This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
I love these four verses. It’s as though God is moving us from the overview of creation in Genesis chapter 1, to the account of man in the rest of the Bible, by rotating His telephoto lens from wide angle to zoom. In chapter 1 of Genesis God’s word is at wide angle, in Genesis chapter 2, verse 8 the Bible zooms in to record that part of God’s creation that is mankind. Genesis 2:4-7 is the time of transition between the two.
“This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” (Genesis 2:4) Christians have three options here. I don’t pretend to know how creation happened exactly, but I do have respect for all three options. The first is to believe the biblical account is literal, and actually occurred in six days. The second is to believe in a progressive creation that took millions of years. And the third is to believe in theistic evolution.
Whichever you believe, I think there’s a dynamic here that can be seductive to your soul. If you make the assumption that the Genesis account, including the record of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, is 100% myth, then you have to make a judgment concerning the giving of manna from heaven, the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the account of Jonah and the whale. You might find yourself attempting to decide for yourself, where myth ends, and where truth and history begin. And when that happens, you begin to conform the bible to yourself, instead of conforming yourself to the likeness of Christ. (Romans 8:29)
Many people like to pretend they believe what they believe with complete objectivity when the reality is there are personal and social reasons for ascribing to any worldview. What I so often observe are people who conform the bible to their life, because they’re afraid of the opinions of their peers and even more afraid of letting go of the self-life.
But Jesus himself spoke of the miracles, events, and people in the Old Testament as historical truth.
Jesus validated the account of the destruction of Sodom including the death of Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:29,32) Jesus confirmed that manna fell from heaven (John 6:31-51) Jesus spoke of Daniel of the Old Testament as a real and genuine prophet. (Matthew 24:15) Jesus validated the account of Jonah and the whale. (Matthew 12:39) And Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6 speaks of the Genesis account of the creation of Adam and Eve.
How does that all work? How is any of that possible?
I don’t know.
I don’t believe in blind faith, but I do believe in faith. I believe in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and words based on the assessment of those accounts by a former atheist and expert in ancient literature, C.S. Lewis. And if the gospels are true, then Jesus is real. And if he is who he said he is, the Son of God, then his words are the most important and most credible words there are. And he quoted from the Old Testament often, and as an authoritative source.
Jesus said directly, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) He called the Scripture, “the commandment of God.” And Jesus referred to the Old Testament as the the words of God and God’s final authority: “Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God?” Jesus said. (Matthew 22:31)
Some desire to accept Christ but to reject parts of the Bible but that don’t make sense to them. Because Jesus accepted the Old Testament as “spoken to you by God” (Matthew 22:31) then if you believe on Jesus you find yourself in a position where you have to give credibility to the Old Testament, or disagree with the Son of God. What you and I are left with is a choice: will you, I, we choose to believe the secular criticisms of the bible, or the authority of God’s word?
Will you believe the critics or Christ?
I’m with Jesus.