We often overlook the lessons of Genesis. The familiarity of the stories makes us dismiss Genesis as simply a children’s book. Or worse, a book that is no longer relative to our lives today.
But once you start to look beneath the layers of Genesis, there is so much gold for believers! In fact, it is the foundation of the entire Bible, so understanding Genesis helps you understand the entire storyline of the Bible! To help you get started, I’ve placed a short handout over Genesis for you below this post.
But in addition to needing to know the foundation of Genesis, the book is also extremely applicable to your current life.
3 principles you can learn from Genesis to apply to your life today.
God alone is the creator
The book of Genesis begins with the statement “In the beginning, God created…” When time began, God already existed. In fact, God was the only thing that existed until he created the spiritual and earthly realms. Right away, Genesis makes sure the reader understands there is only one God, this God has always existed and is the creator of all things.
This theme continues throughout Genesis as God continues to reveal himself and his plan. In Genesis 14:19-20, we see Melchizekek confirm God as the creator as he blesses Abram stating “Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth…”
Throughout the entirety of Abraham’s life, we see God continually teaching him and reminding Abram that God is in control and the creator of all things. From this understanding that God creates everything, comes Abraham’s faith to trust God to bring about his promise.
Your Application for Today
Romans 1:25 gives us a warning about what happens when we forget who the creator is. It states, we “exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve what has been created instead of the Creator.” When we forget God is the creator, we begin to worship whoever or whatever we believe creates or even the creation itself. When we remember God is who created, we can appreciate creation as a way to turn our hearts toward him. The creation should cause us to worship God. But only realizing God alone created it will allow this to happen.
God has initiated salvation since the beginning of time
Since Genesis 1, God has been the one to initiate salvation. God created man and then placed humanity in Eden, a heaven on earth full of the salvation of God from everything that could harm them. In Genesis 3, humanity chooses to turn away from God. Yet we see God in Genesis 3:21 make clothing for Adam and Eve to protect them from their own shame before he sends them out of Eden. God stepped in to save them from themselves. Adam and Eve on their own could not save themselves.
This concept continues throughout Genesis as we see Cain fall into sin and turn away from God. God offers salvation from the punishment of death by saying “whoever kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” With this statement, God was showing he is the one who offers salvation from the death we all deserve because of sin. This picture of God’s salvation is seen through his provision of the ark for Noah and his family, through his covenant with Abraham, and his protection of Joseph in order to save his family line. The entirety of Genesis points to God always being the initiator of salvation and the only one who can offer salvation to mankind.
Your Application for Today
Salvation belongs to God alone. Acts 4:12 makes this evident by stating “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” No one besides God has the authority or power to offer salvation for those who believe. By seeing this idea in Genesis, we understand salvation is not Plan B. Instead, we see God has always been and will always be the initiator of salvation for all who put their faith in him.
God has always been concerned with our heart and faith.
Putting our faith and trust in God is not a New Testament concept. Rather, this has been what God desired since the beginning of time. Since creation, God has asked his people to simply trust him. For example, in Genesis 2:15-17, God asks Adam to eat from any tree in the garden except one. In essence, Adam needed to put his faith in God, and trust what God asked of him was good. When Adam and Eve chose to eat the apple, they were choosing to trust in themselves instead of God.
turning from God was the sin they committed.
When God establishes his covenant with Abraham, we see this same focus on faith and trust. God doesn’t call Abraham and ask him to follow a bunch of rules. God simply says “Go out from your land….I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” God wasn’t asking Abraham to be perfect or to do amazing things. God simply said to trust him and follow him by faith.
Abraham had very little details and a whole lot of trust and faith. We see this demonstrated further in chapter 22 when God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham has no idea why God would ask this of him. He has zero clues as to how the covenant could be fulfilled if Isaac is killed. All he knows is that he has put his faith in God and will obey out of that faith. Hebrews 11:17-20 states all of these decisions by Abraham were made by faith, so when we read Genesis 15:6 and it states, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness”, we can be assured it was Abram’s faith that made him righteous, not his actions.
Your Application for Today
God has always emphasized faith. His concern has always been what our hearts believe. Righteousness has to do with our faith and not our ability to make ourselves perfect. Romans 1:17 drives this point home by telling us “the righteous will live by faith”. Our faith determines our righteousness. Therefore don’t spend time chasing after perfection on your own. Instead, seek God, let him increase your faith, and therefore make you more righteous, reflecting him in your life. This has always been the way God has worked.
Genesis is a fascinating book of the Bible and the more you study it, the more you realize how vital it is to help you in your walk with Christ. Creator, initiator, seeker of our heart has always been who God is. I pray that as you see this played out in the book of Genesis, you see God play this out in your own lives as well. He always has and always will be seeking to be the God of your heart.
I’ve attached a short handout explaining the layout of Genesis to help you understand the book in greater detail below.
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