Genesis – We All Need
The first five books of the Bible comprise what are referred to as ‘The Books of the Law’ or the Pentateuch, which is a big ancient-sounding word that means ‘Five Books.’ These books were written by Moses after having met with God on Mt. Sinai which he describes in the book of Exodus.
Genesis, the first book of the law, is known as the book of beginnings, which is what the word Genesis means, beginnings or origin, that moment when something came into existence, in this case, everything. We don’t know exactly how God did it, although the Apostle John, in the New Testament, is given the insight by the Holy Spirit that God the Son, Jesus, Whom John refers to as the Word, was there.
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone” John 1:1-4.
While in Genesis, Moses sums it up with the most profound understatement in all of literature: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis recounts creation and the first humans, their selfish choices which led to banishment from the paradise God had made for them (3:21), and the emergence of Satan, portrayed in the narrative as a serpent, the great deceiver, who would forever antagonize God’s creation. Prophetically, Moses is inspired to write of a future day when the “seed of the woman,” the Messiah, would once and for all crush the head of the serpent, even as the serpent would nip at the Messiah’s heal (Genesis 3:15).
The other main character in the first chapters of Genesis in Noah, the great servant of God who found grace in God’s eyes at a time when the world had become corrupt and evil. God delivered Noah and his family along with representatives of the rest of His creation, on a homemade boat through a great flood.
The balance of Genesis follows the family of Abraham in whom a running theme, that was hinted at with Adam and Eve and Noah, becomes clear. Which is that we all have needs. To need is both an underlying theme of Genesis and a running trait of mankind. As self-sufficient as we may think we are, there are some things we still need. It’s not a bad thing, if we know where to look for help which, in these stories, the characters did. Historically, our main problem has been looking for help in all the wrong places first.
Adam and Eve, needed a covering after they sinned (3:21), and God provided. Noah needed a Foreman for the boat job (6:22), and God provided instructions. The same was true of Abraham and his descendants. Abraham needed a provider, and He trusted that God would be that provision, he told his son Isaac on the way up Mt. Moriah, “God will provide Himself a lamb,” and He did. Just before Abraham brought down the knife to sacrifice his son as God had told him, God stopped him and provided the animal. Abraham even named the place, The Lord Will Provide.
Note the beautiful, prophetic, way that Abraham declares his faith in God, “God will provide Himself a lamb,” some versions change that around and read “God himself will provide a lamb,’ which is fine, but think about this verse in relation to our universal need of a savior. Abraham said “God will provide Himself,” and He did. And when the fullness of time came, He sent His son, Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” John 1:29.
My biggest need, the one I can’t fix with a fig leaf or an animal skin, one for which a foreman or a set of blueprints will do no good, is my sinful heart and the pain of knowing that because of it I am separated from the One Who created me and loves me more than anyone. – So God provided what I could not, He provided exactly what I needed – a Lamb, a Savior, the Lord, the Messiah, God the Son, Jesus Christ.
Because, as my old friend Bryan Duncan sang, “We all need.”
We all feel lost sometimes
And we all feel hurt inside
And we all cry and we all need
The redeeming love of Jesus*
*We All Need – words and music by Bryan Duncan