In our (slow) progression through Genesis, we have seen the creation of the heaven and the earth, of light, and the atmosphere. We have seen the formation of dry land, of Pangaea and the first, primordial sea.
We come now to the third creative day, wherein we read:
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. 12The 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. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. The Book of Genesis 1:11–12
After having separated dry land from the seas on the previous day, God now calls for plant life to sprout, and Earth obeys as all manner of vegetation springs forth into life. It was good, and the day ends.
Pretty simple, right? Perhaps, but there are a number of things to take away from this verse.
First, you should note that this verse refutes the idea that the “days” of Genesis are symbolic of long periods of time, corresponding in some way to the “millions of years” demanded by the foolish conclusions of geologists. In what way does the earth sprouting plants show that? It does so in the fact that if the days are in actuality untold eons, all of the plants mentioned would be long dead by the time the sun is created on day four!.
In other words, if you want to believe that the Scriptures are compatible with evolution of “old-earth” geology, you must not only redefine what the word “day” means, but you must also cut and paste verses into the proper order. Either God created the sun first as the “old-earth” geologist would tell us or He created plants first as the Scriptures tell us. One cannot have it both ways without doing great damage to the integrity of the Scriptures.
Second, you should note that this verse precludes the idea of evolution being responsible for Earth’s plant life. The plants which God caused to sprout reproduce via seed “according to their own kinds.” Millions and millions of years of a pine tree reproducing into a pine tree will never yield a fir tree. I don’t doubt that there have been mutations along the way. Sin absolutely wrecked the integrity of every gene pool. That’s why we have sickness — and sicknesses which are still mutating today, rendering medicines ineffective — and deformities and so on.
But “according to its own kind” is straightforward. It’s either true or it isn’t, and it’s an incredible leap of faith to redefine the words in that phrase to mean that the plants reproduce “in a manner which reflects the cumulative result of survival of the fittest and natural selection so that after millions of years, the resulting tree may not resemble the original kind at all.”
Third, you should take away from this verse the supremacy of God. Science and a myriad of pagan religions point to the sun — or a sun god of some sort — as the sustainer of life on Earth. Yet we see here God bringing forth life — plant life, of all things! — without the aid of Apollo or the sun. The natural order would be set in motion later, but on this one day, plants worldwide flourished by the sheer will of God. No photosynthesis. No exhaled carbon dioxide — there was no human or animal life, yet. There was only God.
In your life, there is only God. He is the only constant refuge, hope, and comforter. Apart from His sustaining will, those plants wouldn’t have done a thing on the third day of creation, and apart from His redeeming grace, you will never truly live.
Apart from Him, you are spiritually dead, your spirit bound by the guilt of sin. But through faith in Jesus Christ, there is salvation freely given by a gracious God. The plants obeyed God when He called them forth to life; will you?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. The Gospel according to John 3:16
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