Scripture: Genesis 1:1–31, 2:1–2, 7–8; Psalm 8:1–9, 19:1
Memory verse: Genesis 1:1
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Bring to class a small box containing a number of pieces of metal and glass. Then relate the following situation:
Imagine for a moment that in science class at school one day your teacher began saying that 10 billion years ago all the matter of the universe was contained in a thick “egg.” One day the egg exploded into tiny pieces, which joined together and became the galaxies.
Then your teacher said that millions of years ago there was only a single cell of life in the edge of a body of water. The cell was constantly being moved about by the water’s current until finally a very strange thing occurred. The cell began dividing to create new cells. After a long period of time, some of these cells began developing into more complex organisms. Some of these organisms became so complex they were able to crawl out of the water onto dry land. From one single living cell all living creatures came into being.
Tell the students what you have in the box are several tiny pieces that make up a watch. Then shake it and explain that you are going to shake it until the parts become a watch that is set to the exact time. Shake the box a moment. Then ask the students if they believe such fantastic theories. Allow responses.
Explain that the first two are theories taught in many classrooms. If they have not heard of such theories yet, they probably will.
Assure the students that these theories are wrong. They are as likely to have happened as the pieces of metal are likely to form into a watch when shaken together. All things were designed and created by God. He had a perfect plan when He made the universe and everything in it. Nothing happened by chance.
Hearing God’s Word
Two weeks ago we learned that the Bible is God’s Word. It is absolutely true from cover to cover. From God’s Word we learn why the theories we just discussed are wrong. Our memory verse gives us the reason. (Review the memory verse with the students.)
The Beginning of Creation
Let us imagine we could travel in a time machine way back before the beginning of creation.
Ask: “What would the earth be like?” (Allow responses.)
If we were where the earth is now, we probably could not see a thing. There would be only thick, black darkness all around. It might be a bit scary, like being in a cave alone with no light to guide you.
Genesis 1:1, 2 says when God created the heavens and earth, “darkness was over the surface of the deep.” The earth was just a dark mass hanging in outer space. So on the first day of creation, God turned on the lights! He said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), and it happened. The universe was filled with light. Then God separated the light from darkness and called the two parts “day” and “night.”
The Waters are Separated
Which act of creation came next? (Ask the students to read Genesis 1:6–8.) It seems that the earth was completely covered with water at the beginning of creation. On the second day of creation God separated the water on earth from the water in the sky and formed the earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere contains a lot of water. Clouds are formed by water. The atmosphere provides a protective blanket that keeps the sun’s ray from destroying all life here on earth. It is also the source of our weather patterns. Rain, snow, and wind are all formed in the atmosphere. Other planets in our solar system cannot support life as we know it. These planets are either too hot or too cold for living things to survive on them.
Dry Land and Plants Appear
At this point in creation it would be possible to live on earth—if you were a fish. There was no dry land on which to walk and live. So on the third day of creation, God made a big change in the way the earth looked. What happened? (Allow the students to read Genesis 1:9, 10.) God gathered all the water into various areas, causing dry land to appear. He called the water seas, and the dry land earth. Now there was solid ground to support the rest of His creations.
That is not all that happened on the third day. What else did God create? (Ask a student to read Genesis 1:11, 12.)
Lush green grasslands, trees, and brightly coloured flowers grew all around. What a spectacular and beautiful day this must have been. God created the variety of nature that we now enjoy.
When we walk along forest trails or through colourful flower gardens, we can see the beauty of God’s creation. God wanted us to have a beautiful home, so He designed this earth with a great variety of colours, shapes, and designs. Have you ever taken time to thank God for creating such a beautiful world? God was happy with the way this world looked when He made it. He wants us to show appreciation for His creation.
Since God’s creation is a gift to us, it is important to help keep our world a beautiful place in which to live. We can do this by picking up litter and not writing graffiti on trees, rocks, etc. Everyone can help in some way to keep the world beautiful.
