TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Comprehensive Edition

I.  General

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Chapter 6  Part I


The formation of the universe is the most astonishing thing that has ever occurred. The Bible claims that God not only created the universe, but that he also created everything in it. Moreover, it claims that God continues to maintain the universe. If we believe that God is capable of doing all this, then we should have little trouble in accepting the other claims that the Bible makes about God.

God Made All Things

God has made all things

Rev 4:11  “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, since you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created!”  NET

God made the heavens and the earth – and everything in them

Neh 9:6a  You are the only Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, with all the stars. You made the earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them; you give life to everything.  NCV™

Ex 20:11  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  ESV

Some believe that these “days” are literally six 24-hour days, while others take them to indicate six undetermined periods of time. The fact that God did not make the sun until the fourth “day” (cf. Gen 1:14-18) arguably supports the latter.

God made light, alongside the darkness

Gen 1:2-5  Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. 3God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! 4God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.  NET

Note that this and the following subsections listing the things God created are in chronological order (cf. Gen 1).

God made the sky

Gen 1:6-8  God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water. 7So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. It was so. 8God called the expanse “sky.” There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.  NET

Verses 6-7 may mean that the sky (the “expanse”) separated the atmospheric waters (or clouds) from the waters of the earth, or that the earth was enveloped by a dense layer of moisture (cf. The Bible Knowledge Commentary).

God made land and sea

Gen 1:9-10  God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let dry ground appear.” It was so. 10God called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” God saw that it was good.  NET

God made vegetation

Gen 1:11  God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” It was so.  NET

God made the sun, moon and stars

Gen 1:14-16  God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs to indicate seasons and days and years, 15and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” It was so. 16God made two great lights — the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night. He made the stars also.  NET

Genesis 1 indicates that God made “light” on the first “day” (cf. vv. 3-5), but did not make the sun and stars until the fourth “day” (cf. vv. 14-18). There are different explanations for this. Possibly these entities were made from that through which God first provided light and first marked off each “day” (cf. v. 5); i.e. the fourth “day” may speak of the source of light being made into the sun and stars.

God made all creatures and people

Gen 1:21, 25, 27  God created the great sea creatures and every living and moving thing with which the water swarmed, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. God saw that it was good. … 25God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the cattle according to their kinds, and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds. God saw that it was good. … 27God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.  NET

Note: All that God makes is good

Gen 1:31a  God saw all that he had made – and it was very good!  NET

 Questions for Section A

God Maintains Creation

Every creature’s life is dependent on God

Job 12:10  The life of every creature and the breath of all people are in God’s hand.  NCV™

Ps 36:6  [David, to God:] Your justice is like the highest mountains, your fairness like the deepest sea; you preserve mankind and the animal kingdom.  NET

God provides food for all creatures

Ps 145:15  [David, to God:] Everything looks to you in anticipation, and you provide them with food on a regular basis.  NET

God sends rain on the earth, making it productive

Jer 14:22  [Jeremiah:] Do any of the worthless idols of the nations cause rain to fall? Do the skies themselves send showers? Is it not you, O Lord our God, who does this? So we put our hopes in you because you alone do all this.  NET

Isa 55:10  The rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return, but instead water the earth and make it produce and yield crops, and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat.  NET

God’s provision of rain and food is abundant . . .

Job 36:27-31  He [God] draws up drops of water; they distill the rain into its mist, 28which the clouds pour down and shower on humankind abundantly. 29Who can understand the spreading of the clouds, the thunderings of his pavilion? 30See how he scattered his lightning about him; he has covered the depths of the sea. 31It is by these that he judges the nations and supplies food in abundance.  NET

. . . God’s provision satisfies his creation

Ps 145:16  [David, to God:] You give them enough and satisfy the needs of all.  GNT

God regulates all aspects of the weather

Job 37:6  For to the snow he says, ‘Fall to earth,’ and to the torrential rains, ‘Pour down.’  NET

Jer 10:13  When his voice thunders, the heavenly ocean roars. He makes the clouds rise from the far–off horizons. He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain. He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.  NET

The first statement attributes to God thunder and the associated massing of waters in the sky that lead to a storm.

