This blog post will cover the devotionals #1-8 for Genesis Chapter 1.
Please note that this devotional book is for sale as a physical (paperback) &/or digital (PDF) book on my website.
 Genesis 1:1,2
We know that God has never not existed. We also know that God doesn’t exist in space or time—except for when He steps into it (like when He went walking in the garden with Adam and Eve, or when Jesus was on Earth, etc.). There’s a Christian song that says, “To You, my future is a memory, (be)cause You’re already there.” So, when the Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth,” it can’t be talking about God’s beginning because He never had one. Now, that’s a tough mystery to just accept without understanding, but we can’t expect all the facets of an Omnipotent (all-powerful), Omnipresent (present everywhere at once), Omniscient (all-knowing) God to fit into our finite minds. When it says, “in the beginning,” it must be discussing the beginning of what we can understand—the beginning of our world’s existence; the beginning of space and time (in some realm outside of wherever or however God exists), etc. If we follow the facts that the Bible clearly shows, along with historical records that line up precisely with Bible facts, we can understand exactly when the world began in relation to our point in history—and how old it actually is.
 Genesis 1:1,2,6-13
Though we’ve learned that God has never existed in the realm of space and time, God created space when He began the creation of the world. He filled that space with land and water. It didn’t yet have shape or value. It was like a lump of wet clay that the potter prepares to put on his wheel and start forming into something beautiful. All the life that existed in that space up until that point was God’s breath, being exhaled all around it. As He began manipulating the space to take shape according to His design, He decided to add atmosphere to it. That atmosphere—or air—is what we, as humans, need to live and breathe. It blocks the intensity of the sun’s rays from reaching Earth and keeps Earth’s temperature at a comfortable level by trapping heat. And most notably, the oxygen that exists within our atmosphere (along with other important gases) is essential for life. As we know, we breathe in the oxygen that plants (especially trees) put out, and we exhale the carbon dioxide that plants / trees take in. God planned for us to not only exist together, but also to depend upon each other to exist. What’s amazing about the sequence of Creation is that after God created the atmosphere, the second-to-next thing that He created was the trees. The only thing that came before that was bringing out the dry land needed to house this plant-life. He didn’t create the animals and people without first providing an environment that they could both survive—and thrive—in!
 Genesis 1:1-4
We’re told that when God began creating the world, He started by creating the sky and the earth. When He began, “the earth was without form, and void.” Now, we could take that simply at face value and read it to mean that it was shapeless and empty. And that’s true too. However, it’s really interesting to note what the Hebrew words mean for those two descriptors. Strong’s Concordance defines, ‘without form’, as ‘worthless / valueless, desolate (lies in waste).’ It also mentions that it could mean ‘confusion’ or ‘vanity’. It defines ‘void’ as ‘an indistinguishable ruin’. This sounds a lot like how we must be before God gets started working on us. We’re just a worthless, wasted lump of clay, sitting in darkness—full of confusion and vanity. We can’t help ourselves get out of that state. Verse 2 says that darkness covered the surface of the water, and that God’s Spirit moved upon it. It’s interesting that the Bible uses both ‘spirit’ and ‘water’ in conjunction with ‘life’. They’re both also heavily connected to ‘truth’. A dry lump of clay won’t do much without water, but even with it present, it can’t form itself—something else needs to be present. However, it’s also surrounded by God’s breath—which speaks things into existence. Before God ever started working with the earth, He spoke light into existence. For our characters to be molded (or changed), we must first receive truth. So, He sends light (truth) into our life, and those are all the conditions needed for Him to work on us. “And God saw that the light was good.”
 Genesis 1:3-5,8,13-19,23,31
When I read that God said, “Let there be light,” on the second day of Creation, it doesn’t just take my mind to literal light. It makes me think about the fact that, from before we (as a species) were even created (on the sixth day), God designed (moving forward from the time that the world existed) that light—or a knowledge of Him—should exist. Once light existed, He made a distinction between it and darkness. If we want to get scientific here, we know that darkness doesn’t actually exist—it isn’t a thing. ‘Darkness’ is defined to be ‘the absence (or lack) of light’. God separated the darkness from the light because He never wanted there to be an absence or lack of truth (knowledge of Him). And even though the night would come, and darkness would take over the land—He still wanted to ensure that light would find a way. When we’re in the daytime—we have the ‘greater’ light—the sun. We have a full and complete understanding and vision of the truth. When we’re in the nighttime, or darkness—we still have a ‘lesser’ light guiding us—lighting our path. It may not light up the entire earth, but still gives enough for us to get through, back to the day again. God never leaves us in complete darkness. There will come a day when there’ll be no more darkness—no more night. That means that our light will never become diminished—or lessened—and that our 'day' will never include a period of darkness. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says (referencing Genesis 1:3), “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The same God—that commanded the light into existence—wanted the light of the knowledge of His character to shine into the darkness of hearts—and thus, He sent Jesus as the greatest light of all. The first ‘day’ of Creation started in darkness. A particular day begins at dusk (sunset / sundown) one evening and continues through the ‘morning’ (dawn / sunrise, daytime / daylight) of the next date until it reaches the dusk on that date. So, when Genesis 1 uses the phrase: “And the evening and the morning were the first day” (and so on, for the rest of Creation week) it means that a day is from dusk to dusk, starting the evening of one date, and finishing the evening of the next date. This is a very good thing to know, because it not only helps us in working with historical dates for events in the Bible, but it’ll also help us to better understand the absolutely most important one of the ten commandments. We'll see more about this principle soon, in devotional #9. God has a funny way of taking the worst possible scenario and making the very best possible one come out of it. He can pull something brilliant out of the deepest darkness. So, if you're struggling to make it through, just remember, the day is always darkest until the dawn.
