The story of the world’s creation is as old as the world itself. Every culture has an ancient story of how everything came to be. But what exactly is the creation story according to the Bible?
Let’s take a big picture look at the creation account again and see what we can learn about God and ourselves through this beautiful story.
What Is the Importance of the Creation Story?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters (Genesis 1:1-2).
This verse tells us two things. One is that before the first day started, Father God was already there. He is uncreated and eternal. We also learn that He is not alone. There is a second being with Him known as the “Spirit of God.”
The Bible is 66 books that puzzle together to give us a fuller picture of God. When looking at other portions of the Bible, we learn more details about what it was like before creation.
In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed at the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone (John 1:1-5).
This “Word” sounds like another uncreated being. But who is He? John 1 goes on to clarify.
So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son (John 1:14).
There it is! The “Word” is known as the Son of God!
So, who is this “Word” who was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the beginning? None other than Christ Jesus, our Lord, and Savior Himself!
Before day one, we know that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, live in a coeternal Trinity as one God!
1. Light, Dark, and Time Itself
Where did God start? With Light.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day (Genesis 1:3-5).
Many scholars believe that this was the moment when God created time itself! This is because light and darkness transition from morning to evening, showing that a period of time has passed.
I love how God merely permits for things to exist, and boom! There they are! He says, “Let” light appear, and immediately it appears. What a powerful God we serve.
2. The Planet Spins and the Sky Covers the Earth
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters” (Genesis 1:6).
God then names this expanse “sky.” Many people way smarter than myself believe that this was the day that planet earth was created. The word for “sky” refers to our earth’s atmosphere, showing now a planet has formed.
All that floaty water has now been pulled together into one blue, round, watery planet, spinning through space.
3. Oceans Reveal Earth and Plant Life Super Blooms
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear” (Genesis 1:9).
The blue planet is now changing color. The waters are pulled together to make oceans, and the dry land appears. Continents reveal themselves.
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so (Genesis 1:11).
God then commands the land itself to produce the earth’s first living cells! Plants of all kinds burst forth! Jungles, rainforests, fruit trees, vegetables, and flower fields now carpet the planet in the world’s first super bloom!
4. Sun, Moon, and Stars Bring Us the Four Seasons
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth” (Genesis 1:14).
It is weird to think that the earth was teeming with plant life, but there was no sun or moon yet. But God knew what was to come. So, on this day, God tied the light to the sun, moon, and stars.
The moment He did that, spring, summer, fall, and winter, were born, as the earth now could rotate around the sun. Constellations, galaxies, and planets polka-dotted the night sky and universe.
5. Sea Creatures Swim and Birds Take Flight
And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens” (Genesis 1:20).
The first animals ever created filled the oceans below and the skies above!
6. Land Animals Roam While Man and Marriage Are Formed
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:24).
We now have every land animal on the planet. The earth is fully functioning with life and ecosystems. The next verse claims that everything was reproducing after its kind.
But there was one thing still missing. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit had no one after their own kind.
This was when they came up with an idea, and we get a glimpse into the Trinity’s conversation with each other. We see them planning.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1: 26).
Genesis 2 then gives us a more in-depth look at how He did this.
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature (Genesis 2:1).
God formed man out of the dirt. That is encouraging because it tells us that God isn’t afraid of “our dirt.” He made us from dirt.
Some scholars say that man then lived in the garden awhile with God naming the animals. Others say that this next verse also occurred on day six.
We don’t know. But what we do know is that there was a moment when God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18).
This is where every man should stop and say, “Oh, thank God.”
God formed man out of the earth, but with woman, He did something far more intimate. He chose to take a rib from the man and create her from his side. As if saying she was called to be equal, who stood with him side-by-side.
God fashions a beautiful being and brings her to the man. I like to think he looked at her and said, “Wo! Man!”, which is why he names her “Woman.”
God then invents marriage on this day, saying, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
7. A Day of Rest
It has been one full week! God created everything from time and space to man, woman, and marriage. He decides to take a day to rest with his creation.
Notice that day seven for God was day one for Man. Adam woke up, and on his first day, God said it was time to rest together and enjoy each other’s presence.
That was the purpose of creation all along for a man and woman to commune with their God. We must start our lives from rest in the love of God. We don’t strive for it but work from it.
Only in the presence of God can we take a look at our life and, like our creator say, “This is very good.”
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Elen11
Taylor Jensen is a missionary, pastor, and world traveler. His passion is to help equip believers with practical ways to ignite their faith and bring Jesus into the world around them. That is the goal of his personal blog Fireplace Faith. Want to Learn How to Hear God's Voice? Subscribe here to get his Free Ebook “8 Biblical Ways to Hear God's Voice.” Reach out to him any time through his blog or through his social media accounts @taylorcjensen.