The Book of Genesis – Part 1 of 2

>>Jon: The first book of the Bible is a book
you have probably heard of, it’s called Genesis.>>Tim: Genesis comes from a Hebrew word,
it’s pronounced rasheet. It just means beginning.>>Jon: Now there’s a lot of stories from
the book of Genesis, and it’s easy to just pull out a specific
story and try to tell you what it might mean.
But we think the best way to understand this book,
is to look at the book as a whole and show you how the whole thing is designed.>>Tim: The book is designed to fall into
two main parts. You have chapters 1-11, which is telling the
story of God and the whole world and then you have the second part
which is about God and Abraham’s family as chapters 12-50,
and how the two of those parts relate, that’s where you find the message of the
book.>>Jon: OK, so lets start back at the beginning.
The first part of Genesis begins with the creation story where God creates everything>>Tim: And how exactly that happens of course
that’s where all the debates come. But, He takes a dark watery chaos and He turns
it into a beautiful garden where humans can flourish.>>Jon: That sounds nice.>>Tim: That does sound nice. In fact seven
different times God says of all that He’s made that it’s good>>Jon: And this is where we meet the first
human characters in the Bible, Adam and Eve.>>Tim: They’re both individual characters
but also representative. Adam is the Hebrew word for humanity and Eve is the Hebrew word
for life and God creates them in his image, in other words, Humanity reflects or is meant
to reflect the creativity, the goodness, and character of the creator out into the world
that He’s made. And they’re supposed to reproduce, and make cultures, and neighborhoods, and
art, and gardens, and everything else. But, He gives them a moral choice about how they
are going to build this world. And this is what the tree of the “Knowledge of Good
and Evil” is all about.>>Jon: And He tells them, “don’t eat of
this tree or you will die.” What’s that all about?>>Tim: Up till now God has been defining
and providing what is good.  And so God is the one with the knowledge of good and evil.
 But this tree represents a choice:  will the human’s trust God’s definition of
good and evil, or are they going to seize the opportunity to try and define good and
evil for themselves.>>Jon: And Adam and Eve eat the fruit.>>Tim: This is the core, biblical explanation
for that concept of sin, that desire to call the shots myself its the inward turn of the
human heart to do what’s good for me and my tribe even if it’s at the expense of
you and your tribe.>>Jon: And the problem is humans are horrible
at defining good and evil without God and so now that Humanity’s made this choice, things
get really…>>Tim: …really bad. So Genesis 3 through
11 is like tracing this downward spiral of all Humanity. So adam and eve, they can’t
trust each other anymore. and so theres a little story about how they were naked and
felt fine about it beforehand, but now they feel shameful because all the sudden Adam’s
definition of good and evil might be different than Eve’s. And so they hide from each other.>>Jon: And there’s another story of temptation.
Cain is jealous of his brother Abel, and he gives in and kills him.>>Tim: there’s a story right after Cain
about a guy named Lamech. All we know about Lamech is that he accumulates wives like property
and he sings songs about he’s a more violent vengeful person than Cain ever was and he’s
proud of it.>>Jon: Things get so bad with the human race,
that we see God decide to just wipe us out.>>Tim: Yeah, we typically think of the flood
story as about God being angry, but it actually begins with God’s sadness and grief about
the state of his world. So out of the passion to preserve the goodness of his world, He
washes it clean with the flood.>>Jon: But there’s a glimmer of hope. He
chooses Noah and his whole family and saves them on this boat.>>Tim: Don’t forget about the animals>>Jon: Right. And the animals. So Noah and
his family are going to reboot all of Humanity. He must be a pretty great guy.>>Tim: But this is the story most people
don’t know because it’s kind of weird. Noah gets off the boat, and plants a vineyard,
and gets totally plastered, and then something sketchy happens in his tent with his son.
It’s a tragic story.>>Jon: So from here, Humanity grows again
and things are as bad as before.  And the last story is the famous story of the Tower
of Babel.>>Tim: In this story you have all of the
nations uniting together to use this new technology they have: the brick. They want to make a
name for themselves, build a big city with this huge tower that will reach up to the
gods. But God knows that this city will be a nightmare, so in His mercy, He scatters
them. All of these stories underline the same basic idea: when humans seize autonomy from
God and define good for themselves, it results in a world of tragedy, and death.>>Jon: And all of this leaves you wondering,
is there any hope for humanity.>>Tim: Yes, yeah there is. It’s the very
next story that answers that question; it’s the beginning of God’s mission to rescue
and restore his world.

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