Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
When we look around us we see many things. When we see a building, we logically know that there was a builder who built it. When we see a painting, we know there was a painter that painted it. And when we see creation, we know there is a Creator who created it. Today we will talk a little about The Creator, whom Peter called the faithful Creator, and His work. (1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.)
Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Day 1– heavens and earth, light and darkness
1) day, time, year
1a) day (as opposed to night)
1b) day (24 hour period)
1b1) as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1
1b2) as a division of time
The world throws out all kinds of garbage today, attempting to convince us of how long the earth has been around, how old it is, and how the account of creation is just a symbolic story. And yet if we dig a little into the known language and customs of the peoples we can easily see that the writer meant exactly what he said: a single, 24-hour day. And this is true anytime the phrase “the evening and the morning” are used. Yes, that is a common way of saying a day as we know it now and it was used extensively in the Hebrew language and not just in Scripture. And it always, without exception, means a 24-hour day. And we mustn’t forget that Scripture is made up of many types of literature: prophesy, poetry, songs, wisdom books, and history. The book of Genesis is a book of history: accounts of facts, not allegory, not fables. Being a history book we must interpret it properly, as we must with all types of literature, both those included in God’s Word and those that are not. The mistake of not knowing the customs/culture and wrongly interpreting the type of literature one is working with leads to confusion and even false teaching.
Genesis 1:6-8 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Day 2– creation of the firmament, and the separation of the waters above the firmament from those below it, the atmosphere if you will
Genesis 1:9-13 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Day 3– waters are separated from the earth and formed into seas and plants are created
Genesis 1:14-19 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Day 4– the sun, moon and stars are created
Genesis 1:20-23 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Day 5– birds, reptiles, and aquatic animals are created
Genesis 1:24-28 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Day 6– all land animals are made and finally man is created in God’s image and likeness
Genesis 1:29-31 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
And so we have it, all created life were given to eat of the fruit of the earth, to be vegetarians. The significance, you may ask? To eat meat would’ve required death, and death was not a part of God’s original plan. There were no predators and prey, only all of creation living in peace and harmony.
Of course that didn’t last too long, as sin and death soon entered into the world. But thankfully The Creator had a plan to defeat these evils: redemption and salvation through His son, Jesus Christ.
This is a lesson outline I prepared for VBS 2014, the topic being “God is the Creator of all”. The Key Verse to this lesson is Psalm 24:1 and text is Genesis chapter 1.
I am forever loosing things. I often put things away only to forget where I’ve put them, effectively making them lost! I can’t count the times I’ve searched high and low for an item that’s been misplaced. Depending on the item, when I finally find what I am looking for I experience a range of emotions: anything from relief to sheer joy. If what I have lost something I just “need” then I am generally just happy and relieved to have found it. However, if the item is something of great value to me then I am much more likely to be extremely joyous. In the two parables we will consider today the “lost things” are of great value, as we shall see. And their recovery brings a joyous response from their parabolic-owners, symbolic of God’s joy in our redemption through Christ Jesus.
Luke 15:1-3 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
Three parables stand together in this chapter, though we will only look at the first two today. The occasion of all, however, is one and the same—the murmuring of scribes and Pharisees against the Savior, who would eat with sinners.
Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
The lost sheep is an emblem of a careless, thoughtless sinner, one who follows the corrupt desires of his own heart, without ever reflecting upon his behavior, or considering what end result his unholy, ungodly life will lead to. No creature strays more easily than a sheep; none is more heedless, and none so incapable of finding its way back to the flock. When it has gone astray it will bleat for the flock, and still amble on along in an opposite direction to where the flock is. No creature is more defenseless than a sheep, and more exposed to be destroyed by predators. Even the fowls of the air seek their destruction. Ravens have often been observed attempt to destroy lambs by pecking out their eyes and when they have succeeded, as the animal does not see where it is going, it soon falls as easy prey to its destroyer. 1 Peter 5:8 says Satan is ever going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. In order to succeed, he blinds the understanding of sinners, and then easily ensnares them and sends them tumbling into the pit of hell.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
The shepherd here is representative of our Lord; He is:
- The good Shepherd, Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
- The great Shepherd, Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
- The chief Shepherd, 1Pe 5:4. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
And here we see how the shepherd will pursue the sheep, no matter how widely it has strayed, and when he has found the sheep, will rejoice over it. The joy here overflows to all of Heaven; even the angels are filled with this overwhelming emotion. The finding of even one, every one, of the lost flock – the repentance, redemption, and salvation of one lost soul being the illustration – brings glory to Jesus, the Shepard, which brings an unspeakable, intense, exuberant happiness to Him and all of His creation. Every single one is of equal value to Him and that value is high.
Luke 15:8-10 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (9) And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. (10) Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Luke 15:8- pieces: “Drachma, here translated a piece of silver, is 1/8 ounce. In the mid 1800s it was noted that the coin was worth about fifteen cents; silver is about $20/ounce making one coin equal to about $2.50 today.
The probable interpretation is that the ten drachmas were the ten coins worn as a frontlet by the women of the East. This frontlet was given by the bridegroom to the bride at the time of marriage, and like the ring of Western life, it was invested with a kind of sanctity. It must be worn on all public occasions, and guarded with a jealous, sacred care; for should one of its pieces be lost, it would be regarded as an indication that the possessor had not only been careless, but also that she had been unfaithful to her marriage vow. Throwing, then, this light of Eastern custom upon the parable, how vivid and lifelike it becomes! With what intense eagerness would she seek for the missing coin! Lighting her lamp-for the house would be but dimly lighted with its open door and its small unglazed window-how carefully and almost tremblingly she would peer along its shelves, and sweep out the corners of her few rooms! And how great would be her joy as she saw it glistening in the dust! Her whole soul would go out after it, as if it were a living, sentient thing. She would clasp it in her hand, and even press it to her lips; for has it not taken a heavy care and sorrow from her heart? That one coin rising from the dust has been to her like the rising of another sun, filling her home with light and her life with melody; and what wonder that she hastens to communicate her joy, as, standing by her door, after the eastern wont, she holds up the missing treasure, and calls on her neighbors and friends to rejoice with her.
The drachma that was lost is also a very expressive emblem of a sinner who is estranged from God, and enslaved to habits of iniquity. The longer a piece of money is lost, the less probability is there of its being again found; as it may not only lose its color, and not be easily observed, but will continue to be more and more covered with dust and dirt: or its value may be vastly lessened by being so trampled on that a part of the substance, together with the image and superscription, may be worn off. So the sinner sinks deeper and deeper into the impurities of sin, loses even his character among men, and gets the image and superscription of his Maker defaced from his heart. He who wishes to find the image of God, which he has lost by sin, must attend to that word which will be a lantern to his steps, and receive that Spirit which is a light to the soul, to convince of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He must sweep the house – put away the evil of his doings; and seek diligently – use every means of grace, and cry incessantly to God, till he restore to him the light of his countenance.
The piece of silver and the sheep were both of great value to the owner and here lies the point in the analogies: A soul, an individual creature, an atom in God’s universe, may seem to be in itself a very insignificant thing, but it is enormous to God. How great, how dear to God, no man can adequately judge, because no man is a creator, and no man is a redeemer. One needs absolutely to have created a thing, and absolutely to have redeemed a thing, before you can calculate what its worth would be to Him who had done so with such a large price paid in doing.