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What happened on each of the days of Creation?

Genesis 1-2 tells the story of how God created everything in the universe. The way the Hebrew language is worded, we should look at this accounting of creation as God bringing all things into existence from nothing during the span of six literal 24-hour time periods—with no breaks or time spans in between those days. The context of these passages describes each creative event in a way that implies a normal, commonly-understood literal day: "And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day" (Genesis 1:5). Also, the original language begins each sentence with "and," which indicates a sequential, consecutive order.

One of the most amazing things the Genesis account shows us (other than creating the universe in six days!) is that the Word of God is completely authoritative and powerful. When we see God create the various parts of our known universe, He does so mostly with mere speech! Genesis 1:3 tells us, "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." Let's look at what the Bible says happened on each of those six days.

Creation Day 1 (Genesis 1:1-5)

God creates the heavens, which refers to all things outside of earth in the universe. And God creates the earth, which had no shape or light. We know there was water because the Holy Spirit was hovering above it. Then God speaks, and light is created—a thing He proclaims is good. He separates the light from the dark and names them "day" and "night." End of day one.

Creation Day 2 (Genesis 1:6-8)

God creates a separation between the water on the earth's surface and the water in the air, which we now understand as earth's atmosphere. Earth is now encapsulated in a bubble of protection from the cold of outer space. End of day 2.

Creation Day 3 (Genesis 1:9-13)

God brings the earth above the water's surface in places, and the first continents and islands are born. He names the large bodies of water "seas," and the ground is called "land." God pauses a moment to reflect on how this is good.

Then God commands the earth to bring forth plant life of all kinds, giving them the ability to reproduce through their seeds. He takes another moment to see how good His creation is turning out. End of day 3.

Creation Day 4 (Genesis 1:14-19)

God speaks the stars into existence for the purpose of both light and for earth's inhabitants to track the passage of time. For more light, God creates the sun and the moon, which will be the primary illumination for the day and night. He sees how good this is. End of day 4.

Creation Day 5 (Genesis 1:20-23)

God creates all the living things that survive in the water and all living things which fly through the air. The way the original text is worded allows that flying insects were created on this day, but if not, then they were created on day 6. God blesses all these things with the ability to perpetuate their species as well through different reproductive systems. End of day 5.

Creation Day 6 (Genesis 1:24-31)

God creates every living thing that walks or crawls on land, including every kind of creature that hasn't been included on previous days, plus humankind—both male and female. God blesses them all with the ability to procreate.

When God was creating the first humans, He was especially thoughtful about this particular creation. "God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness'" (Genesis 1:26). This revelation of referring to Himself as an "us" is one of the foundations for our understanding of the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Humankind is made special above all other creatures because man and woman bear the image of God. To drive home humankind's uniqueness, God grants them authority over the earth with a special command to care for it well.

At this point, God commands all creatures, including humankind, to eat only of plant life. (He doesn't allow them to eat meat until Genesis 9:3-4.) God looks around at all He has made and decides that this is very good. End of day 6.

Creation Day 7 (Genesis 2:1-3)

God finished His creation on this day, and the Bible tells us that He rested. The word for "rest" in this passage is the Hebrew word shabath, which literally means to "cease or desist." It's not that God was exhausted from what He had done, but rather that He stopped His creative process. This was the first example for us to learn the importance of taking a day to stop working. Keeping this day of rest as a part of life would eventually become a distinguishing trait of God's chosen people and called the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11).

Our God is the ultimate creative being, and we are His creations. Think about it: You are a child of the Creator of the Universe! And our own ability for creativity reflects God's image within us. As God's creation has a purpose, so do our creative works.

TL;DR

Genesis 1-2 tells the story of how God created everything in the universe. God brought all things into existence from nothing during the span of six literal 24-hour time periods, then rested (or stopped work) on the seventh day. On day 1, He made the heavens, the earth, and the first light. On day 2, He gives earth an atmosphere. On day 3, He creates land, seas, and plant life. On day 4, He creates the stars, the sun, and the moon. On day 5 and 6, God creates all the living creatures, including humankind.

By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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