PART 1 – Dan Rudge gives a “book study” of the whole of Genesis, outlining the story, structure, subjects and seven individuals highlighted in the book. Readings: Gen. 1.1, 26-27; 2.4; 3.15; 5.1; 12.1-3. (Message preached in Bracknell, 18th Jun 2022).
A Book Study: An Overview of Genesis
The Story [Context] of the Book
• Hebrew name = Bĕrēʾšît, “in the beginning”. Greek name = Geneseos, ‘origin’ or ‘generation’. Origin of universe. Origin of life [light]. Origin of man [marriage]. Of sin, language, government, culture, nations, religion, Israel.
• tôlēdôt [x13] = what is ‘produced’ or ‘brought into being’. Often genealogy [5.1]. Introduces a narrative [record of events] = ‘the story of… the heavens and the earth’ [2.4]. Genesis = series of stories [not systematic theology].
• Span. Narrative about God and man spans eternity. What was God doing before Gen. 1.1? Loving. Planning.
• Subject. Divine blessing [x88, second only to Psalms] or grace. Sin causes a cycle: grace, guilt, government.
1. Grace [creation]. Guilt [the Fall]. Government [cast out]. Yet, promise of Seed [3.15].
2. Grace [blessed Noah, sons]. Guilt [Babel]. Government [scatter]. Yet, Seed [12.3]. Blessing restored in Christ.
• Success. Man [wife] ruling the earth [Joseph]. And Revelation. Paradise lost is regained. New heaven and earth. Access to tree of life. No more death. Babylon destroyed. Redeemer not promised, He reigns!
The Structure [Construction] of the Book
• Two-division structure. Primary history [1-11], four great moments. Patriarchal history [12-50], four great men. First stage = humanity in general [over 2,000 years, half of OT history]. Second stage = Israel in particular .
• tôlēdôt structure. Sometimes introduce short genealogies [2, 7]. Or extended narratives [6, 10].
• Note principle. God takes up the second and sets aside the first. Ishmael [7 verses] and Isaac [11 chapters]. Esau [1 chapter] and Jacob [14 chapters]. Underpins entire plan of redemption. Set aside “first man” [Adam].
• Turning point [12.1]. Pivotal in purpose of God. Constant failure of three dispensations. Then “God of glory appears”. Eclipsed the idols of Ur [devoted to moon god]. God “gave up” the nations [go own way]. Sovereignly elects one man – world blessed. Matt. 1.1, “book of generation of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham”.
The Subjects [Content] of the Book
• Person of God. Creation answers who God is – the only uncreated Being. Plurality in Godhead [Elohim, “let us make man”]. Powerful God [Gen. 1.1, Elohim]. Personal God [loves individuals, Jehovah Elohim (2.4)]. “As Elohim, He tossed worlds into space; as Jehovah, He planned man’s redemption before fashioning Adam’s clay.” Perfect God [Judge of all the earth, Gen. 18]. Pure God [saw wickedness of man]. God of promise [covenants].
• Pictures of Christ. We have NT key to unlock the types. Church [Eve, Rebekah, Asenath]. Rapture [Enoch].
Tribulation [flood]. Seed of the woman [3.16]. Slain Shepherd . Melchizedek the Sovereign Priest .
Isaac, the promised Son . Joseph, Saviour of the world . Judah, Shiloh , gathering centre of nations.
• Prologue [1.1-2.3]. Foundation of divine truth [revelation]. 66 books rest on Genesis. 50 chapters of Genesis on 1.1-2.3. Refutes atheism. Polytheism [one God]. Humanism [God, not man is ultimate reality]. Materialism [matter had a beginning, finite]. Environmentalism [Creator is to be worshipped, not creation].
• Man made in “image” [represent] and “likeness” [resemble] of God [1.26]. Capacity [intelligence, reason]. Communication [language]. Communion [relationship]. Male and female [1.27]. Rested on seventh day [2.2].
The “Seven” [Characters] of the Book
• Generations of Adam [5.1]. Adam “begat”. In his own [fallen] likeness and image. Springing from Adam is natural man = tends to vanity, violence and rebellion [Cain, Lamech, Nimrod]. Line of unbelief, and a line of faith.
• But natural man can be regenerated by divine grace [through faith]. Seven great men after Adam [Heb. 11].
1. Abel [man of sacrifice, presents his best to God], “firstlings of his flock”.
2. Enoch [man of separation], “walked with God”.
3. Noah [man of sanctification], “preacher of righteousness”.
4. Abraham [sojourned].
5. Isaac [man of submission]. LORD appeared, “go not down to Egypt” . And wells [Scripture].
6. Jacob [life of service and struggle]. Dependent on self – Man wrestled with him ! Learns value of Bethel.
7. Joseph [man of the Spirit]. And suffering, followed by glory.