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Genesis 1:14-25 | God Fills the Earth | Andrew Gutierrez

April 22, 2018 Speaker: Andrew Gutierrez Series: The Beginning of Creation

Topic: Worship Gatherings Passage: Genesis 1:14–1:25

Open if you will to Genesis 1.  Our text for the morning is Genesis 1:14-25.  We will today look at days four through six of creation.  Actually, half of day six.  Next week we’ll look at the rest of day six and the creation of man.

Genesis 1:14-25:

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the 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 waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

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.

Last week I told you that the title of the message was “God Forms the Earth.”  You could title this message “God Fills the Earth.”  God begins filling the earth, after he creates the sun, moon, and stars, with living creatures. 

And I don’t know if you understand the providence of God this morning.  Do you know what our nation celebrates today?  Earth Day.  Perfect.  Perfect.  That was not planned.  I found out it was Earth Day today, yesterday.  So I love the providence of God here.  We get to, as a community of believers, celebrate not the earth—ultimately, we celebrate the God of the earth.  The God who created the earth. 

And we do celebrate the earth.  It is a good gift from God just like other good gifts from God.  Marriage, money, jobs—all good gifts meant to be stewarded rightly, like the earth.  So while Earth Day was created to make sure that people were caring for the earth … Oftentimes, what can happen as you celebrate a good gift, you make it ultimate.  You make it the ultimate thing.  And we don’t want to do that with the earth.  We want to thank God for it, care for it, enjoy it, but remember the earth was created for man.  For man to rule, to represent God.  More about that in the coming chapters.

One website talking about Earth Day asked this question of the reader of the site.  It said, how do you show appreciation to Mother Earth?  How do you show appreciation to Mother Earth?  I think the answer for the follower of Christ, the answer for the child of God, is by worshiping its Creator.  That’s how we express gratitude for the earth or appreciation for the earth.  We give glory to its Creator.

So this morning we’re going to look at days four through six, as I said, up until the creation of man.  Next week we’ll look at the creation of man.  So I want to go through that simple outline—day four, day five, day six—and at the end I want to bring about two implications that I believe the Bible would have for us in response to days four through six.

Verse 14 starts day four.  Day four is talked about in verses 14 through 19, and it starts this way: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years …’”  Now remember, God created light on which day?  Day one.  Now God’s creating two specific lights to light the earth on day four.  So light existed before day four, but the sun, moon, and stars did not exist before day four.  They were created on day four.

He speaks light into existence on day one.  Now he speaks specific things that will give light to the earth—sun, moon, and stars.  In the heavens is where these are to be seen.  And I told you last week that the heavens, when you talk about heavens, you can be referring to the throne of God, you can be referring to outer space, as we know it, or just the sky here on this earth.

Well, here, remember the picture is, we’re looking at creation through the view of someone on the earth.  So we’re looking at the heavens out there and seeing the sun, moon, and stars.  So in that sense, the heavens in space and the heavens in the sky are kind of together.  So we’re looking at the heavens and God creates three types of light—sun, moon, and stars.

Now, this passage, this verse and the next verse, verse 15, tell us the three reasons why he created the sun, moon, and stars.

First, to separate the day from the night.  Now, again, day and night already exist, but God is going to show inhabitants on the earth that the sun, moon, and stars will help to differentiate the day from the night.  So the day and night already exist, but he’s going to provide a means to show the differentiation of the two.  The sun doesn’t cause the daytime.  Daytime already exists.  The sun signifies daytime.  That’s the order.  Day and night already exist, but he provides the sun to show day and the moon to show night.

If you live in Alaska and it’s dark, if you come to a season where it’s dark almost all day long, you still go to work.  You still work during daytime.  Even though the sun’s not out, it’s still daytime—the time for work—which shows that daytime and nighttime exist even if the sun and moon do funny things in our opinion up in Alaska.

So, first, to separate the day from the night.  He also created the sun and moon to be for signs and seasons.  The sun and moon fix the times for carrying out human activity.  For example, they mark the agricultural cycle. They’re providing a signifier as to what the seasons are for man to then cultivate the earth into its maximum potential. 

So the sun and moon exist to separate the day from the night, to be for signs and seasons. And then the third reason that these lights exist is down in verse 15.  “And let them be light in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.”  Give light upon the earth.  Sun and moon aid men and women.  We need light to work, to see and operate.  For vegetation to grow, we need light.  Our earth needs light, and so God provided some servants for us—the sun and the moon to serve mankind, to help the earth flourish. 

