The book of Genesis is a sweeping narrative that sets the foundation for the entire Biblical storyline. It can be divided into two major parts. In chapters 1-11, the focus is on Creation, the introduction of sin into the world, and its devastating effects. In chapters 12-50, the focus shifts to one particular family and God’s relationship with them. We are introduced to Israel’s patriarchs: Abraham, Issac and Jacob and their children. We see how God relates with them through their ups and downs. It is a narrative full of human folly and as such, is very relatable! But behind the scenes, God is already putting into place His master plan, the salvation of humanity. What a wonderful picture of how God works: simultaneously discipling each one of us at the individual level and orchestrating His plans on a global scale. We gain incredible insight into who God is, see unflinchingly honest pictures of humanity, and find hope in God’s plan. These stories may be very familiar to anyone who went through Sunday school, but as we study them now, may God give us new eyes to see the truths He wants to teach us. Let’s dive in!
Author: The author of the Book of Genesis is not identified. Traditionally, the author has always been assumed to have been Moses. There is no conclusive reason to deny the Mosaic authorship of Genesis.
Date of Writing: The Book of Genesis does not state when it was written. The date of authorship is likely between 1440 and 1400 B.C., between the time Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and his death.
Purpose of Writing: The Book of Genesis has sometimes been called the “seed-plot” of the entire Bible. Most of the major doctrines in the Bible are introduced in “seed” form in the Book of Genesis. Along with the fall of man, God’s promise of salvation or redemption is recorded (Genesis 3:15). The doctrines of creation, imputation of sin, justification, atonement, depravity, wrath, grace, sovereignty, responsibility, and many more are all addressed in this book of origins called Genesis.
The story of Creation tells us a lot about our Creator: Our God is Holy, Perfect, the Creator and Sustainer of all life, Pre-Existent and Self-Sustaining, Sovereign, a Promise-Keeping God, Personal and Incomprehensible. We see a God whose creative and artistic talents boggle the mind. We see a God whose sense of structure and order orchestrated the unlikely symbiosis of life on Earth. If we take the time to ponder Creation, the only natural response we can have is worship. We worship the Creator who made all this, and then it gets even better: the very fact that God pulls back the curtain on who He is tells us that He is Relational – He wants to be known by humanity.
We see some important themes emerging in the first two chapters of Genesis which will reappear throughout our study of the Pentateuch:
Spend some time processing what you have learned with your Life Group/Discipler/CLASSES@FGA study group.
In Genesis 1-2, we learn that God created us for relationship with Him, and that our deepest needs can only be met by Him and greatest satisfaction found in Him. Search your heart and see if there is a part of you that you are withholding from Him. It may not be a wrong thing, but will you submit this area of your life to God? He is trustworthy and we can experience the greatest joy when we are fully surrendered to Him. Ask God to help you surrender to Him in all areas of your life and to live a life of devotion to Him.
Take time to respond to these closing questions:
End the time by praying…
Pray for eyes to see the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.
Pray for the right attitude toward work and rest.
Pray for eyes to see others as image-bearers.
Pray for a heart fully devoted to God.