A Reflection On The Book Of Genesis

Genesis, also known as the first book of the Bible, is an incredible story because this is when God created everything. Genesis answers some of humanity's biggest questions like who created this world, who created humans, why are we here. We see sin for the first time but we also see hope in a savior to come. The first eleven chapters of Genesis give us information on how the world came to be, how we are created, how humans are to interact with one another and how we are supposed to view the world. Before God created all of the world he was a spirit hovering in empty space, he created day and night first. He then created the world and everything in it in six days and rested on the seventh. Just by this alone we see God’s true power. He created an entire universe out of nothing but words. He divided the sea from the land and called it earth, he made the sky and the birds, he made the sun and the moon, nothing is impossible for God. Lastly he created mankind in his image. God gave man dominion over everything on earth. He created woman from man's rib so man can have a companion. God then placed man and woman, also known as Adam and Eve, in the beautiful Garden of Eden where they were free to roam. God said to watch over the land and to not eat from the tree of knowledge. Then a serpent convinced Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge and she got Adam to do so as well. Immediately they realized that they were both naked and wanted to cover themselves up. In Genesis 3:7 it says, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.” God knew what had happened and summoned them at once but they tried to hide because they knew what they had done went against God’s word. God then banishes them from the garden and this is the first sin that happened in humankind.

Once Adam and Eve get banished from the garden they have sex. They know how to do this because they ate from the tree. Eventually Eve gives birth to their son Cain and they have another son named Abel. The child birth for Eve is very painful because God increased the pain tremendously as a punishment for eating from the tree. Cain eventually becomes jealous of Abel because God enjoyed the sacrifices that Abel had brought him more so Cain killed his brother. God then punishes Cain from the grounds of the earth since he was a farmer and told him that he is a wanderer now. Cain then goes and has relations with his wife and they have a son named Enoch. Enoch builds the city of Enoch. Adam and Eve had another son that they name Seth. Then the story begins to list off many more descendants all the way to Noah. God believes that mankind is corrupt so he tells Noah to build an ark. Noah then builds the ark and took his wife, his sons, their sons and the amount of animals that God commanded him to take. God then sends rain for forty days and forty nights to wipe out everyone that is not on the ark. “Thus he bottled out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were bottled out from the earth; And only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:23). God then promises to never flood the earth again and puts a rainbow in the sky. This rainbow signifies a “battle bow” covenant for that promise alone that he will never flood the earth again.

Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. People traveled east and found a plain in the land of Shinar. They wanted to build a city that reached the Heavens to make a name for themselves. God did not like their idea so he came down and made everyone speak a different language so that they could not understand each other. Therefore the city became known as Babel since God made everyone speak a different language. He also scattered them throughout the world.

The Lord then calls upon Abraham to leave his country and travel to create a great nation. God promises him this so he took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot on this journey. Abraham ends up in Egypt. Pharaoh takes a great interest in Abraham's wife but Abraham tells everyone that she is his sister so he would not get killed. Pharaoh treats Abraham very well for Sarai’s sake. God put a plague upon Pharaoh and his house because of Sarai. Pharoah then gives Sarai back to Abraham and escorted them away with their belongings and his nephew Lot. They traveled to Bethel where they pitched their tents. Abraham and Lot had so many belongings that they could not share the land so Abraham went to the right and Lot went to the left. Lot chose the Valley of Jordan and Abraham chose the land of Cannan. The Lord told Abraham that this land is yours for you and all of your many descendants. Abraham then moved and pitched his tent in the oaks of Mamre and he built an altar for the Lord. Lot then gets captured with all of his belongings so Abraham pleaded with the Lord to get him back. Abraham and his descendants get Lot back with all of his belongings. Abraham and Sarai are sad they can not have a son because Sarai can not give birth but God then promises Abraham that he will have a son and he will have a great nation. “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20 and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite”(Genesis 15:18-21). After God promised the land to Abraham Sarai tells him that since she can not have a child that her maid Hagar can have a child for her. Abraham listens to Sarai but Hagar get scared when Sarai tells her what is going to happen so Hagar runs away. An Angle meets Hagar and tells her to go back and to have a son and name him Ishmael. This is done and Hagar bore Ishmael. Abraham was eighty six years old when this happened. God then establishes a Covenant with Abraham saying that as long as you walk before me I shall bless you with being the father of multitudes of nations and that he will have a son with Sarai named Isaac. God then changes his name from Abram to Abraham, meaning father of many, and Sarai to Sarah. The Covenant requires Abraham and his descendants to get circumcised as well. Abraham obeyed God’s Covenant with him and was circumcised along with his descendants. He was ninety nine when he was circumcised. God appeared to Abraham and Sarah as three men that came to his house. They tell them that Sarah will indeed have a son soon. Isaac is then born a year later when Abraham was one hundred years old. Him and Sarah are laughing because they did not think it was possible but God can make the impossible happen. Now that Isaac is born sarah did not want Hagar and Ishmael around anymore so Abraham sends them off. God then tests Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. Abraham obeys God’s command and takes Isaac to an altar to be sacrificed. As soon as Abraham is about to strike Isaac and Angle of the Lord appears and stops it. God is impressed with his commitment to him and reaffirms the Covenant they had made. Sarah dies at the age of one hundred and twenty seven years. Then Abraham sends a servant to his relatives to find Isaac a wife. The servant finds Rebekah and Isaac marries her. Abraham finds another wife named Keturah and she bores many sons. Abraham dies at one hundred and seventy five years old. Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah. He was buried with his wife Sarah.

