Book of Genesis
Moses, the one normally associated with writing Genesis. It provides the foundation for time as we know it, the foundation of God’s Law for mankind after the Fall of Adam and Eve, and sets the stage for His complete plan of Redemption for mankind.
We see “In the Beginning” as the start of the Book of Genesis, where God’s Creation was done. God calls all things to being by His powerful word! He spoke and framed the worlds. This was done in a progressive state, where first; matter was created, then the system of life, and lastly mankind – whom was His crown of Creation. In all this, He said, “It is good!” When He completed the sixth day, He rested on the seventh day, because the work was finished. After the completion of all of Creation, God begun creating mankind.
Scripture says in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God formed man and placed him into the Garden of Eden. God had two distinct things in the Garden of Eden that were important: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. God spoke that man was to eat anything they wanted except for the fruit that comes from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – for in eating of it, man would surely die (notice God didn’t say He would kill them). Then, after this, He formed the woman by taking a rib from the side of Adam. Eve was what the woman was called – and the two were blessed to dwell in the Garden of Eden together. The serpent, however, cunning as he was, came in and tempted Adam and Eve to eat of that tree and told them that if they do so, they will be like God knowing good and evil – and that they shall not surely die if they eat of it. This was obvious deceit, but Eve decided to proceed forward and take from it and shared with Adam, and the two fell into sin. This brought God to curse all of mankind. This locked them out of partaking of the tree of life, which was a tree that gives off fruit for immortality.
Adam and Eve soon had children, who were known as Cain and Abel – to which Adam and Eve were respecting the command to be fruitful and multiply. Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd. The two of them offered up sacrifices to the Lord; Cain’s was something from the ground, and Abel’s was a portion of firstborn of his flock. God favored Abel’s sacrifice over Cain – so Cain became very angry of this and killed his brother Abel. Adam and Eve birthed again, a son “Seth.”
Soon, Scripture details the amount of time several people had lived, which were in the high hundreds usually. A lot of the genealogy was detailed from the beginning up to a certain point. Next, we read in Genesis 6 about the Flood narrative. Men began to increase on Earth, and God did not want His Spirit to be with man forever, because man is mortal, therefore, man’s age was limited to 120 years maximum. Now, man became very wicked overall on the earth, and the Lord noticed this and wanted things to be changed – because every motive of man’s heart was evil. Since the Lord was grieved, He decided to wipe away mankind and start over. So, He found Noah, who found grace in His sight, and gave Him instructions for him to build an ark that can shelter his family and him, as well as a specific number of each animal. This was so, once everyone was in the ark, the flood would come and destroy the earth, and set the stage for a new humanity to come forth.
Noah had obeyed God, then a new humanity was brought forth unto the earth, and a covenant was established that the Lord would never destroy the earth again in this fashion. The mark of this covenant was the rainbow. The sons of Noah had sons, and many more generations occurred after Noah’s death. Later, in chapter 11, we read about the Tower of Babel being formed. First, we’re told that the whole world had one language; a common speech. But, men had different plans and wanted to build themselves a tower to make a name for themselves, so that they didn’t have to scatter over all the earth. However, the Lord came down, seeing their prideful plan, and confused their language so they couldn’t understand one another, and then scattered them all over the earth.
Once Abram was born and lived through a lot of his life, he was called by God to leave his country and go to the land He shows him. He spoke that He will make Abram into a great nation, blessing him and making his name great, so that he will be a blessing. Abram was considered a great man of faith, though not always constant. God promised, nonetheless, the land to Abram and his descendants forever. God told Abram then to look at the land with eyes of faith, and then to also walk in faith all over the land. Abram could only do this once Lot and himself parted ways. But, then Abram rescues Lot before meeting Melchizedek.
