Genesis 1:9-13 ESV
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
At the end of the second day there was no land. God separated the waters into the ocean and the sky.
Before we continue, let’s back up a moment.
Remember Genesis 1:2. The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters and the earth was without form and void. We know that God created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing), but here He was hovering over Earth, which was already there and in a state of chaos.
God does not create chaos; He is not the author of confusion. So how do we explain that in verse two, earth already exists in a chaotic, lifeless state?
There is a gap in time between verses one and two.
Verse one tells us that in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth, but it doesn’t go into detail. Verse two picks up as God is preparing Earth for life. Why would God’s Word skip over these details? I think it was for much the same reason that the Bible doesn’t speak of advanced ancient civilizations outside the Middle-East, such as the China, or the Indus River civilization.
The Bible has a message for all mankind, but the message was first given to the Jews, so the Bible focuses on the special revelation first given to Abraham and his descendents, and later spread abroad among the Gentiles. God was employing the KISS method: Keep It Simple Stupid. Why clutter the message with everything else that went on in the Earth?
He also knew that one day, man would discover the details of creation through science. This did not happen until later, when humanity had time to become sufficiently grounded in the central message of the Good News.
One of the details glossed over in Genesis 1:1 is that an object about the size of Mars had struck Earth. The atmosphere that had formed at that time was completely blown away, along with a portion of Earth’s newly formed crust and the crust of the object that struck the Earth. The core of the object was retained in Earth.
We left of on the second day with an overabundance of carbon and water, which would have made life impossible. However, the Earth is unique in that it has just the right amount of carbon and water to sustain life. This is the result of the collision of the Mars-sized object with the early Earth. The impact knocked just the right amounts of water and carbon out. The debris from the object and the Earth’s crust formed the moon. This also caused the Earth to rotate and put it on its current tilted axis. Also, once the moon formed it determined Earth’s tides. These are conditions necessary for life on Earth.
With the water levels depleted, land began to appear on the third day.
Once land formed, God created plants and trees which spread seed after their own kind. Evolutionists mock the Genesis creation account for placing seed-bearing plants and fruit trees as early as the third day. Personally, I find their objection rather ridiculous considering the abysmal lack of evidence for Darwinistic evolution, but I will save my critique of that view for a future blog post.
First of all, biblical scholars would point out that the Hebrew words for “tree”, “fruit”, and “seed” have a much broader meaning than our English translation implies. In fact, the original Hebrew words would cover just about any plant life discovered in the fossil record.
Additionally, paleobiologists have discovered an ancient plant dating back at least 370 million years that fits even the English definition of a “tree.” The plant is called Archeopteris, and it produced free spores that were not so different from seeds and fruit in modern plants.
This discovery is problematic for Young Earth Creationism, but not for the Day-Age Creationism promoted in this blog. Trees, seeds, and fruit on the third day of creation are consistent with the Book of Scripture and the book of nature, as confirmed by scientific research.