Introduction

Let’s do a series on what Genesis has to say about our present situation. We tend to think of the Bible as beginning with the Genesis creation and ending with Revelation’s last days. Then we remember it is really a library with books gathered in categories.

When we do that we can consider that we are not primarily dealing with history in Genesis. The history books appear later. Genesis is part of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible that are the basic teachings of the Jewish people.

Genesis recounts the ancient stories of the people’s origins, the tales in which they find their identity. You soon realize the Hebrews have an unusual tradition. Many of the founding fathers are described as dullards, liars, scoundrels, cheats, and even rapists and murderers. God plays the main role in these stories.

Remember these are a people who were usually the losers from the perspective of the world. Throughout almost all the Bible, they are weak subjects living under powerful empires.

The marvel is that their religion survived. Other cultures vanished as their people adopted the gods of the victors who conquered them. The Hebrew religion survived to this day even when the Jews were people without a country.

One of the big questions in the Bible is how this was possible. Genesis’ answer is still relevant. It claims that it was not that the Hebrews were so much better people, but rather that God had chosen them to save his corrupted creation.

That might be a place to begin facing the challenges in what many regard as a post-Christian age. We can ask what it means to be chosen by God. We then might see, as the ancient Hebrews did, that God provides for our needs not as a reward for our goodness, but rather as a resource for aiding him in redeeming the world.

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