This blog post is based on our podcast episode “Beginnings”. To hear the episode go to https://www.thebiblebreakthrough.org/listen
Every story has a beginning, and so does the most extraordinary story ever told; God’s story. Think about this: God created the universe at the beginning of this story. He put everything in order, forming all the planets, stars, and galaxies, and he set them in motion. God created all the living creatures on earth and the crown of his creation he made in his image, humans. Creation isn’t the only “beginning” recorded in the Bible, though.
There is also a more tragic story of the beginnings of sin and death. Adam and Eve were without sin until they disobeyed God. Then we learn about sin, its destructive power, and its bitter consequences. This tragedy soon led to others, such as Cain murdering his brother Abel in a jealous rage.
Ultimately, sin became so rampant and pervasive that God decided to begin once again. Now, at that time, there was only one righteous man left on earth, a man named Noah. God chose him to be the patriarch of a fresh beginning for humanity. But even Noah was vulnerable to sin, and his descendants show us that the sin problem was still very real and in need of a solution.
So, what was God going to do? Did He have a plan to rescue and save humanity? Now, as we come to Abraham on the plains of Canaan, we discover the beginning of God’s covenant people that will become a nation. And here, we begin to get a glimpse of His plan of salvation.
We learn that salvation comes by faith and that Abraham’s descendants will be God’s people, and the Savior of the world will come through this chosen nation. We read the stories of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph that follow, and we recognize that they are more than just interesting biographies; they actually emphasize the promises of God.
The people that we meet in Genesis are simple, ordinary people. Yet through them, God did great things. These are vivid pictures that show that God can and does use all kinds of people to accomplish His good purposes. Even people like you!
Let’s provide some context. The entire Era of Beginnings focuses on the book of Genesis. This book was written by Moses, and his audience was the people of Israel. He wrote this book to record God’s creation of the world and God’s desire to have people worship him. \
Moses probably wrote this book around 3,470 years ago during the years of Israel’s wandering, sometime between 1,450 and 1,410 BC. More than likely, he wrote the book while he was in the Sinai Peninsula, which is northern Egypt today. According to the Bible, creation occurred over a literal six-day period approximately 6000 years ago.
To keep things in perspective, the pyramids of Egypt were actually constructed in 2,630 B.C., which is about 4,050 years ago. We know that Moses wrote the book of Genesis approximately 920 years after the pyramids were built. That means of the 6000 years since creation, we have some type of written documentation to account for almost two-thirds of all history.
What we need here is a saving faith. You need a saving faith to believe that the Bible is the starting point and the absolute authority in all matters. If you can muster enough faith to simply believe that as true, trust me, God will do the rest. Unfortunately, those who reject God and his authority pay a horrible price.
Now, the Book of Genesis contains seven mega themes. I’m going to go through each one of these briefly.
The first one is called Beginnings. Genesis explains the beginnings of many important realities, the universe, the earth, people, sin, and God’s plan of salvation. God teaches us that the earth is well-made, and it’s good., People are special to God, and they’re unique. God creates and sustains all life.
The second theme is the theme of disobedience. People always face great choices, and disobedience occurs when they choose, not when they decide not to follow God’s living plan. Genesis explains why people are evil; they choose to do wrong. Even the great Bible heroes failed God, and they disobeyed.
The third theme is sin. Simply put, sin ruins people’s lives. It happens when we disobey God. Living God’s way is what makes life productive and fulfilling.
The fourth theme this theme is promises. God makes promises to help and protect people. These kinds of promises are called covenants. God kept his promises then, and he keeps them now. He promises to love us. He promises to accept and forgive us.
The fifth theme is obedience. The opposite of sin is obedience, obeying God. And when we do, it restores our relationship with him. The only way to enjoy the benefits of God’s promises is to obey him.
The sixth theme is prosperity. Prosperity is deeper. The material wealth, prosperity, and fulfillment we read about in the Bible came because of obedience. When people obey God, they find peace; with Him, with others, and with ourselves.
