Note: This lesson was designed for Grades 4-12. You can water it for for younger children or use the corresponding Preschool to Grade 3 lesson in God’s Great Covenant OT 1 (selected page reading are listed in the Heart of Wisdom Lesson Plans).
Step 1: Excite
Romans chapter 1 tells us that God has planted evidence of Himself throughout His creation so that we are without excuse. The psalmist, in beautiful poetic language, made reference to God’s creative work. Here are a few choice allusions:
When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established (Ps. 8:3);
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork (Ps. 19:1);
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses (Ps. 33:6,7).
Psalm 136 draws attention to the character of God as displayed in the Creation as well as in other mighty works. The worshiper should give thanks to God, for he is good: his mercy endures forever (v. 1). In verses 5–8 the psalmist gives details of God’s creation, reflecting the Genesis chapter 1 account.
The writer of Psalm 148 bid every part of God’s creation—the sun, the moon, the shining stars—to praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created .(Ps 148:5) In this way, the psalmist leads us to see the worthiness of God to receive praise and glory for His creation. God tells us about Himself through creation. Our responsibility is to hear His voice and respond to Him.
Take a minute now to go outside or at least look out your window. What do you see that declares the glory of God?
Step 2: Examine
In the ancient world, Near Eastern creation myths began with either mythological gods or objects (like the sun or moon) treated as “gods” in conflict with one another in the heavens. In one story the creator Baal struggles with an adversary, Mot; in another Baal battles the Sea. In the Babylonian creation myth, the god Marduk kills Tiamat (chaos) after a violent battle, which results in creation. The ancient Egyptian myths say that creation began from a chaos of churning, bubbling water, called Nu or Nun, from which Atum (later called Re, Ra, and/or Khepri) created the world.
Today’s modern evolution myths mirror the ancient myths that somehow our orderly world was created, by accident, out of chaos. In the Genesis Creation story, God is shown as a personal God in complete control, calling the entire universe into creation by His spoken Word. Human beings, male and female, are created “in the image and likeness of God.” Genesis emphasizes the awesome power of our Creator, while illustrating that human beings are the clear focus of God’s loving concern.
What a difference between the pagan stories and the Genesis story. All the myths are cold, dead, lifeless, uncaring, while the Creation story is warm, vital, loving, alive!
Christians know that our heavenly Father created the world and each person for a reason. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command. (Heb. 11:3). Knowing this gives us value, a special sense of comfort and joy, and hope for our lives and our future.
Those who believe that life gradually evolved from single cells into complex forms find no real meaning in life, believing that they and everything around them resulted from a freak accident.
Jesus was there with God in the beginning of time: He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:17).
When replying to a question from theologians, Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58). In a prayer Jesus said, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
Read John 1:1–18, Eph. 1:3–14, Col. 1:15–20, and Heb. 1:1–4 or further insight on God’s eternal nature.
Now, read aloud the Creation story in Genesis chapters 1–2 with your family.
You’ve probably heard these words before. Take time to reflect on how the Creation story reflects the person of God. Observe the distinct sequences, order, consistency, and priorities.
Most English versions of the Bible translate Elohim as “GOD” (all caps) and Yahweh as “LORD” (all caps). Yahweh is used when the Bible stresses God’s personal relationship with his people. Elohim refers to God as the Creator of the whole universe and the source of all life. For this reading, replace the titles for GOD or LORD with Elohim and Yahweh.
Morning and Evening
Notice from your reading that evening always precedes morning: And the evening and the morning were the first day (Gen. 1:5). And the evening and the morning were the second day (Gen 1:8). Even today, the Jewish people consider the beginning of a day to be at sunset the evening before. Monday actually begins at Sunday sundown. The Sabbath begins Friday at sundown.
Dr. Albert Green, founder of Alta Vista College, stated in his book Thinking Christianly1:
A Biblical way of looking at creation will have consequences on your life. As the Holy Spirit grips your heart with the realization that creation reveals God and can be offered back to him in our ordinary daily activities, praise will well up in your heart as never before. Further, you will find your life come together with new integrity. No more sacred/secular dualism! Christ really is Lord of all! What a glorious message the gospel is!
Step 3: Expand
- Activity 1. Write a Poem
Write a poem about creation. Refer to this link “Writing Poetry” in Writers Inc, and to Ps. 148:1–6 and Isa. 45:18.
- Activity 2. Learn Hebrew Words
Look up each of these words in a Hebrew lexicon. Add the word, its phonetic spelling, and its meaning to your Hebrew Notebook. See The Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon.
The Hebrew word for created is bara; Hebrew actually has several words for creating, making, building, or forming, or created—bara is used only in referring to God in the Hebrew Bible. It occurs in Gen. 1:1, also in vv.21,27. Usually, bara is understood to be creation ex nihilo, “out of nothing.” Only God can call things into existence that do not exist.
The Hebrew word rosh means “head.” It is used in the word Rosh HaShanah (“New Year” or “head of the year”), rosh avot (“head of the family”), rosh pinah (“cornerstone of head of the stone”), and Rosh Chodesh (“head of the month” or “new moon”).
Genesis chapter 1 contains the phrase “The heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word for heavens is et ha-shamayim; it is plural, and is equivalent to the New Testament term heavenly places, or “the heavenlies.” The Hebrew word for Earth is eh’-rets. It implies the whole Earth (as opposed to a part).
- Activity 3. Copy Work
Copy (by hand or typing) two or more paragraphs from your research, or have someone dictate the passage(s) to you. Younger students may copy one or two sentences or narrate (tell back) what has been learned. Memorize.
- Activity 4. Make a Circle Booklet
Save your booklet with other booklets as you work through the Bible lessons. Put them all together in a Genesis Lapbook.
- ❒ Correct all written work to demonstrate correct punctuation and spelling.
❒ Correct all written work to demonstrate correct and effective use of grammar.
❒ Add to your Writing Notebook the rules for all punctuation and grammar errors you corrected.
❒ Record any misspelled words in your spelling notebook.
❒ Add to your Vocabulary Notebook any new words encountered in this lesson. Include a definition
for each word. Use each vocabulary term in a sentence orally or in writing.
❒ Add corrected written work or any illustrations to your Portfolio.
❒ Add any important people or events to your Time Line Book.
❒ Share with a friend or family member an activity you completed for this lesson. Explain to them what you have learned.