Genesis 1-11 Series Resources
The food in England is delicious! The meat pies and rich puddings, the roasted potatoes and boiled greens remind me of the food on which I grew up. But why did my mother, who was raised in Southern California, regularly feed her family British fare? Surely, it was because my mother learned to cook from her mother who was from Canada, a Dominion of the UK. So, dining in England was, for me, a trip back home since it helped me to understand the heritage of my family table! What does this have to do with Genesis 1-11?
The opening chapters of Genesis are like a trip back home since they transport us to our common beginnings (which is what “Genesis” means). They help us make sense of basic life matters that most people think very little about or overlook altogether – the world and its origins, what it means to be a man or a woman, human discord and heartache as well as their remedy. Genesis 1-11 also sets the stage for the rest of the Bible. The peoples and persons from Genesis 12 to Revelation 22 follow a storyline that is established in these seminal chapters of Scripture. Seeing how that story starts is wonderfully helpful in understanding God’s plan for his world as well as his people.
Here are three helpful things to look for as we make our way through Genesis:
- Look for God’s purpose: Genesis 1-11 is not a science book (nor is the rest of Genesis). Rather, it is a polemic against the pantheism of the ancient world. The author carefully reveals how the singular God of creation purposefully and lovingly created the world and all who dwell in it. This stands in stark contrast to the many false and capricious gods in which other ancient peoples believed.
- Look for God’s grace: Genesis is comprised of one story after another about grace. In the early chapters Adam and Eve choose death, yet God graciously spares their lives. Then Cain takes a life, yet God graciously gives him a life by way his son, Enoch. And even though Cain’s progeny become increasingly godless, God graciously blesses them and through them the world, as they become pioneers of the livestock trade, musical arts and metals industry.
- Look for God’s gospel: Genesis 3:15 contains what is known as the protoevangelium – the first expression of the gospel. This good news, that someday a God-appointed man would victoriously and eternally crush the head of the adversary, becomes the longing of God’s people from that point on in Scripture.
Elder of Ministry Leadership
For Further Study
- Christian Interpretations of Genesis 1 by Vern Poythress (free PDF)
- Theological Triage and the Doctrine of Creation by Samuel Emadi (article)
- A Festive Day of Rest by Kevin DeYoung (sermon, video and transcript)
- Genesis and the Age of the Earth: Does Scripture Speak Definitively about the Age of the Universe? (Written summary of and link to video of a recent debate between Albert Mohler and C. John Collins on the question, “Does Scripture speak about the age of the universe?”)
- Trinity Debate: Genesis and the Age of the Earth (video)
- Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life By Barry Danylak