In looking at this story, there are several questions one must ask. First, is the story in Genesis meant to be taken as a historical recounting of the creation of the world or is it more allegorical and mythical? Second, is there any significance to the way God creates the world? Finally, how is this story relevant to our lives today? Let's look at each of these questions individually.
Having addressed the nature of the Creation story, it then becomes necessary to ask ourselves: Is there any significance to the way God creates the world? As with everything else in Scripture, the way in which the story is written is important. Throughout Scripture you find certain numbers and patterns repeated over and over again. One of these numbers is three. The ancient Hebrews viewed the number three as the number of completion. So if we look at Creation, we see two sets of three days. After the first set, we find that God has taken chaos and formed it into the cosmic structure we are familiar with: light, dark, sky, earth, water and land. Thus, after those three days the cosmic structure is complete. After the following three days, we find that now God has populated each of the areas created in the first three days. He has completed the order of how things will work and who will be in charge where. Finally, on the seventh day (seven being the number of perfection), He rests because He has completed His creative activities. This perfect day is then set apart and the Sabbath is created. Thus we see that the structure and order of Creation has great significance when understood within the context of Hebrew tradition.
Yet, in addition to this basic pattern of completion and perfection, we see a pattern set forth within the days. The first and fourth days each involve creation in the heavens (day and night; sun, moon and stars); the second and fifth days involve the sea and sky (waters separated to form sea and sky; creation of birds and fish); and the third and sixth days involve the land itself (creation of dry land and plants; creation of animals and man). In this pattern, we see that God intended for their to be an ordering to life itself and to the creative process. We also see a move from most basic to most complex. Thus, we have light created first, then the sea and sky and finally the dry land; and we have the sun, moon and stars, then birds and fish, and finally land animals and man.
It is important at this point to note that, while God considers everything he created to be good, it is only man who is considered very good. Thus, even in the beginning, we see mankind being set aside as special and different from the rest of Creation. it is this uniqueness which leads God to give us a special role as masters of Creation.
Finally, whenever looking at Scripture we must ask ourselves why this particular passage is relevant today. In the Creation story, we learn that God has given us dominion over nature. This is perhaps the aspect of Creation that is most relevant for us today. This command requires us to truly examine how we are doing in terms of our stewardship of God's creation. Are we being responsible stewards of this gift or are we wasting it? Are we doing what we can to inform others about how to care for creation? Are we taking the steps to ensure that we do not have a negative impact on the environment? By asking ourselves these questions, we ensure that we are carrying out God's command, given to Adam in Genesis and, subsequently, to all God's children.
The Creation story gives us an insight into our world and how it works. Through this story, we recognize that God is Creator of all and that everything we have and are comes from Him. We also are able to better understand our place in Creation and the role we are supposed to have in protecting it. This is very good.