There was nothing haphazard in God’s creative work. He deliberately separated things that should be kept separate, such as light and darkness, dry land and the oceans. He created environments that were specifically designed to support different forms of life, such as the seas for fish and the sky for birds.

God also named certain elements of creation, such as the elements of our environment. The notion of bestowing a name on something indicates authority and lordship, and God has retained to Himself the lordship over His created environment. On the other hand, He gave mankind lordship over the lower orders of life, including fish, birds, land animals, and “every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26).

This order within creation has wide-ranging implications throughout the Scriptures. For instance, God promised mankind after the Flood that earth’s environment will always sustain life (Genesis 8:22). He reiterated man’s authority over the animal kingdom (9:2-3) while also reiterating the sanctity of human life (9:5-6). Paul referred back to Genesis when he addressed issues of order within the church (e.g., 1 Corinthians 11).

(Excerpt from Before Abraham: Creation, Sin, and the Nature of God by John MacArthur [and Gregory C. Benoit], Thomas Nelson, 2008)

  5 Responses to “Order in God’s Creation”

  1. I agree with you on human authority over the earth and her creatures, but are you also saying that because someone names something they have authority over it; or that they are trying to assert an authority over it?

    • In ancient thinking, a person who bestows a name on another is demonstrating authority over that person or thing. For example, Daniel and his friends were given new names when they arrived in Babylon:

      “Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.”
      (Daniel 1:6-7 NKJV)

      The king was exercising his dominion over Daniel, demonstrating that he A) had authority; B) was taking responsibility for their welfare. Adam similarly names Eve and all the animals, but God names the firmament, etc.

  2. The verses in Daniel kind of prove my point, the king thought he had authority and renamed the men but God was in control. The same with my daughter, my wife and I named her, however unlike the king we know that she does not ultimately belong to us, she is the Lords alone.

    My issue is how do we convince a people so set that they are in control, when they are really not? Part of me wonders if this idea is not one of the stepping stones in removing the religion of Darwinism from the actual science of trying to learn more about nature. I am all about science but when we start to make assumptions about guesses and calling that fact I take objection to it; that is where I feel science is going in some areas.

    • Of course, God has ultimate authority over all things, since He created all things. But on the earthly plane, there is also a hierarchy of authority, and that’s what I was addressing here. Adam had authority over the animals because God gave it to him, and it was demonstrated by his naming them. It is not the final, ultimate authority; that belongs to God. Yet it is a valid level of authority UNDER God. The king of Babylon had such authority over Daniel — which was, of course, subject to the ultimate authority of God.

      Modern science, however, denies the ultimate authority of God. Most scientists today deny that there is any plane of existence outside of our material world — they are materialists. The Christian believes that there is an eternal plane, which we call heaven, something which exists above the material plane. We are called “supernaturalists” in the sense of believing that heaven exists above (“super”) that the material (“natural”) plane.

      This, of course, requires faith, since it cannot be empirically proven or disproven. (It also requires faith NOT to believe in heaven.) Without faith, it is impossible to convince a Darwinist.

  3. I made it to the firmament (p. 28) (sorry! I’ve been busy!) in my sleek, fascinating, yet logical and simple book, Pharaoh’s Magicians, and it’s really good, gWa. You must’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I like how a question is raised in my mind, and you answer it bf I finish the section. :)

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