Genesis 2nd Day–Expanse Between the Waters: Genesis 1:6-8

Genesis Second Day Water from WaterAnd 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.

Genesis 1:6-8

I’ve Looked At Clouds

Genesis 1:6-8 speaks of the expanse and barriers that God created concerning the earth. It could be He created an atmosphere surrounding the physical sphere of the earth and then surrounded the earth with a blanket of water, a sort of mega-cloud that covered the whole earth. It’s amazing to think that the clouds we see floating in the sky today are filled with tons of water. According to the USGS an average cloud, which is just a little more than 1/2 mile x 1/2 mile x 1/2 mile, weighs an estimated 1,105,500 tons. That’s  a whole lot of water. So imagine with me what it was like on the second day when God put an expanse between the water on earth and the water in the sky–He floated water above the earth and surrounded the earth with a cloud. The earth surrounded by this water blanket would have created an interesting weather pattern. It would have the effect of protecting us from the sun’s UV rays. It would also have the effect of homogenizing or equalizing the climate throughout the earth. This means that the early animals and plants of the earth might have enjoyed a beautiful warm climate wherever they went on the planet. Scientists have found Woolly Mammoths frozen in the ice of Siberia with tropical vegetation in their digestive tracts. And they’ve also found vegetation 200 feet below the ice near the South Pole. I don’t claim to know the process with which God created the earth, I’m just saying, given the account in Genesis, and God’s comment to Job in Job 38:9, these discoveries fit the descriptions in scripture.

Earth’s Deteriorating Magnetic Field

Another barrier of protection provided by God is the earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic field shields us from destructive charged particles that originate from the sun. The German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss was the first to measure the magnetic field of the earth, starting in 1845. Since that time we’ve measured it continually and we’ve found that it’s deteriorating. (see National Geographic)

Earth’s Deteriorating Ozone Layer

A third protective barrier provided by God is the earth’s ozone layer. This layer protects us from the sun’s radiation. (see EPA) While there’s much debate as to the reason why, no one argues that the ozone layer is deteriorating.

References:

[Image via: drcohn – Creative Commons]

Congregate!

The latest results of a study from the University of Michigan revealed that college students have a 40% lower capacity to empathize with the feelings of others, as compared to college students 20 and 30 years ago. 14,000 college students participated in the study from 1979 to 2009. (Read more at US News & World Report)

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)

Isolation destroys us. Isolation is associated with depression, suicide, poor mental health, and addiction. Isolation from the body of Christ destroys us spiritually. Could it be that the corresponding decline in church attendance in the U.S. is the cause of the reduced capacity to empathize with others?

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. (John 3:16) When that reality becomes a part of me, a part of you, a part of us, we rejoice at the opportunity to go to church. To fellowship with God over at His house becomes something we love to do. And spending time with Him, we become more like Him.

And He empathizes. He loves people.

He loves you.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Go to church.

God said, “Let there be light,” the First Day: Genesis 1:3-5

Let there be LightAnd 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.

Genesis 1:3-5

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. When God speaks something, it comes into existence. Another way to think of this is when God speaks something, it is so. I encourage you to study how Jesus viewed the Old Testament scriptures. You’ll find He accepted them as real and true. Jesus’ endorsement of God’s word, the Bible, makes it as sure and solid as can be. What has been spoken to us by God through scripture can be counted on, it is faithful and true. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

Also notice the source of light. All light comes from God. Psalm 119:105 says that God’s “…word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Even as a plant will fail to grow without light, you and I will fail to grow without the light of God’s word on our life path. Enlightenment from His word will direct us in the way we should go to experience God’s desire for us which is for you and I to experience the most successful life possible. A University of North Carolina study revealed that people in a dimly lit environment are more likely to cheat and also more likely to serve their own interests. (see Darkness, Dishonesty, and Self-Interested Behavior) Conversely, when we dwell in an environment that is well lit by the influence of God’s word and the presence of Jesus, the light of the world, we’ll have a propensity to walk according to God’s ways.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

[Image via: indigoblue66 Creative Commons]

[You might also like: How Does Jesus View the Old Testament?]

Genesis 1:2 — 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.

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.

Genesis 1:2

What God does with formless and empty? Consider what he did in King David’s case. God knew that He would raise up a great King over Israel — the greatest government administration in the history of the world. He also knew that the great King would be a son of David’s. Who do you suppose God would choose as the new King’s mother?

How about Micah? She was of royal blood, the daughter of King Saul. Nope, not Micah. Neither did God choose any of David’s three other wives. Rather He chose Bathsheba, David’s fifth wife. Her child, Solomon, was the fruit of no noble, honorable, or holy intent. David saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof, had her brought into his castle, and committed adultery.

Then, after David learned that she was pregnant, he murdered her husband to cover it up.

Yet out of this chaos God raised up Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba. The greatest government administrator who ever lived. (for more see Mark Gungor’s DVD, How to Stay Married and Not Kill Anybody)

Are you experiencing chaos in your life? A broken marriage? A son or daughter gone astray? A layoff from work? The loss of a house to the bank?