God controls the cycle of day and night

Amos 5:8a  The Lord made the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into daylight, and day into night.  GNT

God controls the seasons

Gen 8:22  [God:] “While the earth continues to exist, planting time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.”  NET

God’s promise that these things will continue is indicative of his control over them.

God regulates and maintains the other aspects of nature

Isa 51:15  I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves surge. The Lord who commands armies is his name!  NET

Jer 33:25  But I, the Lord, make the following promise: I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth.  NET

God has established and also maintains “the fixed laws” of nature that regulate the sky and earth (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NLT).

Note: God made the earth and all creation to last

Ps 78:69  He made his sanctuary as enduring as the heavens above; as secure as the earth, which he established permanently.  NET

Ps 148:3-6  Praise him, O sun and moon! Praise him, all you shiny stars! 4Praise him, O highest heaven, and you waters above the sky! 5Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he gave the command and they came into existence. 6He established them so they would endure; he issued a decree that will not be revoked.  NET

 Questions for Section B

How God Made and Maintains Creation

God made all things with his wisdom

Ps 104:24  How numerous are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is filled with your creations.  ISV

Prov 3:19-20  The Lord created the earth by his wisdom; by his knowledge he set the sky in place. 20His wisdom caused the rivers to flow and the clouds to give rain to the earth.  GNT

God made all things with his power

Jer 27:5  [God:] I made the earth and the people and animals on it by my mighty power and great strength, and I give it to whomever I see fit.  NET

God made and maintains all things by his word or command

Ps 33:6, 9  By the Lord’s decree the heavens were made; by a mere word from his mouth all the stars in the sky were created.9For he spoke, and it came into existence, he issued the decree, and it stood firm.  NET

2Pet 3:5b  By the word of God heaven was made, and the earth was made from water and with water.  NCV™

Ps 147:15-18  He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. 17He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? 18He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.  ESV

This suggests that in addition to creating all things by his command, God continues to control nature (vv. 16-17a, 18b) through his command or word (vv. 15, 18a).

God made and sustains all things through Jesus Christ

John 1:3  All things were created by him [Christ], and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.  NET

Heb 1:2b-3a  He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. 3He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word.  GNT

The Holy Spirit also has a role in creation

Ps 104:30  [A psalmist, to God:] When you send forth your Spirit, they [creatures] are created, and you renew the face of the ground.  ESV

 Questions for Section C

Implications of God Being Creator

God is sovereign over all things

Acts 17:24a  The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth.  ISV

Because he has made all things, God has the right of sovereignty over all things. God’s almighty power and incomparable wisdom enable him to enforce his sovereignty.

All things belong to God

Ps 24:1-2  The Lord owns the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live in it. 2For he set its foundation upon the seas, and established it upon the ocean currents.  NET

Verse 2 speaks poetically of God creating the world.

All things exist for God

Rom 11:36  For all things were created by him, and all things exist through him and for him. To God be the glory for ever! Amen.  GNT

This suggests that because God created and sustains all things, all things exist for him.

Creation attests to God’s greatness and glory

Ps 8:3-4  [David, to God:] When I look at the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you established —what is man that you take notice of him, or the son of man that you pay attention to him?  ISV

God’s wondrous creation prompts David to question why God bothers with humankind, alluding to God’s surpassing greatness.

Ps 19:1  The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays his handiwork.  NET

Creation attests to God’s power

Isa 40:26  Look up at the sky! Who created all these heavenly lights? He is the one who leads out their ranks; he calls them all by name. Because of his absolute power and awesome strength, not one of them is missing.  NET

Creation and God’s control over it show his power and wisdom to be incomparable

Job 9:4-10  [Job, speaking of God:] He is wise in heart and mighty in strength – who has resisted him and remained safe? 5He who removes mountains suddenly, who overturns them in his anger; 6he who shakes the earth out of its place so that its pillars tremble; 7he who commands the sun and it does not shine and seals up the stars; 8he alone spreads out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea; 9he makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern sky; 10he does great and unsearchable things, and wonderful things without number.  NET

Verse 4 implies that God’s wisdom and power is incomparable. Verses 5-10 then illustrate that this is the case, speaking of things that are done by God “alone” (v. 8).

 Questions for Section D

Pray for persecuted Christians