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5 - Creation is about the Glory of God Pt 2

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Creation is about the Glory of God the Creator, Part 2 ~ Genesis 1:24-25

Preached by Pastor Phil Layton at Gold Country Baptist Church on  July 15, 2007

www.goldcountrybaptist.org

On the NASA website this week[1] I read and watched footage of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to approach the Moon, which entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts; Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders did a live television broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and Moon seen from Apollo 8.  Lovell said, "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth."’ We actually found an audio clip of the end of that broadcast:

William Anders: "For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you". <Reads Gen 1:1-4>

Jim Lovell: <Reads v. 5-8>

Frank Borman: <Reads v. 9-10>

Borman then added, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth." 

A little over a year later, on February 5, 1970, a microfilm packet containing Genesis 1:1 in sixteen languages and a complete English Bible were deposited on the Moon by Apollo 14 LEM Commander Edgar Mitchell.[2]

The next year one of the few astronauts to walk the moon and the first to ride the moon buggy, was James Irwin in July, 1971. His trip into space was so moving that he later became a Christian evangelist. This is what he wrote of viewing earth from his space ship: “Seeing this has to change a man, has to make a man appreciate the creation of God and the love of God.”

Senator John Glenn, after returning to space in 1998 on the Discovery Space Shuttle, said: “I don’t think you can be up here and look out the window as I did the first day and see the Earth from this vantage point, to look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God.” [3]

The sad reality, though, is that so many who study the majesty and magnificence of creation in astronomy or the other sciences, can look at the grandeur and greatness of the universe and not believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

We could go through a lot of examples and illustrations of people like the astronauts who read Genesis 1 in space or the other lunar mission that deposited the text of Genesis 1 in multiple languages. So many have considered the first chapter of the Bible to be so important, but what pains me is that there are so many Christians and biblical institutions who do not think its details are important or at least worth taking a stand on it as literal history and what it really means and certainly it’s not consider worth studying with the detail that we are examining its implications. 

I was reading this week of a study or survey of over 100 schools in an association of Christian colleges, about 95% of the schools appear to be ‘open to a reinterpretation of Genesis 1–3 that accommodates evolutionary theories. Numerous well–known Bible teachers and apologists see the whole question as moot, and some even aggressively argue that a literal approach to Genesis is detrimental to the credibility of Christianity. They have given up the battle—or worse, joined the attack against biblical creationism.’[4]

I certainly don’t want to judge anyone’s hearts, but as John MacArthur has asked, it’s a fair question as to what the motive is: Do they not teach Genesis 1 is literal history because they want to please secular scientists rather than their Sovereign Savior? Do they love the applause of men? Do they love the reputation of academics more than the God to whom they must give account? Do they seek the approval of departmental committees more than the holy God of Scripture?

Darwin’s theory originally met a lot of opposition from secular communities, scientists and others, but was very quickly embraced by many Christians.  In fact, if you study the history of evolution, it seems to me that its success is due a lot more to Christians than to atheists – it was a different view of God, not a denial of God.

A vast number of evolutionists are theists, many churchgoers, and at the same time that evolution and naturalism are once again being attacked and dismantled outside the church (scientists from leading prestigious universities signing dissent from Darwinism, intelligent design movement, etc.) at this same time so many inside the church are holding more tightly than ever to evolution by God or at least progressive creationism over evolutionary ages. 

An ABC News Poll for May of this year (2007) shows 60% of Americans believe God created the world without evolution and did so in six days.  Other recent polls I have seen from numerous sources suggest similar numbers, at least more than half. It appears that the percent is much higher in America at large than in Christian academic institutions.  It’s also interesting that conservative Muslims and Mormons have held to a more consistent view of literal six-day creation than most Christians hold to.  It’s an interesting trend to notice how the Catholic Church (although Pope John Paul was somewhat open to evolution by God) has held more consistently to some things that mainstream evangelicals haven’t such as church leaders being men.  Sometimes those outside the evangelical Christian church put to shame those inside and expose our inconsistencies.  It’s also interesting to note that in the first half of the twentieth century, even some State governments refused to compromise on evolution where the church had.

