Thank you for joining me once again, I am your host Randy Duncan, and we are making our way through the book of Genesis. In this session we will be covering creation day 6, which will see the appearance of land mammals, and the pinnacle of all of creation – humanity
But first, a quick recap of what we covered in the last session, creation day 5. Creation day 5 saw the appearance of the sea creatures and the birds. We discussed the Cambrian explosion, and how it is a major problem for the macro-evolutionary paradigm that we have all been taught. We mentioned that even Charles Darwin, back in his day, was aware of this, but dismissed it because he believed the transitional fossils would be found. But they have not been found, even after 160 years of digging around everywhere on earth. We also mentioned how origin of life researchers and scientists have no idea how life began, and are no closer now than they were 60 years ago in figuring it out.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.
25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
“After their kind” – “kind”, what does this mean? Does this mean God created every species? Meaning, if we are talking about dogs for example, that God made a German Shepherd, Doberman, Husky, Lab, a poodle, etc. Or , when we look at the division of the animal kingdon, and the classifications, is this referring to something different, such as “family, class, phylum, order, or genus”?
The Hebrew word used for “kind” here is the word min (rhymes with green). And it comes from a root word meaning to portion out, or a sort. Sometimes it is translated as species
Well, when you take a closer look at it, it makes sense that “kind” here is referring to something more specific than just the “class” of animals, or even the “order” or “suborder”. “Kind” here is probably referring more to the “family” or “genus” of the animals, potentially even the “species” level, but probably not all of the “species” level
So for example, for those who believe it is not referring to the species, if we consider the “dog kind”, we are probably not talking about God creating every species of dog breed. So God is not creating a poodle, and a German Shephard, and a Lab, and a Husky, and so on.
So some commentators believe God here is creating a dog “kind”, that is more along the lines of say, a wolf, and from that point, wolves evolved based on environment, genetic variability, natural selection, as well as human breeding, to create all of the many species of dogs we see today. I mean, let’s be real. Do you really think God would have created a poodle or a weiner dog, believing they would survive in the wild for more than a few minutes? Of course not
So when we read that God created these animals to reproduce after their “kind”, it is not speaking about every species on the earth. At what level God created we are not exactly sure. But God created these animals with the amazing ability, and with the information coded in their DNA, to adapt to their environment
“Livestock vs “beasts of the earth”..domesticated vs wild animals. Most likely differentiating between livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, etc and the “wild animals”, such bears, and lions, tigers, monkeys, oh my!
But now we come to the pinnacle of God’s creation – humans
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them
Wow, where to start on these two verses! The reality is that these two verses could spark entire semester-long courses in a variety of studies, such as anthropology, evolutionary biology, philosophy, theology, chemistry, etc
So to think that I, or anyone for that matter, can cover everything we would like to cover about this in just a few short minutes, is simply not realistic. I will most likely end up devoting a short video to these two verses to do them justice
But, just a few comments for two verses that deserve so much more attention
The phrase “Let us make man in our image”. Who exactly is “us”? I thought this was God creating? Who else is with God?
Again, as we mentioned in the first session I believe, here is another hint at the Trinity, the Father/Son/Holy Spirit, the three in one. Scripture teaches all three played a part in creation. Remember, ‘In the beginning God created”, Elohim is the word used for God there, it is a plural form for a singular God. That was our first hint. This is our second, not-so-subtle’ hint
Notice that all of the previous creation acts begin with “Let there be”, or “let the land produce”, or “let the waters bring forth”, a command, a word. But now, this act of creation appears to be a bit more personal. It begins with “Let us make”. It is now making clear that this creation is something different, something special.
In the interest of time, and wanting to make progress through our study, I will forego going down the rabbit hole of the “origin of life” debate, or Darwinian evolutionary discussion, or even a discussion on whether Theistic Evolution is viable. Again, there is just no way to unravel all that in a short study, and make progress through the book. This has been the topic of debate for the last 200 years. And so 200 years plus 1 podcast episode isn’t going to settle it! Needless to say, I will address all of that in a video specific to that very question and topic.
The “image” of God…what do we mean when we say we are made in the image of God, or the “imago dei? Well, here again, volumes have been written about what is meant by “the image of God” and the “likeness” of God?
But first, it sets humanity apart from the rest of creation. Human beings are unique, we are special.
The Bible teaches us that of all God’s creatures, only humans were created in the image of God. Scripture here is conveying the idea of us being similar to or representative of something else., but not identical to it.
Although there have been many theological positions over the centuries regarding exactly what this “image of God” means, we can agree on some basics, such as humans are spiritual beings. We are personal, self-conscious, rational. We have free-will. We are immortal. I will say that one again…we are immortal.
I am reminded of a quote from C.S. Lewis, who said quote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”end quote
This is important to understand. I agree with Lewis. You are immortal. Your body is not, but the real you is. And you are going to spend that eternity either with God, or separated from God. And being separated from God is a place called Hell, where Jesus said there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
We are all created in the image of God, and as a result, we all have inherent worth and value. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, black/white/hispanic/Indian/Asian, rich or poor, young or old, you were made in the image of God. And any wrong or injustice committed against another person is an offense against the image of God, against an image-bearer of God. If we could ever truly grasp that idea, I think it would eliminate so many of the problems in our world today
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
Notice that God created “Them”? Who is the “them” being referred to here? It is male and female. Just like verse 1 was a summary statement, this verse is a summary statement as well, telling us that God created both male and female. Ch 2 is going to go into a bit more detail about this. But for now, the main takeaway is that God created male and female, and He created them both in His own image
“Subdue it” – I have always read this as a command to go figure it out, conquer the earth, explore it, figure out how it works. IOW, this is a call for science, for exploration and discovery.
Some non-believers think that Christians are anti-science. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact , there have been many Nobel prize winners in Science, physics, for example, who were Christians.
It is simply a gross mis-characterization to claim that Christians are anti-science, or science-deniers!
In fact, most of the early scientists of the scientific revolution were Christians. For example, Isaac Newton, Kepler, Boyle, Galileo, Pascal, Maxwell, Kelvin, etc.
All of these brilliant men were Christians, and they saw their work as learning how God had set up the laws of nature and the univese
29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
So after reading these two verses, some believe that in the beginning, humans were vegetarians. And all animals were herbivores. IOW, all creatures ate plants. There was no carnivorous activity.
But is that true? Did Tigers really eat only grass and plants?
I am going to save that discussion about animals for when we begin discussing conditions after the Fall, because it’s a matter of contention between many when we consider sin and how sin introduces death into the world
But regarding humans being vegetarians, some commentators take the view that these verses are only making the point that all food resources derive from plants
However, there seems to be a good argument that humans were vegetarian to begin with. If we fast-forward to right after the flood, we see God telling Noah in 9:3, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
So we see God now giving humanity permission to eat animals. This addition to the earlier verses in Ch 1 seem to be an addition to the earlier guidance of a vegetarian diet.
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
And with that, we conclude Chapter 1. Next session, as we transition to Ch 2, we will begin to see a more nomal pace of working through the scriptures. I wanted to take a little extra time in Chapter 1 to make sure that we laid a good foundation for all that will follow.
Thank you so much for joining me in this study through the book of Genesis, and until next episode, God bless each of you!