 Genesis 1:26,27
We're the only creatures in the entire universe (on Earth, as well as all the other worlds that God created) that were designed to resemble God. “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” James 3:9 talks about the same idea that ‘men are made in God’s resemblance’. However, we aren’t just talking about our physical appearance. 1 Corinthians 11:7 also tells us that “man is the image and glory of God.” Strong’s Concordance defines ‘image’ in this passage differently: ‘representation’. What I notice is that it’s also linked with ‘glory’. This is essentially defined as ‘way of thinking’ and ‘dignity’. This has to do with the character, and there are many other places in Scriptures where we can prove that the ‘glory’ of God is directly speaking to His character. Thus, when God created us in His own image, likeness, or glory—He designed us to be a representation of who He is (how He thinks and acts)—not just what He looks like.
 Genesis 1:26-28
I truly find it intriguing that the very next thing God mentioned after His suggestion to create us in His image was that we should rule over the animals and the earth (ground). I can’t help but believe that our being the head over the earth is also a parallel to how God is supposed to be our head (notice 1 Corinthians 11:7, from devotional #5). Furthermore, it shows that God did make us in His image—specifically that He made us male and female. Stemming directly from that, He told us to reproduce and multiply to fill the earth. First off, we can't reproduce and multiply if we’re not male and female. God made them a couple, and from that point, they were married. Secondly, it says that “God blessed them.” Strong’s Concordance shows us that this could mean that “God congratulated them.” Imagine having God as a guest at your ‘wedding’, not only officiating, but also congratulating you, and approving of your union! And as a wedding gift, God gave you the earth and all the creatures in it. In Genesis 9:1, 2, God gives Noah’s family the same instructions to reproduce and replenish the then-empty earth. And He again blesses them, and says that the animals are given to them, and that they'll ‘fear’ (‘revere / respect’) them—in other words, they'll be tamed by mankind (as seen in James 3:7).
 Genesis 1:24,25
The earth (including the creatures on it), was made and set in motion—and maintained—by God Himself. When it says that the earth should produce creatures, and that they should reproduce their same species, it’s clear that God never intended that the natural course of reproduction would be taken over or modified by man, only cared for. Especially in these days, we see a lot about cloning, altering natural DNA, amalgamation, cross-breeding, etc. This was happening long before our day, though. It's very likely that the Antediluvians (the highly intelligent, but sinful, people living just before the flood) were practicing amalgamation. There’s a good chance that dinosaurs were a result of man’s science, and not God’s creation. Genesis 6:19, 20 says that “Two (male and female) of every kind of every living thing of all flesh should be brought into the ark to keep them alive with them you [Noah’s family].” Notice that it says ‘every’ or ‘all’ three times. Thus, if God had created dinosaurs—why wouldn’t they have been included on the ark?
 Genesis 1:29,30
At Creation, God designed a certain diet for both humanity and animals. Man was to eat herbs and fruits, and land animals and birds were meant to eat green herbs. Meat was never a part of the diet of either man or animals. In Genesis 9:3, after the earth had dried up from the flood, God stated that moving, living things could also be added to their diet (along with the green herb), but specified that flesh still containing its blood (the life) shouldn't be eaten. If we consider what meat would be like if we remove the blood, God essentially appointed jerky as the acceptable meat-form of food. (See also Deuteronomy 12 and Leviticus 1). If there was a time where animals didn’t eat flesh either, that means that animals didn’t hurt other animals, or even other people. That was always God’s intention for His creatures—for all to dwell in harmony. Isaiah 11:6-9 discusses a time when the wolf and lamb, the leopard and kid (young goat), the calf and lion cub and cattle, will all rest and dwell together, and that they’ll all be led by a little child. The cow and bear will feed together (and their young rest together), and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play near the den of the viper. What’s important to note is Isaiah 11:9, where it shows that they won't hurt or destroy in God’s holy mountain, because the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord (just as the waters cover the sea). This means that hurt and destruction, and the killing and eating of other creatures / humans isn't a result of God’s plan—but rather, the lack of knowledge about God. So, going back to what we saw in devotional #4, how God created light (knowledge) before creating man, we can see more about why. Without the knowledge of God—sin, killing, and even eating other creatures can only be the natural result