Here is the law from the State of Tennessee which was in force until 40 years ago:

It shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the universities,

normals, and all other public schools of the State which are supported

in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach

any theory that denies the story of the divine creation of man as

taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from

a lower order of animals.

---Tennessee Legislature Act, March 21, 1925. Repealed, May

17, 1967[5]

Of course, nowadays, to even put a sticker in a science textbook that doesn’t mention God but explains that evolution is a theory which not all scientists agree on – to do this is deemed unconstitutional.  It’s intriguing to me how countries like the Philippines allow more freedom, speech, and honesty then the U.S. which prides itself on this.  The Philippines still has freedom of religion, whereas America really has freedom from religion.

Just in case you don’t know where I stand by now, the Westminster Confession (Chap. 4.1) was written in the 17th century, but I don’t think modern theologians have improved on its summary:

It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, (Heb. 1:2, John 1:2–3, Gen. 1:2, Job 26:13, Job 33:4) for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, (Rom. 1:20, Jer. 10:12, Ps. 104:24, Ps. 33:5–6) in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good. (Gen. 1, Heb. 11:3, Col. 1:16, Acts 17:24)

I don’t claim that there are no challenges to this view or no good Christians teaching different views, but I must trust God and His Word unequivocally even if that means most of the world and a lot of Christians will think I’m naïve or old-fashioned, unsophisticated or outdated – I have to interpret my worldview and view of origins by what the Bible actually says, because God is the only One who was there during Creation Week and the only One who knows everything and never lies. In contrast, the world almost always trusts the ideas of fallible “experts” who weren’t there, don’t know everything, and often make errors and sometimes lie.

My passion is not primarily in the area of some of these details or debates in and of themselves, but it is God’s Word and God’s Glory that drive me.  To compromise or diminish either of those is not what we want to do.  Many of the ivy league schools in America did that very thing, although many began as seminaries and schools for biblical training, they now are as secular and pagan as possible. Why must we hold fast to God “in the beginning”? For God’s glory and also for our good.

Why did God do it the way He said in Genesis 1?  The same reason He does everything – for His own glory, and in a way that most glorifies Himself.

OUTLINE:

I. The Perfect Goodness of God – v. 24-25

II. The Praise Deserving of God – Ps 148 (Rev. 4:11)

First, The Perfect Goodness of God

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

 

7x in this chapter we have it was good. Seven is the number of completion, perfection – all God made was perfectly good. The text repeatedly says each type of land animal was created “according to / after its kind.”

Each species or class or family of animals was created not in an imperfect evolving state, but every animal was perfectly good right after its creation.  Things did not gradually become “good” in the sense of perfect; they were already “good” the day God created these creatures. Everything in God’s original creation is described as good.  Verse 30 suggests the birds and land animals did not originally eat each other then.

This phrase “its kind” does not allow for evolution as the creatures always reproduce in their own biblical kind, one kind of animal will never turn into another kind, God set genetic limits.

What does “earth bring forth” mean in v. 24? 

‘This is an interesting expression. It doesn’t imply any creative forces in the earth itself, or any power in the soil to generate life. It certainly isn’t suggesting that these life–forms evolved from in–animate matter. But it reminds us that creatures God made are composed of the very same elements as the earth. Genesis 2:19 affirms this, saying that God formed the living creatures “out of the ground.” When they die, their bodies decompose and they go back to the earth. As we shall see in chapter 8, this is true of human beings as well. Adam was formed from the dust of the earth. And when we die, our bodies return to dust (Genesis 3:19).’[6]

God seems to intentionally have created His earth creatures from the dust as a reminder to them that they are earthy and little more than dust without God’s gracious work in them.  

