Let Me Tell You a Story
There are many monumental works of literature that have come from the hands of human authors, many of them works of history. It’s fairly apparent that humanity has always had a habit of maintaining history. Early on, keeping a journal on a stone tablet may have been tricky, but Moses seems to have benefited from a great deal of history handed down through the early millenniums. God blessed and inspired Moses in a unique way to pen the five books of the Pentateuch. And while most of the history comes from his own time leading Israel from Egypt to Canaan, there is a major repository of truth given in Genesis which forms a substantial foundation for the faith of every believer in the One True God of Israel that has ever existed.
This study series will seek to gain a grip on the book of Genesis as a whole by looking at the major events and people that are in Genesis, identifying the “milestones” that take us from Creation to Joseph. Let the adventure begin….
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. –Psalm 33:6-9
Out of Nothing
“Ex nihilo” is a Latin phrase used to describe the biblical creation event meaning “out of “nothing”? This photo is showing the birth of a black hole, a remarkable phenomenon of the universe that apparently involves the death of a star which effectively sucks an astronomical amount of matter back into “nothing”.
Prior to creation, there was “nothing”. God chooses not to elaborate, because in His wisdom that doesn’t need to be known. Compare Gen. 11:3, things which are “not visible”… Also, 2 Pet. 3:5, by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water. God did create “out of nothing”, regardless of how limited we are at understanding that with our finite mind!
Think of BC as “Before Creation”. “In the beginning” – i.e., as far as man is concerned, time began ticking on earth and across our entire universe with Creation. Before Gen. 1:1, in “Eternity Past”, there is still no beginning for God.
Firsts in Genesis:
- Creation, man, woman, sin, sabbath, marriage, family, labor, civilization, culture, murder, sacrifice, races, languages, redemption, cities
- Families, generations – actually from Generation to Degeneration to Regeneration
- Covenants – Adam, Noah, Abraham
Four Prevailing Facts
- God and God alone created all things.
- God is sovereign over His creation.
- God created the universe, our Earth, and us, with wisdom and order.
- God designed man to be the pinnacle of his creation.
Why Did God Create?
This is an important question, but it requires that the “Big Question” be answered first: Does God Exist? While this study isn’t going to dig deeply into apologetics, here is a basic set of three statements that I suggest guide us this to the right conclusions:
- God Is — Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God…” He created and reigns over the entire universe. We are surrounded by the “natural revelation” God has given us so that we can simply look around and see His existence and His character. The complexity, interdependency, and beauty of every element of the universe drives us to conclude that there is pervasive and conclusive evidence of intelligent design by a sovereign Creator – God Himself.
Bible Study Journal — So, you look around at creation, you read the Bible’s accounts of thousands of people seeing/experiencing evidence that He exists. Ready to commit? Will it make a difference in how you approach your life & the world around you? Make some notes in your Journal.
2. God is Who He says He Is — Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” God provided the Bible to man because He wants to communicate with us, He wants us to understand what He is like and how we can have a personal relationship with Him. From the Bible, we learn that God is holy, just and compassionate. His holy character never changes and He will judge rebellion against His holy character.
Bible Study Journal
The Bible tells us a lot about what God is like. Read Isaiah 6, or Judges 6:36-40, or … look up a couple more on your own!
3. God will do what He says He will do — Job 42:2, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” God is sovereign in this fallen world, and while we suffer because of our rebellion against His holiness, He also seeks to rescue us and provide Redemption based on the finished work of Christ on the Cross. God will judge sin, but He will also declare righteous those who accept His gift of Redemption. Jeremiah 29:11-14 is a beautiful expression of God’s heart – “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”
Bible Study Journal
The Bible tells us about a lot of times that God declares what He will do, then sooner or later it happens. Check these passages out and make some notes: Exodus 7:1-7 (and many times through the next several chapters); Numbers 23:19; Genesis 21:1; Habakkuk 2:3 (a promise of future events, a major way we see and expect God to keep His promises).
Now, once the primary question of God’s existence is settled, we can work on an answer for the 2nd question: Why Creation? Note that this means that we can’t determine why we are here on earth, what our life purpose is, unless we first and foremost settle our commitment to the truth of God’s existence. We need to confirm our biblical worldview.
What is a “worldview”? Do a web search on this word to review broad uses of this term in all aspects of learning today. You might check out this series of articles by Focus on the Family – Why Is A Christian Worldview Important.
It expresses how we view the reality of our world – every person has a worldview. It represents your most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe. It reflects how he would answer all the “big questions” of human existence: fundamental questions about who and what we are, where we came from, why we’re here, where (if anywhere) we’re headed, the meaning and purpose of life, the nature of the afterlife, and what counts as a good life here and now. Questions that our worldview should settle:
- Do absolute moral truths exist?
- Is absolute truth defined by the Bible or any other published literature?
- Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
- Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
- Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe?
- Does God still hold together, guide, rule the universe today?
- Is Satan real? Does Hell literally exist?
- Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
- Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
There are a lot of great resources available on the internet (there are a lot dangerous resources out there too, so be careful and discerning!). The following resources are provided by sound ministry organizations that God has raised up to be a part of God’s Good News “Message Bearer Organization” in the world. Here are three resources that we encourage you to take advantage of as you seek guidance with these “life essential” questions.
- Is Genesis History? A video that covers the historical viability of the biblical record of creation. This video is a strong support for our dependence on the historical accuracy of the Bible according to normal human tradition of maintaining history. Their site – https://isgenesishistory.com/, and you may be able to find the video on YouTube.
- The Privileged Planet – A video that demonstrates the amazing array of ways God blessed us with ability to observe the diversity and complexity of the universe because of Earth’s exact location in the cosmos. Their website is https://privilegedplanet.com/, and you may be able to find this video also on YouTube.
- The Truth Project – A study series of 10 hour-long lectures by Del Tackett, provided through Focus on the Family. It covers 12 core segments of human knowledge and how they are expressed biblically. Go to https://www.focusonthefamily.com/promos/the-truth-project to learn more of this significant series. If you want to know the Truth from God’s Word, this is THE source to go to!
Every day in the Word!
Bible Study Journal
What do you learn from each of these passages? Get out your Bible Study Journal and make some notes for each of these passages and how they expand your appreciation for God’s work in Creation.
- Heb. 11:3
- Jn. 1:1-4
- Col. 1:16-17
- Isaiah 48:12 -13
- Rom. 1:20