These small group studies take us through almost twenty of the key events in the Old Testament. Our Old Testament Survey contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Old Testament Survey Lesson 18 – Call of Isaiah

Passage Outline

  1. Creation (chapters 1-2)

    1. The whole universe (1:1-2)

    2. The parts of the universe (1:3-2:3)

      1. Light (3-5)

      2. Expanse (6-8)

      3. Dry land, vegetation (9-13)

      4. Stars, planets, etc. (14-19)

      5. Birds and sea creatures (20-23)

      6. Humans and animals (24-31)

      7. Rest (2:1-3)

    3. The sixth day in detail (2:4-25)

      1. The beginnings of man (4-7)

      2. The home of man (8-14)

      3. The work of man (15)

      4. The command to man (16-17)

      5. The helper for man; man completed (18-23)

      6. The design for man (24)

      7. The innocence of man (25)

Questions –

Is this a literal account or figurative account?

Should we take it as it is said or is it symbolic?

Is there any room in this account for the evolution theory?

Are the “days” really days or could they mean ages?

Did God use pre-existing material to create the earth?

What was the light on the second day?

What is the expanse mentioned on the third day?

We know that light takes a long time to travel to earth, so how could God create the stars on the fourth day and have them appear immediately?

When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (emphasis mine) why does He use plural?

What does it mean that we are created in the image of God?

What is humans’ responsibility according to the passage?

What does it mean that God “rested”?

When do the events in chapter two occur?

Should the fact that we are created by God influence our lives? How?

What were Adam’s responsibilities at that time?

What can we learn about God’s design for marriage?

What principle/principles can we learn that are still applicable for marriage today?

Can we learn from this that God will just create a wife for us out of our rib while we are sleeping so that when we wake up there she is?

Is there any significance in the fact that Adam was created first?

Is there any significance to the fact that “father” and “mother” are mentioned when as of yet there had been none?

What the passage does not say:

  1. It does not say God used preexisting material.

  2. It does not say God created some material and then “let it go” or “set it in motion” and that after that point the world developed by itself.

  3. It does not say that God created the world bit by bit over a long period of time, starting with simple animals and moving to the more complex.

  4. It does not say that any of the account is a poem or symbolic, nor does the writing structure support that view.

  5. It does not say that God merely took an animal and changed it or breathed into it to make a human.

  6. It does not say that there were other humans before Adam.

  7. It does not say that animals had the ability to evolve from one species to another.

Teaching outline:

  1. What we can learn about Creation. (mix the questions in, as they relate to creation)

    1. It was the beginning of the world. The world did not start on its own before this. This signals the beginning of history for us.

    2. It was accomplished completely by the supernatural nature of God, not by natural forces or other powers.

    3. Ex-nihilo is implied. God said it and “bang” it happened.

    4. God was integrally involved in every aspect of it.

    5. It was divided into 7 days.

    6. God first formed the world. He formed heaven and earth. Then He filled heaven. Then He filled earth.

    7. His creation was good. He created it perfectly. It was humans that tarnished it.

    8. Creation was good, but it was different. It wasn’t exactly the same as now. There was an expanse. And it didn’t rain. It was just a mist.

    9. Everything was according to its kind. This implies order and a boundary between species.

    10. Creation reached its climax on day six when God created humans. That humans are the climax of God’s creation is evidenced by amount of material devoted to them.

    11. God put humans over the rest of creation. At the same time humans were to take care of creation.

  2. What we can learn about God.

    1. The existence of God is assumed.

    2. He is eternal, existing before Creation.

    3. He is almighty. God says it, it happens.

    4. His plan was perfect. Everything He created was good.

    5. He wants to be involved in the world, and doesn’t leave it to itself.

    6. He is the Judge. He keeps man responsible for his actions as shown by His pronouncement that to break His command would result in death.

    7. He is Lord over the earth. Just as He told man to rule over the earth He rules over man.

    8. He modeled our need to rest by resting Himself on the seventh day.*

    9. He is the source of all life. God breathed into man and then he became a living soul. Humans can copy things or build things, but only God can give life and only God can create.

    10. God is three in one. A glimpse of the Trinity is caught in the phraseology of the creation record.

  3. What we can learn about humans.

    1. Humans were the height of God’s creation.

    2. Humans were created in God’s image. This means we have dominion. We have a relationship (with wife, somewhat like Trinity). We also have emotions, a will, and thinking capabilities.

    3. Humans are dependant on God.

    4. Humans are only complete as male and female.

    5. Humans have responsibilities. Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, to rule over the earth, to cultivate, and keep the garden.

    6. Humans were vegetarians before the curse.

    7. Humans also have boundaries. They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    8. Humans have a will. This is clear because God gave them a command. They clearly could choose to obey or disobey it.

    9. Humans are to work. Work is good. It existed even before the fall.

    10. Marriage is part of God’s original Creation design. A husband and wife are to leave their parents and cling to one another. They are to make a NEW household.

