OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY

Compiled by: Gary W. Summers


   

GENESIS

The book of Genesis is crucial in understanding all the other books of the Bible. Chapters 1-2 deal with the creation of life in general and man in particular. Many have speculated about our origin. Certain religions have provided almost humorous accounts of our creation. Evolution has tried and failed for over 140 years to establish an alternative to the Bible. But no other explanation, religious or "scientific," has yet been able to match the majestic but simple truth: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). When God created man and woman on the sixth day, He had already created and prepared the world for them; the animals and the vegetation were already there ahead of them (and full-grown). The sun, the moon, and the stars were in place. Then God said, "Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth (Gen. 1:26-28). Think of all the implications of these verses; in the very first chapter of the Bible, evolution, pantheism, and monism are all denied. Man is not equal to the creation; he is over the creation. The most important fact, however, is that we are above animals with respect to being created in God's image. We are moral beings, capable of reasoning and logic. We inhabit a fleshly body, but we are not merely flesh. God expects man to be obedient to Him; He gave Adam a commandment: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Gen. 2:16-17). The fact that God gave Adam and Eve a commandment (she gives evidence of knowing about it in 3:2-3) shows that: 1. Mankind possesses free will (the ability to choose right or wrong). 2. Mankind has the ability to obey God (it is the will he lacks). 3. There is a punishment for doing wrong. 4. Man and woman were not so depraved that they could not help but sin. 5. God blessed man with several types of fruit that would not harm him. One other thing is noteworthy during this creation week. Before sin entered into the world God instituted marriage (Gen. 2:18-24). God made one man for one woman for life; Jesus appealed to this passage in Matthew 19:3-9.
THE FALL
Already we have learned quite a bit about both God and man. God possesses great power to have created the vast universe; He has the right to command. He also loves the creatures that He made and provided them great blessings. Genesis 3:1-6 records the way in which mankind sinned. Eve could have refused the temptation (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride-1 John 2:16), and Adam could have refused to follow ,his wife's lead. The punishments for both man and woman are recorded in Genesis 3:16-19.
REDEMPTION
Prior to stating the ways in which the first man and woman would be punished, God promised a remedy for sin: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Gen. 3:15). The remainder of the Bible concerns itself with this eventuality-how it came about and what it means.
OUTLINE
1. The Creation (1-2) 2. Sin enters the world and abounds (3-11) a. The Fall (3) b. The Departure (4-6) c. The Flood (7-9) d. The Second Departure (10-11) 3. The Patriarchs (12-50) a. Abraham (12-25:18) b. Isaac (25:19-27) c. Jacob (28-36) d. Joseph (37-50)
EXPLANATION
The book of Genesis was written a few years prior to 1400 B.C. Its purpose was to explain the origin of all things to the Israelites, including their own origin and purpose. The beginning of this world was some time prior to 4,000 B.C. God created a perfect world for man (1-2), but sin entered into it, bringing with it physical death and other penalties, such as an uncooperative earth for men to till, pain in child-bearing for women (also being in subjection to her husband), and worst of all, the loss of fellowship with God (3). During the next 1,656 years mankind departed from God in such numbers and to such a degree that God determined to destroy the world (4-6). One man, Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord; God commanded him to build an ark, and the earth was destroyed by water (7-8). It was upon a cleansed earth that Noah and his family emerged from the ark (9). But as men began to multiply, they again became rebellious against God (10-11). It is probably of this time period that Paul writes in Romans 1:18-32. In Genesis 3:15 God had promised a Redeemer. Now He chooses a man (Abraham) to be the father of a nation through whom the Savior will come. He promises him a land, a nation, and a descendant through whom all the nations of the world will be blessed (12:1-3, 7; 22:18). God renews this promise to Abraham's son Isaac (26:2-4) and grandson Jacob (28:13-14). The lives of these three men are included in Genesis. Jacob produces twelve sons; his name is changed to Israel (by God), and his twelve sons become twelve tribes of peoples. Genesis 37-50 focuses attention on Jacob's favorite son, Joseph. It also furnishes an explanation of the reason for Israel's coming to dwell in Egypt.
KEY VERSES AND PASSAGES
1:26-28 Man is created "in the image of God." 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife...." 3:1-6 The first sin. 3:15 The Seed Promise. 3:14-19 Punishments for Sin. 4:7 Free will after "the fall." 5:24 Enoch walked with God. 6:5 "...every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." 6:8 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." 6:22 "Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did." 9:3-4 "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you"-but not its blood. 9:5-6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed...." 15:13 Abraham's descendants would be afflicted "four hundred years" before being delivered. 15:16 Then God would give them the land "for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." 19:4-5 The sin of Sodom-"Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally." 35:22-26 A summary of sons. 39:9 "...How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" 49 Prophecies of the sons of Jacob.

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