READING: Genesis 48-50
The end of the book of Genesis is quite different from its beginning — dramatically so: it begins with God’s breathing life into the first man, and it ends with Joseph lying in a coffin. In between the two stories is recurrent evidence of the effects of sin. The thoughts of humankind turn continually evil. Brothers turn on brothers. Men try to build a tower to heaven. Leaders lie. Entire communities fall into sexual sin. Men deceive one another. Rape occurs, followed by mass murder. Even the people of God sometimes devise their own plans in opposition to God.
It would be easy, in fact, to decide that the serpent of Genesis 3 had won the day at the end of the first book of the Bible — except for the clear evidence of God’s hand throughout the book:
1. God promised a redeemer even in the Garden of Eden: “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)
2. He kept His hand on His followers, shepherding them despite their records of failures: “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—may He bless these boys.” (Gen. 48:15-16)
3. He worked even through the sin of others, as evidenced in the story of Joseph: “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.” (Gen. 50:20)
4. In the end of the book, Jacob’s blessing on his son Judah hints again at the coming of Christ: “The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff from between his feet until He whose right it is comes and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him.” (Gen. 49:10)
Genesis ends in a coffin, but it points toward the One who will bring resurrection. Whatever victory the enemy gained in the Garden of Eden was only fleeting. You and I live today on the winning side.
ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps today:
- Review the book of Genesis, focusing on the major story lines of the book.
- Every time you pray today, thank God for our victory over the enemy.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You that death is not the end. Thank You for defeating the enemy already.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Exodus 1-3