Have you ever wondered how God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh?
In this article, we will determine the answer to that question by discussing the following:
- Creation formed on each of those days
- How they were created
- Why they were created
But first, how true is it that God was the Creator of the earth? And what was it like in the beginning—before He created it?
Let’s start literally from the beginning!
Was God Really the Creator of the Earth?
The Bible describes God as the Creator and Sustainer of the earth and the universe. For instance, the well-known verse, Genesis 1:1, tells us, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (NIV).
As the Creator, He is “inseparably connected” with all His creation, for He made them by His power and established them by His wisdom. By acknowledging and worshipping Him as the Creator, we acknowledge His divinity (Ellen White, The Gospel in Creation 14.1).
In addition, God’s existence is universally attested to by His creation and is witnessed by the nature of man. “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:19-20, NIV).
That being said, God was really the Creator of the earth.
But although the entire Godhead was involved in the creation process, God the Son was the main participant since He was the “appointed heir of all things, and through Whom…He [God] made the universe” (Hebrews 1:2, NIV).
It’s also worth mentioning that God the Father Himself addressed the Son as God and Creator.
He told Him, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom…Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thine hands” (Ellen White, The Gospel in Creation 14.1).
Based on this, the God that Genesis 1:1 is referring to is none other than Christ the Son, as Ellen White herself confirms.
What Was It Like Before God Created the Earth?
Close your eyes. Can’t see anything but total darkness, can you?
That’s how it was before God created the earth. As Genesis 1:2 (ESV) puts it, “darkness was over the face of the deep.”
There was no light on earth. The surface matter was in a fluid state because “‘the face of the deep’ stands parallel to ‘the face of the waters'” (Francis Nichol, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 1, page 209).
Continuing Genesis 1:2 (ESV), “the earth was without form and void.”
In other words, the earth was in a “state of wasteness and emptiness.”
Well, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the earth was once perfect and was then made waste. What it denotes, interpreting the phrase tohu wabohu, is nonexistence, nothingness, shapelessness, and lifelessness, Francis Nichol adds.
How God Created the Earth
Day 1: Creation of Light
Since there was nothing but darkness, light was the first thing God created.
Of course, without light, nothing would be seen. There could be no life, too, since light would be an essential form of energy to sustain anything that God was to create in the succeeding days.
And so, God said, “Let there be light,” and there came light (Genesis 1:3, NIV).
Imagine that. He just spoke, and something was created out of His words. Powerful God indeed!
Now, seeing that the light He just made was good, God separated it from darkness. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And it came as He said, for there was evening and morning in the first day (verses 4 and 5, NIV).
Day 2: Creation of the Firmament
On the second day, God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” And it happened as He spoke, calling the vault “sky” (Genesis 1:6-8, NIV).
In other Bible translations, this vault is termed “firmament” or “expanse,” which God also called “heaven.” It refers to the atmospheric heaven or sky that appears as a canopy or dome vaulting the earth (Francis Nichol, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 1, page 211).
Now, come to think of it.
After creating light to illuminate the earth and provide life to other creations, God made the sky, knowing that there would be no life possible without air and an atmosphere to contain and scatter light.
God created the earth with such intelligence, wouldn’t you agree?
Day 3: Creation of Vegetation
After creating the sky, God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” As it happened, He called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters “seas.” And He saw that it was good (Genesis 1:9-10, NIV).
Then, He made the land produce vegetation consisting of seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing trees according to their kinds. And as expected, He saw that it was good (verses 11-12).
As you can see, the earth, after being formed, has just began a biological life through vegetation. What was next in the creation process then?
Day 4: Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars
On the first day, God created light. Now, on the fourth day, He had to create heavenly bodies to carry and shed that light.
And so, He said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth” (Genesis 1:14-15, NIV).
And it happened accordingly.
God created the sun to serve as the “greater light to govern the day” and the moon as the “lesser light to govern the night.” Additionally, He made the stars to complement the moon during the night (verses 16-18, NIV).
With this, God saw that everything was good (verse 18).
Day 5: Creation of Sea Creatures and Birds
Now that the earth had light and heavenly bodies to scatter it, land with vegetation, and bodies of water, it was now time to have aquatic and aerial animals to enjoy them.
Having said that, God commanded, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” And it happened as He said, and He saw it was good (Genesis 1:20-21, NIV).
So, you can imagine there were whales, sharks, dolphins, octopuses, seahorses, sea lions, turtles, eagles, doves, pigeons, sparrows, hummingbirds, ducks, swans, penguins, flamingos, woodpeckers, owls, and other similar animals.
Then, He blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number, and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth” (verse 22, NIV).
Isn’t it amazing how God created the earth?
Day 6: Creation of Land Animals and Humans
As in the fifth day, God again created animals, but this time, on land.
He spoke, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” It happened as He said and He saw it was good (Genesis 1:24-25, NIV).
As you can imagine so far, the earth was exceedingly beautiful—breathtaking landscapes, relaxing atmosphere, abundant waters, colorful vegetation, healthy animals, and so on.
But all these wouldn’t be complete without “the crowning work of the Creator” and “the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up”—man (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets 44.3).
So, “God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27, NIV).
Apparently, their attributes were patterned according to His. And so are ours.
Now, why did God create them?
To “rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (verse 26, NIV).
For this purpose, God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (verse 28, NIV).
Along with this, God promised to give them “every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it…all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it” for food (verse 29, NIV).
With all these, God saw that everything was good (verse 31).
Day 7: Blessing of the Sabbath
In six days, God completed the heavens and the earth. And on the seventh day, He rested from all the work He had been doing. Then, He blessed this day and made it holy (Genesis 2:1-3).
Called Sabbath, this holy day of rest was to be a memorial of the work of creation and a sign of God’s power and love (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages 281.2).
Adam and Eve observed this sacred day (Ellen White, Early Writings 217.2).
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