Finally, the seventh theme. This is the theme of Israel. God started the nation of Israel to have dedicated people who keep his ways alive in the world and proclaim what he’s really like, and prepare the world for the birth of Christ.
God’s looking for people today to follow him. And we are to proclaim God’s truth and to love all nations, not just our own. We must be faithful to carry out the mission that God has given us.
Now, what can we expect to glean from this book? We could discuss many things, but I’ve included three topics to consider.
The first topic we should consider is that Satan has a plan against us. Unlike God, he can’t read your mind. And really, he doesn’t have to because if allowed, he can wield tremendous influence over it. For instance, if Satan can create doubt, then he will cause you to question God’s Word and His goodness. If he can discourage you, it will cause you to look at your problems rather than look to God. If he can divert your attention, it will cause the wrong things to seem attractive so that you will want them more than the right things. If he can make you feel defeated, it will cause you to feel like a failure so that you won’t even try. And finally, if he can make you delay, it will cause you to put off doing something so that it never gets done.
The second topic, and one that many people struggle with, is The Great Flood. Maybe you’ve wondered if it really even happened? Did you know that the Bible isn’t the only ancient document that talks about a great flood with a lone surviving family and pairs of animals on board? In fact, there are several flood stories from many different cultures that have strikingly similar details to Noah’s story that we read about in Genesis.
The most famous of these flood stories is The Longer Epic of Gilgamesh.
This story tells of a boat coming to rest on a mountain, and the dispatch of a dove, swallow, and a raven. Then the boat occupants disembarked when the raven didn’t return.
Interestingly, all these cultures trace their lineage to a great hero who survived a flood in a boat filled with animals who only left after sending birds out from the top of a mountain. It’s a confirmation of the claim in Genesis Chapter six through nine that there was indeed a great flood in ancient times.
The third topic that many people struggle with, including many Christians, is the topic of evolution. Ask yourself, where do you stand on the subject of evolution?
Now, the Bible itself does not discuss the subject of evolution, but its worldview assumes God created the world. The biblical view of creation is not in conflict with science. Instead, it conflicts with any worldview that starts without a creator. Equally committed and sincere Christians have struggled with the subject of beginnings and have come to different conclusions. This is to be expected because the evidence we have is ancient and sometimes quite fragmented due to the ravages of the ages.
Students of the Bible must be careful not to make the Bible say what it doesn’t say. As well as students of science, they must not make science say what it doesn’t say. The most important aspect of the continuing discussion is not the creation process but the origin of creation.
The world is not a product of blind chance and probability. God created it. The Bible not only tells us that the world was created by God, but more importantly, it tells us who this God is. It reveals God’s personality, character, and plan for His creation. Also, it reveals God’s deepest desire to relate to and fellowship with the people that He created.
God took the ultimate step toward fellowship with us through his historical visit to this planet in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Book of Genesis begins with God creating the heavens and the earth.
God created all that we see and all that we experience. It is here that we’re beginning the most exciting and fulfilling journey imaginable. Those discussions and many more await us as we seek to experience this Bible Breakthrough. No matter where you are on this journey, be encouraged. I want you to know that there is hope. No matter how dark the world seems, God has a plan. No matter how insignificant or useless you might feel. God loves you, and He wants to use you in His plan; no matter how sinful and separated from God you are, His salvation is available to you.
I look forward to our next meeting together as we dive into the Holy Scriptures and discover the first Era called Beginnings.
My prayer is that you experience the powerful presence of God as you study His Word and begin to hear His loving voice. Also, you would know that He is for you, He is not against you, and that your desire to obey him begins to grow regardless of your circumstances. And finally, it is our desire to connect with you, to be able to pray for you, pray with you.
Credit: We are reading from the Bible, NLT along with the Chronological Life Application Study Bible NLT.