In the Beginning
Translated as ‘origin’ from Greek, the Book of Genesis sets the stage for the redemptive storyline of the Bible.
The story opens with God confronting chaos and disorder to bring order and beauty in creation. Humans are formed and appointed to participate in God’s divine rule of the universe. As his representatives, humanity can choose to trust God for wisdom to rule, resulting in blessing for the entire world.
However, the humans choose to define good and evil on their own, which begins a destructive cycle that reintroduces chaos and disorder back into God’s good world. The first eleven chapters of Genesis show a repeated theme of rebellion, from the garden to Cain and Abel, the “sons of God,” the flood, and finally Babylon.
God continues to give humanity the chance to bring blessing into the world, and they continually choose their own way. Yet God promises, even in our rebellion, that a wounded victor will come who will defeat evil at its source. It’s this plan that God sets into motion beginning in Genesis 12.
God Calls Abraham
In chapters 1-11, the book of Genesis recounts God’s good world and humanity’s repeated rebellion. How will God restore blessing to the world? We find the answer in the family of Abraham.
God makes a covenant with Abraham, saying that all the nations will be blessed through his family. The rest of the book of Genesis traces this story through four generations. In each generation we see human failure paired with God’s commitment to rescue and bless. As the story of Joseph summarizes at the end, “You planned this for evil, but God planned it for good, to save many lives” (Gen 50:20).
As the book of Genesis closes, we see a promise of a king through the line of Judah who will be king over the nations and will restore blessing to the world (Gen 49:8-13). It’s this promise that will find its fulfillment in Israel’s Messiah.