So this is why God is creating the sun, moon, and stars.  Verse 16 is kind of a summary verse of this section.  “And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.”  Now, what’s the greater light here?  The sun.  He doesn’t call it the sun.  He calls it the greater light.  What’s the lesser light?  The moon.  The sun is brighter than the moon, but he calls them the greater light and the lesser light.

First he talks about the greater light—the sun.  A couple facts about the sun: It’s one hundred times the diameter of the earth.  Google an image of the size of the sun compared to the size of the earth.  It’s astounding.  Answers in Genesis, a Christian ministry, estimated that you could fit—if the sun were hollow, which we know it’s not—you could fit one million earths inside the sun.  The sun is rather large.  Rather large. 

It provides warmth and light to the earth.  God created our earth to tilt perfectly on its axis (23.4 degrees) and to, in that sense, be properly related to the sun.  If the earth were tilted less, the polar regions would receive less energy reducing the habitable area of the planets, according to Institute for Creation Research.  If the earth were tilted more, the seasons would become more extreme, potentially reducing plant growing seasons and making the environment less hospitable.

Isn’t it neat to know that random chance had the earth tilt perfectly on its axis in relation to the sun?

What’s the lesser light?  The moon.  The moon comes at night and gives light in the night sky.  Orbits the earth about every 29½ days.  The area of the earth facing the moon receives stronger tides.  What do tides do?  They clean ocean shorelines, keep currents circulating—preventing stagnation, providing life to the oceans. 

When you see the sun and the moon, you don’t just see light, you see God’s wisdom on display.  He knows what he’s doing—not only in creating the moon, but also in how it serves the earth.  So the sun and moon show God’s wisdom; they also show his care for us.  The sun and moon serve us. 

Now, I love how the Holy Spirit has written Genesis 1:14-19 for us.  I mean, the greater light/lesser light.  And then he comes to this: and the stars.  And the stars.  I mean, we used to live in Los Angeles. We don’t really see stars in Los Angeles.  They’re covered up by all the other lights on the ground.  But you come to Prescott and you go to certain places in town, you see stars, don’t you?  You see lots of stars.  And what do you do when you see an especially starry night?  You stop and you look.  You say something about it.

I love that here it says greater light, lesser light; then he created the stars.  Let’s move on. You can almost picture Moses writing as the Holy Spirit’s inspiring him and stopping and going, is this all you want to say?  I mean, the stars.  That’s all.  Why?  Stars aren’t the focus of this passage.  The creator of the stars is the focus of the passage. 

Remember the original audience.  Here’s just kind of a side note: If you want to understand your Bible, know who the author is writing to.  It’s such an important point of Biblical interpretation.  Know who the author is writing to.  Moses is writing, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to the Israelites who have come out of Egypt and who are worshiping their God, their Yahweh, their Lord, their covenant-keeping God who is the same God who created the entire earth.  And so they’re learning about who their God is.

Now, they would have come out of a culture that celebrated the stars as a god.  The moon and the sun as gods.  And the sun, moon, and stars were ultimate.  Israel is to see the God who created the sun, moon, and stars as ultimate.  That’s why the stars kind of get second billing here, because they do.  The Creator is the one who is the main character of Genesis 1, not the creation.

First Corinthians 15:41 says that all the stars are different.  They all have a different glory in that sense.  Psalm 147:4 that we read earlier says that he knows them all by name.  We don’t know how many there are.  Certainly millions, billions.  He knows them all by name.  I have four kids.  I sometimes call them the wrong name.  He knows every single star by name.  The main character in Genesis 1 is the Creator, not the creation.

But in the ancient Near East, not just in Egypt, also in Babylon, people worshiped the sun, moon, and stars.  It’s no surprise in Deuteronomy 17 in the Old Testament one the greatest punishments was reserved for people who worshiped the sun, moon, and stars.  Now as 21st century Americans we think, oh, c’mon, there are greater crimes than that.  I mean, they’re not hurting anyone.  Why is that such a big deal?  Because the Lord made the sun, moon, and stars.  You worship him and him alone.  He is the only being who deserves all glory, honor, and worship, not his creation.  His creation points to him.  His creation does not replace him as the object of worship.

