The word Genesis comes from an ancient Hebrew word meaning “beginning”. The stories we read in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, are divided into two main parts which paint a picture of two kinds of beginnings: the story of God and the whole world (chapters 1-11) and the story of God and the family of a man named Abraham (chapters 12-50). The connection between these two stories is where we find the main message of the book.
This week we covered Genesis Part 1. Join us Friday for Genesis Part 2.
You can watch the video for Genesis Part 1 here!
Session Overview: Genesis Part 1
God made earth a paradise and everything was good. The first man and woman were created to reflect the goodness and creativity of God, and they were given names meaning humanity (Adam) and life (Eve).
Shortly after they are placed in the Garden of Eden, the man and woman injure their relationship with God when they seize upon an opportunity to define good and evil for themselves, in direct opposition to his clear and simple instructions. The biblical concept of sin can be traced right back to this moment in time where Adam and Eve decided to call the shots on their own. Ever since, we can clearly observe the human tendency to do what’s best for themselves at the expense of others. There is difficulty trusting one another, trusting God, and having a clear conscience.
The problem of sin becomes so bad over the coming years, the God decides to destroy the world with a flood. However, God spares the life of Noah and his family, who multiply into many nations. These nations become so ambitious that they attempt to build a tower that reaches the heavens. As innocent as that may sound, God knows that the path these humans are choosing to walk will lead to death more wickedness. In his mercy, he intervenes by scattering them and breaking up their communication into many different languages.
There are many more stories in chapters 1-11, which we encourage you to read on your own, but the common thread is found in the natural human tendency toward sin, which brings tragedy and death. All of these may leave you wondering if there is any hope for humanity. The answer is YES. Chapter 12 is the beginning of the story of God’s plan to rescue fallen humanity.
- What does it mean to be made in the “image of God”? (Gen 1:26-31)
- Why do you suppose God created a choice for human beings by planting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? (Gen 2:15-17, Gen 3:1-24)
- What happens when human beings attempt to define good and evil independently of God, and how does sin manifest itself throughout the first 11 chapters of Genesis? (Gen 3:6-24)
- Why did God decide to flood the earth? (Gen 6:9-9:17)
- What was the sinful ambition of the people at Babel, and why did God scatter the people by confusing their language? (Gen 11:1-9)
- What are some examples in your life of the tendency to reject God’s design in order to pursue your own desires? How does this harm your relationship with God and others?
- Most people today are not gardeners by profession, but how do you suppose you, like Adam and Eve, can fulfill God’s mandate to steward creation in your unique, individual life circumstances? (Genesis 1:26-31)