Taken For Granted?

The first and possibly most interesting lesson series in Sunday school, the Genesis stories are ones Christians either know or are familiar with.  So, here is why I like Genesis.

The First Family

Here, God forms everything from nothing, including time, space and reality.  He merely speaks everything into existence, yet has time to form man and woman by hand.  We see the Trinity speaking as God says “Let us make man in our image.”  Then, we have a garden scene much different than the stereotypical depiction as everything is bigger due to the “waters above the heavens” creating an amazing greenhouse effect all over the earth.  And let’s not forget, that serpent had legs!

With the fall came sin and death, but also a promise of One who would fix all of this.  That promise of a Savior seed seemed dashed as Adam and Eve’s older son murdered the younger, but God provided more sons, the most famous of which is Seth.  I like to point out God’s tender compassion in dealing with the bitter, complaining Cain.  He was so merciful in giving the murderer a protective mark, even though Cain was unrepentant.  Thus, a contrast is born as Cain and his descendants serve themselves while Seth’s line serves the Lord.

Before And After The Flood

What a world that must have been!  Can you imagine a society where everything is bigger and healthier, with all of the most intelligent minds of the last millennia all together?  Sure, they didn’t have cars and trains, but when you can run to grandma’s and have no wild animals trying to kill you, do you really need houses or cars?  But God’s mercy was being abused and God decided it was time to act.  He warned of His judgment at least 969 years in advance, but still man refused to listen.  Thus, the flood was sent and only the family of Noah was spared, because he was the only one who followed the Lord.  But don’t worry, all of Noah’s forefathers were passed away by then, so they weren’t among those who forsook the Lord.

After the flood, the nations began to form.  It’s at the start of this that the Tower of Babel incident takes place which causes the language variety and the universal migration.  The skin colors probably just came from certain families sticking together as they moved to differing climates, resulting in certain nations keeping certain dominant traits.

The Rest Of The Book

The rest of the book follows the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) up until the death of Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph.  In these chronicles, there is story after story of man’s sin and God’s mercy.  God promised Abraham a son, a nation and a massive geographic border, all in spite of Abraham’s constant doubt, deceit and moral depravity with Hagar.  God was merciful to Lot, literally forcing him to safety rather than judging him for his sin.

And then we have Jacob.  While crafty and deceitful at times, he was also very alert to the things of God.  It is after he is sent away from home for deceiving his favor that in Gen. 28:10, God promises to bless Jacob’s seed, resulting in Jacob calling on the Lord.  Here is a family, seesawing between serving God and serving self, until you get the moral monsters the man Jacob calls his sons.  Yet, after the family experiences several heartaches, they all eventually learn from their mistakes and follow God, slowly becoming the nation we now call Israel.

The book starts with life and ends with death.  The book starts with freedom and ends in Egypt, giving way to the setting of Exodus.  Person after person, story after story, Genesis repeats the theme of man’s sin and God’s mercy.

The Christian walk is not about treating your soul as a laundry list of spiritual requirements.  If these rollercoaster saints can get it, surely we can!  The Christian walk is simply believing what God says and relying on Him to help us be obedient, along with seeing God, our master, as our compassionate friend, not as our heartless dictator.  Of course, we have an advantage…Christ lives in us.

Let us stay surrendered to Christ so that He may live His life through us.

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