Home is a special place that attracts us, one way or another. Is the Genesis creation account part of the explanation for why home is so important?
The universal habit of using a personal shelter, a home that belongs to us, is nothing new. Indeed, longing for home is not limited to humans.1 The Lord Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests” (Matthew 8:20; Luke 9:58). Various Scripture writers refer to animal homes. Eagles, swallows, sparrows, storks, doves, owls, and other birds use nests.2 Spiders make web-silk homes.3 Worms and other creepy creatures live underground.4 Lions have dens.5 Salmon return home to spawn.6
Polar bear mothers sometimes live in dens, sheltered from colder weather outside:
Dens offer pregnant [polar bear] females protection from the cold and predators while they give birth and rear their cubs. The temperature inside a den is often just below freezing and fluctuates much less than outside temperature. The temperature inside a den can be 38°F (21°C) warmer than outside, and the warmth reduces energy use, which is important for small cubs and for females without access to food.7
But what explains the origin of homing habits? God hardwired (i.e., bioengineered) His creatures’ home-building habits to match their habitats—from polar permafrost to prairies, from torrid tropics to tundra and taiga, from fields to fjords, from oceans to islands.6,7,8,9,10
Darwin’s magical phrase “natural selection” provides no etiological (causal) explanation for the universal phenomena of creaturely home life.9 However, Scripture does provide the key for understanding this universal habit—the Genesis mandate. God commanded humans and animals to be fruitful, multiply, and “fill the earth” (Genesis 1:21-22, 26-28; 9:1-7).6,9 Because God designed His creatures to do more than just populate, He programmed diverse creatures to fill living spaces all over the globe—on land, in water, and to some even the air is a home of sorts.6,8,9,10,11
Accordingly, settling (domesticating) specific niches in the earth—even migratory stopover homes—and utilizing home bases for family life activities is needful to fill the multitude of Earth’s multifarious habitats.8,9,11 To achieve this goal, God has providentially equipped creatures with physical bodies (with helpful anatomies and physiologies) and programmed bio-informational instructions (coding and equipping for habitat-interactive behaviors) that are fitted to the dynamic challenges of physical environments (and biotic communities) all over the globe.6,9
As earthbound pilgrims, we pass through this mortal life (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11), interfacing with an all-too-often hostile culture (Hebrews 11:36-38). We long for a truly secure home—where we really belong. But, as Christians, what is our true home? It is not residential real estate housing (Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:8-14). Our true homes are not even the earthly bodies that we temporally inhabit, although they are the “tents” we know best (2 Corinthians 5:1-4; 2 Peter 1:13).
For Christians, ultimately, our real eternal home is God Himself (Psalm 90:1; 2 Corinthians 5:6; John 14:2-6). As our Creator, He started us. As our Redeemer, we finish with Him. What a homecoming we wait for!
- Proverbs 27:8.
- See Job 39:27; Psalm 84:3 and 104:17; Deuteronomy 22:6-7 and 32:11; Isaiah 34:15; Jeremiah 48:28 and 49:16; Obadiah 1:4. See Sherwin, F. 2006. Hummingbirds at ICR. Acts & Facts. 35 (9).
- Isaiah 59:5. See Sherwin, F. 2006. Spiral Wonder of the Spider Web. Acts & Facts. 35 (5).
- Micah 7:17 refers to zochalim (furtive creatures, including snakes) that live in the earth (’erets). Job 21:26 and 24:20 refer to parasitic worms (rimmah) of the dirt (’aphar).
- See Job 38:39-40; Song of Solomon 4:8; Nahum 2:12. Even humans, when circumstances justify it, live in “dens” (see Judges 6:2; Hebrews 11:38; Revelation 6:15).
- Johnson, J. J. S. 2013. God Fitted Habitats for Biodiversity. Acts & Facts. 42 (3): 10-12.
- Derocher, A. E. 2012. Polar Bears: A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 155.
- Sherwin, F. 2012. Christmas Island Zoology. Acts & Facts. 41 (12): 16.
- Guliuzza, R. J. 2012. Engineered Adaptability. Acts & Facts. 41 (10): 11-14; Johnson, J. J. S. 2010. Survival of the Fitted: God’s Providential Programming. Acts & Facts. 39 (10): 17-18. See also Thomas, B. Amazing Fish Adaptive Design. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org May 18, 2012.
- Pearcy, W. G. 1992. Ocean Ecology of North Pacific Salmonids. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 117-123.
- Frigatebirds fly most of the time, spending very little time in water or on land. Soper, T. 1989. Oceans of Birds. London: David & Charles Publishers, 82-83.
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.