I am about to do a new thing;

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

Day 4, filling the form
On the first day God brought forth light, now He filled the sky with points of light
God wanted people to know that He is the source of light and life. Light and life were both present on earth before God moved the sun into position in earth’s sky. An interesting aside, when astronauts brought some rock samples back from the moon and dated them, guess what they learned? The moon is younger than the earth.
It took someone else, a commentator, to point out to me that God did not give the sun, planets, moon and stars, the authority to govern human lives. I wish I had read that when I was thirteen. Enrapt with the uncanny insights of astrology, I believed for years that my entire destiny was written in the stars’ and planets’ movements.
I was not alone. From ancient times pagan religions looked to the heavenly bodies to divine the future, to worship, and to guide their decisions. But astrology, and other forms of worshiping planets and stars goes entirely against God’s purpose for them. God gave the sun, and the moon and stars, subordinate roles. They govern earthly, physical things like the tides, the seasons, the migrations of birds. On occasion they announce God’s coming to earth.
Day 5, filling the form
On the second day God gave the sky and water their boundaries. Now God filled the waters and the air with life.
The words here in the Hebrew describe swarms of small or minute animals, soulish creatures, and winged creatures of every variety, implying insects as well as birds. A combination of both the word “asa,” (to manufacture from substances already in existence), and “bara,” (divine creation, creating something entirely new that never existed before), are used.
How was this life different from plants? These were sentient, or aware, creatures, some even capable of expressing yearnings and will. God blessed His swarming, swimming, flying, wriggling creatures; His rule over them benefitted their life.
Day 6, filling the form
On the third day God gave land its boundaries, and brought forth plants. Now God made livestock, wild animals, things that creep along the ground.
These were also soulish creatures, made for the solid ground, stampeding across the earth in a burst of joyful existence. How I love the orderliness, the logical sequence of complexities, the increasing movement, teeming life, vibrant, rich, full, all building up to the climax.
God created it all and governs it all, having provided boundaries, domains, eco systems. God organized His universe to obey His laws, the laws of physics, which He set into motion. God created life to obey the laws of nature, which He designed.
The end of Day 6, a final flourish
Up until now God moved from one act of creation to the next in a steady crescendo. Now God paused, and announced to His universe what would come next, “Let us make humankind in Our image, after Our likeness”
From the beginning God revealed His triune nature, the presence of God in three Persons – God the Holy Spirit hovering over the formless void, the power of God the Son, God’s living and active Word[1], and the master architect, God the Father
Most likely, it was God as Father speaking, here, into this moment. Again, there is this combination of the Hebrew verbs ‘asa,’ to form, and ‘bara,’ to create, humankind is manufactured from the substances of earth but there is something new here, too, something that is brought into existence which before did not exist. What was different? What was the new element that wasn’t there before, setting humans apart from plants, fish, birds, and animals?
God put the likeness of Himself in every person, creating both men and women in His own image, and making humans, alone of all His creatures, aware of Himself, God. Together women and men were to be an expression of God’s image, each made with a spirit, able to commune with God. Our likeness to God is not so much physical, as it has to do with spiritual dimensions: knowledge, feelings, a will, and the ability to form community among each other.
Think about God’s nature, and how He has imprinted within people something of Himself.
1) A sense of morals has been written, or impressed, by God within the human conscience. Every human, from the very first person to today has this moral consciousness, an understanding of right and wrong. From this rudimentary sense, people have the ability to attain wisdom.[2]
2) We have an ability to think in the abstract, about ideas. Humankind has always had an awareness and concern about death, and existence after physical death. We have the ability to communicate with words.[3]
3) Humans have an innate bent towards love and worship, and a desire to communicate with God.[4]
4) We have this consciousness of self, an ability to love and form relationships.[5]
5) God gave humankind curiosity, a desire to discover and an ability to recognize truth and absolutes.[6]
Just as God had given His divine blessing and command to all the other living, breathing things, so now God blessed and commanded this final flourish of life. Human beings were to be God’s representatives on earth, stewards bearing responsibility to manage earth’s resources, to rule with benevolent care in God’s service and to His glory.
We, alone of all of God’s creation, were made with the capacity to think and maintain relationships because God in His three-ness is a relational God.
God designed humanity to prosper and be blessed according to the principles in His law, just like our universe prospers and blesses us because it works as it was designed to do, it follows the laws of physics and nature.
God gave the whole earth orchards and fields for their daily bread. The killing and eating of each other had not yet begun. And it all brought God so much satisfaction, so much joy; He loved it all with such relish!
Why did God create the universe? Why did God focus His energies on earth? Why did God fill the earth with verdant, vibrant life? Why did God, as His final masterpiece, His flourish, create humanity?
Because it was very good.
Because it brought God pleasure
[1] John 1:1-4 NIV
[2] Romans 2:15 NIV
[3] Genesis 2:17 NIV
[4] Romans 1:21-25 NIV, the implication being if God is not worshiped, then other things will be worshiped. There is no situation in which a person does not worship something, even if that object of worship is themselves.
[5] Genesis 2:18 NIV
[6] Genesis 2:19 NIV
[A diagram of the geological time scale, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain]