Lesson 4 *January 19-25
Creation, a Biblical Theme
Read for This week’s Study: Genesis 2, Matt. 19:4-6, Psalm 8,Job 38:1-21, 42:1-6, Isa. 45:18,Acts 17:22-31.
Memory Text: “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water’” (Revelation 14:6, 7, NIV).
Genesis 1:1-2:3 is the foundation for many Creation texts found in Scripture. Some references to Genesis 1 are clear, others more indirect. The more indirect references often involve a repetition of certain words or ideas without directly quoting the text, such as 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (NKJV). A direct reference, in contrast, is Hebrews 4:4: “For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’” (NKJV), a quote from Genesis 2:2.
This week we will look at various references that point back to the Genesis account and show how other Bible writers understood it as a literal depiction of human origins.
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 26.SUNDAY
Creation in Genesis 2
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. 2:4).
Genesis 1-2:3 is the first account of God creating our world. It forms the foundation of all the other truths that we, as Christians, believe.
But the Creation account doesn’t end there. From Genesis 2:3 to the end of the chapter, we are given more details, specifically regarding the creation of Adam and Eve. Thus, we should interpret Genesis 2:4 (above) as the introduction to a more detailed history of the creation of Adam and Eve, an act that is briefly summarized in Genesis 1:26-29. Some modern scholars have argued that a conflict exists between Genesis 1 and 2, but this would have been a surprise to Moses and the other biblical writers. If the stories were seen as conflicting, Moses would never have written them, especially so close together. The conflict isn’t with the texts; it’s with those who read a conflict into them.
Read Matthew 19:4-6. How does Jesus affirm the historical truth of Genesis 1 and 2?
In response to the Pharisees’ question about divorce, Jesus quoted from both Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, showing that He considered both to be discussing the same historical event, the Creation of the world and humanity. How much more proof do we need that Genesis 1 and 2 are harmonious accounts of Creation, the doctrine and teaching that forms the foundation of our existence and purpose? We are not here by chance, we are not here by fluke; we are beings made in the image of God—and the Genesis Creation account, as revealed in chapters 1 and 2, is God’s special revelation to us of our origins.
Read Genesis 2. How does it help us to better understand what it means to be human, to be made in the image of God, and to be given free will?MONDAY
Creation in the Psalms
Read Psalm 8. What links do you find with Genesis 1?
Read Psalm 104. Note how this psalm praises God for His goodness as seen in both Creation and providence. Identify the links with Genesis 1 in the following verses from Psalm 104: Vs. 2
Vss. 5-7 Vss. 7-9 Vs. 14 Vs. 19 Vs. 25
Note how the psalm’s topical sequence seems to be crafted to follow the topical sequence of Genesis 1. Poetic imagery is vividly presented throughout the verses, and its message clearly includes the power, wisdom, and goodness of God and the dependence of all the Creation on the Creator. Nothing in the psalm hints that the Genesis account was not to be taken literally.
Note the following examples from the Psalms that correlate with Genesis 1. Ps. 24:1, 2
Ps. 33:6 Ps. 74:16, 17 Ps. 89:11
The Psalms are full of praise for the Creator. Sometimes this is expressed in language reminiscent of Genesis 1, other times the language is more general; but in all cases, the description of Creation is consistent with Genesis 1 and reminds us of the foundational role of Genesis in our understanding of our origins as sons and daughters of God.