When you think of the universe, what do you think of? Stars, Planets, Galaxies, Meteors, basically everything in space. All of these are part of the universe, even earth is part of the grand universe we call space. One of the greatest controversial questions ever asked is, ‘Who or what made the universe?’ How did it get here? All of these questions can be answered by looking at the Bible and one doesn’t have to look any further than the first page to find answers.
There are many theories out there about the origin of our universe. We will not look at all of them and try to disprove them by what the Scriptures say. What we will do though, is look at how the bible says creation happened. We will also discuss questions that, when people read the biblical account of creation, might have questions about. The subject of “Creation of the Universe” is a very broad and expansive topic, and we don’t have enough time to cover them all. So were going to put the creation account in a nutshell and cover the major subjects.
Lets begin with the sequence of events in which the universe was created by God. The order goes as follows:
Sequence of Creation
Day 1. God created matter (earth), space, time, and light. Genesis 1:1-5
Day 2. God created the atmosphere, separating waters-Genesis 1:6-8
Day 3. God created dry land and plants- Genesis 1:9-13
Day 4. God created the sun, moon, stars-Genesis 1:14-19
Day 5. God created sea creatures and birds-Genesis 1:20-23
Day 6. God created land animals and man-Genesis 1:24-27
Day 7. God rested
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”
In the very beginning, it was just God. Nothing else. It’s hard to imagine nothing being here (or anywhere for that matter), but that is what makes God incomprehensible to man. The three-dimensional world we live in today did not exist. There is no matter, no time, no light, and not even space. It is literally God in His own space. God lays out the foundation of the whole universe here on day one. This earth God created along with “the heavens”. What are the “heavens”? Heavens is just another word for saying space, basically the universe in which we live in. This always begs the question, “Is space never ending?”. The simplest answer we can give is that we really don’t know for sure and probably never will. The important idea to remember is that God created everything and out of all His creation, He loves us. He also created light (more on this later). He also created time. Now why would I say that? There is nothing in the account of creation about “time” being established. Well there is, it’s just hidden. Genesis 1:5 says, “God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There has been much debate about how long these “days and nights” were. Some say 24hr periods, others say they were immense periods of time. However long these “days” were doesn’t concern us here. What does matter though is the fact that these “days and nights” are some sort of “periods of time”. Therefore creating time itself.
What about this light? If the sun wasn’t created until day 4, what was this light? It is hard to say with absolute certainty. However, we can confidently say that it was most likely God Himself. God is light (1 John 1:15). Therefore, since God is light, He could have provided light the first three days of creation. It was this light, the light of God, that the creation of life itself followed after this light appeared. It is also interesting to note that Jesus who is light (John 8:12), provides eternal life, the best life of all. It is so obvious from this perspective that light leads to life and this is a theme that carries throughout the Bible.
We can also see that the Spirit of God is present at creation in verse 2, “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” This Spirit of God is so important to the story. Now we see God being directly involved in creation (although He already has been) as His Spirit is in the presence of the earth itself. Following will be God speaking things into existence and the Spirit working. This word “Spirit” in Hebrew is very interesting as well. It is translated “ruach”, which is to say “breath”, “spirit” or “wind”. So literally this is the “breath of God” or the “Spirit” of God. It is the Holy Spirit we see right from the beginning being involved in creation itself. Psalm 33:6 also tells us this. We also see the Spirit, hovering or moving above the waters, meaning that God’s Spirit is over the earth, indicating God is Lord over His creation.
“And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.”
One thing happened here, the creation of the atmosphere of planet earth. Genesis 1:6-8 says, “And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.” Before we go any further, the word “vault” is another way of saying an “expanse” or the “atmosphere”. But what were the two “waters” being separated? What was the ‘water above’? The water below can be interpreted as what we would call oceans or perhaps one big giant ocean (there was no land so the whole earth was covered with water). But the water above could also be the clouds or “water in the sky”. Clouds hold water, but in a different form, a gas form. So, God separated the water on earth (bodies of water), with the water above (clouds). By doing that he created the sky and atmosphere as we know it.
“And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.”
So at this point we have the whole universe, and earth. And earth doesn’t have much to it at this point, it has water all over, a sky and maybe some clouds in it. Here we see the first sign of land appear, something other than just water. God gives the land his own design, vegetation. This includes flowers, trees, grass, and bushes. However, these plants would be used for food for both animals and humans. This was the biggest reason this vegetation was created, to be food for God’s future creations. God also put seeds in them, so that they could reproduce and create more plants. We also see here, with the creation of land, bodies of water forming. These bodies of water were the oceans and seas we think of today. Now that there is land to separate these waters, the water has a place of its own to thrive in. Also with the land forming out of water, (2 Peter 3:5) nooks and crannies start popping up everywhere. This is how rivers, and lakes were formed. God is getting the earth ready for the animals and humans He will create on the sixth day. We can see life and hope in this beautiful description of God’s creation.
So to close up this study, we have the universe. We have Earth in its spherical shape with land, bodies of water, and some plants scattered on the earth. Earth has its atmosphere and clouds. This completes day 1, day 2, and day 3. We will start with day 4 next time. As we look throughout the account of creation, we see God’s majestic power and authority. My question to you is this, do we respect God’s authority enough?