The word Genesis means origin. “In the beginning” God created the cosmos, He conceived man, and established His way of salvation, and His judgment of human rebellion against their Creator. The first book of the Bible records the launch of all creation.
The history in this book includes our ancestors, the real people that lived on earth, the kings, the queens, the poor, and the powerful. God’s Word is the seed of Truth that He planted within each person ever born. Genesis records the beginning of how God created the world, the beginning of the human race, the beginning of family life, the beginning of civilization, the beginning of the nations of the world, the beginning of sin in the world, the beginning of the promise for atonement for sin, and the beginning of God’s rescue mission.
God Almighty spoke and in His unmatched power, the world came into being. Then He created man in His own image. He formed man from the dust of the ground and He breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils. Then God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper for him.” (2:18)
Adam and Eve began life on earth walking intimately with their Creator. Stop and consider what life was like for Adam and Eve living in the perfect world? They had never been lied to, or rejected. No person in authority over them had ever abused, belittled or beaten them. They had no bad experiences with a family member, a boss, or a preacher. They lived in a magnificent garden, free from any negative emotions, or any demonic oppression. They walked in complete confidence of their Father’s love. All their needs were met daily. They walked safely and happily as they enjoyed intimacy and respect of their Father. Generations of people have all wondered how Adam and Eve were so easily tricked into biting the fruit that was forbidden. Perhaps it was because when God restricted their access to the tree of good and evil, He did so out of His love, but they thought he was spoiling their fun! Without God’s command to NOT eat from that one tree, they would not have had the free choice to offend or obey God. Our Father does not force His love or His ways on anyone. We must all choose His love, His ways, His plan for us.
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” (3:1)Satan consistently uses the effective strategy of doubt to distort God’s faithfulness. With a simple twist of words, the devil implied that something good was being withheld. Like most humans would, our ancestors reasoned that the fruit was good, not evil. With the first taste of what God said to not to eat, in their choice to disobey, the sin nature of man was born. Adam and Eve tried to hide their nakedness from God. They both blamed another for what they did. God made garments and clothed them saying; “The man has now become like one of US, knowing good and evil.” (3:22)
Throughout the Old and New Testament, you will see how God must discipline generation after generation, because He is a Father of justice. Adam and Eve made a choice that their Holy Father had to punish. The slick serpent drew their attention to the one tree that their Father commanded them NOT to eat from. Let us not focus on what God forbids, but let us focus on the abundant goodness He bestows for our obedience.
The moment sin was tasted, slavery followed. Scripture confirms, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey. (Rom. 6:16). Genesis records the first 2,000 years of God’s family and their disobedience and His redemption plan.
The Word of God promises us that when we press into God, He is near to us. So let us press into the rest of the story: Adam and Eve gave birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain married and his son was named Enoch. The family of God was growing and Seth gave birth to Enosh.
When Adam was 130 years old he became the father of another son named Seth and he also fathered other sons and daughters. Adam lived 930 years then he died. In chapter 5, Genesis lists all the births and deaths until the Birth of Noah and the flood. After the flood God created a rainbow, as a sign of His covenant between Himself and every living creature for ALL generations to come, it is the sign of the covenant between God and the earth. Never again will the earth be flooded to destroy all life. (9)
Noah’s son Ham was the father of Canaan. Canaan receives a curse for disrespecting Noah. His brother Shem gets his father’s blessing. Chapter 10 reports how the nations were formed with a line of ancestry. “Cush was the father of Nimrod, who grew to be a mighty warrior.” Nimrod was also a great hunter who founded Babylon and others. From there he traveled to Assyria, where Nimrod built Nineveh. Chapter 11 reports that men boasted about building a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that they would become legends. But God came down to see what they were building and said; “Come, let US go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” The Tower of Babel is known as the place when God confused the language of the whole world. From there God scattered the people over the face of the whole earth. Remember that Noah’s son Shem is the one who got the blessing. Shem had more children. Chapter 11 gives the account of all Shem’s grandkids. Abram was related to Shem, and he married a woman named Sarah. This couple moved from Ur to the city of Canaan.
