Genesis Overview4 min read
Written by Moses around 1,400 B.C., Genesis has 1,533 verses, 50 chapters, and covers a period of time from approximately 4,000 – 1,650 B.C. Genesis is the story of God and the relationship He has with His people in the light of sin and failure. It starts off with Adam and Eve in the garden — God’s original people. Then sin enters, and death by sin. We were created wonderfully by a powerful God, but then we turned from God, bringing separation and shame. But then God called us out of our sinful life to a new covenant through Christ. This is the story of Genesis applied to the overall plan of God. It lays the foundation for the cross work of Christ. Genesis should mean much to the believer who studies it.
Chapters 1-5 – New Creation
When beginning to read Genesis, one of the first things we see is God’s power and sovereignty. We cannot forget Who the Lord is and Who possesses Heaven and earth. We see His power in creation and his sovereignty in the fall of man.
When God’s perfect creation was defiled by sin, we get a glimpse of God’s ultimate plan. The ultimate plan of the cross is seen through the animal skins given as a covering for Adam and Eve in their nakedness. They sinned, and blood was shed as a sacrifice. Yet even through our sin, God remained the same. The message of Genesis one to five is one that shows God as the Ultimate, while we are the sinful and the finite.
Chapters 6-11 – New Complexity
Chapters six to eleven show a new complexity in societies with sin and with diversities in kinds of people. The main events are the Flood and the Dispersion. Through them we see two main things of God: His provision and prudence (wisdom). When sending the flood, He provided a way of safety for those who appreciated Him for Who He is. The ark points to the safety we have in Christ through the flood of God’s wrath.
But while the ark shows provision, the Dispersion shows God’s wisdom. It proves God’s foreknowledge in the future of the nations, for everything in this event points to Him and His purposes. The message of this section is one of God’s provision and our submission.
Chapters 12-24 – New Covenant
Chapters twelve to twenty-four deal mainly with a covenant, Abraham’s covenant with the Lord God. It foreshadows the promise of God that was fulfilled in Christ. Abraham was promised innumerable descendants, and God has fulfilled this physically by prospering the Jewish population and spiritually by allowing Christ to bring many into the family of the Father Himself. The people of God are those who are under His covenant. Those who submit to God and cling to His promises are the ones who receive blessing. This is clearly seen in the promise of eternal life in the New Testament. The message of this section shows us that the covenants of the Lord must be respected. God keeps it; do we?
Chapters 25-36 – New Creature
Chapters twenty-five to thirty-six deal with the life of Jacob and how he changed from a lying thief to a man that appreciated the things of God. He shows the purpose of God in revealing Jacob’s change in character. We are to be changed into Christ-likeness and revile not when reviled, just as we see Jacob doing for the most part with Laban. We must endure affliction, resting on Him.
The reason Jacob became this way was because of his experience in the place of God, the vision at Bethel. He shows us through this that a severe change comes from intimacy with the Lord. Perhaps the main message is one that challenges us to change for Him and live like Christ, as a result of heeding to His call.
Chapters 37-50 – New Comfort
Finally, chapters thirty-seven to fifty deal with the new comfort that one can have when reading the life of Joseph. Through his journeys, Joseph was persecuted because of His firm convictions of God’s will. He, because of this, had God’s protection and ultimately God’s peace. Those who fear the Lord have the Most High as their Rock and salvation. What more is there to rest in? Who better is there to serve? Even in the deepest trials and darkest valleys, we can find ABSOLUTE comfort in the Lord, because He protects those who love Him. Today, through the cross, we have hope like no other, and we can have peace in the protection of Calvary forever. Even the mightiest of powers cannot conquer what we have in Him.