Answers for Skeptics: Were humans created before or after the other animals?

Mankind was created after animals. Genesis does not contradict itself in ths either.

It is written in Genesis 1:25-26:

25And God made the beasts of the earth after their kinds, and cattle after their kinds, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after its kind: and God saw that it was good.

26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness

Genesis 2:7 states that God formed man out of the dust of the earth, breathed the breath of life into him and man became a living soul. In my book, “The Serpent’s Lie”, I explain that God “breathed” into us by filling us with what we call our spirit. A human being (or human consciousness) is nothing more than a spirit dwelling in flesh. Our bodies are mechanical exteriors that help us interact with our physical world in specific ways. Genesis 2:7 does NOT contradict Genesis 1:25-26. I do not know why the skeptics included it with the 10th question.

Their inclusion of Genesis 2:18-20, however, provides a good challenge and opportunity to test our reading comprehension. The passage may in fact appear to contradict the animal first then human order of creation. Could they be on to something? Let’s see. Genesis 2:18-20 reads as follows:

18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.

19And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was its name.

20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.

Here’s the explanation. God had created all animals, male and female to reproduce after their own kind. As for humankind, He created Adam first, and knew it was not good for Adam to be alone. Out of the ground, God (had) made the animals, just as he then made Adam and He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. Adam did not call a single one his lifelong companion. Not one of them was a suitable mate despite the origin they all shared (having been made from the ground). When God made Eve, it was only then Adam that Adam called her his companion saying “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” – Gen 2:23

Love is NOT Acceptance

Most parents love their children, but great parents don’t just accept all aspects of them. Children are impressionable and malleable. As they grow, they acquire certain mentalities, make life changing decisions, lifestyle choices, and they form both good and bad habits. Ultimately, human beings are flawed and will make wrong choices. Regardless of whether we are known for our good deeds or our bad ones, most of us still have a desire to be accepted. That’s because we all were born with a desire to love and be loved. Acceptance often makes us feel loved, but acceptance isn’t love.

In Genesis 4:7, God tells Cain he will be accepted if he does what is right, but if he does the opposite, sin would crouch at his door with a predatory desire for him. Cain was supposed to master the sin, in order to be accepted by God.

God gave him parental advice, but Cain did not listen. He was as stubborn as we, human beings can be. When God says something we don’t want to hear, we often react by sucking our teeth and thinking “Great…more rules…”, “How can God be loving if…?”, “How can any one live like this?”, “How can I marry someone if He doesn’t want me to test drive her first?” …etc.

The message of this blog applies to everyone, though not everyone will enjoy it and accept the truth in it. God loves EVERY single person, but He does not discriminate. Therefore, He will not accept all who choose to do wrong in His eyes…myself included. I’m not inherently worthy of His acceptance. No one is. Furthermore, God will not accept those who don’t understand they can’t outlove Him, nor those who seek to redefine what He has established.

However, God will accept those who follow His commands. He will also accept those who understand that He alone is God (we do not share Divinity with Him), as well as those who recognize morality was first established by Him, not a barbaric neanderthal. The Bible says God loved us before we even existed.

The reason we witness and even participate in moral decline which started before our generation (mind you), is because we have kept pushing God farther and farther away. Everyone who is against God feels they have some bone to pick with him. “God took a parent from me”, “God allowed me to be a victim of…(you name it)”, “God didn’t stop X,Y,Z from happening”. Almost all of us (believers and skeptics alike) have a story in which God seems to have allowed us to undergo trials and hardships. If He didn’t “spare” or “rescue” us the way we had hoped, it was perhaps due to one of the following:

1) He’s God. He knows the end from the beginning. Therefore, He knows the best way to help us grow spiritually (if we desire that kind of growth).

2) Someone else was exercising the same free will we also possess (and God does not interfere with the will of a fully committed heart) except if the person’s will would interfere with His own. The strongest wills always win in the spiritual places.

3) He wants us all to have stories and testimonies, not of how we’re victims of circumstance, but victors despite circumstance.

