Empty Cross Ministries
Rev.Dr. David Stembaugh, D.D.
Genesis 1 (PART 3)
Genesis 1:20 “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”
“Moving creature”: These creatures, including the extraordinarily large ones, included all sorts of fish and mammals, even dinosaurs (see notes on Job 40:15 – 41:1).
“Let the waters bring forth”: is better translated and understood as, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures,” so as not to misleadingly suggest that the waters themselves produced marine life. This text also implies that aquatic life and fowl appeared simultaneously, denying the evolutionary sequence of reptiles before birds.
God had now provided the habitation for the fish and the atmosphere and dry land for the fowl, so the logical step would be to populate the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and all bodies of waters with fish and all sea life. The dry land had appeared and God had populated the air above and the ground below with fowl.
You see, God was doing all of this in preparation for his greatest creation (man). He needed to prepare food for the man before the creation of man. This whole creative act was God building a home for mankind.
We are told in John chapter 14 that Jesus is in heaven now preparing our eternal home.
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.”
You see God’s plan from the beginning was to build man a home.
Genesis 1:21 “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.”
“Great whales” is not the best translation; better is the term “great sea creatures” to include the great fish as well as whale. Taninim is used elsewhere to describe the serpent (Exodus 7:9-10, 12), and the dragon (Psalm 148:7: Isa. 51:9; Ezek. 29:3). There is no evidence whatever, either from paleontology or genetics that whales or great sea monsters could have developed from land animals.
The theory of evolution claims that the first animals in the oceans were microscopic, single celled creatures, and that whales (sea cows), had to evolve from four-legged land mammals, which in turn evolved from cold-blooded marine creatures. Thus, they would have devolved!
Just the vastness of the thousands of varieties of fish and birds of all kinds is mind boggling. To think that God in a moment of time (no matter how long), could figure out, all the varieties, and have each one have a useful job to do in God’s scheme of things is just beyond comprehension.
God is not only love, but the greatest planner. You see, He figured out the needs of each one and fulfilled it here on day five.
Genesis 1:22 “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
“Blessed”: this is the first occurrence of the word “bless” in Scripture. God’s admonition to “be fruitful and multiply” was the substance of the blessing.
Genesis 1:23 “And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”
Here is the end of the fifth day.
Verses 24-25: “Cattle … beasts”: This probably represents all kinds of large, four-legged animals.
Genesis 1:24 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”
“Beast of the earth”: Different from and larger than the clan of cattle, this would include dinosaurs like Behemoth (Job 40:15).
“Living creature” is the same Hebrew expression used for man in 2:7, translated “living soul.”
Genesis 1:25 “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.”
The Creator’s wisdom and power are to be admired as much in an ant as in an elephant. The power of God’s providence preserves all things, and fruitfulness is the effect of his blessing.
The creation of the higher animals completed the earth’s preparation for the advent of man; to which, doubtless, the Creator’s commendation of his finished work had a special reference. Everything was in readiness for the “magnum opus” (the most important work), which was to close his creative labor and crown his completed cosmos.
This most clearly shows and proves that the above creatures were not produced by the mere force of nature, or the powers the earth were possessed of, however the matter of it might be disposed and prepared, but by the omnipotent hand of God.
You see, as I said before, God was preparing this planet for His greatest creation, mankind. All through these Scriptures, please take note that God said, “everything after its own kind”.
Verse 26 is the reason all the things were created. Notice the plurality of the Creator as well.
Genesis 1:26 “And 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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
In contrast to animals in verses 20 and 24 where God said, “Let the waters bring forth” and “Let the earth bring forth,” He now says, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” All others reproduce after their kind,” but man is the only one made in the image of God and reproducing in that image (5:3).
The terms “image” and “likeness” are used synonymously, and refer primarily to man’s spiritual resemblance (rationally and morally) to his Maker. God placed a chasm between man and the beast, for only man has the capacity for eternal life, fellowship, moral discernment, self-consciousness, speech, and worship.
“Us … our”: The first clear indication of the triunity of God (3:22; 11:7). The very name of God, Elohim (1:1), is a plural form of El.
“Man”: The crowning point of creation, a living human, was made in God’s image to rule creation. Even after the Fall, man retains this image of God (9:6; James 3:9), though it has been marred. The plural pronoun “us” is most likely a majestic plural from the standpoint of Hebrew grammar and syntax.
“Our image”: This defined man’s unique relation to God. Man is a living being capable of embodying God’s communicable attributes (9:6; Rom. 8:29; Col. 3:10; James 3:9). In his rational life, he was like God in that he could reason and had intellect, will, and emotion. In the moral sense, he was like God because he was good and sinless.
“Image and likeness of God”: Man was created in both the image and likeness of God. An image is a representation or replica of one person or thing by another. An image may be similar but not necessarily identical to its original. The term “likeness” is used as a gauge of comparison, or analogy. When man fell, he retained an impaired image of God (9:6).
Regaining a likeness of God is one of the accomplishments of salvation. Our spiritual likeness is restored in justification. Our character likeness is being continuously developed in the process of sanctification. We will be like Christ physically when we are glorified. God’s purpose in our lives today is to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; Gen. 1:26-27; Heb. 4:12).
Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
“Man” is used in a generic sense which is amplified by the phrase “male and female” even though Eve’s physical formation is not detailed until 2:18-24.
These words are not the usual Hebrew words for “man” (ish). and “woman” (ishah). The words used here specifically distinguish the sexes, male and female. Sexes are only implied with regard to animals, but not here. The reason is that a completely unique relationship was to develop, namely, holy marriage (2:22-24).
