The word "genesis" refers to a beginning. It's the perfect word to describe what was long called the first book of Moses in the Bible. The biblical book of Genesis is the beginning of the what has been called the canon, the gathering of those books we know as Scripture.
And it takes us back to the origin of time and space in its opening refrain, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The book of Genesis not only announces the beginning of creation, but the framework of something much more profound. In the opening three chapters, we are provided with Scriptures' essential teaching about the ultimate issues in our existence:
- the nature of God,
- the origin and nature of our world
- what it means to be human
- the purpose of human life
- what has gone wrong with a once-very good-world
- why there is still hope for our now imperfect world and its people.
These, of course, are the most foundational matters of life. They give the basis for everything else we learn in the Bible. So, at the beginning of 2010, we will look at the beginning of God's book of beginnings.
It provides the foundation for everything else that we read in the Bible. I pray God will use it to deepen our understanding and strengthen our faith. It will be a good way to "begin" our year together.
We begin our study of beginnings right where we should begin, i.e., with the One who brought all things into being. We will simply ask, "Who is God — as God is disclosed in the opening chapter of the Bible?" Some may want me to deal with some of the secondary issues in Genesis but I am going to focus on the "main thing." Genesis 1's main concern is making God known. The only character we find is God. All the action in the entire chapter is initiated by God. The subject of the first sentence and the last sentence in the chapter is God. God's name occurs 35 times in 34 verses. For us to begin with any other primary interest will lead to a misreading of the text. Pray with me that God will make himself known to us as his children in fresh and understandable ways as we begin our brief study of "beginnings."
To God's glory,
Dr. Greg Waybright