Welcome to our 90-day journey through the Bible. May the Lord grant us grace, insight and blessing as we read His word.
J.Sidlow Baxter has compared the major themes of Scripture to great rivers ever deepening and broadening as they are developed throughout the Bible. In the Book of Genesis we have many of these key themes planted in seed form.
In the first 11 chapters of Genesis, we have 4 key events reported: the creation of heaven and earth, including Adam & Eve (Gen. 1 &2), the Fall of man (Gen. 3), the Flood (Gen. 6-9) and the Tower of Babel dispersion(Gen. 11).
At the beginning of the creation account of Genesis 1, we read that the earth was “formless and empty” and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters ready to bring forth light and life (Gen. 1:2). The emphasis in the Genesis 1 creation account seems to be on how God brought forth form in the first 3 days of creation and then filled it with good things in days 3 to 6. By the end of day 6, the earth was no longer “formless and empty”.
In these verses of Genesis 1, God is establishing the functional role of every important aspect of His creation in order that His purposes for the world can be fulfilled. In the same way, our lives need to respect God’s prescribed order for life in order for us to experience God’s fruitful blessings in our lives. The Spirit of God hovers over us and works in us to put God first and to respect the person and property of others. In the first 4 commandments of the 10 Commandments, our relationship with God is addressed (Ex. 20:3-11). In the last 6 commandments, our relationship with others is defined (Ex. 20:12-17).
Jesus summarized this divinely-ordered pattern by saying that the 2 greatest commandments are “love God with your entire being” and “loving others as yourself”. All the Law and Prophets hang on these 2 commandments (Mt. 22:37-40). As we allow the Holy Spirit to deeply form our lives by these commandments, we set the stage in our lives for God to fill it with His fruitful blessings and goodness.
The account of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in Genesis 3 introduces disorder in Adam’s life and in God’s creation (Gen. 3:14-19). This disruption and fracturing of the divine order is seen in Cain’s relationship with God and his brother Abel. Alienation pervades the whole of Genesis 4, as Cain murders his brother in jealous pride and leaves God’s presence to wander in the land of the east.
Alienation, human pride and sinfulness continues to abound in the story of the Flood – “the every inclination of man’s heart was only evil all the time” (Gen. 6:5). We see the same bitter fruit in the story of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11). These tower builders disobeyed God’s command to spread throughout the earth and instead, they settled on the plain of Shinar. They then decided to build a tower to heaven to make a name for themselves (Gen 11:3,4). This building project, birthed in human hubris, is judged by God through the confusion of their language and scattering them over the face off the earth.
The Good News in these chapters is that God doesn’t give up on man. The 1st promise of a Messianic deliverer is given in Gen. 3:15. The Promised One will crush the serpent’s (Satan’s) head. Eve is also given her name because she will become the mother of all the living (Gen3:20). Also, God covers Adam and Eve’s shame and guilt with animal skins portending the sacrifice of the Innocent One, Jesus (Gen. 3:21)
We also see people like Enoch (Gen.5:24) and Noah (6:9) who walk with God.We also see right after the Tower of Babel story, the calling of Abraham. God promises to make his name great and to bring blessing to the whole world through his descendants(Gen.12:1-3). The promise of the Messianic deliverer will come through his family line. God’s calling of Abraham and his faithful obedience is meant to contrast with the self-assertion and disobedience of the builders of the Babel Tower. These two ways to live are the two roads people throughout the Bible are called to choose between. And not only the people of the Bible, but you and I are called to make the same choice (Mathew 7:24-27). The way of adamic/carnal man leads to disorder, alienation and deathly exile. The way of the 2nd Adam/Christ leads to order(i.e shalom),life and blessing. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ.