Genesis 1:20-23 - The Fifth Day: Creation of Water Creatures Air Creatures
A. God’s Word created water creatures and air creatures (v.20).
1. “Then God said…” (v.20).
a) The power of God’s Word.
(1) God’s Word can set the hardest heart afire or else pound it like a hammer until it breaks and surrenders to Christ.
The Lord says in Jeremiah "Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?" (Jeremiah 23:29, NASB95)
(2) God’s message—the gospel of Christ—can save everyone who believes.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has power, Paul said "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
(3) God’s Word can pierce like a sword; divide both spirit and soul, thoughts and motives.
The Word of God is not some dead words on paper, but "The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12, NASB95)
(4) God’s Word can cleanse the way of a person.
If we want to live a pure life, then obeying God’s Word is the answer, the Psalmist says "How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word." (Psalm 119:9, NASB95)
Speaking to His disciples, the Lord Jesus said "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you." (John 15:3, NASB95)
The Word of God sets us apart, Jesus Himself prayed to the Father asking "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." (John 17:17, NASB95)
2. “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and “Let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament…” (v.20).
a) In the Hebrew this verse reads like this:
(1) “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures [souls], and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens” (Genesis 1:20, NAS).
(2) The waters did not produce the living creatures of the sea and air. God Himself created the animals of the sea and air. There was nothing within the waters, air, or land that could create or bring forth sea and air creatures.
b) The word “create” (Bara, Genesis 1:21) is used for the first time since (Genesis 1:1).
(1) In the first four days of creation, God used existing material, something that was created when He created the heavens and the earth. He simply took what He had already created and rearranged or reformed it in order to create whatever He wished
(2) But not now, not in the creation of animal life. Water and air creatures were to be different, distinctive, and unique—so much so that a special creative act of God was needed. The “bara creation” of God was needed.
(a) The Hebrew word “bara” means the creation of something new, completely new. It is the creation of something out of nothing. No material, no matter, no substance, nothing whatsoever is used.
!!!!!! (b) God’s Word and command alone created animal life out of nothing by His Word.
Job Himself said to God "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2, NASB95)
Our God sits "in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases." (Psalm 115:3, NASB95)
When the disciples asked who can be saved "Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26, NASB95)
When the angel told Mary that she was going to have a child that shall be called the Son of God, the angel said "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37, NASB95)
Now when we try and think with our puny little brains how God is going to get us out of this situation, remember He "Is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us" (Ephesians 3:20, NASB95)
c) Christians are “new creations” in Christ Jesus (2Cor.5:17).
(1) A believer is a new creation with a new inner person-hood made after God’s own person:
Peter said that God "Has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." (2 Peter 1:4)
(2) Christ promised a New Covenant and in New Covenant is the promise of a new spirit and a new heart (Ezek.36:25–27).
The Lord says in Ezekiel 36 that "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.“ I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances." (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
(3) Two men that became new men:
(a) Gideon (Judges 6:11-18, 7:15-18) – God can take a doubter like Gideon and make a General out of him.
(b) Peter (John 1:42) –This is good news for anybody who wants a new start in life. God can take a weak piece of clay like Simon and make a rock out of him! God can take a doubter like Gideon and make a general out of him!
(4) Only God can create new things, and he begins by making sinners “new creatures” when they trust Jesus Christ to save them (2 Cor. 5:17).
(a) Then they can walk “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4), sing a “new song” (Ps. 40:3), and enter into God’s presence by a “new and living way” (Heb. 10:20).
(b) One day, we will enjoy “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1) when God says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
d) God is the God of progression and perfection.
(1) He wills to move forward and to go higher. Therefore, He moved forward and created a higher form of existence, that of water and air creatures.
(2) Great application for us: just as God willed to move forward in creation, we as believers in Christ should will to move forward, growing and maturing in the things of God and Christ.
