Chapter OneOLD TESTAMENT
God Makes a Beautiful World
GENESIS 1-2; 3:20
Long, long ago-before anyone can remember-God made the world. At first it was lonely and dark.
Then God made the light. He said, "Let there be light," and light came. God was pleased with it. He called the light "day." And he called the darkness "night." God did these things on the first day of Creation.
Then God made the space above the earth. He called it "sky." God did this on the second day of Creation.
Next God said that the waters covering the earth should become oceans and lakes, and dry land should appear. God also made grass grow, and bushes and trees. All this was on the third day of Creation.
On the fourth day God let the sun shine in the daytime, and the moon and stars at night.
On the fifth day God made large sea animals and little fish. And he made birds, like ducks and geese, to fly over the water and swim in it. He made other birds, like eagles, robins, pigeons, and wrens, to fly over the land and live in the woods and fields.
On the sixth day of Creation God made animals that walk on land. He made wild elephants, lions, tigers, and bears. He made tame rabbits, horses, cows, and sheep. And he made little insects, such as ants and bees.
Then God made someone very special. He took some dust from the ground and formed it into a man's body. God gave life to the body, and the man began to breathe. God named the man Adam.
The Lord God planted the beautiful Garden of Eden as a home for Adam. In it God planted trees full of delicious fruit. God told Adam he could eat any fruit except the fruit from one tree. That was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If Adam obeyed God, he could live forever. But if Adam took even one bite from that tree's fruit, God said he would die someday.
Adam was lonely, for he was the only person in all the world. So God decided to make another person who would live with Adam and help him. God put Adam to sleep. Then God took one of Adam's ribs and made a woman from it. When God brought the woman to Adam, she became his wife. And Adam named her Eve.
God looked at all he had made in six days, and he was very pleased.
On the seventh day, God rested. It was a quiet day, different from all the others-a holy day of rest.
Look at the picture on page 2 and name some things that God created.
How did God make Adam?
What did God tell Adam he could do?
What did Adam need to do so he could live forever?
How did God make Eve?
The World's Saddest Day
GENESIS 3; ROMANS 5:12-16
Satan is a wicked spirit. He tries to make people do things that are wrong. He came to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He was in the shape of a serpent.
Satan asked Eve, "Did God really tell you not to eat the fruit of any of the trees in the Garden?"
"We may eat any of it except from one tree," she replied. "We are not to eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden. God said that if we do, we will start growing old and die."
"That's not true!" Satan told her. "It won't hurt you at all! Really, it's good and will make you wise."
Eve should have gone away and should not have listened to Satan. But instead, she went over and looked at the tree. The fruit looked good! So she ate some fruit. She gave some to Adam, and he ate it too. Then they were afraid of God and tried to hide.
God was angry. He told the serpent, "You will have to crawl in the dust all your life."
God told the woman, "You will have pain when your children are born."
God told Adam, "You will have to work hard to get food to eat. And someday you will die. Your body will become dust again."
But God still loved Adam and Eve. So he made clothes for them before he sent them out of the beautiful garden. He also promised to send a Savior. That Savior was God's Son, Jesus, who came years later to die for everyone's sins. (Perhaps you already know that after Jesus died, he came back to life. Now he lives in heaven with God the Father.)
All of us do bad things. We sin, just like Adam and Eve did. But God forgives us if we ask him to, because Jesus died to take away our sins.
Did Adam and eve obey God or Satan?
How did God punish Adam and eve?
When God was angry, how did he still show his love?
When we do bad things, what can we ask God to do?
The First Family Fight
After God sent Adam and Eve out of the Garden, he gave them two sons. Cain became a farmer, planting crops. Abel was a shepherd with a flock of sheep.
The two brothers both sinned-they did things that were wrong. But Abel pleased God. So we know he was sorry about his sins. One day Abel offered his best lamb as a gift to God. He put the lamb on an altar made of stones. This gift was called a sacrifice. By giving God his best lamb, Abel showed God that he loved him.
