This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I plan to focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!
The Book in One Sentence:
“The story of God and humanity is about creation, fall, and redemption.” – From NewSpringChurch’s “Everything You Need to Know About Genesis” Post
The Big Picture:
Genesis means “beginning, birth, or origin”. It is a book of beginnings and seems appropriate to start a new year here. We see not only the start of the world in this book, but also the start of a nation of God’s people, and ultimately the beginning of God’s work to redeem the world. Genesis is a crucial piece of the puzzle when understanding the rest of Scripture. In it we see the beginnings of humanity, marriage and family, brokenness, shame, and more. The Concordia Study bible says it well commenting:
“[Genesis] introduces us to the way in which God initiates and makes covenants with His chosen people, pledging His love and faithfulness to them and calling them to promise theirs to him.”
Some Key Events/Themes in Genesis:
- Creation of the World (1-2)
- Sin enters the picture (3)
- The Flood covers the earth (6)
- The Tower of Babel/spread of nations (11)
- The Life of Abraham (11-25)
- Jacob and Isaac (25-36)
- The Life of Joseph (37-50)
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verses, pick any section of Genesis you want! These are just some ideas.
- Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.”
Jesus, what do you want to create new in me this year?
- Genesis 1:27 – “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
What does it mean to you to be created in God’s image?
How might you be able to reflect God’s image in the world this week?
- Genesis 16:13 – “Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’ She also said, ‘Have I truly seen the One who sees me?'”
What are your reactions to this name for God: “the God who sees me”?
- Genesis 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”
Where have you seen God turn a bad situation for good?
Where do you need God to bring good out of a bad situation right now?
God’s Grace in Genesis:
All the way back to the very beginning, God’s grace is present in the way God created the world in all it’s abundance, and gave us, humankind, freewill. But God’s grace didn’t stop when we chose rebellion and were deceived toward evil. No, our gracious God went pursuing Adam and Eve calling out “Where are you?”. He sought them out and offered grace, providing clothes to cover the shame they experienced, sacrificing an animal instead of them. He promised that one day He would come and crush the deceptive serpent, reminding them that it will often look like Satan has won in this life, but it’s not true! I’ve read the end of the story: God wins! One of the biggest pictures of God’s grace in Genesis at first glance looks like punishment… banishing Adam and Eve from the garden. But really He was protecting them. If they would eat from the Tree of Life after eating from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would “live” forever separate from Him. But if He could keep them from that tree until He could enact His salvation plan, He knew there would come a day that they, and we, would be able to freely enjoy again the Tree of Life forever. As you journal in Genesis, watch for God’s grace… it’s EVERYWHERE!
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary of Genesis 1-11
- The Bible Project summary of Genesis 12-50
- A Pinterest board with some artistic Bible journaling ideas and other resources about Genesis
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
- The 66 in 52 Reading Plan if you’re planning to follow along all year reading every verse
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse from Genesis and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. Either way, I’m excited to have you join me as we start this new year in the book of beginnings! If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!