Beginnings are important. How I begin my day has the potential to dictate how the rest of my day will go. We have all experienced it. You hear the alarm clock go off and you hit snooze 95 times. Then next thing you know you wake up and you are already running twenty minutes late and your shift at work starts in 5 minutes. Where to start? “Should I eat breakfast first and then shower or shower then eat?” Have you ever had a day where you skipped both? Come on be honest.
The beginning of new relationships and friendship are important. I remember when I started “dating” my wife. She was still in college and I was a bachelor working forty plus hours a week living in a one bedroom apartment-above an endearing old man named Frank- and thought I had the world at my fingertips. One of the first times we “hung out” was over pizza and Monday Night Football. For some reason she agreed to this and I knew for certain I had found the girl of my dreams. With this beginning it is a wonder of wonders that we are married.
Beginnings are important in life and in books. Have you ever stopped reading a book because the beginning stunk? (I hope this beginning did not and you are still reading). You can tell from the beginning it will not be worth your time to labor in this book. But a good book with a good start grips your attention and compels you to keep reading. We all like a story. Novels are such great reads especially when they have a gripping beginning. Good stories have good beginnings.
What if I could tell you I know of a great story with a great beginning? That would grab your attention, right?
The Bible is the greatest story ever told, and it has a great beginning. The story of the Bible is how God created a perfect world and put man and woman in it to subdue it. Sin came in and ruined this perfect world and the man and woman now experienced pain, suffering, and hardship. But this was not the end of the story. God promised the ruin would be reversed and the rest of the Bible is the story of God working through His Son to redeem sinners that one day they might live with Him face to face for all eternity.
But this story has a great beginning. The Bible opens with “In the beginning God.” When there were no trees, fish, lions, or humans God existed. God spoke and the world was created. He said “Let there be light” and there was light. God made man out of the dust of the ground and made woman from a rib out of the man. He created them in His own image and commanded them to subdue the earth. The man was given the charge to name the animals. We know what a bear is because God’s creation, man, named it. The man and the woman were to fill the earth and multiply. They were in paradise and perfect relationship with God. Sadly, this did not last. The man and the woman disobeyed God’s command and ate from the tree in the midst of the garden. The man, woman, and the serpent-who tempted them to sin-are cursed. From the curse comes a promise; the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent and the serpent will bruise his heel. The man and woman await the promised seed. They have two sons but they are not the awaited seed. People on the earth continue to be wicked and disobey God.
A man is commissioned to make a great boat because God is going to wipe the earth out with a flood. The promise is continued as this man is given the same command to fill the earth and multiply. The seed of the woman is coming but is not here yet. The story expands as people build a city and tower to reach to heaven. They did this to make a great name for themselves; the result was being scattered and languages being confused. Enter an old man past the age of having children and God makes a promise to him that he will be a blessing to all the families of the earth and his descendants will be more numerous than the stars. The seed of the woman will come through this line and through him all the nations will be blessed.
Only God could write a story so compelling. Genesis 1-15 God reveals the foundation for what we read in the rest of the Bible. It is a compelling story with twists and turns. But it is a story that is meant to make you and me stand in awe of the glorious God who created the universe and wrote this story. These are just the beginnings of the story of God’s redemption to save sinners.
It’s an incredible journey. Join me as we walk through beginnings together.