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028 Review of the First Book of the Pentateuch (Genesis)

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ Genesis 1:1

Key Verse:

‘For whatever things were written in earlier times were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope’

(Romans 15:4)

(Genesis 1- Exodus 1)

We are still studying in Genesis. As you know, Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. The first book is called Genesis (meaning the Beginnings). In our last lesson, we completed our studies in Genesis. Today then, we begin the second book, which is called

The Exodus.

The book of Exodus contains the amazing and wonderful account of how

God freed the children of Israel

from the bondage of their slavery in the land of Egypt.

Before we get into the book of Exodus, let us review what we have studied in the first book of the Holy Scriptures. It is very important that we have a thorough knowledge of the book of Genesis, because

it is the foundation that God has laid

so that we might understand and believe all that is written in the other books of the prophets which follow.

Do you remember the first verse of the book of Genesis? It says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This is important – “In the beginning God!” When nothing yet existed–only One existed.

That One was God!

Next, we learned how God created millions of holy angels, by the power of His mighty word and His Holy Spirit. God created the angels so that they might serve and praise Him forever. Among the angels was one with superior wisdom and beauty. That one was

Lucifer,

the chief of the angels. However, the Scriptures tell us that there was a day when Lucifer became proud and despised God in his heart. Lucifer and many other angels began to plan to overthrow God.

However, no one can overthrow God.

God cannot tolerate those who rebel against Him (that is, refuse His rule). As a result, God expelled Lucifer and his evil angels and changed the name of Lucifer to Satan, which means

Adversary.

After God expelled Satan and his angels, He created for them the fire of hell. The Scriptures say that on the Day of Judgement, God, the Righteous One, will throw Satan into that fire along with all who follow him.

Next we read how the LORD created the world for the people whom He planned to create.

Man

is the most important creature of all that God created, because man was created in the image of God!

God wanted to have a deep and wonderful relationship with man.

That is why He placed in the soul of man a mind capable of knowing God, a heart capable of loving God and entrusted him with a will capable of obeying God.

Next, we saw how God placed

a test

before the man and the woman whom He had created. God warned Adam saying, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,

thou shalt not eat of it;

for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen.2:17), that is: you will be separated from me forever!

However, we saw how our ancestors, Adam and Eve,

chose to obey Satan

by eating from the tree which God had forbidden. Thus, the Word of God says: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and

death by sin,

and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12) How true it is that “an epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!” Because of Adam’s sin, we are all sinners.

Because of Adam’s sin,

we all deserve to die and face God’s judgement.

Next, we learned how God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because of their sin. However, before He expelled them, God announced how He planned to send into the world a Redeemer to save the children of Adam from the power of Satan and from

the penalty of sin.

God, in His wonderful design, had a plan to redeem sinners. His plan was to send into the world a perfect Man who would not be contaminated by the sin of Adam.

This righteous Man would willingly shed His blood

to pay the debt of sin

for the children of Adam. In this way,

God could forgive people of their sins,

but still remain righteous. Truly, what God promised concerning the coming Redeemer was an amazing promise!

Next we saw how God confirmed that wonderful promise by sacrificing some animals, and making for Adam and Eve clothes of skin. God was teaching Adam and Eve that “the wages of sin is death” and that

“without shedding of blood is no remission.”

After that, we learned about Adam’s first two sons, Cain and Abel. We saw how Abel offered God a lamb without blemish and slaughtered it, thus symbolising the Redeemer who was to come into the world and die for sinners.

As for Cain,

he tried to approach God through his own efforts, offering God what he had cultivated. As a result, the Scriptures say: “the Lord accepted Abel, but He did not accept Cain.”

Why did God not accept the sacrifice of Cain?

Because God’s law did not say: “the payment for sin is good works!” Rather, it stated: “the wages of sin is death!” and “without shedding of blood is no remission.” God pleaded with Cain to repent and accept the way of righteousness that He had ordained, but

Cain became furious, and killed his younger brother, Abel.

Most of Adam’s descendants followed the footsteps of Cain, so that by the time of Noah, the Scriptures say that God “saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Because of man’s

wicked heart,

God purposed to send a flood to wipe out rebellious sinners. In that corrupt time, only Noah believed God, which was why God told him to build a large boat, which would be a refuge for all who entered it. God was patient with sinners for a long time while Noah was constructing the boat. However, no one repented and entered the boat, except

Noah and his family.

Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. The prophet Abraham descended from Shem. We read how God commanded Abraham to leave his father’s house and go to the land of Canaan. God planned to make of Abraham

a new nation

from which the prophets of God and the Savior of the world would come forth. That is why God said to Abraham, “You will be a [door of] blessing … and all nations of the earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:2,3)

Thus, Abraham became the father of Isaac

in his old age,

just as God had promised. Isaac then became the father of Jacob, and Jacob, whom God renamed Israel, became the father of twelve sons. And from the twelve sons of Jacob originated the new nation which God had promised Abraham, the nation of Israel.

In the past three lessons, we have been looking into the captivating story of the sons of Jacob, particularly the one named Joseph,

the eleventh son.

The elder brothers of Joseph hated him, but God blessed him and made him the ruler over all the land of Egypt.

After that, a famine fell on Egypt and the whole land of Canaan, causing great misery. As a result,

Jacob and his sons had nothing to eat.

When Jacob heard that Egypt had grain, he sent his sons there. We then saw how Joseph made himself known to his brethren, forgave them, and called his father and all his family to move and settle in

Egypt.

Thus, at the end of the book of Genesis, we see that the children of Israel were no longer in the land of Canaan which God had promised Abraham, but in Egypt. However, all this happened to fulfil what God had told Abraham a long time previously when he said to him:

“Know of a surety that

thy seed shall be a sojourner

in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” (Genesis 15:13,14). God Himself had his hand on all that happened to the children of Israel.

Why did God allow Abraham’s great grand-children,

the Israelites,

to settle in Egypt, when He had promised them the land of Canaan? Because God intended to show forth His glory and His power through what would happen to the Israelites in the land of Egypt.

God planned to deliver the children of Israel

by His awesome power, so that  everyone might know that He is the King of kings; Lord of lords, the Almighty!

Now, let us read from the first chapter of the book of Exodus. The Scripture says:

(Exodus 1:6-22) “And

Joseph died,

and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and in-creased abundantly, and multi-plied, and became exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt,

who knew not Joseph.

And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come on,

let us deal wisely with them,

lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when war occurs, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Rameses.

But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.

And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor. And

they made their lives bitter

with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor. And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was

Shiphrah,

 and the name of the other

Puah.

And he said, When ye do the office of midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

But the midwives feared God,

and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing,

and have saved the male children alive?

And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered before the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. And it came to pass,

because the midwives feared God,

that he gave them families. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive”.

This is where the first chapter of the book of Exodus ends. In the will of God, in the next lesson, we will get into this extraordinary story and see how God called a man and prepared him to deliver the children of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh, the wicked king of Egypt. Do you know the name of this man? Yes, it is

Moses — the prophet of God.

God bless you. And remember: 

“For whatsoever things were written in earlier times were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have