The Creator Populates “Spaceship Earth”
1. (a) How does the earth contrast with the moon, and with man-made spaceships? (b) How do many persons show that they do not truly appreciate our earth? (Psalm 10:4)
BY THE end of God’s “fourth day” of creation, earth’s surface presented a beautiful sight. It was alive with color. Much later, in this twentieth century of our era, an astronaut viewed it from the lifeless surface of the moon, and commented:
“When you look at our earth from two hundred and forty thousand miles away, especially over a horizon that has been bombarded for cons, you see that our planet is the only thing in the universe that has any color in it. . . . We share such a beautiful planet. . . . The overwhelming wonderment is why in the world we can’t appreciate what we have.”
By experience that astronaut came to know how weightless living in the cramped quarters of a man-made spaceship contrasts with the normal life that man can enjoy right here on “spaceship Earth,” in the environment that God prepared for him. However, not only do the majority of men fail to appreciate what they have, but for the most part they ignore the illustrious Designer and Maker of this earth. Many persons choose to be like the senseless one who “has said in his heart: ‘There is no Jehovah.’”—Psalm 14:1.
FISH “SOULS” AND FLYING CREATURES
2. (a) When did God start to populate our “spaceship”? (b) What is a “soul”? (Revelation 16:3) (c) What souls were created on the “fifth day”?
2 Not millions of years in the past, as some persons theorize, but in comparatively recent times, God proceeded according to his own timetable to populate our “spaceship.” He created the first “souls.” The word “soul” (Hebrew, neʹphesh), as it appears here in the Bible account of creation, refers to a breathing, sentient creature, whether fish, bird, animal or man. On this fifth ‘creative day,’ God produced fish and bird “souls.”—Genesis 1:20-23.
3. (a) How has man been able to use principles that he finds in creation, but what must he admit? (Job 12:7-10) (b) How have fish and bird life been a blessing to mankind?
3 What a wealth of divine wisdom is manifest in the structure of these living things! To some extent, man has been able to copy principles that he finds in this creation, such as the jet propulsion of the squid, the sonar of the bat and some of the aerodynamics of birds. But there are many astounding secrets in the makeup of these “souls” that man has been unable to unlock. Fish and bird life have added beauty and interest to man’s earthly home, besides providing tasty additions to his menu when God decreed for them to “serve as food” for man.—Genesis 9:2, 3.
LIVING SOULS FOR THE EARTH
4. (a) What did God form on the “sixth day,” and how? (b) In what ways have the animals served man? (Genesis 1:25)
4 As the sixth ‘creative day’ opened, Jehovah said:
“Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind.” (Genesis 1:24)
God’s invisible spirit became active in forming a marvelous variety of animal “kinds,” some of which fulfilled a temporary purpose, and others of which have survived, for the benefit of man, to this day. Some of these animals are much more than pets: There are horses for riding, dogs for shepherding, elephants for transporting, oxen for plowing, sheep for providing wool, and so on. Animal “souls” have indeed served for the benefit and happiness of mankind.
5 We can truly thank Jehovah for these productions! As the psalm writer says:
“Jehovah’s expressions of loving-kindness I will sing about even to time indefinite. . . . Heaven is yours, the earth also is yours; the productive land and what fills it—you yourself have founded them.”—Psalm 89:1, 11.
THE CROWNING GLORY OF EARTHLY CREATION
6. (a) What helper did Jehovah have beside him in creation? (John 1:1-4) (b) What did God say to this companion worker, and so what relation would man have toward the animals?
6 During all this creative activity, Jehovah had beside him a helper—a “master worker”—the most beloved of all his angelic sons in the invisible heavens. (Proverbs 8:30) Toward the close of the sixth ‘creative day’ Jehovah said to this companion worker:
“Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.”—Genesis 1:26-28.
7 Did God and his companion “worker” make man by some complicated evolutionary process? No, it was much simpler than that. For the Bible tells us:
“Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
The Bible here says nothing about man evolving upward from hairy, grunting apelike creatures. Surely, he could not acquire an appreciation of beauty and of music, the ability to look into the past and into the future, inventiveness, a conscience to discern between right and wrong, and the marvelous qualities of kindness and love, by mere chance evolution! Only a higher, intellectual Personage—God—could bestow such attributes. Jehovah God created the first man in His own “image,” and not the image of any previous earthly creation, such as “birds and four-footed creatures and creeping things.” (Romans 1:23) Between the dumb, unreasoning beasts and the intelligent, upright creature man, there exists a gulf that no evolutionary process could ever start to cross.
8. (a) What shows that the first man had a good command of language? (b) What was the quality of all of God’s creation? (Deuteronomy 32:4)
8 When God later took a rib from the man as he slept, built it into the woman, Eve, and presented this lovely wife to Adam, the man was not limited to mere primeval grunts in expressing his joy. Spontaneously he spoke the first poetry:
“This is at last bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh.
