Happy New Year! What a
great way to start it—studying the Bible chronologically. Moreover,
what better place to begin than to study the book of
Genesis, the book of beginnings! In Genesis we get answers to some of
life’s most challenging questions
Is there a God? What is He like?
How did life begin?
Who am I and where did I come from?
Why am I here? What is my purpose?
Today's study in Genesis will answer these questions.
The word “Genesis”
means “Beginnings.” In Genesis we read about the
following: the beginning of life, the beginning of man's relationship
with God, the beginning of wrongdoing (sin), the need for atonement
(a covering and satisfaction for sin), the beginning of people groups
and nations, and the beginning of a particular people chosen by God.
Moses is the author of the first five books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch. Jesus’ words in Luke 24:27 and Moses’ composition of Psalm 90 give Scriptural justification for this view. Thousands of years after the creation of the earth, God revealed to Moses the events that only He could have witnessed. Moses must have been in awe as God described how He made the universe and all its inhabitants.
Have you ever asked yourself, even as a child, who made the birds, the reptiles, animals, plants, trees, insects, the sea and the creatures within it, the sky, and even the sun, moon, and stars? Genesis 1and 2 tell us that the magnificent and transcendent (above and beyond all comprehension) one and only Almighty God created the universe. He spoke words, and things came into being. This is more power and wisdom than we can ever imagine. If God is powerful enough to do that, then He certainly can help us with our life.
Who am I and where did I come from? In Genesis 1 God declares we His special creation.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them, (Genesis 1:26-27, NIV).
Like all of God's creation, we were created and assessed as very good (Genesis 1:31). But, unlike the rest of God's creation, we are the highest order of His earthly creation and are made in His image.
What is my purpose in this world?
God created us for His pleasure (Genesis 1:31; Ephesians 1:3-14). Although He is so great and eternally transcendent in power, might, and majesty, from the very beginning we can see that He desired to have a personal relationship with His image bearers. Genesis 3:8 seems to indicate it was God's habit of walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening to fellowship with Adam and Eve. But something happened one day. God expected to find them, but they were hiding. Why were they hiding? They were hiding because they had disobeyed their almighty and benevolent (kind–hearted) God, eating of the only tree in the garden from which they were forbidden to eat.
Here was the beginning of sin. Sin is disobedience. Sin is rebellion. Sin is any wrongdoing or failure to do what is right. Because we are all the descendants of Adam and Eve, we are sinners by nature; but lest we blame our first parents for everything, we should remember that like them we are also sinners by choice. Their sins and ours lead us to physical and spiritual death (Genesis 2:16–17; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8).
When our original parents sinned by disobeying God, their eyes were opened to good, evil, shame, and guilt. Adam blamed Eve, and then Eve blamed the serpent for their sin. God placed curses on the man, the woman, and the serpent. Then God sacrificed animals and used their hides to cover the shame and nakedness of our first parents.
Today, God provides us a better sacrifice— through Jesus (Hebrews 10:10). Through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for us, the just for the unjust, we can have our guilt removed and be cleansed of our sins (1John 1:7). After our relationship to God is restored, we have eternal spiritual life. This restored relationship with God makes it possible to fulfill our purpose in this world— to give God glory and pleasure.
Lessons to Live by
• The magnificent and transcendent Almighty God created the universe. God is all- powerful so He can help us with all the small or large difficulties we encounter.
• God is good. He plans and provides for our every need.
• We are specially created in God's likeness.
• We were created for God's pleasure. God wants to have a personal relationship with us.
• Listening to Satan (the serpent, Revelation 12:9) and disobeying God ruins our relationship with Him and leads to all kinds of evil and death. We need cleansing of our sins to have a renewed relationship with our holy God. This cleansing is provided for in Jesus Christ, God's Son (John 3:16).
Today's Bible Memory Verse
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Write a Prayer Response to Today’s Bible Study
Testimony and Experience: I am a committed Christian, husband, and father of four adult children. At Clarks Summit University in Clarks Summit, PA., I earned a B.S. in Bible in the Pre-Seminary program. Since 1987 I have been active teaching the Bible and leading in church settings. In 1995 I started reading The One-Year Chronological Bible (ISBN 0-8423-5090-X) by Tyndale Publishers. The arrangement of the Scriptures in Chronological order made it easier to understand and gave me insights otherwise overlooked. I knew others could profit in the same way.
In 2008 I searched for a devotional Bible study for the One-Year Chronological Bible. This would be enriching for me and helpful for teaching my students. In 2009 the Lord challenged me to write it after nothing was found in the market place to meet that need. Two years later, with the help of the Lord and some very generous and skillful friends, I began publishing and maintaining an online version of One-Year Chronological, Scripture, Topical and small group Bible studies @ http://mtbiblestudies.com. That continues to this day.