1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
(Genesis 1:1-31 NIV)
As we begin our walk through the book of Genesis, Moses begins with God already in existence and in charge. From eternity past, God exists and marks the start of time by creating everything. The latin phrase “ex nihilo” (“out of nothing”) sums up God’s creative process. God’s creative skill was not in arranging pre-existing things into some orderly patterns – this was literally creating everything from nothing.
Here’s the creation summary:
- Day one – lights – day & night (vv. 1-5)
- Day two – sky and water (vv. 6-8)
- Day three – land and plants (vv. 9-13)
- Day four – lights separated – sun, moon, & stars (vv. 14-19)
- Day five – water creatures and birds (vv. 202-23)
- Day six – land creatures and humans (vv. 24-31)
In the introduction, we called out that the book of Genesis has many firsts, and also many repeating patterns. Notice that the six days have repeating patterns within them:
- Day 1 (light, day and night) and Day 4 (light – sun, moon, and stars)
- Day 2 (sky & water) and Day 5 (filling the sky with birds and the water with water creatures)
- Day 3 (land and plants) and Day 6 (land creatures and humans that will eat the plants)
Notice the pattern for each day of creation:
- God said, “let there be…”
- And it was so…
- And God saw (pronounced) that it was good.
Also, notice the pattern of created things:
- Plants, animals, water creatures, land creatures, birds – each patterned after their kind
- humans – made in God’s image – patterned after God Himself
God created and sustains all things, and from the beginning, invites us to join HIm in that leadership and sustaining process as our purpose, calling, and work (vv. 26-28).
Imagine God’s creation recorded not as a series of facts, but as a poem or lyrics of a song, to be read or sung to the praise, honor, and glory of the Creator.
May we join all nature in worship of our Creator for His creation today.