At this point, of course, before sin there was no hint of death, disease, decay, degradation, destruction, struggle of survival of the fittest.  Lion could lie down with the lamb, and paradise was peaceful and perfect – as v. 30 says, all God made was “very good.” Scripture says that one day in a sense this paradise will be restored, and lion will lay down with lamb again, and a child can play with a cobra.  For now, in the story, it’s all good.

 

In Genesis 1:25, we have listed three types of land creatures:

“beasts”           – a general term including wild animals

“cattle”            - NIV has “livestock” – this may be a broader term than both translations suggest, and generally refers to the animals man can domesticate or tame, including dogs, etc.

“creeping”       -  smaller, close to the ground animals, presumably including those with short or no legs, perhaps small reptiles, amphibians, maybe even insects.

The basic idea of this is more concisely stated in the line of a song:

All creatures great and small, The Lord God made them all

 

God’s goodness is still evident in creation and His creatures today, it was not wiped out when sin entered paradise.

1 Timothy 4:4 (NKJV)
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

NASB “everything created by God is good” (context: forbidding marriage or certain foods, but all that God made was and is good)

‘To the Hebrews this unvarnished verdict [“it was good”] buttressed their faith that the world in which they lived began with and continued to exist due to the consistent and beneficent will of a single good God. Other nations parcelled the world out among a multiplicity of deities, some good, some nasty, and were never sure where they stood … [But the Hebrews were] convinced that only one God—their God—was in control. Because of that the characteristic mood of their religion was hope … happiness and joy. This world in which God had set them was a good place, and life was to be welcomed and enjoyed.

There have been times in the history of the Church when Christians have turned from the world and regarded material and fleshly things as tainted and sinful. There is not the slightest warrant in this chapter for such an attitude.[7] (Cf. 1 Tim. 4:4)

Psalm 33:5-6 (NKJV) 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

Psalm 23 says at the end “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”

One of the ways God’s goodness follows us and pursues us and never leaves us is as Psalm 33 says “the earth is full of his goodness.”  All over the earth are continual reminders and object lessons of God’s goodness in creatures and creation, which are there all the days of our life.  Mercy also follows us all the days of our life, because Lamentations says God’s mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness. 

God’s creation reflects His attributes as we’ve seen before, and God calls upon us to experience, to taste, to see, to savor these either through nature or the beasts of the field from day six, such as even lions that are dependent upon God. 

Psalm 34:8-14 (NASB95)
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! …

10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. …

12 Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 104:21-31 (NKJV)
21 The young lions roar after their prey, And seek their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they gather together And lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening. 24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions— 25 This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great. 26 There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there. 27 These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. 28 What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29 You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth. 31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works.

The Praise Deserving of God

Matthew Henry writes in his commentary on Genesis 1:20:

‘The curious formation of the bodies of animals, their different sizes, shapes, and natures, with the admirable powers of the sensitive life with which they are endued, when duly considered, serve, not only to silence and shame the objections of atheists and infidels, but to raise high thoughts and high praises of God in pious and devout souls, Ps. 104:25’

Psalm 104 is a psalm that meditates on creation in poetic form, and the clear implication is that reflecting on the creatures God made, and how they all are utterly dependent on God for life and breath and food and everything, we should cry out with the psalmist:

24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions—

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works.

When OT saints praised God, they often praised Him for His work in creation. 

Nehemiah 9:5-6 (NASB95) 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed And exalted above all blessing and praise! 6 “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.

All are to bow before Him. All must be humble before the Creator.

Isaiah 66:1-2 (ESV) 1 Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? 2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

Let’s look at the OT passage that humbles man and reveals God as much or more than any other – Job 38.

