Insuppressible Truth: The Design for Life
A fashion designer goes about creating clothes for people with a keen sense of how the parts and the whole will best fit together. The designer does not just throw fabric, thread, and needles into the wind but carefully draws patterns and then every stitch brings the pieces together. So ... God is not the author of confusion [1 Corinthians 14:33] ... and His work in creation was not chaotic.
With a legitimate concern not to countenance a liberal Framework Hypothesis hermeneutic that would intend to deny the literal reality revealed to us in Genesis about the creation of all life and how long God took, let us yet enjoy the literary structure organizing the creation days of Genesis chapter one which, while being true narrative, also show how God fashioned the world in an organized way that was not only chronological but logically topical.
We see in Genesis 1:2 that the earth was without form and void; though it was good, it was yet uninhabitable for lack of fashioning. So, next we read that during the first four days of creation, God made the earth, sky, and sea inhabitable for animals and mankind. And He did so by order of categories per day to first provide habitats for their respective “kinds” of inhabitants climaxing in man’s naming the animals reflecting God’s orderliness. By way of illustration we might imagine each thematic habitat at a zoo (African Savannah, Tropical Rain Forest, Australian Outback) being fully constructed in advance of the introduction of their native animals into each.
All is done with purposeful design in God’s creative work. May we appreciate His infinite intelligence in such a display not only of magnificent glory but exquisite orderliness.
See also that God structured life with a weekly rhythm. God’s six literal creation days with one day of rest (which He didn’t need)—established our week of work and worship (to continue according to the Ten Commandments and Christ’s example). Verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 of Genesis 1 show the repetition of morning and evening for each day with a first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh day motif that demonstrate how God was fixing the day and night as part of His work’s ongoing creative order. He was not just creating our world, but setting our world with a designed time referent to keep our lives in order.
Well then, why does God in verses 14 to 18 create light after the plants? To show that He is the source of the light and the order (and to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Light of the World Who with the Father will be our light in the ultimate completion of His eternal and redemptive design; see Matthew 5:4 and Revelation 21:23). God makes these receptacles of His light to give the light as reflectors and so mark the days and seasons (not just evenings) for further designed structure of time (which He also created) looking ahead to the “time of reformation”. There is a topical parallel in Days 1 and 4, 2 and 5, and 3 and 6 that portray God’s framing of creation in order from general to specific with a particular design in view.
In verses 9 to 10 God sets up a firm foundation for farming. Naturally, before things can grow, there must be an earth from which to sprout. God brings the earth forth from out of the seas and sets it apart to bear life on land. As the days of creation approach their crowning in man, God prepares a place to put his feet.
Notice that in verses 11 to 12, the regular “after its kind” clearly shows no room for evolution. God created varieties that are specific to themselves to reproduce more orderly organized beings such as themselves after themselves.
God must be our constant reference for all of life: this is His creative design for our lives.
Christian, may you indeed be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29)—while He organizes your place in His Father’s house for you (John 14:2-3) where you will be wearing white robes He designed for your holiness in an eternal day—in how you live the life that He designed for you from the beginning until the end and for everlasting, not with confusion, but instead ...
Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)
Grant Van Leuven has been feeding the flock at the Puritan Evangelical Church of America in San Diego, CA, since 2010. He and his wife, Fernanda, have four home-schooled covenant children: Rachel, Olivia, Abraham, and Isaac (they are expecting their fifth at the end of the year). He earned his M.Div. at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.