The Story of Creation
1In the beginning God
created the heavens
and the earth.
2The earth was barren,
with no form of life;
it was under a roaring ocean
covered with darkness.
But the Spirit of God
was moving over the water.
The First Day
3 God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. 4God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness 5and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came, then morning—that was the first day.
The Second Day
6 God said, “I command a dome to separate the water above it from the water below it.” 7And that's what happened. God made the dome 8and named it “Sky.” Evening came, then morning—that was the second day.
The Third Day
9God said, “I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground.” And that's what happened. 10God named the dry ground “Land,” and he named the water “Ocean.” God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good.
11God said, “I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain.” And that's what happened. 12The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 13Evening came, then morning—that was the third day.
The Fourth Day
14God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. 15I command them to shine on the earth.” And that's what happened. 16God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, 18to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 19Evening came, then morning—that was the fourth day.
The Fifth Day
20God said, “I command the ocean to be full of living creatures, and I command birds to fly above the earth.” 21So God made the giant sea monsters and all the living creatures that swim in the ocean. He also made every kind of bird. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 22Then he gave the living creatures his blessing—he told the ocean creatures to increase and live everywhere in the ocean and the birds to increase everywhere on earth. 23Evening came, then morning—that was the fifth day.
The Sixth Day
24God said, “I command the earth to give life to all kinds of tame animals, wild animals, and reptiles.” And that's what happened. 25God made every one of them. Then he looked at what he had done, and it was good.
26 God said, “Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures.”
27 So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. 28God gave them his blessing and said:
Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on the earth.
29I have provided all kinds of fruit and grain for you to eat. 30And I have given the green plants as food for everything else that breathes, including animals, both wild and tame, and birds. And so it was.
31God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good! Evening came, then morning—that was the sixth day.
1So the heavens and the earth and everything else were created.
The Seventh Day
2 By the seventh day God had finished his work, and so he rested. 3God blessed the seventh day and made it special, because on that day he rested from his work.
theStory of the Bible is one continuous narrative from its beginning in the book of Genesis through its finale in the book of Revelation, and what a story it is! That’s not to say that it is fictional or myth, a format that can’t be trusted to impart the truth. No; it is presented as story because we hear deep truth best when it is conveyed as a story. We draw close when we can picture and imagine. When we can conjure images and see ourselves there. That is why newspapers tell “stories” rather than present us with columns of statistics and cold facts with no context.
When Moses wrote Genesis he did just that. His text is presented as narrative so we can understand and imagine a beginning, a history and a setting where God, the Creator of existence, could be presented.
Our reading today tells the story of the very beginning and gives us a structure for how the Creator began with a formless, empty earth, covered in water, surrounded by darkness and ended up with a vibrant, abundant creation full of light, sky, dry ground, plants, two great lights, living creatures, humans made in his own image and a satisfied rest to wind things up. And it was all for a reason. God created this world, the universe and us so that we will glorify him with our being. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” And Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” Let’s join together today as God’s creation and declare his glory through praising him for all he has made.
God of creation, through your Son you called all things into being and knew me before I was born. Help me approach today with the assurance that your hand is on every aspect of my life as I seek to serve you. I ask this in the name of Jesus.