This week’s Devotion Theme – God Created!
Today’s Bible Reading – Genesis 17-18 and Matthew 9
I’ve covered quite a lot this past week about the truth of the Bible, especially in contrast to what some scientists say about certain matters. My goal has been to try to steer folks back to a belief in what the Bible plainly says and to also demonstrate that scientific observation actually supports what the Bible says. I have seen too many cases of believers who start to question if the Bible is accurate in a certain area, and then begin to question at what point you can actually trust scripture.
I believe we can trust the Bible for many reasons, not the least of which is that real world evidence supports it. Theologian John Wycliffe once said, “On all domains of doctrine and in life, the authority of scripture is to be placed higher than all human understanding, for it is God’s word and as such the highest authority.”
Some people point out that the Bible is not a science textbook and so we shouldn’t put too much stock into what it says on science-related topics. My first response is usually, “Thank goodness it’s not a science textbook. Those are always being corrected and updated but the Bible has stood the test of time.”
There is one particular issue that I hear brought up time and time again in regards to the Bible not being trustworthy, and that is an apparent contradiction in Genesis chapter two, in the detailed account of Adam and Eve.
If you will recall, Genesis chapter one states that God created vegetation on day three, but did not create man until day six. But chapter two seems to indicate a different order.
Genesis 2:4-7 (NIV) – This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
So which came first the chicken or the egg, or in this case, the man or the brussel sprouts?
Let’s read the passage in the New King James version to see if it sheds any light on this apparent contradiction.
4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Aha! So it wasn’t that there were no plants when Adam was created, in the more detailed chapter two summary, it’s that certain types of plants were not created until after Adam was created. Specifically, what we would consider crop-like plants. That is made clear when it says part of the reason the plants had not been created yet is that there was no man to work or till the ground, so it should be clear these were crops. Soon after God created Adam, He created the Garden of Eden to place Adam and Eve in, and there God finally created these edible plants for them.
But doesn’t it say in Genesis chapter 1 that God created EVERY plant on day three? In fact it does not say that.
Genesis 1:11-13 – Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
Nowhere does it suggest that God created EVERY plant on day three. Contrast that with:
Genesis 1:20-25 – Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
It seems clear to me that there is no contradiction. Not all of the plants were created on day three. Instead God waited to create the plants intended for human consumption until after He created humankind. Those plants were created as part of the Garden of Eden, where God placed Adam and Eve.
Why does talking about Creation matter? Primarily, because studies have shown that anywhere between 70 and 88% of kids that were active in youth groups leave the church within a couple of years of graduating.
When we teach our kids that either the Bible is wrong in places, or tell them the Bible despite what some scientists claim, but then do not back that up with good reasons, we are setting them up to question their faith. Or when we try to fit millions of years and evolution into scripture, as many well-meaning Christians try to do, eventually many young people come to the conclusion that it doesn’t actually fit, and then they also find themselves questioning their faith.
But when kids are given the evidence that actually supports what scripture says, wow, what a difference that makes! I have seen it first hand many times.
My wife wrote a wonderful blog post on this very idea. I encourage you to read it if you have the time. https://thesparrowshome.com/biblical-worldview-creation/?fbclid=IwAR3eEqpKYpTmMfWJHURyN5pJT3traX-orCTPIARokqCcVg_FL7dqXg75G7M
If anyone has any questions or comments regarding the devotions dealing with creation, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SeekGrowLove Editor: We thank Greg for giving us all a week of devotions on creation and God’s reliable Scriptures. We can benefit greatly from the many years Greg has studied and analyzed the creation and evolution arguments. As we reaffirm the truth of God’s Word and understand the errors of some scientific theories that attempt to strip God of His power, might and even existence, we develop a deeper love for God, His Almighty power, and truth. As supposed inconsistencies with God’s Word are explained logically, we are reminded that God is right – again and again and forever and ever. May we love Him and trust Him more and more.
This coming week we will hear from Steve Mattison as he connects with God’s word in Genesis and guides us in continuing to SeekGrowLove. If you got behind on your Bible reading at all now is a great time to get caught up.