Genesis is coming ….

July 2nd, 2014| Topic: aBeLOG, Genesis | 4

<em>Genesis</em> is coming ….

We read the Bible to bring divine guidelines for life from Scripture to bear on our lives so that we, the people of God, may be aligned to the will of God, for the glory of God.

But how does this work when you take a “bite-sized” chunk of text—a “pericope”—as you might do in your devotional study, or your pastor might do in the Sunday sermon? What in this slice of Scripture is to be carried over into the life of the Christian?

I have made the claim elsewhere that what needs to be borne from the ancient text into the lives of the modern audience is the theology of the pericope, the thrust of the text. [See here.] Pericopal theology tells us about the divine precepts, priorities, and practices that God wants us to adopt from that particular biblical passage. So passage by passage, the various aspects of our lives are gradually brought into alignment with the divine demand revealed to us pericope by pericope.

Here’s another way to look at this: Since Jesus Christ is the only one to have perfectly fulfilled divine demand, each pericope is depicting a facet of what it means to be Christlike.

Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it.
Proverbs 25:16

Even an obscure verse as Prov 25:16, that talks about the avoidance of gluttony and its ill-effects, is telling us that exercising moderation is part of what it means to be like the perfect Man, Jesus Christ.

After all this is God’s goal: that his people be conformed to the image of his Son.

For those whom He foreknew,
He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.
Romans 8:29

The Greek word translated “image” is eikōn, from which we get the English “icon.” So I call this mode of interpreting Scripture a christiconic hermeneutic: seeing facets of Christlikeness in every pericope of Scripture. The Bible is not just informational, it is transformational, changing us to look more like Christ, bit by bit, week by week, pericope by pericope.

And with that preface, I’d like to announce that I’m going to be looking at the pericopes of Genesis in sequence (just as I have done over the last couple of years with Mark), to catch what it is that God wants of us (divine demand)—in other words, to catch the facet of Christ’s image depicted in each pericope. (For thus inclined towards more detail, check out my recent commentary on Genesis.)

The book of Genesis, commencing the Scriptures of God’s people, appropriately focuses on divine blessing. Blessing is always divine in origin, for God alone is the source of all that is good, and he alone is the perfect Giver.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.
James 1:17

Genesis is the book about the inauguration of God’s bringing blessing to mankind. The four major sections of the book, then, deal with different facets of divine blessing.

Genesis 1:1–11:26 (Primeval History): Creating for Blessing
Genesis 11:27–2:18 (Abraham’s Story): Moving towards Blessing
Genesis 25:19–36:43 (Jacob’s Story): Experiencing the Blessing
Genesis 37:1–50:26 (Joseph’s Story): Becoming a Blessing

[BTW, if you want to hear four snapshots from Genesis preached, visit Northwest Bible Church the four weeks of this month, July 2014. (For my preaching schedule, see here.) I’m doing four sermons, on Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.]

If you can’t be there, just visit this space every few weeks ….


  1. Pablo July 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Your current series has “hit” me…by God’s grace I’m trying to grab onto Him instead of chasing…. Thank for you privileging the text and showing me how to. I’m devouring the book while on vacation…keep them coming!

  2. rodney July 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I really enjoyed your Mark updates, can’t wait for the Genesis series! :))


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