When Melodee and I traveled to Hawaii for our 20th anniversary, our desire was to make sure we got the most of out of our days. With that in mind, we set out a framework of what we want to accomplish on the first day or so. This became the foundation of what we would do with the rest of our time.
So too, with our journey through the Bible. Our first book (Genesis) lays out a great deal of foundation for the rest of our journey, so we want to be careful to map it out first.
Major Old Testament Route No. 1:
Forming the first five books of the Bible
(Genesis – Deuteronomy)
- On this route we will explore approximately 2,300 years of the formation history for the nation of Israel. Our first route was written as a diary or journal of the actual travels of a people guided by God in the Old Testament. These five books are their history books. As we travel on this route, we will be following the original journeys as they unfold, often as if we were participants in the actual events. We now look at:
The Book of Genesis, The Book of Beginnings
(About 2,300 years)
God Began It All In The Beginning! (Genesis 1-11)
As we journey through these first 11 chapters, we will see and understand exactly what the Bible describes as the beginning of the world. Some of the biggest questions that face every person are answered in this section. Questions like …
- How did life begin?
- What is my purpose?
- Why is there evil in the world?
And many more questions like these find their answers in these first 11 chapters of Genesis. Let’s explore these beginnings.
Beginning Of The Earth and The Universe (1-2)
The Bible begins with a declaration of how everything began. It does not apologize; it simply gives you a historical record. God created the entire universe in six days, according to these chapters. Take just a moment to think about God. If God is not able to create what this record states, the way the record reads, then could he really be God? In order to be God, one must have the supernatural ability of ultimate power. In other words, he must be able to create out of nothing.
The record in the Bible states that God created:
- Day and night on day one.
- Atmosphere on day two.
- Plant life on day three.
- Stars on day four.
- Sea life and birds on day five.
- Animals, land creatures and humans on day six.
- God rested on day seven.
Consider the differences between the models of creation, as explained here in the Bible, and evolution, as explained by many scientists today. (This will be one of the two or three major hurdles every reader of Bible will have to overcome. You do not need to do it today.)
- Personal agent
- Design with a purpose
- Provides meaning for life
- Explained by an actual eyewitness: God
- Focus is God’s supernatural ability
- Allows for personal contact with creator
- No personal agent
- Accident without a purpose
- Excludes any meaning for life
- Explained by hypothetical models: Scientific Theory
- Focus is random chance
- Defies any personal contact with creator
Beginning Of Mankind In The Garden of Eden (2)
Humanity, the creation of mankind, is explained in detail in chapter two. This portion of the Bible reveals:
- God’s personal involvement in the creation of mankind, thus rejecting the idea of an uncaring, impersonal force or god governing the universe (2.7)
- Man’s beginning is one of design by a personal, “hands-on” God, thus rejecting the idea of evolution (2.7)
- God personally cared for the well-being of his creation, thus demonstrating the reality that God cares for every person, including you (2.8-14)
- Man was designed to work, manage and care for the world, thus explaining why care for our environment should be a natural concern of every person (2.15)
- Man was designed with the ability of choice, or a free-will, thus allowing us to choose or reject the God who made us (2.16-17)
- Man was designed for companionship, thus helping us to comprehend the deep need we have to eliminate our personal loneliness (2.18-25)
Beginning Of Death and Destruction In The Fall (3)
If everything started out so wonderful why did things go so bad? When God designed humanity, he gave him a free will. An essential part of our personality is our ability to choose. With our ability to choose, we were also given the freedom to fail. One of the core truths of the Bible is that God wants the best for us, and if we follow his directions, we will enjoy the best life has to offer. But if we choose to ignore his directions, or disobey them directly, he will not experience all that life has to offer.
When God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, he provided them with a perfect environment in which to live. There was only one prohibition: they were to obey God to avoid DEATH. God had commanded in Genesis 2:16-17:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (New King James Version)
Adam and Eve willfully chose to disobey God’s command, and His warning. The results were:
- Shame of their nakedness (3.7)
- Fear of God’s presence (3.8-10)
- Blame, instead of accepting responsibility for their actions (3.9-13)
- Consequences for their disobedience (3.14-19)
- Removal from God’s perfect environment for living (3.20-24)
The consequences for their disobedience are still being felt today in our lives. Not until God restores his rule on this planet will we know the restoration of this time by God. We will discuss this in more detail at the end of the New Testament journey.
Our next post will bring us directly to the issue of death and destruction on earth.