Reflections on Genesis

Well, I have finally finished my series of blog-posts on Genesis. It only took me two years! I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and managed to read most of them. If there’s any you missed, this post will be like a kind of summary and index, looking back on the posts and the key themes.

 

  1. It started with reflections on the Creation Debate (Genesis 1), not seeking to judge between the various competing denominations but suggesting that the first two chapters of the Bible is far more about why God created the world, than how.
  2. God Before Wife (Genesis 2) was a surprising title and proved controversial among some of my friends, but the point is this post doesn’t detract from my love for my wife, but establishes God as the top priority in my life.
  3. Work Before the Fall (Genesis 2) looked at how work was a valid and enjoyable part of pre-sin existence, and what this means for how we approach our work today.
  4. The First Love Poem (Genesis 2). Yes, I wrote a lot about this chapter, because there’s so much good stuff in there. Although the second post made sure God comes first, this post looks at how important relationships are, how well men and women complement each other, and how, right from the very beginning, women were able to blow men’s minds.
  5. Adam & Eve Never Apologise (Genesis 3). Admitting fault is one thing, but how might things have been different if Adam and Eve had actually apologised? Humanity is not nearly remorseful enough for its shortcomings.
  6. What Did Cain Do Wrong? (Genesis 4). Cain is synonymous with evil and murder, but is that all there was to it?
  7. Calling on the Name of the Lord (Genesis 4). After The Fall it was a bleak time for the human race, but Genesis chapter 4 ends on a note of hope when the descendants of Seth begin to seek out a relationship with God for the first time.
  8. Who were the Nephilim? (Genesis 6). Genesis is full of mysteries, none more so than the Nephilim of chapter 6, a powerful but fallen race. But where did they come from, and what happened to them?
  9. Reaching up, Coming Down (Genesis 11). Humanity can reach for the heavens as much as it likes, but it will always be in vain. We can only touch God when He takes the initiative and comes down to us.
  10. Called out from the world to live for God (Genesis 12). It was God’s call to Abraham that kick-started the real story of the Bible, a story of relationship, of purpose, and of distinctiveness.
  11. Generosity of God’s Promises (Genesis 12). Genesis shows God as not just generous, but as extremely, undeservedly, lavishly, generous.
  12. A Lot of Complications. A longer post looking at the story of Lot and how his tagging along caused his uncle Abram an awful lot of problems that would have been better avoided.
  13. Ready for the Fight (Genesis 14). We don’t tend to think of Abram as a warrior, but his rescue of Lot shows his military credentials and the value of being prepared for whatever life throws at you.
  14. Timely Intervention (Genesis 14). Enter the mysterious figure of Melchizedek – this priest-king arrives on the scene just in time to keep Abram on the right track and to set the standard for Biblical generosity.
  15. Very Great Reward (Genesis 15). Where grace offers faith accepts. Answering the call of God on your life allows Him to become not just your reward, nor even your great reward, but your very great reward.
  16. Written in the Stars (Genesis 15). A lot of people end up worshipping God when they look at the stars, and with good reason. There’s a message up there from Him, and it’s for all of us.
  17. God takes the Initiative (Genesis 15). The last in a series of posts on this key chapter, which sees the birth of God’s covenant with Abraham. It’s full of symbolism and shows how the initiative always lies with God.
  18. Glimpse of Trinity (Genesis 18). If you think the God of the New Testament is somehow different to the God of the Old Testament, think again. Genesis 18 is just one of loads of place in Genesis where we see glimpses of the Trinity and the unchanging nature of who God is.
  19. God Always Provides the Sacrifice (Genesis 22). Another chapter full of symbolism and which fore-echoes the ministry of Jesus. God provided a sacrifice for Abraham and He has provided the ultimate one for all of us.
  20. Promises, Prayer and Perseverance (Genesis 25). God’s promises are true and reliable, but sometimes they require a little prayer and perseverance on our part along the way.
  21. The Significance of Names. I’ve always loved and believed in the significance of names. Genesis is full of meaningful names which have a lot to teach us about who God is and how He interacts with us.
  22. Picking Your Battles (Genesis 26). Learning to pick your battles is a really useful life-skill, but, as the story of Isaac shows, what should underpin it is a steadfast trust in God.
  23. Relatable Characters. The past may be a foreign place but one of the wonderful things about the Bible is how relatable its characters are. The uncompromising warts-and-all portrayal of even the most honoured patriarchs means we can identify with them, and learn from them.
  24. How Awesome is this Place? (Genesis 28). When God shows up He can transform the humblest place into somewhere truly awesome. So much so, in fact, that this is a word we should be wary of cheapening.
  25. Then God Remembered (Genesis 30). Does God forget? Why does He keep us waiting? This post explores how He watches over our lives through the lens of this ambiguous phrase.
  26. Pivotal Struggle (Genesis 32). I love re-visiting treasured old stories from the Bible and teasing new details from them – like the pivotal moment when Jacob struggled with God.
  27. Milestones (Genesis 35). There’s so much to learn from this chapter: the unfailing renewal of God’s promises, the necessity of dealing with unwanted baggage in our lives, and the importance of milestones.
  28. Fruitful in the Land of my Suffering. These poignant lyrics teach us that God sometimes leads us into unpromising places or situations, but, more importantly, how when He’s with us we can be fruitful no matter what.
  29. Integrity in the Small Things. I admire Joseph for his integrity and take his story as an opportunity to wrestle with what integrity means, and what it looks like to live with integrity.
  30. The Power of Forgiveness – Joseph & his Brothers (Genesis 42-45). Joseph achieved and exemplified what very few others are able to do: complete, total forgiveness. These chapters show it looks like, and what it means.
  31. Spiritual Cliff-hanger (Genesis 50). There’s no neat satisfactory ending to Genesis that will offer readers any closure. God’s promises might be certain, but chapter 50 leaves you guessing as to when and how they will come about. For that, you have to read on into Exodus…

 

Which reminds me: I have got another blog-series coming up on the book of Exodus, but first my plan is to look at the book of Job, which has to come after Genesis in my attempts to explore the story of the Bible chronologically. I’m sure you’ll enjoy both these as much as the Genesis series, so come back soon to find out more. Don’t forget, subscribing by email means you’ll never miss a post – why not sign up today?

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