Book 1

Bereshit Rabbah 1, quotes Rabbi. Shimon ben Azzai commenting on Samuel II,22,36, "Your modesty has increased my stature;" whenever we deal with human beings, their names precede their accomplishments, their titles. Not so with the Almighty. His accomplishments are listed first, His title only afterwards. He supplies the needs of the universe, only subsequently does He mention His name. We find at the beginning of the Torah "in the beginning He created;" who? "the Lord". Normally, one would have expected the verse to commence "The Lord created at the beginning."
In order to identify anything correctly, one needs definite answers to four basic questions. These are 1) What? 2) From what? 3)From whom? 4) Why?
The answers to these four questions will reveal 1) the form, shape of the object of our enquiry; 2) the material it consists of; 3) who has created it; 4) what is its purpose, its function.
Once we have been supplied with these answers, and proceeding from the simplest phenomenon, one can advance step by step to more sophisticated phenomena, identify them, understand their function and purpose, and eventually divine their ultimate Cause, i.e. the Creator of the universe.
Since, however, we frequently fail to identify some phenomena correctly, and since the answers to all the four questions listed may not have been available, many people have resigned themselves to consider the universe as being the result of some cosmic accident, a mere coincidence.
Aristotle already has disproved such a philosophy, employing three arguments. 1) Accidents are by definition exceptions, not norms. How can nature be an "accident" then? 2) Even when accidental happenings do occur, the result is rarely perfection, rather a pronounced lack of perfection.
A similar idea is expressed in Solomon's song about the eyshet chayil the woman of valour. (Proverbs 31) He asks "who can find such a woman?" The emphasis is on the word "find". Such a woman is not the product of some "accident", but the result of a process of very careful cultivation. 3) The fact that almost everything we observe serves a well understood purpose, is surely evidence that it is the result of the most careful planning. It is not accidental, but the work of a Creator, the result of a will. The predictability and order of most natural phenomena both on the ground and in space, prove that they are not products of accidents but of a monumental intellect. Any unexplained phenomenon merely points to the fact that the intellect of its Creator is far superior to that of His creature.
There is no compelling reason that the creature must understand everything its Creator has done.
Maimonides in his Moreh section 2, chapters 20-23, proves that Aristotle's concept of the existence of matter prior to the Creator is false, and that only the concept of creation ex nihilo is the Jewish tradition.
Man, starting out alone, without knowledge of the outside, acquires knowledge gradually through contacts, perceptions etc. Because he is forever incomplete, by definition, forever at best progressing towards completion, man, i.e. his title appears first (in the words of Shimon ben Azzai).
The reverse is true of G'd. He is by definition the ultimate Cause of everything. Knowledge of His actions confers upon us a measure of knowledge about Him. Therefore He appears in the text after we have been informed of His activity.

Book 2

Midrash Rabbah Exodus 15, states that Moses wrote down many things in general obscure terms, whereas David later explained these in greater detail. For example, Moses wrote in the story of creation that Heaven and earth preceded the creation of light, whereas David gives the reverse account in Psalms 104,2 "You wrap Yourself in light like a cloak, and then stretch the Heavens like a carpet."
Since the four basic elements, i.e. water, earth, wind and fire move only in one direction, downwards in the case of water and earth, upwards in the case of wind and fire, and their motion is always arrested once their respective goals have been reached, it is clear that their path is predetermined for them, and that they are not free agents. When we observe movements in the sky, we observe unceasing motion in apparently forward and backward direction. (orbit) This could suggest that the objects in motion are possessed of intelligence or are directed by intelligent beings. Since our traditions are not too clear about all this, we are permitted to reject this idea altogether and simply postulate that these heavenly bodies have been given different properties from the four fundamental elements comprising earth. Motion of the celestial bodies is on the one hand unceasing, yet their exact path is precalculated and departure from it is not possible either regarding their speed or direction of movement. Most Midrashim are compatible with this theory.

Book 3

The Lord said: "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
The Midrash in Avot 5,1, states that the world was created by ten directives, though it could have been created by a single directive. This was in order to increase the culpability of those who deny the existence of G'd the Creator, and to increase the merit of those who ensure the continued existence of the world by their righteousness.
Since the purpose of G'ds Torah is to enable man to achieve success, his success in turn depends on intelligent use of his freedom of choice. Such success, however, is impossible without some understanding of the way in which nature works. The story of creation therefore has to supply that understanding, just as it has to supply the knowledge that there is a Creator who presides over His entire handiwork.
A solid series of natural laws is essential, else the freedom of choice would include man's ability to destroy the universe. For this reason, man's actions do not have an immediate impact on nature as a whole. On the other hand, this apparent lack of impact is used by some people as an argument to deny the whole theory that G'd is the Creator and that the performance of good or evil deeds respectively contributes to or detracts from His creation.
It is questionable whether the ten directives can indeed be matched up with the ten occasions we find the word vayomer "He said" appearing in the story of the creation. It is also doubtful that if on the one hand attempts to destroy the fabric of the universe deserve special punishments, the reverse is true also, i.e. that acts designed to preserve the universe intact should merit special reward. Logically speaking, preserving a painstakingly created universe should merit less reward than preserving a universe which is based on a single directive by the Creator.
Acting in accordance with natural law should merely be an act of prudence for any intelligent human being, why should it merit any reward at all?
We suggest therefore that the ten directives referred to in the Midrash, are the parts of the creative process as such, not the successive directions governing the developmental stages of creation.
All phenomena in the universe are summed up under different headings. (A) is The essence; (B), i.e. 2-10 are the forces moderating the essence. These can be subdivided into 2) quantity, 3) quality, 4) direction, 5) the time frame they operate in, 6) the relative condition of the phenomenon when compared to its full potential, 7) its relation to other phenomena, 8) its activity, i.e. its effect on other phenomena, 9) its response to other phenomena, 10) its rationale, its attributes.
Each of the aspects mentioned above has an indispensable place in the scheme of nature, and as such is part of the process of creation referred to as "ten directives".
True, G'd could have given a single directive stipulating "let the universe come into existence in accordance with My image of it", (see Rashbam) This would have meant that the universe would be so interrelated that it would have lacked distinct time frames etc., all the parts of nature that enable us to examine and admire the incomparable intelligence with which it has been planned. Nature would have been deprived of all cause and effect relationships. It would have depended exclusively on the miraculous in order to effect any changes, ever. G'd would have had to treat the whole universe as He treated the Jewish people during the forty years they wandered through the desert, when He provided all their needs, contrary to natural law.
Had G'd proceeded in such a fashion, there would have been no room for the exercise of free choice, free will, since that is based on the premise that actions on our part have a causal relationship to the events which we aim to bring about by our decisions and actions.
The concept of reward and punishment would not then have been applicable, since nature as a machinery for developmental activities would have been non existent.
There would then have been only two ways in which things could happen: (a) accidentally; (b) personal intervention by G'd, i.e. miraculously. In either case, no change could have been attributed to man's participation.
Consequently, man could not have been held responsible for setting in motion forces which he not only failed to understand, but which simply did not exist.
Once the evolutionary process of nature has been revealed, he who denies its Creator surely is guilty of wilful misconduct and therefore is deserving of punishment.
Solomon, in Kohelet 8, 11, refers to the fact that the absence of immediate catastrophic consequences enables a sinner to act in accordance with the dictates of his heart.