Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.
In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).
After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.
This chapter contains perhaps the greatest test of faith in the entire Bible. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham obeys. He travels to Mt. Moriah and binds Isaac to an altar, raising a knife to kill his son who was promised to continue his family line. Abraham believed Isaac would fulfill God’s promise to make a great nation from him, and concluded that God would raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). The test is completed. God intervenes, telling Abraham not to kill his son, but provides a ram instead for the sacrifice. Abraham names the place of the altar, “Jehovah-Jireh,” The Lord Will Provide. The covenant between God and Abraham is reiterated. God promises blessings on Abraham’s descendants. Chapter 22 shows how God is completely sufficient. Obedience in Him always works for the good.