KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
The Word of God begins with the statement, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The Biblical explanation of origins, described in the first chapters of Genesis, is foundational to a correct understanding of all Scripture. If one undermines or challenges the Creation account, the rest of the Bible is also undermined and challenged. This passage opens by describing God’s creation of the universe, and closes by describing the creation of Eve and her relationship with Adam.
The first of the great themes in Genesis is God’s creative power. The Genesis description of Creation is simple and specific, establishing a definitive beginning of the universe and all it contains, and recording that God the Creator accomplished this in a six-day period. There is no reference to a world that is evolving, or to creatures that are becoming more complex.
Some have theorized that the twenty-four-hour day portrayed in Genesis 1 actually represents an eon of time. However, if “the evening and the morning” referred to were each an eon long, all plant life on the earth’s dark side would die during the earth’s rotation. Also, the theory that the days of Creation were actually geologic ages fundamentally undermines the Gospel, because that would mean that death, disease, and decay occurred before the Fall of mankind.
A further validation of the twenty-four-hour time periods of Creation is found in a study of the Hebrew word yom, translated day in Genesis 1. The word day can have a variety of meanings, both in Hebrew and in the English language. However, in this chapter, both a number and the phrase “evening and morning” are used to describe each day of Creation. The same usage (yom with a number) occurs in Scripture 359 times — and in every instance, it means an ordinary, twenty-four-hour day. There is no reason to assume that the yom in Genesis 1 would be an exception.
Another theme we find in these chapters is that of God’s wonderful love. His provision of a perfect environment which provided all the necessities for man’s existence, His design for marriage and human companionship, and His desire to have a close and personal relationship with man all show that we serve a God who loves us and wants the best for us.
The account given in this text is true, literal, and perfect. In order to preserve the foundations of Christianity, the followers of Christ must protect the truths expounded in these key chapters of the Bible, and be willing to stand against the forces in current society which promote an explanation of the beginning of the world that is contrary to what is taught in God’s Word.
These first two chapters of God’s Word are not only informative and inspiring, but they provide a foundation for many of the theological truths presented in the remainder of the Bible.