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Genesis

The first phrase in the Hebrew text of 1:1 is bereshith (“in [the] beginning”), which is also the Hebrew title of the book (books in ancient times customarily were named after their first word or two). The English title, Genesis, is Greek in origin and comes from the word geneseos, which appears in the pre-Christian Greek translation (Septuagint) of 2:4; 5:1. Depending on its context, the word can mean “birth,” “genealogy,” or “history of origin.” In both its Hebrew and Greek forms, then, the traditional title of Genesis appropriately describes its contents, since it is primarily a book of beginnings. — International Bible Society

What are some things which begin in the Book of Genesis?

Who wrote the Book of Genesis? See Deuteronomy 31:9-13, 24; Nehemiah 8:1; 13:1; Mark 12:26; Luke 16:29-31; Luke 24:27, 44-47; John 1:45; Acts 28:23.

Introduction to Genesis by Paul E. Kretzmann in his Popular Commentary

The Book of Genesis (beginning) is the first of five books known collectively as the Pentateuch, which the many Scriptural references in the later books of the Old Testament as well as those of the New Testament compel us to ascribe to the authorship of Moses. In the Book of Genesis the inspired author presents a record of the origin of the world, of the human race, of the institution of marriage, of the beginning of sin, of the first judgment of God upon a sinful world, of the first preaching of the Gospel, and of the beginning of the chosen race as the bearers of the Messianic prophecies.

Moses, the author of the Book of Genesis, was the son of Amram, a member of the tribe of Levi, and his wife Jochebed, as recorded in Exodus, chaps. 2 and 6. He was born in Egypt, at the time when the rise of a new dynasty had caused the deeds of Joseph to be forgotten and the new Pharaoh had laid upon the children of Israel such intolerable burdens as ever a nation was obliged to bear. By God’s dispensation, his own mother became his nurse after his parents had found it impossible to keep him at home any longer, Ex. 2, 8. 9. In this way, Moses was instructed in the history and the religion of his people, and although he afterward, as the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, he remained true to Jehovah, the God of his fathers. From the land of Midian, whither Moses had fled from the wrath of Pharaoh, the Lord called him to be the deliverer and the leader of the children of Israel, and he served in this capacity for somewhat more than forty years, until he had brought the people to the boundaries of Canaan, where he appointed Joshua as his successor, went up on Mount Nebo, where God showed him the entire country which his people were to possess, died there, and was buried by the Lord Himself. Moses probably wrote the Book of Genesis sometime during the forty years’ sojourn in the wilderness, and God not only inspired him to write but also revealed to him most of the matter that is contained in the account, since tradition would, at best, have been extremely unreliable and many events could not have been known but by the special revelation of the Lord.

The Book of Genesis may be divided according to various points of view. The simplest division is that into two parts, chaps. 1–11 recording the beginnings of all history to the confusion of tongues, and chaps. 12–50 showing how God paved the way for the establishment of the theocracy as it afterward existed for a number of centuries. Some commentators prefer the division into six chief parts, chaps. 1–5 dealing mainly with Adam, chaps. 6–11 with Noah, chaps. 12–24 with Abraham, chaps. 25–27 with Isaac, chaps. 28–36 with Jacob, and chaps. 37–50 with Joseph.

The [first] period of which the Book of Genesis treats begins with the creation of man and ends with the Flood, comprising some 1,700 years. Though there is no valid reason for assuming that the art of writing had not been developed by the people of the world at that time, recent discoveries indicating, rather, that the art of writing was a common accomplishment in the East as early as the time of Abraham, in fact, that large libraries were then in existence, there was no urgent need of recording the Word of God at that time, since the patriarchs lived to a very great age and were able to pass on what God had revealed to them by word of mouth, from generation to generation. The record shows, for instance, that Adam lived for fifty-six years after Lamech, the father of Noah, had been born. This providential arrangement continued for some time after the Flood; for Abraham was born 150 years before the death of Shem and surely profited by his instruction. The period from the Flood until the death of Joseph is that of the patriarchs proper and covers a space of some six hundred years. At its close, the chosen family of Abraham had multiplied into a numerous people.

The modern student of the Bible will find in the Book of Genesis abundant evidence of the providential working of God in the destinies of mankind. Above all, however, the Christian will follow with the greatest interest the Messianic types and prophecies which appear even thus early in the Holy Scriptures; for just as the entire New Testament looks back to Christ, thus the entire Old Testament looks forward to Christ. Jesus is the center of all divine revelation.

Read Genesis 1:1-2:3

1. What is the meaning of the word “genesis”? How did this book come to be called Genesis?

2. Who gave us this book and its account of beginnings? How did He do it?

3. Who created the heavens and the earth? Cf. Genesis 1:1-2, 26; John 1:1-3, 10, 14; Colossians 1:12-16.

4. How many days did God use to create all things? See Genesis 1:31 – 2:3. How long were those days? Cf. Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31.

