The Genesis of  Genesis – August 15, 2021

Scripture: Genesis 50: 21 “Now, don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” So he put them at ease and spoke reassuringly to them.

Genesis takes us from creation to the doorstep of Israel’s slavery in Egypt, and tells this story by dividing the book, not into chapters and verse numberslike we see in the current editions of our Bibles, but into ten sections that begin ​”​“This is the account of [so and so.”​”​ This arrangement reminds us that Genesis is telling the beginning of Israel’s story. Genesis is not about the world as a whole, even if it includes a creation story. It is a story about Israel’s relationship with God that is marked by struggle (which is what ​”​“Israel”​”​ means) over the twin issues of people and land. It is the first book in a five part series we call the Pentateuch, or, The Torah.  Genesis is not a textbook or personal moral guide. Genesis is a story and should be read like one. It creates a different world for us and then invites us in, leaving aside our world, as all great stories do.