‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’.
God comes first.
Before anyone else is mentioned, He is there.
Before any human word is spoken, there is the Word of the Lord.God speaks, and it is done (1:3,6-7,11).
God is pleased with what He has done (1:4,10,12).
In chapter 1, we have read about the beginning of creation.
In chapter 3, we read about the beginning of sin.
Once we were innocent.
Now we are guilty.
The story of Adam and Eve is repeated over and over again.
This is our story as well as Adam and Eve’s story.
Even in the face of sin, we see something else.
We see the God of love, seeking to restore the fallen to Himself.
Having chosen the way of sin, we are ‘naked’ and ashamed (10).
The Gospel teaches us that ‘there’s a way back to God from the dark paths of sin’.
We can be clothed with the righteousness of Christ.
We can bring the ‘filthy rags’ of ‘our righteous acts’ (Isaiah 64:6) to God, and we can exchange them for the perfect righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Sin has consequences.
Human life could never be the same once sin had entered it.
The effects of sin can be seen in the whole of life.
The most profound effect of sin is summed up in 3:22.
We cannot reach out our hands and take hold of eternal life.
There is no way to heaven which begins with the word ‘I’.
We must begin with God - ‘God so loved the world...’ (John 3:16).
In the story of Cain, we see the development of sin.
Jealousy leads to anger, and anger leads to murder.
In this story, we see ourselves in the ‘mirror’ of God’s Word.
Here, God emphasizes our exceeding sinfulness - ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt’ (Jeremiah 17:9).
Our sinfulness leads us away from ‘the presence of the Lord’ to ‘the land of wandering (Nod)’ (4:16).
This is the work of Satan in our lives - Genesis 4 is an extension of Genesis 3. Chapter 4 ends with hope: ‘At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord’ (26).
Enoch's story was the story of God at work in his life.
So many life-stories end with the words, ‘he died’.
Enoch's life on earth points beyond itself (5:24).
Enoch had ‘walked with God’ (5:22,24).
Building his life upon the God of grace, Enoch had, by faith, stepped out of this present world and into ‘what we hope for’, ‘what we do not see’ (Hebrews 11:5,1).
What a testimony Enoch left behind him!
Not much is said about him, but what power of the Spirit of God there is in these few words!
The story of Noah is the story of God’s grace - ‘Noah found grace’ (6:8).
Noah lived in very difficult times (6:5-7), yet ‘Grace found Noah’.
His testimony could be summed up: ‘Amazing grace...I once was lost but now am found.’
To view the flood exclusively in terms of judgment is to see only one side of what God was doing.
As well as judging, He was also saving - ‘In this ship a few people - eight in all - were saved by water’ (1 Peter 3:20).
‘The Lord closed the door behind them’ (7:16).
What was going on outside of the ark is contrasted with the haven of salvation inside the ark.
What was it that made the ark a place of salvation?
- The Lord.
What is it that makes Jesus Christ the Source of our salvation?
- God has given Him the Name that is above every name, the Name of our salvation (Philippians 2:9-11; Acts 4:12).Following the flood, we have this simple yet striking declaration: ‘the ground was dry’ (8:13).
Safe from judgment!
This is the message which comes to us from the Cross: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).
The judgment has fallen upon Christ.
We are no longer swept away in the judgment.
We can stand on solid ground: ‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand.’
‘When you see a rainbow, remember God is love’.
The rainbow reminds us of the gracious promise of God (9:13-15).
If the love of God is revealed in the rainbow, it is more fully revealed in the Cross.
Noah's fall into sin teaches us that past grace is no guarantee of present growth.
We must keep our eyes on Jesus, ‘the Author and Finisher of our faith' (Hebrews 12: 2).
What a lot of names!
Why is all this included in God’s Word?
It may describe the historical context of God’s unfolding purpose of providing salvation for sinners, but what does it say to us?
The inclusion of so many obscure names emphasizes that everyone - however obscure - is important.
‘God so loved the world’ (John 3:16) - not only the ‘important’ people but all people.
Human pride sets itself up against the authority of God.
This is the oft-repeated story of the ‘Tower of Babel’.
The end of godless men is sure - ‘Tower and temple, fall to dust.’
What a contrast there is between the Tower of Babel and the great declaration of Proverbs 18:10 - ‘The Name of the Lord is a strong tower’.
In Babel there is scattering (11:9).
In the Lord, there is safety - ‘A righteous man runs to it and is safe’.
Do not imagine yourself to be strong (Proverbs 18:11).
True strength is in Christ alone (1 Corinthians 1:27).
Another list of names!
Again, there is something here for us - God is moving on.
History can be tedious, until we see it as His Story.
This is a divine Story, carried forward by God’s grace and power.
Life is full of choices.
Lot made a selfish choice (13:10-12).
Abraham made a godly choice, and he was blessed by the Lord (13:14-17).
The worldly man takes for himself (13:11).
The spiritual man receives from the Lord (13:15).Our sin comes from ourselves.
Our salvation comes from the Lord.
Confess your sin.
Receive God’s forgiveness.
In Melchisedek - ‘See how great he is’ (14:4), we see Jesus.
In Hebrews 7:3, we learn that Melchisedek resembles the Son of God.
We read of Melcisedek and, in our hearts, we say, ‘How great is our Lord Jesus Christ’.
Abraham was full of questions.
In 15:2, he asks, ‘What can you give me?’
This is the question of salvation.
What does God give?
He gives salvation.
In 15:8, he asks, ‘How can I know?’.
This is the question of assurance.
God gives us the assurance that salvation has been given and received.
From salvation and the assurance of salvation in chapter 15, we turn, in chapter 16, to Satan and the activity of Satan.
Listening to the voice of Satan, speaking through Sarai, Abraham walked straight into immorality.