A brief scientific analysis of Genesis 1 will demonstrate how wrong Harris is. There can be no higher authority than the One who speaks and brings into existence what did not exist before except as a concept within His own understanding. The world order changes again in the aftermath of the Flood as God, in making an everlasting covenant with Noah, promises He would never again destroy the earth by flood. What is clear from the very beginning of the Book of Genesis is that rebellion against God existed in the Garden prior to the fall of man. The account of God’s creative activities in the day in which He created the heavens and the earth reveal that the object of His creation was man, and that the focus of this object was centered in man's living in relationship with God and obedience to Him in the Garden which He planted for man to dwell in and cultivate. (1:1–2:25), A. Thus, what matches Genesis 1:1 is not 2:4a but 2:1-3, where the seventh day Specifically, Genesis records: These statements may be combined and more details added to form a more complex message statement which is an expression of Moses' theological judgment/evaluation of the events he selected and recorded in the text of Genesis: Note that the verb irrupt, used to describe the action of God's word in creation has the meaning of: It is used here (in contrast to erupt which has the meaning of “to break forth, to break out of a pent–up state, usually in a sudden and violent manner”) to convey the idea that God is "outside of“ that which His action is accomplishing. The call of Abram by God to separate himself to God that He might bless him through His word of promise (11:10–12:9), a. God’s word of election from Shem to Abram (11:10–32), b. Certain obligations or conditions would need to be kept by the recipient of the covenant before the giver of the covenant would be obligated to fulfill what was promised. God's word of promise to Isaac the elect seed of Abraham (25:19–26:35), 1. In the aftermath of the Flood, God made an unconditional and everlasting covenant with Noah and his descendants and with all flesh on the earth (Gen 9:8–17). This is seen in the mission of the Incarnate Son who proceeded from the Father (John 8:42) to reveal the Father to man (John 1:18, 12:45, 14:7–9, 17:6, 25–26; 1 John 5:20), and then to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin (John 10:11, 15, 27–28) so that those who received Him might be reconciled to the Father (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18–20) through faith in the Son (John 1:12; Acts 16:30–31), and receive the right to become a child of God (John 1:12) and thus enter into a personal relationship with God. The components of this (the Noahic) covenant include: 1. a unilateral declaration by God to fulfill what He promises (Gen 9:9–11a), 2. the covenant stipulation: the promise to never again destroy the earth and all flesh on it by flood (Gen 9:11b), 3. the covenant sign, the rainbow (Gen 9:12–17). God says that was in a day and not in days, years, or millions of years. (21:22–34), c. God’s command to Abraham to offer up Isaac as a burnt offering threatens his faith in God’s promise to establish His covenant with Isaac, but Abraham's obedient is vindicated as God at the last moment halts Abraham from slaying Isaac and provides a substitute sacrifice, and then swears that because Abraham was obedient He would surely keep His covenant promises. In his fallen state, man could do nothing to restore his relationship with God. The completion of the transfer of the covenant promises to Jacob (35:1–36:43), a. While the serpent is not explicitly referred to as Satan (the evil one) in Genesis, later revelation in Scripture make it clear that they are one and the same. to serve for His glory and for the profit of man, however because of sin they were cursed, yet the elect and God’s creation, by Christ, are to be restored someday (Rev 21, 22). 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”. • In chapters 1-11:28, Moses explains the creation of all things, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (1:1). He later earned a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, and then a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of So... More. A most important aspect of that change is that God now enters into personal relationship only with those whom He calls to Himself. (37:12–36), (3) The unrighteous state of the elect family, seen in their contempt and hatred for God's chosen ruler, is confirmed by Judah's unjust behavior towards Tamar, the Canaanite woman he took as a wife for his son, and whom he declared to be more righteous than himself. . The scope of this judgment, though seemingly personal, falling as it were upon Adam and Eve, was in effect universal as from that point on it affected everyone born of Adam (Gen 5:1–31; Rom 5:12–19). We must remember that God looks at things that are not yet as though they already are (Isaiah 46:10). What does science counter-argue about a beginning? The birth of