GOD CREATES THE WORLD
GENESIS 1:1, ESV
In the beginning,
God created the
heavens and the earth.
God created the
heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1-8, NIrV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
The word “Genesis” means “beginning.” It makes sense that the Bible begins with a book called “Genesis.” It tells the story of the beginning of everything. Before the beginning, there was only God – nothing else! When He created, he didn’t use any “stuff” to build his universe. Using his voice, he made everything out of nothing. He spoke and things appeared! God didn’t create everything at once. He chose to create something new each day. When he spoke on the first day, he created our planet and made light appear. And on day two, God’s powerful voice divided the sky from the sea.
+ What did God create on day one? (vs. 3-4)
+ What did God create on day two? (vs. 6-8)
Genesis 1:9-19, NIrV
9 God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place. Let dry ground appear.” And that’s exactly what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land.” He called all the water that was gathered together “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce plants. Let them produce their own seeds. And let there be trees on the land that grow fruit with seeds in it. Let each kind of plant or tree have its own kind of seeds.” And that’s exactly what happened. 12 So the land produced plants. Each kind of plant had its own kind of seeds. And the land produced trees that grew fruit with seeds in it. Each kind of tree had its own kind of seeds. God saw that it was good. 13 There was evening, and there was morning. It was day three.
14 God said, “Let there be lights in the huge space of the sky. Let them separate the day from the night. Let the lights set the times for the holy celebrations and the days and the years. 15 Let them be lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth.” And that’s exactly what happened. 16 God made two great lights. He made the larger light to rule over the day and the smaller light to rule over the night. He also made the stars. 17 God put the lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth. 18 He put them there to rule over the day and the night. He put them there to separate light from darkness. God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening, and there was morning. It was day four.
On the third and fourth days of creation week, God continued his pattern of “building by speaking.” After two days, God’s great big universe contained only one thing: our planet Earth. And that planet was empty, nothing but sky and sea! So on the third day, God gave our planet some land. It was the perfect thing for critters to crawl on and humans to stand on... except God hadn’t made any animals or people yet! On the fourth day, God gave our lonely little planet some company. His powerful voice filled our great big universe with light: the sun, the moon, and billions and billions of stars!
+ What did God make on Days 3 and 4?
+ Scientists estimate that there are 1 billion trillion stars and we know God made them all! Write down that number below (a one with twenty-one zeros).
Genesis 1:20-25, NIrV
20 God said, “Let the seas be filled with living things. Let birds fly above the earth across the huge space of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures. He created every kind of living thing that fills the seas and moves about in them. He created every kind of bird that flies. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them. He said, “Have little ones so that there will be many of you. Fill the water in the seas. Let there be more and more birds on the earth.” 23 There was evening, and there was morning. It was day five.
24 God said, “Let the land produce every kind of living creature. Let there be livestock, and creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals.” And that’s exactly what happened. 25 God made every kind of wild animal. He made every kind of livestock. He made every kind of creature that moves along the ground. And God saw that it was good.
On day two of creation, God made the sky (but nothing to fly in it) and the sea (but nothing to swim in it). On day three of creation, God made the land (but nothing to walk, run, hop, or waddle across it) and plants (but nothing to munch on them). So God got to work filling up the great big world he had made. On day five, God filled the empty skies with flying birds and the empty seas with swimming fish. And on day six, he filled the empty land with all kinds of walking, running, hopping and waddling animals. But he wasn’t done. As we’ll learn tomorrow, he saved his best creation for last!
+ What did God create on days 5 and 6?
+ What did God say about what he made? (see the end of vs. 25)
Genesis 1:26-31, NIRV
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created human beings in his own likeness.
He created them to be like himself.
He created them as male and female.
28 God blessed them. He said to them, “Have children so that there will be many of you. Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Rule over every living creature that moves along the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I am giving you every plant on the face of the whole earth that produces its own seeds. I am giving you every tree that has fruit with seeds in it. All of them will be given to you for food. 30 I am giving every green plant as food for all the land animals and for all the birds in the sky. I am also giving the plants to all the creatures that move along the ground. I am giving them to every living thing that breathes.” And that’s exactly what happened.
