Let's open our Bibles to Genesis chapter 1 and this will be the last in our series of origins that deal with the creation in Genesis 1. We bring the story, the six-day creation to its close.
Now let me just summarize what we have learned so far. With regard to the origin of the universe there are only three options. Only three options. Option number one we can call materialistic evolution. Materialistic evolution affirms that the entire universe as it now exists came into being out of nothing. Somehow there appeared in the midst of nothing something, something living in a primordial slime that through billions of years mutated into the intricate complex and vast universe which we now live in. That's materialistic evolution. That's option one.
Option two is theistic evolution...theistic meaning God. Theistic evolution affirms that God does exist and God was the original mind and the original power that launched and punctuated evolution with various creative acts along the way. So you have God involved initially. You may have God involved at other points. But evolution is the process that God used over billions of years by mutation and change to bring about the universe as we now know it.
The only other alternative you have is divine creation. And divine creation affirms that the eternal God, all wise, all powerful and unchanging made the universe as it now exists. And that God created everything out of nothing by speaking it into existence. Creationism rejects any form of evolution. Divine creation affirms that God created everything the way it is presently. Obviously within certain plants and within certain animals there are variations, but the categories remain the same as God originally created them. And frankly there are no other options.
And we've taken a look at the first option. The first option, that is materialistic evolution, and we know it can't be true. It can't be true because evolution is possible because chance is nothing, chance is not a force and nobody times nothing equals nothing. Nobody times nothing does not equal everything. Random chance cannot result in anything. If nothing exists, nothing can exist.
We also know that the system of life, DNA, chromosomes, genetic code, the information encoded into every living cell prevents evolution because that code determines what that living cell will do and it can't do any more than it is programmed to do so it can't become anything superior to what it is. If something does change, it is inferior, it produces something less not something more. So we know that evolution is impossible.
The second option is impossible for the same reasons as the first, because evolution is impossible. And there is not any true and accurate, scientific evidence that any life at all, any life at all has ever evolved so as to become another kind of life with a new genetic code and a new DNA. We also reject theistic evolution, the second option, because the God who is eternal, the God who is all wise and powerful and unchanging, has revealed Himself to us and told us how He created the universe. And He didn't tell us that He used evolutionary processes. We've been learning in Genesis 1 and 2 and it is affirmed throughout all of Scripture there is nothing in any part of Scripture to indicate anything different than that God created everything as it is without the use of any evolutionary process.
That leaves us with only one other option, that's the third option, and that is divine creation. God created everything as it is now. That makes scientific sense. That's the only thing that makes scientific sense. As I've been saying to you, evolutionists are having a very hard time proving evolution. The reason they can't prove it is because it didn't happen.
How did the universe come into existence? The only record and the accurate record, the divinely ordained and inspired record is right there in Genesis 1. The Bible tells us that God created the universe in six solar days...six 24-hour days. And the genealogies of Genesis, the tracking of the generations of man indicate that that six-day creation period occurred probably six to seven thousand years ago, that's all. This is what the Bible says and I'm just summarizing what we've learned. This is what the Word of God says. It is inspired and it is inerrant. This is unmistakable and inarguable. Science has never come up with anything that can disprove divine creation. In fact, on the other hand, they have never come up with anything that can prove evolution.
Now when God began the Bible He initiated revelation with the historical record of creation. That's how the Bible begins. Because creation by God is foundational to all history and to all theology. Creation, in fact, is the foundation of all truth, all truth and all true religion. If the universe came into existence by divine creation, there is God. And since there is God, He is in charge, He is sovereign. He sets the rules. All of that is laid down as foundation in creation.
And I've been saying to you, the Bible is to be taken as seriously in Genesis 1 and 2 as anywhere else, as seriously as John 3:16, as seriously as Romans 3:23, as seriously as any other part of Scripture. And any less than a full commitment to the integrity of the truth of Genesis 1 and 2, anything less than that brings the Scripture into question, brings God's accuracy and authority into question and strikes a blow against God.
Douglas Kelley who has written a very helpful book I've referred to a number of times called Creation and Change said, and I quote, "If we avoid dealing with what the Bible says about creation of the material universe, then there is a tendency for religion to be disconnected from the real world. Or to change the figure, there is a tendency to put Scripture and Christianity into a stained-glass closet that doesn't impact the space/time realm," end quote.
