Author: Moses

Date of events: Prehistory—1805 b.c.


The book of Genesis is the first of five books written by Moses. As its name implies, it records the history of the beginning—the beginning of the universe, the beginning of life, the beginning of marriage and family, the beginning of the nation of Israel, and the beginning of the plan of salvation.

Genesis teaches us principles of godly ideals

However, it was also the beginning of sin—the beginning of pride, rebellion, rationalization, murder, blaming, regression, deception, and denial. The beautiful institution of marriage was perverted into conflict, disharmony, polygamy, and a struggle for control. The potential for sibling love became sibling rivalry as brother murdered brother, brother cheated brother, and brothers sold brother into slavery. Human society, with the capacity for mutual edification and communal worship, became so depraved that God repeatedly intervened. Some gave in to temptation and even boasted about it; others, with God’s help, prevailed.

Genesis teaches us principles of overcoming sin and temptation

Yet God always protected and used those who honored Him. In a world of unexceptional people, one man walked with Him. In a corrupt world, one righteous man was used to preserve life on earth. In a world that worshiped many false gods, there was one true priest. In a world that was headed in the wrong direction, God chose one man to be the conduit of promise. When God intervened, it was to save us from ourselves.

Genesis teaches us principles of grace and mercy

Genesis gives us examples to learn from. Adam and Eve talked with God in the Garden of Eden. Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice. Enoch walked with God. Abraham believed God. Isaac worshiped God. Jacob learned reconciliation. Joseph learned to forgive.

