The beginning of the world
This beautiful world we live in, has all kinds of trees and pretty flowers on the mountains and plains, silver colored sand that covers beaches, numerous stars in the night sky, beautiful birds flying in the blue sky, and lovely and fine animals in the woods.
How was such a beautiful world created? How do plants grow, flowers bloom, cute animals grow and move? Were they made naturally? Or were all they created by someone, like a good painter creates a pretty picture?
It is the Scripture that can give us the answers to these questions.
Genesis 1:1 says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
These words tell us how the world was created in the beginning, every tree, flower, bird, animal, and fish. God created all these creatures.
God created the world.
Why is the story of the creation written at the beginning of the Bible? So that everyone could know that the creator God is the true God.
“Tell them this 'these gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens” (Jeremiah 10:11).
What a wonderful painter and sculptor God is! The God who made the heavens and the earth is the true God.
God created the world in six days.
The first day
At first this earth was in darkness. Then God said,
"Let there be light"(Genesis 1:3).
And then light was shining brightly on the dark earth. But it is not for all day long that light will shine. Half of a day will be a dark night as it was at first. God called the light Day, and the darkness, Night. The day when God made light was the first day.
The second day
On the second day God said,
"Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water"(Genesis 1:6).
And then the earth that was covered with vapor and could not be distinguished her shape exposed its figure slowly. A blue sky was seen; vapor changed into a cloud and rose up to heaven. Heaven and earth were separated clearly. This was the second day.
The third day
On the third day, what did God make? He made the plants, trees and oceans. God said again loudly.
"Let the waters under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear" (Genesis 1:9).
As soon as this was said, waters were gathered together into one place and the dry land appeared. Then God called the waters that were gathered together the sea and the dry land earth. In addition, on the third day, God created other creatures, plants. Then the dry land was filled with green grasses and trees and all kinds of beautiful flowers bloomed in the calm bushes. All these beautiful creatures were created on the third day.
The fourth day
What happened on the fourth day? God thought deeply then said,
"Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth" (Genesis 1:14, 15).
Since then, the sun shines brightly during the day and the moon and stars do during the night. So the stars, which console us in a night sky when we are sad, were made on the fourth day. Since then, the heavenly body is moving without fail along the orbit that God fixed. This was the fourth day.
The fifth day
In the morning of the fifth day, the sun rose slowly over the east mountain. The sun shone brightly, a mist lifted and the bushes and plains were calm. Then God ordered again,
"Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky"(Genesis 1:20).
Everything followed God's words. And then the calm world was filled with beautiful birds' songs and all kinds of fish. God blessed birds and fish, too.
"Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." (Genesis 1:22).
This was the fifth day.
The sixth day
The earth, which was made in five days, was really beautiful. But it was insufficient.
"God planned to make a new creature in order to make this earth active. Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds"(Genesis 1:24)
Then suddenly the magnificent animals were everywhere in the Garden of Eden. Bees buzzed and frogs were hopping. Now everything seemed to be finished. But God still had one thing to do. He planned to make something, a very special creature, and so He said this,
"Let us make man in our image, in our likeness"(Genesis 1:26).
"The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."(Genesis 2:7).
God created all creatures with only His words, but He created man with His own hands. First, He made Adam, and then he created Eve. At last God had finished His creation. And He was satisfied with all of this.
The world, which was made in six days, was really beautiful.
"Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."(Genesis 2:1-3)
Surely we must praise God all day long on the seventh day and think about His creation. The seventh day is a memorial day of God's creation. He rested on this special day, and since then, the seventh-day system has continued without error.
And then what day is the seventh day, Sabbath? The seventh day, the Sabbath is obviously Saturday. People who love God have kept Saturday holy as Sabbath.
Don't you want to keep true Sabbath that God rested on?
God promised a lot of blessings to those who rest from their work, go to church and worship God on the Sabbath Day.
Sin and unhappiness enter the world.
Many years ago, before the world was created, thousands of angels lived with God in heaven. They loved and obeyed God with pleasure. Lucifer was the highest, the most beautiful and the mightiest angel beside the throne of God. And the Son of God, Jesus Christ was with God, His Father. He always consulted and worked with God.
All the angels served and obeyed God and Jesus sincerely. But Lucifer who held the highest position began to be proud little by little. He even complained because he wanted to hold a higher position than that of Jesus. Then many angels aligned with Lucifer and murmured to God. God could not help expelling Lucifer and His angels from heaven, because they had disobeyed Him.
Since Lucifer was expelled from heaven, he has been called as Satan, the evil angel, the Devil and many other names. He has continued to disobey God until now.
After God had created the world and man, He gave the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve. Beautiful rivers flowed, pretty flowers bloomed and all kind of fruits grew abundantly. Eden was a beautiful garden. Adam and Eve were happily living with God.
God wanted Adam and Eve to love Him forever but He did not force them to. God wanted them to obey willingly and gave them freedom of choice.
There were many fruit trees including the tree of life, and God said that they could freely eat any fruit from them. But there was one tree that God forbade them to eat from. It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God gave them a warning.
"But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when ou eat of it you will surely die."(Genesis 2:17)
God had set one tree apart in order to test their obedience to Him. And then along came Satan who was expelled from heaven and knew this fact, so he came to tempt them disguised, as a subtle serpent. Whenever Satan saw Adam and Eve walking happily in the Eden, he could not bear his jealousy. So he searched for an opportunity to disconnect them from God and put Him a difficult situation.
One day, at last he saw a good opportunity. Eve was passing by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil alone. Adam was nowhere to be seen.
“Okay! Now I will tempt Eve.”
Satan began to talk to Eve through the serpent. The serpent said;
"Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'"(Genesis 3:1).
Eve said: “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” (Gen 3:2, 3)
The serpent said; “You will not surely die...For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:4, 5)
The serpent continued to tempt Eve with flattering words to trick her into eating the fruit of the tree. At last Eve fell into the temptation of the serpent and ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She had disobeyed God.
Satan had appeared as a serpent, but Eve was unknowingly tempted to eat the fruit from the tree and finally gave it to her husband and made him eat it. At last the plan of the Devil succeeded. God was grieved and disappointed.
Now Adam and Eve were subject to exile from the Garden of Eden. That was the covenant between them and God, so they had to depart from Eden in tears.
But the God of love opened the way of life to Adam and Eve. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the world and let Him die on behalf of our sins so as to give us another chance at eternal life, which we had lost because of our sins.
Everyone who follows God can enter the beautiful Garden of Eden again when the plan of God's salvation is accomplished. We can live forever in the Garden of Eden with God and Adam if we believe in the plan of God's salvation.
Don't you want that day to come soon?
In the next chapter, we are going to study the great plan of God's salvation.