Focal Passage: Genesis 1:1-5, 6-31; 2:1-3
I. God did the creating. God was not created in the beginning (Genesis 1:1). God was in the beginning creating all that we read in Genesis 1 (John 1:1-1:3, Hebrews 1:2-3). The word translated “God” throughout Genesis 1 is the Hebrew word “Elohim.” It means “Creator.” It is not until 2:4b that the name Yahweh (“LORD”) occurs. El is the singular form for the name “God.” Elohim is the plural form. Therefore, right away, in the very first verse of the Bible, God is revealed as a multi-person God. In Genesis 1:26a it reads, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” There the plurality of the Godhead is presented.
In the beginning, things were dark and the earth consisted of water (Genesis 1:2). Peter in the New Testament literally believed Genesis 1:2 for he wrote (II Peter 3:5b) … the earth was formed out of water and by water.
How did God create the world? He spoke it into existence (Genesis 1:3). Other texts confirm this truth. Psalm 33:6 states, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.” Hebrews 11:3a reads, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God.”
Genesis 1:3-4 contrasts light and darkness. Realize darkness is not something in and of itself. You cannot add more darkness to dark. Darkness is the absence of something. It is the absence of light. Light is something that can be measured. You can have light and then increase the light or dim the light. Genesis 1:5 reads, “God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Sometimes the word “day “ means the time it is light outside such as it reveals in the first part of verse 5 where it says, God called the light day. Sometimes “day” means a 24-hour day as it does at the end of verse 5 where it says, there was evening and there was morning, one day. Sometimes “day” refers to a period of time. For example in Genesis 2:4 we read, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.” “Day” in Genesis 2:4 refers to a period of time, specifically the time God took to create everything. Context reveals what is meant by the word “day.”
II. God created man distinct from all other creatures. Verse 26 reveals that as wonderful as God’s creation was of plants, trees, sea creatures, birds, and land animals; that God did not make any of them in His image. Verse 27 says God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God made man with personality, with moral and spiritual capacities, with conscience, and will. This is distinct from how He created animals. Animals do not appreciate the beauty of the earth. They do not develop cities and organize governments because they are not created with the same capacities as man.
III. God made man for a purpose. According to Genesis 1:26-28 God made man 1) for dominion, 2) procreation, and 3) to honor the LORD.
IV. God finished His creation and then rested. According to Genesis 2:1-2 God completed His work of creation. After that He rested. Why did God rest? It wasn’t because He was fatigued. Our omnipotent God never tires. In the Hebrew the word “rest” means “to cease from” therefore the seventh day is when God ceased from His work of creation. Please understand that God did not cease from all work after the six days. In John 5:17 Jesus … answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
The creation of the universe and all that is in it was complete. Now God works at sustaining the universe and reconciling the world to Himself.
— Westmoreland is senior pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, Savannah