This is the third part of a three-part sermon series about the two stories of creation. Today we will be examining the second story of creation found in Genesis Chapter 1. Yes, that is correct. The first story you read is actually the newer of the two stories of creation!
Even though Genesis Chapter 1 was written later and added to the Bible in front of the original account of creation it doesn’t make one more or less true than the other. You must remember that everything in the Bible is divinely inspired and written by God.
Adding a second account of how God created the world served to add more detail and depth to the original story of creation. Watch this sermon to find out more about why the newer story was added before the original story of creation.
If you haven’t already watched the two sermons, please check them out here.
Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Today we are talking about the third part in our three-part sermon series, which is the two different stories of creation. Today we are talking about Genesis chapter one. If you have not seen the previous two messages, I encourage you to check them out, they will pop up in cards above. There will also be links in the description below. Watch them, get an idea of what’s going on.
If this is your first time, you can still continue watching this, but then check those out as well. If you are returning, thank you so much for sticking with us, we are wrapping it up today. This is our third sermon in a three-part series on the stories of creation. So let’s get into it. Thanks so much.
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Let’s dive into the heart of the matter. Here we go, this is Genesis chapter 1, so if you have your Bible check it out, we are going to read through the whole first part of Genesis, the whole chapter on the story of creation.
This is a newer document. As we talked about last week, the second chapter in Genesis was written in the beginning, around the majority of the Book of Genesis, it is a J document or a J letter code for coding and dating these scripts of old or ancient manuscripts, and the J stands for Jehovah. Here we have Genesis chapter one, this is a P document, P meaning Priestly. This is the time period where the priests kind of were in charge of things, people went to the priests for answers.
Now we are going to dive into this, Genesis chapter 1 is also thought to be a cosmocentric type of account or a cosmocentric document, whereas Genesis chapter 2 was the anthropocentric or man populating the earth. This is cosmos, which is kind of like everything out of the void, not really out of nothing, but everything out of a void was created.
Let’s get into it, we are going to first off read through the whole chapter and then we will come back and dissect it and go through different points, so stick with me. This can be a little bit confusing, we are going to try to connect everything together, bring it full circle, so that you know exactly what is going on. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, we will help shed some light on it.
Also watching those other two messages that go with this series, by the time we are done with all of them, hopefully, you will know exactly what is going on and you will be able to step in and defend your faith if anyone questions you about this.
So let’s start it out. Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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. And God said, let there be light and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day and the darkness he called night. And there was evening and there was morning the first day.
‘And then God said, let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water, so God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it, and it was so. God called the expanse sky. And there was evening and there was morning the second day.
‘And God said, let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let dry ground appear and it was so. And God called the dry ground land, and gathered the waters which he called seas and God saw that it was good. Then God said, let the land produce vegetation, seed-bearing plants, and trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it according to their various kinds and it was so. 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. And there was evening and there was morning the third day.
‘And God said, let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night and let them serve as signs to mark the seasons and days and years and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth and it was so. 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. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from darkness and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning the fourth day.
‘And God said let the water teem with living creatures, let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky, so God created great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind, and God saw that it was good and 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. And there was evening and there was morning the fifth day.
‘And God said let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds, livestock, creatures that move along the ground and wild animals each according to their kind and it was so. God made 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.
‘Then God said, let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, over the livestock over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God made man in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves along the ground.
‘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 and to all the beasts of the field and on the birds of the air 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. God saw that all he had made was very good and there was evening and there was morning the sixth day.
‘Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing, so on the seventh day he rested from all his work and God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.’
All right, so that is the first book of Genesis, there are a lot of points that we have to go through in a short amount of time. So stick with me, but we are gonna make it happen. Genesis chapter one, this document is very very interesting, it is very detailed, very straightforward, first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, sixth day, seventh day. One point to note in the first creation account, so this is Genesis chapter one, this is the second one written, but it is in the beginning of the Bible. This is again a P document.
The first point we are going to make is, what is a P document? Priestly. When was this written? This was written during the Babylonian captivity period. Well, what is that? If you have read the Old Testament you know that God eventually got fed up with the Israelites because they weren’t following Him and He allowed King Nebuchadnezzar to come in, take over everything, haul away the people to exile in Babylon. This is the time of Daniel. Daniel is one of the wise men. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they were all in the Babylonian captivity period, and that gives you an idea of the timeline.