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? 3 “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, 5 Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? 6 “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 “Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; 9 When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, 10 And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, 11 And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’? 12 “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place, 13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it? 14 “It is changed like clay under the seal; And they stand forth like a garment. 15 “From the wicked their light is withheld, And the uplifted arm is broken. 16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 “Have the gates of death been revealed to you, Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? 18 “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. 19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, 20 That you may take it to its territory And that you may discern the paths to its home? 21 “You know, for you were born then, And the number of your days is great! 22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 Which I have reserved for the time of distress, For the day of war and battle? 24 “Where is the way that the light is divided, Or the east wind scattered on the earth? 25 “Who has cleft a channel for the flood, Or a way for the thunderbolt, 26 To bring rain on a land without people, On a desert without a man in it, 27 To satisfy the waste and desolate land And to make the seeds of grass to sprout? 28 “Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29 “From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth? 30 “Water becomes hard like stone, And the surface of the deep is imprisoned. 31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion? 32 “Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? 33 “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth? 34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you? 35 “Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 “Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind? 37 “Who can count the clouds by wisdom, Or tip the water jars of the heavens, 38 When the dust hardens into a mass And the clods stick together? 39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, 40 When they crouch in their dens And lie in wait in their lair? 41 “Who prepares for the raven its nourishment When its young cry to God And wander about without food?

God takes care of the animals every day, and He is certainly qualified to take care of man. He provides them their needs and He will provide Job what he needs as well (cf. Matt. 6:25-33).

-          Job 39:1-4 talks about the mountain goats and how he takes care of their newborns, and the implication is that he protects and provides for the littlest ones at their most vulnerable time, and he can surely do the same for Job

-          Verses 5-8 talk about the wild donkey, which has the sense to stay in its place, and of course man must have the sense to stay in the place God puts us in

-          Verses 9-12 talk about the wild ox. The donkey and ox are known to be stubborn, and God may be hinting at Job’s stubbornness. “Will you trust him because his strength is great … will you have faith in him?”  Man does rely on animals to get work done, Job did trust his oxen because of their great strength – how much more should he trust God who has infinite strength?  If he relied on brute beasts, shouldn’t he be able to rely on a wise and all-knowing and loving Father?

-          Verses 13-18 have a really interesting description of the ostrich. The ostrich doesn’t really make sense to us, but God essentially says I knew what I was doing when I created this creature, and I always know what I’m doing, even when it doesn’t make sense to you

-          Verses 19-25 describe the horse, and how this animal can be confident because God made it that way, implying that God can also make Job confident as he faces life.

-          Verse 26-30 takes Job to the aviary, to the hawk and the eagle. God takes it up another notch, to another level. God mysteriously governs the migration instincts of birds, and he also mysteriously governs events and people according to His will

-          The eagle can see far better than man, and Job needs to realize he can’t see everything God is doing with his eyes or from his vantage point on the earth. 

As God interrogates Job and asks him all these questions the point is being emphatically hammered home GOD IS GOD AND WE ARE NOT!

God’s superiority and supremacy are so obviously displayed in creation.  And His goodness is very evident in His creatures.  All the creatures God made were good, whether smallest or greatest.  This is not what the ancient world believed however.

In Genesis 1:21, there is a very interesting mention of what some considered evil and feared – the Hebrew word is tannin and is translated variously:

“great sea monsters” (NASB, NRSV, NAB)

“large sea animals” (NCV)

“great creatures of the sea” (NKJV, NIV, NLT) or “great sea creatures” (ESV, NET)

“large sea creatures” (HCSB)

“great sea creatures” (ESV, NET)

“great whales” (KJV)

- KJV almost always translates this word as “dragons” elsewhere (17x)

- NBD, 43, translates “giant marine animals”

- Brown Driver Briggs Lexicon, 1072.2, gives “serpent” and “dragon” as other definitions

- Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of OT, 1764, cites this verse under heading of “sea dragon”

The word ‘can refer to any large creature, or it can mean “dragon” or “sea–serpent.” The reference to one specific kind of creature seems significant. Why are the tannin singled out? Perhaps the answer is found in the fact that ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian mythology was filled with fantastic tales about sea monsters. These were supposed to be gods, and the ancient pagans feared these sea–creature deities, as if they were the embodiment of evil. Such myths were common at the time Moses wrote this account. So here the biblical text simply states that God created even the largest, most monstrous creatures of the deep. They are not gods to be feared; they are created beings like every other form of life God created. And the biblical text underscores that fact, debunking all the pagan myths about them.’[8]

READ JOB 41 FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS CREATURE.

