Presentation on theme: "Genesis A theology towards blessing Created by David Turner www.BibleStudies-Online.com."— Presentation transcript:
Genesis A theology towards blessing Created by David Turner
The Purpose of Genesis Genesis is the book about blessing. It provides the historical basis for God’s covenant with his people. The book sets the historical backdrop for Exodus and the Torah and provides the base for ultimate blessing for them and for the world.
The Structure Each section of Genesis begins with the word ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ, (which we translate “succession”). Each ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ, explaining what became of a line of people, shows a narrowing and a deterioration in the development of the theology of blessing.
The Structure of Genesis I. The Primeval Events (1:1-11:26) A. The Creation (1:1-2:3) B. The succession from the creation of the heavens and earth (2:4-4:26) 1. The creation of the man and the woman (2:4-25) 2. The temptation and the Fall (chap. 3) 3. The advance of sin in Cain’s murder of Abel (4:1-16) 4. The spread of godless civilization (4:17-26) C. The succession from Adam (5:1-6:8) 1. The genealogy from Adam to Noah (chap. 5) 2. The corruption of the race (6:1-8) D. The succession from Noah (6:9-9:29) 1. The judgment by the Flood (6:9-8:22) 2. The covenant with Noah (9:1-17) 3. The curse of Canaan (9:18-29) E. The succession from the sons of Noah (10:1-11:9) 1. The table of nations (chap. 10) 2. The dispersion at Babel (11:1-9) F. The succession from Shem (11:10-26)
The Structure of Genesis II. The Patriarchal Narratives (11:27-50:26) A. The succession from Terah (11:27-25:11) 1. The making of the covenant with Abram (11:27-15:21) 2. The provision of the promised seed for Abraham whose faith was developed by testing (16:1-22:19) 3. The transition of the promises to Isaac by faithful Abraham (22:20-25:11) B. The succession from Ishmael (25:12-18) C. The succession from Isaac (25:19-35:29) 1. The transfer of the promised blessing to Jacob instead of to Esau (25:19-28:22) 2. The blessing of Jacob in his sojourn (chaps ) 3. The return of Jacob and the danger of corruption in the land (chaps ) D. The succession from Esau (36:1-8) E. The succession from Esau, father of the Edomites (36:9-37:1) F. The succession from Jacob (37:2-50:26) 1. The selling of Joseph into Egypt (37:2-36) 2. The corruption of Judah’s family and confirmation of God’s choice (chap. 38) 3. The rise of Joseph to power in Egypt (chaps ) 4. The move to Egypt (42:1-47:27) 5. The provision for the continuation of the promised blessing (47:28-50:26)
The World Started with Blessings 1. Creation. The first section (1:1-2:3) is not headed by a ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ. Being the beginning, there is no need to trace what became of Creation. Rather, its own heading in 1:1 depicts the contents of the chapter. The significance of the section is that the work is wrapped in divine approval and blessing over the fulfillment of the plan. Animal life (vv ), human life (v. 27), and the seventh day (2:3) were all blessed specifically. This trilogy is important to the argument: man, made in the image of God, enjoying sovereignty over the creatures of the earth, and observing the Sabbath rest of God, had a blessed beginning. Genesis 1:22-25 (NET) 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” It was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the cattle according to their kinds, and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds. God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:27-28 (NET) 27 God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 2:3 (NET) 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he ceased all the work that he had been doing in creation.
The Downward Spiral 2. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of the heavens and the earth. In this section (2:4-4:26), Genesis reports what became of the cosmos. The section begins with a description of the creation of Adam and Eve and traces their sin, God’s curse on sin, and the expansion of sin in their descendants. No longer at rest, mankind experienced flight and fear, making his way in the world, surviving, and developing civilization. As if in answer to the blessings of Creation, this passage supplies a threefold cursing (of Satan [3:14], of the ground because of man [3:17], and of Cain [4:11]). Yet in this deteriorating life there is a token of grace (4:26) and a ray of hope (man began to call on Yahweh). Genesis 3:14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the wild beasts and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. Genesis 3:17 (NET) 17 But to Adam he said, “Because you obeyed your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground thanks to you; in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Genesis 4:11 So now, you are banished from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. Genesis 4:26 (NET) 26 And a son was also born to Seth, whom he named Enosh. At that time people began to worship the Lord.
