Genesis means â€œbeginningsâ€ or â€œoriginâ€ and it unfolds the record of the beginning of the world, of human history, of family, of civilization and of salvation. It is the story of Godâ€™s purpose and plan for his creation. As the book of beginnings, Genesis sets the stage for the entire Bible. The purpose of Genesis is to record Godâ€™s creation of the world and his desire to have a people set apart to worship him. The book of Genesis was written by Moses from 1450-1410 B.C. originally for the people of Israel.
The book of Genesis begins with God. He is creating the world in a majestic display of power, which culminates with the creation of a man and woman designed in his own likeness. Before long sin entered the world and Satan was revealed. Once completely innocent, creation was shattered by the fall (the willful disobedience of Adam and Eve). Fellowship with God was broken and evil began weaving its destructive web. In rapid succession the book tells how Adam and Eve were expelled from the beautiful garden, the first son turned murderer, and evil bred evil until God finally destroyed everyone on earth except a small family led by Noah, the only godly person left. The book of Genesis is set in the region presently known as the Middle East and the key people in the book include Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Joseph.
Genesis goes on to tell the story of Abraham on the plains of Canaan and the beginning of Godâ€™s covenant people and the broad strokes of his salvation plan which is that salvation comes by faith. It tells that Abrahamâ€™s descendants will be Godâ€™s people and the Savior of the world will come through this chosen nation. The stories of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are told and they emphasize the promises of God and the proof that he is faithful. The people in Genesis are simple, ordinary people, yet through them God did great things. This story provides vivid pictures of how God can and does use all kinds of people to accomplish his good purposes.
There are seven main themes throughout the book of Genesis.
Beginnings â€" Genesis explains the beginning of many important realities: the universe, earth, people, sin and Godâ€™s plan of salvation.
Disobedience â€" People are always facing great choices. Disobedience occurs when people choose not to follow Godâ€™s plan of living.
Sin â€" Sin ruins peopleâ€™s lives. It happens when we disobey God. Living Godâ€™s way makes life productive and fulfilling.
Promises â€" God makes promises to help and protect mankind. This kind of promise is called a â€œcovenant.â€
Obedience â€" The opposite of sin is obedience. Obeying God restores our relationship to him.
Prosperity â€" Prosperity is deeper than mere material wealth. True prosperity and fulfillment come as a result of obeying God.
Israel â€" God started the nation of Israel in order to have a dedicated people who would keep his ways alive in the world and proclaim to the world what he is really like and prepare the world for the birth of Christ.
There are nine key places in Genesis: 1) The Mountains of Ararat where the ark came to rest after the flood waters had receded 2) Babel 3) Ur of the Chaldeans 4) Haran 5) Shechem 6) Hebron 7) Beersheba 8) Bethel and 9) Egypt.
The blueprint for the book of Genesis begins with the story of creation and is followed by the story of Adam, the story of Noah, the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and lastly the story of Joseph. While Genesis has a wealth of history and information in it, it is also a book of encouragement and hope. Genesis tells its readers that no matter how dark the world situation seems God has a plan. No matter how insignificant or useless you feel, God loves you and wants to use you in his plan. No matter how sinful and separated from God you are, his salvation is available.
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