You can't get mystical about God the creator without being mystical about everything else that the Scripture reveals. You can't be doubting and questioning and undermining the statements of the Bible about creation without undermining everything else the Bible says potentially as well.
Christianity does not begin with accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. It begins with accepting God as creator. And the real problem, folks, of the twentieth century, the real problem of a post-modern world is not that they reject Jesus Christ, it's that they reject God as creator. Consequently they don't even know who Jesus is or how He fits in. And if you reject God as creator, that, I believe, is the cause of all human lostness. It's the cause of vagaries in human thought. It's the cause of all the meanderings of philosophy.
On the other hand, when you believe that God is the creator and He created exactly as He revealed in Genesis, that establishes the foundation for all truth, for then God is sovereign and all truth and authority flows down from God about everything.
And I think we've been saying this, and I'll just repeat it briefly, but the sad part of this is that the church has jumped on this theistic evolution bandwagon and been a part of undermining their own credibility, been a part of undermining their own gospel, been a part of undermining their own message. They've been contributors to the lostness of humanity by disconnecting them from a sovereign holy creator. And when the church seriously demands that people recognize God as creator and sovereign and sustainer and consummator of the time/space universe, when people...when the church tells people unequivocally that God is acting in human history, that God more than just acting, God is controlling human history, God has established the rules and the standards and God is the judge of every life, when that is established then men become accountable to God, then the Bible, and then the gospel and then Jesus Christ become critically essential because they reveal God...His commands, His laws, His promises, His purposes and His salvation.
And we affirm this third option that God created the entire universe as it is and He did it in six 24-hour days, six to seven thousand years ago. And throughout our series I've tried to show you many scientific indications that anything other than this is foolishness. In fact, in our series we've discovered that the evolutionists have built a house of cards and all their proofs of evolution have fallen flat when examined honestly.
So we have come then to Genesis 1 with confidence that this is God's Word, this is the Bible, the Word of God. And in Genesis 1 we have the only and true record of creation. Not to believe it is the most serious of crimes because it rejects God and His Word. And what does Genesis 1 say? Look at verse 1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." That's a summary statement. That's really all you need to know. Everything that exists in the heavens and the earth God created.
And then starting in verse 2 and running down to the end of the chapter, verse 31, the details are given are the summary of verse 1. Verse 1 simply tells us God created the heavens and the earth. Starting in verse 2 it unfolds how He did that...the details are given. And they reveal clearly that there were six days of creation, actually six solar days identified as evening and morning, or morning and evening. One period of light followed by one period of dark as any normal day.
And we've learned that on day one God created light along with the material for the rest of His creation. On day two He created the sea and the heavens. On day three He created the earth and plants. On day four He created the luminaries, the sun, the moon, the stars. On day five He created the sea creatures and the birds of the air. And on day six He created land animals and man. And that's where we find ourselves. Go over to verse 24.
This is day six and God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind. And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind and the cattle after their kind and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind and God saw that it was good. Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image according to our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. And God blessed them and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' Then God said, 'Behold I have given you 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 to every beast of the earth and every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food.' And it was so. And God saw all that He had made and behold it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."
Now last time we looked at verses 24 and 25, the land animals. And we saw them, according to those verses, divided into three categories. Both verses, 24 and 25, mention those three categories as well as verse 26 repeats some of them. There is the category of cattle, which we said were domestic animals, animals that can be tamed. They're creeping things, anything that lives that's low to the ground from insects to rodents and many other things, reptiles and so forth. Then there are the beasts which no doubt refer to the higher non-domesticated four-legged animals that walk the earth. God then creating those animals put the finishing touches on the environment for man. And then we come to verses 26 and 27 and this is what we began to look at in some detail last time.
Then God said everything is ready now. The whole universe has been created for the purpose of man to live in it and to see the hand of God declared through all of it, through the firmament and through the beasts of the field which will give Me glory as the prophet Isaiah said. God has created a whole world, a whole environment for man so that man can see the wonderful creative genius of the mind of God and God can demonstrate His beauty, His order through all the created world and God can provide an environment which puts His glory on display.
