Science finds its ultimate fulfillment in worship.
In theology there are 2 kinds of revelation. There is General, or Natural, Revelation, and there is Special Revelation. Natural revelation is the created world around us. The creation we inhabit literally is revelation from God. What does that mean? It means that it discloses things to us about God. The creation communicates things to us about the Creator:
- Romans 1:20 says: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
- Psalm 19:1 says, “the heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands!”
The creation preaches to us about the Creator. Theology is the purpose of all science. Science finds its ultimate fulfillment in worship. For instance turn to Psalm 104 with me……[Read v1-5)
Someone asks “How? What could we possibly know about God by looking at what He has made?” I’ll get you started with a list of 6 things you can know about the God who created this world. Here are 6 things you can know about God without the Bible:
- This God is POWERFUL: He had the power to create and cause things to be ex nihilo. One of the reasons I think we’re alone in this great big universe is because we’re supposed to feel puny and overwhelmed by it all. Then when we realize that it wasn’t always here, but God created it, we would stagger and ask “How powerful must He be?!”
- This God is WISE! He has wisdom to create the order and complexity we see in the cosmos. Study the single celled organism – you know, the one they said last century was so so easy to understand and so simple in its make-up….then they invented the microscope and they were blown away at how complex it was and they realized it wasn’t just some tiny blob of nothing.
Or study the “Fine-Tuning Argument” for instance. The laws of our physical universe are so finely tuned to the exact ways that are necessary for life. In other words, any of the most microscopic deviation from the constants in our physical laws would make life utterly impossible. How did the dozens of different laws all get dialed in so perfectly? The answer? An ALL-WISE Maker.
- This God is GOOD: He makes it so right here on this planet all our needs are met and we can exist because of what He has put in creation (air, food, water, light, distance from sun). We could question God’s goodness if we were born on Mars and suffocated to death, or starved, or froze or died of dehydration. But, would you believe it? None of that is a problem here on earth. God is good. This is our home.
- This God is BEAUTIFUL. He knows what beauty is: the things He made aren’t just functional for life, but they are beautiful and they appeal to our senses. How does it affect you when you look out at a sunset over Lake Michigan? Or how about the woods, with the fall colors? Whether you stroll, hike, or hunt, do you not love being outdoors in all that natural beauty?
Isn’t the clear, crisp night sky with all the stars and the moon a sight to behold? Or how about the view of mountains? Of a lake, a river or the ocean? Or of the beautiful varieties of birds in migration? Or a bride coming down the aisle? Or a squashed mosquito? I believe mosquitos were made for no other purpose than to make you appreciate the things that are not mosquitos!)
The beauty with which God made things shows us that God knows beauty, that beauty comes from Him…that He is beautiful Himself. “One thing I ask of the LORD” Psalm 27 explains, “that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the BEAUTY of the LORD.” The creation is beautiful because the Creator is beautiful.
- This God is FAITHFUL. Look at the seasons. Look how they come and go as they always have. Look at how the sun rises and sets as it always has. The stars stay on their courses, the rivers run, the rain falls on our fields, and on and on. Everywhere we look we see the continuous cycles in our world, the reliable repetition of the things we need. The creation is faithful. Ah! The Creator must be faithful!
- This God is RIGHTEOUS. As I look out at the world I have opinions about the way things ought to be and ought not to be. There is something inside of me that makes me say some things are “right” and some things are “wrong”. Something about me – inside of me – also seems to approve when I do right and condemn me when I do wrong.
Where did this inner function come from? Where did I get these ideas that I and others should behave in certain ways and not behave in others? Well, this Creator must have put all that in me, and, therefore, He must have ideas about right and wrong. He must know what is right and what is wrong. And this means He must have wanted me to be able to know what is right so that I would do what is right, which must mean that He does right.
This God must be righteous and therefore He apparently wants me to act righteous.
Now we turn to Special Revelation, the Bible. Special Revelation is that God speaking to us personally. “In the past God spoke…” Hebrews 1:1 says. “All Scripture is God breathed…” 2 Tim 3:16 says. “Thus says the Lord”!