The reason I’m spending time here is because the text draws special attention to them, but also because in the context of how creation magnifies God, there is an entire chapter dedicated to one of these creatures at the end of the passage that exalts God’s Supremacy as much or more than any other in the Bible.  The climax of God’s longest audible speech in human history, the point at which Job humbles himself, is the description of Leviathan.

<Technical note: Some of the ancient Jewish writings identify the tannin in this verse [Gen 1.22] with the Leviathan. Hebrew poetic parallelism and apposition make leviathan virtually identical with other named sea-monsters: tannin, KJV “whale” or “dragon” (Ps. 74:13; Isa. 27:1); nahash, KJV “serpent,” such as the Eden serpent in Gen. 3:1 (Isa. 27:1); rahab (Isa. 51:9); and yam, KJV “sea,” often personified (Job 7:12; 26:1; Ps. 74:13–14; Isa. 51:9) … Targum Jonathan on Gen. 1:21 identifies the whales of the fifth day of creation as leviathan, and 2 Bar. 29:1-8 and 4 Ezra 6:47–52 follow suit’>[9]

Job 41 (NASB95)
1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord? 2 “Can you put a rope in his nose Or pierce his jaw with a hook? 3 “Will he make many supplications to you, Or will he speak to you soft words? 4 “Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him for a servant forever? 5 “Will you play with him as with a bird, Or will you bind him for your maidens? 6 “Will the traders bargain over him? Will they divide him among the merchants? 7 “Can you fill his skin with harpoons, Or his head with fishing spears? 8 “Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle; you will not do it again! 9 “Behold, your expectation is false; Will you be laid low even at the sight of him? 10 “No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him; Who then is he that can stand before Me? 11 “Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine. 12 “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, Or his mighty strength, or his orderly frame. 13 “Who can strip off his outer armor? Who can come within his double mail? 14 “Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth there is terror. 15 “His strong scales are his pride, Shut up as with a tight seal. 16 “One is so near to another That no air can come between them. 17 “They are joined one to another; They clasp each other and cannot be separated. 18 “His sneezes flash forth light, And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. 19 “Out of his mouth go burning torches; Sparks of fire leap forth. 20 “Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth As from a boiling pot and burning rushes. 21 “His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes forth from his mouth. 22 “In his neck lodges strength, And dismay leaps before him. 23 “The folds of his flesh are joined together, Firm on him and immovable. 24 “His heart is as hard as a stone, Even as hard as a lower millstone. 25 “When he raises himself up, the mighty fear; Because of the crashing they are bewildered. 26 “The sword that reaches him cannot avail, Nor the spear, the dart or the javelin. 27 “He regards iron as straw, Bronze as rotten wood. 28 “The arrow cannot make him flee; Slingstones are turned into stubble for him. 29 “Clubs are regarded as stubble; He laughs at the rattling of the javelin. 30 “His underparts are like sharp potsherds; He spreads out like a threshing sledge on the mire. 31 “He makes the depths boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a jar of ointment. 32 “Behind him he makes a wake to shine; One would think the deep to be gray-haired. 33 “Nothing on earth is like him, One made without fear. 34 “He looks on everything that is high; He is king over all the sons of pride.”

I have seen two secular documentaries on dragons in history that have suggested, the legends were inspired by dinosaurs from ancient times.  There is much evidence from many cultures and histories that humans and dragon-like creatures (possibly dinosaurs) lived together at some time. 

