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Introduction to Genesis

The Book of Genesis starts to read, ĎIn the beginningÖ.í and goes on to introduce, historic facts on how the world came to be, the birth of nations, languages, people groups and life sketches of select persons. For this reason, Genesis is often alluded to as Ďthe Book of beginningsí. It is also a Book of Ďmany firstsí. Genesis is the first Book of the Bible, the first Book of Moses (The Pentateuch), the first account of creation, sin, marriage and family, language, civilization and Godís judgment.

Moses has been identified as the author of Genesis and it is believed that Genesis was compiled in the Wilderness of Sinai in the 15th Century BC. Genesis must have been an eye opener for the Israelites on their lineage and spiritual legacy that had been handed down from their forefather Abraham.

Genesis is also a Book of Covenants made by God to men. These covenants in Genesis form the foundation for not just the Pentateuch or Old Testament but the entire Bible including the New Testament. Three significant covenants made by God are recorded in Genesis,

1.Godís Covenant to Adam and Eve
2.Godís Covenant with Noah
3.Godís Covenant with Abraham

The first eleven chapters of Genesis serve as a general introduction while chapter 12 onwards, the focus shifts to the life story of one man, Abraham and his descendants.

One of the most interesting aspects of Genesis is that in this Book, the reader clearly observes a steady decline in the relationship between God and man. In the Garden of Eden, God is seen walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8), Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:24). References to God in Genesis also indicate a face to face interaction between Him and man.

As people on earth began to multiply, sin also increased and alongside this increase, the reader clearly notices a distance created between God and man. God no longer visited the earth He created as He did in the Garden of Eden. His interaction with mankind also was limited to few individuals who recognized Him, while the majority of the human race chose sin ridden paths and idolatrous worship patterns. Genesis clearly shows how the Creator was forgotten and the creation glorified.

In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul captures the essence of this degradation of manís relationship with God (Romans 1:20-32). ĎÖthe glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.(Romans 1:23) (The Amplified Bible)

Manís wickedness and deliberate denial of the Creator was a pain to God. Yet God did not forsake His creation which He formed and which He blessed and so He set about to correct erring man through a spectacular plan in which God decided to sacrifice His own, sinless Son as a substitute for sinful man. Genesis hints at Godís design in salvation as well (Genesis 3:15).

The Book of Genesis may record events that happened several hundreds of years ago. But the struggle with sin, the feelings and sentiments of people then, bear striking similarities to what people experience even now. Genesis is not only a great start to reading the Bible but also a stark reminder of sinís far reaching consequences in separating God and man.

Find out how much you know about Genesis by taking this fun quiz now.
Bible Quiz on the Book of Genesis

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