Man was created by God on the sixth day of Creation and is the grand climax of all that God had accomplished in the Creation week of miracles. The final act of Creation was that God joined the material and immaterial parts of man. Man’s body was shaped from the dust, but then became a living soul only after God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils (2:7).
Our formation; by natural birth is no less noteworthy than Adam’s formation from the dust. With David, we need to say, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14; also Genesis 2:7).
The image and likeness of God is SPIRIT. God is SPIRIT. We are a spirit. We are housed in a body and possess a soul. If God is Spirit as the Word says He is, then the image and likeness of us, are spirit as well. As we read in verse 27, both man and woman are spirit.
We will find as we continue this study that woman is just as responsible for the care and nurture of her spirit as man is. This is directly opposite of what some religions teach today. We are individual spirits, but our flesh is one with our spouse.
Between verses 25 and 26 there is a separation. If you will notice after verse 25, God closed that creation with His statement, “And God said that it was good”. Man has a preeminence that no other creation has. Mankind, male and female, are made in the image of God. God created all the rest for mankind to rule over.
Man, unlike all of the other creations, was created with a mind and will. Even to the point that God allows man’s will to choose God or Satan. Man alone was created with power to make decisions. Man alone was made to commune or fellowship with God.
God is Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He made man ruler of the earth.
Because of man’s fallen state from his magnificent beginning (image of God), God the word, Jesus, took on a body and redeemed mankind and restored them to their original state of standing with God. The Bible says that when we get to heaven, we will recognize Jesus because we will be like Him.
We will be restored to the image and likeness of God. We will not be God. We will be a shadow or image of the real thing. Our spirit will be in accord with His Spirit. We will be His servants or subordinates.
You see God gave mankind dominion over this earth. Mankind, through an act of his will, turned this dominion over to Satan, as we will see in a later lesson.
You know our whole country is under a president, and then smaller areas or states are under dominion of a governor, and then even smaller areas under a mayor. However, the mayor is under the governor on important matters; and all are under the president on the most important matters.
You see, God is over all. We are His subordinates. Even though we shall rule and reign with Him, we will not be His equal.
Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
“Dominion over”: This defined man’s unique relation to creation. Man was God’s representative in ruling over the creation. The command to rule separated him from the rest of living creation and defined his relationship as above the rest of creation (Psalm 8:6-8).
Dominion is not the content by the consequence of the divine image (1 Cor. 6:3; 15:27-28; Heb. 2:7-10); James 3:7-8).
“And God blessed them:” To “bless” is not only to bestow a gift, but also to assign a function.
“Replenish” is better translated “fill the earth,” indicating the first time. It cannot be used in support of the refashioning of an already judged earth, for it always means to fill something the first time.
“Blessed”: This second blessing (1:22), involved reproduction and dominion.
“Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth”: God, having just created the universe, created His representative (rule over) and representation (image and likeness). Man would fill the earth and oversee its operation. “Subdue” does not suggest a wild and unruly condition for the creation because God Himself pronounced it “good.”
Rather, it speaks of a productive ordering of the earth and its inhabitants to yield its riches and accomplish God’s purposes.
In this verse, we see that mankind did not have to take dominion. The dominion was given to him by God.
So many people associate sex of any kind (even the marriage bed), as the sin that caused the fall of man. This verse above proves this is not so. Mankind was commanded of God to be fruitful and multiply long before the sin in the Garden of Eden. The sin in the garden was disobedience to God.
Verses 29-30: “I have given … for meat”: Prior to the curse (3:14-19), both mankind and beasts were vegetarians.
Genesis 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
“Meat” meant “food” in the early seventeenth century, when the KJV was translated. No actual animal flesh was condoned until after the Flood in Genesis 9:3.
God provided the means for mankind’s needs from the very beginning. Everything that God created here on the earth was directly or indirectly for the use of man. Even the food for the animals would ultimately be of use to man as we read in verse 30.
Genesis 1:30 “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.”
“God saw” is an expression in anthropomorphic terms (human characteristics or behavior), relating His evaluation of His Creation (6:5; 11:5). Now at the end of His Creation work, He says “it was very good,” “exceedingly good” and not simply “good” as before in the chapter.
Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
There are several things the spirit must understand in the Scripture above. The number six means man. The verse reiterates again that God made all of it, and that everything was good. It also establishes the six days of work that we will see all through the Bible.
Genesis Chapter 1 Second Continued Questions
1. Why did God create the heavens, the earth, the seas, and populate them?
2. What does the fourteenth chapter of John tell us that Jesus is doing now, in heaven?
3. What was God’s plan from the beginning?
4. What did God tell the fowl and fish to do after He blessed them?
5. What was created on day five?
6. Which was made first man or beast?
8. What particular thing should we note in the creation of animals?
9. What one word in verse 26 indicates plural?
10. What things was man to have dominion over? Name five.
11. The image and likeness of God is what?
13. Are women a spirit, or just men?
14. What is directly opposite of what some religions teach about women today?
15. What separates mankind from all other creations?
16. Who was made with power to choose?
17. What was the magnificent beginning of man?
18. Who took on a body and redeemed mankind?
19. Is the teaching that man will become a god correct?
20. What will mankind actually be to God?
21. Who is over all?
22. Did mankind have to take dominion?
23. Was a sex act the sin in the garden?
24. What was the sin in the garden?
25. Everything made was directly or indirectly for what?
26. What did God say about everything that He had created?