Wonders Great and Small – Genesis 1:20-23

A late 1880’s report documented the viewing of “gigantic Calamaries” found beached on the coasts of New Zealand. In January of last year, a Japanese fisherman hauled in a living 13-foot squid. Why are we so in awe of giant sea creatures? What makes that news? Perhaps it’s the notion that there are fearful, powerful creatures sharing this world with us that we don’t see every day.

Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.
Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

I’ve been using the King James Version for my flowery quotes, but here it begs the question, “Did the water create the sea creatures?” ‘Bring forth‘ is translated in other versions as ‘teem with’ or ‘swarm with.’ The water is not doing the producing; it is seen as the perfect environment for creating the abundant life God wants, just like the earth ‘brought forth’ grass.

Moving creature‘ covers anything from reptiles to insects to rodents to aquatic life. Fortunately, “let the waters bring forth” tells me these particular creatures all live in water. Some living creatures that make their home in the water, other than fish, are amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, sea mammals, and reptiles—like sea turtles and sea serpents. Knowing there are many, many species of animals that live in the sea, wouldn’t it be efficient to describe them all with one word? That’s what God did. He made all sorts of creatures to live in the water, and He made them on one day. And if I had any doubt, the next verse gives a little more info.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

So, the great sea creatures were made during this time, as well. Interestingly, the word for whales is translated in other Bible passages as ‘dragon,’ ‘sea monster,’ and ‘serpent.’ So, this word covers more than the whales.

bird2
Image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

What does ‘every winged fowl’ include? The word for fowl can mean any winged creature. Birds are not the only creatures with wings. There are also insects. And what about bats? These all take to the sky, so this would be the day they came into being.

Living in an age when scientists like to categorize and re-categorize creatures based on their traits, I have trouble allowing that all creatures with wings or all creatures that live in the water could be created simultaneously. Perhaps this is because I was taught for years that creatures evolved into new species and developed complex traits spontaneously, like wings, to fit their environments. Since evolutionary theories are constantly being revised, I’ve found it more reliable to accept that the variety of creatures with wings or in the water were made genetically pristine and intact from the beginning, and that God created them with the means to adapt in natural ways consistent with their biological makeup—i.e., they remain subject to the law of reproducing after their own kind.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.20080328m

The word ‘multiply’ is a bit intimidating when I remember that flying insects were part of this command. If you’ve ever been in a swarm of bugs, inhaled, and choked on one, you probably know what I mean.

God made the waters teem with sea creatures, great and small.
God made the winged creatures that fly in the sky.
God called them good.
God established the laws of procreation for His creatures.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

I’ve often wondered why God made creatures like bugs. I can know two things about them here: 1) When they were created, God called them good, and 2) God wanted them to multiply on the earth. There was also that time in Egypt when God used the bugs to prove His power over their gods and their much-worshiped pharaoh. He used the smallest, weakest creatures to overcome the pharaoh’s pride and arrogance. Insects are truly a small wonder.

Disclaimer: I do not agree with the conclusions presented in the article, “Fossils revise human evolution theories,” linked above, and it has been discredited by some scientists. See “Human ‘missing link’ fossils may be jumble of species” for more information.

The feature image is used by permission courtesy of Keriography.

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Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I'm genuine. Sometimes I'm too genuine. My topics of interest are: this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come. Oh, and cups of tea. Yes, I write about my cups of tea.

2 thoughts on “Wonders Great and Small – Genesis 1:20-23”

  1. I had thought about bats being included with winged creatures, but not flying insects. It does make sense, though. Thanks for giving my brain something to chew on today.

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  2. I am loving this walk through creation so very much. I think I take for granted the vast number of creatures this really encompasses. I guess with so many children’s classes under my belt with the usual visuals I forget the magnitude of what was really created. Truly an Awesome God!

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