In the Beginning

Some books of the bible seem to be more important than others. I do not say more inspired by God, but they seem to be crucial – Genesis is surely one of the most important books within the pages of scripture. It is often called ‘The book of beginnings’, because it tells us of the origin of so many matters which are of importance to us. We read of the origin of the world, marriage, sin, the beginning of society and languages. Chapters 12-50 tell us of the beginning of the people of God.

To understand the book of Genesis, it is helpful to know the background of its origin. The book addresses questions like, ‘Where does the universe come from?’ ‘What is the origin of marriage?’ ‘Why are there nations?’ So it is rightly called the book of beginnings.

The first three chapters are like stories which we read to children. We read events that no-one could have witnessed, beginning with the creation of the universe and of the sun, moon and stars. We read of the creation of the seas and the animals and the first man. God works for six days and then takes a day’s rest to enjoy what He has done. A woman is made out of the bone of a man, a snake talks, a tree determines the destiny of the human race, God walks in the garden and another tree can keep humankind alive for ever. This is so wonderful: keep on reading this holy book.

Chapter 4 and later chapters bring in more good news and adventures. We read of things like murder, polygamy and jealousy between brothers. Farmers are introduced to us, as are metal-work, music and poetry. Wickedness is also brought to our attention, and that God intends to drown people, descendants of Cain and Seth and to start the human race again. Animals join Noah in a boat and all are saved. When the new humanity gets going, they all speak the same language and decide to build a tower. God was not pleased with this idea, He came down and brought an end to the project by making them all speak in different languages.

When we get to chapter 11, the style changes yet more and we are at last into the world that we know today. There are still miracles like, later, when Isaac is born when his mother is in her nineties, and so on. At the end of the chapter, we are introduced to Abraham who will be the model for salvation.

From that point, instead of focusing on the outworking of sin, the story focuses on the one through whom there will come a Saviour, the seed of Abraham. The remainder of the book shows us how faith works, beginning by exhibiting the life of faith in Abraham (11:27-25:11).

So the start of everything is the fact that God is LORD It is His world. He made it. He tells us how it works. Creation is the start of everything: “IN THE BEGINNING, GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH”.

Bro Gift Lungu (Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe)

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