The book of Genesis tells us where we came from, why we are here, what went wrong with us, and how God is going about fixing us.
It begins by explaining some of the important events of early world history and then continues to describe the way in which God began His work of salvation through Abraham and his family.
One can easily divide the book of Genesis into two main sections, 1-11 and then 12-50 and, the key to the book is found in the story that links the two parts together, 12:1ff, which is the promise that God makes to Abraham.
The first eleven chapters show us God’s work of creation, man’s fall into sin, the consequences of that fall, the judgment of the flood, and the continued rebellion at the tower of Babel. By the end of chapter eleven, it has become very clear that man cannot save himself and won’t come back to God unless God pursues Him. And God does. The opening of chapter 12, tells us of God’s promise to Abraham, revealing his rescue plan for humanity. He will bless the world through Abraham’s descendants and the remaining chapters explain how God began doing the impossible, giving Abraham a family, and continuing to keep His promises to Isaac, Jacob and Joseph,in spite of man’s sinfulness and all the different kinds of difficulties we face in this world.
By the end of Genesis, Jacob’s family and his twelve sons, and their families have migrated to Egypt, where God is going to begin building them into a great nation.
As always, as we read the book of Genesis we should be asking how it helps us see the beauty of Christ and understand the gospel. There are several specific obvious ways Genesis does this:
It shows us why people need a Savior.
It teaches us about God’s holy judgment of sin.
It points to Christ through promises of salvation and promises concerning God’s commitment to His people.
It demonstrates how the nations will be blessed through God’s promise to Israel.
It reveals God’s ability to keep His promises in spite of great obstacles.
And the New Testament writers often talk about Jesus’ work as being that of the Last Adam.