Genesis begins "in the beginning" and traces the inception of the
universe, man, woman, marriage, worship, sin, judgment, civilization, and
redemption. The first portion (chapters 1-11) presents a wide-angle view
of God's dealings from Creation to Babel-a period characterized by human
faithfulness. But chapters 12-50 focus on God's relationship with one man
(Abraham) and his descendants over the next four centuries, during which a
nation is founded and salvation is promised for the fallen race of man.
Six Days of Creation GENESIS 1-2
OVERVIEW The first two chapters of the Bible begin at "the
beginning." Chapter 1 gives a concise overview of the progress
of creation, climaxing in the creation of man. Chapter 2 takes a
zoom-lens look at day six. There the details emerge of how
God's image-bearers were created-man from the dust of the
ground and woman from his rib. The stage is set, the characters
are in place, the drama can begin.
YOUR DAILY WALK "When all else fails, follow the directions."
That belated advice is based on a law as universal as
gravity-the Law of Design, which states: "Things work well
when they function according to the way they were designed;
they work poorly (or not at all) when that design is violated."
God, the Master Designer, made the water, sky, and land; then
He made creatures suited for each environment. So it should not
surprise you to discover that birds make terrible submarines, or
that fish have trouble climbing trees.
The same design apparent in both solar system and desert
flower is built into humans and their relationships. The husband
is the head of the home; the wife is his helper by design. Violate
the design and there's trouble. Follow it and there's harmony
Grab a sheet of paper and see how many ways you can
complete this sentence: "By God's design, I am ____________";
(1-3, good start; 4-7, borderline Bible genius; 8 or more,
you must be a design engineer!). If you got stuck, consult
Psalm 139:14; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 2:10; 5:21-6:9;
Titus 2:14 for some help. With God's help, you can become all
you were created to be!
INSIGHT Big Questions, Bigger Answers - The first
verse in the English Bible uses only 10 words to answer four of
the most basic questions thinking individuals ever ask: (1) What
is there? (2) How did it get there? (3) Did it have a beginning?
(4) What or who is responsible? These answers have been graciously
supplied by the only One who was there at the time.
(The correct answers are: 1. The heaven and the earth; 2. It was
all created; 3. Yes; 4. God.)
Entrance and Extent of Sin GENESIS 3-5
OVERVIEW The perfect environment into which man was
placed is now shattered by the entrance of sin. Satan, posing as
the subtle serpent, challenges God's only prohibition on man's
use of the garden. Disobedience follows as the first family eats
from the forbidden tree and is expelled from the garden. The
results of their sin spread quickly as humankind and the whole
creation fall under the penalty of death. Cain becomes the first
murderer, and the downward spiral continues from Adam to
Noah, paving the way for God's sweeping judgment upon the
wickedness of the world.
YOUR DAILY WALK Has this ever happened to you? You
turn on your radio or TV and hear glowing reports of a new
"miracle product." Convinced, you go out and buy it, only to
discover it fails to live up to its billing.
Satan has been in the business of overselling his "product"-sin-for
thousands of years. He first tried this approach with Eve
in the Garden of Eden. Notice the promise: "In the day ye eat
thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as
gods, knowing good and evil" (3:5). Eve believed his claim and
tried his product. The result? Pain . bitter disappointment .
and expulsion from the garden.
Where has your resistance to temptation been tested by
Satan? What are some of the false promises he would like you to
believe in order to sell you on sin? "If it feels good it must be
right Everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay If you
haven't tried it, you can't know what you're missing It won't
hurt to do it just once."
When tempted today to fall for one of Satan's false promises,
respond instead with this scriptural promise from James 4:7:
"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
INSIGHT Same Scheme, Different Results - Compare
Genesis 3 with Matthew 4:1-11 and you'll notice an interesting
fact. Satan tempted Jesus in the same three ways that he tempted
Eve (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life; 1 John
2:16). But in Christ's case, Satan failed on every count!
Stewards of God's Creation
Occasionally you'll be given the opportunity with these special
pages to pause in your daily walk through the Bible. You
can use these days to catch up on your regular reading. But
more important, you can step back and take a look at the big
picture, contemplating the broad themes from the passages
you're reading, and worship their Author-God Himself.
STEP BACK One of the most immense themes of Scripture is
the one that starts it all: the Creation. Despite the debate that has
raged especially in recent years over the origin of the universe,
the Bible firmly and clearly proclaims God the Creator of all.
And not only in the early chapters of Genesis. The New
Testament echoes this truth while shedding even brighter light
on it. There it is revealed that God the Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ, was the agent of creation: "For by him [Jesus Christ] were
all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible
and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or
principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for
him" (Colossians 1:16; see also John 1:3 and Hebrews 1:2).
Go to your nearest window and take a careful look at the
outside world. What does it mean to you that God Himself fashioned
the natural elements you see-as well as the supernatural
elements you can't see-for Himself?
LOOK UP Make this Scripture the basis for prayer to your all-creative,
all-powerful God: "For thus saith the Lord that created
the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he
hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be
inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:18).
MOVE AHEAD God said He created the world "not in vain,"
but for a purpose: "to be inhabited." Realizing that God made
this world, and realizing that you are an inhabitant of it, ask
yourself: How responsibly are you caring for it? What actions are
you taking as a steward of God's creation? Recycling newspapers,
aluminum cans, and other materials . keeping check on
your use of natural resources . getting involved in conservation
activities . the list is endless. Determine today to be an
informed and active caretaker of all that God has given you. His
creation deserves special care.
Noah's Ark GENESIS 6-9
OVERVIEW In the course of its rebellion, humanity becomes
so sinful that God prepares to execute the death sentence on the
entire race. In grace He directs Noah-a just man who walks
with God-to build a great ship in order to escape the coming
judgment. Noah obeys God, and while the floodwaters purge
the earth, the ark preserves human and animal life for a fresh
start. After a safe landing on Mount Ararat, God gives new directions
and makes new commitments to Noah and his descendants:
"I will remember my covenant" (9:15).
YOUR DAILY WALK Just imagine: "You say you sometimes
get tired of waiting for God to right the wrongs in your day?
Maybe you should quit your job and sign on with Noah & Sons
Shipbuilders. They're short of help, and you will be doubly welcome
if you know anything about building triple-decker cargo
"Seems nobody's ever tried this kind of thing before. But
Noah is convinced God told him to do it. Says he's working
against a deadline too.
"The contract calls for 120 years-no more, no less. Ol' Noah
figures the Lord wants to give people another chance to turn
back to Him. God's not in any hurry. That's because He's long-suffering.
But the Lord won't wait forever. When the time comes,
it's going to get real wet around here. God always keeps His
word-and just at the right time too.
"Well, you can start by sawing those gopher logs into
Make a list of the faith-inspired steps that Noah took in chapters
6-9. Noah obeyed God by picking up a hammer and saw.
What is God asking you to do to join Noah's faithful ranks?
INSIGHT When Came the Rainbow? - God decreed the
rainbow a tangible sign of His promise never again to destroy
the earth by flood. However, Scripture does not indicate whether
the rainbow had previously existed, and was then chosen by
God as a sign; or whether it was a new phenomenon, suggesting
a changed climate after the Flood.