The Awesome Greatness and Profound Goodness of God.

Genesis contains the beginnings of everything except God. Evans says, “Genesis is the seedplot of the whole Bible, and the groundwork for the entire revelation as contained in the remaining 65 books that make up the Bible.” If Genesis were to be dethroned, the entire Bible would be undermined as a result. Despite efforts to do so for many years, not one word has been broken – because it is God’s Word, preserved forever.

Hamilton notes the striking shortness of the Creation account and the Fall of man into sin. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. What is most important to us is that God desires man to please Him and to know His Word & to learn to walk with him by faith.” In the grand scope of Genesis, to simply believe the basic facts of Creation and the Fall is not difficult. Most of the book shows us how to live well in a fallen world – this is our more difficult task.

The account of Creation in Genesis 1-2 reveals much to us about God and His purpose in creating.

God’s Greatness

The first word used for God emphasizes His unity. The culture at the time Moses wrote this was very polytheistic. God needs nothing outside of himself. As Hamilton explains, “All the resources of self-fulfillment are in Him already. …It is God’s oneness alone that makes sense of words like universe.”

God is one but has a multiple nature. He is three personalities in one essence. Verse 26 uses a plural word that speaks of His majesty, sovereignty, and holiness. When He speaks creation into being, there is no force that can stop it.


God created all there is out of nothing. He is omnipotent, which means “having complete or unlimited power; having virtually unlimited authority or influence.” The power of His word carries the influence of His person.


The Creation account is written from a specific perspective for a certain purpose. Hamilton says, “does not intend to give a modern scientific explanation of the origin of all natural phenomena, but rather to address the more practical aspects of creation that surround our experiences of living and surviving.”

Human beings are the pinnacle and focal point of Creation. God created humankind to glorify Himself, and the world for humankind’s pleasure and enjoyment.


Genesis 1:6-23 outline the process of God’s creation. Light is created as the regulator of time, and the sky is the regulator of climate. The account focuses on function rather than physical descriptions.

Evans explains that “In the ancient world of this time, they considered the cosmos as featuring a three-tiered structure consisting of the heavens, the earth, and the underworld. Climate in this day, even amongst pagans, originated from the heavens.”

When God calls his creation good, it reflects his wisdom and justice. Bodies of light are called “greater” and “lesser” lights because “sun” and “moon” were actually pagan titles. Everything created is connected to one God who is the Light.

God’s Goodness

The account crescendos to the creation of Man. Pagan deities were believed to have created humans as an afterthought, to be used as slave labor, the result of conflict with other gods. But God created man as the pinnacle of His Creation, intending us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. All of Creation is intended to be used for that purpose.

Man’s Origin and Nature

After the panorama of chapter 1, Genesis 2 is a close-up on the creation of human beings. Humans were created in the image and likeness of God. These words are similar to “shadow” or “figure.” Simply put, we were made to act like Him. We are unique from animals in having a conscience, self-awareness, discernment, rationality, personality, morality, and a spiritual nature.

Humans are created to serve and to rule and enjoy God’s provision. We are spiritual beings created to worship, but this will be wrecked by sin in chapter 3. The perfect environment of Eden that God intended for us is also lost, until we see it again in the last 2 chapters of the Bible as a promise of our life to come.

Man’s Environment

God created a perfect environment for perfect man. Can you imagine what Adam and Eve saw when they opened their eyes for the first time? In time, when God creates the new heaven and the new earth, we will too know what it was like for Adam and Eve to enjoy perfect creation as perfect man. Our Lord is so good to bring all things back to Himself and His own glory through Christ.

Man’s Companion

In chapter 2, we see that even this Edenic environment is incomplete without a companion. God creates woman as man’s completer and spiritual partner. This is where God introduces the mandate of marriage for the propagation of humankind and to bring further glory to Himself.

Application Points

  • Only a believer can enjoy the Earth to the greatest degree because we know why it was created. Do you thank God for His Creation? Do you enjoy it? How can you continue to use what He has provided to bring glory to Him?

  • It is no surprise that God’s first created institution is Satan’s first target. Our culture today follows suit – redefining marriage and putting it off for other priorities. Are you participating in either of these trends? Does your attitude give marriage the priority and respect that God intends for it?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Romans 1:20 – God’s omnipotence is shown through Creation.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Almighty, Unchangeable God”

Who spread out the clouds before Him?
Who fashioned the earth with His hands?
Who created the starry host,
And formed the earth at His command?
Who scatters lightning before Him,
Commands the rain and snow to fall?
Who makes the nations tremble?
Who is Lord over all?

He is Almighty, Unchangeable God,
King of kings, Lord of lords, robed in majesty.
He rules and reigns for all eternity,
Almighty, Unchangeable God.

He is like the light at sunrise,
Like the brightness after the rain.
Robed in splendor,
He’s seated on His heavenly throne above.
His glory fills the heavens;
He is exalted over all –
Yet this God of Heaven loves me
With an everlasting love.

He is Almighty, Unchangeable God,
King of kings, Lord of lords, robed in majesty.
He rules and reigns for all eternity,
Almighty, Unchangeable God.

Hamilton & Matthews, Bible Background Commentary.