Many scholars believe that this account of creation was written because Christians were falling away from the faith, they were starting to follow the pagan religions. The different fake gods. They wanted the Babylonian creation story of how their God Marduk defeated the evil one Tiamat and crushed him under his heel and out of the ruins of the evil one Tiamat, the earth was formed and everything was created, it was just this awe-inspiring epic battle of good and evil and everything was created because of it.
When they compared this story to the story of Genesis, meaning Genesis chapter 2, and they read through that they said, this is kind of dry and boring, we like this exciting story. So all of these Christians, they weren’t really Christians yet because Christ wasn’t here, but all of the believers in God Yahweh were falling away and becoming pagan. They wanted these pagan religions, simply because the stories were more magical and awe-inspiring. In an effort to bring back these fallen-away believers in God, the priests or the religious leaders, created this awe-inspiring story of creation.
This is a very prime example of how the word of God is alive and active. God inspired this other story which is a story of the same details and a story of exactly how it happened. It just wasn’t written back then. Why? Well because back then the Hebrews, when Moses was around, they had a different mentality, a different way of life, a different way of seeing things. So the religion of Christianity adapted and it is alive and active.
The new story was put in front of the old story to capture this audience from falling away from Christ. That is according to many scholars. That is kind of why it is and why it was placed in the front, the readers could read this, they would open the Bible and they would be amazed at this awesome seven-day creation. They would realize this power of God and how He spoke and things came into being, whereas the other story was God physically doing things.
Everything written in the Bible, is the word of God, wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t true, so remember it is true, this is how it happened. Now we are going to get into it story by story, point by point. God brought order to chaos. Now if we mirror this with the times, the Babylonian captivity period was chaos, the Jews, their cities, Jerusalem, all these places, Judah, all these different townships that they were in were being sacked, were being destroyed by the Babylonians and people were being hauled away into captivity, it was utter chaos, people, everything was lying in ruins, there was famine, all kinds of terrible things, it was chaos.
This story came out and it was about God bringing order into chaos and according to the story the world was pre-existent, so meaning God didn’t create it out of nothing, it wasn’t this ex-nihilo something from nothing, the earth was formless and void and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Of course, God created this earth, but it was formless and void and it was chaos, and now He is bringing order into this chaos.
So God’s role was to bring this goodness, depicted in formless and void, darkness and chaos and evil, God was bringing good in and making things nice. How do we know He is bringing good in? Because in every verse it says God saw the light was good, God called this day and the darkest night and there was evening and morning the first day. All over the place, it says God saw that it was good. What He created was good, so He is bringing in this goodness and this order into this chaos. He is replacing it.
Now there is a very good pattern that appears between the first three days of creation and the second three days of creation in this story. On day one God created light to create day and night, this is mirrored on four. Because one two three and then four five six.
On one, he creates the light and creates the day and the night, and this is in Genesis 1:5, then the second part on day four he creates the sun moon, and stars to kind of mirror this, to parallel this is Genesis 1:14. Now day two he creates the sky, that is Genesis 1:6-7, we read through this and then on day five because we are on two and five, day five he created the fish and the birds to fill the water and the sky. Then on day three he creates two stages, dry land and vegetation, Genesis chapter 1:11-12, on day 6, he creates animals first to fill the dry land, then mankind who eats and takes care of the vegetation, this is Genesis 1:24-30.
Another very very important thing that this account puts into play, is the blatant disregard and very strategic writing that didn’t use, and it avoided any sort of words that could go with paganism. So unlike all of God’s creations, where he was describing it as good, they avoid using singular forms for stuff.
For example, all of these people were falling away from Christianity, they were going into the pagan religions and this was a problem, so when they wrote this book they had to be very very careful, God is telling them to be very very careful, He is filling the priests, at the time Levites, with words to write down, write this new chapter, put it in front, keep my people worshiping me.
He is saying, don’t let them go to paganism, don’t let them fall away. What can you do? You can do this, write this story, but don’t use any words that can be associated with pagan deities or pagan gods. For example, the word for sea, look in the Bible in this first part, Genesis chapter one God created seas, they are plural, when we read through the book, so water, He said water, to separate water from water and then fish in the seas and every living creature that moves in them. The singular word for sea was yam. Back then when this was written an accord goes through with a pagan God, so they used the plural seas, yamim, because yam was the sea God in Canaanite mythology, so they avoided that.
