Friday, January 11, 2013

Lesson Study Forming the World

Though Scripture doesn’t explicitly say it, we have good biblical reasons for believing that the universe existed long before life on earth began. First, in Job 38:4-6, God states that there were living beings who shouted for joy when God formed the world. This implies preexisting beings who lived in the universe before the earth was created. The reference to an on-looking universe in 1 Corinthians 4:9 may refer to the same group of beings. Second, the serpent was present in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned. In Revelation 12:9, the serpent is identified as Satan, who was thrown out of heaven. Jesus said that He saw this happen (Luke 10:18)Ezekiel 28:1415 describe the covering cherub, who was perfect at first but eventually rebelled. This implies that there was a period of time before Satan’s rebellion and that presumably Satan lived in the universe also. These texts indicate that Adam and Eve were not the first beings created.
“As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the sharp, ragged edges of earth’s rocky framework were buried beneath the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of verdure. There were no loathsome swamps or barren deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. The heights were crowned with trees more majestic than any that now exist. The air, untainted by foul miasma, was clear and healthful. The entire landscape outvied in beauty the decorated grounds of the proudest palace. The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 44.

Discussion Questions

  1. Identify as many features as you can that show that the world is designed.
  2. What reasons can you give to show how the theory of evolution cannot be harmonized with the biblical doctrine of creation?
  3. Without doubt, there are elements in the Genesis Creation account that we can’t explain. Why, though, is that not a reason to reject it as a literal account of the way in which God created our world?
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