As has been my custom, I’m reading through Genesis at the beginning of the year. As many times as I read it, it speaks to me profoundly every single time.
God took great pains--though all He had to do was to speak His wishes--to prepare the earth for mankind.
Here are some of the stand-out truths:
- Everything begins with God. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The existence of God never needs proving. It’s a fact. He’s the One that always is, and He’s the Creator of everything.
- The earth was present before the rest of creation. It didn’t have a form, and it was covered with water and darkness. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (1:2).
- When God spoke, things happened. When God looked at what He had done, it was all good.
- They were literal 24-hour days. The Bible clearly says, God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day (1:5). What do we normally understand as evening and morning and a day? The Jewish people counted days from sunset to sunset, therefore we have the day counted from the evening to the next evening. It’s light in the day and dark at night. Some people say that these “days” could be long periods of time, maybe even millions of years. There’s a problem with this, though: plants need sunlight. Plants appeared on the third day of creation (1:11-13). God made the sun and the moon and stars on the fourth day (1:14-19). If these were super-long days, the plants would have died before the sun got put into the sky. These were normal, 24-hour days. God isn’t limited. He speaks, and things happen!
- The whole Trinity was there at Creation, doing the work of creation: God the Father, the Holy Spirit (1:2), and Jesus Himself. In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3). When God is about to make man, He says, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis 1:26a). God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—created the world and made man in the image of God.
- Man and woman have equal value. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (1:27-28). In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam (meaning “man” or “human being”), in the day when they were created (Genesis 5:1-2).
God bestowed some very special gifts on Adam and Eve:
- Blessing (1:28)
- Purpose (1:28)
- Food (1:29)
- A gorgeous garden home (2:8)
- Marriage (2:22-24)—God presented Eve to Adam, and she became his wife. The purpose of marriage is outlined in verse 24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. It’s to become a new family, separate from one’s parents. The man leaves his home and becomes one with his wife. In the New Testament, this teaching on marriage is repeated time and time again. Jesus speaks of this permanent bond, And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matthew 19:4-6).
God looked upon His creation, and He judged it good.
And God saw every thing that he had made,
and, behold, it was very good.
And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.