4) He wants us to see how He did, in fact, protect us from worse situations. Sadly some prefer to focus on the darkness of their clouds instead of silver linings. For instance, it isn’t surprising for people who total their cars in a crash to be angry. In fact, some are more bitter against God for taking away their $30,000+ vehicle than others who have lost limbs and or mobility, but still ciar to see how God saved their lives.

God loves us even if we can’t always feel it. He demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ (the historical Jesus) died for us and rose again. He did this so that even when we fall short (while hopefully making progress in our spiritual growth), those who accept Him as LORD and savior will always be free from the guilt and shame of their past sins. (See Romans 5:8)

God loves us and does not hold sins we committed in ignorance, or even ignorant defiance against us. Remember, Christ told His Father above to forgive those who were spitting upon Him, cursing at Him, ridiculing Him, and throwing things at Him, for they knew not what they were doing. Sure, they knew they were spitting, cursing, and throwing things at Him, but they didn’t know they were doing it to one who loved them beyond measure. They didn’t know they were feeding darkness and hate. They didn’t know that the one who was dying for them wasn’t dying because He wasn’t divine, but because He had taken up mortal flesh so that He could demonstrate the ultimate form of love, self-sacrifice to the point of death.

Love is not acceptance. It can often involve acceptance, but it is not. God loves us despite our flaws and sin. He does not accept sin and welcome it. How can He accept something that separates the human creature He loves from Him?

Sin has a symbiotic relationship with its host and it rewards its host with instant gratification. The host’s conscience tries to reprimend and correct the soul to whom it pertains, but sin is seductive. It feeds on intense desire, then traps its prey through memories of excitement before a sinful act, satisfaction during the act, or even shame after the act. Sin either makes the host believe it can replace the need for God, or that its soul is condemned. Resultantly, the host feeds it with more of himself (or herself).

We share ourselves with sin and when there is no more self to go around, we have left nothing for God. Selfishness is born from the desire to feed the flesh. When we feed into the cycle of self indulgence, sin (if we should personify it) absolutely loves it!

Only in daring to love Christ, does our love for Him also become an acceptance of everything He stands for. He hates sin. Christ didn’t deviate from the righteousness of God. There is no sin in Christ for us to reject. He walked a path no one else could. For everyone has lied, stolen, cheated, and sinned somehow except Him. Therefore, all but Christ have fallen short of God’s glory. Jesus lived as the single best example of how human beings should live their lives. Jesus doesn’t have to accept everything that is wrong about someone’s life in order to love that person. One day, He will return to fix everything that is wrong with the world because He doesn’t accept everything about it. There is so much beauty in it and yet so many snares. Even so, God still loves the world (its people), but if you’re still convinced that love is acceptance, you’ll be disappointed. God will not accept everyone especially when sin and soul have formed an unbreakable bond.

If love is not acceptance, then what is it?

Let’s hear what the original source (and I don’t mean a Hallmark card) says about it:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Answers for Skeptics: From what were the fowls and animals created?

I can see how the wording of in Genesis Chapters 1:20 and 2:19 might throw many readers off. I can also see how an all-knowing God would test our hearts by making scripture something one has to put some effort into understanding. Those who are not interested in something tend to give up on it quickly. Those who truly seek something continue to turn over stones and shells until their treasure is found.

I admire the dedication it took to organize the skeptics annotated Bible. This was the eighth question it asked to highlight a contradiction that seems to exist at first glance. However, when we take a closer look, the find no contradiction, only errors in our own interpretation.

It is written in Genesis 2:19:

“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air…”

That is our answer! He formed every beast of the field and foul of the air out of the ground! 馃檪

Genesis 2:19 does not contradict Genesis 1: 20-21 which says, “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”

It doesn’t say “let the waters create these creatures”; God created everything. The phrase “bring forth abundantly” is translated from the Hebrew word (砖指讈专址抓 sharats) which means teem or swarm with. Essentially, God was saying “Let the waters swarm with marine life, and birds that may fly above the earth”. This language is specific but misleading if we aren’t careful. The oceans don’t swarm with every type of bird that exists, but there are birds that swarm near, in, and above the waters (bodies of water). Among such birds are sea gulls, ducks, geese, seabirds, penguins…etc.