And then capping it all off, once everything is prepared, the house is made for man. Verse 26, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image.'" And here we are introduced to the crown of creation which is man. I don't have time to go over what we did last week, it was very involved and very important. I hope you'll get the tape. If you're going to get any tape in this series you probably should get that one, although all of them, if you've missed them, would be to your benefit.
Starting with the statement, "Let us make man," just stop at that point. There are four features in the making of man that are outlined here. Four features. The first one is the most defining one, "Let us make man in our image," and then it is said immediately another way, "according to our likeness." Down in verse 27, "And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him," as if we might somehow miss the point it's repeated four times. Man is made in the image of God. It's repeated again in chapter 5, it says in verse 1, "This is the book of the generations of Adam in the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God."
Now what does it mean to be made in the image of God? It means you're not an animal. It means you're not a higher animal. It means you didn't evolve from a monkey, or a gibbon or a baboon, or any other thing. From the very outset man was created on a divine pattern, made on a divine pattern rather than a material earthly pattern only. And, by the way, he is the only living being in the time/space universe made on the divine pattern. Man is transcendent. The truest part of man cannot be reduced to any chemical formula. the truest part of man cannot be seen in DNA. It cannot be found in the chromosomes. It cannot be found by dissecting his brain. It cannot be found by cutting open his heart. It cannot be found by tinkering with his nervous system.
You can take all of the scientific experiments you want on the anatomy of a human being and never will you discover the true part of man, which is that intangible reality that he is a transcendentbeing which has no chemical constituents. Man is distinct from every other created creature. In Ecclesiastes chapter 3 and verse 11, a wonderful statement is made. "He has made...speaking of God...everything appropriate in its time, He has also set eternity in their heart." What a great statement. He has set eternity in their heart. That's true only of man. Down in verse 21 of Ecclesiastes 3, "Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth." The writer is saying...man, his spirit goes up, any other created being upon death, his spirit goes down. Goes into the ground, as it were, out of existence because God has set eternity in our hearts. You can take away our body and we will live forever.
So the image of God isn't talking about some kind of physical form. The image of God indicates attributes, not shared at all by animals. And the bottom-line word I gave you was personal...man is a person, personhood. These are his distinctives...self-consciousness. Animals are conscious but they're not self-conscious. They're conscious to their environment, they react to their environment, but they don't know they're reacting to their environment, it's merely instinctive. But man is conscious and he reacts to his environment and he knows how to react cause he reacts cognitively. Man has reason rather than instinct. Man has the capability to think abstractly. Man has the ability to appreciate beauty, to feel emotion, to be morally conscious. And above all, as we pointed out last time, man has the capacity and the need to personally relate to others, to other people and especially to God, being able to love Him and worship Him. That's personhood.
Man has the ability to love. Man has the ability to fellowship, to converse, to commune. Man is the only creature in existence in the time/space world that has language. Now all of that points to the trinity and that's why, as I told you last time, verse 26 indicates, "Let us make man," for the first time God is introduced here as more than one because He's making man in His image and man is made for personal relationships. God discloses the fact that He Himself is a trinity as we well know and as unfolds throughout the rest of Scripture, particularly the New Testament, so that God in the relationships of the trinity establishes the pattern for man's relationships.
Now that's sort of the ontological essence of man. The ethical essence of man, he has the capacity for moral behavior. He has the capability to be holy and righteous. He has the ability to be sanctified. He has the ability to obey God. He has the ability to receive divine and eternal salvation. Man created in the image of God, and that's just a brief review of what we saw last time, primarily indicating personhood and therefore relationships.
Now let's look at the three remaining features that are described here of man. Number two, man is not only made in the image of God, man is the king of the earth. He is the king of the earth. We look at that in verses 26 and 28. In verse 26 after saying "Let us make man in our image according to our likeness," God said, "And let them rule...and let them rule." And then He went on to describe everything, the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, over all the earth, over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Down in verse 28 it says, in the middle of the verse, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Man was designed by God to be the sovereign of the planet, to be the king of the earth. Verse 26, let them rule. Verse 28, subdue it and rule.
