Friday, September 22, 2023

The Vision (9.22.23): “And all the host of them”: The Magnitude of Creation


Image: The Milky Way

Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 2:1-3.

Genesis 2:1 declares, “Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.”

The language here echoes that of Genesis 1:1 where the phrase “heaven and earth” also appears. This is simply a way of saying God made “everything.”

Moses adds, “and all the host of them.” This is meant to emphasize the totality and magnitude of the complete, divine work of creation. One commentator notes that the word “host” “normally only refers to luminaries” like the sun, moon, and stars (see Deut 4:19; 17:3), but here its application is extended to all things within the world, everything between and beyond the heavens and the earth (Currid, Genesis, 90-91).

The immensity of the creation is truly breath-taking. We, as puny human beings, will never be able to grasp with our finite minds its enormous scope. I was reading about this last week in a book titled The New Creationism by a Christian apologist in the UK named Paul Gardner. Gardner wrote about the stars to illustrate the immensity of the world that God made. He notes,

Our Sun is one of about 100 billion stars that make up our galaxy. The Milky Way. Our galaxy is one of about thirty galaxies in a cluster called the Local Group. This cluster is about ten million light years across… (34).

He then adds,

One recent estimate suggests that, in total, there are ten times more stars in the observable universe than all the grains of sand on the world’s deserts and beaches (34).

Get this also, stars are apparently like snowflakes. “No two stars are absolutely identical” (34).

With that in mind, consider again the statement in 2:1, especially its conclusion, “and all the host of them.” The magnitude of creation staggers the mind. It makes David’s statement in Psalm 8 completely reasonable, “3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Genesis 2:1 compels us to wonder in worship and awe at the vast magnitude of the world which God created in the space of six days and all very good.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle


Anonymous said...

Hi Pastor Riddle.
Your ministry has been a great help for me in engaging with the many “foolish disputes” of popular apologists online, who dedicate their life to obscuring the text of the Holy Scriptures, and snatching away the seed of God’s Word, upon all good ground.

Across my studies of the traditional text, mainly the textus receptus which underlines the Authorized Version, I’ve found nearly every charge against it to be without merit. However, there is one charge I’m having difficulty with—that of the textus receptus and King James reading of Revelation 14:1.
Matt Slick, at CARM, (whom I have little to no respect for, for personal reasons which would verge on gossip) published an article attacking the KJV’s rendering in this passage, saying that it removed “His name.” From the foreheads of the saints. The critical text aligns with the Tyndale version, as well as the majority of greek and latin texts. Furthermore, the patristic writers Methodius, Origen, and Cyprian quote revelation 14:1 with the “His Name” passage as well. Jerome also appears to quote the passage, though it’s difficult to tell as Jeromes quotation seems to be a paraphrase.
Jack Moorman hand waves the passage away by stating that no other text in revelation points to the servants being sealed with more than one name but that is plainly wrong. Both Revelation 3:12 and Revelation 22:4 indicate the name of the Lamb also being on their foreheads.
As far as I know, this is the only position in response from the confessional bibliologist position.

Matt Slick and James White both allege that this ommision in the textus receptus is easily explained away as a common scribal error—his eyes simply saw the second greek word for “name” and accidentally excluded the passage.
I know nothing of the greek language, so I am ill equipped to counter this charge.

Is there a possible explanation as to why this is not in the textus receptus? I have to think there is considering none of the reformers commented on the change, and the revisors of the textus receptus never touched the passage, though they did extensive revision on the rest of Erasmus’ book of revelation.
Just asking for an explanation. Notwithstanding, my faith in the KJV and the text it is based upon obviously does not depend upon this passage— I don’t plan on resting my unbelief upon a passage only present in two manuscripts from before the eighth century.

In every other case I have eventually found the text of the KJV to be beyond all doubtful disputations, and I expect this case to be the same..

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

P.s. apologies for the anonymous username. My gmail wouldnt connect for whatever reason.

Alan said...

Hi. Finally got my gmail to work. In the time which has elapsed since I published my first two comments it has come to my attention that the revelation 14:1 His Father's name passage is present in more Latin manuscripts than I originally thought. It seems to be a minority greek passage but prevalent in the Latin, which is likely why Erasmus included it. Erasmus often referred to the Latin book of the Apocalypse when the reading was unsure in the greek on account of the fact that the greeks largely rejected Revelations canonicity in the early years of the text. Furthermore the 'His name' reading of the critical text creates a theological issue and an apparent contradiction, mainly if the name written upon the foreheads is that of Revelation 19:12, (as Revelation 3:12 seems to imply) then this is an apparent error, as John, according to the critical text, sees and identifies the name in Revelation 14:1, yet prophecies in 19:12 that 'no man knew' Christ's new name.
Its apparent to me that God providentially preserved a unique minority greek reading through the Textus Receptus and the latin texts in order to correct this error.

My apologies for crowding the comment section with this irrelevant topic, but I would be seering my conscience if I publicly doubted the scriptures, and then never detailed my eventual rebuttal to those doubts.