Benjamin completes the elect family, while the death of Isaac completes the transfer of the covenant promises to Jacob, the heir of the Abrahamic covenant. They are: More specifically, these pivotal events involve: In these three major events there is a progression from the "very good" world which God created purposefully, to the fallen world in which God is working to bring about His purposes in creating the world and man. SIXTH DAY. Both internal and external evidence is lacking to reasonably establish the author of Genesis. We know Moses had lots of time to write with 40 years in the wilderness with Isreal. As for the rest of Genesis 1-11…I haven’t gotten that far yet. This includes the heavens, consisting of the sun, moon, and stars, and, of noted prominence, the earth and all that it contains, including the land, seas, vegetation, animals, birds, and sea creatures. (31:1–55), (2) Jacob's return to the land of his father, which he anticipated with great fear because of the anger which Esau had for him, becomes a joyful reunion with Esau as God fulfills His promise to return Jacob safely, but not before he wrestles with God through the night and repents and in humility asks God for deliverance. 1:7 “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.”. Genesis chapter 1 unfolds a story using repetition and rhythm. This indwelling is an abiding presence of the Spirit in the believer's heart (Gal 4:6) and includes the Spirit's witness to the believer's spirit about his/her relationship to God (Rom 8:16–17). From that point on, however, the historical context for succeeding circumstances is documented in Genesis to the extent needed to understand the narrative flow and theological progression of God’s relationship with man. That faith is required to enter into the unconditional blessings of the covenant is clearly seen in the sign of the covenant. The major portion of the Genesis text is concerned with God’s word of promise to Abraham. Some say that the verse is a summary of the rest of the Genesis creation account. The Abrahamic Covenant establishes a covenant–relationship between Yahweh and Abraham and his descendants after him; Yahweh will be their God and they will be His unique people. “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us"- Augustine, Copyright © 2010-2021 Telling Ministries LLC. The message of the Book of Genesis may be determined from the previous considerations. (38:1–30), b. Bible Verses, Quotes, Christian Answers, Songs and More. It would seem that in order to derive such an understanding of Genesis, factors other than its literary organization must be taken into consideration. With this understanding, the toledot heading introduces the historical result of an ancestor and could be loosely rendered, "This is what became of . Was it a necessary blessing for them to be able to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth?” God blessed who exactly? The Word of God responds in righteousness and justice to man’s act of disobedience by executing judgment on a world fallen under the dominion of the evil one, pronouncing the ultimate conquest over the evil one through conflict with the (elect) seed of the woman, and by limiting the immediate influence and spread of evil throughout the earth. Evidence of God–man relationships can be inferred from God's creation of man in His own image (Gen 1:26–27, 5:1, 9:6) as they came into being possessing qualities of life which are unique to God, though obviously not to the same extent (Erickson 1985:515). In stead of work being a joyful act it now becomes one of tiresome toil. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Yours in Christ, It doesn’t say that God gave everything created for us to consume…He said “every bearing herb seed…and every tree in which is the fruit of a yielding seed” is to eat. God's blessing of Jacob with many sons through his marriage to Leah and Rachel, Laban's daughters, and through his union with their maids, Bilhah and Zilpah (29:1–30:24), b. God's word of judgment falls upon Cain (the seed of the evil one) to limit the immediate influence and spread of evil after he kills his brother Abel (the seed of the woman), but hope is provided as God gives Seth, the new seed of the woman, in place of Abel. (5:1–9:29), 1. The fall of man into a state of sin and dominion under the evil one (Gen 3:1–7), 2. This has great implications with respect to God–man relationships, for man has been given the inherent capability to relate to and interact with God in a way that is unique in all of the creation. For even though they cut a calf in two and "walked between the pieces," they violated their agreement and earned God's wrath in the process. Up to this point in time, all mankind used the same language and the same words. The generations of the sons of Noah (10:1–32), 2. (39:1–18), (2) The lies of Potiphar's wife cause Joseph to be unjustly cast into prison, yet God's blessing of Joseph causes him to find favor with the jailer while His providence causes Joseph to be in a position to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh's butler and baker. Since we know that creation exists, there must have been a Creator and the creation is to the praise of His Name. .”