The Downward Spiral 3. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of the book of Adam. In this central line from Adam to Noah man’s downward drift is seen clearly (5:1-6:8). The section begins with a reiteration of Creation and concludes with God’s intense displeasure over man’s existence. Genesis 5:1-2 recalls the Creation with the use of bārak (“to bless”); verse 29 records the birth of Noah as a token of grace for comfort from the curse with the use of ’ārar (“to curse”). One exception to the curse of death (Enoch) provides a ray of hope that the curse was not final. Genesis 5:1-2 This is the record of the family line of Adam. When God created humankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female; when they were created, he blessed them and named them “humankind.” Genesis 5:29 He named him Noah, saying, “This one will bring us comfort from our labor and from the painful toil of our hands because of the ground that the Lord has cursed.” Genesis 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and then he disappeared because God took him away. Genesis 6:5-6 5 But the Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made humankind on the earth, and he was highly offended.
The Downward Spiral 4. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Noah. This section (6:9-9:29) is one of judgment (curse) and blessing in that God promised never again to curse the ground like this (8:21). The story of Noah begins with his finding grace and ends with his cursing Canaan. Yet there is a new beginning out of a watery world, parallel in many ways to chapter 1: the destruction of a violent world in chaos, the gracious provision of redemption so that man can sail into the new world, the appearance of dry land for a fresh beginning, the Noahic Covenant, and blessing on Noah and his sons (parallel to that for Adam). Here the race began anew, and from this beginning point the blessing motif becomes more prominent in antithesis to the cursing. Though Canaan was curse, Shem was blessed. Genesis 8:21-9:1 21 And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, even though the inclination of their minds is evil from childhood on. I will never again destroy everything that lives, as I have just done. 22 “While the earth continues to exist, planting time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.” 1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Genesis 9: When Noah awoke from his drunken stupor he learned what his youngest son had done to him. 25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves he will be to his brothers.” Genesis 9: He also said, “Worthy of praise is the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem! 27 May God enlarge Japheth’s territory and numbers! May he live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave!”
The Downward Spiral 5. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of the sons of Noah. The population of the earth expanded. The focus turns to the nations. The writer continues to develop the message that man’s bent is toward ruin and chaos. This section begins with the fruitful population from Shem, Ham, and Japheth, but ends with the explanation of the origin of the nations by the dispersion at Babel (10:1-11:9). The story climaxes leaving the reader looking for the answer to man’s continual decay. It prepares him for the promised blessing.
Transition toward the people of Promise 6. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Shem. Predicated on the world view of the expanding race in the previous section, this section (11:10-26) forms another transition in the book, narrowing the choice from the line of Shem to Abram. This list traces the line from Noah to Abram within the blessings of prosperity and posterity (whereas chap. 5 traced the line from Adam to Noah and the Flood). God would not leave the world to an expanding and divided population under the curse without hope; He would select a man and build a nation that would provide blessing for the earth (11:10-26).
The Beginning of the people of Blessing 7. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Terah. Chapters 1-11 generally portray man’s rebellion. Chapters detail God’s bringing man into a place of blessing. This section (11:27-25:11) tells what became of Terah, the last man on the list (11:32). The story then traces his son Abraham’s life and becomes the key to the book as well as the Old Testament plan for blessing. God promised Abraham, who was blessed above all, a nation, the land, and a name. The narrative develops the account of his growth in obedient faith. Genesis 12:1-3 1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. 2 Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name.” Genesis 22: and said, “‘I solemnly swear by my own name,’ decrees the Lord, ‘that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the strongholds of their enemies. 18 Because you have obeyed me, all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.’”
