The first book of the OT, has 50 chapters. Moses was the author, writing about 1450 BC. This was the first of five books of the Law he wrote (collectively called the Torah or Pentateuch). Time to read: 3 hrs 35 mins.
Key people include: Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Joseph.
Outline. This book tells of the creation of the world, including Adam and Eve and their disobedience to God’s instruction with the increasing sinfulness resulting in the great flood (Noah and his family along with the animals protected in the ark), the re-population of the earth, and building the tower of Babel. Then follows God promising to make a nation of Abraham’s descendants, the birth of Isaac and his twin sons Jacob and Esau. Jacob was the father of 12 sons (often termed the patriarchs), one of whom was Joseph who was sold as a slave but prepared the way for his family to increase and become a great nation during the 430 years of their residence in Egypt. (Exodus records their freedom from slavery).
Main lesson. The price of disobedience is high and the consequences long lasting. There is seldom any comprehension of the seriousness of the future outcome of making wrong choices.
Key verses or thoughts: * “God made man in His likeness” (Gen 1:27). This gives humanity, the pinnacle of His creation, great value and is the basis for positive self-esteem. He is the Supreme creator and we can but reflect His characteristics and emotions. Criticism or thinking negatively about ourselves is contrary to God’s view of us. By utilizing His opinion of us, we can view ourselves and our unique abilities in a positive manner, living with love and harmony toward Him and making a valuable contribution to those around us.
* Man was commanded not to eat of a particular tree but disobeyed (Gen 2:16,17). What is our response to God’s specific directives? Do we choose to obey or disobey? When tempted to do wrong, consider the heartache Adam and Eve set in perpetual motion when they made an unwise choice. Was it worth it? Countless times they must have regretted that single senseless act to “be their own boss”, but they could not reverse the action.
* God told Abraham he would be the father of a great nation and would be a blessing to many others (Gen 12:2,3). The effect of our lives can spread far and wide, touching an infinite number of people. In Adam and Eve’s case, not responding correctly affected and continues to negatively influence the whole world: but conversely when Abraham co-operated with God his actions were rewarded, culminating in Jesus being born through his family line and thus providing the means whereby the eternal death sentence imposed because of sin can be removed. By my choices, am I being a blessing or curse to other people?
See also: Abel, Abraham, Adam, ark, Babel, Cain, choice, consequences, creation, Eden/ garden of, Egypt, Eve, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Noah, Pentateuch, Rebekah, Sarah, sin/sinners, slave.