Genesis is the book of beginnings. We find the beginning of creation, humanity, sin and redemption. The character at the centre of it all is the one with no beginning and no end - God himself.
You may find the following questions helpful to ask as you read through the book. And the video at the bottom helps introduce the book in just 3 minutes.
- How does Genesis portray the damaging effects of sin?
- How do God’s promises reveal his grace to sinful people? (Not just what he promises, but who he makes promises to.)
- How do the people in Genesis exemplify faith in God’s promises? How do they fail?
Introduction to the book
Genesis is a book of beginnings.
Genesis charts the beginning of creation. Spoken into being from nothing by God’s mighty word.
Genesis records the beginning of humanity. Made by God’s hands. Given breath from God’s lungs. Welcomed into relationship with him. And commissioned to rule the earth as God’s representatives.
Genesis details the sorry beginning of sin. Which enters into the world as Satan, the enemy of God and his people, leads humanity to rebel against God. The book is full of sin and its sorry consequences – there much that’s messy here, not least in the families of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. (You’ll do well to look out for the shape and consequences of sin as you read.)
But Genesis also tells us about the beginning of God’s redemption. There are breadcrumbs of redemption littered throughout the book. They take the form of God’s promises. Made first to Adam and Eve, then to Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And these promises are so awesome that they even encompass you and me. (Make sure you keep your eyes pealed for God’s promises which reveal his grace and his redemption.)
Genesis is a book of beginnings, but the hero is the One who never had a beginning and will never have an end. For the hero of this book is God himself.
The book splits in two. Chapters 1-11 have a wide-angle lens telling us about the early life of the whole world, including: creation; the fall; Noah; the tower of Babel. Then chapters 12-50 have zoom lens which focus on just one family: Abraham; his son Isaac; his grandson Jacob; and his great-grandsons, who are the beginning of the 12 tribes of Israel. This family is far from perfect. But to this family God shows his grace time and again in his promises.
The Bible Project
The last resource to help us study Genesis is the following videos from the Bible Project. In greater depth than above they introduce us to the book of Genesis in two videos each lasting around 10 minutes.