“And God created great sea creatures, and every living thing that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly (or swarmed with), after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind: and God saw that it was good.” – Genesis 2:20

Accordong to Genesis, animals were also created from earth. Every animal body is biodegradable and upon death nourishes the soil from which it was originally made. There is not a single aspect of their biochemical composition that cannot be composed from elements found in earth, nor decomposed into elements that nourish the earth.

Answers for Skeptics: When were the stars made?

The stars were made on the fourth day of creation, after the earth was created. Genesis Chapter 1 verses 1-19 recap the first four days of creation. In the interest of time and brevity, let’s refer to Chapter 1:1 and Chapter 1:16-19 for this particular discussion.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.聽Genesis 1:1

He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven…. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.聽Genesis 1:16-19

However, skeptics attempt to use Job 38 to demonstrate a contradiction that doesn’t exist. They believe that Job Chapter 38 contains a passage of scripture that suggests the stars were created before the earth. Let’s visit this passage.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? … When the morning stars sang together. Job 38:4-7

And now, let us interpret. Always remember scriptures must be read with absolute care and attention to detail. Genesis 1:1 says “In the Beginning, God (who existed before time) created the heaven and the earth”. The following verse says “And the earth was without form and void”. Imagine any process of creation whether it’s art or construction. They all begin as formless and void.

All drawings start off as one indistinguishable scratch made by a writing instrument upon a surface. A complete drawing is one in which desired form has replaced a surface’s prior void or blankness. Construction projects begin with the laying of foundations.

Now…when we hear “In the beginning” we should immediately think about the six day time frame. The stars were made towards the end of that span. By then, God had already laid down the earth’s foundations. After making the stars, He set them in the firmament. At that time, mankind had not yet been created, let alone Job. So…when God asks Job in Job 38:4-7 “Where were you (my dear little man) when I laid the foundations of the earth?…when the morning stars sang together…” He is not suggesting that He made the stars on any other day than day four. On the first day when God began creating, there were no stars. There was a formless earth for which foundations were being laid. However, God did not ask Job “Where were you on the first day…”. Instead, He refers to the beginning (a week long time frame) during which He laid the foundations of the earth and set the stars that He made in the firmament of the heaven. With that said, any good question deserves a proper answer. In this case, the answer is implicit. Job hadn’t even been born yet!

Answers for Skeptics: Were plants created before or after humans?

In the skeptics annotated bible, the following concern is presented:

In Genesis Chapter 1, plants were created on the third day and humans on the sixth day, but Genesis Chapter 2 seems to suggest an inversion of that order. In Genesis 2, plants seem to have been created after the creation human beings. Let’s take a closer look:

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 …. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Genesis 1:11-13

According to the first chapter, God created plants on the third day. Skeptics claim that Genesis 2 suggests God formed humans before forming plant life. I reference (below) the passages of Genesis 2 which they’ve misunderstood:

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth … And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.聽

Genesis 2:4-7

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.聽

Genesis 2:8-9

God created plant life, which had not yet grown on earth. They were in the form of seeds, which were watered by the sprinkler system God set up before mankind was around to till the earth. Plants were not in the ground, but seeds were…just as a humans aren’t in women’s bodies until sometime after her eggs get fertilized. There was only one place in which God planted fully grown vegetation after He made man鈥攖he Garden East of Eden. He did this specifically as a blessing to humankind.

We lost that blessing on the day that Adam sinned, but God’s ultimate promise is that someday (not because we deserve it, but because of His great love for us), those who commit their hearts to Him will see all of it restored…and so much more! We will dwell with a righteous, perfectly just, and abundantly graceful God forever. 馃檪

No story book ending could ever surpass that real promise.

