“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)
God’s Word begins with this simple statement, but what a wealth of truth is taught in this verse! It teaches us that God is eternal. In the beginning, God already existed. He brought into existence the heavens and the earth and all the host of them; things that had never existed before. “Scientists” throughout the history of man have sought for an explanation for the existence of the heavens and the earth; an explanation which leaves God out, but their search has been in vain. The world did not come into existence through purely natural means, but by supernatural creation. The Bible tells us that “God spoke” and things which “were not” suddenly “were.”
As we look at the beauty and vastness of the world we live in, we cannot help but see that it was designed and created by God. The Psalmist wrote,
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (Psalms 19:1-4)
It is incredible that people who can see and experience the wonder of the world we live in, from the vast expanse of the heavens to the intricate detail of the living creatures here upon the earth, can conclude that all of this happened by chance through natural processes and mechanisms of gradual change (i.e. evolution). Paul warned Timothy to beware of such conclusions, which are “falsely called knowledge (science),” and to realize that by professing it “some have strayed concerning the faith” (I Tim. 6:20-21). Paul gave a similar warning in Romans, chapter 1.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, …” (Rom. 1:18-22)
While we can come to know something of the power and glory of God through the things He has created, we must realize that the heavens and earth we see today are not in the same condition as when God created them. God designed and created a perfect world.
In Genesis chapter 1, we find God’s record of the six days of creation; beginning with light on the first day and progressing to land animals and man on the sixth day. Upon the completion of God’s work of creation on the sixth day, we read,
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Gen. 1:31-2:3)
Everything that God created, formed, and made was perfect; the light and the darkness, the land and the sea, the plants, the sun, moon, and stars, the fish, the birds, the animals, and the man and woman. In addition to these things, which are mentioned by name in Genesis 1, there were other things created as well. Genesis 2:1 states that God finished “the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them.” The word “host” no doubt includes the beings described in the Bible as angels, cherubim, seraphim, etc. These were also created beings (Heb. 1:7).
Even Satan, who was an angelic being, was created. In Ezekiel 28 we read of messages from the Lord God to two individuals: the prince of Tyre (verses 1-10) and the king of Tyre (verses 11-19). The prince of Tyre was no doubt an earthly king; a man, but the king of Tyre, because of the nature of his description, could not have been just a man. The king of Tyre is described thus,
“Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” (Ezek. 28:12-15)
This passage does not picture a mere man, even an earthly prince or king. It pictures a powerful angelic being; a being who was “prepared,” “established,” and “created” by God. This is a picture of Lucifer (Isa. 14:12), as he was created by God; not evil and sinful, but “perfect,” up until iniquity was found in him, and he became Satan, the adversary of God.
God’s Pattern for Man
“Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:26-27)
Adam and Eve were created in the likeness and image of God. This does not mean they were equal with God or were themselves, gods, but, they were perfect and without sin, therefore they were “innocent” before God. We read in Genesis 2:25 that “they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” This gives us the name of the first dispensation on our chart, the dispensation of INNOCENCE.
God’s Purpose for Man
God gave certain responsibilities to Adam. “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. … The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend (work) and keep (watch, care for) it” (Gen. 2:8,15).
Along with these responsibilities, God also placed certain restrictions upon Adam. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).
Adam heard the Word of God, regarding both the responsibilities and the restrictions. At the time he heard these instructions, Adam was without sin. He was innocent before God.