Old Testament Walk Through: Genesis 1–11

Genesis means, “beginnings.” Without this book we cannot know how God made us.

1. Some Important Actions of God

God created. Genesis 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” He did not create the earth to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) [That is why there is life only on earth!]. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). But something went wrong later. Therefore the Bible tells us that God is going to create a new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21:1, 5).

God spoke. His first words recorded says: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). It is by God’s word that all things were created (2 Peter 3:5, Hebrews 11:3). We understand these things by faith.

God made. Genesis 1:26, 27 tells us that God made man in His own image and likeness. He created them as male and female (Have you ever wondered why there are only male or female persons on earth? It is because God created so.). Genesis 2:7 tells the story of how God formed the man from the dust of the ground. Each one of us is made by God. So praise Him for you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13, 14). Our ability to smile, speak, think, feel and be creative are all reflections of God’s image in us.

God blessed. Genesis 1:28 tells us that God blessed man and woman. But at the beginning itself God’s blessing is linked to man’s obedience (Genesis 2:16, 17). So, obeying God is the road to blessing.

God breathed into. Genesis 2:7 tells us that God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life. So your life is God’s gift to you. Thank Him for it (Psalm 103:1, 2).

God planted. Genesis 2:8 tells us the name of the garden as Eden, a real place on earth somewhere near modern day Iraq. Every time you see a garden and feel happy; think about the first garden that God planted on earth.

2. Three Important Questions

Did God really say? (Genesis 3:1). This question is asked by the serpent. He is identified as Satan or the devil in Revelation 12:9. The purpose of his question was to make Adam and Eve doubt God’s Word. They listened to Satan’s voice instead of God’s Word and even today we suffer because of that wrong choice they made. But when he tried to tempt Jesus later, Jesus held on to God’s Word and defeated the devil (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). If we believe what God says then Satan cannot defeat us.

Where are you? (Genesis 3:9). God asked this question to Adam. We should be thankful that God asked this question. If He had left Adam without asking this question there would have been no hope for man. But God is a seeking God. All religions in the world is man’s search for God. But the Bible tells us of a God who comes seeking us (Luke 19:10).

Am I my brother’s keeper? (Genesis 4:9) Cain asked this question to God after he had killed his brother Abel. Enmity and hatred came in human relationships after man sinned.

3. The Heart of God and the Heart of Man

Genesis 6:5 shows us what man’s heart is like. His heart is full of evil thoughts. We can fool others by our outward behaviour and appear good before others. But God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, Matthew 5:28).

Genesis 6:6 tells us of God’s heart. He was grieved and his heart was filled with pain because of man’s wickedness. So keep your ways pure by obeying God’s Word (Psalm 119:9, 11), so that you will not cause pain to God’s heart.

4. A Closer Look at Genesis Chapter 3

When you carefully observe this chapter it helps you know that God’s Word is true. Just think about the following:

● Temptation is there even today. It appears attractive (Genesis 3:6).
● Temptation can come anywhere. Even in a perfect place like the Garden of Eden.
● If you yield to temptation there will be serious consequences (Read Genesis 3:16–19, 23).
● You have the choice to say “NO” to temptation like Jesus did (e.g. Matthew 4:4).

● Have you ever seen animals wearing clothes other than in a circus or animal shows? Have you ever wondered why only human beings wear clothes? The Bible says that originally man and woman were naked but they felt no shame (Genesis 2:25). But shame came when they sinned (Genesis 3:7).
● They tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. But God made them garments of skin (Genesis 3:21) because man’s efforts are like “filthy rags” and cannot please God (Isaiah 64:6).

Hiding and Blaming
● When they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden Adam and Eve hid (Genesis 3:9). Even today the first thing that we do is to hide when we do something wrong! It all started in the Garden of Eden.
● Have you ever blamed someone else for the wrong you did? From where did this “Blame Game” start? It all started in the Garden of Eden.

The Promise of a Saviour
● A Saviour is promised (Genesis 3:15). It was promised the Saviour would be the woman’s offspring (or seed). That is why Jesus was born of a virgin [Read Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew1:22, 23]. It was also promised that the Saviour would crush the head of Satan. It happened on the cross of Calvary (Colossians 2:15).
● Joseph was told to name this Saviour “JESUS” because the name means the “Lord saves” (Matthew 1:21). It is a name above all names and in Him alone is salvation (Acts 4:12, Philippians 2:10).

● Labour pains for a woman came because Eve did wrong (Genesis 3:16).
● Work became difficult for man because he did wrong (Genesis 3:17–19).

● Death came to the world because of man’s disobedience: “… until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19).
● The Bible says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). That means all those who sin will die; but those who believe in Jesus will be given the “GIFT” of eternal life.

5. The Flood, Noah’s Ark and the Rainbow

The Flood: In every culture in the world there is a story about a universal flood. We believe in the flood not because of these stories but because it is written and recorded for us in the Bible. Jesus Himself referred to Noah and the flood (Matthew 24:38).

Noah’s Ark: The ark is symbolic of Jesus. Those who entered the ark were kept safe. So all those who trust Jesus will be kept safe by God (John 10:27–29). It was God who shut Noah in (Genesis 7:16)! When man shuts us up somewhere it is a prison. But when God shuts us up somewhere it is a place of safety!

