Discover the true Bible message...
Bible reading plan & guide - week 2


This week we read seven chapters from the beginning of Genesis which, written by Moses under inspiration, describe the beginnings of God’s dealings with mankind and explain the causes of our condition upon the earth, They trace the history of mankind, describing momentous events, during the first thousand years after Adam, and also prefiguring God’s scheme of salvation centred in Jesus.

People are inclined to treat this record as myth, but this is not a view which true disciples of Christ may entertain because he requires them to believe Moses’ writings, as he declared to unbelievers: “Had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall believe my words?” (John 5:46-47).

Sunday: Genesis 2

Following the six days of creation, the angels rested and were refreshed on the seventh day vs.1-3. This became the basis of a great blessing for God’s people. While the rulers of ancient kingdoms made their people toil ceaselessly, God commanded Israel to rest from their labours each seventh day of the week and on that day to delight in worshipping him. He also commanded them to let their land rest each seventh year.

These provisions foreshadow a thousand year period during which the world will be refreshed under the benevolent rulership of the son of God, after six thousand years of human government, as the apostle wrote: “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works... There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God... Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4:4,9,11). The first disciples looked for this time of refreshing, as Peter had exhorted them: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you” (Acts 3:19-20).

This chapter also describes in more detail the creation of the first man: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” v.7. Thus Adam was constituted a “living soul”: not an “immortal soul”. The scriptures are totally consistent in teaching that we are mortal and that when we die, and our breath leaves us, we return to the material elements of which we, like our first parents, are made. Indeed, Adam himself was informed that he would die if he disobeyed God’s commandment: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” vs.16-17. The original Hebrew says: “dying thou shalt die”, which Adam experienced after his disobedience.

The creation of the first woman vs.21-24 seems fabulous to many people, but none would deny the ability of an all-powerful God to create a woman in this way, and the scriptures tell us his perfectly good reason for doing so. Paul revealed this reason when commanding husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church: “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:29-32). So the provision of a suitable companion for Adam expressly pointed forward to the development of suitable companions for Christ; he being the bridegroom and they the bride!

Monday: Genesis 3

The purpose of God is to populate the earth with righteous immortal people, and to this end Adam and Eve were given the opportunity to obey in the hope of immortality. But they failed. They ate the forbidden fruit and then suffered the forewarned consequences: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life: Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” vs.17-19.

This is the explanation of mankind’s current condition upon earth, including our suffering and common destiny of death. But the record also identifies the means by which God will save men and women from sin and death and restore paradise lost. The serpent, given the faculty of speech to express the mind of the flesh, put Adam and Eve’s faithfulness and obedience to the test. He ventured: “Ye shall not surely die” v.4 and they believed this lie, as so many millions have done ever since, being convinced that when we die we do not really die but continue to exist somehow somewhere.

The serpent thereafter became the symbol of sin and, using this figure, God said to it: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” v.15. This seems enigmatic but clearly points forward to the Lord Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman (born of a virgin), who was wounded by sin in the Jews and Romans but who recovered by resurrection from the dead. He is the one promised here who would totally destroy sin (fatally wounding it in the head) and thereby also destroy death.

Tuesday: Genesis 4

The evil introduced by Adam and Eve’s disobedience very soon bore further fruit in their own family, for their eldest son became a murderer. God had covered their nakedness with animal skins, signifying that sin could be covered by the shedding of blood in sacrifice. This, in due course, would involve the shedding of blood and death of Jesus. The requirement on them to make animal sacrifices is implied in the record of Cain and Abel’s worship. Abel brought the firstling of his flock and God respected this because it was according to his commandment v.4. Cain, however, brought the fruit of the land and was rejected by God vs.3,5. He was therefore instructed that if he did well he would be accepted vs.6-7, but instead of doing what God required he murdered his more righteous brother.

This scenario is re-enacted repeatedly throughout the historical record in the BIble, with the wicked slaying the righteous for envy, and the principal example of this is the murder of Jesus by the religious rulers of the Jews. Thus the shedding of Abel’s blood typified the shedding of Jesus’ blood, as the apostle wrote: “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24).

Wednesday: Genesis 6

This chapter describes how, after about one thousand five hundred years, the behaviour of mankind seriously deteriorated so that: “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” v.9. “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” vs.11-12.

