There isn’t a Christian on the planet that isn’t familiar with Genesis 1. We teach this to preschoolers in Sunday School (perhaps with the assistance of a felt board). When we read Genesis 1, we see what’s on the surface: the creation account. God created the heavens, the earth, the water, the land, the plants, the animals, and of course, mankind.
The Bible starts with the creation and that makes sense. Before the story can unfold, all must be created. As Julie Andrews sang to us in The Sound of Music, “lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” However, if we peel back the layers just a bit, Genesis 1 is actually packed with theology. So, let’s dive right in.
God is Creator. That’s the very first sentence in the Bible; in the beginning, God created… God is not a God created; rather, He is Creator. Had God been created, He would be subject to His creator, making that creator God. In order for God to be God, He needs to have power and sovereignty over His creation. Because God was not created, but he IS Creator, He does rule over His creation. His creation is subject to Him. By revealing Himself as Creator, God is, in fact, revealing His power, sovereignty, and self-sustainability.
If we jump down to verse 26 in Genesis 1, we also see a nod to God’s triunity. Let us make mankind in our image. We know that God exists as 3 persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. By using the first person plural, we see a nod to the triune nature of God. Of course, as we examine all of Scripture, aside from Genesis, we learn more about the doctrine of the Trinity. But, consider Genesis 1:26 a teaser to the richness of Trinitarian doctrine.
God also judges His own creation. As He created, He called His creation good. He alone is able to do that. God and God alone can set a standard for what is good and what is not. God’s law has been revealed to us in Scripture and that is our standard for morality. For those of us who are in Christ, we ought to love what God loves and hate what God hates. Our ethics should, absolutely, align with God’s law. His standards go all the way back to Genesis.
Additionally, we see in Genesis 1, that God creates distinction and order. There was day and night, light and dark, earth and water. There were animals for the air, the water, and the land. He made male and He made female. Why does this matter? God is not a God of chaos but a God of peace.
Lastly, Genesis 1 is proof that work is good. Work is not a burden, but a blessing. Not only did God work to create, but He commanded us to work too. Prior to the fall, Adam and Eve were given work to do. They were to be fruitful and increase in number. They were to fill the earth and subdue it. They were to rule over the animals. Work was not a result of the fall, but was a command prior. We can only assume that it is good. We often see work as a necessary evil while we are on this earth, but Scripture says otherwise.
Truthfully, you could spend quite a bit of time in the first few chapters in Genesis. That is the beauty of Scripture. We can read the same passages of Scripture over and over and continually learn from them.