Christian Resource Centre


| Author: Dele Oke

Overview of Genesis

'In the beginning God...'

And so begins the Bible. Moses is believed to have written the book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible. Like all the other authors God aided him rather generously in the work.

This study takes us through some of the principles and doctrines established in the book of Genesis. Many of these principles and doctrines are expanded in more depth in other books. Our introduction mentions the main characters.

Main characters

Adam and Eve - Daddy and mummy

Genesis 2 5
Probably the bestknown characters in the Bible. Satan used the power of suggestion to tempt them into disobeying God. A ploy he still uses today with great success. Keeping our thought life in line with God's Word should be of paramount importance to every Christian.

Noah - The man who built a boat in the desert

Genesis 6 11
Jesus used the historical fact of the life of Noah to warn us about the last days (Matthew 24: 36 - 39). You will do yourself a great favour to study closely the life of Noah. God kept this faithful man through the disasters of those days and He will do the same again in our generation.

Abraham - Father of faith

Genesis 12 - 25
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the undisputed three most important characters of the Old Testament. Jesus often mentioned them together (Luke 20:37, Matthew 8:11). They are the fathers of faith and their lives teach us a lot about our faith.

Abraham, who had his name changed from Abram, is the first person to be called a prophet (Genesis 20:7). Abraham's main merit was his faith and not his strength of character. God called Abraham to leave his native land and go to a place he did not know, and so began his journey of faith. Faith is what we all need to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Genesis 15 and 17 describe the covenant God made with Abraham. Abraham believed God and God counted it as righteousness. Our righteousness is still based on our faith in Jesus and not our works or deeds.

A little known fact about Abraham was his habit of digging wells (Genesis 21:2531). A picture of the river of life that Jesus spoke about (John 4:1314)

Isaac - Obedient unto death

Genesis 25 - 28
Abraham's son's name was God's choice. He chose it Himself (Genesis 17:19). Indeed God was directly involved in the names of all these three significant men. God had a hand in Isaac's destiny. However it was his obedience that brought God's will for his life to pass. Here was a man ready to submit to death. Obedience has never ceased to be a requirement of Christian service. Where Abraham's life is used to teach us about faith, Isaac's is a clear lesson on the importance of obedience.

Isaac sowed in the land and reaped a hundred fold. (Genesis 26: 12) The spiritual principle of reaping what we sow is still with us today.

Jacob - Liar and cheat

Genesis 28 - 36
The man better known as a liar and cheat eventually found God. God let Jacob run his own life until he became tired of it. Jacob finally decided to seek God. He wrestled with God and got his name changed to Israel (Genesis 32:2428).

Intercession still plays a big role in the Christian life today. Intercession is wrestling in prayer. Intercession is as mysterious as a man wrestling with God and winning.

While Abraham dug wells, Isaac sowed and reaped a hundred fold and Jacob built pillars for God. (Genesis 28:18, Genesis 31:45). Pillars represented worship, sacrifice and remembrance (or witness).

Jacob's life is a clear example of the role we all have to play in fulfilling God's will for our life. Indeed we all need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2: 1213). If God could use a Jacob He can use you.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob stand unique in God's plan. Faith, obedience and seeking God earnestly sum up their lives lessons.

Joseph - Gifted yet immature

Genesis 37 - 28
Gifted by God and favoured by his father, Joseph's immaturity soon got him into trouble. Gifts have never been a sign of maturity. We need to be aware of this truth as individuals. After going through an immense period of unjustified hardship for about 13 years, Joseph emerges with a very strong and godly character.

Only heaven knows how many Christians never fulfil their role in life because of their unwillingness to grow out of immaturity. Always wanting your own way, being stubborn or selfcentered are just some of the ways that our immaturity shines through.