The Rainbow: God set His rainbow in the clouds as a sign of His agreement with the people of the world that He will never again destroy the entire earth by a flood. Whenever the rainbow appears and God sees it He remembers this agreement (Genesis 9:12–17). Did you know that a rainbow is there around the throne of God in heaven too (Revelation 4:3)? That means that God always remembers the promises He makes!

6. Some Interesting Facts

Names: Do you have a name? Do you like your name? Have you ever thought who started the habit of naming? It was started by God Himself. For example, God called the light, “day” (Genesis 1:5). Then God allowed Adam to name all the beasts and the birds (Genesis 2:19, 20).

Languages: The Bible says that the whole world had one language and common speech. But since people used it to build a tower without consulting God, He confused their language. That place is called “Babel” meaning “confused” (Genesis 11:1–9). It was because of this confusion of languages that people travelled far and wide into the ends of the earth.

Lifespan: If you read Genesis Chapter 5 you’ll find that most of the early people lived longer; 700 to 900 plus years. But since man’s heart became evil, God reduced man’s lifespan to 120 years (Genesis 6:3). Later inspired by God, Moses wrote:”The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty … yet their span is but trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 90:10).

Rest: Everywhere in the world you find one day of the week a holiday. Sundays in most nations, Fridays in Muslim nations and Saturdays in Israel. It is the “Sabbath” or rest. How did the entire world come to understand this concept? Because God rested on the seventh day after finishing His work of creation in six days (Genesis 2:2). It is to be understood that God rested not because He was tired (see Isaiah 40:28, Psalm 121:4), but to show man that he should take time to remember his Creator by resting from his work . Exodus 20:8–11 talks about the Sabbath which is the fourth commandment in Ten Commandments. Jesus said that God made the Sabbath or rest for man’s benefit (Mark 2:27). Even during very busy seasons of work rest is commanded (Exodus 34:21).
Note: Today companies around the world are introducing 24×7 work concept that violate God- given rest to man.

Marriage: Have you ever wondered why weddings take place all around the world? You might also have noted that animals don’t marry! So who taught man about marriage and the family? It was God. Genesis Chapter 2 describes how woman was taken out of one of man’s ribs. And then God brought her to Adam. This was the first marriage. And that’s how people around the world learned about marriage and family. Jesus referred to this (Matthew 19:4, 5).
Note: Did you know that the Bible ends with a wedding? It is the wedding of the Lamb of God, Jesus (Revelation 19:7). Do you have an invitation to the wedding supper? (Revelation 19:9).

7. Three Godly Persons

a) Abel: He brought offerings to God. It is written, “Abel bought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering” (Genesis 4:4). Do you give God your best or your worst (like Cain did)? Read Malachi 1:8 and 14 also.

b) Enoch (Genesis 5:21–23): This man walked with God. He did so even while taking care of his family and children. But this man did not face death because God took him away. Why? To tell us one day those who trust in Jesus would be taken like this into heaven (John 14:1–3). For Enoch prophesied about the second coming of Jesus Christ (Jude 14). Are you walking with God today?

c) Noah: This man too walked with God. More than that he was “blameless among the people of his time” (Genesis 6:9) and therefore he “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). The world during Noah’s time was so full of evil and wickedness much more than our time. Yet Noah was found blameless. If we too put our trust in God, we too can live blamelessly in this evil world (see example of Daniel in Daniel 6:4). And Noah did everything that God commanded him (Genesis 6:22, 7:5).

8. Sacrifice and the Blood:

a) Though not mentioned directly, God might have shed the blood of an innocent animal to make garments of skin for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).
b) Though not mentioned directly, Abel shed the blood of innocent animals when he brought fat portions (Genesis 4:4)
c) Though not mentioned directly, the first thing that Noah did after he came out of the ark was to built an altar and shed the blood of clean animals and birds that were to be sacrificed on it.

All these point to the fact that the only way that we can approach God is through the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God (Hebrews 10:19). The Bible says: “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Have you found peace with God and forgiveness that is freely available to you through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross? Read John 3:16! Read also Leviticus 17:11 where it says, “The life of a creature is in its blood.’’

Life Application: Genesis is a book of beginnings. God is interested in giving you a new beginning in life today. Genesis is a book of purpose. It teaches that you are not on earth by accident but by the plan of God. He has a purpose for your life. Understanding it is important.

Advanced Lessons

1. GOD
Genesis begins with God. Though it does not introduce God in the way we introduce ourselves some thoughts are given. Let us look at Genesis 1:26 where God says “Let US make man in OUR image” [emphasis added]. Now if God is only one person, He need not say “US.”

So there are more persons than one in God. And the Bible teaches us that God is One but at the same time three persons. 1. God the Father. Psalms 19:1 and 24:1, 2 talk about Him. 2. God the Son. John 1:1–3, 10 and Colossians 1:16 talk about Him. 3. God the Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:2 talks about Him.

2. Man’s Past–Jesus–Man’s Future
● The door to Eden was closed after man was driven out. The purpose was to prevent them from eating from the tree of life, and live forever. (Genesis 3:22–24).
● Many centuries later, Jesus came and died on a tree (the cross) taking all the curse (Genesis 3:17) on Himself (Galatians 3:13).
● The Bible ends with God dwelling with man (Revelation 21:3) and heaven’s gates open (Revelation 21:25) and those “whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27) having access to the tree of life (Revelation 22:2). “No longer will there be any curse” (Revelation 22:3).

Old Testament Walk Through Series Index
John’s Gospel Easy Notes Entire Series List

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