Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 1:3-31. What I'd like to do is give you an overview of the creation days. There really is so much here that we could spend a tremendous amount of time in it. We are going to look at it in three parts. This time and next time we’ll look at some things we learn from all the days, and then after that we’ll focus on the sixth day. I think you’ll see some absolutely fantastic patterns which God has recorded for us in these revelations which have practical implications for how we live in the world today.

Before we get there, we need to make at least passing reference to the nature of the creation days because there has been a good deal of controversy even in evangelical circles. Historically only Augustine viewed these days as other than six natural, 24-hour days. He thought the Apocrypha was part of Scripture, and he tried to harmonize Genesis 1 with an apocryphal book that asserts that God created the world instantaneously. His motivation was to harmonize two books that he thought were both Scripture, but these new theories have proliferated because of the advances of various sciences. At least since the time of Darwin, geologists and other scientists believed that the world was millions and millions of years old, and this did not seem to square with the account of the world being created in six days. So evangelicals began to attempt to harmonize the six days with these vast ages. Various theories came out, figurative interpretations of these days. There are a number of problems with each, but the main problem is there is absolutely no textual evidence that Moses intended this account to be taken in any other way than as a historical account of creation in six literal, 24-hour days.

Let me say just a few things as we approach this issue. First of all, we need to beware accommodation to current scientific theory in our attempts to interpret Genesis 1. There's an old saying that says "He who marries the spirit of this age, will be a widow in the next." Secondly, we should resist any tendency that undercuts the historical character of this passage. It is very clear throughout Scripture that the Bible takes the creation of the world seriously as a historical event. If it's not a historical event, there is absolutely no spiritual comfort we can take from the things asserted here. Thirdly, we should remember that when we are looking at the creation through the eyes of Moses, we are having to look at the creation through three massive barriers: Noah’s flood, the fall, and the sixth day. The first five days of creation are God's account of an experience that no human ever had. It would be very bold to assert that we know more about the nature of those days than does Moses. I think we do better to take the passage at face value. Moses intends us to believe that God created the world in six days.

In modern science, because we believe that creation or the evolution of this world took place over billions and billions of years, man is a blip on the screen. The prologue of the creation of the world that we live in now takes billions of years, and it makes man small and insignificant. By Moses conveying to us the fact that the creation is accomplished in six days, it brings the focus onto man as the crown of God's creation so that, rather than man being a blip on the screen, God gives the prologue six days and then spends the rest of the Bible telling us about His redemption of man. Man is not an inconsequential blip on God's screen. You couldn't have a more radical contrast than the view of modern science and the view of Scripture with regard to man.

Now having said all of that by way of introduction, let me just point your attention to the days themselves. You remember last time we said the first three days show us God giving the world form. The last three days show us God filling the world, bringing fullness to emptiness. And this impresses us with the fact that the creation itself is stamped with God's character. We’ll look this week at two ways we see this, and we’ll see four more ways next time.

I. God's sheer power

Look at the first day in verses 3-5. God's sheer power is expressed in this first day. God says, and it comes into being. By eight simple commands Moses says God spoke reality into being. It's an awesome thought. There is no question that God is bigger than this universe. We know what it is to attempt to order things, but we are often frustrated by those things. God orders the creation and His ordering is sovereign and it is effectual. When He speaks order into being, it comes into being.

Note also that immediately on the first day there is an emphasis on the dividing of day and night. Look at verse 4. "God saw that the light was good and God separated the light from darkness." There is an immediate emphasis on division and differentiation in the creation, which is part of God's ordering of the creation. In verses 6 and 7 He differentiates between the waters above and the waters below. In verses 14 and 18 He differentiates between the day and the night, the sun and the moon. You’ll see this even about the Law in Leviticus 20:25 where we see the Lord again adding differentiation even into His Law. So God makes distinctions, and those distinctions are the way that He structures His creation.

II. God transforms chaos to order

Look then at verses 6-8 and the second day. On that day God transforms chaos to order by dividing the waters above and the waters below. This day recounts the creation of the sky, that is, the expanse or heaven. Now, I have no idea what he's talking about when he's talking about the heavenly waters. But Moses speaks of God bringing a differentiation into the world, breaking apart, dividing the waters below from the waters above by the creation of the heavens, meaning the sky.

I want you to note also that already by the second day you see a six-part formula to each day that repeats itself. First of all there is an introductory word: "And God said." Secondly, there is a creative word where God says, "Let there be." Thirdly, there is a fulfillment word: "And it was so." Fourthly, there is a Lordship word, where God names the thing that He has created. God shows His Lordship in the naming of the things that He makes. That's very important when we come to the creation of man. Fifthly, there is a commending word in all but one of the days: "And it was good." On the sixth day, "And it was very good" indicates that God's creation is essentially good. Then there's a concluding word which ends with a phrase that says, "and there was evening and there was morning." God transforms chaos into order by bringing this kind of structure and order into His creation. So this passage shows us God’s incredible power over creation, both in His speaking it into creation and in bringing order to it by division and differentiation.