JOURNEY THROUGH THE OLD TESTAMENT #1: GENESIS
(June 2012 –Beausejour Church– Pastor Chris Jordan)
The story is told about the preacher who was visiting the children’s classes to see how they were doing. One Sunday he visited the class of 6th grade boys. He listened for a while & then asked, “Who knows who knocked down the walls ofJericho?” Two boys answered, “Preacher, we don’t know who, but we sure didn’t do it.” Surprised by their lack of Bible knowledge, he turned to the teacher & asked, “What do you think of that answer?” The teacher replied, “Well, I’ve known them since they were little, & they’ve always been honest. If they said they didn’t do it, I believe them.” Dismayed, he went out into the hallway & saw the chairman of the church council and told him what had happened. The chairman said, “Pastor, let’s not fuss about who did what. We’ll just fix the walls & pay for it out of the General Fund.”
- This story illustrates the sad truth that many Christians don’t know what’s in the Bible!
OPENING: THE BIBLE:
Over 21 years ago, I bought my very first Bible and since then, it has transformed my life. I have memorized hundreds of verses, read it through several times, and spent a majority of my life studying this one book. I love the Bible! It is God’s love letter to us and reveals His heart.
- Bible = from the Greek word biblia which simply means Book. It’s God’s Holy Book.
- God used about 40 human authors over a period of about 1600 years.
- There are 66 Books in the Bible: 39 in the Old Testament; 27 in the New Testament.
- My goal in this series is to help you to better understand the whole Old Testament.
- OVERVIEW OF THE FIVE DIVISIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT:
- 5 Law Books; 12 History Books; 5 Wisdom Books; 5 Major Prophets; 12 Minor Prophets
OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT:
- Creation & Fall (Adam & Eve) = around 4,000 BC
- Flood (Noah) = 2500 BC
- Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) = 2200 BC
- Exodus (Moses) = 1300 BC
- Conquest & Settlement (Joshua) = 1200 BC
- United Kingdom (Saul, David & Solomon) = 1020-922 BC
- Divided Kingdom (40 kings = 8 good, 32 bad) = 922-721 BC
- Judah Alone (Israel scattered by Assyria) = 721-587 BC
- Babylonian Exile (Judah in Babylon) = 587-539 BC
- Return (fromPersia) and Restoration = 539-333 BC
THE BOOK OF GENESIS: Beginnings
- The first of the five books of the law (the Torah or Pentateuch) written by Moses.
KEY VERSES: (Great Bible verses to memorize!)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1).
- QUOTE: “This is perhaps the most important and the most controversial sentence of the entire Bible.” (R.C. Sproul, What’s in the Bible).
- Everything that exists in the universe was created by a loving God.
- We are not products of evolutionary chance. (Book recommend: The Beausejour Pulpit).
- Here is the first time we see Jesus in the Old Testament: The Hebrew word for God here is Elohim – a plural word speaking of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (quote John 1:1-3).
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26).
- The story of the Bible is about God and His desire for a loving relationship with people.
AN OVERVIEW OF GENESIS:
- Chapter 1-2 = God created everything including people (Adam and Eve)
- Chapter 3 = Satan enters; the fall of man
- Chapter 4-5 = the spread of sin in the world
- Chapter 6-10 = God judges the world with a flood; Noah builds an ark
- Chapter 11 = the Tower of Babel
- Chapter 12-20 = Abraham (Sarah) – the first Patriarch
- Chapter 21-24 = Isaac (Rebekah)
- Chapter 25-36 = Jacob (Rachel and Leah)
- Chapter 37-50 = Joseph and the journey to Egypt
BACKGROUND TO JOSEPH’S STORY: (Gen. 37-44)
Joseph had a dream that God was calling him to be a great leader. Joseph’s brothers hated him, threw him in a pit, and sold him as a slave. As a slave, he was accused of rape and ended up in prison. While he was in prison, Joseph became a dream releaser. Because of Joseph’s integrity and faithfulness, the Lord promoted him to the second in command in Egypt. As a famine ravaged the world, Joseph’s brothers came toEgyptfor food.
“1 Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it. 3 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. 4 And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold intoEgypt. 5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:1-5).
1. Joseph pursued peace in his relationship with his brothers:
- Joseph said: “Please come near to me.” (v.4).
- He could have taken on the victim mentality and written off his brothers.
- Joseph rather pursued PEACE. He chose to FORGIVE them.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15).
- When we don’t walk in peace and unity, it affects our relationship with the Lord.
- When we get bitter, it causes trouble and defiles many people.
2. Joseph trusted God’s sovereignty even in His suffering:
“But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (v.5).
- He could have sought revenge for what his brothers had done to him.
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:18-21).
- We won’t be able to live peaceably with everyone.
- Don’t seek revenge – God is the judge, and it’s His job to render judgments.
3. Joseph forgave His brothers.
“Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.” (Genesis 45:15).
- Joseph knew the love of his father, and that made it easier for him to be forgiving.
- When we know God’s love and forgiveness, we will be able to love and forgive others.
- Joseph ended up giving them grain for no charge, and then they were given the best land of Egypt for their families. Joseph blessed those who had cursed him and did good to those who had hated him, like Jesus told us to do (Matthew 5:44).
Are you hanging on to an offense towards someone? FORGIVE THEM!
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/