Saturday, January 23, 2010

The First Day of Creation

Some years ago, it was my responsibility to teach the young people of our church in Sunday School.  The material one day was about Creation, Genesis 1.1 and all that.  So we read the first few verses, and then I asked them, "What was the first thing God created?"  The answer, of course, I thought, was Light, because it was the first thing recorded that God said.  Even though I thought this was obvious, the teens gave the "wrong" answer - the heavens and the earth.  No, I explained, that was just an overview, the background.  Then they pointed out that there was water first, because it says in v. 2, "the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."  It is humbling when my students point out something I have not thought through, but it provides an opportunity for growth, and foolish indeed is the teacher who does not learn from his students.

So I started thinking about that and the implications, and I came to some conclusions.  First and foremost, even though we say the universe is infinite, it is not.  Remember, "infinite" can mean "has no physical limitations" or "has no chronological beginning or end."  Perhaps, therefore, it is true that the universe does go on for trillions of light years and there is no end.  However, it is not true that it has always been there.

Sometimes I think we have the idea that, "in the beginning," God was floating around the universe, which was empty until He decided to create objects to put inside it.  However, there is only one item that is truly infinite, and that is God.  So my idea is that Genesis 1.1 refers to the fact that God created the expanse we refer to as the universe, and somewhere in that huge expanse, He put some water vapor, indicated by the "formless and empty" of v. 2.  After this was done, God said, "Let there be light."  This light also had to be a bit formless, because it was not attached to any particular source, such as the sun, which did not appear until Day 4.  It could have radiated from God Himself, of course, but there is no indication of that.

This was the first day.

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