Sir Isaac Newton had created a model of the solar system based on what he understood.  He created this model of the solar system with the sun and the planets, and he had belts and things attached to it that would make it rotate at the right amount.  And it was a fascinating model, evidently. 

Well, one day an unbelieving man came to the home of Sir Isaac Newton and was watching Newton turn and twist and see these planets turning and just seeing this whole thing, and the unbeliever said, where’d you get that?  Who made that?  Newton without looking up said nobody.  Nobody made it?  He said nobody made it.  Newton said, all these balls and cogs and belts and gears just happened to come together, and wonder of wonders, by chance they began revolving in their set orbits with perfecting timing.

The friend knew the point Newton was making.  When you see the way the solar system works—see the way our earth works—you give glory to God.  It’s the only right response.  The only right response.

Now verses 17 and 18 basically say what verses 14 and 15 say.  It’s called a chiasm in the Hebrew.  It’s saying the same thing twice, and in the middle of it is verse 16.  So you got verses 14 and 15 saying the same thing as verses 17 and 18.  In the middle of it is the main focus of this section—verse 16. 

“God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.”  That’s the main focus, but verses 17 and 18 continue saying what we’ve already heard.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Day four is now complete.  We move on to day five, verses 20-23.  God creates marine life and birds.  Verse 20: “And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures …”  Living creatures here implies voluntary movement because we could say that plants are living creatures also.  That’s true.  But living creatures here is implying voluntary movement.  A plant just doesn’t get up and walk away.  Animals can.  They have this voluntary movement, and that’s how God created them. 

And he says let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures.  Swarm—to move about quickly often in large numbers.  What creatures are we talking about?  Fish, crocodiles, stingrays and more.  Swarming creatures from the water.  And let birds fly above the earth and the expanse of the heavens.  So God created eagles, ravens, hummingbirds.  And what would a person see?  What would they see?  They would see these birds flying across the expanse of the heavens.  That’s the view from the earth.  These birds are flying across the expanse of the heavens.

So God is creating marine life.  He’s also creating birds.  And he commands that they swarm.  Now that doesn’t sound like a pleasant thought, does it?  Crocodiles swarm.  I don’t know if I want crocodiles swarming.  Other animals swarming.  But remember this is all before the curse.  It’s all before the fall.  It’s good for the earth to be filled with creatures.  It’s good for the earth to be filled with birds.

Verse 21:  “So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”  So God creates these creatures and built in them the ability to move and to travel.  That’s how God intended it to happen. 

Now these creatures don’t automatically become autonomous.  They’re still controlled and governed by God.  God, after all, is the one who commanded the great fish to swallow Jonah.  He commanded frogs and other animals to plague Egypt.  While God allows a certain freedom, God is still sovereignly in control.  That’s the way he is with all of his creation.  You may think that you’re entirely free.  Our lives are in the palm of his hands.  He’s the sovereign one.

In verse 22 there’s a very interesting statement that hasn’t been made yet in creation.  “And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’”  God blesses those with whom he is pleased, and for the first time in all the Bible, God is so pleased with something he blesses it and seeks for it to do something.  The first things that God blesses in the Scriptures are marine life and birds.  God blesses them.

Their blessing is tied to reproduction.  Go and multiply.  My blessing is on you, for you to go and make more of you.  Go and multiply.  That’s what God intends for the earth.  God intends for animals to fill the earth, to multiply, to be fruitful.  Later, he’ll bless man and woman.  He’ll tell them be fruitful and multiply.  God wants the earth filled with birds, crocodiles, people.  He wants the earth filled.

He creates the earth to be used.  He creates the earth as an arena to display his glory, and he sees to it that living things will contribute to that.  Now, when there’s an increase in mountain lions in the city of Prescott, that’s not always good for us.  But before the fall it would have been good.  Many mountain lions.  Many sparrows.  Many rhinoceri? (ceroses) … many of those things.  Many animals are good. 

Why?  Why animals?  It shows the creativity of God.  Who would have ever thought of every single species of animals?  God.  Look at all that he has thought of.  Look at all that he has designed. 

Verse 23—it’s a familiar refrain: “And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.”  I mean, God is speaking things into existence.  It’s happening on certain days, and God continues to fill his earth.  His creativity and wisdom are on display. 

Listen to Psalm 104:24-25:

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.

25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
    which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.

