Genesis is the book of firsts

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, October 24, 2023

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I read a fascinating book about creation that questions the creation account and that Genesis shouldn’t be taken literally; that it has no bearing on the New Testament gospel. As a theology student, this is a real blow. It’s hard to ignore the “beginnings” of the Bible. – T.S.

Dear T.S.: The first hint of the Gospel comes from Genesis 3:15, the first promise of salvation. Genesis is the book of firsts: creation, marriage, family, and fellowship with God. He made creation so beautiful for mankind to enjoy. He made a home for Adam and Eve where they could walk with God in the cool of the evening. If we could gather lush tropics, majestic mountains, fruited plains, pristine lakes, mighty oceans, and the splendor of the shorelines all in one place, it could not begin to compare to the grand design of this mansion of God’s handiwork, shaded by every tree imaginable.
This is also where man heard God’s very first command and where we see that God granted man the freedom of choice – to live eternally or die spiritually. This was a breathtaking message from God who abundantly gives life. He told the first couple to look around and behold the abundance from His hand, to drink in the wealth that is from above, and eat from the Tree of Life, which will produce eternal blessings.
One would think that Adam and Eve would stand in awe of that promise. But we see quickly that their minds gravitated to God’s one warning: Do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, lest you die. Here they were introduced to the idea of death and the interlude to eternity. This theme runs through the entire Bible.
Any theory of the universe that doesn’t take into account the God and Creator of the universe is not worthy of serious consideration. “For since the creation of the world [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen” (Romans 1:20).
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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