Posts Tagged ‘Genesis’

BERESHIT (in the beginning)

As we conclude our celebration of Simchat Torah, we look forward to this coming Shabbat when we will go through the cycle of Torah reading again beginning with Bereshit. The Torah passages for this week are Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 6:8. This section of scripture is compelling not only because it is so familiar, but because of the truth it conveys. Before everything else was–God existed. Many of us may take this for granted, but it is not a concept to handle lightly. Today the existence of God is, for many, a question mark.

As we begin our journey for the coming year, we want to read with intentionality the creation narrative. Let us focus again on how the creation took shape–God spoke it into existence.

We also want to consider the firsts that we find in the opening chapters of Genesis. I have some prior posts which consider these. See Firsts in Genesis 1 , Firsts in Genesis 2 , Firsts in Genesis 3 , and Firsts in Genesis 4 .

Also in Bereshit, we are introduced to the Sabbath, which is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind.

In Genesis 2, God in His creation of man and woman, takes one and makes two, so that the two could be made one. Thus, it is clear that mankind (man and woman) were created for union. This is certainly something we can consider along with its implications.

Genesis 3 brings the fall of mankind and the expulsion of man and woman from the garden of Eden. Along with these tragic events, the resulting curses on man, woman and the serpent, we are given the first real hint at Messiah–deliverer. This comes in Genesis 3:16.

Genesis 4 ushers in the topic of appropriate worship, when God accepts Abel’s offering, but rejects the offering of Cain. The resulting conduct of Cain in killing his brother brings with it God’s banishment of Cain.

Genesis 5 outlines the genealogy of  Adam to Noah. We must not skip over genealogies we come across in scripture without considering why God included them where He included them and what information we can glean from them. The genealogy in Genesis 5 certainly lets us see the lifespan of those early descendants of Adam. It also gives us a bit of information about Enoch–that he walked with God and then was no more. Sometimes the Bible just doesn’t explain.

Finally, in the opening verses of Genesis 6, God sets up for judgment. But introduces us to the deliverer, Noah.

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Read Genesis 46
1. What did Jacob/Israel do when he reached Beersheba?

Note: Beersheba was the last border town before they would cross the desert.
2. What promises did God make to Jacob in the visions in the night?

3. Who came with Jacob to Egypt? Who stayed behind? (No need to give individual names.)

4. What does Joseph tell his father regarding how the Egyptians view shepherds? Where does Joseph propose his family live?


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Read Genesis 43
1. What causes Jacob’s sons to return to Egypt? What does Judah tell his father? How does Jacob respond? How is the matter resolved?

2. From Genesis 43:16-34, answer the following questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Read Genesis 44-45
3. Summarize what happens in these chapters in your own words.

4. What does Joseph tell his brothers in Genesis 45:5-8?

5. What is Israel’s reaction in Genesis 45:28?

6. What do we know about God’s plans and purposes towards us from the following verses?
 Psalm 16:11

 Psalm 36:7-10

 Psalm 145:19

 Romans 8:28-30

 2 Peter 2:9


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Coming back to this study after a few weeks off, the first thing I notice is that there are a lot of chapters about this character Abraham (aka Abram). Abraham is a significant figure in Jewish history and, therefore, in Christian history. He is known as a patriarch (founding father). He is also known as a friend of God. Those two facts alone make him worthy of study, but there is much more. Before we finish with him-and we will be moving on to his son, Isaac, in the next chapter-we need to review some of the highlights.

Things that are important about Abraham:

  • He was called by God to leave his home, his family and all that he knew to travel to a place he had never been
  • He was called out of polytheism/paganism into belief  in the one true and living God by God alone (I love that)
  • He was old when many of the most important things happened to him (I take heart in that)
  • He was not perfect (he lied about his wife/sister twice; he didn’t follow God’s directions and brought his nephew with him when he was supposed to come alone; he let his wife convince him to take her hand maid)
  • He had questions for God (when will I have a son? what about Ishmael? )
  • God saw that Abraham believed Him and counted that belief as righteousness (before
  • the law, before circumcision)



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CREATION (Chapter 1)

Read Genesis Chapter 1 and answer the following questions.

