Reflections from the Book of Genesis
I count myself blessed that from an early age (even going back to when I was an infant in Sunday School) I was encouraged to study the Bible for myself and from then on that is what I did. I have a recollection when in my sixth form of persuading the RE teacher to put me in for an RE GCE O-Level, even though I had not attended any of his classes. I was confident because the two main Bible texts the exam tested on were the Books of Genesis and Acts, both of which I knew well. In the years that followed, I read the Bible through several times, including and notably the Book of Genesis.
At the beginning of the year, I was asked to lead a series of Bible studies at my church. It was agreed that we go through Genesis, viewing it through the lens of seven of its main characters and thereby covering (albeit not as thoroughly as I would ideally want – and for that I reckon I would need fifty sessions at least) and ended up with a series of seven 45 minutes studies, which I did by way of slide shows, using Zoom, and which can be accessed here by clicking on the links below (although readers are left to read between the lines concerning what was said on those occasions, although more importantly act as a spur to get you studying for yourselves). It should not come as a surprise that despite knowing the Book well, there was more that came out, including stuff I had overlooked before, from studying it this time round and, notably, as it related to how I am now looking at the world in the light of current events.
- Part 1: Adam (chapters 1-3) – the creation story and man’s fall
- Part 2: Enoch (chapters 4-6) – from Abel to Methuselah
- Part 3: Noah (chapters 6-11) – from the Great Flood to the Tower of Babel
- Part 4: Abraham (chapters 11-24) – God calls a man to found a great nation
- Part 5: Isaac (chapters 24-27) – God keeps His promises
- Part 6: Jacob (chapters 27-37) – God’s unlikely choice
- Part 7: Joseph (chapters 37-50) – God calls a man to preserve His chosen people
For good measure, I did a further study Abraham – the friend of God (Genesis 15), mainly because I had failed to cover this in my studies and felt it was particularly important. In fact, there was a lot I did not cover because of shortage of time. While in my experience, much of it was not typically covered in church settings, it is not for any of us to say it is any less significant than the more well-known sections that are covered. As I look at what is happening in the world through my watchman on the wall lens, I am increasingly seeing the importance of studying the Bible including, pertinent to this article, the Book of Genesis, for while there is much we may not yet fully understand, there is also much to help us respond appropriately to what comes our way. I told someone, who had thanked me for doing these studies, I hoped it would help encourage people to study (and also apply) the books of the Bible, starting with Genesis, themselves.