“In the beginning, God created.” That is the greatest truth — the first words of a very important book — that also happens to be the most read book in all of history — the Bible — the Word of God. Today we’re starting a series searching for Jesus through the Old Testament. Don’t worry, I won’t be going chapter by chapter. I’ll summarize some and I’ll let you read some on your own. What I want to highlight is where Jesus is mentioned.
Now, you won’t find Him by name exactly in the Old Testament. His name is not revealed until Luke 1. However, His presence is implied and alluded to in many places and concealed in a way that if you’re not looking for Him, you’ll miss Him all together. I’m using several Bible studies from the free YouVersion Bible app and links to those will be at the bottom of each blog.
Why Write an Account of Creation?
The author of Genesis is Moses, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The purpose of documenting God’s creation story is to differentiate the creation made by the One True God from the god stories made up by pagans. See, in Moses’ day, paganism was rampant in the area. Especially in the Promised Land where the Israelites would eventually end up.
Paganism attempts and fails to explain creation, the world and nature, like it was some accident. It wasn’t. The heavens and the earth were…
- Created on purpose
- Intentionally made
- and God made it all
Let’s dig in…
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 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.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 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. 12 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. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 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, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 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. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 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. 22 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.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 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. 25 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.
26 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, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 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.”
29 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. 30 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.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.Genesis 1 NLT
Note something interesting…He created the sun and moon on the 4th day. Yet, there was light since day 1. Kind of like how it’s going to be in the New Jerusalem in Revelation…
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb [Jesus] is its lamp.Revelation 21:23 NLT
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.Genesis 2 NLT
Paganism vs Christianity
In paganism, humans are separated from god who is in the spiritual realm and humans have to do things like perform rites and rituals to reach them, to get their attention, to be worthy of their favor. That’s what religion is. Until I was born again 15 years ago, I had no idea that I could have the Holy Spirit living in my heart! For me, the Holy Trinity was a God-entity somewhere in the heavens. Then I learned the truth. (Related: How Paganism and Idolatry started in the Catholic Church)
The God of Christianity is Different
The God that made humans in His own image is the God who came to earth in the image of humans. He who made everything not only makes us in His image, but He makes Himself into ours. Note, too, that the Trinity is implied in the very first chapter of Genesis….
“the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”
Who do you think “us” and “our” are? God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This is how the Bible begins. The Bible is God’s Story and….
God’s Story is Our Story
God’s story. In particular, you will learn three things:
- How the entire story is summed up in its great climax: Jesus.
- God’s cosmic mission to bless the nations and restore creation.
- God’s shocking grace in the face of human idolatry, evil and injustice.
God is so powerful that He spoke the world into existence from complete emptiness. On the sixth day, He created man and woman in His own image, making fellowship with Him and worship of Him possible. He placed them in a garden that offered everything they would ever need. Additionally, God gave them authority over His earthly creation. Along with this authority came the responsibility to take care of all that He had provided. When God looked at the man and woman, surrounded by everything He had created, He said it was, “very good.”
It’s clear from Scripture that Jesus is eternal, divine, and has creative power, and the world was made through Him and for Him. In other words, the answer to that question so many human beings have asked—“What is life all about?”—is Jesus. Not a cause, not a principle, not a theory, but a Person. Jesus is present from the very first verse of the Bible.
We are reminded of Jesus’ part in creation in the New Testament Gospel and Epistles…
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”John 1:1-5 NLT
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.”Colossians 1:15-17 NLT
All of this may be hard to wrap your brain around, but, God said…
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT
There are some things of God that we just have to trust Him. We’re not supposed know everything on this earth.
And if you had any doubt…
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.”Psalms 24:1 NLT
It’s a shame that Eden ends so quickly. Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story….
Do YOU have a Relationship with Jesus?
He want’s to be YOUR friend!
Bible Studies Used in this Post:
- ‘God’s Story Is Our Story: From Genesis To Jesus’
- ‘Beginnings: A Study In Genesis’
- ‘Jesus In Genesis’
- ‘Jesus in All of Genesis – a Video Devotional’