God Created the Universe
TEXT: Genesis 1:1-8, 14-19; Revelation 4:11
- supplemental scriptures
The students will be able to tell what God created in the universe. They can explain that it declares the glory of God and reveals His power.
- memory verse
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. — Psalm 19:1
- bible lesson outline
Introduction: Bring to class a Viewmaster and a reel or two of scenic pictures. Let the students take turns looking at the pictures and selecting their favorites. Ask them to explain why they like that particular picture so well. Lead into your lesson by explaining that today your lesson is about how God created places like this to enjoy.
- God followed a step-by-step plan in creating the universe. On the first day God created light, and divided it from the darkness.
- On the second day, God made a firmament which divided the waters above from the waters below.
- On the fourth day (note that day three, the creation of plant and animal life, will be studied next Sunday), God made the sun, moon, and stars, and established that these would be for seasons, days, and years.
Climax: God created the universe to declare the glory of God and to reveal His power.
Conclusion: When we look at the wonders God has created, we should consider the greatness of His power.
Response: The students should be able to tell what God created in the universe and that these were all created to declare the glory of God and reveal His power.
- background information
The theory of evolution has permeated every area of thought in our culture—science, psychology, philosophy, sociology, ethics and even religion. In textbooks and in the media it is accepted as scientific fact, and one who questions the validity of evolution is considered naive or uninformed. The question of the origin of the universe is, however, outside the realm of science. Science is based on observation, experimentation, and repeatability. Obviously the origin of the universe cannot be observed, experimented on, or repeated. Therefore, what one believes about its origin is not based on acceptance or rejection of scientific fact, but is based on faith. This faith is either in a purposeful, omnipotent Creator who made all things out of nothing or faith in some blind force that somehow transformed a mass of random energy into the incredibly complex, interdependent universe in which we live. The origin of the universe and life is not so much a scientific question, but is largely a moral question; "Do I want to be under the authority of a Creator God or free of any moral obligations?" Because so many have rejected God and embraced evolution, believing we are the product of blind chance, life for many has become purposeless. However, the foundational truth of the Scripture is that God is the Creator of all that is, and because of this we are obligated to honor and obey Him, and in so doing we find our purpose for existence. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:3-4).
- in-class activities
- Give each of your students a copy of the picture entitled "Mixed Up World" (see Patterns). Allow time in class for the students, either as teams or individually, to find all the things that are wrong in the picture. Discuss how God is in control of the world, and He has planned an orderly universe for us to enjoy.
- Have the children close their eyes. Ask them questions such as: Can you see anything? What do you see? When is it light outside? When is it dark? What lights the sky for us during the day? What lights the sky at night? Who made the sun, moon, stars? Begin a discussion about God's gifts to us.
- Start out class time by creating something to eat—for instance, a sandwich—telling the students that we can create some simple things, but God created all things. At the end of the in-class activities you can enjoy (eat) what you created, just as God enjoyed what He created.
- Bring a small jar of sand and a measuring spoon to class. Tell your students that each grain of sand represents one star, and that together you are going to count them. Measure one teaspoon of sand onto each child's hand. It won't take them long to realize that they can't count even one teaspoonful! Bring out how God just spoke the word, and billions of stars came into existence. The Bible says, "He made the stars also."
Special Instructions for Unit 25: Give each child a mobile spiral and his first symbols moon, stars, and sun—as described in the unit material under the heading Unit Projects.
Give each child his Wonder Watcher creation assignment, as described in the unit material under the heading Unit Projects.
- What is the firmament?
- What great light did God create?
- How does His creating the universe show God's power?
- What do you think night would be like without the moon or the stars? How would you feel at night without them?
- When we look out the window at night and see the moon or the stars, we are in awe of His creation. What words would bring out how you feel when you see them and realize the greatness and yet the nearness of God?
- Which do you like better, the day or the night? Tell what is special about both.
- Why do you think that God made both day and night? Why not just the day?
- Talk about the four seasons. Which is your favorite? Why?
- pre-school suggestions
- Using stickers and black/blue construction paper, help your students to "create" the heavens.
- Give the children a copy of the heavens creation sheet (see Patterns). Ask them to circle the things that God created in the heavens—stars, moon, and sun. They should put an X through the things that are not in the heavens.
- Cut a round sun, a crescent moon, and several stars of different sizes from posterboard. Put them all in a sack or box so your little ones cannot see them. Let them take turns shutting their eyes and drawing one item from the sack. They must tell by feeling the shape what it is, and then say, "God made the _______." If they are correct, reward them with a sticker for their Bible.
- Take a Styrofoam block or a sandbox to class for your presentation. Attach to craft sticks several of the figures representing things in our universe (see Patterns). Let the children help you put all the sticks into the Styrofoam base as you talk about how and why God made each of these things. Point out that God made all these things for His special creation to enjoy—each of them is His special creation. Then hold up a mirror on a stick. As they view themselves, they must realize they are His very special creation.
- review ideas
Use the In-Class Activity creating something to eat. Explain how good it tastes and how much you enjoy it. Then compare this to what God created and how much He enjoys His creation. Emphasize the fact that God's creation came into being by God's spoken word. Our creations start with something God has already given us.
Review God's creation of the world by playing the game, Statue Maker. You be the statue maker. Let the students come to the front of the group one at a time. You mold each student into something God made, and let the rest of the group guess what you are making. For example, you could move a student's hands to cover her eyes to show darkness. Then you could remove her hands and have her look up at the light to show light. You might have a student stand very straight with his legs together, with his hands curved in a circle over his head as a tree. Or a student could flap her arms as a bird, or fold her hands together and swing them in front as an elephant. As each of these items is guessed, have your students tell whether this was a part of the heavenly bodies or one of the things which lives on earth.
Bring a number of objects to show your assembled group, illustrating that what God made in our universe is special and much better than what we can make. Hold up a paper star, and ask why God's real star is better than this. (It twinkles, gives real light.) Show a plastic banana. (We can't peel or eat it.) Show a Styrofoam snowball. (We can't build a snowman with it, or make snow ice cream.)