In Abram’s meeting with Melchizedek occurred, who was the King of Salem and a Canaanite, we see Melchizedek as a type of Christ. The eternal priesthood of Christ is pictured here. Also, Abram then tithed to Melchizedek after being given spoils, and then declared the Most High God – which was how Melchizedek declared. Abram had not taken any spoils from the battle, so God told him that He would be his shield and his reward. God made a covenant with Abram, which consisted of taking slaughtered animals, cutting them in half, and the halves separated and placed opposite of each other. After this, the two parties would walk between the two halves of the slain animal, symbolizing agreement and that if they didn’t keep the promises of the covenant, they would perish just as the slain animals. God’s establishment and obligations of the covenant gave Abram only a choice to accept them in obedience/faith.
Soon, the 400 years of bondage of the Hebrews in Egypt would be prophesied, and the Hebrews “borrowed” from their Egyptian neighbors when they had left Egypt. So, then, Sarai had lacked faith when she tried to help God produce an heir for Abram. This lack of faith was forgiven, yes, but this caused a fight between Hagar and Sarai after Sarai had Abram mate with Hagar to birth the heir, which would be known as Ishmael.
Later, God made another covenant, that is an everlasting covenant, with Abram, which renewed the promise of giving Abram the promised land. But also, that from Abram would come many nations and kings, and that the Lord would be God of his descendants. Sarai would bear a son and be the mother of nations and kings. Abram and his descendants would see the fulfillment of the covenant as they bound themselves to God and to the obligations of this (renewed) covenant. During this, Abram’s name, which means “high father,” was changed to Abraham, which means, “father of many nations.” Sarai’s name changed to Sarah, which respectively went from meaning, “contentious,” to “princess.”
Abraham lacked faith when he learned that Sarah would bear a son. Apparently, Abraham laughed internally when he heard God speak that he would have another son. So, God assigned the name to that son, “Isaac,” which means, “laughter.” Abraham had a couple more tests and other things that God dealt with him about before the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Two angels had gone on to Sodom and the judges of Sodom sat in the gate. The men of Sodom wanted to have inappropriate, likely homosexual, relations with the angels. However, Lot offered his virgin daughters to these men of Sodom. So, the angels pulled Lot back into the house, and since he was righteous, they spared him before God brought destruction. They were told not to look back when fleeing, but Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.
More tests of faith came to Abraham and Sarah before Isaac was born. The birth of Isaac was a joy of God’s power. God promised Abraham “in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” As we see then, in chapter 22, God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Isaac wondered what the sacrifice would be or where it was coming from, but Abraham spoke and said that God will provide. When Abraham was about to take the knife to Isaac, God stopped him and a ram was caught in the thicket. Abraham gave his best to God and was doubly rewarded, in which Abraham entered into a deeper relationship with God.
After these events, we see Sarah’s burial, a bride being presented for Isaac (who was Rebekah), and then the story of Jacob and Esau. Later, after Jacob gets married, and then Joseph is born. Jacob’s name is eventually changed to “Israel,” because Israel means, “Governed by God.” God told Jacob to go back to the land of his father and to his family, but Jacob, in disobedience, went to Shechem only to encounter many problems. Jacob’s sons were quite deceitful also, for Jacob was put in quite a troublesome state because of the injustice of his sons. Jacob obeys God later, when God told him to go to Bethel. In Bethel, a renewal of commitment occurred, where God confirmed His promises to Jacob.
As we move on to a later chapter, we see Jacob show favoritism to Rachel’s son, Joseph, and his brothers had a problem with this – especially, when Joseph had a dream that his brothers would bow down to him. As all the brothers (including Joseph) went out getting provisions, Joseph was sold to slavery. Joseph was soon sent to prison, but didn’t stay long, especially when people learned he could interpret dreams. Pharaoh had a complex set of dreams that needed explanation. So, Joseph was brought unto him, where he was told the interpretation. Instructions were given, and Joseph helped in managing the famine that was to come. Joseph was then promoted to the peak position under Pharaoh and given the opportunity to rule. His brothers came to get provisions for the famine, and Joseph was coarse with them. But, later, Joseph revealed himself and a reunion was held. He welcomed them to stay with him and soon met with his dad again. So, the family all moved to Egypt, and settled in the country to be cared for by Joseph. Later, Jacob blesses his sons. Joseph could enjoy the fruit of his godly life where others would be blessed as well. Jacob would then request to be buried with his fathers back in the Promised Land.