Defining the choice in the Blessing 8. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Ishmael. This section (25:12-18) explains what became of Ishmael since his was not the line God had chosen. The writer dealt with Ishmael’s line before returning to the chosen line.
The Blessing moves forward 9. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Isaac. In explaining what became of Isaac, the son of promise, this section records the story of Jacob, his son, the struggle within the family, and the emergence of the people of Israel (25:19- 35:29). The promises and blessing given to Abram was now uniquely transferred to Jacob (chap. 27). Jacob also developed in faith, but he was crippled in the process. He was not the man his grandfather was; yet Israel was “born.” Genesis 35: God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but your name will no longer be called Jacob; Israel will be your name.” So God named him Israel. 11 Then God said to him, “I am the sovereign God. Be fruitful and multiply! A nation – even a company of nations – will descend from you; kings will be among your descendants! 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you. To your descendants I will also give this land.”
Wanting the Blessing 10. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Esau. Before discussing the ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of the son of succession (Jacob), this section (36:1-8) discusses Esau, the brother from whom Jacob stole the birthright and the blessing. The nation that came from Jacob would frequently encounter their relatives, the Edomites, descended from Esau. This section accounts for three of Esau’s wives and his five sons.
Not the Blessing 11. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Esau, father of the Edomites. Another accounting of the development from Esau is added because of the great significance of Edomite, Amalekite, and Horite chieftains (36:9-37:1).
Salvation from famine 12. The ṯ ôle ḏ ô ṯ of Jacob. Jacobs sons became the founding fathers of Israel’s tribes (37:2-50:26). This narrative is concerned with the life of Joseph and the move of Jacob’s family to Egypt. The narrative relates why God’s people were in Egypt and how they were related to the promised blessings. In Canaan the family had deteriorated to the point of merging with the Canaanites. To preserve the line of blessing, God moved amazingly through the evil will of Joseph’s brothers to bring him into power in Egypt. When the land of promise was cursed with a famine, blessing was provided through Joseph’s power and wisdom. However, the book closes in anticipation of another visitation of blessing from God.
Preparation for the Exodus Joseph’s final words set the stage for the Exodus Genesis 50:24-25 (NET) 24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to you and lead you up from this land to the land he swore on oath to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25 Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He said, “God will surely come to you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place.” Moses restates Joseph’s words Exodus 13:19 (NET) 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the Israelites solemnly swear, “God will surely attend to you, and you will carry my bones up from this place with you.”
Theology of Genesis God exists and he revealed himself in word and deed to Israel’s ancestors. Genesis does not argue for God’s existence; it simply asserts that everything exists because of Him. He is sovereign over all. God established Israel to be blessed and to be a blessing to the peoples of the earth. It presents the origins behind the founding of the theocracy: the promised blessing that Abraham’s descendants would be in the land.
Theology of Genesis It teaches us that God desires to bless. It teaches us that man rebels against God’s blessing and has been cursed. It teaches us that even though we rebel God provides a Savior to deliver us from the curse. It teaches us that God is involved and will ultimate Bless us.
How is the world different from Genesis? Matthew 24:36-39 (NET) 36 “But as for that day and hour no one knows it – not even the angels in heaven – except the Father alone. 37 For just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. 38 For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39 And they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man.
How is the world different from Genesis? Jude 4-11 (NET) 4 For certain men have secretly slipped in among you – men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe – ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I desire to remind you …. 6 You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day. 7 So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet these men, as a result of their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and insult the glorious ones. 9 …. 11 Woe to them! For they have traveled down Cain’s path, ….
How is the world different from Genesis? 2 Peter 2:4-11 (NET) 4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment, 5 and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly world, 6 and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, having appointed them to serve as an example to future generations of the ungodly, 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men, 8 (for while he lived among them day after day, that righteous man was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) 9 – if so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment at the day of judgment, 10 especially those who indulge their fleshly desires and who despise authority.
God wants to bless Who does he bless? Romans 4:6-8 6 So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin.”
God wants to bless How are we forgiven so that we can receive the blessing? Acts 10:43 43 About him (Jesus) all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”