You are currently viewing The Book of Genesis

There is one thing which interests everybody: How was the world made ? What was the beginning of this wonderful earth? The Bible answers this question in a beautiful story which is more full of mystery and beauty than any other story in the world. The Book of Genesis is one of the oldest complete books in the world, and its story of the creation of the universe is the first story of the Creation that we have got. Genesis is a book which scholars in every nation read with reverence and wonder – because of its great age, because of its great beauty, and because it is the first book which tells us about God. You must remember that before this book was written other nations believed in gods and goddesses, in monsters and demons, and did not understand that there is only one God, who is the loving Father of us all. We read here, also, the story of Cain and Abel and the story of Noah’s Ark. It is in Genesis that we read the story of the great Flood, and why it came upon the earth.


The Bible tells us that in the beginning there was a great darkness, and that there was nothing which had any shape or form. Try to think of this black darkness and this dreadful emptiness; everywhere, darkness and nothingness. There were no stars, no lovely sun, no wind blowing through trees, no waves breaking into foam at the foot of the cliffs. There was no earth, no heaven, no light, no heat and cold, only darkness, silence, and emptiness everywhere.

But God was there, and the Bible tells us that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters which filled the whole of the shapeless universe, like the ether, the mysterious stuff that is in all space. Out of this strange element God created the heavens and the earth.

The first words breathed by God, the Bible tells us, were those wonderful words “Let there be light.” The first thing God wished to do was to send away the great blackness. So God spoke, and in speaking He did two things. He broke the awful silence that reigned throughout the world, and He created Light.

Then the Bible tells us that God called the light Day, and the darkness, which visits the earth when the earth turns her face away from the sun, He called Night. This was the beginning of the acts of creation. Then the Bible tells that God divided the waters which filled the great universe, setting Heaven in the midst of it. Then the water which was under heaven He gathered into one place and called them the Seas of the Earth, and the dry land appeared shining and glad out of the midst of the seas, and God called the dry land Earth.

Then came the grass springing out of the dry land, and many strange and lovely herbs, and trees throwing their shadows on the grass. God made the herb and the fruit tree, each with its own seed, so that they could sow themselves and gradually cover the earth with beauty and joy.

Then God filled the sky above the earth with stars, and He gave the sun power to rule the day and the moon power to rule the night.

And now, this story of creation tells us, came a greater wonder still. Out of the deep waters upon the earth God called forth Life. He spoke, and from the water issued living things that could move and utter sound, and swim and fly-tiny and unseen things, millions of them; huge and mighty things, thousands of them; so that the whole earth, the water, the land, and the air became filled with life.

And then, finally, we read in this Bible story of creation, God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”


Then came forth Man and Woman, whom God created in His own likeness, and into whose nostrils He had breathed the breath of life. And God set this man, whom we call Adam, and this woman, whom we call Eve, in dominion over all the earth, to rule it, to conquer it, and to enjoy it.

How beautiful is this picture of God making the wonderful earth for Adam and Eve and their children to enjoy in happiness and peace! The animals came to them when they were called; the birds sang over their heads as they walked; and the fishes came to the side of the lake to watch them as they stood in the sunlight. Do we not feel that we should like to live in such a happy world for ever and ever?

But the Bible tells us that this happy Paradise did not last. It tells us a strange story which fills our eyes with tears that man should have been so foolish and so ungrateful to God. And this is that strange story which the Bible tells us.

God had given man everything on the earth except one thing. There was one thing which man was not to do. If man did this one thing he would lose all his happiness and all his peace. And man did do this very thing.


The Bible tells us that this one thing man was not to do was to eat of the fruit growing on a certain tree in the Garden of Eden. There were a thousand other fruits of which man might eat, but this one was forbidden. It was God’s test of man’s love. If man loved God he would not eat of this tree; if he did not love God he would disobey. So, you see, this was God’s test of man’s love.

Well, we read how the wicked Tempter, the Evil One, took the form of a serpent and glided into the Garden of Eden, and sought out Eve while she was away from her husband’s side, and suggested to her that she should eat of the fruit. And, although Eve did not at once obey the Evil One, she argued with him, instead of driving him from her. So the temptation to eat the fruit stayed in her mind; she allowed herself to think about it; and at last the temptation was too great for her. She ate the fruit, and took it to Adam, her husband, and persuaded him also to do this forbidden thing.

Then the Bible tells us Adam and Eve heard the voice of the Lord God “walking in the garden in the cool of the day,” and they were afraid and hid themselves in the trees. And God said because they had done evil they must suffer. But the punishment God sent them was not a cruel punishment. He made them go out into the world to toil for their existence.


Now, though work is hard, it is yet. far better than idleness; and in setting man to till the earth, God has provided him with the opportunity of making himself better and kinder and purer. So that when we see pictures of Adam and Eve going out with tears and shame from their beautiful garden of Innocence, we must remember that over them the face of God is smiling with love and pity, knowing that His children shall one day return to their Garden and to Him.


The first day God created light
And made the day and made the night.

The second day of His intent
He made the heavenly firmament.

The third day came both land and sea,
And grass, and herbs, and bush, and tree.

The fourth day sun and moon had birth,
And stars that twinkle over earth.

The fifth day, from the waves of strife,
God called great creatures into life.

And in the sixth day of His plan
In His own image God made man.

Then when His work the Lord had blest
The seventh day He gave to rest.