Lesson Number Three
The Beginnings of Our World
If given a moment to reflect, science, business and industry would doubtless give a standing ovation for the development of the computer. Its invention has revolutionized our society, and each one of us directly or indirectly receives the benefits it brings. But have you ever stopped to consider what goes on inside this marvelous piece of machinery? The intricate array of "bits" and "bytes," "chips" and circuitry, all combining together to perform almost superhuman feats, can leave some minds dumfounded.
Now suppose a prominent computer scientist, an expert in his field, came along as a guest speaker to an annual business convention and began saying that there is evidence to suggest that computers, over a period of some billions of years, evolved into the versatile products available at your local computer store today. By chance, given enough time, various metals, subjected to the fierce elements of nature, were refined, purified, separated and rejoined, forming the acquired alloys for the parts needed. Then, from these alloys, evolved the silicon "chip" which after some time and a few more random processes multiplied itself into a number of "chips" of different design. Finally, after a period of millions of years, all these "chips" aided by the simultaneous evolution of plastics, accidentally dropped into the position to form the latest personal computer with a program package to match. The laser printer, however, has taken a little longer to evolve.
Of course, you would probably have the person proposing such an idea quietly ushered from the floor and his future speaking engagements canceled. Yet we are taught to believe that the universe and all that exists and lives came into existence by chance, or, as some evolutionists call it “by accident.”
True, accidents do happen. But have you noticed that they always result in confusion. The longer the accident lasts the greater the confusion. For example, a car crash may last a few seconds, a multiple traffic accident could last several minutes, and the resulting chaos will be in proportion to the time and extent of the accident. The end product will never be something better or more orderly than the original product.
The shattered remains of a broken glass is another example showing us the result of "accidents." In fact, even in the world of science it is an unchanging universal law that the resulting product of any physical or chemical reaction will tend to be less organized than before. The longer the reaction naturally occurs the more disorganized the end product will be.
Naturally, then, we would expect the product of a gigantic interstellar, thermonuclear, "accident, stretching over trillions of years," to be tremendous chaos. But what do we see?
From the giant star constellations in immeasurable space to the tiniest atom we see perfection and intricate design. The human body contains marvels which science is yet to explain. The building block of life, the "simple" cell, in its intricacy of design, its perfection of operation, its immense storehouse of information processes, its ability to duplicate itself exactly, leaves the silicon "chip" light years behind. Yet just as the complicated circuitry of a computer has a designer and maker, anyone who intelligently observes the wonders of nature will come to the conclusion that there must be a Designer and Maker infinitely more intelligent than man.
So, how did all things originate? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? The Bible, our text book, gives the only satisfactory answer to these questions.
Who Is the Creator?
He who qualifies for the title of Creator must have existed before anything that was created. The earliest and most positive record enlightens us: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2.
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17.
God is eternal, immortal and full of wisdom, i.e., everlasting, all powerful and all knowing. He alone can be the Creator. The very first words in the Bible give the record: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.
Yet further investigation shows that the active agent in creation was a second person of the Divinity, who is called the Word, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Hebrews 1:1, 2.
It becomes apparent that God, as well as the Son of God created the worlds. The Son was the agent cooperating in the Father's plan. The Son of God, He who later took the form of man, coming down from heaven to this world as Jesus Christ, was the Word, or, our Creator.
The Creation of the Earth
When we set out to make something we first need raw materials (e.g. timber or steel), in order to begin construction. What material did the Creator use to form the earth, and all the worlds?
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3.
All materials of which this world is made were generated, brought into existence, by the word of God: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6, 9.
After the earth was formed, it was still a dark planet, covered with water and thick heavy clouds. Then the Creator commenced to make this world a place of beauty, a home fit for a king. Read the record in the first chapter of the Bible.
