God’s story as we know it begins where His creation comes into being. Before time God was, and in His power and wisdom, He made all that was not. This panel highlights that creation. Earth forms the backdrop as it becomes center stage for the story. Both terrestrial elements (sky, land, vegetation, and water) and cosmic elements (sun, moon, and stars) of creation are pictured (Gen 1).
The pinnacle of God’s creation is humankind, male and female, designed in God’s image to live in open relationship with Him (Gen 1:26-30; 2). This is depicted by Adam and Eve standing unashamed in the presence of the lighted figure representing God. That original couple was placed in a garden with free access to the Tree of Life (Gen 2:9, 15-17), the fruit of which would enable them to live forever (Gen 3:22).Yet the complete goodness of creation came in jeopardy when a serpent entered the garden and tempted humanity to distrust and turn from their Creator (Gen 3). As a result, all of creation fell under a curse from which God would spend the rest of the story working to redeem it. As sin and corruption on the earth grew, God sent a flood to cleanse the earth. He used the obedience of a faithful man, Noah, to preserve human and animal life from the destruction (Gen 6-9). The ark Noah built is depicted in the lower right, with the animals departing back into God’s creation under the appearance of the rainbow. This was a sign given as a promise and reminder of God’s grace to His creation.
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