As an Adventist teacher of Geography, one of the topics I often emphasize is the “The Creation worldview of the world”. Last semester was no exception. I assigned Genesis 1 as the topic’s reading to my senior class.
Before teaching the topic, I prayed for inspiration to paint a beautiful portrait of God as the creator, sustainer, and loving Father. He demonstrated His care and love for animal life and humans in creating all of earth’s natural life support systems and processes before the creation of animals and humanity. This is illustrated in the order of creation week.
Day 1: Light, and night/day (Genesis 1:2-5)
Day 2: Sky (Genesis 1:6-8)
Day 3: Land/sea, and plants (Genesis 1: 9-13)
Day 4: Lights in the sky: sun, moon and stars (Genesis 1:14-19)
Day 5: Marine creatures, and birds (Genesis 1: 20-23)
Day 6: All kinds of animal life, and human beings (male/female), human reproduction, stewardship, and plant-based diet, (Genesis 1: 24-31)
Day 7: Blessed the day, set it apart as a holy day, and rested.
Thus, in our class discussion of this question: “What is the significance of this order of creation in the relationship of different species of life forms and human beings? I teach students that God created an inter-dependent relationship between nature, animal life, and humans. For example, God first created light, then sky, land, sea, plants, and sun before animal life and human beings. Together, we, as humans, and animal life depend on a variety of different species of plants, which depend on sunlight and water, for food and oxygen for clean air to remain alive.
Next, I teach students about the food chain. At the base of the food chain, are primary producers called autotrophs or organisms that make their own food from sunlight and/or chemical energy from deep sea vents. Our wise and caring Creator God already created energy and mass earlier in the week before animal life or producers and consumers.
Many other spiritual lessons can be learnt from creation’s scientific explanations of the world. God created our food sources, drinking water, sunlight, and the natural world’s resources we use before creating us humans as stewards and beneficiaries of the world’s bounty. I teach that the creation of the Sabbath is a memorial of God’s creation (Exodus 20:11; Exodus 31:17). I teach that the Sabbath was given to Adam (Mark 2:27, Genesis 2: 1-3) and through him, to all nations (Acts 17:26). Therefore, I teach that, “the biblical Sabbath law of Exodus 20:8-11 is for all humans to observe, not just Jews or Seventh day Adventists” (see https://www.sabbathtruth.com/free-resources/article-library/id/928/100-amazing-facts-about-the-sabbath-and-sunday for more discussions). I stress that in keeping the 4th commandment, human beings worship and reverence the true creator God.
A miracle happened one day to a non-Adventist student. The student said, “Creation is the beginning of the science of geography of the world and God is the creator.” Since that encounter, the student continues to demonstrate transformation of habits and attitude. God the creator works through our teaching and learning activities to re-create and transform the lives of young people if we as Adventist educators are unashamed to prayerfully and rightly share the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).