Genesis 1:1-1:25

Key Verse 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."


Memorize v. 1.  What does "In the beginning" refer to?  "The heavens and the earth"?  Why is the word "created" significant?  What do you learn from verse 1? 

v.1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

In the beginning : the starting point of the time and space, as it were, it means the starting point of the universe and history.  At this time, clock was first set a going.  

Time began with the production of those beings that are measured by time.  Before the beginning of time there was none but that Infinite Being that inhabits eternity.  In the Beginning was the Word. (John 1:1)


The heavens and the earth:

The heavens:  In Hebrew, "Shamayim" meaning, first the visible universe (the space) and second, the invisible heavens where the celestial bodies abide.

The earth:  In Hebrew, "Erets", meaning "the whole earth" as opposed to a part, or "the earth" as opposed to heaven.  So it refers to the earth we live on.

So the heavens and the earth refer to both the universe and the earth, both spiritual world and physical world.  

Created:  In Hebrew, there are two words, which have the meaning of making.

Asah:  It is to make something from other resources. (v16, 25,26)  

Bara:  It is to make something from nothing.  This word is used only with God. (v1,21) 

It shows that God, whom the Bible talks about is the One who created everything from nothing.  Through and for Him everything was created from nothing, and now we use what God created as resources.

Verse 1 is very important. 

First, it is the major premise of the Bible.  The Bible was written based on Gen.1:1.  So unless one accepts Gen.1:1, he cannot know or understand the rest parts of the Bible. So understanding of God and the spiritual world comes from believing and accepting this verse.  In other words, if we believe and accept Gen.1:1, the wonderful and beautiful spiritual world will be opened to us.


Second, God who created the heavens and the earth is the Creator. Knowing God as the Creator is so important. There are many religions and gods in the world. But God whom we believe is the Creator who created everything including time and space, universe, sun, moon and stars, animals and a plant and man etc.  Let's read 1 Cor. 8:5,6.

"For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"). yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord,  Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live." 

Third, God is the Almighty.  Here, the name "God" is plural in Hebrew.  This has two meanings.

The Trinity God

The one true God. (Plural intensive-singular meaning)

In verse 26, God says, "Let us make man…"  Our God is the Trinity God.

God's name in Hebrew in Genesis 1 is "Elohim" meaning a God of power.  God created everything from nothing by his almighty power.  Nothing is impossible with God.  

Fourth, when we know God as the Creator, we can establish a right relationship with God. He is the Creator, and we are creatures.  If we acknowledge the fact that God created us, what kind of attitude should we have toward him?

We must thank God who created us because He is the cause of our existence, and the cause of everything that are there in the universe. Because of Him, we exist. Because of Him, we are what we are. We came from Him.

We must know, `Why he created us' and live according to his creation purpose.  Here, as God's creatures, we find two obligations.  One is to struggle hard to know why he created us.  The other is to struggle hard to live according to it.  It is sin not to make proper struggle to know God's purpose upon our lives.  And also it is sin to ignore his purpose and live whatever way we are pleased with.

Read v. 2.  When God created the earth, how did it look? (cf. Jer 4:23)  What was the Spirit of God doing?

v.2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.   

v23  I looked at the earth, and it was formless and empty; and at the heavens, and their light was gone.

Actually, it was a heavy mass, which everything including water, gas and land and everything were mixed together.

There was nothing in it desirable to be seen, for it was without form and empty.  It was shapeless, it was useless, it was without inhabitants, without ornaments, the shadow or rough draught of things to come, and not the image of the things.

Darkness was there.  Even though there was anything, nothing could be seen because there was no light.  God did not create darkness, but it was only the want of light.  

Of the deep:  This expression shows the unlimited potential of this mass.  But also it shows its complete chaotic status.

d)  It was the embryo of God's creation.


The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters:  Without God's Spirit, the earth was in chaos.  The Spirit of God formed the harmonious and beautiful world out of chaos.  The Holy Spirit changes chaos into cosmos.

Likewise, when there is no work of the Holy Spirit in man, man's inner life is chaotic, formless, empty and dark.  The earth in verse 2 is describing man's life without the work of the Holy Spirit very well.  Without the work of the Holy Spirit, one is formless, dark, and empty.  

Formlessness:  No life frame.  They do not have any standard of their moral and their life.  They do not know what to do and what not to do.  So they mess up their lives with shameful and dirty sins.  Their lives are formless.

Empty:  They find no fulfillment in their hearts no matter what they do.  No satisfaction.

Darkness:  They do not have clear life direction or purpose.  They do not know where they came from and where they are going.   

Read vs. 3-31 and draw a diagram showing what was created each day.  In the 6 days of creation, is there any external or internal order? What can we learn here?

1st day: light            -------------  4th: sun, moon and stars 

2nd day: sky, and the waters ---  5th: birds and fish

3rd day: land, vegetation --------  6th: animals and man

The external order


1,2,3 is an environment to exist for 4,5,6. God created an environment first. Environment is so essential.  This shows the importance of environment. Also in God's ministry, environment is essential and important.  


