Creation – Six-Day Journey…

 

“Then God said …;” “And it was so …;” simply denote the authority of our Creator God…“And God saw that it was good;” “and behold, it was very good;” speak absolutely of the excellence of God.”

Cecy Yépez

Following the commitment of “Towards Excellence” we now share a second excerpt from the study “The God of creation as author and example of excellence”, this time focused on the extraordinary six-day journey in which the wonderful creation took place.

It is important to mention that the English version of this article has been translated from the Spanish version of Towards Excellence (https://hacialaexcelencia.org/2021/11/01/creacion-una-jornada-de-seis-dias); not from the original texts and works of authors here cited. The Bible verses used are from NASB.

So, sit back and let’s briefly travel through time!

Herbert Wolf states that Genesis was written as the prologue to the rest of the Bible. In general terms, Genesis expounds on the origin of the universe, the physical world, human life, cultures and certainly the nation of Israel. All this without considering the detailed explanation of how sin entered this world and how it ruined God’s original creation.[1]

It is interesting that throughout the creation account the frequency of at least 4 phrases to which much attention should be paid is observed: “Then God said …;” “And it was so …;” “And God saw that it was good; ““And behold, it was very good”.

The first two sentences: “Then God said …;” “And it was so …;” simply denote the authority of our Creator God. His Word is truthful and trustworthy. What God says that is fulfilled. As it is stated in Psalm 33: 8-9 (NASB):

“Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood firm.”TE.Palm33

The second two sentences: “And God saw that it was good;” “and behold, it was very good;” speak absolutely of the excellence of God. But these last two sentences are definitely connected with the first two. God declares His Word with authority and truthfulness, consequently His decrees are executed, and they are executed with undoubted excellence.

Don Fleming, author of the “Concise Bible Commentary,” in his section “Plan of the Genesis account,” states that the Earth constitutes only a small part of God’s creation. And he adds:

“The Genesis account is concerned with showing that God made everything from nothing, that He worked from what is without form to what has form, from the simple to the complex. He describes how He led the universe through various stages until His creative activity reached its climax in Adam and Eve.” (Fleming 1994)

Thus, it is time then to travel through part of the great creative work of God. Let us start our imagination for this journey…a journey that originally lasted six days, exposed in Genesis 1: 1 – 2: 3. And for this purpose, we will quote again Fleming, who in a simple but dynamic and creative way, superbly synthesizes this work:

At first the earth was shapeless and in darkness, due to the surrounding mass of water, but as the thick clouds of steam began to lose their density, a hazy light came from the invisible Sun (1: 1-5 – Day 1).

And as they lost greater density, the vapor clouds rose from the ground, producing a clear distinction between the surface of the oceans and the roof of the heavy clouds above (1: 6-8 – Day 2).

Meanwhile the Earth (the planet) was drying up and the Earth as such appeared visible. Simpler forms of life began to appear. Various kinds of soils and climatic conditions produced various kinds of plants, which were thus created so that they continue to produce more plants according to their own species (1: 9-13 – Day 3).

The heavy cloud above, which gradually became thinner and thinner, finally broke apart. And so the sun, moon and stars that were previously hidden are now clearly visible. And its effect on the land allowed a variety of climates and an annual pattern of seasons to occur (1: 14-19 – Day 4).

As God’s creative activity progressed, animal life began to appear, with creatures in the sea and creatures in the sky (1: 20-23 – Day 5).

Creation-girl and forest2The Earth also experienced the appearance of animal life, until it was also filled with all kinds of creatures. And finally, the first human couple arrived, representing the pinnacle of God’s creation. Unlike other living beings, the human couple was created in the image of God. (1: 24-31 – Day 6).[2]  And about this we will talk later, in a future article, about how God, their Creator, prepared everything for their arrival and reception.

Throughout this journey of creation, it is important to note that five of the six days of creation itself, the following statement is reiterated: “And God saw that it was good.”