Take heart. The same Spirit of God that took the formless and empty earth and heavens and created from them the majestic earth and heavens that we see today, the earth and heavens that are so spectacular, so beautiful, so magnificent that it’s impossible not to see God’s hand in them. That same Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, specializes in creating wonderful fruit from difficult or even seemingly impossible situations.

God loves you. God is for you. It may not be easy, but God will help you.

Cast your burden upon him. He is the answer. In the words of Matthew Henry, “Dead matter would be for ever dead if He did not quicken it.” Dead marriages, dead relationships, dead careers, dead bank accounts, ask — God will help. He is for you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,”

Jeremiah 29:11-14

Genesis 1:1 — In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

The word for God that is used here is elohiym and, interestingly, it is the plural form of the word God that means “strong or mighty.” The plural usage here speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity that is touched on in the Old Testament and made plain in the New Testament. (Jamieson) The writer of the gospel of John speaks of this moment in time when he writes of Jesus, “the Word:”

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1-3

Although the Bible is not a science book, where it does touch on scientific information it’s always accurate. For example the Bible says that,

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.

Job 26:7

Hindus believed that the earth was supported on the back of an elephant. Greeks believed that the earth was held upon the back of Atlas. But Genesis, written in the 5th century BC, says it’s suspended on nothing. (Courson)

Sir Isaac Newton, who today, is recognized by many as the greatest physicist in history, had a standing disagreement with his contemporaries who ridiculed him for his belief in the Biblical creation account. Newton once hired a craftsman to build a model of our solar system. The model was very elaborate, it even included an ingenious mechanism to move the planets in their respective orbits around the sun. Shortly after the model was completed a scientist friend stopped by for a visit.

“Oh My! What an exquisite thing this is!”  Newton’s friend exclaimed. “Who made it?”

Paying little attention to him, Sir Isaac answered, “Nobody.”

Stopping his inspection, the visitor turned and said,  “Oh? Evidently you did not understand my question.  I asked who made this?”

Newton, enjoying himself immensely no doubt, replied in a still more serious tone, “Nobody.  What you see just happened to assume the form it now has.”

“You must think I am a fool!” the visitor retorted heatedly, “Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius, and I would like to know who he is.”

Newton then spoke to his friend in a polite yet firm way:  “This thing is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?

bluemarble.net

Of course our solar system was created. Of course the universe, all the heavens and the earth, were created. The Bible says that, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1) It’s obvious. It’s easy to see God’s hand in our universe — that’s not the issue with those who claim to not believe in a Creator.

The issue is one of accountability.

You see, as soon as a creator is acknowledged, that opens the door to accountability to that Creator. Anyone who wants to feel like they’re not accountable for their behavior can’t acknowledge a Creator. I say “feel like they’re not accountable” because, of course, that’s merely an illusion. God provides man with free will but also holds all men accountable. (Romans 14:10) Acknowledging the existence of a Creator would mean giving up the illusion of not having to be accountable and acknowledging sin.

If you find yourself in a discussion with someone who doesn’t believe in the Biblical creation account or doesn’t believe in the Creator, lovingly bring the conversation around to Jesus. The real question is: is Jesus who He said He was? Is He the Son of God? Is His grave empty? If Jesus is who He said He was then there’s no place to go but to Him for salvation. (John 14:6) (Courson)

Jesus said,

I and the Father are one.”

Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

John 10:30-33

Goldman Sachs Ripoff — Reformation vs. Regeneration

Goldman Sachs Protest

Perhaps you’ve been wondering what all the buzz is about concerning Goldman Sachs. I recently heard it explained this way: Goldman Sachs put together investment packages, sold them to customers as a wise and promising way to spend their money, and then, Goldman Sachs invested in a way that “bet against” the success of those very same investment packages — because they knew they would fail. (read more in the Washington Post article)

It’s human nature to think that reformation can change a person, an organization, a country, or the world. We think, if only we could reform the government, or get our man or woman into office. If only we could reform the financial system with more regulation, or by appointing the right Fed Chairman. If only we could reform ourselves, turn over a new leaf, make resolutions and stick to them. In reality, reformation never changes much, regeneration is the answer. Not that Wall Street can ever  be perfect this side of heaven, but, without Christ in the hearts of the men running Wall Street, there’s no hope for Wall Street. Regeneration through the acceptance of Christ into your life is the answer. (see John 3:1-7) Without Christ in your life reformation will bring only temporary or superficial change. Without Christ in your life you’re likely to return to a state worse than you were before reformation. (see Luke 11:24-26) Without Christ in your life there is no hope because without Jesus you can do nothing. (see John 15:5)

…he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

Titus 3:5

Pray for regeneration. Pray for the Holy Spirit, daily. Pray for Christ to fill up your life with Himself.

For more information see John Courson’s teaching from Sunday, April 25, 2010 at JonCourson.com .