In the beginning… God! From the very first words of the Bible, we learn that it is a book about God. The Bible is about who God is and what God has done. He revealed himself as the Creator of the universe whose powerful words brought forth everything that has ever been created.
In the first 11 chapters of Genesis, we see history on a universal scale. We learn about the beginnings of the earth, the plants and animals and the crowning achievement of God’s creation: human beings. We also discover how sin enters the world and the devastating effects it has on everything and everyone God created. Fortunately, we also recognize God purposely reaching out to fallen humanity to provide a path to redemption through his covenantal love.
In many ways, Genesis 1-11 serves as an introduction to the rest of Genesis, the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) and all of the Old Testament. The foundational information it provides includes a theological focus on God’s sovereignty and purpose. Genesis is also a narrative that reveals God as the true hero of the Bible. Although humankind rejected God and His original plan, He lovingly provided coverings for them, and through his covenantal love created a path to reconcile them to himself.
Genesis 1-11 in Our Day
How should Genesis 1-11 impact Jesus’ followers today? Here are a few ideas:
A study of Genesis reminds us of God’s creative power and the purpose for our existence. He was and is in control of the universe, even when we may feel like all control has been lost. He is a God who brings order out of chaos.
As we study the creation of human life, we must be reminded of the dignity and worth of every person, noting that everyone has been created in God’s image. Such knowledge must also guide our view and practice regarding beginning of life and end of life issues.
This study will instruct us on how sin entered the world, the process of temptation and its ravaging effects on all creation. Sin (as always) is the catalytic force for the evil we see and experience in the world. The question is, will we take action to combat it in our lives and the lives of others through surrender to Jesus?
In a world where trust is hard to find, this study reminds us that God is a covenant maker and a promise keeper. We can trust him with our lives. We can fully rely on him and we must become people who respond in obedient faith to his instructions.
Our prayer is that this study of Genesis 1-11 will awaken us all to the power and purpose of God as revealed in his creative acts and his covenantal love.
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