Big Buts of the Bible: Insights from Hindsight (Coming in early 2015)
Genesis means beginning. In the Bible’s first book we find beginnings, beginning to end. The origin of all that is, the beginnings of the human race, the beginnings of all troubles and disorder, and the beginnings of God’s redemptive plan to rescue it all from that trouble and disorder—it’s all found here.
The outline of Genesis moves beginning to beginning. Nothing to everything we see: the first human to the first nation; the first family to the first domestic violence; the first covenant to the first breach; the first passions, first jealousies, first lies, first anger, first rage, first aggression, first murder, first … Do you get what I’m saying? It’s ALL here!
Most importantly, in Genesis we have the beginnings of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. All that follows in the Bible springs from here. That said, in Genesis, we find Jesus!
Scholars have noted, “What was begun in Genesis is fulfilled in Christ.” The genealogies here in chapters five and eleven, for instance, are completed with the birth of Jesus in the New Testament. He is the offspring promised to Abraham. He is the one in whom God’s promised blessings are realized. A well-rounded picture of Jesus Christ cannot be gained apart from beginning here.
Studying the sciences? Cosmo, Geo, Bio, and Theo—all of the ‘ologies’ really—you’re wise to start in Genesis. A well-rounded picture of our lives and the world we live in begins here. Could you effectively study anthropology—the study of the human race—without the foundation Genesis provides? Talk about a missing link! Why, even debates in our day over things like Climate Change and peace in the Middle East are informed by the Bible’s first book.
You’ve picked up your Bible and turned to page one before. You made it through the story of creation, scratching your head over whether those were literal days, generations or eras, and whether it even matters one way or another. Then you got to the story of Adam and Eve and wondered: ‘What’s the big deal if they ate the fruit or not?’ Then you came to a genealogy. Next thing you knew, you realized that you had dozed off and drooled on the pages. Chapters 5 and 6 are stuck together. You pressed on a little farther. All those people living hundreds and hundreds of years, and all those names made up of seventeen consonants … you’d had it, and you returned your Bible to the nightstand. Genesis? Yeah, you tried starting at the beginning once.
I want to encourage you to try again. You know the contents are worthwhile. This time, I’ve got a tool for you to use that will make a difference. It’s been there all along. But this time, you’re going to know to look for it.
An excerpt from Big Buts of the Bible: Insights from Hindsight