Do you see what the Psalmist is praising God for?  He’s praising God because his works are manifold.  Various.  There are many different kinds of his works.  The Psalmist looks at all of his works.  You can picture a modern-day Psalmist going to an aquarium and looking at all the different types of fish and going, how manifold are your works!  You just don’t stop.  You created this goldfish to do this.  This fish that you can actually see through.  You created … I mean, you are like no other!

The Psalmist is captivated by the creative power of God.  Not just that.  How manifold are your works!  In wisdom you have made them all.  God is creative and he is wise.  Again, when you are amazed by anything in creation, whether it’s the Grand Canyon or a fish, that is to end on bringing glory to God because of who he is.

Day six includes more living things being created.  Day six you can see in verses 24 and 25.  We’ll stop there for the morning.  But God creates on day six land animals.  Livestock, creeping things, and beasts of the earth.

Verse 24: “And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds.”  Now, we’ll talk more about kinds when we get to Genesis 6 and the account of the flood.  You remember the different “two of every kind” came into the ark, right?  So when you hear “kinds” in the Bible, you don’t think poodles; you think dogs.  You think the more general.  Okay?  So two kinds—dogs, not poodles.

Now, we’ll talk more about that in Genesis 6, but God is commanding on day six that the earth would bring forth living creatures according to their kinds.  And he talks about what the living creatures are.  Livestock and creeping things and the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and it was so.  Again, surprise, surprise.  God speaks; it happens.

Livestock.  What’s meant by livestock?  Everything from rabbits to oxen is what’s being talked about here.  The creation of rabbits happens on the day six.  The creation of oxen happens on day six.  Creeping things.  This is one that doesn’t resonate so much with me, but reptiles, snakes, lizards.  These things are created on day six.  Beasts of the earth: elephants, lions, and dinosaurs. 

Did he say dinosaurs?  Yes, I said dinosaurs.  Dinosaurs were created on day six.  Now, some people will say that dinosaurs existed for millions and millions of years before man and became extinct before man.  There’s only one problem with that.  There’s no death before man is created.  No death at all.  God didn’t create alive and then things started dying before Adam and Eve sinned.

So dinosaurs exist with man.  And we know that many dinosaurs would have been wiped out in the flood just like many other animals.  This flood was a sign of judgment, not a sweet story that you tell kids before they go to bed.  It was a sign of judgment.  We know that dinosaurs, including other animals, would have died during the flood, but two of each kind of dinosaur would have been on the ark.  You ask how could they have fit?  Stay tuned for Genesis 6.  It’s coming.  Don’t know when, but we’ll get there, Lord willing.

So dinosaurs mostly wiped out by the flood, but there would have been kinds that would have been reproducing after the flood.  Like many other animals, after the flood, they leave the ark and they start reproducing and traveling all about the earth at the time.  Like many other animals at that time, they would have become extinct.  Many different animals became extinct after the flood.

You say, wasn’t the ark a way to preserve life?  Yes, it was, but there was still a curse on the earth.  There was still death.  Noah came out of the ark and eventually died.  Things that were preserved on the ark eventually died.  So there were animals extinct after the flood—many of them, in fact.

Now, why aren’t dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible, you ask.  Well, they are; they’re just not called dinosaurs.  The King James Version, one of the most widely used English translations, was published in 1611.  Do you know when dinosaurs were discovered?  1840s.  So the Bible was published in English way before dinosaurs were discovered by English scientists in 1841. 

The term dinosaur means terrible lizard.  Terrible lizard.  And dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible.  I would argue Genesis 1:24 (our text) when it talks about the beasts of the earth, they are talking about dinosaurs.  I’d also argue that Job 40 is talking about dinosaurs.  If you would, turn to Job 40.

Now remember, it’s always good to get your information about the world from the Bible and not Jurassic Park.  So, we start to question the Bible because we think, well, didn’t they do this and that?  Well, be careful of the movies you watch.  They’re entertainment, not meant to tell you truth all the time.

So, Job 40 is that famous passage we often refer to.  Job questioning God, and God basically tells him all that he’s done.  Job 40:15-19:

15 Behold [or notice], Behemoth,
    which I made as I made you;
    he eats grass like an ox.

16 Behold, his strength in his loins,
    and his power in the muscles of his belly.

17 He makes his tail stiff like a cedar;
    the sinews of his thighs are knit together.

18 His bones are tubes of bronze,
    his limbs like bars of iron.

19 “He is the first of the works of God;
    let him who made him bring near his sword!