This one will be called Woman,
Because from man this one was taken.”
So in creating mankind as “male and female” God brought his earthly creation to its conclusion.
“After that God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day.”—Genesis 1:31.
REASONS FOR THANKING OUR CREATOR
9. What are some details in the design of man that should cause us to laud our Creator?
9 The masterpiece of God’s earthly creation—man—was indeed “very good.” As descendants of that first man and woman, we should be continually thankful for God’s marvelous workmanship. Think of the joy we can derive from our senses—the taste of delicious meals, the touch of loving hands, the sight of breathtaking landscapes, the sound of birds or of delightful music, the aroma of flowers and of foods! And for good measure, God has endowed us with two each of eyes, ears, nostrils, besides other vital body parts. Ten fingers coordinate perfectly with one another for getting work done and thirty-two superbly designed teeth enable us to bite and chew our foods, and to flash smiles at those around us. Our ability to express pleasure and humor by laughing (something animals cannot do) is another of our many blessings. What zest we can get from life through the God-given abilities of walking, running, jumping, swimming! In appreciation of a thousand marvelous features of the body that our Creator gave us, we should want to express ourselves the same way that King David did:
“O Jehovah, you have searched through me, and you know me. I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.”—Psalm 139:1, 14.
10. How does the process of human reproduction magnify Jehovah’s wisdom? (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
10 Truly wonderful among God’s gifts to man is the capacity to reproduce his own kind. Though a corrupt world has abused sex and used it for immoral purposes, it is not unclean when used by married persons in harmony with God’s purpose and commandments. What a marvelous process human reproduction is! In the woman, the egg cell—no larger than a pinpoint—is fertilized by a male sperm cell 1/85,000 the size of that egg cell. From the union of those two tiny particles there matures in time a complete human, inheriting qualities from both parents according to the composite “blueprint” (DNA) formed at the time the cells united. Modern architects sometimes fill large volumes with blueprints of a building under construction, but God could incorporate the “blueprint” for making an entire human being—far more complicated than any building—in a cell that is almost invisible. Speaking of this “blueprint” for a human person, King David acknowledges that Jehovah is able to see all things, including the infinitely small:
“You kept me screened off in the belly of my mother. Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them. So, to me how precious your thoughts are! O God, how much does the grand sum of them amount to!”—Psalm 139:13, 16, 17.
11. For what capabilities of the human brain should we thank God?
11 True, God’s thoughts are precious! And we can be most thankful that God has given us a brain that is capable of thinking his thoughts. What a magnificent organ this is! The human brain contains a memory system so efficient and so intricate that, if man himself constructed an electronic computer to do the same work, it would need to be as large as the Empire State Building in New York city.a Truly, Jehovah knows how to economize on space! Also, according to biochemists, the capacity of the human brain far exceeds that of animal brains. It is estimated to have the awesome capability of storing a thousand million times more information than a person now stores in a lifetime of seventy to eighty years. In harmony with His purpose for man to live on earth forever, God gave him a brain that could keep on memorizing new items for eternity! How important to keep filling our minds with “praiseworthy” thoughts!—Philippians 4:8.
GOD’S PURPOSE IN CREATING MAN
12. (a) What was God’s purpose in creating man? (b) Despite mankind’s ruinous ways, what will this earth become, and when? (Isaiah 65:17, 18)
12 God had a purpose in creating man, and it should be our desire to live in harmony with that purpose. At the time that Jehovah created the human pair, he blessed them, and told them:
“Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
However, what do we see today, six thousand years later? In some areas, the earth has become filled with humankind, but for the most part they do not acknowledge dependence on their Creator, Jehovah God, nor do they worship him. And rather than subdue the earth, in a large measure they are polluting and ruining it, along with much of its animal life. However, we can be thankful that God has declared his determination to bring to “ruin those ruining the earth” and to have all earth transformed into his purposed glorious paradise by the end of his great ‘rest day.’—Revelation 11:18.
13 Truly there are marvelous prospects for the future of “spaceship Earth”! And for man upon it! According to God’s grand purpose, his ‘rest day’ will end with the earth transformed into a paradise, populated by a righteous human race that has in subjection all other created earthly souls. We can thank Jehovah that he created “man in his image,” and that he provides for us so wonderfully here on earth—now, and on into limitless time.—Genesis 1:27.
a The World Book Encyclopedia, 1973, Vol. 2, p. 459.
[Picture on page 66]
Earth excels in every respect any spaceship of men
[Picture on page 69]
A great gulf separates God’s human creation from the animals, proving “evolution” to be false
[Picture on page 73]
A computer with memory equaling man’s would fill a skyscraper