WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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GOD CREATES HEAVEN AND EARTH
(The account of creation)
The purpose of biblical theology is to make known, GOD’s sovereignty over all things. The specified purpose of the book of Genesis is to take us back beyond the pages of recorded history, and reveal to us, the very origins of the universe, and the human race itself. The thrust of the message of this book is to help us to understand, who we are, where we came from, and how that search for those answers must begin and end with GOD.
The book of Genesis traces the creation of the universe back to a personal GOD, and portrays human beings as unique and special creations of that personal GOD. It explains the origins of sin and evil, affirms man’s moral responsibility, and lays the foundation for a “doctrine of redemption” through CHRIST JESUS.
It also lays out “the concept of what the Christian Church” (a separation of GOD’s people unto themselves, while still living in the world), would be like. In the book of Genesis the example of the community of the Israelites living in “Goshen” (the community of GOD), which was located in Egypt (which represented the world), is the first biblical example of how GOD’s future “Church” would be organized and challenged.
The book of Genesis also explains the origins of the Jews (GOD’s chosen people), who were given both the privilege and responsibility to serve as a channel of blessings to all mankind through their behavior, life-style, and worship of HIM, and, how they failed to live up to that charge.
The Jews trace their origins back to the towering figure in their history known as “Abraham”. Abraham is the direct recipient of what is now known as “the Abrahamic Covenant”, which is the origin of “the promise” of GOD’s continuing purpose of eventual “salvation” that is now available to all mankind through JESUS, the CHRIST, and has been worked out over the process of time.
The book of Genesis also lays the foundation for the understanding of all Scripture, as the entire bible speaks from its contents. It clearly defines how GOD was, is, and always will be the only wise GOD, and, how HE cares uniquely for us as HIS greatest creation, “human beings”.
However, GOD must and will, always judge sin, even though HE has set in motion, a process that can bring even sinners back to HIM through repentance and acceptance of a MESSIAH, HIS SON, WHO, is able to snatch us, quite literally, from the permanency of the grave, which we have so diligently dug for ourselves in this world.
Because of JESUS’ vicarious sacrifice, “death” (a permanent separation from GOD) is no longer permanent for those who believe on HIM. Now, through repent and our acceptance of JESUS CHRIST, we can re-enter into a personal relationship of friendship with GOD the FATHER in Heaven, and, can be led into eternal life by the HOLY SPIRIT, WHO has come to dwell in every body that is willing to accept what JESUS accomplished, not as GOD, but rather, as a 100% human being under GOD.
In Genesis chapter 1, we see GOD, in the beginning, exercising HIS creative powers and authority to, quite literally, speak the universe into existence. And after creating the earth, GOD created “the 24-hour day” using “a short span of light”, that HE called “day”, coupled with “a short span of darkness”, that HE called “night”. HE then allowed this 24-hour period to perpetually, automatically repeat itself over and over again, even until this day that we now live in.
In this chapter of Genesis, we learn how, from day 1, GOD uses “divisions” and “distinctions” in order to fulfill HIS divine purpose for the world. This week we will take a look in the Book at the first three days of GOD’s divine Creation account.
· On “Day 1” - GOD created the heavens and the earth and then HE separated “the light” from “the darkness” (Vs.1-5).
“In the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth” is a statement that, quite literally, defies the limits of human understanding. As human beings, we can only think in the realm of “linear time”, which is seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc. For that is the way that GOD made us to think.
However, here in this opening line of the book of Genesis, we can plainly see that, before linear time existed, “GOD was already here”. HE had to already be here in order to create “the beginning” in the first place. We, as humans may recognize this as fact, because our very existence testifies to it. However, it is “humanly impossible” for us to understand or wrap our minds around such a thought, for this thought can only be reconciled by “faith”.
In verse 1, we see that the first thing GOD does is to separate and distinguish HIS creation from HIMSELF in importance, and, in the limits of our thought process. And so, as smart as we think we are, we will never be able to think on the same level as GOD. With that understood, the very first statement in the Holy Scripture is perhaps the most humbling statement of all, and we must accept it on faith.
The bible tells us that, at that time, the earth was a shapeless mass that was covered in darkness. However, even at this time, GOD’s HOLY SPIRIT was hovering over its surface (v.2). It was at this point that GOD spoke “light” into the world, and then HE distinguished and separated it from the “darkness”. In the proverbial sense, this can also represent the separation of “right” from “wrong” or “good” from “evil”. The light GOD called “day”, and the darkness GOD called “night”. And together the day and night made up “one day” and linear time had, for all intents and purposes, began in earnest (Vs.3-5).
· On “Day 2” – GOD separated “the atmospheric waters” in the heavens above, from “the terrestrial waters” of the earth beneath (Vs.6-8).
On the second day GOD created “space” or “sky” as a means of separating and distinguishing between “atmospheric waters, which form clouds for rain, and the “terrestrial waters” on and beneath the earth, which stores the waters that came from above, and would provide a home for all of HIS coming marine life creation. It, was and is, the way that GOD chose to irrigates the earth and provide life-giving water also to “the earthly creation” (plants, animals, and human life) that HE would soon bring into existence (Vs.6-8).
· On “Day 3” – GOD separated “the land” from “the seas” (vs.9-13).
On the third day, GOD separated and distinguished the “terrestrial waters” of the earth from the “ground” of the earth. HE named the dry ground “land” and HE called the separated terrestrial waters “seas”. Afterwards GOD caused the land to burst forth with various kinds of grass and seed-bearing plants that would serve to provide HIS coming animal and human creation with their “daily need” for life-sustaining food, physical shelter, and clothing (Vs.9-13). All that exist in the world, even today, came from the earth, and was originally meant to be an everlasting, perpetual, blessing from GOD, to HIS animal and human creation. And GOD saw that it was all good. Stay tuned.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander