Genesis: Where It All Begins
Reading through the Bible this year.
Spending the month of January reading through Genesis, from cover-to-cover, has given me a new appreciation for the book of beginnings. Can we agree this book is where it all begins? Or, at least, it’s where the most important things in life have their origin.
The Hebrew word for Genesis literally means beginning. In this book, we find the beginning of God’s creation—the universe, earth, humanity, sin, and salvation. What a perfect, beautiful beginning it was.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen. 1.1
This first book of Scripture, however, is also a book filled with sin. Though God’s original plan was for a perfect creation of all things good, the disobedience of man (and woman) left the world full of brokenness and ruin. As the Genesis story reveals over and over, this is what sin leaves behind—brokenness of union with God, and ruined lives.
Genesis is also a book of promises. Hallelujah! God promises to help and protect His people. He makes a promise to Noah to restore the earth after the flood. He covenants with Abraham to make his descendants a great nation. Isaac is born—the promised son of Abraham. Joseph, another son of promise, rises to power to save the Israelites from demise.
In the pages of Genesis, God also promises a Savior who will defeat the enemy.
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. Gen. 3.14-15
What should we learn from Genesis? Why is this historical, biblical book important for people of the 21st century, including Christians?
First, this book introduces us to God, who is the primary topic of the whole Bible. Genesis lays the foundation for the Creator-Maker of the world, and for His people.
In Genesis, we also learn about the sovereignty and faithfulness of God. This is demonstrated for us in the lives of Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, and Joseph. Theirs is a story of redemption and rescue, and a foretelling of a Rescuer to come—the One who will bring a better way for all people.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Gen. 50.20
Joseph’s story may be my favorite Genesis moment. This favorite son of Jacob was hated by his ten older half-brothers. In my recent reading of this story, I recognized that Joseph probably contributed to his brothers’ strong dislike by being an incredibly annoying baby brother.
He knew he was his father’s favorite son, and he had the special coat of many colors to prove it. Joseph may have strutted around in that coat, while re-telling his dreams to the brothers—the dreams in which he was more important than all of them.
But God had a plan for the annoying baby brother. Though his brothers sold him into slavery, Joseph came to a position of power in Egypt. This miraculous development allowed God to work through Joseph, saving not only Joseph’s family, but the entire nation of Israel. Again, a story of redemption, and foreshadowing of a Redeemer to come.
Yes, Genesis is where it all begins.
There we find the beginning of all things—creation, humanity, sin, and promise. In Genesis, we see a glimmer of hope for a Savior who would come to set things right. And to that, we can raise a hallelujah!
In a previous post, I shared about reading through the Bible this year. I am about 6-weeks in, and happy to report I am still on track. If you committed to reading the Bible through this year, but find yourself faltering, ask the Lord for inspiration, wisdom, and the strength to keep going! It is going to be so worth it, in the end.