Inspirational Readings for Your Daily Walk with God:

Christian Mediation

 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

CREATION SPEAKS

3. “Let the Earth Bring Forth”

THE story of the third, fifth, and sixth days is briefly told in Genesis. In order came plants, water and air life, and finally land life, including man. In all cases except that of man, the statements are significant: “Let the earth bring forth.” This seems to exclude the common idea that God spent the time of these three days in a series of commands that caused one kind after another to appear full-grown. It rather suggests some sort of developmental processes by which the earth itself brought forth the living creatures.

Possibly Milton’s picture of the lion gradually emerging from the earth is not so fantastic as might be supposed at first thought. We might well imagine a rapid embryonic growth, as it were, in which, through the agency of the Spirit of God, living cells appeared, and grew to full maturity in the course of a few hours.

Of course, all this may seem like pure speculation; but after all it must be remembered that God works in a systematic manner; and the events of creation week should ‘be thought of as orderly and systematic rather than haphazard and irregular. 

Today, as we study the laws of embryonic development, we find ourselves face to face with the most complicated, the most mysterious, the most marvellous, of all natural laws. Each embryo goes through a certain series of stages, which vary according to the class to which it belongs. 

Many of the processes involved in the growth of the organism are beyond the comprehension of the greatest scientists. The creative power of God is manifested in every new individual that is produced-plant, animal, or mankind.

GENESIS KINDS

Throughout the record occur the expressions “after his kind” and “after their kind.” A reflective study on these expressions reveals much that is worthy of careful thought. Here is revealed the orderliness of nature. The plants and animals were not isolated and unrelated individuals, but were grouped into divisions, some large, some small, each with its peculiarities by which it was distinguished from others.

Occasionally we are told that the taxonomic (classification) system is artificial, or is worthless because it has been developed by evolutionists. To those who have been troubled by this idea it may be pointed out that our present system of classification owes its origin largely to a creationist, Carolus Linnaeus. 

Furthermore, the fact that a man believes in evolution does not preclude his being able to recognize relationships in nature, even though his views on this subject may be influenced to a certain degree by his evolutionary philosophy. Let us examine the classification system of the vertebrate animals as an example and see how their natural characteristics given to them by the Creator have been recognized by the students of classification.

The vertebrates are divided into seven distinct classes, and no one who studies carefully their characteristics can have any question but what they represent natural groups. They are: (1) Cyclostomatalamprey-eels, (2) Elasmobranchii-cartilaginous fishes, (3) Pisces-bony fishes, (4) Amphibia-frogs, toads, and salamanders, (5) Reptilia-turtles, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, (6) Aves-birds, (7) Mammalia-animals covered with hair and nourishing their young with milk. 

If on the sixth day of creation, when the dog type passed before Adam, the Lord had asked, ‘What kind of animal is that? Adam certainly would have no hesitation in assigning it to the mammal “kind.” It surely was neither fish, amphibian, reptile, nor bird.

Let us follow this thought a bit further. In the mammals we find several orders, among them the rodents, carnivores, hoofed animals, elephants, whales, etc. These, while they have the general mammalian characters in common, are different in certain features which make it easy to separate them. Again, had Adam been asked, “What kind of mammal is that?” he could readily have answered that it was a carnivore.

This group possesses several features in common that distinguish it from all others. For instance, there is a typical tooth pattern, as may be seen by comparing the teeth of a dog with those of a rat or of a grazing animal. Among the order Carnivora are several families, each distinct enough to be readily separated.

Teeth, feet, and other anatomical structures are characteristic. The dog family differs sufficiently from the cat family so that few if any of these animals give any difficulty of classification. Similarly the other families of carnivores; raccoon, bear, weasel, hyena-each have their own peculiarities. Anyone trained in vertebrate natural history can recognize the skeletons instantly. And so, if Adam had been asked regarding the dog, ‘What kind of carnivore is this?” he could have answered, “It is the dog kind.”