Sun Moon and Stars
On the fourth day of creation, God worked on the lighting system. Genesis 1:14–19 explains what God did. (Allow the students to scan these verses.) God made the sun, moon, and starts. He created the sun to bring daylight to our earth. The sun is actually a star, but it is much closer to the earth than any of the other starts. For night time God made the moon and the other stars. These give a gentle, soft light through the night hours.
The sun and moon do more than give light. The sun’s rays help plants grow and provide vitamin D that helps our skin stay healthy. It also gives us warmth. The sun and moon both control the tides in the oceans and change our weather patterns.
Fish and Birds
Now the stage was set for another great act of creation. (Have a student read Genesis 1:20–23.) On the fifth day of creation, the sea and air became full of activity. The seas were filled with all kinds of fish and other sea creatures, and birds of every kind filled the air. Now there was life and activity in the water and the sky. The earth was becoming more like the earth as we know it. But God’s work was not yet completed.
Animals and Man
(Instruct the students to read Genesis 1:24, 25.) On the sixth day of creation, God created all kinds of land animals. The woods and fields were filled with cattle, sheep, horses, and bears. Jungles came alive with monkeys, lions, and elephants. Animals of every description joined with the birds and sea creatures, bringing life and activity on the earth.
Everything was good and wonderful, but God had one more act of creation to perform.
(Ask a student to read Genesis 1:26, 27. Then let another student read Genesis 2:7, 8.) Using the very ground He had created; God fashioned a man and breathed into him the breath of life. He then placed the man called Adam in the Garden of Eden. Soon afterward God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs so Adam would not have to be alone. God had performed His greatest act of creation. God’s creation was completed. He saw it was very good. Then, on the seventh day, God rested.
Made in God’s Image
Genesis 1:26, 27 says God created man in His own image and after His likeness.
Ask: “What does it mean to be made in God’s image?” (Allow responses.)
Being made in God’s image means He created us to be like Him in some ways on the inside. God gave each of us the ability to think and He gave us a will. A will gives us the power of choice. We can choose whether to do right or wrong. We can choose to serve God or not to serve Him. God wanted us to have a will so we can choose to serve Him. He did not want an earth full of robots that would automatically praise and worship Him without thought or choice. God wants us to worship Him because we love Him.
Along with a will (our spirit) and an ability to think (our mind), God placed within man a soul. This is the part of us that reaches out to God in worship and praise.
God made us special so we could serve Him and take care of His creation. (Let volunteers read Psalm 8.) We must make a choice to serve God. He will not force anyone to serve Him. When we see all God has created in the universe, including us, how can we want to do anything less than praise and serve such a great God? We are made in God’s image. We can think about His great love for us and choose to serve Him. You can make a choice today and every day.
Accepting God’s Word
Tell the students that of all God’s wonderful creations, man is His most treasured. God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden. When man first sinned, the fellowship with God was broken. God wanted that fellowship back so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins. Now our sins can be forgiven and we can be restored to fellowship with God. Explain God’s plan of salvation. Ask if anyone would like to ask forgiveness for sin. Pray individually with each student who wants to accept Jesus as Saviour.
Thank You, Lord, for allowing me the opportunity to see the beautiful faces of the Digo. My heart breaks with their need for Jesus, and I say with the apostle Paul: “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites (Digo) is that they may be saved.”
I ask You, Lord, for workers—those of Your heart who will reach these people with Your Word, mercy, grace and love. Thank You for believers who will arise to support their mission in love, in prayer and financially.
May every provision for their journey be made available. Go before them and prepare the hearts of the people to receive You; set a hedge of protection about them; lead them with divine inspiration and creative ways to impart Your truth; bless them with health in body and spirit, and provide helpers along the way.
Multitudes upon multitudes of Digo people are in need of You, Lord. They are lost but not forgotten, for surely Your eye is even on the sparrow. I ask You for their souls, a great harvest and many disciples.
Thank You, Lord. May Your will be done. Amen!
Remember: MAGNIFICENT CREATION
Memory verse: Genesis 1:1
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
1. God’s creation is a gift to us.
2. God created people in His own image—a living soul.
3. God created us to serve Him and care for all His creation.
Pray for Messengers to be Sent to the Digo.
Study 5 | Jesus Says Go/We Believe | africaatts.org/go-teach