When Abram was 75 years old he was called by God to leave Canaan. Abram and his wife Sarah were nearing 100 years of age and without children. When Abram was 99 years old, God appeared to him and declared; “walk before me and be blameless.” Just like anybody would, Abram fell facedown. Abram most likely shivered when he heard God say: “You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham.” (17) Ishmael was born through Sarah’s maidservant Hagar, while Jacob was their miraculous second child, born unto Sarah when she was in her nineties.
Our heavenly Father’s thoughts and ways are indeed nothing like ours! By the example of Abraham, we must see that trusting God at His Word is very important! No matter our circumstance, no matter our age!
Our loving Father sends His angels to minister to our spirit as He gives us hope for our future. “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11
Before the judges and the prophets, God spoke to His people personally. He appeared to Abraham repeatedly. “The Lord appeared to Abraham” As Abraham looked up, he saw three men standing nearby. While the three men ate, the Lord said “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” (18:16-22)
Just imagine having three guys suddenly appear before you! As startling as this was, anyone would be thinking “Who are these guys?” That is a question that only the Holy Spirit can answer. What we do know is that they were not angels; they were three men that suddenly appeared. Throughout the book of Genesis we read that God refers to US several times. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you who the US is. Your conclusion will not affect your salvation; however, it will cause you to ponder the deeper things of God.
These three men get up to leave and look towards a thriving city called Sodom. The prayers or the outcry for what was happing in this city was so great, that God came down to earth to check it out.
During the time of Abraham, Sodom was a place where every kind of evil multiplied. Abraham was concerned about God’s punishment on all the people, so he bargained with God to have mercy. God sent two powerful angels to warn the people of Sodom. In the end, a few people escaped the complete destruction of Sodom, but one woman disobeyed the angel of God; “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” (19:24)
After Abraham’s second son Jacob wrestled all night with God. ”He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (28:12) Israel was the father of 12 sons and the entire family gained great favor because of his favorite son Joseph. “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you.” (35:9-13)
From chapter 37 through chapter 50 of Genesis, we read the story of how a Father’s favorite son, saves the people of Israel.
Joseph’s brothers were jealous and so they told Papa Jacob that Joseph was dead, but really they sold him as a slave. Joseph lands in an Egyptian prison. While a prisoner, God interpreted the dreams of the king of Egypt through Joseph. As a result, Joseph was lifted to a position of power and influence. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”(50:20) God turned evil’s intent into a victory for His people.
There are at least 130 parallels between the life of Joseph and the life of Jesus. Joseph is considered the messianic patriarch who reflected the Christ. A major portion of Genesis is devoted to the story of Joseph because he is the link between the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In Genesis, we discover our beginning within a family tree. It is marvelous how our Father created a family to bear His name which then gave birth to all the inhabitants of the world. Genesis recounts the failures of man and God’s faithfulness. In His mercy, He meets mankind’s need with marvelous promises of His authority and plan to redeem us.
In Exodus, God deals with the sins of the first family of Adam and Eve. Like teenagers today, our ancient relatives rebelled and defiantly insisted on living life in their own way. God always has His eyes on His children and just like a parent, He waits for His stubborn kids to come to their senses. God wants the best for His children, so He disciplines us. While living on earth, our Father demonstrates His great love by faithfully issuing mercy as He disciplines those He loves. The Bible is God’s story; it is the history of the population of the world, and the important nation of Israel.
Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) As you read this summary of the Bible, look for Jesus Christ as the central figure throughout the entire Word of God.
“Then God said, “Let US make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness, and let man rule over the fish of the sea” (1:26) The New Testament takes us Behind the Curtain where we are blessed: Finding the Ark
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
(click on BLOGGER TAB “Books of Bible” for the rest of the story)
“It is finished.”5/27/19