God tells Rebekah that she will have two sons that will lead to great nations. She gives birth to Esau who is born extremely hairy and she gives birth to Jacob who is smooth skinned. The two sons are very different from one another, Esau loves being in the outdoors hunting and Jacob prefers to stay inside. Isaac prospers in Canaan just like his father and creates several alliances. When he becomes old and blind he tells Esau to go and catch him some game to prepare a meal so that he can bless his oldest child. Rebekah helps Jacob make a meal and converse his arms with hair to trick Isaac into blessing Jacob instead of Esau. Isaac then blesses Jacob thinking it is Esau God’s Covenant. Esau comes back but Isaac can not take back the blessing. So Jacob runs away afraid of his brother coming after him. Jacob then dreams of a stairway to Heaven and God tells him the same Covenant that he told his fathers before him. Jacob eventually returns to Canaan and meets God in the form of another man. They wrestle with one another for a very long period of time. Jacob then wants a blessing from the man and receives the new name Israel which means he struggles with God. Jacob connects with Esau and they get along. Then Jacob’s daughter Dinah gets raped by a man Shechem. Jacob and his sons are furious and say that the man can marry Dinah only if each man in his family gets circumcised. They agree and while they are recovering Jacob’s sons kill all of them taking revenge for their sister. Later on Jacob’s sons become jealous of the youngest son Joseph after Jacob gives him a very colorful coat. The older brother sell Joseph into slavery and told Jacob that he had died. He is sold to Potiphar a high-ranking Egyptian official who treats him well until his wife says Joseph tried to sleep with her. Potiphar is furious and throws Joseph into prison where God gives him the ability to interpret dreams. Later on Pharaoh hears of Joseph's abilities and asks him to interpret two of his dreams. He warns Pharaoh that there will be a huge famine of the land so Pharaoh made Joseph his highest official. The famine hits and Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to get food. He recognizes them immediately and decides to play games with them by throwing them in jail and making them go all the way back to Canaan to retrieve their even younger brother. Joseph then threatens to kill the youngest but Judah offers his life instead of the youngest brothers. Once this happened Joseph reveals his identity and send them back home to be with their father. All of the sons are relieved. Then Jacob decides to move the family of seventy to Egypt.

As Jacob approaches death he promised Joseph that the Covenant will be passed on through him and his two sons. When Jacob places hands on the boys he crosses his arms and gives the Covenant to the youngest son Ephraim. Jacob believed that Ephraim would be the better one out of the two. Jacob dies later and Joseph accompanied by Egyptians bury him alongside his fathers before him in Canaan. Joseph eventually dies at one hundred and ten years old being buried in a coffin in Egypt. Before he died he commanding his family to return to God’s promised land.

I personally find this book very interesting because it starts with the creation of the world and mankind and it ends with Joseph a descendant of many Godly men dead. There are so many generations of people that occured within this book that it can be overwhelming with information but going through each chapter step by step it really helped me understand what each person went through. There were many times where there were mistakes made by each person but the thing that got them through these mistakes was God. God was definitely present in each of these people's lives. He blessed each and every one of these people enough for them to sacrifice anything for his love. So many important aspects of the Bible are brought out in Genesis and it is a very important book for every Christian in my opinion to learn. All in all I am glad I picked Genesis to do this essay on it taught me a lot more of what it takes to be a good Christian man.                                          

16 December 2021
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