God was pleased that Abel worshiped him like this.
One day God would send his Son, Jesus, into the world. Jesus would become a very special kind of sacrifice. He would die to save us from having to take the blame for our sins. Then he would come back to life.
Abel's brother, Cain, did not please God. He did not turn from his sins. The offering he brought was from his garden, but he did not bring the best things from his garden.
When Cain learned that God had accepted Abel's sacrifice but not his, he was angry with God. But God said that if Cain would worship him in the right way, he would accept Cain's gift.
Cain, who was still angry with God, took his anger out on Abel. One day in a field, Cain killed Abel.
God called to Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother?"
"How should I know?" Cain answered. "Am I supposed to look after my brother?"
But God had seen what Cain had done. So God said Cain would always have to wander from place to place. He would have to keep looking for places where crops would grow. Cain was afraid that people would try to hurt him. But God still loved Cain and said he would never let that happen.
What gift did Abel give God?
What did Cain offer to God?
Before he would accept Cain's gift, what did God want Cain to do?
What terrible thing is Cain getting ready to do in the picture on page 7?
Afterward, what did God say would happen to Cain? What would not happen?
A Long, Long Time to Live
Cain and Abel's father and mother, Adam and Eve, lived for many years after the fight between their first two sons. When Adam was 930 years old, he died. His body became dust again. That's what God had said would happen because Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.
Before Adam and Eve died, they had many children. The children grew up and had children too. Then those children grew up and had children, until there were many, many people in the world.
One of those people was Enoch. He walked with God. That means he loved God and thought about God all the time. It was as if he and God walked together like friends. Enoch listened to what God said and always tried to please and obey him. When Enoch was 365 years old, God did a wonderful thing for him. God took Enoch right up to heaven! So he didn't die like other men. God just took Enoch away to live with him.
Enoch had a son named Methuselah, who lived to be 969 years old. Methuselah is known as the oldest man who ever lived.
What special thing happened to Enoch?
Who was the oldest man who ever lived?
How old was he when he died?
Noah Is Safe in a Boat
As the years went by, the world became very wicked. People didn't even try to obey God. So God said he would send a flood to drown all living things.
But one good man named Noah loved God and always wanted to please him. God loved Noah too, and told him about the flood so he could get ready for it.
God told Noah, "I want you to build a huge boat." God said to make it as high as a three-story house, with many large rooms. It was to have a long window all around it and a big door on the side.
It took Noah more than one hundred years to build the boat. But as you know, at that time people lived much longer than they do now.
When the boat was finished, God told Noah to bring his wife, his three sons, and each son's wife into the boat. God also said to bring fathers and mothers for each kind of bird, animal, and insect. God said that in one week he would send a rain that would last forty days and forty nights. A flood would come, and everyone outside the boat would be drowned.
When all were safely inside, God closed the door.
Seven days later it began to rain. The rain poured down for forty days and forty nights, just as God had said it would. The creeks, the rivers, and the great oceans all began to rise, and water covered the land. Higher and higher the water rose, with the boat floating on it.
What about the people who wouldn't obey God? Now it was too late for them to get into the boat.
But God took care of Noah and all those who were with him. Finally the rain stopped, and the water began to go down again.
After Noah had been in the boat for 150 days-almost half a year-the boat rested on top of Mount Ararat. Two and a half months later, the flood had gone down even more.
Finally the ground was dry. So God told Noah and his family to come out of the boat. He said to let out all the animals and insects and birds, too.
Then Noah built an altar. He gave animals and birds to the Lord God to thank God for saving him and his family from the Flood.
God promised that he would never send another flood to drown all living things. As proof, he gave Noah a sign-a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Whenever he saw it, Noah would remember God's promise not to send a flood like that again. When we see a rainbow, we can remember God's promise too.
Why did God send the Flood?
What people did Noah bring onto the boat?
What else did Noah bring onto the boat?
How long did it rain?
What can you think about when you see a rainbow?