We know that Genesis is the book of beginnings or generations. The title “Genesis” is a transliteration of the Greek word “geneseos” (Hebrew word is “toledoth”) which is translated as “generations” and this word “toledoth” appears in several verses in Genesis (ref. Gen 2:4, Gen 5:1, Gen 6:9 (2), Gen 10:1, Gen 10:32, Gen 11:10, Gen 11:27, Gen 25:12-13 (2), Gen 25:19, Gen 36:1, Gen 36:9, Gen 37:2,). The Hebrew name for the book is “bereshith”, the first word in the Hebrew text, which is translated in English as “in the beginning”:
Gen 1:1 In the beginning (Strongs #H7225: rêshı̂yth) God created the heaven and the earth.
[English transliteration: Bereishit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz]
The word “rêshı̂yth” means “first fruit” and this is where God, the Father, placed everything before it was brought forward:
Col 1:12-17 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Jesus is indeed the first fruit of this creation, and appointed by the Father to be the object of worship in this creation:
Heb 1:5-6 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
It is indeed through Him that everything in this creation has their being, although He is not known by everyone, even as the God of this creation:
Joh 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Acts 17:22-28 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
“In the beginning”, in Christ, the Father also declared His plan, His direction, His
purpose for this creation, and also very importantly, the ending of what He started. Genesis therefore gives a very important foundation on which our spiritual understanding of God’s work is to be built which totally ties in with the end or ultimate spiritual fulfillment. The end of a thing is better than the beginning, but the beginning initiates the process:
Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
Ecc 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
In and through Christ, Father will bring all to spiritual perfection!
Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
God has indeed counted the cost of everything He created ‘in the beginning’ and He will have “sufficient” to finish the work He started:
Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Genesis starts to reveal the process how God is creating all in the first Adam to be with Him and to be like Him. Although the book starts by giving us a very authoritative declaration of the creation of our natural universe, it ultimately, sets the stage, so to speak, by which God will bring forth a new spiritual creation eventually. There is a very important reason why God is doing this in this way:
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
The creation of a visible natural world supplies us with the spiritual types of a deeper unseen world on which we in this study will be focussing on. Physical things can never give us faith:
2Co 5:6-7 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Everything in the physical world is given primarily to help us understand that they are all types of the unseen spiritual Godly antitypes which are reflected in our inner spiritual development and insight. A shadow is there only because an object is casting that shadow. We are sick and tired of chasing shadows – we want the reality – the heavenly things:
Heb 8:5 Who (the earthly priests) serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
But to understand the spiritual reality we must understand the shadow. Genesis is laying the foundations on which the whole spiritual purpose of God with His creation is built on. It shows the door that will open, God willing, to enable us to receive more spiritual understanding to the ‘deep things of God’:
1Co 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Genesis is a book of firsts. Amongst others Genesis records the first man Adam and his creation, the first marriage and family, the first birth, the first sacrifice; the first death / sacrifice; the first murder, the first musical instruments, and the first rain/rainbow, among so many others. All the great themes of Scripture (and of life) are found in Genesis and runs through every page of the Bible. These themes will hopefully help us to get a progressive better understanding of the mind of Christ to be applicable in our lives. We will try to unpack them as they initially appear in Genesis but also in the various books of the Bible to confirm that the truth is found in the sum of God’s Word.
As a fellow student of the Word of God, I am excited to be part of this special group of God’s people as we sit at the feet of the Master to learn, understand and do His commandments.