Verse by Verse Commentary-

Verses 4-6 (Beginnings of man)-

The nature of the earth was significantly different at this time than it is now. It was just created. Man had not yet been created to cultivate it. It was prior to the flood. Sin had not yet entered in and brought the curse. Verses 4-5 can actually read like this, “In the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven no shrub of the field was yet in the earth…” It is clear that God intended the entire time to create man. He created the plants and trees knowing that they would need to be cultivated by man.

Verse 7-

This one verse describes the origin of man. God formed man of the dust of the ground. Can dust of the ground possibly mean “lower life forms” or “apes”? (Cross-reference Genesis 3:19. If the dust of the ground can take on one of these two meanings then it must also mean that when we die it means we will turn back into lower life forms or apes. This interpretation cannot possibly be sustained). Then God breathed life into man. Humans can copy and use what God has created to make other things, but they cannot give life where it doesn’t already exist. God is the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6). He is the source of all life. He created us for a purpose and we owe our very existence to Him. We must remember to always look back to our roots. We are not self-sufficient. We are not self-existent. We are not independent. Colossians 1:16. We are created not only through Him, but we created for Him. We are responsible to Him for our actions. Though we may not always acknowledge it, we are dependent on Him for everything. Without God we would still be dust of the earth!

Verses 8-14 (Home for man)-

God didn’t create man and then told him to fend for himself. He created a beautiful home in the form of the most lush and wonderful garden in the history of the world (He creates a beautiful home for us too John 14:1-3). God likes beauty and He wanted to give pleasure to Adam and Eve. He made food that was pretty and that was enjoyable to look at and eat. This is the picture of a loving and gracious God. He also placed two special trees in the garden. One was the tree of life and its fruit somehow sustained eternal life. It is unknown if one had to eat of it only once or continually to get this eternal life. God also created the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which we will look at a little later.

The exact location of the garden is unknown, but the mention of these four rivers places its likely location somewhere in the Middle East.

Verses 15-20 (Work for man, command for man)-

God put man in the garden He made for him (God will also take us to heaven one day). Adam was not made just to fritter his time away. God gave him very real responsibilities. Adam was to work in the garden to take care of it. MacArthur says, “He was a guardian and steward of its wonders and resources.” Work was a meaningful part of existence even before the fall. We tend to try to avoid work and think of it as a “necessary evil”, but it is not evil. It is good. Based on this it is likely there will also be some work in heaven.

Second, God gave Adam complete freedom and liberty to eat from any tree (and he could do anything that wasn’t forbidden). However, God did place one boundary/restriction on this. Adam was not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God gave humans a will. God placed Adam in a perfect environment with complete freedom except for one boundary. Then He gave Adam a choice and made the consequences clear.

One can also see clearly that God didn’t intend to just leave creation to itself. He gave commands and was also the enforcer of those commands. He set Himself up as the judge. He intended to be involved in creation.

Adam was also given the task to name all the animals. This fit in with his role as the one who would exercise dominion over creation. Yet in all the animals not one helper was found that would be good for Adam. As nice as dogs and cats are they are not a replacement for a wife (or even for children)o

Verses 21-23 (Helper for man)-

Man was still lacking. The sixth day was not pronounced “very good” (1:31) until after man and women were created. God quickly rectified this situation. (Why didn’t He create a women at the same time as man? Perhaps He wanted to show both that man needs women and that the husband is the head of the wife). He wants us to be happy and wants what is very best for us. Adam didn’t need to “get” his own wife. Here we see that God is also the Provider. God was the one who made a wife for Adam. He doesn’t want us to be lacking. If having a wife is the best thing for us, He will give us the perfect one at the perfect time. In the meantime we need to rely on Him for that and not rely on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

1 Corinthians 11:8-9 (women created for man’s sake). It is really interesting how God created man first and then women. He didn’t create men first and then say, “Oops, better create a women!” He did it intentionally to teach some truths. Men may say, “Ha, see! We don’t need women! They were created so we could do with them what we want!” But in fact, this is just the opposite of what Scripture says. It shows clearly that men do need women. That is why God created Eve! Without Eve, Adam was incomplete and lacking. Also the order of creation shows that men were meant to be the head and women were meant to be helper. Neither role is superior to the other. They are just different. It can be compared to the Trinity. Within the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Spirit are equal. Yet they have different roles.

Verses 24 (Design for man) –

Men and women are always to respect their parents. When a man marries are women God intends for them to make a new household. Each one is responsible to the other above their ongoing responsibility to their parents. They are to be one, physically, but also in mind.

Verse 25 (Innocence of man)

Sin had not yet entered into the world. Humans were completely innocent.

Main Points-

  1. God is the Creator God. He designed us and gave us life. He is not like a clockmaker who makes a clock and sits back and watches it tick. He is intimately involved in creation even now, guiding, preserving, and watching over it.

  2. We are the creation. We are dependent on and responsible to God. We belong to God and owe Him are lives. As we fulfill the purpose He creat