In the beginning… Probably one of the most remembered book beginnings ever; it is a fitting beginning for this study. Some critics argue that because Genesis does not have an ‘internal’ testimony by Moses that he is the author that it is an anonymous work. However, the Bible authors testify to Moses’ authorship (Mk. 12:26, Lk 24:27; Jn 1:45; Ro. 10:5; 2 Co. 3:15). He may have written some during the forty years he spent tending his father Jethro’s flocks and other sections that refer specifically to the history of the migration, of course, were written during or sometime shortly after the events.
Genesis is the compilation of verbal stories shared for centuries that reveal God’s interaction with His creation from the beginning of time through the time of Joseph’s reign in Egypt, 400 years before the birth of Moses and story of the Exodus began.
The stories contained in Genesis:
CREATION and the FALL
The TOWER of BABEL
The stories and their plots
CREATION and the Fall
An Introduction of God:
His Love of His Creation
An introduction of the antagonist of the entire plan of God – Satan
God’s protection of those He loves
Introduction of God’s redemptive plan in history in his cursing of Satan and prophecy that Christ would crush him
The sinfulness of man
God’s protection of His people
THE TOWER OF BABEL
Man’s unwillingness to follow God’s commands (even after being miraculously saved and seeing God’s limitless power)
The beginning of multiple languages and the spread of mankind across the world
Introduction of Abraham and God’s Covenant
Introduction of God’s plan of salvation that the Savior would come through Abraham’s lineage for all the nations (races) of the world including Jews and Gentiles
Testimony of God’s Faithfulness by Isaac’s birth
Visual display of God’s plan of salvation through the substitutionary gift of a ram to take Isaac’s place as a sacrifice
The testimony to what would be millennia of fighting between Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) and Jew’s (descendants of Isaac)
Isaac and Rebekah have twins – Esau and Jacob, Esau technically the eldest yet Jacob eventually steals his birthright as the eldest son
Jacob has a dream at Beth el where God shows him angels ascending and descending to heaven. God re-affirms the promise made to Abraham about His plan to bless them and give them the land where Jacob was traveling
During a time of contact with the pre-incarnate Christ, Jacob is renamed by God as ISRAEL.
Jacob has many children between his two wives, Leah and Rachel and their maids. The ten sons become the leaders of the Ten Tribes of Israel, Joseph being the youngest.
After the death of his mother, Joseph has a dream where his brothers bow down before him. Jacob loved Joseph more than his other sons and had made for him a special coat of many colors. Jealousy was high. He later dreamt that both his brothers and his father bowed before him. His brothers, angry at him vowed to kill him but Reuben arranged rather for him to be sold in to slavery, which took him to Egypt.
While in Egypt, Joseph did very well in the house of an official until the official’s wife tried to seduce him and he refused. She then she claimed he had tried to rape her. Joseph went to prison.
The Bible says that God was with him while he was there. God did not take him out of prison for several years, until just the right time with the right Pharaoh in charge etc.
In prison Joseph’s work was so good the jailer actually had him working all around the grounds to which he did not have access.
He eventually explained the dreams of two men in prison and he gave all the glory to God for the ability to do that. It was that event which eventually got Joseph removed from prison and working in the Pharaoh’s household where again God made Joseph to prosper.
God orchestrated all the events that made Joseph the second highest in the kingdom so that during a terrible famine not only could Egypt survive, but all of the new ‘Nation of Israel’ which was his father, brothers and all their families. Joseph’s dreams were fulfilled and eventually the family was reconciled.
Because the famine was so severe, Joseph sent for the rest of the family to Egypt which although protecting them during Josephs lifetime, it led to Israel’s captivity for nearly four hundred years anticipating the birth and emancipation by Moses led by God.
The book of Genesis ends with Joseph’s death.
Each sub-plot within the main plot of the book of Genesis involves in some way God showing who He is, His methods, His holiness and how He orchestrates the events of life to bring about His purpose. The paths of His believers are seldom luxurious or soft but according to his rewards for his faithfulness there will be no lack of joy!