Summary: Genesis verse-by-verse
Have you ever looked at a beautiful sculpture and just marveled at it’s beauty? You know, you’re looking at a statue or a sculpture, realizing that at one time it was just a big block of stone or an awkward lump of clay, but now it stands as a work of art filled with amazing detail and expression. I wish I could do something like that, but I just can’t.
[Ash tray in high school story.]
But there are so many wonderful works of art out there where someone who took something without form and turned it into a work of art.
- Michelangelo’s “David”
- Rodin’s “The Thinker”
- Mount Rushmore
- My little girl’s creations
And you know what, that’s what God did when He created the earth. He took something
that was chaotic and without form and fashioned it into something beautiful. Let’s look back at the beginning, the first day of creation.
[Read Genesis 1:1-5.]
So at the end of the first day of creation God had created space, light, and a formless mass of water called earth. But over the next three days, things would start to take shape. So let’s look the second day, where:
I. The sky takes shape
[Read Genesis 1:6-8.]
So the first thing that God does with this ball of water is to create a firmament, or an expanse, or a canopy that separates the water that’s on the earth from the water that’s above the earth. It’s like a protective shield that encompasses the entire earth.
But what exactly was this firmament? Well, the actual word used here is the Hebrew word “raquiya” which literally means, “to beat out and stretch forth.” How do apply that to the text. Remember, God has only created water, space and light. So what’s the firmament made out of? Well I think it was made out of the existing water. Frozen somehow and positioned as a giant ice canopy around the entire earth. One that would be protective of the earth, but one that would be translucent enough as to allow light to pass through it to illuminate the earth. The earth was like a giant terrarium where the perfect conditions would exist for life.
You didn’t need sun block, sunglasses, ac or heat. Oxygen and barometric levels would have been increased as if we were living in a hyperbaric chamber.
[Hyperbaric chamber properties stories.]
This would account for the longevity of life back then and the enormous size of the
animals we find in the fossil record.
What an incredible idea the Lord had when He made this protective shield around His creation. And you know what, in recent years science has finally got a little glimpse in the reality of the firmament.
[Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory story.]
It’s always nice when science catches up to the Bible.
But where’s the firmament now? Where did it go? We’ll get into that when we get to chapter seven. But until then, on the second day of creation the sky takes shape.
On the third day of creation God gets to work under the firmament, where:
II. The earth takes shape
[Read Genesis 1:9-13.]
So God takes this massive ball of water and again makes distinctions. He creates seas and land to define the terrain of the earth.
It appears from the text that God only created one land, not the many continents that we have today. I believe He created one super-continent by which all the other continents came from. (And when you look at a globe, it’s pretty easy to see that they all used to fit together.) When we get to chapter ten we’ll get a glimpse at the beginnings of the separation of the land into different continents.
On this land He created all kinds of plant life that would cover the land with beauty, would provide nourishment for the coming animal and human life, and would also be able to self perpetuate forever!
[Apple and seeds demonstration.]
Isn’t that amazing?! How God would provide all of the fruits and vegetables and spices and herbs for our sustenance, and trees and grass for our shelter and comfort, and flowers that are enjoyable for their looks and their smells. And all of this would just grow, and grow, and grow! The perfect environment was created for plants to eternally perpetuate and provide! (try saying that five times really fast.)
Anyway, what a beautiful and ingenious place the earth was at the beginning. The sky had taken shape, the earth had taken shape, and then on the fourth day:
III. The universe takes shape
[Read Genesis 1:14-19.]
Obviously, the sun was created to light the day, and the moon was created to light the night. Stars were also put in place throughout the universe to help illuminate the night. They’d be able to be seen through the firmament, but their ultraviolet rays wouldn’t harm the earth.