Photo by Brent Nelson
It is fitting that the first book included in the Bible is the called Genesis. Genesis is the Book of Origin. In Genesis, we find the origin of creation, the origin of life, the origin of humanity, the origin of marriage, the origin of sin, the origin of death, the origin of family, the origin of community, the origin of work, the origin of responsibility, and even the origin of the plan of redemption for the sin of mankind.
The Book of Genesis is the recorded history of the universe, starting with the beginning of creation and God’s relationship with mankind to the death of Joseph. There is a rich history in the Book of Genesis, and there is a wealth of meaning contained within its words and lessons.
Why should we study the Book of Genesis? Because it is the Word of the Living God. Genesis contains the truth of our history and the foundation for our relationship with God. Without the Book of Genesis, none of the rest of the Bible makes any sense, or even matters.
Often Christian leaders, and Christians themselves, will bypass the Book of Genesis in order to avoid conflict with the world and the world’s interpretation of history. They will say it does not really matter what you believe about the Book of Genesis, as long as you stand fast on the core doctrines of Christianity. By this, they mean the fact that man was born in sin, the virgin birth of Jesus, Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin and His redemptive work that provides us salvation by grace through faith in Him, Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus ascension into heaven, Jesus’ coming return and finally the Day of Judgment.
Swept aside is the violence done to these very doctrines when the Book of Genesis is ignored, downplayed in importance, or allows the world’s beliefs to reinterpret the original words of Biblical text.
When we treat Genesis in this manner, we have told the world that part of the Word of God is open to your interpretation, and does not really mean what it says. When we treat Genesis in this manner, we are telling the world that they can decide what part of the Word of God means, as long as Christianity can tell them what the rest of the Bible means. When we treat Genesis in this manner, we are telling the world that part of the Word of God may not be quite correct or may not be absolutely true.
Just because people may be separated from God by sin does not make them stupid. Humanity has been built with great capacity for thought, speculation and imagination. The Book of Genesis says we were made in the image and likeness of God. How imaginative do you think our Creator was and is with all creation around us, when even the simplest cell is a highly complex assembly of living machines performing tasks according to highly developed programming? This is why mankind is constantly trying to invent new things and develop new ideas; it is the creative nature of the God who created us in His image and likeness being reflected in us, the created.
The world is perceptive enough to ask, “If Genesis is not accurate, or even true, why should I believe anything else in the Bible?” and “Why should I believe in Jesus if the Bible is not true?”
The world sees the inconsistency when many of us tell them we can reinterpret Genesis, the foundation for the doctrines of Christianity, according to naturalistic scientists’ worldviews, but that they cannot then reinterpret the rest of the Bible on the same basis.
Why should the world believe any of the Bible when we have told them that part of it does not really mean what it plainly says, or that it just may not be true? This is the message many Christian leaders are sending to the world, “Is this really what God said? Is this really what God meant?”
After asking these two questions enough times and having Christianity cave in to the popular notion of their time the world finally asks, “Is the Bible really the Word of God?” and “Does God even exist?”
The Book of Genesis is as authoritative as the Almighty God who caused it to be written as a record of His dealings with mankind. It is time for the church to rise up once again and stand upon that authority.