In the Beginning

Billy W. Moore
Butler, Missouri

The word genesis means, "The coming into being of anything." (Webster) The book of Genesis is so called because it tells of the beginning--not the beginning of life or of time, but the beginning of heaven and earth and life upon the earth. God is eternal. He is from everlasting to everlasting, the great I AM. Something is, so something has always been. Something does not come from nothing. Life has come from antecedent life all the way back to God, who is the giver of all life.

The first chapter of Genesis tells of the six days of creation. The beginning of day and night, the first day. Second day, the beginning of the firmament of heaven. Third day, the appearance of dry land (earth) and the beginning of vegetation. Fourth day, the beginning of the sun, moon and stars. Fifth day, the beginning of sea life and fowl. The sixth day, the beginning of cattle, beasts of the earth and man.

The second chapter of Genesis gives a fuller account of the creation of man, and the beginning of the first home. Adam was placed in a garden eastward in Eden (Gen. 2:9). The beginning of woman, and of marriage are related in this chapter. The woman was made for a companion for man, not as his servant. Marriage originated with God, and has always been honorable in his sight (Heb. 13:4).

The third chapter of Genesis tells of the beginning of temptation and sin. The temptation came through the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (Cf. 1 John 2:15-17). The record says, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food ..." (Gen. 3:6). What did she see? Robert Milligan said, "What could she see but the Serpent eating that same fruit, while he was ascribing to its virtue his own wonderful elevation and superior knowledge?" (The Scheme of Redemption, p. 43) The woman was deceived in the transgression (I Tim. 2:14) Adam was not deceived, but ate because he chose to be with his wife. Thus the first sin entered into the world by the woman, but Paul declared, "Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety" (1 Tim. 2: 15).

The consequences of sin are bitter. There were four parties involved in the first sin: (1) the serpent, (2) Satan, (3) the woman and (4) Adam. Each of them was made to suffer because of this sin. Sin always brings suffering to mankind. The serpent was "cursed above all the cattle.., upon thy belly thou shaft go..." Unto Satan the Lord said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel? To the woman God said, "I will multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." To Adam, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake.., thorns and thistles shall it bring forth.., in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.., unto dust shalt thou return." Adam and his wife were that day separated from God because of their sin. God has said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). They died! God did not want them to take of the tree of life and live forever in the state of disobedience and sin, so they were driven forth from the garden of Eden and God "placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." This was man's first separation from God.

That was just the beginning of sin. Because of the lusts of men, both of the flesh and of the eyes, and because of man's pride, sin waxed worse and worse. The penalty of Adam's sin--physical death--was passed on to all his descendants. "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12). Adam and his wife represented all mankind. Because of their sin God decreed that all mankind must die. "And as it is appointed unto man once to die..." (Heb. 9: 27).

Truly, Genesis is the book of beginnings. A study of this book is both interesting and rewarding, as it lays a foundation for all that follows in God's word. Read it carefully and learn of the beginning of God's covenants with man. Learn of God's faithfulness to his promises, from the beginning. Do not just wonder about man's beginning, the beginning of his relationship with God, etc. Read the book of beginnings given to us by our God.

TRUTH MAGAZINE:XIV; 21, pp. 13-14

April 2, 1970