Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Beginning a New Year: Genesis

My Christ Church community and I are following the "Life Journal" readings for 2013. Life Journal takes us through the entire Bible over the next 365 days. You can find these readings on our web site at: I am not planning to comment every day (like I did last year) but will make periodic observations and will post the Old Testament introductions that I wrote for my Ugandan Pastor friends.

Genesis: takes its name from the Hebrew phrase for “in the beginning.” Genesis is a written form of an oral family history and contains stories from events of more than a thousand (1000) years before Moses. This “Oral Tradition” was preserved as a family history of the descendents of Abraham (chapter 12.)
            Genesis tells of beginning things: the creation of the world, the first acceptable offering, the restart of the world through the flood, and the first person of faith. It begins with creation and ends with the children of Israel beginning their over four hundred (400) year exile in the land of Egypt. The book is in two main sections: Chapters 1 through 11 are about the earliest days from creation to the days following the great flood. These chapters can be outlined as follows:

·                     Genesis 1-2     Creation
·                     Genesis 3         Fall of humanity and consequences
·                     Genesis 4-5     Consequences of the fall
·                     Genesis 6-11   Noah, the Flood, and aftermath

Chapters 12 through 50 are about God’s remarkable act of redemption in choosing Abraham to be the one “through whom all humanity would receive a blessing.” (Genesis 12:3 and 22:18) It follows the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and then Jacob (Israel)’s twelve (12) sons with particular attention to his son Joseph. It can be outlined as follows:
·                     Genesis 12 – 25           Abram (Abraham) and Isaac
·                     Genesis 26 – 27           Isaac (Jacob and Esau early years)
·                     Genesis 28 – 36           Jacob and his wives and children
·                     Genesis 37 – 50           Joseph

            Vital lessons from Genesis include an understanding that the universe came into being as an act of divine will and that God is working this purpose out through human history. This book of “beginnings” shows us the nature of a relationship with God.

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