Starting off 2018, it was neat to begin my time connecting with Jesus in the book of beginnings. The first things that struck me were reminders of who God designed humans (and therefore me) to be from the beginning of time, before sin entered the picture and muddied things. These reminders of identity are helpful to cover over some of the unhealthy or untrue labels I had put on myself in the days, months, or year past. To begin with a new sense of identity as well as purpose was encouraging.
More than anything as I read through the whole book of Genesis, what stood out to me was various elements of God’s character. Whether delighting in his “very good” creation or grieving the evil in the world before the flood, I enjoyed focusing in on the characteristics that together help us know just a little of our unknowable God.
Here were just a few more that stood out to me:
- God is creative. – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
- God’s heart breaks over evil. – “The Lord observed the extent of the human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” – Genesis 6:5-6
- God remembers His people. – “But God remembered Noah…” – Genesis 8:1 — “Then God remembered Rachel’s plight…” Genesis 30:22 —
- God hears and sees us even when no one else does. – “… You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. … Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” … “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” – Genesis 16:11,13
- Nothing is impossible for God. – “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” – Genesis 18:14
- God is merciful. – “When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hands an the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them outside the city, for the Lord was merciful.” – Genesis 19:16 (Also, later on in this story, I saw God’s patience and mercy again. When the angels told them to go to a certain area they were scared and asked to go to a different city instead. Later on, they ended up fleeing that city to go hide in the area the angels originally told them to go. I can just imagine how the angels shake their heads and laugh at me some days too. 🙂 )
- God is faithful. – “The Lord kept His word and did for her exactly what He had promised.” – Genesis 21:1
- God provides eternally and here on earth. – “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means ‘the Lord will provide’). To this day, people still use that name: ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.'” – Genesis 22:14
- God starts answers prayers before we finish praying them. – “Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder…” – Genesis 24:15
- He’s a God of abundance! – “When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him.” – Genesis 26:12
- God sees a promise to the end and is present in the waiting. – “What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” – Genesis 28:15
- God works good in the worst of situations and sits with us in the waiting. – “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.” – Genesis 39:21
- God uses what others intend for evil, for good. – “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” – Genesis 50:20
Whatever pieces of God’s Word you looked at this week, what did God show you in it? How is that impacting your life? How can you use what you learned to impact the world around you?