Henry M. Morris III, in his article “Genesis and the Character of God”, points out that it is the same word in Hebrew that is used every time and means exactly what is expected, that is: good, pleasant, charming, excellent, beneficial. In fact, this term is used more than 500 times in the Bible. There is nothing so unusual about the use of God’s Word, Morris says, except that it is repeated often and that it is God who uses this term.[3]

And the sixth time, precisely on the sixth day, a greater emphasis is observed, “And God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

The Hebrew word for good is טוב [TOV] and from the Hebraic perspective it means that “TOV” is practical and functional, not just a state of pleasure. Thus, in Genesis 1:31, it is observed that God saw that His creation worked perfectly.[4]

On the other hand, Nachmanides interprets the word מְאֹ֑ד [ME´OD] as “mainly,” that is, the world is “mainly good,” quoting Onkelos, it would be further specified as “very orderly” and “appropriately arranged.”[5]

Throughout the six-day journey, it is undoubtedly shown that creation displays the Creator’s mark of excellence. In fact, the Creator Himself stated that His creation is flawless in every way. It is impeccable for sure in beauty, in function, in purpose, and in potential. After the creation, God saw all and saw that all created was very good.[6]

More of the God of excellence in our next post. See you soon!

 

[1] Herbert Wolf, An Introduction to the Old Testament – Pentateuch (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 79-80.

[2] Don Fleming, Concise Bible Commentary (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994), 13.

[3] Henry M. Morris III, “Genesis and the Character of God,” Institute of Creation Research, https://www.icr.org/article/genesis-character-god/

[4] CMJ Israel, “Hebrew Word Studies,” CMJ Israel, https://www.cmj-israel.org/yeshiva/hebrew-word-studies

[5] Zachary Braiterman, “Tohu and Bohu are TOV – Genesis,” Jewish Philosophy Place, https://jewishphilosophyplace.com/2014/10/19/tohu-vabohu-is-tov-genesis/

[6] BibleRef, “What does Genesis 1:31 mean?,” BibleRef, https://www.bibleref.com/Genesis/1/Genesis-1-31.html

 

The God of Creation as Author and Example of Excellence – Introduction

“…from the microscopic and complex of DNA to the magnificent and unattainable galactic world of the splendid universe, the Creator´s mark of excellence is infallibly present.”

Cecy Yepez

For some months “Towards Excellence” has been silent, due to some circumstances, perhaps one of the main ones, because I, the author, was working on a long research whose theme fascinates me. So, for some time I have considered to share excerpts from it with each of you, the beloved audience of “Towards Excellence.”

From now on, I will be pleased to provide a broad overview of the excellence of the Triune Creator God and its implications for the work of leaders, and especially, Christian leaders within their various spheres of influence.

Through the study of Genesis 1 and 2, among other Biblical passages, the fascinating world of creation and its different moments are approached, in which the excellence of its Maker undoubtedly unfolds. It is observed, of course, that from the microscopic and complex of DNA to the magnificent and unattainable galactic world of the splendid universe, the Creator’s mark of excellence is infallibly present.

And of course, this study highlights the sublime and supernatural presence of the mark of excellence in the Creator’s masterpiece – the human being, in whose being His image and likeness were impregnated, which unfortunately was upset, stained and broken by the fall; but it is emphasized that it has the opportunity to be restored through the redemptive work of Christ. Of Whom, incidentally, a wonderful approach is made as “the image of the invisible God”, based on Colossians 1:15-17 and Colossians 2:9.

Space view on Planet Earth and Sun Star rotating on its axis in black Universe. Elements of image furnished by NASA, [Envato Elements].

In fact, to understand even more about the image of God, the character of Jesus and His actions are also analyzed, since He is the perfect example of what human nature should have been.

Thus, this study, in its last part, deals with what concerns Christian leadership, understanding that its actors, made in the image and likeness of the Creator, are challenged to be an example of His excellence where they have been called to lead. And not only that, but as bearers of His image, they have been commanded to exercise dominion over all creation, but they must do so in a way that is consistent with the character of the God of excellence.

For this reason, throughout the excerpts that I will share from this research, the great example of Jesus Christ will be denoted, whose leadership style has revolutionized the world. A leader who sacrificially serves lepers, without fear of infection; a leader who breaks down cultural barriers, not fearing other people´s opinion, such as the encounter with the Samaritan woman; a leader who forgives and restores, as when he courageously defended the woman who was about to be stoned; a confronting leader, as in the eviction of the temple. A true servant leader who gives His life for the cause that was entrusted to Him!

And we delved further, understanding that this leader did not allow Himself to be infected by the profane culture of His environment; but rather fearlessly expanded the culture of the Kingdom of God.

I trust that these excerpts will inspire many as they may have the opportunity to meet the God of excellence for the first time, or reaffirm their knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ, the God of excellence; or even more, mobilize many to be and act as ambassadors of excellence in this world.