Also, sun Shemesh and moon Yaria, they didn’t use those terms, because they wanted to disassociate from pagan deities, it is different. If they used those terms, they knew that people could be confused and say, oh well, these pagan gods created the earth and now the whole Bible could be ruined because they would have all these people interpreting the first book of the Bible as pagan deities creating the sea, the moon, the stars, the sun, and then they would think that the whole rest of the Bible is some pagan story. So those words were avoided when writing this, to really differentiate between God and pagan gods.
Now by showing this, it really shows that it is an awe-filled and inspiring story that drew people back to the word of God. They put this in front and then people would read it and then turn to the second one or Genesis chapter 2, which was, of course, the original story, they could read through that and see how things were created, again almost like a summary that kind of mirrored itself.
Remember how these stories are different? One is cosmocentric, this is really focusing on God creating order from chaos, the climax of the story is God creating man and allowing him to rule over the whole earth. Now it really is separating good from evil, God is taking over and getting rid of the chaos, starting this good world and getting rid of the evil that is inside of it.
So no matter what you say or believe there are two stories of creation. The first one, Genesis Chapter 1 is newer than the second one, Genesis Chapter 2. When you read the Bible, understand that they were written in different time periods, for different groups of people, but they are divinely inspired by God and divinely written by God to keep this religion alive, and not just the religion, but to keep people staying, following the one true God Yahweh.
When people question you or say, hey these contradict each other or it doesn’t make sense, why would it be done? You now have answers. You say, look the original story of creation was written at a different time period, the first chapter of Genesis was written later on for that time period of people, both stories are the same story told in two different methods, they are put together in one form so you can read them one after another and understand how God created the earth and why it was created.
The whole book of Genesis, the whole first book of Genesis is a battle of good and evil, you see it time and time again with God creating something from nothing, then with the serpent taking away the dominion of the earth, the fall of mankind, evil, then we have the next story of Cain and Abel, that is good and evil, it is all just strife.
So the point of it is evil was already present in this earth and it also goes toward the fact of how you can make the point that evil was here, God is not the result of evil, you can’t blame God for evil in the earth because according to this God is bringing order to the chaos and so the evil is already here, it is inherent, God is bringing order. By people seeking God and going to God, they are getting order in their chaotic life. That could be another great point for you to use and that is really a good meaning to this.
In the end, the bottom line does it really matter exactly how it was created or on which date was what? It really doesn’t. All that really matters is that God created the world and that we are here in it enjoying it and we have a purpose and a mission to share that with other people and bring more people to God. We need to bring good into their lives because their lives are currently chaos and evil and by us coming in with God, God can put order and goodness in their lives.
Hopefully, you have seen that in your life, God brought order, God brought goodness into your chaotic and evil life, and if you can’t see it then maybe you have had goodness all along, but you can certainly see it in the world or in others. So take account, these stories of creation, know and understand them, know that they work together to bring order into a chaotic world and that evil is inherent, but God is coming in and making it goodness and bringing order to that chaos.
Use these stories and if anyone questions you, be prepared to defend yourself and if they question you, show them these videos, maybe this will help. If not then maybe they can’t be convinced, all you have to do is plant the seed, someday they will be convinced.
Let’s pray. Thank you, Lord, for these stories of creation, for this awe-filled story of how you created the earth and the ability for the people to get it down and get it put in the Bible and get it in order so that people stayed worshiping you and didn’t fall away.
Lord, we ask that anyone who is questioning this or is struggling with how this goes together, that they would find answers in peace and that these messages would help with that, and that more people would come to you as a result of learning about how you brought order to the world and that you are getting rid of the evil. That it is a battle between good and evil, but we see time and time again that goodness, that you Yahweh, that you triumph, and that you are victorious.
Because we know that ultimately this isn’t our world, your kingdom is above, and we are here on a special foreign assignment in this world that you created for us, and for some reason, we chose to neglect it. We see that time and time again in the Old Testament, you give your people things and we choose not to do what we are supposed to do.
Lord help each and every person out there follow You and do what they are supposed to do and if they screw up, give them the conviction and help them repent and continue to follow You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thank you for sticking with me through these three sermons. I hope that they shed some light and helped you out a little bit. I know that it might be something you may not even care about, the stories of creation, or you may never have thought about it before, but I hope that you have a little bit of curiosity and that you got something from it and then it will help you speak to others about how the world was created. Thank you and God bless.