#94 - Genesis (2 of ~67) (Watt Thoughts)
Genesis is the first book of the Bible and covers the items that mankind would have first begun wondering about. It leads from the beginning of the world to where the Jewish people clearly define themselves as a group of people while they were captives in Egypt.
Questions that you find Genesis answering include the following early in the book. Who is God? How did we find God? Where did evil come from? Where did we come from? Even today you continue to hear these questions and there in Genesis are the answers.
This book is probably unique from most if not all of the books of the Bible. From the beginning it was intended to be scripture or a way for the people to understand God. Much of the other was reporting of events and moved to scripture but as Genesis was carried from generation to generation it is the story of how did we come about and where did the beliefs we have start form.
Genesis has the story of the creation. However it is not just one story presented of what occurred, but there is even a second variation of the creation story. They are similar so not a problem to believe both, but obviously from beginning of time we have had problems understanding creation. A problem even to today, even though the differences in creation and evolution are not as black and white as many claim. Read and study them both with an open heart and don't fill in gaps on either side.
Not only do we have two stories of creation and the beginning, but also actually we go for three. God brings the flood in Genesis after seeing how bad world was changing and saves one male and one female of all but one species. Humans he saves four of each sex, and they were the species he was punishing. From the report in Genesis after the flood was yet another creation or new start as this all once again led to the world we know. So when you say you are a descendent of Adam and Eve, actually you can go back to one ancestor more recent, Noah.
Not only is Genesis show how God was with Man, and his various ways to return to us after Mankind was removed from the Garden of Eden, but there is also the story of how Man tried to reach God. The Tower of Babel was Man's attempt to reach God. The tower was built in an attempt to be like God and all the people were trying to achieve this. It was a central marker being built to keep the people together, to them from wandering off. However God's intent was that we populate the world not just that small area, and he insists we give up our security blanket, the tower, at times. God destroyed the tower and forced the dispersion, but we still do some of what the tower tried to do today. We still build central markers in our towns and cities so that we can see from afar where civilization is and to draw us back together. Some of these include high rise office buildings (one o many reasons that the Twin Towers were a target for terrorists), church steeples (to lead us back together to worship God as a community), and courthouse towers and college campus towers.
In Genesis you see the development of the Israeli people. They did not consider themselves as that in beginning, but we watch in Genesis as they form as a nation from wandering tribes. Abram is the beginning of this national identity and his major purpose was to go claim land for this future people. As you will see happen often in the Bible, he changes his name from Abram to Abraham. From him we see the development of the two major groups in the mid east that lasts to even today and that is thru his two sons. Ishmael is recognized as the father of the Arab people here and Isaac as the father of the Israeli people. And being two sons that were constantly envious of their brothers, we watch that many of world's major problems are a continuation.
God clearly establishes his power through genesis. Not only did he wipe out the world in the flood, but he then later on again demonstrates his power and establishes it for that youthful nation group. He dies this through the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and shows good will ultimately triumph over evil.
As we continue toward the end of the book we find the early Israeli nation group become better organized as the tribes of Israel are established by the sons of Joseph. The Jewish religion and the biblical Israel clearly establishes itself as a nation determined by ancestors.
As we finish Genesis we learn how the Israeli people ended up in captivity. It is not what you expect from studying history. Expectation would be that the Egyptians defeated and captured the Israelis and put them in bondage, but that is not what happened. What capturing and selling into slavery did occur as the Israelis doing to themselves, when Jacob's sons sold his son Joseph to Egypt. What follows then is the voluntary moving of Israelis to Egypt to save them from a famine and draught. This story is the set up for one of the major parts of Jewish heritage that occurs after Genesis.
Read through Genesis and you will see it contains a lot and tells us about where we came from and who is God?
Keep growing in your knowledge of the Word.
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