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"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
God Our Creator
The Seven Days of Creation
Genesis 1:1 - 2:3
A. Introduction - What Are Our Starting Assumptions?
1. We start with the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible.
2. The Bible is God’s letter to man. It is the most important document we can read to tell us how to live.
3. The Bible is Accurate and Reliable – it is the only sure guide to Truth and Reality.
4. Does Genesis 1:1 try to prove that God exists, or does it simply assume He does?
B. The Days of Creation, Genesis 1:1 - 2:3
1. Day one. Gen. 1:1-5
a. What did God create on day one (Gen. 1:1, 3)?
b. Some Bible scholars, concerned about the huge amounts of time that evolutionary scientists believe in, assume that there is a huge amount of time between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:2. Another position is that the first day is a different kind of day and could have taken many ages. What does God’s word say about the amount of time it took for God to create all that exists (Exodus 20:9-11)? Creation scientists agree with the time frame of the Bible. For further research on this subject, see the following off-site article, "Age of the Earth."
c. Note: Evidently God created a fixed light source (Gen. 1:3) in relation to which, by the end of day one, the earth was spinning (rotating) once every 24 hours.
d. What did God say about the light (Gen. 1:4)?
e. Note: In each of the days of creation, evening is listed before morning. That is why many Jewish people start each new day at evening. For further research on the meaning of the Hebrew word “day” in this passage see the following off-site article, "Could God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days?"
f. For a discussion of Archbishop James Ussher’s meticulous research, see the following off-site article, "The World: Born in 4004 B.C.?"
2. Second Day. Gen. 1:6-8.
a. Evidently the earth was an amorphous blob of sediment and liquid at the end of day one (Gen. 1:2). What did God create on the second day (Gen. 1:6)?
b. What two things did God separate with this new expanse (sky) (Gen. 1:7)?
c. Note: Evidently there was something different about the atmospheric conditions that God created in the beginning. There was apparently a layer of water above the sky that kept the earth uniformly warmer (Adam and Eve had no clothes – Gen. 2:25) and allowed people then to live much longer than they do now (Gen. 5).
d. What did God call the expanse (Gen. 1:8)?
3. Third Day. Gen. 1:9-13
a. On the third day, what did God do with the waters under the sky (Gen. 1:9)?
b. What did He do with the land (Gen. 1:9)?
c. What did He call the dry land (Gen. 1:10)?
d. What did He call the gathered waters (Gen. 1:10)?
e. What was God’s view of His arrangement of the dry land and the waters (1:10)?
f. On the third day, God, for the first time, causes life to appear on the earth (Gen. 1:11-12).
1) What is the general name given to this life?
2) What is one subdivision of this general term?
3) What is the other subdivision of this general term?
g. God decreed that plants would only reproduce after their what?
h. God decreed that trees would reproduce only after their what?
i. Note: This means a fixity of the original “kinds.” There could be variation within those original “kinds,” but one “kind” would never be able to change into another “kind.” Micro-evolution, yes. Macro-evolution, no.
j. How did God view His initial creation of life (Gen. 1:12)?
k. Note that God’s provision of trees with fruit for man means that the trees God created would be fully mature. They might look as if they were fifteen or twenty years old, but they would only be a few days old when man took his first bite. You can’t have creation without the appearance of age. In other words, when God creates something, it will necessarily look older than it really is.
4. Fourth Day. Gen. 1:14-19
a. On the fourth day, God created lights up in the heavens.
b. Their purpose was ...
1) To separate what (Gen. 1:14)?
2) To serve for what (Gen. 1:14)?
3) To serve for what (Gen. 1:14)?
4) To calculate what units of time (Gen. 1:14)?
5) To cast light upon what (Gen. 1:15)?
c. Specific lights are singled out (Gen. 1:16).
1) The greater light would govern what?
2) The lesser light would govern what?
3) What else did God make on the fourth day?
d. All these lights God placed in the heavens ...
1) To give what (Gen. 1:17)?
2) To govern what (Gen. 1:18)?
3) To separate what (Gen. 1:18)?
e. What was God’s opinion of His creation of light-bearers (Gen. 1:18)?
f. Note once again, that when God placed stars in the heavens, their light was meant to serve for the benefit especially of man instantly. It would not take millions of years for their rays to reach earth. God created a fully-function universe that appears to be much older than it really is.
5. Fifth Day. Gen. 1:20-23
a. On the fifth day, God created two more kinds of life-forms (Gen. 1:20).
1) What domain and general term is first used?
2) What domain and kind of creature is second used?
b. What large sea creatures did God create (Gen. 1:21)?
c. Are there any smaller sea creatures that have ever existed that God did not create (Gen. 1:21)?
d. Are there any winged creatures that have ever existed that God did not create (Gen. 1:21)?
e. As with the plant life, the sea creatures could only reproduce after their what (Gen. 1:21)?
f. The birds could only reproduce after their what (Gen. 1:21)?
g. What was God’s appraisal of what He had just created (Gen. 1:21)?
h. For the first time God pronounced a blessing on something He had created (Gen. 1:22). Why do you suppose He blessed the fish and birds (Gen. 1:22) but not plant life (Gen. 1:11-12)?
i. For the first time, God gave a command to living creatures He had created. What was that command (Gen. 1:22)?
2) Specific to a certain kind:
3) Specific to a certain kind:
6. Sixth Day. Gen. 1:24-31
a. Having created animals to populate the sea and the air, God now turns his power to create animals to populate the what (Gen. 1:24)?
b. These earth creatures can only reproduce after their what (Gen. 1:24)?
