Summary: This series is designed to give people an overview of the whole story of the 39 Books of the Old Testament, starting here in Genesis, the book of beginnings.
JOURNEY THROUGH THE OLD TESTAMENT #1: GENESIS
The story is told about the preacher who was visiting the children’s classes to see how they were doing. One Sunday he visited the class of 6th grade boys. He listened for a while & then asked, “Who knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho?” Two boys answered, “Preacher, we don’t know who, but we sure didn’t do it.” Surprised by their lack of Bible knowledge, he turned to the teacher & asked, “What do you think of that answer?” The teacher replied, “Well, I’ve known them since they were little, & they’ve always been honest. If they said they didn’t do it, I believe them.” Dismayed, he went out into the hallway & saw the chairman of the church council and told him what had happened. The chairman said, “Pastor, let’s not fuss about who did what. We’ll just fix the walls & pay for it out of the General Fund.”
• This story illustrates the sad truth that many Christians don’t know what’s in the Bible!
OPENING: THE BIBLE:
Over 21 years ago, I bought my very first Bible and since then, it has transformed my life. I have memorized hundreds of verses, read it through several times, and spent a majority of my life studying this one book. I love the Bible! It is God’s love letter to us and reveals His heart.
• Bible = from the Greek word biblia which simply means Book. It’s God’s Holy Book.
• God used about 40 human authors over a period of about 1600 years.
• There are 66 Books in the Bible: 39 in the Old Testament; 27 in the New Testament.
• My goal in this series is to help you to better understand the whole Old Testament.
• OVERVIEW OF THE FIVE DIVISIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT:
• 5 Law Books; 12 History Books; 5 Wisdom Books; 5 Major Prophets; 12 Minor Prophets
OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT:
Creation & Fall (Adam & Eve) = around 4,000 BC
Flood (Noah) = 2500 BC
Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) = 2200 BC
Exodus (Moses) = 1300 BC
Conquest & Settlement (Joshua) = 1200 BC
United Kingdom (Saul, David & Solomon) = 1020-922 BC
Divided Kingdom (40 kings = 8 good, 32 bad) = 922-721 BC
Judah Alone (Israel scattered by Assyria) = 721-587 BC
Babylonian Exile (Judah in Babylon) = 587-539 BC
Return (from Persia) and Restoration = 539-333 BC
THE BOOK OF GENESIS: Beginnings
• The first of the five books of the law (the Torah or Pentateuch) written by Moses.
KEY VERSES: (Great Bible verses to memorize!)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1).
• QUOTE: “This is perhaps the most important and the most controversial sentence of the entire Bible.” (R.C. Sproul, What’s in the Bible).
• Everything that exists in the universe was created by a loving God.
• We are not products of evolutionary chance. (Book recommend: The Beausejour Pulpit).
• Here is the first time we see Jesus in the Old Testament: The Hebrew word for God here is Elohim – a plural word speaking of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (quote John 1:1-3).
“Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26).
• The story of the Bible is about God and His desire for a loving relationship with people.
AN OVERVIEW OF GENESIS:
• Chapter 1-2 = God created everything including people (Adam and Eve)
• Chapter 3 = Satan enters; the fall of man
• Chapter 4-5 = the spread of sin in the world
• Chapter 6-10 = God judges the world with a flood; Noah builds an ark
• Chapter 11 = the Tower of Babel
• Chapter 12-20 = Abraham (Sarah) – the first Patriarch
• Chapter 21-24 = Isaac (Rebekah)
• Chapter 25-36 = Jacob (Rachel and Leah)
• Chapter 37-50 = Joseph and the journey to Egypt
BACKGROUND TO JOSEPH’S STORY: (Gen. 37-44)
Joseph had a dream that God was calling him to be a great leader. Joseph’s brothers hated him, threw him in a pit, and sold him as a slave. As a slave, he was accused of rape and ended up in prison. While he was in prison, Joseph became a dream releaser. Because of Joseph’s integrity and faithfulness, the Lord promoted him to the second in command in Egypt. As a famine ravaged the world, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for food.
“1 Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, "Make everyone go out from me!" So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. 4 And Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come near to me." So they came near. Then he said: "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:1-5).