The noun, by the way, in verse 26 is plural because man is a collective term. That's why it says, "Let's make man in our image," and then, "Let them rule," it's a collective noun. Man as a species is created in God's image on the divine pattern and given the responsibility to be the sovereign over the whole creation, the whole creation. And then God goes back over the sequence. You remember if you go back to day five, the fish came, then the birds came, then the cattle came, then the creeping things, and then the beasts or living things mentioned at the end of verse 28. So the sequence is repeated. All of the created higher life forms beyond plants, which will be mentioned in a moment, are under man's sovereign dominion.
Now this involves something very practical. Go over to chapter 2 verse 19. And here is a rehearsal of the same account of creation, just adding more insight to it. "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, every bird of the sky." We've already learned that, this is just summarizing and repeating that. "And He brought them to the man to see what He would call them, and whatever the man called the living creature that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky and to every beast of the field." Now that was the first thing that man had to do. If he was going to be the sovereign over creation he had to identify creation. He had to classify creation. And he did that. He had the capability to look at the characteristics of a given creature and give it a fitting name, which he did.
A second responsibility that man had, back in verse 15, with regard to the sovereignty over creation. Chapter 2 verse 15, "Then the Lord God took the man," before, of course, he was created, "and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it." Now remember, there's no curse yet, there's no sin, there's no fall, there's no death. But there was some way in which there was a...there was a tending to the garden of God, as some theologians have called it. He needed to tend to the garden of God. We don't know all that that meant, but it was his responsibility to see that the garden of God was cultivated and flourished.
Go back to verse 8 and let's find out a little about this garden. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east in Eden and there He placed the man whom He had formed and out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food, and we learned that already in chapter 1, this is just rehearsing the same thing with more detail. "The tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Two trees are separated out as very unique trees.
"Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; the bfrllium and the onyx stone are there. And the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it."
Now plants need water. And so the man's responsibility was to make sure that everything had its appropriate care. I don't know all that meant, pre-Fall, because nothing could die but perhaps it could flourish in a greater way to the glory of God if it was carefully tended to by man.
In the garden God also gave man the responsibility, as I read, to name the animals. We saw that. But go back for just a moment to verse 16. "The Lord God commanded the man saying, 'From any tree in the garden you may eat freely.'" I mean, you can just enjoy it all. "But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." What's die? What's that? That was the one warning, the one warning.
So apart from that God places man in this garden with the responsibility to name all the animals, which shows his cognitive capabilities and also to tend to the garden. Man's responsibility was to learn about His creation and glorify God by the wonder of what he saw and then to classify the creation and then somehow to shape the creation so that it was an honor to its creator in every way. Now remember, there was no fear, there was no death, there was no bloodshed. But man, nonetheless, had the responsibility to attend to the garden of God.
As I thought about that I thought about my yard. Now I have a fallen yard. I have a yard in which death exists. And I can probably kill things as well as any other person, even though I may be trying to make them live. And I began to think about the fact that, you know, we still live in the garden of God...it's been brutally affected by the Fall and sin and death. But still we live in a world that is designed by God to manifest His glory. And we do have a responsibility, I think, to tend to the garden of God. I don't know about you but when I go out into the garden that we have at our home and I see all of the magnificent and beautiful plants flourishing there, my instantaneous response is to glorify God and to praise Him. I have a man who comes by every week and really knows what he's doing and takes care of all those plants so that they always look beautiful and you can always go out and clip all these magnificent roses and anytime you come to our house you're going to find little containers filled with magnificent roses. And I look at that man who happens to be a Christian man and I see him, in a sense, as a servant of God who is giving honor to God by the way he tends the garden of God.
I don't worship the plants by any means, or any of the birds that come or yesterday...I guess it was the day before yesterday we had a lovely fawn enjoying our yard. That's an occasional thing that occurs. Even some local emu like to come and visit. I think there's a reasonable approach to all of that. I really do. I think if God has given you a little space, a little piece of His world, it's right to let that little piece give glory to the creator. I mean, isn't it amazing when you think about all the plants that God has created, why do you think He created them? To do what? To give glory to Himself. And when you cultivate those kinds of things you are doing that, you are putting God's creative power on display. It beats the slag heaps of the English midlands. It beats the dead rivers of eastern Europe.
You know, so much of the communist world was short-sighted. For economic purposes they just destroyed the creation. That happens all over and I'm not...I'm not becoming an environmental whacko, as they are called. But I do believe there's at least a dominion mandate here that indicates that I have a responsibility to let God's magnificent creation be put on display to the best of my ability, to somehow shape the little world that I live in in a godward direction. This was John Calvin's distinction that he wanted to somehow shape the secular world into something that could manifest God and be sacred to some degree.
