September 6, 2020 – Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

Lesson Date: September 6, 2020

Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 1:1 – 2:3

AIM: To lead students to discover and list the creative works of God recorded in Genesis 1, and to thank and praise Him for creating everything.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Genesis 1:1 – 2:3 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write “Days of Creation” across the top of the marker board or chalkboard (or on a large piece of paper). Write the numbers from 1 through 7 down the left side of the board. Bring something handmade to class for use in step 2.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read the following story to the class:

Many years ago Sir Isaac Newton had an exact replica of our solar system made in miniature. At its center was a large golden ball representing the sun, and revolving around it were small spheres attached at the ends of rods of varying lengths. They represented Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and the other planets. These were all geared together by cogs and belts to make them move around the “sun” in perfect harmony.

One day as Newton was studying the model, a friend who did not believe in the biblical account of creation stopped by for a visit. Marveling at the device and watching as the scientist made the heavenly bodies move on their orbits, the man exclaimed, “My, Newton, what an exquisite thing! Who made it for you?” Without looking up, Sir Isaac replied, “Nobody.” “Nobody?” his friend asked. “That’s right! I said nobody! All of these balls and cogs and belts and gears just happened to come together, and wonder of wonders, by chance they began revolving in their set orbits and with perfect timing.”

The unbeliever got the message! It was foolish to suppose that the model merely happened. But it was even more senseless to accept the theory that the earth and the vast universe came into being by chance. How much more logical to believe what the Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” The Word also declares, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Ps. 14:1).[i]

Ask: “What theory of the origin of the universe is commonly taught in our schools and colleges?” (the theory of evolution). Tell the class the theory of evolution teaches that the universe and mankind came into being and evolved into their present forms over billions of years without the activity or guidance of God. This theory is diametrically opposed to the biblical account of creation, which we will study today. Sadly, a recent Gallup survey revealed that only 40% of American adults believe the biblical account of creation.[ii]