I would refer you to some of this on our website notes about my dad’s presentation on 6/17:

You can see pictures there of:

-          Dinosaur bones found unfossilized

-          Other bones found with blood cells, which could only be a few thousand years old or less

-          American Indian cave drawings in North America that look awfully like the Edmontosaurus which was known to live nearby

-          “ICA stones” found in Peru from South American countries with drawings of creatures that look like pterodactyls, T-Rex, stegosaurus, along with fish and other real creatures and a dragon-like water creatures

-          A 1000-year-old temple drawing in Cambodia that looks an awful like a stegosaurus

-          ** Remember, dinosaur skeletons were not really found or ideas of what they looked like drawn until 19th century, but many believed in dragons

-          Some missionaries and reputable people drew pictures of sea serpents they saw

-          There’s a famous story in Germany from the 4th century of St. George killing a dragon – it looks like a bigger version of 20th century Komodo dragons or smaller dinosaur

-          In Ireland in the 10th century, some wrote of an encounter with a creature that sounds like fossils later found of Kentosaurus

-          Marco Polo in 1271 A.D. spoke of dragons raised by the  Chinese emperor for his parades

Last fall I saw a 2-hour documentary on the History Channel called "Quest for Dragons" which summarizes:

 - The narrator says "the belief that dragons used to be real, in a time not too long ago, is common"

- In Elizabethan era, dragons are included in books on natural history

- In Washington D.C., the Shakespeare Library preserves some of these original books

- Edward Topsell (spelled "EDVVARD" in old English) wrote in 1608 "The History of Serpents" which was one of the first modern natural science books, listing every known animal and creature at the time. In his book he gives extensive descriptions of various dragons and how they are distinguished from other serpents by some sort of appendage on head, beard on face, scales, some with wings, etc., and he writes as if he has actually seen them (there were many alleged sightings in England after 1300 thru this time, and Europe as well as North & South America through middle ages and before)

- Shakespeare wrote of dragons

At least some on the History Channel show conclude that the best explanation for such dragon stories in so many cultures worldwide are dinosaur bones found in centuries past by those who "had no concept of extinction or millions of years" - of course it doesn't consider the possibily that humans may indeed have coexisted with dinosaurs.   

For more, see:

http://www.history.com/shows.do?action=detail&showId=173437

http://www.creationists.org/thequestfordragons.html

For almost 100 years there have been reports from the Congo Basin in central Africa of a monster known to the natives as ‘Mokele Mbembe’, and which seems to look like a dinosaur. It reportedly varies in length from five to 10 metres (17 to 35 feet), much of this being made up by its long tail and very long neck. Its head and neck are compared to a snake, but it is much larger than any python. Mokele Mbembe’s legs are described as short, with three visible claws on the hind foot, and the footprints are rounded and about 30 centimetres (one foot) in diameter. The body has been compared to that of an elephant or hippopotamus. Professor Mackal, who has led expeditions into the Congo in search of the elusive creature, believes it to be a small dinosaur. His research suggests it may specifically be a surviving Atlantosaurus.[10]

‘Although these verses [Gen. 1:21 and context] are concerned with general categories of living things, the great sea creatures (tanninim) are singled out for special attention. The pagans worshiped the great sea creatures as dragons and monsters in rebellion that had to be subdued. In ancient Canaan Lotan (the equivalent of Hebrew’s Leviathan) was the name of this great force. The Torah subdues this view rather simply by reporting that God created (bara) them. Canaan may fear and venerate them as gods, but Israel knew that they were just another part of God’s perfect and harmonious creation. Only the Creator, Job would learn, can control Leviathan.’[11]

*Look at Job’s response at the end of the book – 42:6

**Read Psalm 148:7 and context

May we be humble, contrite, revering scripture, and praising our Creator.


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[1] http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo8_xmas.html

[2]Tan, P. L. (1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations. Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1470.

[3] Both quotations from Morgan, R. J. (2002). Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook: 2003 edition, p. 39. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2001). The battle for the beginning  (26). Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group.

[5] http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/tennstat.htm

[6]MacArthur, 142.

[7]Gibson, J. C. L. (1981). Genesis : Volume 1. The Daily study Bible Series (45). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

[8] MacArthur, 129.

[9] Jeffrey, D. L. (1992). A Dictionary of biblical tradition in English literature. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

[10] http://answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i4/seamonsters.asp

[11] Allen Ross, Creation and Blessing, 111.

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