This is an excerpt taken from my very first post, with some editing for this series.
The book of Genesis, all in one book, tells the story of
- God’s power and might and love
- God’s desire for relationship with man
- God’s pursuit of man in order to have that relationship
- man’s inability to live a sinless life
- man’s inability to seek a relationship with God (because man loves himself first)
- man’s need for salvation
- man’s need for God, and a relationship with Him
- God created us. He knows the hairs on our heads. Before we were knit together in our mother’s womb, He knew us. He had a specific design in mind for each of His children. One part of that design is a desire for intimacy with their Creator. Man may try many and various ways and means to fill that need, that void, but the only thing that fits is God Himself.
- 1 Chronicles 16.11: Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
- God’s promise to make a way for a holy God to have a relationship with sinful man
- our unique make-up, the way God created us to long for relationship, to long for meaning, and the way He created us to find joy and peace and meaning
- our inability to find joy or peace or meaning in our own efforts
- God’s choices:
- His chosen people, to show the world what a beautiful thing relationship and obedience to God can look like,
- and those whom God does not choose – the evil ones who will end up in the pit of fire.
God so loved the world that He created man and woman in order to have a relationship and share His love. He created His beings with the ability to choose: love is not love, of course, if one is programmed for it and unable to choose love. He created angels with this ability, and some chose to be their own gods. He created man and woman (and all people who came after) with this ability, but, alas, none of the people were able to choose God in and of themselves (Psalm 14.1b – 3: They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. John 15.5: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. And Romans 3.23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God) While it’s easy to become huffy and counter with our own goodness, God shows us in the Garden of Eden that our goodness is not the same as His goodness. Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They chose for themselves the ability to make their own plumb lines. They chose to make themselves gods, instead of relying implicitly and completely on God. They willfully turned from obedience to God, and broke the total unity they had with Him. [Just to be clear, we cannot place all the blame for our fallen state upon Adam and Eve, since any of us would have done the same thing (see Psalm 14.1b-3, above). Even with God among us, even with abundant evidence of His goodness and presence and love, even with our created design of desiring Him, we still choose our own way.]
God is a holy god. He will not tolerate sin. He cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden. In His love, He did not allow them to eat of the Tree of Life, for eternity on man’s own terms would be intolerable.
Out of the world, God chose Abraham as the Father of His people. God’s Chosen. This is a picture of what a people look like when God chooses them and showers His blessings on them. He is clear that He is making a covenant with them: He has a plan for their lives, He created them for this plan, and they will find their greatest joy and peace and meaning if they follow this plan. He will bless those who obey Him. God cannot bless disobedience. Even as parents we understand discipline. We do not reward our children for disobedience; we understand what will be good for them, and we nurture them in that direction. We parent imperfectly, but God parents perfectly.
In Genesis, God shows His love and paints a picture of His promise of salvation through the events of Noah (allowing a new beginning, with a picture that, no matter who we start with, man will always fall and God will always save His chosen), Abraham (blessing Abraham’s obedience and making him the father of the seed of salvation), Isaac (providing a wife through the actions of an obedient and faithful servant), Jacob (recognizing a heart devoted to Him, even through deception), and Joseph (showing that, even though God’s plan may look awry to us, He will protect and provide as we obey).