That is what the Bible is: it is God speaking to us. He spoke creation into existence, and then, He spoke to His creation! What do we see then in chapter 1? Or, if you prefer, what do we hear?
FIRST we see 6 days of creation. These are 6 literal days. Some purport that these days are long periods of time. The Hebrew word for “day” is “yom” and it can mean a 24 hour day, or, it can mean a long period of time – like when we say “Back in Paul’s day”. But context determines the meaning of words, and to say these are 6 long time periods instead of 6 literal 24 hour days is not really handling the text very well at all.
- Each day is numbered: “the 1st day, the 2nd day, the 3rd day” and so on.
- Not only is each day numbered, but each day has the specific phrase: “evening and morning”. Everywhere in the Bible, without exception, whenever that formula of a number and/or the phrase “morning and evening” are mentioned with the word day it is a literal 24 hour day. No exceptions.
- Furthermore, the Sabbath day God gave the Jews in the 10 commandments is patterned on a literal 24 hour days of creation. Just like God worked for 6 days and then rested on the 7th, the Jews were to work for 6 days and then rest on the 7th.
- On top of all that, the 4th day has the sun, moon and stars created to mark the seasons, days and years.
Everything in chapter 1 is showing clearly that God took 6 days to create. He could have done it in 6 epochs. He could have done it in 6 seconds. He did it in 6 days.
SECOND, not only do we see 6 days, we see a parallel. Last time we pointed out the way the 6 days of creation can be divided into two groups of 3. Days 1, 2 and 3 are one group and days 4, 5 and 6 are the other. In the first group, God establishes the spaces. In the second group God puts the creatures in those spaces.
“How many are your works O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures!” (Ps 104:24)
You could connect this with verse 2 when it said that the earth was formless and empty. Formless. Empty. God solved the formless problem in the first 3 days and gave it form and shape. God then did something about the emptiness in the last 3 days and He filled the those spaces with creatures. He made the sky and filled it with birds. He made the sea and filled it with sea creatures. He made the universe and filled it with stars and planets and the sun and moon. He made the land and filled it with land creatures and man. God made the space and the place so that He could then fill it with life. “And God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number upon the earth’”
THIRD we see a formula for each day. God approaches each day with a pattern in his work. I’ll name 4 distinct steps in this pattern:
First: God speaks. We read those powerful words: “Then God said let there be…” This is what is called “creation by fiat”, God is commanding creation to come into existence, to take shape, to form. His command is His will expressed.
Second, we see that the things come to be. Just as He commanded. When He says light, there’s light. When He wants sky, there’s sky. When He wants land there’s land. When He wants vegetation there’s vegetation. When He wants stars, sun, moon, birds, fish and land animals they all “obey” and begin to exist.
I can’t help here but see an application for us. Each new day began with God’s command and the creation obeyed exactly as He instructed. Shouldn’t each day for us begin with God’s Word? And shouldn’t we obey God’s commands each day exactly as He instructed us?
Third, God sees. “And God saw…” Look at how God looks at what He’s made. He doesn’t just take notice, you’ll see if you look again that He is giving an assessment of what He’s accomplished. Verse 4 says “God saw that the light was good…” The same thing is stated 6 times in the chapter, “God saw that ____ was good…” His work is good. The Creator is good, and His creative work is good.
Fourth, God calls. Notice verse 5 for instance, “God called the light ‘day’ and the dark ‘night’”. Then look at verses 8 and 10 with me….
When someone names someone else two things are happening. First, they are exercising “authority” over the one they are naming. God named creation. Adam named the animals as one act of his “dominion” over them (2:19-20). Adam named Eve, which was an expression of his headship (3:20).
The second thing that’s happening when someone names another is they are giving identity to them.
CONCLUSION: The Creator’s Wisdom
So far we’ve seen the days are 6 literal 24 hour days, there is a parallelism in the 6 days, and there is a formula in how God creates each day. Finally I want us to see God’s wisdom in creating. I’ve noticed in studying that the Scriptures keep telling us that God’s wisdom is seen in His creation. For instance:
- Proverbs 8:22-31
- Job 38:2-5
- Psalm 104:24
- Psalm 136:3-6
Worship God as Creator, and worship Him for His wisdom in all He has made!