Thus far it appears reasonable to conclude that the taxonomic system now in vogue, as far as the higher categories are concerned, is a natural one. The classification of the dog as belonging to the Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata, Class Mammalia, Order Carnivora, and Family Canidae is perfectly in harmony with natural relationships that must be recognized by anyone, evolutionist or creationist. The latter individual sees in this classification the outworking of the grand plan of the Creator in accord with His command, “Let the earth bring forth after his kind.”

It is in the lower categories, the genera and species-that difficulties in classification arise. Of the questions arising from this study we shall speak more in detail in the next chapter.

COMPARATIVE ANATOMY

The zoologist points to the similarities between animals homologies, as he calls them-as evidence that they have arisen from common primitive ancestors. Because a man, a dog, and a horse have similar skeletal structures, they are assumed to have been produced by an evolutionary process.

The argument from homology, or comparative anatomy, is valuable only upon one assumption that evolution is known to have taken place. In other words, if it were known that all the animals had arisen by evolution, then clearly the dog and the horse would be more nearly related than the dog and a fish.

But, on the other hand, if a person is skeptical regarding the validity of the evolutionary theory, there is nothing in these facts to prove that it really did take place. The facts of comparative anatomy can as readily be explained on the basis of a plan in the mind of the Creator as on the basis of the evolutionary theory.

It must be noted here that some will admit this argument, but maintain that evolution was the method the Creator used in developing His plan. This belief is generally known as “theistic evolution.” The chief objection to this viewpoint is that it destroys all the literal meaning of the Genesis record, and opens the way for the complete rejection of belief in creation and the Flood.

Not only that, but the theory that God used evolution as the method of creation implies the idea that struggle and death were ordained by God as part of the divine plan for populating the earth. Surely we cannot believe that such a plan was the best God could devise!

DISTRIBUTION OF LIFE

The distribution of life over the earth at creation is a point worthy of some attention. By many it has been assumed that the earth was of uniform climate, practically all lowland, and having the same kind of plants and animals everywhere. There is no good reason for such an assumption. The evidence from the fossils indicates that there was a wide variety of life, living under many different conditions.

One of the most surprising conclusions to be drawn from a study of the rocks of the earth is the fact that in the ancient world there were none of the oceans and continents as we know them today. The earth appears to have been divided into two great land masses. The northern mass occupied much of Asia, Europe, and North America. 

This is shown by the presence of a large number of fossil plants and freshwater animals distributed quite generally over these regions. The southern mass occupied most of India, Australia, South Africa, and South America. In these regions the plants and animals were much different from those of the northern land area. Of course we know little regarding the deposits on the floor of the oceans, but probably they were once part of the land masses. For instance, the ancient land which geologists call Gondwana land probably included most of the Indian, south Atlantic, and south Pacific oceans.

Between these larger lands the seas extended around the world as long narrow strips, with a branching network which left no major portion of the earth many hundreds of miles from the water, as we find in the large continents of our day.

Many parts of the earth appear to have been occupied by land areas whose only remnants today are solid crystalline blocks. Apparently all the higher materials were swept away, leaving only the cores of these ancient highlands. No one can estimate the height of these ancient lands, but from a study of the fossils it is evident that there were fairly cool regions; the natural conclusion would be that there was sufficient altitude to produce considerable variation in climate. There is no good reason for refusing to believe that these majestic heights originally rose several thousand feet, and that there were larger and smaller bodies of water at various levels, giving the earth a rich fauna and flora, beyond anything now known.

A bit of thoughtful meditation will lead one to the conclusion that when God declared the earth to be “very good,” there must have been infinite variety and perfection of beauty. Man might pronounce a thing very good when his crude sense of values would admit of much imperfection. But the divine benediction upon the newly created earth, we must admit, involves more than we can imagine in variety, interest, and wealth of plant and animal life.  

CONTINUE