“Genesis” means “beginning.” This week, you will read Genesis 1-11, which tells about the beginning of the world. In weeks 2-4, you will read Genesis 12-50, which tells about the beginning of Abraham’s family, who become the nation of Israel—God’s chosen people, the Hebrews.
Reading & Summaries
READ: GENESIS 1-2
God creates all things in six days and rests on the seventh day. Man is created in God’s image on the sixth day. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day” (Ex. 20:11).
KEY CONCEPT — The Image of God: Both man and woman are created in God’s image. We are special in creation because like God we can love, worship, and make choices; every human life has value. The image of God is closely connected to man’s dominion over the earth. Ancient kings gave their ambassadors a signet ring stamped with their “image,” signifying authority to represent the king. As God’s image-bearers, we are called to represent God in the earth. This is one reason why idolatry is forbidden; we should not make images of God because God has already made an image of himself.
Recommended resources: Creation by Answers in Genesis.
READ: GENESIS 3-4
The creation of man is repeated in more detail. Satan (the devil), in the form of a serpent, decieves the first people, Adam and Eve; they choose to trust Satan instead of God, and disobey God’s one commandment. They are cast out of God’s presence. Their children are born with sinful hearts, and their eldest son murders his brother because of jealousy.
KEY VERSE — Genesis 3:15, A Redeemer Will Come: God was not caught off-guard by man’s sin. He knows everything in advance and revealed his plan to redeem fallen man. The “seed” (KJV) or “offspring” (ESV) of the woman referred to a human descendent (Jesus) who would deal a fatal blow to the devil (“bruise his head”). A temporary blow was dealt to Jesus (“bruise his heel”) when he died on the cross, but he rose again on the third day to conquer death and offer redemption to Adam’s fallen race.
READ: GENESIS 5-6:8
The genealogy from Adam to Noah is given (skim this portion). During the life of righteous Noah, humanity spirals out of control; the earth is filled with violence and corruption.
READ: GENESIS 6:9-9:17
God saves Noah’s family from a global flood and makes a covenant (agreement) with him, promising never again to destroy the world by water, despite man’s sin.
KEY SYMBOL — The Ark. The ark has unmistakable parallels to Christ. When God judges the world at the end of the age, only those who are have safely entered the ark of salvation through Christ, who is the door, will be spared.
Recommended resources: The Flood by Answers in Genesis
READ: GENESIS 9:18-11:32
The genealogy of Noah’s descendants is given (skim this portion). Man’s pride is revealed when a group of people plan to build a tower to make themselves famous; God confuses their languages and they scatter across the earth.
The Nations Descended from Noah: We read about many of these nations later in the Bible. For example, the Philistines become the major enemy of God’s Old Testament people; the giant who David killed with his sling shot was a Philistine warrior.
The Trinity at the Tower of Babel: Notice in Genesis 11:6-7 that the Lord is speaking and says, “Come, let us go down….” Who is he speaking to? Who is the “us”? In light of the New Testament, this is an obvious allusion to Trinity. There is one true and living God, but he exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father speaks to the Son and the Spirit, the Son speaks to the Father and the Spirit, and the Spirit speaks to the Father and the Son.
Recommended video review: Read Scripture: Genesis Ch. 1-11 by The Bible Project.
- What questions do you have about this week’s reading?
- Everything that God created by his Word was “very good.” What is an area of life where people doubt that God’s word is really good news?
- Have you ever felt worthless? How is it comforting to know that everyone is created in God’s image?
- What are the implications for racism, abortion, and euthenasia (assisted suicide)?
- Compare Genesis 3:1-5 and John 8:44. What do they teach about the devil?
- Compare Genesis 3:4-6 and 1 John 2:15-17. What do they teach about temptation?
- How did sin affect Adam and Eve’s relationship with God?
- One of the consequences of the fall was that man’s heart became corrupt and self-centered. Since the fall, everyone is born sinful; we call this inherited depravity. What does Jeremiah 17:9 say about the condition of man’s heart from birth? How does this compare to the idea that people are basically good?
- Genesis 3:15 promises a Redeemer. Read Romans 5:12-21 and highlight the verses that show how Jesus (the Redeemer) is the “better Adam.” While Adam’s disobedience brought death, Jesus’ obedience brings life.
- What does the flood reveal about God’s holiness (justice, judgment) and love (mercy, faithfulness)?