Genesis teaches us Principles to Live By

List of Principles in Genesis

Section Title Principle Page
1:1-25 #1: Chosen In Christ To have an abundant life now and eternally, we must receive the gift of life provided by the all-powerful God who created the universe. 5
1:26—2:7 #2: Body, Soul, and Spirit Since we are eternal beings created by God to inhabit physical bodies, we are to offer our total beings to God in order to glorify Him. 6
2:8-24 #3: Marital Union To grow in oneness and unity, we are to follow God’s plan regarding a one man—one woman relationship within the bonds of marriage. 7
3:1-7 #4: Satan’s Tactics Since Satan’s goal is to deceive us, we should consistently focus on God’s truthful message in His Word. 7
3:8-13 #5: Avoiding Rationalization We should be on guard against our tendency to rationalize disobedience and shift blame. 8
3:16 #6: Avoiding Marital Conflict To avoid tensions in our marriages, we are to follow Christ’s example of love. 9
4:1-8 #7: Sinful Anger We must not allow the God-created emotion of anger to become sinful. 9
4:17-19 #8: Moral Purity To live in God’s will, we must maintain the one-flesh relationship in marriage. 10
5:21-24 #9: Biblical Values Even though many people around us violate biblical values, we are to walk with God. 11
6:1-11 #10: Holy Living As the world becomes more and more decadent, we should continue to trust God to enable us to live righteous and godly lives. 12
6:12-22 #11: Reflecting God’s Compassion We must be on guard against becoming uncompassionate when God allows people to live sinful lives and even prosper. 13
7:1—8:22 #12: Common Grace We must understand that God’s material blessings represent His common grace and mercy to all mankind. 14
9:1-28 #13: Renewing Our Minds To walk with God daily, we are to renew our minds and be committed to doing His will. 15
11:1-9 #14: Overcoming Pride We should avoid the sin of pride, which can lead us to build our own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God. 16
11:27—12:3 #15: God’s Mercy Since God reached out to us before we reached out to Him, we should always thank Him for saving us by His sovereign grace. 17
12:4-10 #16: Seeking God’s Wisdom When we face difficult circumstances, we should always seek God’s wisdom so that we’ll continue to walk in His will. 18
12:11-15 #17: Overcoming Mistakes We should do all we can to walk in God’s will, even though we may have made wrong decisions in the past that have created our present crises. 19
12:16—13:4 #18: Material Blessings We should never conclude that wealth in itself is an indication of God’s approval of our attitudes and behavior. 19
13:5-11 #19: Self-Evaluation We must continually evaluate our motives and behavior in the light of God’s directives in the Word of God. 20
13:12-18 #20: Inappropriate Fellowship To avoid losing our moral bearings, we must not have fellowship with unbelievers who are living immoral and evil lives. 20
14:1—15:1 #21: Growing in Faith When we face periods of doubt and fear, we are to look to God to protect us and to meet our needs. 22
15:2-6 #22: Justified by Faith No matter what our religious background, we must personalize our faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. 22
16:1-2 #23: Cultural Influences We should be cautious not to allow our pre-conversion, non-biblical values to cause us to make decisions that violate God’s will. 23
16:3-5 #24: Blaming Others We must avoid blaming others for our own mistakes 24
16:15—17:2 #25: Growing Spiritually We should use the negative results of personal mistakes as an opportunity to grow spiritually. 24
17:15-18 #26: False Conclusions We must be cautious not to interpret circumstances subjectively in order to support what have been personal mistakes. 25
17:19-27 #27: Obedience to God’s Command Once we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we should be obedient to God’s command and identify ourselves as believers and members of God’s family. 26
18:1-15 #28: Trusting God To help others overcome their skepticism and unbelief, we are first and foremost to trust God to intervene in their lives. 27
20:1-18 #29: Spiritual Regression Even though we are growing spiritually, we must be careful not to regress to old patterns of sinful behavior. 29
21:1-10 #30: Sin’s Consequences We should expect painful consequences when our sin impacts those closest to us. 30
21:11-34 #31: Acting Responsibly Regardless of the consequences of our sins, we are to confess those sins, accept God’s forgiveness, and move forward in our Christian lives. 31
22:1-19 #32: Spiritual Testing We should not be surprised when God allows unique tests to come into our lives to enable us to become more mature in our Christian experience. 32
23:1-20 #33: Lifestyle Evangelism We should live godly lives before unbelievers in order to demonstrate that we are truly God’s children. 33
24:1-14 #34: Praying in God’s Will We are to pray consistently and specifically but always in harmony with God’s revealed will in the Word of God. 33
24:15-27 #35: Being Thankful We are humbly to thank and praise God when He answers our prayers. 34
24:28—25:26 #36: Modeling Christ As husbands, we should be an example to our wives in living the Christian life. 36
25:27-28 #37: Parental Favoritism To be wise and mature parents, we must be on constant guard against Satan’s tactics. 37
25:29-34 #38: Selfish Attitudes and Actions We are never to take advantage of another person’s weaknesses in order to achieve our own selfish goals. 37
26:12-25 #39: Spiritual Insensitivity We should continually develop our intimate relationship with God, not allowing our hearts to grow cold and insensitive toward our heavenly Father, our families, and our fellow believers. 38
26:26-35 #40: Worldly Desires We are to pursue holiness, not allowing sinful desires to dominate and control our attitudes and actions. 39
27:1-20 #41: Pure Motives We are to faithfully imitate Christ’s love for us in order to avoid deceptive behavior in our relationships with one another. 40
27:46—28:9 #42: Making Proper Decisions We should first and foremost make decisions to please God, not to ingratiate ourselves with others for purely selfish reasons. 41
28:10-17 #43: A Born-Again Experience Even if we have been reared in a Christian family, we should make sure our relationship with God is personal. 42
28:18-22 #44: Faith and Works We are to test the reality of our relationship with God by the good works that result. 43
29:1-20 #45: Carnal Behaviors Even when we become true believers, we should be on guard against old patterns of sinful behavior that tend to persist. 44
29:21-30 #46: Sin Patterns When we sin against someone and do not seek forgiveness, we should not be surprised if someone sins against us in a similar fashion. 44
29:31—30:24 #47: God’s Moral Laws We must obey God’s moral laws if we are to avoid family dysfunction in marriage relationships. 45
31:1-32 #48: Faith versus Fear To experience God’s power and protection, we should exercise faith, not fear and manipulation. 47
32:1-20 #49: The Human and Divine In times of difficulty, we should seek to blend proper precautions (human effort) with prayer (dependence on God). 49
32:21-32 #50: God’s Discipline When we persistently violate God’s will, we should anticipate our heavenly Father’s discipline. 49
33:1-11 #51: Godly Fellowship We are to have close fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can have intimate fellowship with God. 50
33:12-17 #52: Honesty and Openness After we have experienced restoration with those we’ve hurt, we must continue to have open, honest relationships in order to avoid recurring problems. 51
33:18—34:31 #53: Parental Protection We are to do all we can to protect our children from worldly influences and at the same time, avoid overprotecting them. 52
35:1-15 #54: Idolatrous Activities Christian parents should avoid any kind of idolatrous activities. 53
35:16—37:4 #55: Generational Mistakes We should do all we can to avoid repeating the same mistakes our parents made with us. 55
37:5-11 #56: Identity Crises When we’re feeling rejection, we must be careful not to set ourselves up for more rejection by trying harder to prove ourselves. 55
37:12-14 #57: The Subtlety of Denial When we experience family crises, we should seek to face reality. 56
37:15-23 #58: Subtle Pride When we are highly favored and blessed by God and others, we should beware of subtle pride. 57
37:24-36 #59: Jealousy and Anger When we have feelings of jealousy, we should take steps to keep these emotions from leading to sinful anger. 57
38:1-30 #60: God’s Sovereign Plan We should keep our eyes on God’s will for our lives when some Christians—even spiritual leaders—engage in sinful and scandalous actions. 59
39:1-12 #61: Overcoming Temptation To resist the temptation to sin, we must develop firm moral and ethical convictions based on a deep appreciation for God’s love and grace in our lives. 59
39:13-23 #62: Persecution for Doing Right When we are persecuted for refusing to violate God’s moral laws, we should remember that the Lord will never forget our stand for righteousness. 60
40:1-23 #63: Not Forgetting When someone does something special for us, we should look for opportunities to return the favor. 61
41:1-16 #64: Character Development When we face difficult experiences, we should ask God to help us view these crises as opportunities to develop our Christian character. 62
41:17-46 #65: Preparation for Greater Responsibility We should view difficult experiences as opportunities to learn to be more effective in carrying out God’s purposes in the world. 63
41:50-52 #66: Psychological and Spiritual Healing Because biological families are impacted by sin, we are to help create loving and supportive relationships with the body of Christ to bring emotional and spiritual healing. 64
42:1—45:3 #67: God’s Gift of Tears When facing intensely emotional experiences, we should give ourselves permission to cry. 67
45:4-15 #68: Forgiveness When someone has wronged us, we are to forgive unconditionally even though that person may not admit it was wrong or even ask for forgiveness. 67
45:16—47:27 #69: Doing Good for All No matter our circumstances, we should live lives of integrity before all people. 70
49:22—50:21 #70: Understanding God’s Purpose When we face difficult situations, we should ask God to help us see some divine meaning in these experiences. 73


