If you are following along with the Summer Bible Reading Plan, we will be in Genesis for the next three weeks. I am looking forward to reading this with you and gleaning from God’s word. As Eric said, reading the Old Testament can seem difficult, but we don’t quit working on something just because it’s difficult. Imagine if we did that at our jobs? You can read the Old Testament. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is able to give you understanding.
Many of us read the first the few chapters of Genesis and say, “I think I’ve got the point.” We often miss out on the richness and beauty of God’s story as He creates the world and begins to unfold His divine covenants to us through a chosen nation.
As a church, we want to hear all that God has spoken to us, and that includes reading the Old Testament. God has not created hidden codes and cyphers for us to figure it out. It is actually quite the opposite. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)
To that end, we’d like to give you a bit of information on Genesis to help you as you seek to understand it and to see Jesus in it.
CONTEXT FOR GENESIS
Content: the story of creation, of human disobedience and its tragic consequences, and of God’s choosing Abraham and his offspring – the beginning of the story of redemption1
Historical coverage: from creation to the death of Joseph in Egypt (ca. 1600 B.C.?)2
Emphases: God as the Creator of all that is; God’s creation of human beings in his image; the nature and consequences of human disobedience; the beginning of the divine covenants; God’s choice of a people through whom he will bless the nations3
Writing: Genesis is written as historical narrative. The book will contain 3 of the “The 4 Ways” that point to Christ.
- Redemptive History – God’s plan to redeem his creation for His glory from the beginning to Christ’s return
- Typology – Figures in redemptive history that are symbolic shadows of the Christ to come
- Foreshadowing – Historical events or systems that point forward to Jesus
CHAPTER BY CHAPTER
Chapters 1-2: Creation of the world and humanity
Chapter 3: The Fall of Man
Chapters 6-9: The Account of Noah
Chapters 15-17 & 21-22: Events in the life of Abraham
Chapters 24, 26, & 27: Events in the life of Isaac
Chapters 37, 39, & 41: Events in the life of Joseph
1 Fee, G., & Stuart, D. (2002). How to read the Bible book by book: A guided tour (p. 24). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.