God introduces himself to the world.
God created the heavens and the earth, and every living creature. (Genesis 1)
Then God created man. God's placed Adam into Eden, and made Eve, a wife suitable for him, from one of his ribs. (Genesis 2)
The serpent (Satan) deceived Adam and Eve, and they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and so Adam and Eve were cast from Eden. The serpent is capable of similarly deceiving us by twisting God's word. (Genesis 3)
Adam and Eve give birth to Cain and Abel, and Cain kills Abel out of anger and jealousy for God's regard for Abel's offering. (Genesis 4)
Then Noah lived in a time of corruption, but lived a blameless, righteous walk with God. (Genesis 6)
God told Noah to build an ark and to take "seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of the earth" (Genesis 7:2-3). Then God wiped out everything (Genesis 7:23). God purges unholiness.
The Tower of Babel. The people were trying to make a name for themselves, so God dispersed them over the face of the earth. (Genesis 11) Are we regarded with making a name for ourselves, or making a name for God? God wants all the glory, not just the leftovers. Our lives should be defined by glorifying God.
Abram is called by the Lord to the land of Canaan. He takes Sarai, his wife, and Lot, his nephew, and moves from Haran to Canaan. (Genesis 12)
Abram and Lot separate, and then Abram rescues Lot from the victors of the Battle at the Valley, Chedorlaomer, of Siddim. (Genesis 13-14)
Afterwards, Abram gives a tenth of everything he has to Melchizedek, and Melchizedek blesses Abram. Melchizedek is a "type" of Jesus, while Jesus is the "anti-type", or a person or thing that is foreshadowed by the type. Simply, Melchizedek prefigures Christ. See Hebrews 7. (Genesis 14)
God makes the covenant of circumcision (every male should be circumcised on the eighth day to be set apart for God) with Abram, and changes his name to Abraham. Likewise, he changes Sarai's name to Sarah. In the New Testament, we are circumcised in our heart (Romans 2:25-29, Colossians 2:11-15). (Genesis 17)
Abraham pleads with three men (angels) that have come to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. If there were even ten righteous men in the city, the men would not have destroyed them. (Genesis 18)
Lot, and his wife and daughters are rescued from Sodom, but Lot's wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. We are called not to look back in our own walks with God. (Luke 9:62). (Genesis 19)
Isaac and born, and marries Rebecca. (Genesis 21/24)
Abraham is told to step on faith and sacrifice his son Isaac. (Genesis 22) God refines our faith in ways that are uncomfortable, and sometimes unbelievable. I find myself questioning God's tactics: "Really? I don't deserve this!" But my faith is refined and perfected through the storms that God decides I should go through.
Abraham dies. (Genesis 25)
Isaac and Rebekah give birth to Jacob and Esau, and Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for some food. (Genesis 25)
Rebekah helps Jacob deceive his father Isaac. Isaac blesses Jacob, his second son, instead of Esau. (Genesis 27)
Jacob sent to Laban, (who was Rebekah's brother, Jacob's uncle) and marries Leah and Rachel (his cousins, Laban's daughters). He waited seven years to marry Rachel, but was given Leah (the first born) instead. Then he committed to working another seven years in order to be with Rachel. (Genesis 28-29) WOW! Single brothers, how bout that?
Jacob and Laban have good working terms for twenty years, but Jacob more or less beat the system of flocked lambs, breeding the strongest for himself with a breeding system of speckles and spots. Jacob later has to flee from Laban, and steals Laban's household gods in the process. Laban finds Jacob and and searches for his household gods with no luck, because Rachel helped Jacob conceal them. (Genesis 30-31)
Jacob wrestles with God on a mountain. (Genesis 32)
Jacob meets Esau and they are reconciled. (Genesis 33)
Shechem the Hivite defiles Dinah, the daughter of Leah. Dinah's brothers deceive Shechem and convince them that all the males among the Hivites should be circumcised-- and if they do so, they may have Dinah properly. After the Hivites are circumcised, and while they are still sore (Genesis 34:5), Dinah's brothers kill them all. (Genesis 34)
God blesses Jacob. Isaac and Rachel die. (Genesis 35)
Joseph is favored by his father Israel (Jacob). Joseph's brothers despised him because of his favor. Joseph then had two dreams showing the sheaves of the field and the sun and stars and moon bowing down to him, which made his brothers hate him even more. His brothers cast him into a ditch and sold him into slavery. (Genesis 37)
Joseph denies Potiphar's wife's aggressive sensuality, and is thrown into prison, where he was put in charge over the prison, because the Lord was with him. (Genesis 39)
Eleven years passed since Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. We aren't sure how many of these years Joseph was in prison. Joseph interprets the dreams of two prisoners from inside of prison. The chief cupbearer would be restored, while the chief baker would be killed, as according to the dreams. (Genesis 40).
Two years later, the Pharaoh has two dreams, and calls for Joseph to interpret them, at the advice of the chief cup bearer (who finally remembered Joseph). Both dreams are the same; there will be seven years of plenty, and then seven years of famine. Pharaoh makes Joseph second only to himself.
As we continue reading, let's remember to focus on the full theme of the Bible: God reaching out to his people to redeem them. While the Old Testament has a lot of stories and history, it's often difficult to forget that God's plan was redemption from the beginning. Let's also take note of God's response to unholiness (as seen with Sodom and Gomorrah, or Noah's ark), and similarly note those characters in the Bible that exemplify righteousness (Moses, Joseph).
See you tomorrow!