>For my Bible in a Year reading, I’m trying to keep brief notes on all the chapters of the reading. I thought I’d try a Cliff Notes version of my read through. Some of it is commentary, some of it is just what happens in those particular chapters. While my previous post is more of a general update, this one is more specific.

Week 1 covers January 1 through January 7, or Genesis 1-24
January 1: Genesis 1-3
The opening chapters of Genesis cover creation and the Fall. After each stage of creation, God declares it to be good. In 1:31, as God observes creation as a whole, it is declared to be “very good.” Creation is declared to be “very good” by God.
Genesis 2 gives another account of the creation, but the focus this time is on the specific creation of humanity. While Adam doesn’t have much of a role in the opening chapter, here, in Gen 2, he is involved in naming creation. It is when Adam doesn’t have a companion that something is finally declared “not good” by God. What is not good is the fact that Adam is alone. We are not meant to be alone, but we are meant to be in relationship with other people.
Genesis 3 recounts the Fall. The man and the woman are told to not eat from one tree, and yet, that is the thing that gets them in trouble. It begins by the serpent taking God’s words and twisting them, beginning to confuse the woman. Notice her response as well, “…neither shall you touch it.” She added on to the command of God. It left a wider opening for the serpent to sneak through. There is also a “passing of the blame,” the man blames the woman (and God to some extent), and the woman turns around and blames the serpent. The all end up getting punished and the world has never been the same.
January 2: Genesis 4-7
The story of Cain and Abel. Why does God regard Abel’s offering more than Cain’s? It doesn’t really say. My guess is that God is an omnivore and likes the smell of a good steak. Seriously though, it doesn’t really say. Quite frankly, that’s not important. What is important is the fact that Cain’s response is what led him to commit murder. The question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is one that we have to deal with all the time. Cain is left to wonder the earth, but notice that he doesn’t do that. He ends up settling in the land of Nod. We are left with Cain’s descendants and the story of Lamech, which goes to show the depravity that has followed Cain’s line.
Genesis 5 stands in contrast to Cain’s line, by examining the line of Seth down to Noah. Genesis begins with a statement on the depravity of the earth in the time of Noah. Noah was the only righteous man on the earth at the time. Humanity grieves God so much that God sends a flood to destroy it
January 3: Genesis 8-11
Genesis 8 concludes the story of the flood. Here it begins to subside, and when it is done, Noah builds an ark and offered burnt offerings to the Lord. Noah and his family are given the command found in the beginning of Genesis to “be fruitful and multiply.” In Genesis 9, Noah gets drunk and passes out. One of Noah’s sons sees him naked. He apparently says something to his brothers, who cover up their father without looking at him. It is unclear as to why Noah curses his son, but he does. There seems to be a lot of reporting of events, but not a lot of commentary on them. In Genesis 10, we get another geneaology from Noah’s sons.
Genesis 11 recounts the story of the tower of Babel. It is not so bad that the people were communicating with one another, but that they tried to join together and build something that would put them on a level with God.
January 4: Genesis 12-15
We begin the story of the Israelites in Genesis 12 with the call of Abram to leave his hometown based on the promise that God will make him into a great nation. Abram’s relative Lot also comes along. They travel through the region and end up going through to Egypt. In Genesis 13, Abram and Lot realize that they have a whole lot of livestock and they are crowding one another. Abram allows Lot to take part of the land that they had so there would not be any problems.
Genesis 14 recounts a battle between some small nations in which Lot was taken captive. Abram led the charge to get him back. Melchizedek, the king of Salem, blessed Abram. It is also said that he (Melchizedek) is a priest of God Most High. Genesis 15 begins with a covenant between God and Abram. They split the animals in half and God passes through them in the form of a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch. Essentially saying, “If I break this covenant, may the same be done to me.”
January 5: Genesis 16-18
Abram is promised a son, and his wife Sarai gets the idea to have Abram lay with her servant Hagar to have a child. Hagar becomes pregnant and Sarai becomes jealous and treats her very harshly. So much so that she runs off, but is convinced by a messenger of God to go back. Genesis 17 recounts the establishment of the covenant of circumcision. Circumcision is a means to mark those who are a part of God’s covenant people. Their names are also changes from Abram to Abraham, and Sarai to Sarah.
At the end of Genesis 17, Abraham is promised that within a year, Sarah would give birth to a son. Sarah doesn’t believe it, and God calls her out on her disbelief. Abraham and God then look over Sodom and discuss its impending destruction.
January 6: Genesis 19-21
The story of Lot in Sodom is mildly troubling as well. Lot offers his daughters in the place of the men who come to visit him. But, once again, Scripture is reporting what happened, not necessarily condoning it. Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. Lot is warned not to look back, and his wife does and turns into a pillar of salt. Why does this happen? There really is no explanation.
Abraham and Abimelech are discussed in Genesis 20. It is a flashback to what happened when they first went to Egypt and Sarah is told to say that she is his sister, not his wife. Why does Abraham do this? Is it because of a lack of faith? Does he not trust God to take care of him, even if things may get a little dicey?
Isaac is born in Genesis 21, and Sarah wants to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael. They nearly die in the desert, but are protected by God. God tells Abraham to go ahead and listen to Sarah regarding Hagar and Ishmael because Isaac was the one through whom the line will continue. Genesis 21 closes with a treaty between Abraham and Abimelech.
January 7: Genesis 22-24
Today’s reading begins with the story of the sacrifice of Isaac. It is perhaps one of the most intense stories in all of Scripture. Abraham had waited so long to have a child with Sarah, and they finally did, and now, God was asking him to sacrifice his son. This story is a precursor to what happens in Jesus when God does sacrifice His one and only Son. Abraham’s words, “the Lord will provide the Lamb,” are so crucial to this story. Many debate the morality of God in this story, but I think it’s important to remember that God is God, and God does provide. This was a time when child sacrifice was not uncommon, and for God to intervene and stop the sacrifice makes a huge statement on the practice.
Genesis 23 has to do with Sarah’s death and the purchase of some land from the Hittites. This is the first piece of land that Abraham actually owns in the Promised Land. It reminds us of the promise that God has made to Abraham.
In Genesis 24, Isaac is given a wife. Abraham did not want him to marry one of the women in Canaan, so he sent a servant to his homeland to find a woman for Isaac to marry. The servant finds Rebekah, who was Abraham’s niece. She came back to be Isaac’s wife.
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