Reading: Genesis 50:1-6 and 15-26.
Genesis records the great struggle between sin and grace; death and life. Will sin and death prevail? Or will grace and life be victorious? Cain kills Abel, leaves his parents and goes “out from the presence of the Lord” (Gen 4:16). Adam and Eve grieve; one son is physically dead, the other is spiritually dead. They have no children and no hope. But God comforts them: Seth is born. Life and hope return. In Noah’s days sin seems to prevail; God’s flood kills almost everyone. But God’s grace prevails; He preserves the human race by saving Noah’s family. But the people do not learn. Sin again rules the world; is the church dead. But, once again, God’s grace is victorious; God calls Abram and makes His covenant with Him. To Abraham and his descendants God life, even eternal life. When Jacob’s sons grow up, sin several times threatens the existence of the church. But God graciously overcomes sin and gives life. He renews His covenant promises of eternal life with each generation.
In Genesis 50 death again reaches out its cold hands to the church. Jacob and Joseph die, followed by the death of all the brothers. The entire generation of leaders is dead, leaving the new generations in a hostile country. Egypt’s kings soon make Israel their slaves. For some 300 there is no recorded prophecy. Israel falls into idolatry (Joshua 24:14). The future looks dark.
Will sin and death prevail? No. Jacob and Joseph command their dead bodies to be buried in the Promised Land, pointing to God’s covenant promises that Israel will inherit Canaan and live with God. There they will flourish and there Jesus Christ will be born, opening the way to eternal life. In the struggle between sin and grace; death and life God’s grace prevails and eternal life is guaranteed. This great Gospel light shines through Genesis, the book of beginnings.
Key text: Ge 50:24 “And Joseph said to his brethren, ‘I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.’”
Question: What are some of the themes in Genesis?