So everything we do should be to the glory of God. We have a cursed earth to deal with and it's not easy. But like Adam after he sinned, we need to work at it a little to the point where we sweat in order that God's creative beauty might be on display. We're still stewards of His creation. And I think as a Christian I feel that stewardship. Now I realize that this is a temporary planet, it's all going to burn up. But while I'm here I want God to be able to be on display.
And so, Adam was given that responsibility. Now we, this side of the Fall, this side of sin, cannot subdue the garden of God as we would like. It's a wild world and we hear all about the death that occurs in our world. We even have plants that are deadly, don't we? Plants that are drugs. We have living bacteria and things like that that kill, that have created plagues that have literally resulted in the death of tens of thousands of people. We have animals that are killers. It's not the garden it was originally because of the Fall and the curse. It says in chapter 2 of Hebrews, verse 8, that Christ who is the supreme man, He's been crowned with glory and honor, verse 7. And then in verse 8 it says, "Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet."
And that's true. Christ is as the incarnate man truly the king of the earth, for in subjecting all things to Him He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But look at this next statement, very important, "But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him." Isn't that true? Christ is the true king of the earth. He was made a little lower than the angels, He came down and became one of us and so He took on the dominion mandate and because He's God He has the greatest power to subject the creation to Himself. But we look at the creation and it was to be subjected to Him, verse 8 says that, all things are subjected to Him. There's not anything that exists that isn't subject to Him. But we don't yet see all things subjected to Him. We don't see the animal kingdom under control, docile and passive. We don't see plant life just growing and flourishing without any care and tending. We don't see the world free from war and hatred and slaughter and etc., etc., and disease and illness. So we don't yet see all things subjected to Him.
But we will...we will. Some day all things will be subjected to Him. Some day He will reverse the curse. He will be King of the earth. Look at verse 10, "It was fitting for Him...for Christ...for whom are all things...ultimately they're going to all be His...and through whom are all things...He made them all...in bringing many sons to glory to perfect the author of their salvation through suffering." Through His death He gained the right to be the sovereign of the earth and He will take that right and He'll go into His glory, He'll rule this world, He will subdue this world and He will bring us along with Him bringing many sons to glory.
So we could say this, that there was before the Fall a dominion mandate given to man which he could exercise. And he had control of all the animals and he had control of the garden of God. But he lost that in the Fall and it will be regained when Jesus, who has not yet subjected all things to Himself, will do that. And that's looking at the Millennial Kingdom, the restored earth, Eden reversed, as it were. You remember the prophet Isaiah says, "The desert will blossom like a rose, the lion will lie down with a lamb, a child will play in a snakepit and if somebody dies at a hundred years they die a baby." So that even death in its normal course will be abated. I pointed out in a series of television programs I did this week that it's very reasonable to assume that people who go into the Millennium alive on the earth will live through the entire thousand years without dying. Death will be mitigated. The curse will be mitigated. They'll still be elements of the curse on earth because they're will still be people being born on the earth who have a sin nature and who rebel against God. So sin will be here but it will be largely subdued. And then finally at the end of the thousand years the whole earth is uncreated and a new heaven and a new earth is created where there is no sin and there is no Fall.
So man will reign with Christ in the Kingdom. And one day when Christ subdues the creation so we will enjoy that subjugation of the creation because we will reign with Him.
Second thing then we say about man is that he is king of the earth. He is sovereign over the earth. He is not just a biological extension of some other creature, he was made of different stuff, in the image of God, to rule this universe. And he will do that in the glories of the Millennial Kingdom when he with Christ reigns over a subdued universe brought into subjection by Jesus Christ Himself. In fact, it says in the Scriptures the prophets note it, New Testament refers to it that the earth will be renovated at the beginning of the thousand years. So certain features of the curse will be mitigated at that point. Man then was given this sovereignty at the very beginning. He rises above all the created order and is the sovereign, the king of the earth.