This “Behemoth” is talking about a dinosaur.  People have said, well, maybe this is a rhinoceros.  Okay, draw a picture of a rhinoceros without a rhinoceros tail, and now add the tail talked about in this passage to a rhinoceros.  It’s not a rhinoceros.  This is a dinosaur.  Dinosaurs existed on day six.  Livestock, creeping things, and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.

We sent out in a weekly email some resources for you to see on creation, and you can go to those books on Answers in Genesis.  You can find some of these materials on the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), and you can find out all about dinosaurs and how they perfectly fit with the Biblical account.  So, I would encourage you to read rather than just watch Jurassic Park.

Verse 25, back in Genesis 1: “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.”

So God says let the earth bring forth, and it happens.  God is filling this earth, and God is filling this earth and everything that we’ve seen is amazing.  I mean plants are amazing.  Study plants.  Fascinating.  Study the stars.  Study the moon.  Study animals.  It’s all fascinating.  But God is about to create the crown of his creation, the ultimate of his creation.  And that’ll be next week in chapter 1 as we see God create man.

So, we’ve learned about the creation of the sun, moon, stars, marine life, birds, livestock, creeping things, beasts.  As I said last week, so how does that change my Monday?  How does this impact me?  I’ve got two implications for us.  Two implications for us, the modern-day reader of the creation account.

Implication No. 1: We must recognize the temptation to find security in something created. 

I told you what the cultures of the ancient Near East did.  I told you that they deified the sun, moon, and stars.  They believed that the stars charted their course for life.  People do the same thing today.  The sun god needed to be pleased so that your crops would grow as did the moon god.

And you think, well, God’s people know better than that.  Actually, they don’t.  Look what happened in Israel.  They began worshiping the Gods of the pagan nations.  Here’s the thought in the ancient Near East.  If I approach the sun, moon, and star gods rightly, then my crops will grow, my family will thrive, and my course will be clearly charted.  Then I will be secure and satisfied. 

Did you catch that line of thinking?  If I approach the sun, moon, and star gods rightly, then my crops will grow, my family will thrive, and my course will clearly be charted.  Then I will be secure and satisfied.  We would never do anything like that.

Here’s the 21st century version of that—worshiping created things.  Now, before I give you the 21st century version of that, I want to remind you idols were always worshiped because they brought security.  Not because anyone carved a block of wood and thought, there’s probably a lot of power in that thing.  It happened because they thought that those things brought security.  If they prayed to the sun god and the moon god, the ultimate goal is security.  I need food.  I need crops to grow.  I need to know where to go and what to do. 

Idols are worshiped for security purposes.  We can do the same thing.  Worshiping created beings.  Believing that created things are going to bring us security.  Here’s the 21st century version of that statement.  If I approach marriage, career, food, fitness, money rightly, then I’ll be secure and satisfied.  We do think this way sometimes.

Here’s the exhortation I would make.  Worship, trust, and find security in your Creator, not a job, not a spouse, not a diet, not a grade, not a raise, not a promotion, not a vacation, not a clean bill of health, not a pet, not a friend, nor any other created thing.  I would encourage you, examine your heart.  What do you or who do you think you need this week?  What do you need to happen this week? 

Now the Sunday school answer is “nothing; my life’s in the hands of my God.”  But the answer that often troubles our heart is, I need this phone call to go well.  I need her to do this.  I need him to say this.  I need the boss to do this.  I need the doctor to tell me this.  I need …  We’re finding our security in created things all too often.  What or who do you need to come through for you this week?  The answer: nothing.  It could all fall apart and God would be on his throne, and God would still care and love and be in control.  That’s our God.

Listen to Psalm 8:

3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;

4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?

5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!

Psalm 8:3-5 (NASB).

Do you see what the Psalmist is doing?  I look at the sun, moon, and stars and my first thought is, why do you care about me?  That’s a good thought.  And you know what?  He does.  He does.  How do you know that?  Because he left heaven to come to earth and suffer for those whom he loves.  He cares.  This God cares.  Let’s find all of our security in him, not any created thing that he has created.  Even good created things.

Every single created thing makes a horrible savior.  A good gift is just a good gift, but it’s a horrible savior.  He’s a great Savior. 

