Tomorrow we begin our journey through the Bible together. Here are just a few things to keep in mind.
1 – Here is the link to the reading guide:
2 – We’ll begin with Genesis, Matthew, Psalms and Proverbs. Here is a quick overview of Genesis, watch for overviews of the other books in coming days.
GENESIS AT A GLANCE
More than simply being the first book in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Genesis is truly the foundation of the Jewish faith. The first eleven chapters contain four significant stories: The Creation (there are actually two creation stories – did you notice?), The Fall, Noah & the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. More than just being historical synopses, these stories play a very important role in informing the people of some of the foundational elements of their faith and how they as Hebrews see the world in which they live. The creation stories gave the Hebrews some context as to how the world as they knew it came to be (the main point here being that God created it, taking chaos and giving order to it). The Fall story helped “explain” why there was evil in the world. While it’s easy to view the Noah & the Flood story as punishment for what happens when you fail to follow God’s will, the Hebrews actually saw this story as a sign of great promise when one (like Noah) was faithful (the rainbow!) Finally, the Tower of Babel story not only emphasized the importance of aligning one’s self with God’s plan, but served to explain the existence of differing nationalities and languages in the greater world.
The second half of Genesis chronicles the four primary matriarchs and patriarchs of the Hebrew faith. God called Abraham to be the father of God’s people, promising him descendants that would number “as many as the stars in the sky.” Abraham married Sarah, and after Abraham had Ishmael with Hagar (supposedly the great-grandfather of the Muslim prophet Mohammed), Abraham and Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the second patriarch. Not much is known about Isaac, other than he married Rebekah and had Jacob. The sibling rivalry between Jacob and his older brother Esau is legendary, with Jacob coming out on top with the family blessing. He would go on to marry Rachel (after being tricked to marry her older sister Leah), and would many sons that would go on to become the 12 tribes of Israel. Another son was the famous Joseph. Sold into slavery by jealous brothers, Joseph wound up saving his people from death at the hands of a horrible famine that devastated the ancient world, bringing them to Egypt and setting the stage for what would follow in Exodus.
Genesis covers a lot of history for sure! But a foundational history it certainly is. Enjoy soaking it up over the next few weeks!
3 – If you are planning to be a part of this exciting adventure please let Shasta know and send her your email so you can get discussion questions, updates and more.
4 – Beginning in February we will gather once a month to talk about what we are reading. After worship we’ll gather in the Fellowship Hall to talk, share and encounter God’s word. We hope you’ll pack a lunch, or run get something and make this a part of this journey. Meetings will be the 2nd Sunday of the month at Noon: February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14 2014.
This is going to be a blast. See you tomorrow!