Background - Genesis Part 1

Genesis  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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The theme of Genesis is creation, sin, and re-creation. It tells how God created the world as very good, but that it was destroyed in the flood as a result of man’s disobedience. The new world after the flood was also spoiled by human sin (ch. 11). The call of Abraham, through whom all the nations would be blessed, gives hope that God’s purpose will eventually be realized through Abraham’s descendants (ch. 49).
The Lord God, being both transcendent and immanent, having created the earth to be his dwelling place, commissions human beings as his priestly vice-regents or representatives so that they might fill the earth and caringly govern the other creatures (Gen. 1:1–2:25).
Abandoning their priestly and royal duties, the human couple rebel against God and betray him by acting on the serpent’s suggestions; their willful disobedience radically affects human nature and the harmonious order of creation (Gen. 3:1–24; 6:5–6).
God graciously announces that the woman’s offspring will redeem humanity from the serpent’s tyranny. Genesis then traces a unique family line, highlighting how its members enjoy a special relationship with God and are a source of blessing to a world that lies under the curse of God (Gen. 3:15; 4:25; 5:2; 6:8–9; 11:10–26; 12:1–3; 17:4–6; 22:16–18; 26:3–4, 24; 27:27–29; 28:14; 30:27–30; 39:5; 49:22–26).
As a result of the man’s disobedience, his unique relationship with the ground degenerates, resulting in hard toil and even famine. While Genesis graphically illustrates the effects of this broken relationship, it also portrays the special family line as bringing relief from such hardship (Gen. 3:17–19; 5:29; 9:20; 26:12–33; 41:1–57; 47:13–26; 50:19–21).
While the woman’s punishment centers on pain in bearing children (Gen. 3:16), women play an essential role in continuing the unique family line; with God’s help even barrenness is overcome (Gen. 11:30; 21:1–7; 25:21; 29:31–30:24; 38:1–30).
The corruption of human nature causes families to be torn apart as brotherly affection is replaced by resentment and hatred (Gen. 4:1–16; 13:5–8; 25:22–23, 29–34; 27:41–45; 37:2–35). Although Genesis highlights the reality of family strife, the members of the family line have the potential to be agents of reconciliation (Gen. 13:8–11; 33:1–11; 45:1–28; 50:15–21).
Whereas exile from Eden and dispersion throughout the earth are used by God to punish the wicked (Gen. 3:22–24; 4:12–16; 11:9), the promise of land is a sign of divine favor (Gen. 12:1–2, 7; 13:14–17; 15:7–21; 26:2–3; 28:13–14; 50:24).
Although God is prepared to destroy almost the whole of humanity because of its corruption (Gen. 6:7, 11–12; 18:17–33), he still desires that the earth should be populated by persons who are righteous (Gen. 1:28; 8:17; 9:1, 7; 15:1–5; 17:2; 22:17; 26:4; 28:3; 35:11; 48:4).
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