*by Wes Moore
The book of Genesis is one of the most important books in the Bible. As it is the first book in God’s Word, it gives us the foundation for almost everything else that happens or is taught in Scripture.
In this article, I would like to give you an overview of this beautiful and important book.
The Basics of Genesis
As you may know, the word “Genesis” means “beginnings.” In this book, which is made up of a total of fifty chapters, we have the beginning of many things in the Bible.
Genesis was put together by a man named Moses, the same man to which God gave the Ten Commandments. Some parts of the book he probably wrote himself, while others he may have collected from writers who lived before him, like Adam, Abraham, or others.
The book of Genesis covers roughly the first 2,100 years of human history, from the creation of the world by God to the death of the Israelite, Joseph. There are several important events that take place in the book of Genesis. Here are a few of them:
· The creation of the world by God himself, Genesis chapters 1-2
· The Fall of Man into sin, Genesis 3
· The Flood of Noah which covered the entire world, Genesis 6-9
· The Tower of Babel where God gave man different languages, Genesis 11
· The promise of a great land and people to Abraham, Genesis 12-15
· God’s promise to Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Jacob, Genesis 24-50
The Big Story of Genesis
While the things I just listed might not seem related, they are all a part of the great story of God and man. God created man (Adam and Eve) in the garden to obey and worship him. If they refused, he promised them that they would one day die.
They did refuse (with a little help from Satan), but God set a plan in motion to save them from the death he had promised. After Adam and Eve sinned against him, God said to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
What God was saying was that a man would be born in the future who would eventually destroy Satan and save man. Of course, we know now who God was speaking about—the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many years after Adam and Eve first sinned, God selected a man through whom Jesus would come, Abraham. He went to Abraham and made a promise to give him a great land, a huge nation of people, and to bless the whole world through him.
Later he made that same promise to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and then later to Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Jacob, or Israel, eventually had twelve sons (Genesis 46:8-25). We call these the “twelve tribes of Israel.”
Genesis ends with the story of Joseph, one of Israel’s sons. Joseph was used by God to save all of Israel’s family from a terrible famine (a lack of food in a town, city, or nation), including his other sons. One of those sons, Judah, would eventually give us the Lord Jesus many hundreds of years later.
Genesis is the book of beginnings. It gives us the beginning of the world, of man, of sin, and of salvation. Its fifty chapters were written by Moses and cover the first 2,100 years of human history. Though it may not seem that way, the entire story of Genesis is tied together very well by God’s promise to save man from his sins, a promise kept when he sent Jesus Christ (one of Abraham’s descendants) to die for our sins on the cross.
As you grow up and study the Bible more and more, do not forget the importance of the book of Genesis. Learn as much as you can about, defend it when people say it isn’t true, and teach other Christians the special place of this book in God’s Word.
*Wes Moore is a conservative Christian author and speaker, and the founder of Evidence America, an apologetics and evangelism training ministry. Wes is the author of Forcefully Advancing, a book designed to equip the average Christian to engage the lost; The Maker, a futuristic apologetics novel; and The Spiritual Top 50, a non-fiction apologetics book designed to help Christians answer the questions their lost friends are asking. You can learn more about him at www.wesmoorenow.com.
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