Thirdly, we find in creation...go back to Genesis...we find in creation this is also man's responsibility, it says verse 28, "And God blessed them and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.'" Now in verse 27 it says that He made them male and female. Now this is the third responsibility of man. He is to manifest the image of God, personhood and relationship, he is to be king of the earth, he is to tend the garden of God, do everything he can in leading and subduing the created order to put God's glorious power on display and he is the propagator of human life. He is the propagator of human life.
So God made them male and female. That was God's design for marriage and procreation. We've been talking about the fact that procreation exists in all of the animal world. There is even a procreative capacity among the plants who reproduce by means of seed or seed in fruit. God gave man relational capacities and then God gave man a helper. It says in verse 7 of chapter 2 that God formed man out of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, he became a living being. And as you read down this passage a little bit, verse 18, "The Lord God said, 'It's not good for the man to be alone.'" This isn't going to work because I'm going to have to keep creating people. He can't have this. I have to make a helper suitable for him.
Now I know what most people think, somebody to do the dishes, somebody to take out the trash, somebody to make the bed. That's not the kind of helper. He needed help in one main thing and that was procreation, propagation of the human race. That was the issue here. He needs a helper. He needs a partner. He needs a perfect match out of the ground the Lord God had formed everything, but there was something different about the way he formed this helper back in verse 20. God looked all around His creation and there wasn't...there wasn't a partner for Adam, there wasn't anything in the created order that was at his level. And we need to keep affirming that now. To be a human being is not to be a glorified animal, it's to be an eternal being made in the image of God. And there was only one, and that was Adam.
So God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man and he slept. He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place and the Lord God fashioned it into a woman, the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man and the man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.' For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh and the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." What was there to be ashamed of? There wasn't any sin.
Now this section that I just read you there in chapter 2 expands the simple statement of verse 27b which says, "Male and female, He created them." And there you have the story of how He did that. Chapter 2 is not an additional story, it's an expansion on the original.
Now in both places the male is first. He created them male and female. And chapter 1 tells you in verse 7...chapter 2 tells you in verse 7 He created the man and down in verses 18 and following He created the woman following. Now this is important. The male is placed first and this is necessary in creation. And it shows the amazing accuracy of the book of Genesis. Let me tell you what I mean. Genetic research confirms this, for the male has both x-chromosomes which, by the way, engender females. And y-chromosomes which engender males. Males are x and y. Females are not. If the female had been created first and the male taken out of her body, then reproduction would have been possible...impossible for there would have been nothing but x-chromosomes in which case only females could have been reproduced because females don't have a y-chromosome. Man had to be created first because he has an x and a y chromosome and the y-chromosome produces a male and the x, female.
God knew exactly what He was doing. And so He reached in and took a bone and that bone, if we get a little scientific here, had the encoded DNA in the cell structure which could create a male. He made a woman out of that bone, made a partner for Adam and together they could produce both male and female. So x-chromosomes and y-chromosomes were well-known to God, even though they don't appear in the book of Genesis. The male had the genetic material so that a female could be taken out of him and be genetically related to him in the same kind and then through relationship with her be able to procreate both male and female. And so together they fulfill the dominion mandate of verse 28, "Be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth."
Fruitful and multiply...that technical word for that is fecundity, it means the ability to procreate. And by the way, that's just all through Genesis. I'm not going to take the time but you can...chapter 9, God blessed Noah after the Flood and his sons and said to them, "All right, you've got to carry on this original mandate, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." Make babies in the vernacular, produce children. And in the seventeenth chapter of the book of Genesis in verse 16 speaks about Abraham and Sarah, "I'll bless her, indeed I'll give you a son by her, I'll bless her and she shall be a mother of nations, kings and people shall come from her." In verse 20, "As for Ishmael, I will bless him, make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly." That's...to make you fruitful and multiply is the Old Testament expression for proecreation. So the male and female design would allow man to procreate which would allow man wonderful, wonderful responsibility and privilege of producing others in the image of God. What an incredible, incredible blessing. You bring a little baby into the world, that's an eternal person made in the image of God.