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (our eternal home with Jesus).
    • Ask if anyone would be willing to recite last week’s memory verses (Rev. 22:12-13).
    • Be sure everyone present has a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly for the fall quarter study of Genesis 1 – 25.
    • Briefly introduce the book of Genesis, using the following outline:
      • Moses wrote Genesis around 1450-1400 c.
      • Its name comes from the Greek translation of the book’s first word, which simply means “beginning.”
      • Genesis describes the time period from the Creation of the universe until the children of Israel moved to Egypt.
      • Through this study we will learn about important Bible characters such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
    • Tell the students we will study the book of Genesis for the next 6 months.
  2. The First Day.
    • Tell the class Genesis 1:1 is one of the most familiar verses in the Bible.
    • Read Genesis 1:1 and then ask the students to quote that verse in unison.
    • Tell the class in the timeless eons of eternity past there was nothing but God. He has always existed and He has always been completely self-sufficient. He chose to create the universe and human beings so He could demonstrate His great mercy and grace.
    • Explain that the Hebrew word translated God throughout this passage (elohiym) is plural, reminding us that God exists as Father, Son, and Spirit.
    • Stress the fact that God created all there is out of nothing. Show the handmade item you brought to class and ask them if they think you created it out of nothing. Everything manmade is crafted out of pre-existing materials, but God creates out of nothing.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 1:2-5.
    • Tell the class the world was formless, empty, and dark. The Holy Spirit hovered over the waters.
    • Ask: “How did God bring light into existence?” (by His spoken word).
    • Tell the students we work to build things, but God merely speaks and things happen.
    • Ask: “What did God say about the light?” (it was good).
    • Explain that God divided the light and darkness into day and night, indicating the earth was spinning on its axis as it is today.
    • Tell the class verse 5 says the evening and the morning made up the first day. The word day here literally means a day. Some people theorize that these days lasted much longer than 24 hours, but there is no biblical basis for this belief.
    • Ask: “Could God do all of this in one 24-hour day or could He not?” (He could do it)
    • Write on the board beside the number 1 the things God did on the first day.
    • Summarize: On the first day of creation God created heaven, earth, light, day, and night. He said it was good.
  3. The Second Day.
    • Read Genesis 1:6-8.
    • Explain that the word firmament literally means an expanse that is stretched and spread out. The firmament is the visible sky above the earth.
    • Ask: “What did God do on the second day?” (created the firmament of heaven and separated the water under the firmament from the water above it).
    • Note the phrase “and it was so” in verse 7. Tell the students when God speaks it is so.
    • Write on the board beside the number 2 the things God did on the second day.
    • Summarize: On the second day of creation God created the visible sky above the earth and divided the waters above from the waters below.
  4. The Third Day.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 1:9-13.
    • Ask: “What did God do on the third day?” (He separated the land from the sea, and caused plants and trees to appear).
    • Tell the students that verses 11-12 says the plants and trees reproduced “after his kind.”
    • Explain that the plants and trees did not evolve from some common ancestor or from one form to another. This pattern still exists today: grass seed grows grass and apples seeds grow apples. Plants reproduce after their kind.
    • Ask: “What did God say about the things He created?” (it was good).
    • Write on the board beside the number 3 the things God did on the third day.
    • Summarize: On the third day of creation God made the dry land appear and created grass and trees and plants. He said it was good.
  5. The Fourth Day.
    • Read Genesis 1:14-19.
    • Ask: “What did God do on the fourth day?” (created the sun, moon, and stars).
    • Tell the class that God did not create the sun until the fourth day, but there had already been three days of alternating day and night. Previously, God was the only light source in the universe.
    • Ask: “What did God say about the things He created?” (it was good).
    • Write on the board beside the number 4 the things God did on the fourth day.
    • Summarize: On the fourth day of creation God made the sun, moon, and stars. He said it was good.
  6. The Fifth Day.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 1:20-23.
    • Ask: “What did God do on the fifth day?” (created the sea creatures and the birds).
    • Explain the following:
      • The words “bring forth abundantly” in verse 20 literally mean to teem and swarm with life.
      • God created the sea creatures and birds simultaneously. Evolutionists theorize that sea life came first and later evolved into birds and land animals, but the Bible clearly teaches otherwise.
      • Note once again that these creatures reproduced “after their kind.” They did not transform into different creatures.
    • Ask: “What did God say about the things He created?” (it was good).
    • Write on the board beside the number 5 the things God did on the fifth day.
    • Summarize: On the fifth day of creation God made the sea creatures and birds. He said it was good.
  7. The Sixth Day.
    • Read Genesis 1:24-31.
    • Ask: “What did God do on the sixth day?” (created land creatures and humans; He gave the humans authority to rule over and have dominion over all the other creatures).
    • Tell the class that once again God said the animals reproduced “after their kind.” There were not billions of years of evolutionary changes and adaptations.
    • Ask: “How did God describe Himself in verse 26?” (with plural pronouns, again reminding us of His triune nature.
    • Tell the students that verse 26 reveals man’s unique nature (he was the only creature made in the image of God) and role in creation (he was to have dominion over all the other creatures).
    • Ask: “According to verse 27, how many sexes (genders) did God create?” (two: male and female).
    • Ask: “What did God do for the man and his wife in verse 28?” (he blessed them).
    • Ask: “According to verse 28, what did God tell them to do?” (be fruitful and fill the earth with their offspring, and subdue and have dominion over all the other creatures).
    • Tell the class the Hebrew word translated replenish in verse 28 is the exact same word translated fill in verse 22; it simply means to fill.
    • Explain the following:
      • Prior to the Fall there was no death in the world, so neither humans nor animals ate meat.
      • As hard as it is for our modern minds to comprehend, the most ferocious carnivores ate only herbs and fruits prior to the Fall.
      • There is nothing wrong with eating meat today (Gen. 9:3).
      • In fact, the Bible assures us that God created the meat of animals to be received with thanksgiving (1 Tim. 4:3-5).
    • Ask: “What did God say about His creation in verse 31?” (it was very good).
    • Write on the board beside the number 6 the things God did on the sixth day.
    • Summarize: On the sixth day of creation God created land animals and man. He said His completed creation was very
  8. The Seventh Day.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 2:1-3.
    • Ask: “What did God do on the seventh day?” (ended His work and rested, and set apart the seventh day as a special day).
    • Tell the class that the word rest does not mean God was tired; it simply means He ceased His work.
    • Ask: “According to verse 3, what did God do for the seventh day?” (blessed it and sanctified it).
    • Tell the students that God blessed three things in that first week: the fish and birds (Gen. 1:22), the human beings (Gen. 1:28), and the seventh day (Gen. 2:3).
    • Explain the significance of the seven-day week, using the following outline:
      • All other time periods are observable and related to the movement of celestial bodies.
      • The day is the time necessary for the earth to make one rotation on its axis, the year is the time required for the earth to make one complete orbit of the sun, and the month was originally the time necessary for the moon to make one complete orbit around the earth.
      • Hours, minutes, and seconds are even subdivisions of the day.
      • The pattern of six days of work followed by one day of rest (making up a seven-day week) is not based on the movements of celestial bodies.
      • The week is a God-ordained period of time.
      • Every time we say the day of the week or use a calendar divided into weeks, we are honoring God for His creation of the universe in seven days.
    • Write on the board beside the number 7 the things God did on the seventh day.
    • Summarize: On the seventh day of creation God ceased His creative work. He blessed the seventh day and set it aside as a day of rest.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students that the theory of evolution is pervasive in our society. It is found in every public school and college textbook, natural history museum,[iii] and TV documentary about nature. Almost every college science and anthropology class includes a mandatory lecture on evolution. Evolution is followed as if it were a religion; anyone who rejects it is considered stupid. In recent years there has been some debate about teaching intelligent design. While this is better than evolution, it is not biblical creationism; it is the belief that some intelligent force was behind the creation of the universe, rather than mere chance.

Tell the class the Bible makes it clear that God is the Creator of everything there is. He spoke and everything came into existence. Not only that, He did all of that in six 24-hour days.

Tell the students we are created beings living in a created universe. Encourage them to thank and praise God for everything He has created. Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask them to silently thank and praise God for creation. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Genesis 1:1 if they have not already done so. Encourage the students to follow the Daily Bible Reading Guide found on pages 3-4 of their quarterly. Tell them to make their use of a calendar this week a reminder to thank and praise God for being the Creator.

 

[i] Biblical Illustrator for Windows, Version 2.0b, © 1990 – 1997, by Parsons Technology, Inc.

[ii] https://news.gallup.com/poll/261680/americans-believe-creationism.aspx

[iii] Except the Creation Museum, http://www.creationmuseum.org/

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