Only “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” v.5. Therefore God determined to bring punishment upon that wicked world, but warned Noah of the impending judgment. There then followed a period of God’s longsuffering giving Noah the opportunity, as a preacher of righteousness, to warn his contemporaries to turn from their wickedness, and to build an ark to save his family. Christ’s disciples are keenly interested in this record because Jesus not only confirmed the occurence of this event but also warned them that the same indifference would prevail at his coming in judgment: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).

We should therefore learn the lessons in Genesis while appreciating the elements in the record which indicate its divine characteristics. For example, the proportions of the ark correspond to those of the first iron ship, the S.S. Great Britain, built in 1844 by Brunel, although the ark was bigger. This is remarkable because, whereas Brunel could draw on a thousand years of British maritime and shipbuilding experience, Noah had absolutely no seafaring experience. But he did have God’s guidance.

Thursday: Genesis 7

This chapter describes the overwhelming flood which destroyed the antediluvian world and, despite general disbelief of this record, the earth contains many extraordinary phenomena which can only be explained by a catastrophic global flood. At many sites worldwide there are billions of fossils of marine creatures which died violent deaths all at the same time under enormous pressure. Only a great flood would effect this. There are also mountain ranges and hills throughout the world which contain millions of fossilised animals, many of them extinct, including fossilised whales far above sea level. Furthermore, three-quarters of the earth’s land mass is covered by successive layers of sedimentary rocks laid down under water, often enclosing fossils.

In many places on the earth there are “erratics”, large rocks which are geologically out of place. For example, those strewn over the Russian plains are very large in the north but become progressively smaller as one goes further south, pointing to turbulent flood conditions and water action on a huge scale.

Geologists who say there is no evidence of the flood, even though there are so many phenomena they cannot explain, are misled because they leave God out of account. If God, by his great power, produced in a few days reactions which geologists attribute to natural developments over millions of years their calculations and conclusions are bound to be distorted. For example, the continents were formed by land being pushed apart from a central single land mass, and this is generally attributed to gradual continental drift, but it may have been done quickly and catastrophically during the flood. The Bible and geological records are consistent with this.

The account in Genesis is remarkable and if people gave it the attention it deserves they might be convinced of its truth not only by the consistency of the scriptural record but also by the confirmatory evidence left in the earth.

Friday: Genesis 8

The deluge continued for forty days but Noah remainded in the ark for over a year before the waters subsided sufficiently for himself, his family, and the animals to leave the ark. It is popularly thought that Noah took a single pair of each species, male and female, into the ark, whereas in fact clean (farm) animals were preserved by sevens. This enabled him to sacrifice some of these without destroying the species, and his offerings were acceptable to God who promised that he would never again destroy the world by a flood vs.20-22.

Nevertheless we should heed God’s warning, often repeated in the Bible, that he will one day bring his judgments upon the world for its wickedness, motivating us to lead lives pleasing to him, after the example of Noah. He promises to preserve all his faithful and righteous servants: “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (Isaiah 26:20-21).

Saturday: Genesis 9

Leaving the ark, Noah was blessed by God v.1 and was told that a change would then take place in the animal population. Whereas previously these creatures had all eaten “the herb of the field” as their food, and Noah provided these herbs for all of them in the ark, now many species, including man, would become carnivorous. v.2-3. Interestingly, God also says he will reverse this change among the animals when Christ reigns on the earth: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock” (Isaiah 65:25).

As a token of his covenant with Noah, God produced a rainbow in the sky. This event suggests that no rainbow had been seen previously and therefore there had been no rain before the flood. This is consistent with the detail given in the beginning: “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:6). The rainbow was thereafter used by God as a symbol of the fulfilment of his covenant, e.g. in vision Jesus was seen sitting on his future throne with a rainbow encircling it. We know the conditions that produce a rainbow, requiring both sunshine and rain, and figuratively these conditions will prevail when Jesus rises as the sun and reigns: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the run riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth after rain...This is all my salvation, and all my desire” (2 Samuel 23:3-5).

You will have noticed in these chapters that people lived much longer in those days, with lives shortening until God established life expectancy at three score years and ten. Nevertheless, he has declared that during the reign of his Son people will again live longer. Then someone dying at a hundred will be considered a child: “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 65:20).


Questions? Comments? Agree? Disagree? Contact Us