“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 ESV
The Bible may not be what you think it is. It is not a shabby collection of half truths, myths and contradictions that have no purpose. The Bible is filled with characters who do not just point to themselves; rather they point to Christ. Each character and storyline is about our story, building upon one another to a climax pointing to Jesus, the one who loves and saves.
Genesis shows us the God of wonder
The Book of Genesis starts off the masterpiece of God’s work, the origin of time, matter, space and thought. We are given God’s witness of himself, the human race, relationships, family life, the birth and role of nations, and, finally, the work of sin and God’s redemption plan for us. The word Genesis means “the beginning”.
The God of wonder, creator of the universe, created us to rule over the world, to be his stewards of care to the environment. He is a God of beauty and wonder – just look at the sunset, the delicate petal of a flower, the laughter of a child – he made every good thing for us!
Genesis shows us our need for a Savior
Genesis 2:15-17 says: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
But Satan comes, and humanity’s poor choices allow for the first sin and our separation from God.
Genesis 3:1-5 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
Even as Adam and Eve disobey God (later in Genesis we see further consequences of their sin), God is still a God of wonder, and hope is coming for humanity. We need a savior, and God is putting his plan into motion. We are created to know, feel, think and respond and we have the capacity to choose, to reject, hurt and kill, and miss what God has for us.
We see through Genesis and the stories of the Old Testament that the old Adam will give way to the New Adam, pointing to Jesus Christ. Through the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, we see people rejecting God, who never rejected them. We see our need for a savior and God’s redemptive grace toward us.
Genesis shows us the God of love
God is love in action. Creation is his magnificent epic mural, the universe is a canvas of his work and his love for us. We are created by love with a reason, sent by God. We are an extension of his wondrous purpose, and extensions of his essence.
We are not little gods; rather, we are created to know and worship him and carry out his will. Then, even though we betray him; he works all things to his purpose, and crafts us to his image. He sacrificed his own son to redeem us, and he shows us his love in magnificent ways to us.
This week, take some time to read Genesis, and consider how the story of Creation, Adam and Eve, and the fall of humanity points to God’s goodness and to Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross.
How does reading the Bible in this way change your perception of what Christ did for you?
Read an earlier post by Richard here.