1) What is the first category of land animals? (This probably refers to domesticated animals.)
2) What is meant by “creeping things?”
3) What is meant by “beasts of the earth?”
c. What was God’s appraisal of His creation (Gen. 1:25)?
d. Having created plant life (Gen. 1:11-12), marine life (Gen. 1:20-22), creatures to fly through the air (Gen. 1:20-22), and animals to move along the ground (Gen. 1:24-25), God now creates the crown of His creation, Man (Gen. 1:26-27).
e. For the first and only time, God creates a creature like Himself! God said, “Let us make man in our __________, according to our _________________.” (Gen. 1:26).
1) First, with reference to the plural pronoun “our,” God is apparently a very complex being. This plural terminology leaves room for the fact that, though there is but one God (Deut. 6:4), the One God exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; 1 Pet. 1:2). For more on this topic see the on-site article, "Trinity."
2) Second, with reference to the terms image and likeness, these cannot mean a physical likeness, for God is spirit (John 4:24) and has no body. This means that God created man to be like Himself in the areas of personality, intelligence, sovereignty (rulership), creativity (including the ability to reproduce other humans also in the likeness of God), emotion, and spirituality (the ability to worship God – John 4:24).
3) Third, inasmuch as Man is the only being created in the likeness and image of God, Man, above all other created beings, has great nobility. Human life is to be protected at all costs. What does Genesis 9:5-6 reveal about the sacredness of human life?
4) Fourth, Man, who is created in the image and likeness of God, also bears a great responsibility – to accurately reflect that image and likeness. What responsibility do Leviticus 11:45 and 1 Peter 1:15-16 place upon us?
f. Part of being created in the image and likeness of God is that man is immediately assigned an enormous responsibility. What was the task for which God created Man and to which He assigned him (Gen. 1:26)?
g. There are four entities over which Man is assigned to rule (Gen. 1:26). These include ...
1) The ______________ of the sea,
2) The ______________ of the sky,
3) The ______________,
4) Over all the _________________,
5) And over every thing that ____________________ upon the earth.
h. What an awesome responsibility man has! Man has infinitely greater worth than any animal. Created in the image and likeness of God, Man’s job is to be a benevolent ruler of the earth, managing its land and animals and resources just as God would.
i. Only with reference to man and his creation in the image and likeness of God is it spelled out that that likeness includes maleness and femaleness (Gen. 1:27). God created man as male and woman as female with distinctive roles and responsibilities. Men and women will find their greatest meaning and purpose in life as they live out the roles for which God designed them.
j. For only the second time in this opening chapter of the Bible, God blessed His creation. He blessed the fish and the fowl (Gen. 1:22) to distinguish animals from plants; He blessed man and woman to distinguish them from animals (Gen. 1:28), over whom man was to rule.
k. God commands man and woman (Gen. 1:28) ...
1) To be _______________ and ________________;
2) To ____________ the earth and ________________ it;
3) To rule ...
a) over the fish of the ______________;
b) over the birds of the ______________;
c) and over every living thing that moves on the _____________.
l. What does God give man sovereignty (rulership) over with regard to food (Gen. 1:29)?
m. What does God provide for food for land animals and birds (Gen. 1:30)?
n. In six days, God has completed His entire creation, and left man in charge of it. What does God conclude about His now completed creation (Gen. 1:31)?
7. Seventh Day. Gen. 2:1-3
a. What three things had God completed (Gen. 2:1)?
1) The ____________
2) The ___________
3) All their ____________. (This word literally means “armies,” but figuratively it refers to “great numbers of things – like soldiers. Probably here it means the many stars of the heavens and the many sea, air, and land animals God had created.
b. In honor of His having completed in six days His monumental task of designing and creating the entire universe, what did God do on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2)?
c. Do you think God rested because He was tired, or because He had finished?
d. For the third time in Genesis there is a blessing (Gen. 2:3). What did God bless and why?
1) You might be interested to know that the Anglicized Hebrew word for seventh is sabbath.
2) What significance is placed on the sabbath day in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:8-11).
3) With all his emphasis on evolution by accident and random chance, why has modern man never been able to change a seven-day week into a six or eight-day week?
C. What Lessons Can We Learn from Genesis 1:1 - 2:3?
1. The entire universe did not happen because of some accidental explosion. It was carefully designed and created by an Intelligent Designer, God.
2. The earth and the universe appear to be older than they actually are.
3. We humans were created by God – we did not evolve.
4. We humans are responsible to God, who created us.
5. God designed and created us for a purpose – we will be the most fulfilled and useful if we fulfill that purpose.
6. God designed us and created us in His image – of all His creation His plan is to have the greatest friendship with Man. He loves Man.
7. Man is the crown of God’s creation, and the lives of all human beings must be preserved.
8. Our greatest fulfillment in life is to have friendship with God.
9. We get into serious trouble in life when we get out of friendship with God.
10. Man is responsible to manage the earth, its wildlife, and its resources for the glory of God.
11. We humans need to reserve time in our schedules for God.
Genesis 1:1 - 2:3
Prepared by James T. Bartsch
Originally published August, 2007. Updated October 31, 2018
Published online by WordExplain.com
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Bible quotations and Bible Study questions are based upon the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation.
WordExplain by James T. Bartsch
(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Used by Permission.)
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This Page Updated October 31, 2018