Day 1

What did God create?

How did God create it?

Day 2

What did God create?

How did God create it?

Day 3

What did God create?

How did God create it?


Day 4

What did God create?

How did God create it?

Day 5

What did God create?

How did God create it?

Day 6

What did God create?

How did God create it?


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Firsts in Genesis 3

As we mentioned in 2 previous posts, the book of Genesis, is a book of origins or beginnings.  We found many origins or “firsts” in Chapters 1 and 2, but there are more to be found in Chapter 3:

First misrepresentation of God’s word (by Satan verse 1)

First sin (violation of God’s clear command)

First invitation to another to sin (Eve gives Adam to eat)

First religious act (cover themselves to approach God)

First time nakedness becomes an issue

First time man hid from God

First time fear is mentioned

First time a husband blames a wife for his sin

First time a wife blames the devil for her sin

First curse on an animal

First curse on a person

First curse on the ground

First mention of childbirth

First time Eve’s name is mentioned

First animal sacrifice (verse 21 – God made skins to cover them)

First mention of leaving the garden

First mention of eternal life

First mention of Adam working the land to eat (farming)

First mention of Cherubim

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According to Dr. Henry M. Morris, in his book The Genesis Record, the following are some of the origins that are given in the book of Genesis:

  • Origin of the Universe
  • Origin of order and complexity
  • Origin of the solar system
  • Origin of the atmosphere and hydrosphere
  • Origin of life
  • Origin of man
  • Origin of marriage
  • Origin of evil
  • Origin of language
  • Origin of government
  • Origin of culture
  • Origin of nations
  • Origin of religion
  • Origin of the chosen people

As you are reading through Genesis, consider what God says about these various subjects.

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Easter in Genesis?

It is no mystery to the student of scripture that every book of the Bible has a little Easter running through it.  Easter is all about love, God’s love.

The heart of Easter pre-dates creation.  Before man was in need of a Savior, the God who loves enough to give us Easter was.

The need for Easter, however, can be found squarely in Genesis.  When man violated the one rule God had given him, man’s perfect fellowship with God was broken.  Easter represents man’s only hope, his one way back into that fellowship with God.

God is holy.  He alone is holy.  Sinful man* cannot approach or have close relationship with a holy God without dealing with his or her sin problem.  Sin is an abomination to God.

Just as darkness and light cannot co-exist in the physical realm, so holiness and sin cannot co-exist in the spiritual realm.

The promise of Easter is found in Genesis 3:15.  And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

*For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.  James 2:10

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Don’t look so surprised.  Genesis is not some lofty preamble to the Bible, but rather it is its spine, giving support and reinforcement for many of the later events which are recorded in other books of the Bible.

In Luke 1, starting in verse 26, we read of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary and announcement of God’s plan for her life, a plan that would be the salvation of all.  In the exchange between Mary and Gabriel regarding this baby that she was to bear, we see a glimpse of Genesis 1.

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.”  Luke 1:34-35

In Genesis 1:2, we read “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”    Just before He created the world, God hovered.  Then in a moment, God spoke and the world was created.  It was His glory shown forth.

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

And so it was with Mary.  The Holy Spirit came upon her, the power of the Highest overshadowed her and the glory of God was once more shown forth.  God became man.  The Christ was born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, and a Great Light came to those in darkness.  Promises kept.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.  1 Timothy 3:16

Jesus is the glory of God shown forth.  It was the glory of God to not spare His own son, but deliver Him up for us all that we might have the chance to know God, to fellowship with God, to live in the glory of God forever.

The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.  Revelation 21:23

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One of the purposes of this blog is to provide accurate information about the Bible in an easy-to-understand format.

The following are links to the posts in the  Bible Basics – Old Testament Overview series:

Bible Basics (Part 1)

Bible Basics (Part 2)

Bible Basics (Part 3)

Bible Basics (Part 4)

Bible Basics (Part 5)

Bible Basics (Part 6)

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