. Perhaps these now-illegal substances did not exist until after the ground was cursed (Gen 3:17) and only came to be after the curse like the thorns and thistles (Gen 3:18). A major aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant, and, as we learn from the Book of Exodus, of the Mosaic Covenant, is that of covenant–relationship. Light is in fact an attribute of God and God’s handiwork and that which could only belong to God because only God’s light can overcome darkness (John 1:5). Rather, God was now going to work out His plan and purpose through the seed of the woman, that is, through all those whom He elects/chooses, calls, and separates to Himself. Not only does this command place Abraham in the position of killing his son whom he greatly loved, but also of destroying the heir to the covenant. This divine judgment also resulted in a change of world order as God gave man everything that lives and moves as food, and put the fear and dread of man upon every creature that moves on the ground, flies in air, or swims in the sea. And secondly, they were now in a spiritual state of enmity with God. Voluntary subservience in the animal world has been replaced by coercion, and man and animals now will live in uneasy coexistence. Thus there was now a radical change in relationship between man and all the animals, birds, and fish. God's word of promise, sworn by oath to Abraham, intervenes in history to bless Abraham and his elect seed, whom He calls and separates to Himself to walk before Him in faith and obedience. One possibility is that the Plain of Shinar is the likely geographic location for Ur of the Chaldeans, the home of Abraham whose story is next presented. While Genesis does not provide the details of God's act of creation, it makes it very clear that evolution was not a part of the process, and, in particular, that man did not evolve from other creatures. Of the three elements which comprise the biblical context, the theological element is by far most important for understanding the book of Genesis both as a whole and in part. Lastly, man would now be living under the dominion of the evil one, and, in this environment, God decreed that there would be enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the evil one (Gen 3:15). We know that God is both light and the light of the world (John 1:4). The transfer of the promises to the elect line stands in sharp contrast to the non–elect line, of whom little is said except for its genealogy. . The first visit of Joseph's brothers to Egypt (42:1–38), b. For example, world order in the physical realm is seen in the separation of the heavens and the earth and in their movements so as to provided for day and night, and for signs for seasons, days and years. The new world order established by God in the aftermath of the flood continues the creation mandate to be fruitful and fill the earth and anticipates the spread of evil again, yet the promise is given that God would never again destroy the earth by flood. It is through this covenant that God works to reestablish His relationship with, not all mankind, but only with those whom He chooses. Next, of all that is in the world, the universe and all things in it were created directly by God out of fiat, or out of nothing except His Word. Conversely, those without faith, those who did not submit to circumcision were excluded from the benefits of the covenant, for God commanded, "Any uncircumcised male . It provides the setting for the narratives, and it is therefore helpful in understanding certain passages of the text more completely. And the … (17:1–27), c. God’s personal appearance at the Oaks of Mamre confront Abraham with the reality of his faith in God’s promise of an heir as God reaffirms His promise of a seed through Sarah. God's separation of Joseph to Himself to prepare him through testing to administer the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant to the elect seed and to "all peoples of the earth" as a typical fulfillment of His word of promise to Abraham (37:1–41:57), a. This formula word for Genesis, then, marks a starting point, combining narrative and genealogy to move from one point (or toledot) to the end (or the next toledot). Was it simply all clouds? While the fulfillment of the covenantal promises is unconditional, it is important to recognize that an unconditional covenant may have blessings attached to it that are conditioned to the response of the recipient. Consequently, in God's delay in providing a seed, the focus of attention becomes the giving of a seed for Abraham through Sarah. The biblical context consists of three components; the historical element, the socio–cultural element, and the theological element. Were the mountains already formed? The confirmation that Jacob is the elect seed to whom the covenant