So, Implication No. 1: We must recognize the temptation to find security in something created.  And even if you’re thinking this morning I’ve put too much hope and emphasis in this person, this thing, this situation, tell the Lord exactly that.  Just tell him that.  Lord, I admit that I’ve done that.  I admit it.  And know that he forgives and strengthens and repositions your face to not look at that created thing but to look at his glory.  Tell him and know that he forgives.

Implication No. 2: We must be recognized to our Creator.

Turn if you will to Colossians, chapter 1.  It’s been a common phrase, in Genesis 1, hasn’t it: “And he saw that it was good.”  “And he saw that it was good.”  “And he saw that it was good.”  “And he saw that it was good.”  “And he saw that it was good.”  “And he saw that it was good.”  Well, we’re a couple chapters away from learning it’s not going to be good very long. 

Every single man, every single woman has rebelled against their Creator.  That’s what the Bible states and declares.  I want you to understand this: The writers of Scripture are amazed at creation.  But listen: The writers of Scripture are more amazed at the salvation of God for sinners.  They are amazed by creation, but they are even more amazed that God would save sinners.  It shows how important that message is.

Listen to Colossians 1:15 and following, speaking of Christ:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [the preeminent one] of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, …

So Christ is now having the creation attributed to him.  By Christ all things were created.

… in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Now, stop right there.  We’ve been hearing everything’s good.  Everything is good, but yet in verse 20 it says that one thing that Christ would do—he didn’t just create everything, he also reconciled everything to himself.  There’s no need in days one through six for any reconciliation to happen.  God creates a crocodile and it doesn’t go and devour some other animal.  The crocodile didn’t do anything wrong.  There was no war between animals in days one through six.  Nothing wrong.  No need for reconciliation.  No need to right a wrong.  Nothing wrong.

But at this point in Colossians, at this point in human history, there’s plenty wrong.  Man sins, and the whole earth is cursed.  And now you’ve got animals harming humans.  Humans harming humans.  You’ve got fracture, chaos, broken relationships, murdering, strife, sickness.  And so it says in verse 20 that Christ would “reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

And then we see verse 21—and if you’re a Christian, you were once these things; if you’re not a Christian, you currently are these things, according to the Bible:

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 [for the Christian] he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him …

You can kind of say (Colossians 1:22) he reconciled you so that you would be in the Genesis 1 and 2 environment.  He reconciled you so there would be nothing wrong, nothing between you and God.  Nothing. 

The Scripture writers are amazed at creation.  They’re even more amazed at the salvation of God for sinners.  So it’s incumbent upon every single person who hears the message of reconciliation to realize that we are at odds with God’s ways, but he sent his Son to reconcile us back to him.  What a gracious God. 

He creates this world good for us.  I told you last week consider fruit, consider sunsets, consider lakes, I mean consider all of God’s good gifts.  We throw it into chaos.  We rebel against him and he sends his Son to say you’ve offended me, but I’m gonna come and make it right.  I offended you, but you’re gonna come and make it right?  Christ demonstrated his own love for us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. 

That’s our Creator.  He creates a perfect world.  We corrupt it.  And he comes and brings salvation, offers salvation.  I would just ask you, I don’t care if you’ve been here from the beginning, myself as well, are you today reconciled today to your Creator?  Is there anything in between you and him.  Go to him and plead his Son’s blood.  Go to him, admit your sin, and trust in Christ to remove that barrier.

Creation is amazing, isn’t it?  It’s amazing.  You all have your favorite places to go.  I like going to the West Coast and sitting on the beach and just looking at the ocean.  I could do that all day long.  You might have a lake.  You might have a cabin in the woods.  Creation is amazing.  Creation is beautiful.  Creation is fascinating.  But it’s only because the Creator is amazing.  The Creator is beautiful.  The Creator is fascinating.

I love the line of this song:

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Let’s pray.

Lord, we are amazed by your wisdom, the variety that you fill the earth with.  We’re amazed by your power, your strength.  And we’re amazed at your salvation.  You’ve made a way for us to be right with you, the all-powerful One.  So Father, this week as we see the beauty of even this area around us, may we respond with full worship and full trust in you.  You do hold us in your hand.  You do control all things, and you care for your children.  May we be amazed at your power and also at your nearness this week.  We ask this in the name of Christ.  Amen.

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