Note that every day of the creation week consisted of a dark and a light part: evening (or night) and morning (or day), a period of twenty-four hours. Many say that it is impossible for so many things to be formed in so short a time span as a literal week. But they forget that “with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. Besides this, it is completely impossible for life as we know it, to have come into existence over very long periods of time, because all life is dependent on other forms of life and could not exist without them. This is a natural law ordained by God. For instance, fruit trees and flowers need bees to pollinate their blossoms in order to produce fruit and seed, and bees need flowers to feed on their nectar. All life on earth must have been created almost simultaneously, and so it was, according to the Bible record. The earth was created in six literal days, which, together with the seventh day formed the first week. Today there is still no other evidence for existence of a weekly cycle other than as ordained in the beginning.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3.
The Order of Creation
The first work of God was to make light appear on the dark globe. Then He separated the darkness from the light. He called the darkness "night" and the light "day."
Then a firmament appeared. At first no horizon, nor sky could be distinguished from the vast heaving ocean that covered the planet. Then the clouds lifted and a dome, called sky, appeared over the surface of the earth.
The voice of God thundered over the earth. The waters flowed together into oceans or seas, and for the first time dry land appeared. Mountains, hills and plains were formed, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes. A luxuriant growth of verdure sprang forth from the land at the Creator’s command.
The stars of heaven appeared and the moon lit up the night. The surface of the earth was bathed in radiant sunlight for the first time.
On this day all marine life was created, and birds filled the sky with their joyous strains, vibrating the air with their lovely songs.
All land animals were called into existence. At this stage the earth was exceeding beautiful. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers filled the earth with beauty and fragrance. Majestic trees covered the slopes of hills and mountains. The air was clear and healthful. Angels delighted in the scene. At the conclusion of each day the Creator was satisfied with His work, “and God saw that it was good.”
The Highlight of Creative Handiwork
After the earth had been called into existence and filled with teeming vegetation and animal life, God created man, the crowning work of creation: “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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26, 27.
Man’s lineage, as revealed in the Scriptures, does not trace back to germs, mollusks and apes as some would have us believe. Prouder than any genealogy treasured in royal courts, the record states: “. . . which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” Luke 3:38.
Man came forth from his Creator’s hand with lofty structure and perfect symmetry. His face bore the ruddy tint of health and glowed with life and happiness. Yet even in this perfect state man was not left to dwell alone. “So God created man in his own image . . . male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27. So long as our first parents remained loyal to their Creator, their capacity to understand and to enjoy the unfailing love of God would continually increase.
Even after the passing of years having weathered and degraded the human race to what it is today, we may still exclaim with king David: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14.
The great God had brought the earth into existence, clothed it in a garb of beauty, made all the wonders of land and sea, and filled it with things useful to man. In six days the great work had been accomplished.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” Psalm 19:1, 2.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31.
With satisfaction God looked upon the works of His hands. God rested, not because He was weary, but He was well pleased with the fruits of His wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of His glory.
“. . . and he rested on the seventh day from all his work . . . and God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it" (Genesis 2:2, 3) or set it apart as a rest-day for man. Following God’s example, man was to rest upon this sacred day, that he might remember God’s great work of creation, and that his heart would be filled with love and reverence for his Maker.
The Home of Man
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” Genesis 2:8.
The Creator gave the holy pair still another token of His love, by preparing a garden especially for their home. Here were trees of every variety, many laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. Lovely vines grew upward yet presented a most graceful appearance, with their branches drooping under their load of tempting fruit of the richest colors. It was the work of Adam and Eve to train the branches to form bowers, thus making a dwelling formed by living trees. The most beautiful tree in the Garden was the tree of life. It stood by the river in the midst of Eden. The garden was watered by a river. Gold and precious stones appeared on the surface.
“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.” Genesis 2:10-12.
No thorns, thistles or poisonous herbs were found in paradise. Neither were there any wild animals that man should fear. The climate was mild and pleasant. It was “very good.”
“But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?” Job 12:7-9.
Quiz For Lesson Number Three
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