promises are transferred emerges over 20 years as God blesses Jacob with a large family and great wealth, and then returns him to his father's house in safety even as He had promised at Bethel. Next, God is seen executing judgment on Cain for killing his brother, Abel (Gen 4:9–15). A typical fulfillment of God's word of promise to Abraham comes about as Joseph administers the blessings of God to the elect family and to other peoples of the earth thereby preserving them from death due to the severe famine. Genesis 1. (3:1–24), 1. . In this case God is not acting directly to pronounce judgment, but indirectly through Noah of whom it is written in Hebrews 11:7 that, “By his faith he condemned the world . This, however, is only a typical fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant. The expectant hope of Jacob expressed at the end of his life (47:27–49:33), a. Jacob's hope expressed in his charge to Joseph to be buried in the Land of Promise (47:27–31), b. Jacob's hope expressed in his blessings of the elect seed (48:1–49:28), 2. The story does not present another Creation account; instead, it carries the account from the point of the climax of the Creation (the creation of man made in the image of God) to the corruption of the Creation as a result of sin; “This is what became of the heavens and the earth”. So the divine judgment against evil is seen to impact man both personally and corporately. Rather man would now have to toil with hard labor in order to get the land to produce the food needed to live. (5:1–32), 2. This literary organization, which is readily determined from the text, takes the following form: While this organization provides insight into the relationship of the narratives developed in Genesis, and in that sense is perhaps more appealing from a literary perspective, it too provides little if any understanding into the theological organization of the text and therefore of the theological message it develops. Whether there would be a covenant program with Abraham depended upon Abraham's act of obedience. Though not stated explicitly, there is in this the root of a redemption which would restore the original image of God in man, and, with that, restore man to that personal and unique relationship with God. The views on this understanding and arrangement, however, vary. Nowhere is God's desire to bless man more apparent than in His dealing with Abraham and his descendants to whom He unconditionally promised to bless and to be the means through which He would bless all the families of the earth (Gen 12:1–3). I. But that plan did not include all mankind. Bless you, brother. Jacob's deception to get Isaac's blessing (27:1–46), 2. The Israelites probably had absorbed some of the Egyptian ideas after 400 years of slavery. . Notice that the provisions for both man and beast and fowl had to be created first, so as to sustain them but was the statement “and it was so” the very moment of this occurrence or was it already so? The creation of the heavens and the earth; The Creation mandate/world order for the heavens, the earth, and all living creatures; The creation of the man and the woman in the image of God; The planting of a garden in Eden as a habitat for the man and the woman; The fall of the man and the woman into a state of sin; The judgment against the man, the woman, and the serpent; The expulsion of the man and the woman from the Garden; The descendents of Adam from Seth to Noah; The universal wickedness of all mankind except for Noah; The pronouncement of judgment against all mankind except for Noah; The deliverance provided for Noah, his family, and representative living creatures from the coming flood; The entry of Noah, his family, and the representative living creatures into the ark; The coming of the flood and the destruction of all living beings and creatures except for Noah and his family; The recession of the flood and drying of the land; The coming out of Noah, his family, and all the representative animals from the ark; The promise God made with Himself to never again destroy all living things by means of a flood; Confirmation of God’s covenant with Noah, his descendants, and with all living creatures; The descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth; The Tower of Babel and the settling down of the people; The judgment of confusion of languages, and the separation and scattering of the people; The move of Terah, Abram, and Lot from Ur to Haran; The promises of seed and blessing to Abram; The arrival of Abram and Lot in the land of Canaan; The sojourn of Abram into Egypt due to famine in the Land; The confirmation of the promises to Abram; The promises made to Abram confirmed by God; The promise of an son from Abram’s own body; The covenant God cut with Abram as a guarantee of His promises to Abram; The informing of Abram that his descendants would be oppressed as slaves for 400 years in a foreign land; The conception and birth of Ishmael through Hagar the Egyptian slave; The confirmation of the covenant