Summary: The first in a series on the Book of Genesis. This particular sermon is simply an overview of the book
Genesis (1) (An Overview)
Text: Genesis 1:1-2
By: Ken McKinley
Well this morning we are going to be starting our series on the Book of Genesis, and most likely this series is going to take quite a bit of time. So I’ll tell you now that I’m not going to preach straight through it Sunday after Sunday, after Sunday. There will be times when I break it up and we cover other topics as we make our way through this book. I might preach on Genesis for 6 weeks straight and then preach from one of the Gospel, I might preach on Genesis for two weeks and then give a message from Daniel or Romans, or on various topics, as the Lord leads. And the reason for that is because this is an incredible book and I don’t want it to become monotonous, or anything like that.
And so I just wanted to give you a heads up on that.
This morning; as we begin this series on Genesis, want I want to do is give you sort of an overview, and touch on a few things before we dive into it too far.
The word “Genesis” means origins or beginnings; and this book, the first book of the Bible lays the groundwork, not only for the book of Exodus, which follows it, but for the entire Bible. And not only does Genesis mean “origins or beginnings” it is a book about origins and beginnings. We see in it the origin of creation, the origin of man, the beginning of history, the entrance of sin and death into the world, we see arts and craftsmanship begun. It tells us how the nations originated, how languages were formed, and so many other things. It also is a book that claims to be about God and from God. The copies of this manuscript are some of the oldest texts’ we know of. And what’s amazing about this book… and to me is one of the proofs that it is a truthful account is that even though it was penned by Moses, he doesn’t shy away from listing all his short-comings, flaws, and faults.
Genesis begins with God’s creation of the world, but early on, in the first few chapters it also records 3 low points for mankind: the fall, the flood, and the sin at the tower of Babel. And in every one of those records we see God responding to humanity with both judgment and grace, and what that does… what we learn of God in the first 3 chapters of Genesis; is that He is Creator, but also the Sovereign Lord of His creation. We see that He is a God of justice, but also of mercy.
Historically speaking; we can divide the book into two parts. The first 11 chapters deal with primeval history. Then from chapter 12 until the end of the book we are given the history of the Patriarchs – patriarchal history. The first half of the book, dealing with primeval history can be broken down even further into four major events. The creation, the fall of man, the flood, and the events of the Tower of Babel. The second half of the book, dealing with the patriarchs can also be broken down into four things... or more specifically, four people. Abraham; who’s mentioned in Genesis chapter 11 – is the bridge between the two halves, and his story is found from chapter 12 all the way to chapter 20, then the book focuses on the life of his son, Isaac from chapters 21 to 26.
And then we see Jacob, who is Isaac’s son, and we read about him from chapter 27 to chapter 36, and then finally the book concludes by focusing on the life of Joseph, from chapter 37 all the way to chapter 50.
The book of Genesis is quoted more in the New Testament than any other OT book, except for the Psalms and Isaiah. And some of the topics we read about in Genesis, we don’t hear much about them again until we get to the NT. Things like the serpent in the Garden, or Melchizedek – the mysterious priest of Salem. Some of the topics of Genesis aren’t understood in their full light until the NT; like the institution of marriage and how God has given that to us as a means of showing us His love and relationship to the Church, or the redemption of the promised Messiah, which is fully realized in Jesus Christ, or even Abraham offering Isaac – but God providing the lamb as a substitute in his stead. So you see; until we know about Jesus, we don’t fully understand these things in their full light and meaning.
Now I want to say one other thing before we dive into the text here.