Today I preached Genesis 1-11: “In the Beginning: Creation, Corruption, and Christ.” I love this section of Scripture because it is pregnant with so many themes that are developed in the rest of the Bible. For instance, you can see the whole pattern of Creation-Fall-Redemption-New Creation if you pay careful attention to the literary structures of the passage. The Gospel of Genesis by Warren Gage is an excellent resource to help outline these themes. So is Bruce Waltke’s illuminating outline below (An Old Testament Theology [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007], 307-08).
What Gage and Waltke show is how Genesis 1-11 teaches us to read the rest of the Bible. The explicit metanarrative in Scripture moves from Creation to New Creation, falling with sin, rising with Christ. Notice how in the outline below that Noah and Abraham come as Christ-figures who anticipate the greater rest (Matt 11:28) and the fulfillment of all the promises (2 Cor 1:20).
Creation: Genesis 1:1 – 6:8
A Creation out of chaotic water with divine blessing (1:1-2:3)
B Sin involving nakedness, seeing/covering nakedness; curse (2:4-3:24)
C Division of humanity into the people of God and the enemies of God (3:15-4:16)
D No descendents of sinful of murdered younger, righteous Abel (4:8)
E Descendents of sinful Cain: builds a city (4:17-24)
F Descendents of chosen son Seth: ten generations to Noah (5:1-32)
G Downfall: unlawful unions – men & women / marriage (6:1-4)
H Brief introduction to a faithful savior: Noah (6:5-8)
Re-Creation: Genesis 6:9-11:32
A’ Creation out of chaotic water with divine blessing (6:9-9:19)
B’ Sin involving nakedness, seeing/covering nakedness; curse (9:20-23)
C’ Division of humanity into the people of God and the enemies of God (9:24-27)
D’ Descendents of younger, righteous Japheth (10:1-5)
E’ Descendents of sinful son Ham: builds multiple cities (10:6-20)
F’ Descendents of chosen son Shem: ten generations to Terah (10:21-32)
G’ Downfall: unlawful union – men / government (11:1-9)
H’ Brief introduction to a faithful savior, Abram (11:27-32)
Our God is worthy of infinite praise for he is patient with sinners and perfect in his wisdom to bring salvation in his Son from eternity past to eternity future. With Paul we sing: “Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Genesis 1-11 is an astounding passage that flickers with the light of God, light that will only grow brighter as the Scriptures continue until the light of the world comes to dwell with man (John 1:1-14).
Soli Deo Gloria, dss