context. The problem, like the problem in the art world, is twofold:

  1. Most unchurched people don’t spent a lot of time thinking about God, and
  2. Most church people assume the opposite.

Like the art-lovers in the video, church people are often willfully blind to the reality around them. How can we wake up the body of Christ and let them see that it is our job to help provide the context in which they’ll see what we see?

Your comments are appreciated.

The Flaw of Postmodernism

Are minds real? Do humans have free will? Is evolution true?

Postmodernism is the idea is that reality is subjective…that there is no absolute truth, and that reality differs from person to person. The phrase “what’s true for you might not be true for me” typifies a postmodern point of view.

Another way to understand postmodernism (or “Pomo”) is to say that no truth can be extended beyond an individual’s experiences. Postmodernists will necessarily have trouble with my definition, since they like to suggest that words only have the meanings we give them…and, in defining postmodernism, we try to give it a meaning for all to share. That’s the contradictory essence of postmodernism: we can’t even discuss what it is without the conversation devolving into an uncomfortable silence.

Steve Taylor referred to the postmodern dilemma in Whatcha Gonna Do When Your Number’s Up:

Sally’s into knowledge
spent her years in college
just to find out nothing is true

She can hardly speak now
words are not unique now
’cause they can’t say anything new

Listen on YouTube

Here’s the point: postmodernism essentially says “there are no absolute truths”. It’s a self-defeating statement, to be sure…but that doesn’t stop some people (like my friend Sean) from trying to live by it anyway. Many postmodernists avoid looking for answers because, were they to find real answers, they’d then have to change the way they live.

The NBC show ER (Season 14, Episode 13) aired an episode that exposes the flaw of postmodernism: it’s completely useless for people who want actual answers. We all believe in absolute truth, yet the postmodern person rejects truth anyway. In this clip, the hospital’s postmodern chaplain can provide no answers for a dying man who seeks forgiveness for his sins:

Your thoughts?

What if Starbucks Marketed Like the Church?

Do I have to go to church to be a Christian? Do I have to be baptized to go to Heaven?

Wow. Good stuff! I’ve always wondered whether visitors to my church (not just my current one) felt this way. Is your church totally lame? Do you see yourself in this video?

Upside Down

Is the Bible true? Are Bible translations bad? What language is the Bible?

Despite being a Christian for most of my life (or perhaps because of it) I find most ‘Christian-y’ stuff trite, overdone, derivative or lame. At first glance, I thought this video would be just that. I often stop videos like this one mid-stream, thinking that it’s just one more in a long line of self-congratulatory, Christianity-is-way-cool stupid videos.

That being said, I’m glad I didn’t stop it. It’s a novel and meaningful video that shows both talent and forethought, which is sometimes lacking in what many Christians produce. My hat goes off to the creator…enjoy!

What does Simon mean?

Simon Peter was one of Jesus’ first disciples. His given name was Simon, sometimes spelled Symeon. Simon is the English rendering of the Hebrew name Shimon. Shimon comes from the Hebrew word shema.

Shema (also shama) technically means “to hear” but, like many ancient Hebrew words, it suggests much more than that. It means to listen, to understand, and to respond…and more.

You may be familiar with Deuteronomy 6:4-7, which are very significant words for observant Jews:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

The first word is “hear,” which is shema. It instructs the hearer to not only listen and understand, but to respond appropriately. Below is a great video explanation of Shema from The Bible Project…it’s worth watching again and again.

When you hear the name Simon, remember to hear what God says, and to understand it, and to do it.

Thanks to Drew for this question.

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