The book of Genesis is the story of beginnings: the beginning of the world, the beginning of man, the beginning of God’s plan for man, and the beginning of God’s people through His calling of Abraham.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” is probably the most famous sentence in all of literature. Genesis is a book of stories, and like people themselves, it’s full of drama, from a father told to murder his son to a brother being through down a well by his own brothers. It’s the first book of the Torah, which is the foundation of the Old Testament. It’s full of the story of Israel, and a great tale it is.
The Second Longest Book in the Bible
Being the second longest book in the Bible, there is a lot in here. Who we will meet:
- God (Yahweh) — the creator of the heavens and the earth. Humans rebel against God, which ushers sin into the world, which is man’s downfall to this day.
- Abraham (Abram) — God’s chosen patriarch of His people. He is called out of Canaan by God, beginning the story of God’s people.
- Jacob (Israel) — Jacob receives the blessing of his father, Isaac, and founds the 12 Tribes of Israel through his sons.
- Joseph — Jacob’s favorite son who is sold into slavery, but God uses this to save His people when famine strikes.
Genesis — A Prologue
Genesis is a long prologue to the rest of the books of the Torah (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), which reveals God’s promises to His people. God establishes His covenant (a fancy word for promise) with Abraham that he will be a father of nations. God blesses Abraham and promises him the land of Canaan to establish this nation upon.
The book of Genesis ends with hope, with God’s people as guests of Egypt. However, the next book in the Bible, Exodus, God’s people have been enslaved.
Themes of Genesis
- God’s authority. God is sovereign over all things, and what He says is law.
- Man’s rebellion. With Adam and Eve disobeying God, evil and sin has been introduced to the world, and man rebels against God.
- God’s judgement. God punishes justly for being disobeyed.
- God’s preservation of life. God saves Noah and preserves Joseph. God’s will, once again, is sovereign.
- Atonement. Blood must be used to atone for sin until Jesus arrives. At this time, Jesus’s coming is a long ways away.
Some of you may not be all that thrilled about studying the book of Genesis again. However, it has been 7 years, so it’s time for a review.
I hear all the time that no one wants to study the book of Genesis because the stories are SO familiar. Even non-Christians know the story of Noah and the Ark, the story of God calling Abraham our of Ur to the Promised Land, the story of Joseph who got throw down a well and left to die, the story of Cain killing his brother, Able, and the list goes on and on.
However, in this day and time, in the midst of COVID-19, we all need a new beginning.
Back at the beginning of this year when we made our resolutions, no one could have predicted the predicament we are in. Most all of your plans were ruined. Thus, as the COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen, it’s time for a mid-year new beginning. And what better place to make your new beginning than where God made His?
Enter this study with an open mind and an open heart, and let God do the rest.
A BSF leader has shared with me a document that contains all of the notes, questions, and answers for the entire study of Genesis. As it is impossible to know who is actually in the study and who is not, I will not share it here. Obviously, this document will get out since you can share it with whoever you want and will probably circulate around the internet. BSF has most definitely loosened their control over their documents; however, all questions and notes are still copyrighted by BSF, meaning you cannot reproduce them without permission.
I am not a teaching leader; only an attendee. If I get permission to share, I will. If you would like to email me, I can share on a case by case basis.
If you ask your teaching leader, I’m sure they will share this with you as it is meant for you to print out so you have access without having to use the Internet. Since BSF notes and questions are still only meant for attendees, I am honoring that wish.
God bless, and I can’t wait for this study of Genesis with you all!
For those who want a head-start on BSF’s study of the book of Genesis slated for Fall 2020, the lesson questions and notes are out online. If you’re registered for a BSF class, or if you were in one last year, you should be able to login to your BSF account ( www.mybsf.org) and download them.
One of the positives of the global pandemic is the fact that everyone is now moving online. BSF had already began to move that direction, but you can expect even more exciting changes for this year.
WHAT’S NEW FOR BSF’S STUDY OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS IN THE FALL OF 2020?
- An app so you can complete your lesson on your phone.
- A new lesson layout for the school program.
- Biblical doctrine (or teaching) will be highlighted
- A Genesis prayer guide will be available for deeper learning
- Character studies on Noah, Abraham, Jacob & Joseph
- Giving to BSF via paypal
Read more on BSF’s Blog HERE
Most classes will begin with Zoom meetings, recorded lectures, and online notes and questions until COVID-19 restrictions are loosened.
Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) or BSF International will be studying the Book of Genesis for 2020-2021.
You can find a group near you here: https://www.bsfinternational.org/map
Most groups will begin meeting by Zoom.
There will be online only study groups. I am still awaiting sign up information for that so will let you know!
Let’s be praying for a great start!
I know you are probably like me and beginning to get an itch for Bible study again!
Many of you are still facing COVID restrictions. Thus, BSF is preparing diligently to open up new online class groups for you all to attend.
As far as I know, you can begin to sign up for these groups in August.
Visit here: http://www.bsfonline.org and sign up for email notifications for when this will be open for registration.
I’m SUPER excited about these online groups as it has been something I’ve been pushing since I started this blog many years ago. Bible study any time, any where. It doesn’t get much better! Who’s ready?
Take care and God bless!