For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?(Deuteronomy 4:7-8)
The story of Israel’s creation is told in the book of Genesis, in fact it comprises four fifths of the Genesis record.
Consider this, Genesis is the primal book. When God wanted to communicate with the world He chose to make a book, or a set of books, written over a period of 1,500 years, on three continents, and using forty different authors from all walks of life, Kings, Shepherds, Warriors, Prophets, slaves, captives, refugees and exiles, tree trimmers, fishermen, priests and tradesmen were all used by God to contribute to the Holy Book, the Bible.
But the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, are the foundation that the rest of the Bible rests upon. At the very base of the edifice of God’s revelation, sits the book of Genesis.
This is the foundational book, everything that God considers basic to human knowledge of salvation is in that book. God is the one who chose what would go into the book of beginnings. Considering this, Genesis is actually very simple, in the sense of being uncomplicated.
What is the basic structure of the book? In short, what was it that the God of the Bible considered of primal importance to the human race ?
- Creation by God’s Word. (Genesis 1)
- The special creation of man and woman in the Image of God.(Genesis 2)
- The origin of marriage,(Genesis2)
- The importance of children and the family.(Genesis 2)
- The account of what went wrong, the fall of man and curse on Creation. (Genesis 3)
- The promise of the ‘seed of the woman’, and the salvation to come.(Genesis 4)
- The necessity of sacrifice and of substitutionary atonement.(Genesis 3-4)
- The creation (by fallen man) of cities, technology, metallurgy and the arts. (Genesis 4)
- The development of God estranged civilization, and of the godly remnant.(Genesis 4)
- The account of the great catastrophe, ie the flood upon the ‘world that was’.(Genesis 6)
- The salvation of Noah and his family.(Genesis 6-8)
- The development of human government.(Genesis 8-9 )
- The great apostasy, ie the tower of Babel, a world unity project which God judged.(Genesis 10-11)
- Finally, The story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, which comprises chapters 12-50.
It is shortly after the worldwide apostasy, that we meet Abram.
In other words, it is after the event in which all of the nations of the world defected from God in a worldwide project, to “Make a name for themselves”, and to “build a tower to the heavens”, organizing themselves into a massive superstate, in clear disobedience to God’s command to fill the earth, that God set out to create a new nation.
He would create this nation out of one old man, Abram and his barren wife, Sarah, pagan idolaters from Ur of the Chaldees, (what we now call southern Iraq).
Another aspect of Genesis is that everything in the beginning, lasts until the end. There is a special relationship between all of the books of the Bible, for they are one. But Genesis and the Revelation are particularly related.
All of the problems introduced in Genesis are resolved in the Revelation. Everything God thought important at the beginning, take on an urgent importance at the end.
At the end, man denies Creation, and he despises the idea of being created in the Image of God. There is a confusion about marriage, gender, the sexual roles, and consequently children. “As it was in the days of Noah”, Jesus warned us, “so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.”
Once again violence covers the earth, and the imagination of men is sold to do continual evil. There is a sense that Judgment is coming, but we are down to the last few “preachers of Righteousness”.
But through our advanced technology, a world Unity seems around the corner, and the new Nimrod arises to unite the earth in defiance of the only true God.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob also feature prominently. They are back in their ancient land, and their enemies seek to destroy them. Especially the descendants of Hagar,Ishmael, and Esau, (the Muslim World). The new nation is beloved of God, but the Gentiles are angry and rage like the sea.