• By Pastor Boffey
  • on Friday, February 10, 2006
Psa 104:25-29 (25) So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. (26) There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. (27) These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. (28) That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. (29) Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. The Spirit of God Who had at the beginning moved upon the waters of the deep (Gen 1:1-2) here moved the Psalmist (2Pe 1:21) to describe the end of the deep's inhabitants: they "...return to their dust" (Psa 104:29). By the use of this expression, the Spirit here gives us a key to help unlock what some have considered a veritable enigma from the first two chapters of the book of Genesis. Some observe that Gen 1:20-23 implies that on Day Five, water was the substance from which God formed the sea creatures and the fowl (although such is not actually stated in that text) whereas our text today declares that sea creatures "return to their dust," implying that dust was the substance of their formation. Then, Gen 1:24-31 states that on Day Six the land animals were brought forth from the earth (Gen 1:24-25) in obvious distinction to the sea creatures and fowl that were brought forth from the waters (Gen 1:20-23) Thus, Gen 1:20-25 sets forth fowl as having a marine generation and land animals, by contrast, having a land/earth generation. The real enigma is that Gen 2:19 states that "...out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air...," seemingly implying that the fowl had a land/earth generation AS DID the land animals, per Gen 1:24-25. Note, though, that Gen 1:20-23 does not specify the material of formation, only the origination of the formative event. But even if one deems that the emphasis of Gen 1:20-23 is the 'stuff' from which the fowl were made, that would not entirely exclude dust from the formation. The waters of the deep are supported by dirt and are in principle simply larger versions of the puddles in one's yard. Further, the waters of the deep have plenty of dust in suspension in them, even as a mud puddle. As to the apparent contradiction between Gen 1:20-25 and Gen 2:19 concerning the fowl's origination (marine generation v. land generation), our text today tells us that dead sea creatures "return to their dust." The dead sea creatures thus decay to their first principle in the same fashion as man who was formed "of the dust..." (Gen 2:7), and "unto dust..." (Gen 3:19) returns. Entropy is indeed universal: "...the whole creation groaneth..." due to "the bondage of corruption" (Rom 8:21-22) ---- dirty rotters all. The Hebrew word translated "dust" in Psa 104:29 can also mean clay or earth or mud or even ground. It is even translated as ground in Job 14:8, which makes good sense since ground is basically just collective inert dust. Thus, when fish "return to their dust," they in essence return to the ground. The same reasoning would obviously apply to the fowl. The fowl were brought forth of the waters (Gen 1:20-21) and formed "out of the ground" (Gen 2:19) ---- out of (oceanic) dust, and to dust they return. The winged enigma thus runs 'afowl' of the tried and true Biblical method of "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1Co 2:13). A winged enigma that is not so easily plucked is the one that compromised Christians create by accepting the fable of biological macro-evolution ("chimp-to-chump" or "goo-to-you" transitions) as compatible with the Genesis creation account so as to gain academic approval and the respect of unbelieving peers. The current rage amongst evolutionists is to contend that dinosaurs evolved into birds (ergo such catchy 'bird of prey' dinosaur names like Velociraptor). But Gen 1:20-25 makes clear that birds preceded land animals (like dinosaurs) in the creation order and therefore Genesis is utterly incompatible with the Dino-to-Dodo scenario. The Christian who hatches ideas like Theistic Evolution is likely one day to find that unbiblical hybrid to be a reeking albatross hanging from his peer-approved neck (and the albatross looking curiously like a pterodactyl).

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