Paul put it this way "My beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13, NASB95)
Paul also said in Ephesians 2:10 that "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10, NASB95)
If we want to walk in those good works, then listen to what we must do, we must “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15, NASB95)
Because "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NASB95)
!!!!! (3) More passages relating to growing and maturing in the Lord (Eph.4:14-15; Heb.5:12; 6:1; 1Pet.2:2; 2Pet.1:5; 3:18; 1Jn.2:6).
B. God created every water creature and every air creature—each “after its kind” (v.21a).
1. “God created every creature after its own kind…” (v.21a modified).
a) They have the power to reproduce themselves.
(1) When God says that He created every creature after its own kind, this means that all water creatures and air creatures have the power to reproduce themselves. All animal life has some means...
(a) to carry on its species, its kind of animal life.
(b) to bring forth the same kind of animal life, the same kind of life as the parent animal.
(c) to propagate its own species.
b) God is the God of order and of supreme intelligence.
(1) He creates an abundance of water and air creatures, species after species. And He creates each “after its kind,” with the ability to reproduce itself. God thought, planned, willed, and acted—all with supreme intelligence.
(2) How much more is man to be a person of order and intelligence: to think, plan, will, and act. Man is to order his steps and life after God, to live as God commands:
We should pray as the Psalmist did by saying Lord "Establish my footsteps in Your word, And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me." (Psalm 119:133, NASB95)
We can either walk in the Spirit or the flesh and Paul says "I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16, NASB95)
After explaining for 3 chapters of what God has done for us, Paul says in the fourth chapter of Ephesians "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, " (Ephesians 4:1, NASB95)
We ought to walk in wisdom "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, " (Ephesians 5:15, NASB95)
John writes in his first epistle saying "if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. " (1 John 1:7)
C. God saw that His creation was “good”—fulfilled its function (v.21b).
1. “God saw that it was good…” (v.21b).
a) The water and air creatures fulfilled their function and purpose.
(1) There are at least four major reasons why God created sea and air creatures:
(a) To populate and give life to His creation, both the waters and the sky of the earth.
(b) To help carry on the reproduction of the food chain.
(c) To give variety and beauty to the earth’s water and sky; to show forth His glorious handiwork.
(d) To provide companionship for man.
(2) The importance of these purposes is clearly seen when we picture an earth without fish or birds.
(a) Just imagine how empty the oceans, lakes, and rivers would be without fish, without any water life whatsoever.
(b) How empty the earth would be without birds, without any winged fowl at all.
!!!!! (3) God is the God of variety, diversity, and beauty.
(a) Kind after kind, species after species, class after class were created—an infinite variety and diversity, each with its own beauty and purpose.
(b) How clearly man could see the power of God within creation if man would just take time and look. How often God expects to be seen and praised in creation!
Nehemiah prayed "You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You." (Nehemiah 9:6)
Job, speaking to his friends says "But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. “Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you. “Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?" (Job 12:7-10, NASB95)
D. God blessed the water creatures and air creatures (v.22-23)
1. “God blessed them… be fruitful and multiply…” (v.22).
a) What is the blessing?
(1) First, there is the blessing and privilege of life: the privilege of being animated creatures. The privilege of living upon the earth, an earth full of variety, beauty, and provision. (Remember: the earth was not corrupted until after man’s fall.)
(2) Second, there is the blessing and privilege of reproducing: the blessing of being fruitful and multiplying, of populating the waters and the air, of carrying on their particular species.
(3) Think about this: God is the God of life & hope:
(a) God wills life to go on, to be fruitful and multiply, and He has made provision for reproduction.
(b) Man is to honor God and His will: he is to worship God and to respect and preserve life.
(c) The day is coming when pain and death will be no more. Animal will no longer feed upon animal. Neither man nor animal will be savage and take the life of another creature: all life will live together in peace.
We read in Isaiah that "The wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:6-9)
Paul says in Romans 8 "that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." (Romans 8:21-22)