That's a...and there's nothing like it. There's absolutely nothing like it because that little life has a capacity for relationship...for relationship. Whether it's a relationship that I enjoy with a member of the family like my father who is at one end of life or whether it's my little granddaughter running up to me with both arms in the air and pleading with me to pick her up and give her a hug. Those are the richest things in all of life, relationships. And we have the privilege and the joy of enriching our own relationship in marriage by multiplying and bringing into that union others capable of deep and personal communion, conversation and fellowship. We can enjoy with them the same personal relations that we enjoy with each other and therefore God is saying you can extend this dominion over the face of the earth, fill the earth, Genesis 9:1, fill the earth. The same thing in Genesis 1:28, fill the earth.
God designed marriage, one man, one woman, that's clear from what I read you at the end of chapter 2. The man leaves his father and mother and clings ot his wife, they become one flesh and the way they become one flesh is in the life that comes from them. One flesh could mean you have sexual intimacy, one flesh could mean that you think alike and you do things together. But the truest and purest expression of one flesh is when both of you come together in one flesh, one life...and that was man's mandate because in so doing man multiplies the image of God. That's why we talk so...so strongly to Christian parents who have little children to understand the stewardship you have from God to bring that little one made in the image of God back to the knowledge of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
So God established this capability, this fecundity, as it's called, this ability to procreate and God established marriage as the environment...one man, one woman for life...in which that would take place. It was an evolutionary resource that was trying to explain man's behavior in an evolutionary way and they couldn't figure out why it is that...this was the statement...why it is that humans almost always end up in what they call pair-bonds. They couldn't figure out the evolution that produces that. It seems in our culture that it doesn't happen that way, doesn't it? That people just run around willy-nilly and have babies and there's all kinds of illegitimate children being born, but the fact of the matter is, according to this resource, they said 98 percent of the human beings on the earth end up in a pair. That's because God has made us that way. Of course, all the feminists and all the homosexuals want to do everything they can to assault and destroy God's intention, and they have been very successful in our society. And because of that Romans 1 says, "The wrath of God has come upon them." Well, enough about that.
Man then is created in the image of God. He is created to be king of the earth. He is created to be the propagator of life. And finally, he was created as the recipient of enjoyment. God just wanted to bless him. It says it in verse 28. "And God blessed them." God blessed them. He just wanted somebody He could bless. He blessed them.
How did He bless them? Well he blessed them with dominion. He blessed them with a divine image, eternal being. He blessed them with the ability to have relationships. He blessed them with personhood. He blessed them with the ability to understand His creation. He blessed them with the capability to know Him as well as to know each other. He blessed them with the ability to reproduce themselves and fill the earth with others made in the image of God. And He blessed them one other way, verse 29, "God said, 'Behold I've given you 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.'"
Now did you ever ask why it is that God filled this world with such a variety of food just on the plant side alone, just fruits and vegetables? Take away man because there's no death at this point so man is a vegetarian when he's originally created. But there seems to be absolutely no end to all the vegetation, all the grows, that hangs on trees, for the joy of man. I mean, I've often thought God could have made a brown sky and brown water and a colorless world and rice. And so all you do all your life is eat rice...or whatever else. But why did God fill this world with such a vast array of plants...of vegetables...fruits and vegetables just abound. Every time I go to another culture, another place in the world, I'm introduced to another thing that people get out of the ground and eat. It's pretty astonishing. Some of them I don't want a second helping of, but...that probably has more to do with how they're prepared then what could be done for them...you know, like covering them with a lot of cheese or something. But I continue to be amazed, you know, and God has accommodated this with another amazing human ability and that is the ability to taste. You take that for granted, don't you? And the ability to smell. You primarily think you taste but you really smell more than taste. But God has given us the capability to taste certain things, what a blessing so that we can literally just enjoy the immense bounty that God has provided for us.
So Adam and Eve first were vegetarian. They could eat every plant yielding seed on the surface of the earth, every tree yielding fruit with seed in it was food for them. And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the sky and everything that moves on the earth which has life I've given every green plant for food and it was so. "It was so," again, is that sort of punctuation statement that indicates this was the permanent established pattern. Man was a vegetarian and animals were also vegetarian at creation. Why? Cause there was no death, nothing died...nothing died.
God established this as the original fixed pattern. It was permanent at that time. "It was so" indicates its permanence.
Now there was just one exception, chapter 2 verse 9, there was this tree of life in the midst of the garden, this tree of the knowledge of good and evil also, down in verse 16. And they were commanded you could eat from the garden anything you want, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in that day that eat from it you shall surely die. They could eat the tree of life all they wanted, but they couldn't eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To eat what was forbidden would devastate the original design producing death and decay.
