Cryptic Studies (Genesis Part I -Introduction to Genesis)
Scientists are really good at describing how the universe works. They have laws and theories and all are very good at what they do. Without them we wouldn’t have medicine, combustion engines, flight, and even space travel. But what science isn’t very good at is telling us WHO created the universe. Instead some would rather default to “I can’t explain so therefore there is no God.”
A scientist can describe to you mind-boggling theories on how the sun works, why the moon sits up in the sky the way it does, and can even split an atom. But…the who is always dragging a scientist down. Believe it or not, most scientists are not atheists. As a matter of fact Sir Isaac Newton himself was a devout Christian and believed that through science we would eventually come to know God. Science and religion can indeed co-exist. It is possible. Absolutely.
The message that Genesis has for us is ultimately is one of hope and reassurance. The Creator designed, built, and maintains everything in the entire universe. Sin will damage the relationship with our Father and how he treats our ancestors for many centuries. We see that God however; is working to rebuild that relationship with all of us and is actively working in all of our lives to restore that love.
What is Genesis? The word Genesis comes from the Greek work “origin,” “birth,” or
beginning.” Genesis encompass the beginning of many things. Mankind, sin, civilization, the nation of Israel, and The Universe! Genesis therefore is aptly named.
Who wrote Genesis? Funny you should ask. The book does not tell us who wrote the book. The Jews believe that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, which would be Genesis through Deuteronomy. Genesis primarily follows the exploits of Abraham who lived between 700 – 1,000 years before Moses. Experts on the Bible believe that Genesis would have been a collection of stories passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Jewish scholars would eventually round these stories up and place them in the book centuries after Moses.
When does Genesis begin? The beginning of time duh! Not only does it start at the beginning of time it continues all the way through Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph. Roughly about 1800 B.C.
Where did Genesis take place? The stories of Genesis primarily take place in the Middle East. This would be modern-day Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Israel.
At one time the planet we live on was a perfect place. Perfect until you add in human beings of course. I guess we could blame all the problems with the world on God because he created man to have free will and make our own decisions. However; the Bible
does tell us in the story how things went down. Sadly, it was our own fault for the way
things turned out because our ancestors abused their free will.
As the story goes God, the creator, brought forth Adam and Eve. He then gives to them the ENTIRE planet. Everything was under the rule of Adam and Eve and they only had one rule that they absolutely and definitively had to obey.
Problem was, it was just one rule too many!
The Rule: “Do not eat from this particular tree that I have planted right here. Do not go near it. Don’t even look at it. Don’t even think about it!” Okay so maybe God didn’t exactly say it like that but I imagine how I would talk to children whom I have just created.
And like children they disobey their father and eat from the tree. Of course they did! They wouldn’t be children otherwise. However folks, God meant business. Father was quite serious about his one rule for it represented the original sin. Disobedience to Him.
When Adam and Eve ate from the tree, not only did they betray their Father’s trust, they were the cause of all the problems we faced throughout the entirety of human history and civilization.
Paradise would be lost forever.
Dramatically, the rest of the Bible is a story of how mankind and God have to rebuild their relationship with each other. This is not a Lifetime Network movie folks, this is the real deal! Instead of wiping us out right there on the spot and turning us back into dust, God in his infinite wisdom sought fit to make us work through our lives to understand what it is we had lost.
If you look at Genesis, it tells us of the beginning of God’s plan of restoration. After a time he taps Abraham on the shoulder who trusts God implicitly. God promises Abraham that he would be given an entire race of descendants who would be devoted to Him. The chosen people who would teach the rest of the world that being obedient to God has great rewards.
Abraham then is given two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. However; Isaac would be the one son allowed to continue the family blood line of God’s chosen people. Isaac also is given two sons, Esau and Jacob. Again, only Jacob’s family will become the foundation of an entire nation devoted to God. Jacob would go onto have 12 sons, and they then become the founders of the 12 tribes of Israel.
When Genesis ends, we find that Jacob’s family will flee from a drought in what we now call Israel. They will then be welcomed as refugees in Egypt. However; like all guests who stay too long they wear out their welcome. The Egyptians would enslave them which leads into Exodus which will be a story for another time.