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

    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

      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

      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

  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

      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.