Summary: This message is a part of a series that surveys the entire Bible. It is based upon the study guide from an older Chuck Swindoll series. The Message surveys Genesis through Deuteronomy.
Wow! We are finally ready to start our adventure on God’s Route 66. Last week we spent time preparing our hearts and minds for this journey. Now it’s time to actually begin. The first segment of our journey will cover Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The name given to this segment of our journey is the Pentateuch. This is a compound word: the first part is pente which means five and the second part is teuchos which means book. This group of five books is also known to the Jew as the Torah which is Hebrew for law. Authorship for the first five books of the Bible has been traditionally attributed to Moses. Now we are ready to survey the part of God’s story that traces the creation of the world to the creation of a nation.
I. Genesis the book of beginnings.
A. Genesis appropriately begins “in the beginning” since it speaks of the beginning of the world, life, worship, sin, and death.
1. The title “Genesis,” is from the Greek word geneseōs meaning “beginning,” or “generations,” finds its root in the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint.
2. Genesis gives accounts of the creation, the first sin, the flood, and the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. These stories serve as introductions, not only to the Pentateuch, but to the rest of the Bible as well.
3. The book of Genesis has two main divisions, the Primeval History (1:1–11:32) and the History of the Patriarchs (12:1–50:26).
4. The Primeval History moves from the grand sweep of creation, sin, the flood, and the tower of Babel to Abraham as the ancestor of Israel out of which grew the nation.
5. The History of the Patriarchs focuses on Abraham’s family (his son, his grandson, and 12 great-grandsons) and sets the stage for the dwelling/enslavement/exodus in Egypt as recorded in the book of Exodus.
B. Over the course of fifty chapters Moses provides us a panoramic view of some of the most dramatic scenes in human history.
1. Chapters 1-2 provide us with the account of creation.
2. Chapter 3 details man’s fall into sin.
3. Chapters 6-9 provide us with an account of the flood in the days of Noah.
4. Chapters 10-11 detail the birth of the nations of the world.
5. Chapters 12-25 provide us with an overview of the life of Abraham.
6. Chapters 25-26 introduce us to Abraham’s promised son, Isaac.
7. Chapters 27-36 follow the life of Jacob whose name would later be changed to Israel.
8. Chapters 37-50 provide us with the account of the life of Joseph.
C. Once Abraham arrives on the scene, God promises to bring through him a distinctive race of people who would become known as the Hebrews or Jews.
1. The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3—NIV)
2. From this point on God’s focus will be on His people whom He promised to bless and protect.
3. How would Abraham be a blessing to all the nations of the earth, it would be through His line that Jesus Christ the Savior of the world would be born.
4. By the end of Genesis the Hebrew people are now known as Israel and are settled in Egypt and prospering thanks to God working through Joseph.
II. Exodus the book of deliverance.
A. The Exodus of Israel from Egypt is the central event of the Hebrew Bible.
1. This act of redemption by God became the foundation for Israelite faith and practice reflected in the many Old Testament allusions to the Exodus as the basis for obedience to the covenant, proper ethical treatment of others, the establishment of the sovereignty of God, a national dateline marking the nation’s history, and a standard for the measurement of all subsequent events.
2. The people did grow into a great nation, were given a covenant at Sinai, and began their journey to the Promised Land, in accordance with the fulfillment of the promises of God to the patriarchs.
3. So Exodus, as the sequel to Genesis, describes the deliverance of the children of Israel by God and the establishment of a new covenant between God and Israel.
4. The rest of the Old Testament looks back on the Exodus as the primary redemptive event in Israel’s history.
B. The Book of Exodus can be divided into three main sections.