Genesis: Under The Radar – Part 1 Getting the Big Picture Selections from Genesis September 10th, 2017
I. One GOD. (Gen.1-2)
A. A COUNTER-CULTURAL proclamation. (Gen. 1:1,2)
B. The EARTH as His TEMPLE. (Gen. 1:2-25; Acts 7:48-50)
C. The CREATOR of all GOOD. (Gen. 1-2)
D. Humanity REPRESENTS, RULES, and RELATES. (Gen. 1:26-27)
In the Old Testament world there were two underlying assumptions when people thought about the cosmos. One was that there were many gods. The second was that the creation of the world…the movement from chaos to order…came about from the struggle between these gods. Genesis demands a hearing when it proclaims without reservation that there is one God who intentionally created the earth to be His temple.
1. Genesis was written to challenge the assumptions of the culture in regards to polytheism. What does this passage challenge in our culture?
2. Is Creation as “God’s temple” a new idea to you? What thoughts does it bring to your mind? Can you think of other passages that support this?
3. What does it mean that you are made in the image of God? What does it mean that others are made in the image of God? Does this truth make a difference in your life this week? How?
II. Two SECTIONS. (Gen. 1-50)
A. From LIFE to DEATH. (Gen. 1-11)
B. The long JOURNEY back BEGINS. (Gen. 12-50)
Chapter 12 serves as the turning point in the book of Genesis. For the first 11 chapters we see God create a good and perfect world which through the disobedience of humanity is soon filled with death and decay. But chapter 12 gives us hope as God calls a man named Abram. He will be the start of something new…or maybe a better term would be something “renewed”.
4. In some ways the Genesis story echoes a conversion testimony. Share your “road to death” and the turning point that started your journey home.
III. Three PROMISES. (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:14-15)
A. LAND – A place to BE. (Gen. 12:1; 13:14-15)
B. PEOPLE – Make you into a great NATION. (Gen. 12:2)
C. BLESSING – To BLESS the world. (Gen. 12:2-3)
In Abram’s calling by God we see three promises that will flow throughout Genesis and beyond. By the word “beyond” I mean that flow all through the New Testament and right up to the present day. The struggle for a “people” and a “land” make the world of the Jewish people a hot bed of conflict and chaos even today.
5. These three promises become part of the psyche of the nation of Israel. How does the rest of the Old Testament impact them in light of these promises?
6. Is the “land” part of the promise relevant to us today?
7. In what ways does Jesus message of the Kingdom of God fulfill all three of these?
IV. Four IMPLICATIONS. (Rom. 15:4)
A. Everything CENTERS AROUND God. (Gen. 1:1)
B. We BLESS the world as we RE-PRESENT Him. (Gen. 12:1-3)
C. He MAKES and REMAKES good. (Gen. 1-50)
D. His plan is to fill the TEMPLE with His GLORY. (Gen. 12-Rev. 22; Hab. 2:14)
So we’ve done a fly-over of the whole book. These kinds of summaries often leave us scratching our head and asking…so what? Well, there are some specific ideas that we can apply in very concrete ways to our lives today. That’s what the Scripture is for…according to Romans 15:4 – “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
8. What are the challenges you face as you seek to center all of your life around God? How can you address these challenges?
9. In what area or aspect of your life are you most comforted by God’s ability to “remake” things for good?
10.What are some specific ways that you can “re-present” God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to the world around you this week?