Hold it Together – Bible Study – Genesis 1:6-20
Written by Dave Urbanski
On our first Sunday looking at the first chapter of Genesis — the first day of creation — we discovered that the magnificence of creation itself cries out, “Worship me!” But who is me? Of course, we know “me” is our Lord Jesus Christ, the author of all creation — but still many people actually worship creation itself rather than the One who brought it all into existence. The bottom line: Every day we have a choice to make … will we worship creation or the Creator? Will we put “things” at the top of our lists … or the Person who made all those things possible?
This past Sunday we looked at the next few days recounted in Genesis 1 and learned more about God’s creative process — and his unfathomable power to hold together everything he’s created. And what should encourage all of is that if the Lord can bring the universe into existence and keep it all functioning, doesn’t it make sense that he has the ability to bring about amazing, wonderful things in each of our lives?
Verses 6 through 8 read: “And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.”
Let’s look again at some science that underscores the detail God used in his creative process. When we consider what makes up our atmosphere, we probably first think of oxygen. True enough! But the fact is that it’s only 21 percent oxygen — the rest is mostly nitrogen. But if more oxygen took up our atmosphere, things on earth would tend to burn up or blow up — and catastrophic regularity. Not fun! And you know what else our atmosphere does? Working with gravity it presses down and keeps water upon our oceans, lakes, and streams. And who wants to live on a planet where we can’t access water because it can’t stay put? And furthermore, according to our human perspective the atmosphere is pretty huge — about 60 miles wide. That’s quite a vertical haul into the sky, especially considering most commercial planes only ascend about five miles up! But did you know that in the much larger, cosmic perspective, if the earth were the size of an apple, our atmosphere would only be the thickness of an apple skin — which is pretty thin! Yet that’s all that separates us from the uninhabitable environment beyond our atmosphere. OK, let’s review: God created our atmosphere — which in the cosmic perspective is just a tiny sliver of thickness — with just the right amount of oxygen and with just the right amount of size to press down and keep water on the planet for us.
God holds all things together.
And speaking of water, verses 9 and 10 say, “And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” We can’t have life without oxygen, and we can’t have life without water, either. Besides the obvious — drinking water sustains us — the Lord also built some amazing properties into that water we drink. Did you know that because water freezes from the top down instead from the bottom up, ice forms over lakes and provides insulation so that fish can survive in the winter?
Continuing in verses 11 through 13: “And God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”
The Lord saw to it that his creation of vegetation — which is sustained because of God’s initial creation of our atmosphere and water and the nutrients in the earth’s soil — is strategic. Vegetation also has the ability to reproduce itself. (You see where this is headed, don’t you?) God has it all figured out and is putting all the pieces together as he’s painting his masterpiece.
Want some more hard facts? There’s a principle in mathematics called the Fibonacci Sequence. It’s a series of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 — and on to infinity. The key is that each number is the sum of the previous two. But what’s really cool is how the Fibonacci Sequence is seen in nature. According to eniscuola.net, we can see the sequence in flower petals: “Most have three (like lilies and irises), five (parnassia, rose hips) or eight (cosmea), 13 (some daisies), 21 (chicory), 34, 55 or 89 (asteraceae).” And further, if we observe flowering plants, they tend to follow a spiraling pattern that’s related to the Fibonacci Sequence. It’s remarkable how much of the Lord’s creation has his very fingerprint on it.
God holds all things together.
Then the fourth day came — verses 14 through 19: “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. And God made the two great lights — the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night — and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.”
The moon is just the right size and just the right distance away from us to create the ocean tides. It’s our closest neighbor; at a bit over 300,000 miles away we can get to it with rockets in a few days. The sun, however, is quite a bit farther away: 93 million miles. Not that we’d ever want to travel anywhere close to it, but the sun sits in space at just the distance from our planet to provide us with the correct amount of heat and light so that we can survive. The stars God created are uncountable as far as our abilities go, and they’re far away. The closest star to us after the sun is four light years away, meaning that we’d have to travel at the speed of light — 80,000 miles per second — for four years straight to get to it. Unfathomable!
Oh, and another word about the Fibonacci Sequence: Not only can we can see its spiral pattern in something as tiny as a flower, but also we can observe it in something as huge as the Milky Way — and in other galaxies and celestial bodies. Again, God’s fingerprint.
And yet, God made it all in a day. With the wave of his hand, by the command of his voice, he brought it all into existence.
Our study together on Sunday concluded with verses 20 through 22: “And God said, ‘Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.’ So, God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’”
The first chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians reminds us of Jesus’ creative power — and the grip he has on us: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
God holds all things together.
As we’ve seen from our study, it doesn’t matter how large or how small — God created all of it, and he holds it all together for us. And what that also means is that Jesus can do just as many miraculous things in our lives. He reminded us in the Gospels that God clothed the lilies of the fields with such splendor — and will do much more for us!
So, if you’re feeling weak today or under heavy burdens, give it all to Christ. He who created the microscopic, intricate patterns found in flowering plants and in the massive Milky Way and brought it all into existence can create new life in us — today. Cast your cares upon him. He loves you — and is already holding everything together for you!
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