Well it's a sad story, isn't it? Cause that's exactly...exactly what they did. Chapter 3 tells the terrible story and we don't know how much time passed, we don't know whether it was decades or whether it was hundreds of years, but the time came when Eve was beguiled by the serpent. The serpent lied to her and she bought the lie. And she disobeyed God and she ate. And then Adam knowingly disobeyed God and ate and everything changed, everything.
Chapter 3 verse 19, all of a sudden taking care of the garden wasn't easy. Well back to verse 17, "Because you have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you saying you shall not eat from it, cursed is the ground because of you and toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life." Thorns and thistles are going to grow. You shall eat the plants of the field by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground. Your whole life is going to be one very, very great challenge. You're going to have to work hard for your food from vegetation that once was readily acceptable...assessable to you.
And then in verse 21, it says, "The Lord God made garments of skin," now that's the first death. In order to make a garment of skin God had to kill the animal. God killed the first animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and his wife.
Down in chapter 4 and verse 4, Abel brought firstlings of the flock and their fat portions...that means he brought an animal sacrifice, killed an animal, and the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering. The Lord accepted the death of animals as a sacrifice which means animal death was inaugurated by God, acceptable to God within the framework of His sacrificial system because, of course, it pointed to the wages of sin which is death. And God later allowed people to eat meat.
Over in chapter 9 when Noah and his sons came out of the ark, God said, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth," chapter 9 verse 2, "and the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth." Now all of a sudden you're going to be king of the earth, you're going to have authority over these animals, but they're not going to be amiable to that, they're going to fear you. "Every beast of the earth, every bird of the sky, everything that creeps on the ground, all the fish of the sea, every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you. I give all to you as I gave the green plants." So don't think being a vegetarian is the Christian way. It was originally the way but once there was sin, God allowed people to eat meat. And I think that was very, very important because God demonstrated through those deaths originally that there was death for sin, death required a sacrifice, death even required a substitute.
Now in the glorious millennial Kingdom to come the question could come up...is it going to be the same? Well no, animals are going to be tame and not wild but there will be some animals killed during the millennial Kingdom for...according to Ezekiel 40 to 48 there will be sacrifices held in the millennial temple. So some of them will be killed at least for commemorative feasts in the millennial temple, and sin will exist, as I said, in the Millennium. But there will be some return to the original design. The prophet Isaiah wants us to understand, and I noted some reference to that earlier, but he wants us to understand that the world will be to some degree different. The cow and the bear will graze, the young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra. The weaned child will put his hand in the viper's den and it won't be harmed. So there's definitely going to be some reversal of the curse, though it's not going to be total.
In Isaiah 65:25, "The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, the lion shall eat straw like an ox," etc. "And a serpent will eat dust." So there will be some changes.
Well, summing it up, obviously there's a lot more we could dig into in chapter 2 and we'll see whether that's something we do in the future. But for the moment, God created man in His own image, created man to be king of the earth, created man to procreate, to propagate and fill the earth with others who would be made in the image of God. He created man to enjoy the bounty of His blessing. And when that was all done, verse 31 says, "And God saw all that He had made and behold it was very good." Not just the parts, He's commented on the parts being good, this time He says it's very good...that's the first time. And not so much the parts but He saw all that He had made. Again reiterating that He is the creator and the maker of everything, no death because no evil, no sin, and no fallenness.
Folks, that ends all possibility of evolution, including any kind of theistic evolution which depends on death. There was no death. Things weren't mutating and dying for billions of years during this time. When God says a day, He means an actual day. And so you come to chapter 2 verse 1, "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts." That's it, folks, there ain't no more, that's the story. It started and ended 32 verses and gave us the complete picture of the created universe in all its wondrous perfection.
Do you believe that? It's God's Word, isn't it? It's God's Word.
Father. we thank You tonight for these weeks that we've been able to look at this, see Your mighty and glorious hand. Thank You for being our creator, sustainer, consummator of the universe. Thank You for being our Savior, our Lord, our friend. Thank You for being our Father that the great creator became my Savior is a wondrous reality, we bless You and thank You in Your Son's name. Amen.
You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You's Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).