Creation: Genesis as Foundation - Part 1

Genesis 1 & 2, John 1, Revelation 14
Lesson Number: 


Lesson 8

Creation: Genesis as Foundation - Part 1

(Genesis 1 & 2, John 1, Revelation 14)

Copr. 2020, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 Biblica, Inc. (TM), unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: We have been looking at Genesis in the last few lessons, but this week we will go deeper into the Creation and the conclusions that flow from it. Interpreting Genesis as a historical account, as opposed to an analogy, or worse a myth, is essential to a proper interpretation of the Bible. Let’s dig into this topic through our Bible study this week!

  1. The Beginning
    1. Read Genesis 1:1. What important information do you find here? (That the earth and the heavens had a beginning. They were created as a act of God.)
    2. Read John 1:1. Who was with God in this event? (Read John 1:14. This explains that Jesus is the “Word” and that Jesus was with and is God. This, of course, is a powerful argument for our understanding of the Trinity.)
    3. Read John 1:2-3. What further explanation does this give us about the Creation? (That God (Jesus) “made” “all things.”)
    4. Read Psalms 19:1-2. What does this say about proving what the Bible says? (It tells us that the “heavens declare” and “the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”)
      1. Is this true? Does an understanding of astronomy and astrophysics confirm what Genesis 1 and John 1 recount? (Yes! Astronomers noticed that stars are “red shifted.” We all understand that movement affects sound waves. If you stand by a railroad track the sound changes as the train approaches and then leaves you. The sound waves are “bunched” in the approach and “extended” in moving away. The same is true for light waves. By observing light waves scientists were able to tell that the universe was slowly expanding in all directions. That meant the universe had a common origin, a beginning that you could calculate.)
    5. If both science and the Bible tell us that the heavens and the earth had a beginning, should we accept that fact?
  2. Creation Days
    1. Read Genesis 1:3-5. How long was this day according to the way Moses (inspired by the Holy Spirit) describes it? (Humans understand “evening and morning” to describe a 24-hour period of time.)
      1. Does this description sound like an analogy? (This is very specific. The reasonable conclusion is that we are talking about a literal day.)
    2. Read Genesis 1:14. This is later in the Creation. What is the purpose of these “lights in the vault of the sky?” (To “mark sacred times.” They are set as timekeepers.)
      1. What does that suggest about the earlier “evening and morning?” (It causes a little uncertainty in my mind. On the one hand, the timekeeping came later. On the other hand, the earlier description seems to anticipate the creation of the timekeepers.)
    3. Read Genesis 2:4 in the KJV or the ESV. The original Hebrew uses the word “yom” which both the KJV and ESV translate as “day.” The NIV translation blurs this by translating it “when.” This is the same Hebrew word consistently used in the first two chapters of Genesis to mean “day.” How long is the “day” (yom) here? (Here it means at least six days. Genesis chapters 1 & 2 contain the entire creation account. If you take the Bible literally, and you see that “yom” (“day”) is used to mean something other than a literal 24-hours, what does that suggest about the proper understanding of “yom?” (It means it might not be limited to 24-hours.)
      1. Is there any good reason to even consider “long days” in Creation? (If the reason is to accommodate the evolutionary theory, the answer is “No,” because that theory is directly at odds with the Creation account. But, if the reason is to align God’s revelation in the Bible with God’s revelation in nature, then this seems a legitimate reason to consider the idea.)
    4. Scan Genesis chapter 1. Are all of the six days defined as “evening and morning?” (Yes.)
      1. What does this suggest to us? (It suggests that they are literal 24-hour days. I think the better argument is that the Creation days are literal 24-hours. But, I’m not dogmatic about this because there is a reasonable argument based on a literal reading of Genesis that “yom” can mean more than 24-hours.)
  3. The Sabbath
    1. Let’s ask the question that is likely truly troubling the reader. What if all the Creation days are not a literal 24-hours, how does this impact the Sabbath (see, Genesis 2:1-3)? (I don’t think it undercuts Sabbath observance at all. The Sabbath still memorializes Creation. Exodus 20 still instructs that this observance be on a literal “seventh day.”)
    2. Read Revelation 14:6-7. How central is the Creation account to the gospel? (This text reports that an angel is preaching the “everlasting gospel” to humans. The beginning of that gospel is to worship our Creator God.)
    3. Read Mark 2:27-28. If man was made for the Sabbath, what kinds of rules for Sabbath observance would be appropriate?
      1. If the Sabbath was made for humans, considering the Genesis background, what kind of approach to Sabbath observance would be appropriate?
    4. Read Isaiah 58:13-14. How can we call the Sabbath a “delight” when we cannot do what is a pleasure?
      1. Does Isaiah need to have a conference with Jesus to iron out what it means for the Sabbath to be made for humans? (Notice that Isaiah refers to the Sabbath as a “holy day.” I think that helps us understand. We can delight in things that are consistent with a day set apart to celebrate God as our Creator.)
        1. Is the answer that I just suggested consistent with Jesus’ remark that the Sabbath was made for humans?
  4. Marriage
    1. Read Genesis 2:22-25. What do you think it means for a man and woman to become “one flesh?” (Read Matthew 19:4-6. This refers to marriage, and perhaps more specifically, having children.)
    2. Read Matthew 19:3. We discussed this story in an earlier lesson in this series. Why do you think the Pharisees wanted to know if an exception could be made to the rule in Genesis?
      1. Should we have the same reaction today for those who seek an exception for marriage from the Genesis requirement? (Jesus rejected exceptions from the rule.)
      2. How many “Pharisees” do we have today seeking an exception to the Genesis example of marriage? (The U.S. Supreme Court has held that marriage between two people of the same gender is a constitutional right. More and more people live together without being married.)
  5. Overview
    1. Consider the points in Genesis that we have been discussing. How many of these are under attack today by the pagan world? (They are all under serious attack.)
      1. Why do you think this is true?
    2. Re-read Revelation 14:7. If we reject the Creation account, how likely are we to reject the idea of judgment?
      1. If we believe that we evolved due to chance and natural selection, how will that impact our respect for God? How will it affect our desire to give Him glory?
      2. What does this concerted attack on the theology that arises from the Creation account suggest about the existence of Satan? (It makes me think that a mastermind is in a war against God.)
    3. Friend, will you believe the Creation account? Will you accept what God has revealed to us about our origins and our relationship to Him? If you are uncertain, why not ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind to God’s truth?
  6. Next week: Creation: Genesis as Foundation - Part 2.