We began our series on the first 11 chapters of Genesis this week. I am becoming more and more convinced that the Book of Genesis is probably the most important book ever written. There are 66 books in the Bible and few, if any of them, make sense without a basic understanding of Genesis. Yet, I find a growing number of Christians unfamiliar with the story of God. They wrongly believe that they can jump in the middle of God’s novel and expect to understand what HAS happened, what WILL happen, and WHY. Genesis is the beginning of the beginning. In many ways, it is the beginning of everything we know—the BEDROCK of our faith.
Our culture desperately needs Genesis right now. Our world is struggling with truths that everyone, believer or non, once held as absolute. Our questions have changed. We are asking different ones that many people, believer or not, never though we’d be asking. We’ve gone from questions like: What is life about TO what is a life? From who should I marry TO what is a marriage? From how I can mature as a man or woman TO do I want to be a man or a woman? And while pastors of churches could preach countless topical sermons to address these kinds of topics, the church should go back and study the book of beginnings. Said another way, Genesis is a missional book—it has answers for the many of today’s most difficult questions and hope for the world.
The first 11 chapters give us God’s answers, God’s definitions, and God’s designs for how life is supposed to be. It also provides us understanding as to why things are not the way they are supposed to be right now. In Proverbs 22.28, King Solomon writes: Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set. Today, the chaos in and around creation is evidence that mankind has foolishly done just. Men have rejected God’s Word as their foundation. Instead of thanking God, they have denied Him. Instead of worshiping the Creator, they have worshiped creation. Instead of embracing a loving Father’s design for life, they created their own. And even though EVERYONE knows that there is something “wrong” with the world, they refuse to return to the only one who can make it right.
I recently spoke with an Atheist friend of mine who expressed his own concern over the brokenness of the world. As he watched the same news reports and heard the same court decisions, he felt disgusted over what the world had become and even more fearful about where it was headed. I affirmed his perspective, but proceeded to explain the difference between us. Even though we may have felt the same way about the world, he didn’t know why he did? More than that, he really had no basis to be upset with a world that is functioning according to its nature. According to his worldview, being upset about the “wrongness” of the universe didn’t make much sense–the universe doesn’t give a %&#@. Unless that is, there is a designer who does…and everything from monsoons to immorality is evidence that we have rebelled against His perfection.
Our study in Genesis is important and timely. We need to dig down through all of the dirt piled up on God’s foundation, God’s bedrock, in order to learn both the origin AND the meaning of all things.