Genesis #1: Chosen in Christ

A Principle to Live ByGenesis #1: Chosen in Christ

from Genesis 1:1-25

To have an abundant life now and eternally, we must receive the gift of life provided by the all-powerful God who created the universe.

Do you realize that all true believers—past, present, and future—were in the mind and heart of God before He ever created the heavens and the earth? Imagine! You can know God personally, thanks to His divine plan that existed before He created the universe. Listen to the apostle Paul:

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. (Eph 1:3-4)

Think about this great truth for a moment! Before God created the vast immeasurable universe and any human being, He had determined that all who put their faith in His Son Jesus Christ would be saved. (See Eph #2: Our Position in Christ, p. 1626.)

Reflection and Response

Do you have a personal and intimate relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ? (See Jn #2: The Deity of Christ, p. 1435.)

Genesis #2: Body, Soul, and Spirit

A Principle to Live ByGenesis #2: Body, Soul, and Spirit

from Genesis 1:26—2:7

Since we are eternal beings created by God to inhabit physical bodies, we are to offer our total beings to God in order to glorify Him.

As physical beings, we were originally created from the “dust from the ground.” As non-physical beings, we have God’s “breath of life” (v. 7). Animals have temporal life, but as humans, we are uniquely created in God’s image to be eternal beings.

Throughout both the Old and the New Testaments, human beings are referred to as having a body and a soul and/or spirit, and because the Lord Jesus Christ came to redeem us from sin, we can be born again and live forever in God’s presence (Jn 3:3,16). However, until the body—the physical house we live in—dies, we are integrated beings in our earthly existence and are to conform our lives to Jesus Christ. Thus Paul wrote to the Thessalonians,

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Th 5:23) (See 1Th #13: Holistic Christian Living, p. 1666.)

Reflection and Response

How can we grow effectively in all dimensions of our lives—physically, psychologically (intellectually and emotionally), and spiritually? (See Rm 6:12-14.) (See Rm #10: Our New Life in Christ, p. 1542.)