Scripture Reference: Genesis 2:1-31; 1:28-30
Suggested Emphasis or Theme: God made the world and we are not to abuse it but to take care of it
God created the world in an orderly way so that every part has a purpose. After spending seven days on His creation, God did not rest because He was tired, but because His work of creating the world was finished. The work had been done. He gave man the responsibility of taking care of the garden.
Have you been on the go constantly one day and not had even a moment to rest? When nightfall comes, you are extremely tired but quite pleased with yourself. A feeling of satisfaction descends upon you as you realise how much you accomplished that day. As you lie in bed, almost instantly a deep and restful sleep settles over you. You awake the next morning realizing that was the best rest you ever have had. Why? A wonderful peace and oneness had settled over your being. You had truly rested.
Can you imagine how our Lord must have felt after six days of creating the heavens, the earth and all the inhabitants? We know that the Lord never tires (Isaiah 40:28). We know from Genesis 1:31 that when the Lord looked over His work He was very pleased. We also know that God blessed the seventh day of the Creation because He had completed His work. What a wonderful rest our Lord must have had as He reflected upon His accomplishments.
Our bodies need physical rest. Our Lord provides spiritual rest, too.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. Accept my work and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will find rest for your souls. The work that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is not heavy.” Matthew 11:28-31 (ICB)
God told man to “rule over the earth.” God did His part in providing man with a perfect environment. Man’s job was to take care of the earth. Christians have a duty to be conscious of our environment. The saying goes, “I am not an environmental activist, and I am an active environmentalist.” We need to take care of the beautiful gift God gave mankind!
- What happened before this story?
- What happens after this story?
- List of all Bible stories and themes on this website.
Way to Introduce the Story:
Bring an assorted collection of items that can be recycled to class. Check the bottoms of plastic containers to see which category of recycling they are. Let the children think of useful items that can be made from the items. Discuss what kind of environment we would have if everyone just threw their trash outside instead of recycling or properly disposing of it. “Did you know that God told Adam to take care of the earth?”
God spent six days creating the world. He made light, sky and water, land and plants, the sun-moon-stars, birds and fish, and animals and people. God looked at everything that He had made and He liked what He saw. It was all beautiful and perfect—just the way He wanted it. It was good.
God was not tired! God is strong that He never gets tired or sleepy. God did not rest on the seventh day because He was tired. No, God rested because He was finished. Everything that He wanted to do was complete. Now God could stop creating.
The earth was so beautiful that God wanted to make sure that everything was taken care of. He told Adam that man would be the ruler over all of the creation. God wanted Adam and Eve to take care of the Garden and be kind to all of the animals.
Do you help take care of the earth? Animals sometimes need taking care of. Do you care for the animals? When we do that we make God very happy.
Ways to Tell the Story:
If teaching the story of the creation as a unit over a few weeks or days then repeat the whole creation story each time and follow this by going back and emphasising more details about a particular day. Try using a variety of story telling and visual aid methods. Although there will be a repetition of the creation story, you will be going a little deeper on one day. By the end of Day Seven all of the children will remember the story really well.
Two versions of the same slide show and visual aid are provided below.
Click here to download the slideshow: God Created the World or click here to download the pictures to print: God Created the World. Each teacher is unique so only use the illustrations that best relate to the way YOU are telling the story in THIS lesson. Too many illustrations can be confusing so eliminate any that cover other stories or details you do not wish to emphasise in this lesson.
- What did God do on the seventh day? He rested.
- God told man to “have dominion over” or to “rule” the earth. What does that mean? Man is to take care of the earth because it is his responsibility.
- How can we take care of the earth? (Various answers) recycling, not littering, not being wasteful, being kind to animals, etc.
Learning Activities and Crafts:
- How about telling today’s story very quietly while the children are lying on mats resting?
- Ask the children to write what time they went to bed and woke up each day during this past week. How much sleep does it take to feel good each day?
- Pick up trash around the building or take a walk and “clean” as you walk along the footpath.
- Find out an environmental need in your area and help the children become aware of it. Perhaps gather literature. You can find information by ringing the District Council.
- Visit a recycling centre.
- Check the church’s rubbish and see if we can do a better job of taking care of our environment.
- Craft: Make something useful out of rubbish.
- Creation Mural: Attach a long strip of paper to the wall and divide it into 7 sections for the days or creation. As the children study each day of creation glue items or paint pictures onto the corresponding section of the mural. For today’s lesson have children draw a picture of the globe to represent the finished creation.
- Songs: Days of Creation, Hippo Song, My God is So Big
- Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring page at http://www.coloring.ws/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.coloring.ws/bible/day7.gif
- Craft: Paper crafts for pre-schoolers (days 6 and 7) at http://ourcraftsnthings.com/2008/10/creation-days-6-and-7/
- Craft Ideas for Recycled items at http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/craftsbyitems.html
- Songs and Crafts for pre-school age at http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2011/03/day-7-of-creation-rest/
Individual Days of Creation:
(Click on the individual days. Each number is an additional lesson)
Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.