In our next issue, we will start together an extraordinary journey through which we will recognize “the excellence of God in creation”; and certainly, we will join the poetic statement of Job:

“[God] who alone stretched out the heavens
    and trampled the waves of the sea;

who made the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;

who does great things beyond searching out,
    and marvelous things beyond number.”

(Job 9:8-10 – ESV)

See you soon and in the meantime, I encourage you to live a life marked by excellence!

Christmas in prayer!

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people…” 

 

This Christmas, at “Towards Excellence”, we will take time to pray for our faithful readers around the world.

And we pray that the peace of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the peace that surpasses all understanding, may be poured out in the lives of each of our readers. May Jesus, the Prince of Peace, be manifest in their lives, even in the midst of the turbulence and uncertainties that may be surrounding  them this Christmas season.

For those who already have the privilege of having a personal relationship with Jesus, may that relationship be even more strengthened, may each person set his or her gaze on “things above” and not on earthly things; that in the midst of the confusion that this world lives, their gaze may be placed on the Throne of God, a throne that is immovable. May their trust be in the King of kings, Jesus, and not in the ephemeral governments and systems of this world.

And for those who still do not know Christ and have not established a personal relationship with Him, we pray that all spiritual bandages will be removed from their eyes, and that they may recognize in the depths of their hearts that they are sinners, like everyone else because the Word of God says that “There is no righteous person, not even one”; and that they may come to repentance and to understand the need of salvation for their lives. May Jesus Christ supernaturally reveal Himself in their lives and bring them salvation, peace, joy, and His marvelous light in the midst of the darkness that they are surely facing.

We pray that the miracle of the first Christmas, more than 2000 years ago, will be an extraordinary reality this Christmas, in the heart of each person who decides to dispose his or her heart, as the manger was arranged, to receive the Messiah, the Savior of the world who yearns to be the Savior of their lives.

It is our prayer that we are all willing to listen to the sweet voice of our beloved Jesus, who is knocking today at the door of our hearts; so we clearly and confidently listen: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people…” (Luke 2:10).

We pray thus in the Name which is above every name, in Jesus Christ!

A Very Special Gift!

“The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.”                                                                                                                                                                (James 5:7b)

 

This year 2020, Towards Excellence celebrated 7 years of service to the global community. Our purpose has been to bring a word of deep reflection to the lives of each of our readers. A word that penetrates their hearts and transforms lives so that they produce fruits of excellence and abundant fruits.

In appreciation to our readers, we want to share with you the brochure “Seek the Kingdom of God” for free.

We are convinced that this special gift has the power to bring a new perspective in your life and in the lives of those with whom you want to share it freely.

We live in difficult times, of great tension, fear and even hopelessness. The pandemic and other related factors have disrupted human life. But, there is hope in the midst of uncertainty! It is possible to see the light in the middle of the darkness! On the road to damnation, we can be rescued and saved!

Totally free, download Seek the Kingdom of God.”

Your salvation is just around the corner, do not waste this opportunity! Don’t waste this special treat!

The Vision of His Glory – Revelation

“Communication is vitally important in developing a personal relationship with anyone, including God. Could it be that lack of communication, or even miscommunication, could be one reason for your relationship with God seeming to be distant, formal, and impersonal?” 

Anne Graham Lotz

 

On this occasion “Towards Excellence” is pleased and honored to recommend you a valuable material from the author Anne Graham Lotz, President of AnGel Ministries.

It is a Bible Study based on the book of Revelation, which includes: The workbook, plus a series of 6 videos.

We trust that this study, either individually or in a group, will help you develop communication and especially a personal relationship with God.

The Vision of His Glory will teach you how to read and study the Bible. And being based on the book of Revelation, a book that “discloses what was previously unknown”; we trust that Jesus Christ Himself, the One true God, will be revealed in your life or in that of the group with whom you will share this study; and then you may be filled with the glory of God, as you develop an intimate communion with your Creator and Savior, throughout this study.

“The Vision of His Glory” [English version] is available at:

“The Vision of His Glory” [English Version]

And for Spanish speaking people, one may access for free to “The Vision of His Glory” [La Visión de Su gloria] at:

La Visión de Su Gloria – [español]

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John”. (Revelation 1:1)

 

Copyright © 2020 Anne Graham Lotz (AnGeL Ministries) Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved www.annegrahamlotz.org.