Genesis Bible Study for Youth – Lesson 1: Genesis 1-2

A Bible study on the Book of Genesis for youth based on the Yale Bible Study series.

Lesson Developed by

Jill Olds, Victoria Crook and Zachary Ludwig

Goal

Telling stories from different perspectives, and what that may tell us.

Tips to Prepare

  • If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation
  • If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform

Materials Checklist

  • Bibles or copies of Genesis 1:1-5, 26-31; Genesis 2:4-9, 15-24
  • 2 Larger pieces of paper
  • Several small pieces of paper with the following topics: Creation of Humans, Creation of Animals, Creation of Plants, God Calls Humans to be Stewards, Creation of the Oceans and Land
  • Load the video “The Game of Telephone” on a device to show to the group

Scripture Focus

Genesis 1:1-5, 26-31

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 

Genesis 2:4-9, 15-24

4These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; 6but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— 7then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

8And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 15The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

16And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.

21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” 24Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 

Introduction for Leaders

Gather

  • Begin with a check in with members
  • Read the focal scriptures with each person reading a few verses
  • Open with prayer

Engage

Exercise 1: 

  • Have two larger pieces of paper with a timeline on it.
  • On separate, smaller cuts of paper, write out the following events: Creation of Humans, Creation of Animals, Creation of Plants, God Calls Humans to be Stewards, Creation of the Oceans and Land.
  • Have the students rearrange these events on a timeline, once for the first story, and again for the second story.
  • Ask them to compare the sequence of events and discuss how they are different.

Exercise 2:

Reflect

Reflect Together on the Following Questions:

  • What are some basic differences in this retelling? Is the order of events different?
  • Why are there two ways of telling this story? What does that tell us about the people who wrote these stories?
  • Have you ever retold a story and changed it in some way? Why did you change the story? Was it to be clearer or more interesting? Did you simply forget some parts and fill in the gaps?

Send Forth

Close the lesson in prayer (either the leader or a group member)