Previously, on Genesis Generations

Reading #1 | July 7, 2024

And God said, ”Let there be light,” and there was light. (1:3)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field. (3:1)
Am I my brother’s keeper? (4:9)
(And God said to Noah) “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.” (6:14)
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. (11:1)
The LORD said to Abram, “Go from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (12:1)
And Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. (16:15)
Abraham said, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old?” (17:17)
And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age. (21:2)
(Issac said) “My father, behold the fire and wood but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (22:7)
Then Isaac…took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. (24:67)
Isaac loved Esau….but Rebekah loved Jacob. (25:28)

I hope the above verses evoked the story of God’s action in the world from Creation until the birth of Esau and Jacob that we covered last year in Genesis Generations I. If your interest is piqued by any of these, please go back and reread the whole story.

And what a story it is! Hollywood scriptwriters could not have constructed a more compelling yarn. But through it all, it is God’s action that binds it all together. His saving action—time and time again—to these people he has called who often seem to just be stumbling along through life.

Just one note about our format this year. We are borrowing a practice from television series—the recap (“Previously on Genesis Generations…”). We start out by repeating GGI’s last lesson by Julie Russell of Macedonia, Burlington, about the birth of Esau and Jacob to set the stage. It was last year’s cliffhanger.

[SPOILER ALERT] A theme for Genesis might be found in Joseph’s words to his brothers who had sold him into slavery. He said, “You meant evil against me but God meant it for good,” and I think you will see that in all these stories. Things seem to be going sideways, usually by the protagonist’s efforts, but God makes things work for his loving purpose.



Dan Voelkert of Holy Trinity, Hickory, is the retiring chair of the NC Synod’s Engage the Bible Ministry Team. When not coordinating these summer Bible studies, he enjoys his family, especially the grands, volunteering, and playing the ukulele.

To Consider

Do you have a favorite story from Genesis? Why does it speak to you?


Father of us all, as we study the earliest parts of your story among us, open our hearts to the message of Genesis and how you still work in our world today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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