Answers for Skeptics: When did God divide light from darkness?

Light was divided from darkness on the first day of creation. Genesis 1 verses 3-5 read as follows:

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided (讘指旨讚址诇 badal) light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. -聽Genesis 1:4-5

…BUT!! Genesis 1:16-19 tells us that on the fourth day,

...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. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light on the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide (讘指旨讚址诇 badal) the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 

It’s quite understandable why one might be tempted to consider this a contradiction. One passage says that God divided light from darkness on the first day, but the other says that God created great lights to separate light from darkness in the fourth day. To make sense of this seeming contradiction, we must read both passages carefully and compare them.

When God said “Let there be light” in Genesis 1:3 it was clearly different from when God made two great lights in Genesis 1:16. Also, when God divided the light from darkness in Genesis 1:4, it was different from when the sun and moon would continually divide light and darkness from the fourth day onward.

On day 1, God Himself called forth the existence of light. In physics, light is currently considered to be both a particle and a wave. Therefore, on that first day, God called forth the existence of lightwave particles. On day four, however, He created independent lightwave generators.

Now, let’s not limit God, nor exalt our own intelligence and ways above His. This being from whom all things derive made the rules, set all boundaries, and did impossible things. He established the speed of light which we have calculated to be approximately 186,000 miles per second! We can call that hella fast!

We know light has to be emitted by something; and since God is the everlasting entity, who preceded the light sources He created, the first light must have shown directly from Him. On day 1, He shown this light upon the world calling the lit area “day” and the area shrouded in darkness, “night”…and all that was for us. 馃檪

God did not need light to see His project. He did not depend on it to design this world. When He made the sun, He made it to shine so that we could diistinguish day from night and have a concept of time. God had already established the concept of time before day four when He made the sun. That’s why Genesis explains that each day still had a morning and evening before earth had a sun. God had already established the hours of the day before He made the celestial bodies we now associate with the passage of time.

So when did God divide light from darkness? He did so on day one. He then established the required dimensions of the sun in order that it might shine upon the exact region of the earth that His light had outlined. Then He delegated the division of light from darkness (on earth) to the one sun He created for us. To this day, when sunlight touches an area, that region experiences day while everywhere else is veiled in the darkness of night.

Answers for Skeptics: How long did creation take?

Creation took six days. This is clearly explained in Genesis Chapter 1. However, some skeptics argue that Genesis 2 tells a different creation story. They say the fourth verse of Chapter 2 bears a contradiction.

So let’s review Genesis Chapter 2 verses 1-4 and paraphrase it so we can understand it as it was meant to be understood.

1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Paraphrase: In this manner were the Heavens and earth completed as well as every being that would exist within them.

2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

This does not sound at all like a whole new story. We know that proper sentences do not use the word “and” except to connect two or more thoughts. Verse two begins with the words “And on the seventh day”. This is clearly picking up where Genesis Chapter 1 ended. Moving right along, verse three continues the account saying:

3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Genesis explains the six day creation in one chapter, but takes a few verses to explain how God used the seventh day. It gives us a break from all of the activity before it dives right back in to explain the sixth day in more detail. The sixth day is the most relevant to believers in the God of the Bible because on this day, God created humankind. Continuing onward to verse four, we read:

4These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth

Paraphrase: These are all of the events which comprise the origin of the heavens and the earth)

when they were created,

Paraphrase: that occured in the time which we call “the beginning”),

in the day

Paraphrase: for they did occur in the era or time frame)

that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

Paraphrase: in which God made everything, seen and unseen and all that exists in this realm and in the Heavens.

The phrase “in the day” is not the same as the phrase “on the day” for the same reason “In those days” is not the same as “on those days”. “I travelled a lot in those days” is different from “I travelled a lot on those days”. The former connotes an era. The latter connotes specific days of the week.

So there was never truly any contradiction between the six day creation account outlined in Genesis Chapter 1 and the fourth verse in Genesis Chapter 2. There was only misconnotation.