Genesis means “beginnings,” and it is in this foundational book that we discover our origin, the reason for the existence of sin in the world, and God’s initial promise to humanity to send a Redeemer. We are introduced to the nation of Israel and to themes that endure throughout the entirety of Scripture, such as covenant, the blood to cover sin, election, and God’s sovereignty. Without this book of beginnings, we would be hard-pressed to understand the unfolding story of redemption in the rest of the Bible.
Chapters 1 through 11 are of utmost importance, and these chapters have been attacked by the unbelieving world to their own hurt. By not seeing the truth of God as Creator, and by implication, the rule maker, people are left with no ultimate authority in their lives, no objective basis for right and wrong. They have no standard by which to live their lives, and an attitude of “anything goes” and relativism is all they have to guide them. With no Creator God, the person is left to worship themselves and to live without real hope, direction, and purpose.
By denying the reality of sin described in chapters 1 through 11, people look at human nature through a faulty lens. They dream up alternate theories and useless solutions to try to solve the problems sin creates in all areas of human existence. If you have a wrong starting point, you will never arrive at the answers to the genuine problem. By taking the book of Genesis seriously we have a foundation upon which an accurate worldview can be built and we can read the rest of scripture in humble anticipation, knowing we will find the answers and the guidance every human heart ultimately seeks.