Monday, April 1, 2013

In Search Of Truth, Genesis Summary

Last week we finished our trip through the book of Genesis and saw some of God's first interactions with humanity. Next we're going to take a similar trip through the book of Exodus, likewise skipping and jumping to specifically look at passages that deal with some of the unusual laws and rituals of the Old Testament. Our goal is to dissect these strange bits of scripture, remove the intimidation factor that often comes with trying to make sense of them, and see what we can learn about who God is, who we are, what our relationship to God is by default, and what it's ultimately meant to be.

Before we start into Exodus, though, I thought it would be good to rescan some of the relevant information we were able to glean from our time in Genesis. Either by deduction, implication or direct reading of Genesis, we've learned that:

1.God is independent of time, unchanging, infinite, immaterial, unbound by natural law (since he created it). (Genesis 1:1)
2. Scripture, a finite medium, often uses metaphor and analogy to describe an infinite God and his interactions with humanity.
3. In some way (likely non-physical), humans were made to reflect something of who God is. We were made, "in his image". (Genesis 1:26-28)
4. Human rebellion originated with the doubt that God has our best interests at heart.(Genesis 3:4-7)
5. Human rebellion resulted in separation from God's presence (spiritual death) and mortality (physical death). (Genesis 3:19-24, 4:16)
6. The practice of "sacrifice" or giving an "offering" to Yahweh (God's personal name) seems to be intended as an act of gratitude and trust. (Genesis 4:1-7)
7. God does not approve of evil, nor is he content with its existence. But God honors and allows for the free will of humans. However evil is a serious problem. Serious enough that at times God is willing to destroy human life in order to thwart or inhibit evil. (Genesis 6:5-13)
8. God greatly enjoys it and is honored when we offer him the best that we have and trust him with our well-being. (Genesis 8:18-22)
9. God values all life, especially human life. (Genesis 9:1-17)
10. God promised that through Abram "all the families of the earth shall be blessed". (Genesis 12:2-4)
11. God counted Abram's faith as "righteousness", making it more clear than ever that trusting in Yahweh is the most important thing we can do and is the human act of greatest value to God.
12. God uses existing ideas from our surrounding cultures to communicate truth to us. (Genesis 15:7-21)
13. Yahweh promised to be God to Abraham and his descendant's forever, establishing a unique connection to the Hebrew people. (Genesis 17:7-8)

Next week (on the podcast only) I plan to read some key passages from Exodus 1-11 that will help set the stage for where our study will continue in Exodus chapter 12.

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