1) Yahweh is eternal, powerful, righteous, good and merciful, and He manifests His attributes through creation.
2) He formed mankind to govern the earth in agreement with His own just government.
3) Adam and Eve decided to rebel against Yahweh’s just government by trusting in their own ability to equal or surpass it, and they (and we) suffer grave consequences for their disobedience.
4) In the midst of His just judgment, Yahweh also demonstrated His mercy to Adam and Eve. He promised them a descendant who would defeat the serpent and accepted the death of a substitute in the place of their immediate deaths.
5) As sin grows, Yahweh has to respond in just and decisive judgment as He did in the flood. But in the midst of His judgment, He saves a small remnant by grace.
6) Although the nations continue in rebellion by trying to unify according to technological advancements, economic achievement and a religion of their own making, Yahweh will judge them and also will unite them in submission, peace and worship under the righteousness of the promised descendant of Eve, Jesus Christ.
7) All of these themes are developed in much greater detail in all the rest of the Bible.
Wow! It’s been only 5 days of reading, but we already have a good, solid foundation for the rest of our Bible reading this year.
So let’s go on and look over the next unit, Genesis 12 – 50. According to the calendar, we’ll cover these readings from January 6th through the 16th, the next 11 days. As you read them, notice the following:
1) The main events of this unit: Yahweh enters into a covenant with Abraham and keeps it with his descendants Isaac, Jacob and Jacob’s sons.
2) Yahweh’s attributes that stand out: Loving-kindness, faithfulness
3) Yahweh’s main work: The formation of a Chosen People who will be a blessing to all the other nations of the earth
4) The main participants: The patriarchs of Israel
5) The main reference to Jesus Christ and the gospel: “In your offspring [seed] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul cites this verse and identifies the “offspring” or “seed”: “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring [seed]. It does not say, ‘And to his offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).
6) Key observation: After seeing so much emphasis on Yahweh’s righteousness and just judgment in Genesis 1 – 11, we expect to see that the main, God-fearing men in Genesis 12 – 50 will be righteous, just, exemplary men of integrity. But as we read, we’ll find out that they are not always like that. They lie, manipulate, act in violence, commit adultery and are traitors to their own family. There is a discord between God’s righteousness and the ugly sins of His chosen ones to a degree that can confuse and even greatly disappoint the reader of the book of Genesis. But the biblical narrator is presenting this discord on purpose: he wants us to see that the righteousness of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his sons is based on something far more secure, solid and permanent than their own actions. Their righteousness is based on Yahweh Himself, on the God who is faithful to His covenant, the God in whom they trust regardless of their circumstances or sufferings.
Ready for the next section? Let’s keep reading!