Genesis Explores The Realm Of Spiritual Relationships
Genesis is the story of the human spirit in relationship with God, told through the lives of five men. If you remember the lives of these five men and what they mean, you will have most of Genesis in the palm of your hand. They are:
Genesis reveals in the stories of these men what human beings are always seeking.
Most of us think we spend our lives seeking things. The popular T-shirt slogan puts it this way:
“He who dies with the most toys, wins.”
But story after story of the final moments of people with the most toys, the rich and famous of this world, whow that those who die with nothing to show for their lives but a huge collection of things and toys – castles, cars, fame, wealth, empires – tend to die miserably, clutching at a life that they can no longer grasp, regretting that they have invested their lives in things that don’t last. Materialism is bound to disappoint us in the end.
All the restlessness of our age can be understood as an attempt to acquire the right things in the wrong way.
What are the right things?
I believe there are essentially three things people want:
But because our understanding is warped by sin, our search for these things get skewed.
Deep inside, we want righteousness, a sense of being right and justified. But instead of seeking the righteousness of God and being justified by faith in the righteous sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we try to justify ourselves!
When anyone accuses you of something wrong what do you do?
You start justifying yourself! You make excuses for yourself! That’s human nature. Even when we know we are wrong, we want to somehow make it right. But the only righteousness that is truly right is the righteousness of God. That is why we are inadequate apart from Him, and that is why we are complete with Him. His righteousness covers us and justifies us. Only the righteousness of God can truly satisfy our hunger and searching for righteousness.
The second thing we seek is peace. John F. Kennedy once said,
“The absence of war is not the same thing as peace.”
How true! Even when our society has enjoyed so-called peacetime, we have known a sense of national tension, unease, and dissatisfaction. As a people, we are not at peace with each other nor with ourselves.
Because we seek it in the wrong places, in the wrong ways. We seek money and a higher standard of living as the key to peace of mind; yet the more we have, the more we want. We never come to a place where we truly know peace. But God gives us, even in uncertain times, a very different and transcendent peace, the peace that passes understanding.
The third thing we all seek if joy. We want a sense of gladness, of happiness, of adventure in life. Tragically, most of us seek our joy-substitute in the form of kicks, highs, and sinful pleasures. The purpose of the last part of Genesis is to introduce us to God, the one of whom the psalmist wrote,
“You lead me in the path of life; I experience absolute joy in your presence; you always give me sheer delight.” (Ps. 16:11)
Where do we find the true satisfaction of all three of these unseen, almost unconscious, goals of life – righteousness, peace and joy?
Romans 14:17 tells us:
“The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Only God offers these things to human beings, and that is the story of Genesis.