In the very beginning, there was no earth as we know it, where people or animals could live. There was water, but it was just a shapeless mass. No animals or fish moved in its depths. There wasn’t a speck of dry land, and it was very dark everywhere.
But God had a plan for this dark lifeless, shapeless puddle. He wanted to make brightness, beauty and life. When the time was right, He spoke.
“Let there be light,” He said. And just like that, a glow surrounded the mass of water. God said the light and the darkness would take turns. The light He called “day,” and the darkness He called “night.”
The very first day on the earth had been made, with an evening and a morning. And God saw that it was good. On the second day, God said, “Let there be a firmament (sky) and let it divide the waters.” In this way God created the open sky above the earth, and He called it “Heaven.”
On the third day, God spoke once more. “Let the waters be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear.” And that’s just what happened. It’s possible that there was only one large continent, instead of North and South America, Africa, Australia and the others. Scientists have found evidence that the different continents may originally have split apart from a huge land mass, surrounded by water. But no matter, God called the dry land “earth” and the water “seas.” There were freshwater rivers and lakes, too.
God didn’t stop there. “Let the earth bring forth grass,” He said. Suddenly, the brown, bare earth was covered with a carpet of lush, green grass waving in the breeze. Then He commanded the earth to bring forth all kinds of plants, bushes and trees, each containing seeds so that it could reproduce itself. And the earth obeyed His voice. The flowers and plants and trees sprang up. God had designed all these lovely growing things in great detail. He was pleased that everything was growing just as He had planned. God saw that this was good, too.
“And the evening and the morning were the third day.”
The Bible tells us that on the fourth day God made lights in the heavens to divide day from night, and to be for signs and seasons. God made the sun for our solar system. This great light would shine in the day. A second light, the moon, would shine at night. And God was happy with what He had created. “So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
When the sun rose on the fifth morning, the only sound was the lapping of waves and the rustling of leaves. There were no animals to make sounds, or people to sing and shout and laugh. But God was about to change that. “Let the waters abound with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth,” He commanded. At His word, the rivers and lakes and oceans became full of fish of all sizes and colors-great whales sounding, playful dolphins splashing, starfish and coral and sea anemones, and all the other water-dwellers He had designed. The air was full of birds-great eagles, tiny humming birds, meadowlarks, sea birds and marsh birds-all singing, flying and building. And God saw once more that it was good. “So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”
On the sixth day, God commanded all the land animals to appear, and they were right there, from mastodons to field mice. God said each would reproduce its own kind.
God had made a special plan for creating the rulers of this world. He had planned just what they would be like. Now the time had come to make them. God said, “Let us make mankind in our image.” And that’s what They did.
Why did God create the earth? See Isaiah 45:18. Who made all things? See Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 45:11-12, John 1:1-3, 10, 14; and Hebrews 1:1-2 answer this question. To find what God has promised He will do when this world ends, look in Isaiah 65:17 and Revelation 21:1.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1