Summary: An introduction to the book of Genesis designed to peak the interest of the reader or hearer.
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
This is the book, which has, for nearly 4000 years, informed the people of the World about the reality that the one true and living God, created the World, all that is in the World, and the Universe which contains the World. This book also informs us that God, the one true God, created mankind. He created us in His own image, and gave us two assignments; which are (1) to rule over the Earth and subdue it, and (2) to multiply and fill the Earth.
Genesis also informs us that God set boundaries for our behaviors and choices, right from the start. We learn from this unique book, the tragedy of sin; the disaster of the first man and woman choosing to do as they were tempted to do, rather than to obey the one restriction which God had given to them at that time. Who tempted the woman? It was Satan, disguised as a beautiful creature. It is in Genesis where we learn that Satan is real and that he is dangerous.
In this highly informative book, we see that just one generation down the road from the first human sin, came the first murder, as Cain killed his own brother after choosing again and again to do things his own way instead of God’s way.
In Genesis we see that we people were intended, by our creator, to live forever; eating from the tree of life, and never aging or becoming diseased. We also learn that even after the entrance of sin and the sentence of death to all, the human lifespan averaged around 950 years until after the mighty flood of Noah’s time.
After that flood of divine judgment, the lifespan shrank down generation by generation, until, by the time of the 12 sons of Israel, it leveled off at about 120 years.
We also learn of God’s plan to save us from sin and death. He had this all worked out even as sin first reared its destructive head. As early as Genesis chapter 3, the plan of Salvation was proclaimed by God Himself. Then, starting with the call of Abraham, God established a line and a people, to bring about this. Was this a line of supermen? –by no means. Was this a line of people who no longer sinned? –certainly not. All through Genesis, we see God acting redemptively through people who were, to put it gently, less than perfect, though there were some truly heroic moments as well.
At the end of this book of foundations, God has put things well into motion to produce the nation of Israel, and through Israel to fulfill the promise of a Savior from way back in chapter 3.
About the book itself
So what does the name “Genesis” mean? Simply this: “Beginnings”.
Who did God use to pen this book? It was none other than Moses, whom God guided to record all of these things. Of course Genesis deals with only things from before Moses’ time. He comes along in the next book, Exodus. Nevertheless, up until Moses’ time, there was no clear, written document to make all of these greatly important pieces of History clear.
The importance of the book of Genesis cannot possibly be overstated. Without it, we literally cannot know our roots, our purpose for existence, or the reasons for all the misery in the World, along with God’s determination to make a was for all of us to escape misery and death, through the one who shall “crush the serpent’s head”.