with Abram and his descendants; The changing of Abram’s name to Abraham to reflect the fulfillment of God’s promise to make Abram into a great nation; The sign of the covenant God made with Abraham; The promise of an son reaffirmed through Sarah; The visit of the Lord on the way to destroy Sodom and its surrounding towns; The intercession of Abraham for the righteous of Sodom; The reaffirmation of a son through Sarah; The deceptiveness of Abraham toward Abimelech in his sojourn in Gerar; The birth of Isaac in fulfillment of God’s promise; The covenant Abraham made with Abimelech; The testing of Abraham’s faith through God’s command to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering; The purchase of a burial plot in Mamre by Abraham; The provision of a wife (Rebekah) for Isaac; The provisions Abraham made for his sons; The confirmation of the Covenant with Isaac; The deceptiveness of Isaac toward Abimelech; The conflict between Isaac and Abimelech over water rights; The reaffirmation of the Covenant with Isaac; The covenant between Isaac and Abimelech; The stealing of Esau’s blessing by Jacob; The confirmation of the Covenant with Jacob; The deception of Laban in Jacob’s marriage to Rachel; The children born to Jacob through Rachel’s maid Bilhah, Leah’s maid Zilpah, and then through Leah and Rachel; The fleeing of Jacob with his family and wealth from Laban; The preparations made by Jacob for meeting Esau; The prayer of humility and petition made by Jacob to God; The wrestling of Jacob with God at Peniel; The meeting and reconciliation of Jacob with Esau; The revenge taken against the men of Shechem by Simeon and Levi; The reaffirmation of the Covenant with Jacob; The death of Rachel in giving birth to Benjamin; The descendants of Esau who moved to the hill country of Seir; The descendants of Seir, the original inhabitants of Seir later known as Edom; The account of Jacob and his family after he settled again in the land of Canaan; The two dreams Joseph had when he was 17 years old; The blessing of Joseph in Potiphar’s house; The tempting of Joseph by Potiphar’s wife; The casting of Joseph into prison by Potiphar; The interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and chief baker by Joseph; The interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams by Joseph; The making of Joseph ruler over Egypt under Pharaoh; The fulfillment of Pharaoh’s dreams just as Joseph had said; The first visit of Joseph’s ten older brothers to Egypt to buy grain; The appearing of Joseph’s brothers before him; The return of Joseph’s brothers to Egypt after Judah offers himself personally responsible for Benjamin’s safety; The testing of the brothers by Joseph by means of his silver cup; The offering of Judah as a substitute for Benjamin; The instruction given by Joseph to his brothers to return to Canaan, get their father Jacob, their families, and herds, and move to Egypt; The assurance of God’s presence with Jacob in Egypt; The arrival of Jacob in the region of Goshen; The management of Pharaoh’s resources by Joseph during the famine; The blessing of God on the children of Jacob in Egypt; The preparations made by Jacob for his death; The reminder of Jacob to Joseph of the Covenant God made with Abraham and confirmed with him (Jacob) and which extends to his descendants; The blessing of Jacob on Joseph’s sons, claiming Manasseh and Ephraim as two of his sons with an equal share in the inheritance of the Land ; The prophecy of Jacob to his sons regarding what will happen to each of them in the days to come; The charge of Jacob to his sons to bury him in the cave that Abraham had purchased in the land of Canaan; The burial of Jacob in the land of Canaan; The assurance of Joseph’s his good intentions to his brothers; The charge of Joseph to his brothers concerning what to do with his body when he dies; It is not the intent of this section to develop and discuss in detail all aspects of the major theological themes identified in Genesis. That election, calling, and separation of a seed manifests itself in the life of the individual by faith in God. A Lasting Legacy: Choosing A Wife For Isaac (Gen. 24:1-67). Aspects of the socio–cultural context of the Pentateuch can be determined from the text of the Pentateuch itself, and from any number of works such as Livingston (1974). It is through Abraham and his elect seed that God will now work to bring about His plan and purpose for man. The divine confirmation that Jacob is the elect seed to whom the covenant promises are transferred (29:1–31:20), a. That organization suggests that a possible subject/major theological theme for Genesis is the Word of God which He speaks in response to his sovereign will. Reading, you can get free daily updates through the RSS feed here promises are transferred 26:7–33! Bringing into existence the world God established a certain place and they can go no further ( 8:29. Of Isaac 's faith in God 's judgment then falls on all for. 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