From general to specific.

The internal order (spiritual order): Gen 1:26-28, 2:15-17 

God commands man and man rules over everything on earth, in the air and in the water. Though man rules over everything, he obeys God. God first, man second, and then all creatures.

The fact God created everything with carefully thought out plan comforts us greatly. 

It assures us that we are in God's plan.  

Sometimes we wander because we do not know why and how I am here. How were you born? Why are you here? By your parents' mistake? Or according to your parents' birth control plan? Or by my mistake?  No! Genesis 1 shows that we are here out of God's creation plan not of our parents' plan or of our own plan.  Now more thankfully, we are here according to God's salvation plan.

It gives us confidence of what's going on.  We sometimes do not know why things are happening around us.  But one thing is sure that nothing happens by accident to those who are in God's plan.  Though I know what's going on, God knows what He is doing for us.

It releases us from meaninglessness and emptiness of life.  When we understand that we are in God's plan, suddenly we are free from inferiority complex and fatalism.  We are God's workmanship.

Trace the verses where the phrases 'God said' or 'And it was so' appear. What can we learn here about God? (cf. Heb.4:12; 11:3; Gen.17:1)

Heb.11:3. “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” 

Heb.4:12. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow; it judge the thoughts and attitude of the heart.”   

Gen.17:1. “When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, " I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless."”

“God said”:  3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26,29

“And it was so”:  7,9,15,24,30

God created everything with his words. When he said, it was done. When he said, "Let there be light", then there was light.

God's word has almighty creating power. This teaches us that we must put our hope in the word of God. 

When we see America, we easily find that she is deeply wounded by violence, crimes, drugs and sexual immorality. Once Reverend Billy Graham said, "If God does not punish America, then the people of Sodom and Gomorrah will rise and sue God for malpractice."  How can this nation be changed to the kingdom of priests?

Though nothing can change America, the word of God can create something good in the hearts of all Americans.  The word of God is the only hope for America.

When we look at ourselves, we have too many serious problems, character-flaws, sin problems and weaknesses.  We are too weak to change ourselves.  So we despair deeply.  But the word of God can create something good in us and change us into holy servants of God.  The word of God is our hope.

God's word is the hope for all peoples on earth. That's why everybody needs to study the word of God.  Our bible study looks insignificant compared to corruption of whole society, it is the hope not only for myself but also for our society and our nation and whole world.

Find the verses in which the phrase 'according to their kinds' is repeated. What are the things that were created according to their kinds? What can we learn about God?

V11, V12, V21, V24, V25

Vegetation, Trees, Water teems, Birds, Wild animals.

[148,000 kinds of butterflies, 8,000 ants.  Thus far, 230,000 kinds of plants, and one million kinds of animals have been found.}


God is the God of variety. We need to accept God who created each of us and other things differently. It's not easy to accept this difference. But, this is possible only when we accept God's Sovereignty. 

Find the verses in which the phrase 'And God saw that it was good' is repeated. What does this expression teach us about the purpose of God's creation?

V4, V10, V12, V18, V21, V25, V31

Here, we learn four things.

First, God created everything for his pleasure. 

Look at verse 4.  On the first day, the light was created to please God.   The light manifests the power and wisdom of God fully.  So when God saw it, He was happy and satisfied with what He had done.  

Look at verse 10.  On the 3rd day, the land and the vegetation were created to please God.  They reveal God's power and wisdom fully.  So God was pleased with it.

Look at verse 12.  On the 4th day, the sun, the moon, stars were created to please God.  Their perfect movement, their energy all revealed God's power.

Look at verse 18.  On the 5th day, the birds and fish were created to please God. 

Look at verse 31.  On the 6th day, man and animals were created to please God. 

In order to manifest Himself, He created everything perfectly and powerfully.  In this way, each of His creatures revealed His almighty power, His eternal wisdom, and His glory.  So he was very pleased with them. So he said, "It is very good." 

Psalm 19:1  

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Why did God create me?  "To please Himself."  For His own pleasure, He created you and me.   

Second, my life purpose is to please God.  

What should I do during my life-time on earth?  I must struggle hard to please God.  I must strive to reveal the glory, power and wisdom of God in my life.  For this purpose, we were made, sent and now are here.  As the heaven proclaims the glory of its Creator, we must reveal God's glory.

Third, each man is the masterpiece (crystal) of God's power and wisdom.  

So each person is very great, perfect and glorious in God's eyes.  In each person, God's glory, God's wisdom and God's power is packed fully.  So when God sees him, He says, "Wow!  Very good!  Wonderful!  Beautiful!"  There cannot be inferiority complex in God-knowing people, who know Genesis chapter 1.  No fatalism or defeatism in God's masterpiece.  Read Psalm 139:14.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Fourth, God who made everything good is good.  


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