31 God saw everything he had made. And it was very good. There was evening, and there was morning. It was day six.
For the grand finale of his six-day creation project, God made two humans: a man and a woman. After he made them, he said something special, something he didn’t say about the light, sky, seas, stars, birds, fish, or the animals he had made. God said human beings were created in his image. The man and woman were God’s special creation. Unlike all of God’s other created critters, humans were given special qualities that made them like God. God gave his first two people a couple jobs to do: have lots of baby humans and rule over the earth, taking care of the home God made for them.
+ What did God tell the man and woman to eat? (vs. 29)
+ What did God say about everything he had made? (vs. 31)
Genesis 2:1-2:3, NIRV
1 So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. So on that day he rested from all his work. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. He blessed it because on that day he rested from all the work he had done.
In the first chapter of the very first book of the Bible, we saw how God created everything in his great big universe. All that exists was made by God’s voice! After just six days, God’s work was complete; there was nothing left to make. On day seven, God did something we humans like to do after a long week of work: he rested. Did he take a break because he was worn out from building a universe? Nope! God never gets tired. Instead, he “blessed” the seventh day and made it special. Later, in the book of Exodus, God told his people to follow his example and rest on day seven of each week.
+ After six days, was there anything left for God to create? (vs. 2)
+ What is the seventh day of our week?
Colossians 1:15-20, NIRV
15 The Son is the exact likeness of God, who can’t be seen. The Son is first, and he is over all creation. 16 All things were created in him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. All things have been created by him and for him. 17 Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together. 18 And he is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning. He is the first to be raised from the dead. That happened so that he would be far above everything. 19 God was pleased to have his whole nature living in Christ. 20 God was pleased to bring all things back to himself. That’s because of what Christ has done. These things include everything on earth and in heaven. God made peace through Christ’s blood, by his death on the cross.
The beginning book of the Bible, Genesis, tells the story of how God created the universe. It makes sense to have a book like Genesis (which means “beginning”) at the beginning of our Bibles! But there are other places throughout God’s Word that give us extra details about God’s great creation project.
The book of Colossians was written by a man named Paul. He lived around the time of Jesus. Colossians is thousands of years and thousands of pages away from the book of Genesis. But this short Bible book gives us a few extra details about what God’s Son did way back at the beginning of time.
You might know God’s Son by the name his parents gave him: Jesus. God’s Son was born in Bethlehem and placed in a manger. When he grew up, he did many miracles and wonders. He walked on water, fed 5000 people with a little boys lunch, and even raised several people from the dead. At the end of his life on earth, he died on a cross to rescue the world from their sins, rose from the dead, then went back up to heaven to be with God his Father.
Christmas is the day we celebrate the birthday of Jesus. But did you know that God’s Son has been around forever? It’s confusing to think about, but the Son of God was around long before he was born as baby Jesus in Bethlehem! Verse 1:17 of the book of Colossians tells us that Jesus comes “before” everything else in the universe. Jesus was there before the beginning, before the words of Genesis 1:1!
Because God’s Son has been around forever, he was there when everything was created. Jesus was there way back in the book of Genesis, in the beginning. Verse 16 lets us know that all things were created by him. Everything we read about this week, God’s Son created them all. He created the light, the sky, and the sea. He made the sun, the moon, the stars, the birds, the fish, the animals. And lastly, he built the first two people. To create so many wonders, God’s Son must be very powerful!
When we learn about the life of Jesus, God’s Son, we shouldn’t be surprised that he could do amazing miracles. We shouldn’t be amazed that he could die for the sins of everyone, even though he was just one person. And we shouldn’t be shocked that he could rise from the dead on the third day. If God’s Son Jesus could create a great big universe out of nothing, if he could fill it with stars and living creatures, then all the miracles he performed must have been a real piece of cake!
+ How many things did God’s Son create? (vs. 16)
+ Did God’s Son exist before everything was made? (vs. 17)