5. What did God create on each day? How did He do it? See Psalm 33:6; Hebrews 1:2-3, 10; 11:3.

6. How does God continue His creation? See Genesis 1:11-12, 22, 28; Hebrews 1:3; Psalm 145:15-16; Nehemiah 9:6.

7. What does it mean to be created in God’s image? Cf. Genesis 1:26-27; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24.

8. What was man’s relation to all the animals? See Genesis 1:26-28. What does this mean?

9. What did God give to be food for man and all the animals at this time? See Genesis 1:29-30.

10. What did God say of His creation? Did He create evil, sin or death? See Genesis 1:31.

11. How is the creation account foundational to the Christian Faith?

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Psalm 33

1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. 2 Praise the LORD with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy. 4 For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. 11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. 13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. 14 From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; 15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. 16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. 22 Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1. Read verses 1-3. What does this psalm say about worshipping the LORD? What type of instruments are mentioned for use in praise? What kind of song was to be used in praise?

2. Who is to be worshipped and praised? What does the word “LORD” indicate?

3. Read verses 4-5. Why were God’s people to worship the LORD? Cf. Psalm 96.

4. Read verse 6. How were the hosts of heaven created? How are they sustained? Cf. Genesis 1:14-19; Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:1-3.

5. What is described in verse 7? Cf. Genesis 1:9-10.

6. Read verses 8-9. What does the psalm here enjoin? Why? Do the people of this world do so? Why or why not?

7. Read verses 10-11. What does the psalmist say about the plans of men and nations? About God’s plans? How long do God’s plans continue to be carried out and fulfilled? What is His desire and plan for us? Cf. Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9; Luke 24:46-47.

8. Read verse 12. Which nation and people are blessed of the LORD? Is it of their own will or choosing, or of the LORD’s mercy? Cf. John 1:12-13; 2 Tim. 1:9.

9. Read verses 13-15. Who made our hearts and sees all that we think and do? Is anything hidden from the eyes of the LORD? Cf. Psalm 139:1-16.

10. Read verses 16-19. Are kings (presidents and rulers) and nations saved by their great armies and military might? Will great strength or human weapons save us? Who does the LORD look upon and save in the day of trouble? How alone can we be spared in the day of judgment? Cf. Acts 4:12; John 14:6; John 3:18,36.

11. Read verses 20-21. In whom do we place our hope? Why? Cf. Psalm 130:7-8.

12. Read verse 22. For what does the psalmist pray? For what should we pray?

Look at LSB Hymns No. 816 and 717. How do these hymns echo the message of this psalm?

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Read Luke 24:46-53 and Acts 1:1-12

  • When did Jesus ascend?
  • Where did the ascension take place?
  • What did Jesus’ disciples do after Jesus’ ascension?

What benefits do we as believers derive through Jesus’ ascension?

Read John 16:7-16; cf. John 14:15-18, 23-26. Why does Jesus say it is to our advantage that He ascends to the Father? How important is this?

Read Ephesians 1:15-23; Cf. Matthew 28:18-20; Philippians 2:5-11. What does it mean when we say Jesus ascended to the right hand of God the Father in heaven? Over what does He rule? Where is He present? Why is that important to us? How is Jesus’ ascension connected to our fulfillment of His great commission?

Read Hebrews 9:24-28; cf. 9:11ff.; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2. What is Jesus doing for us now before God the Father? How long will He continue to do this for us who look to Him and His cross for pardon and life eternal?

Read Hebrews 10:19-25; cf. 1 John 5:14-15. What privilege do we have because Christ died for our sins, rose again and ascended to the right hand of God the Father?

Read Acts 1:11; cf. Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:29-31; 1 Cor. 15:20-24, 50-58; 1 Thess. 4:13-18. How will Jesus come back on the Last Day? Who will see Him on that Day? What will take place on that Day?

O crucified, risen and ascended Savior, we praise Your name for accomplishing our salvation through Your death, resurrection and glorious ascension. Graciously keep us in the true and saving faith until that day when You return, as your disciples saw You ascend, to take us to dwell with You forever. Amen.

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1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 121 is one of the Songs of Ascents — the psalms which were spoken or sung by the people of Israel as they went up to the temple in Jerusalem to worship on feast days.

1. Where do we look for help? Where was the city of Jerusalem located? What was in Jerusalem? Whose presence was sought in the temple at Jerusalem? (Remember that this psalm was used as the people ascended the hills of Judea to Mt. Zion and the site of the temple where Jehovah God served His people through sacrifices for forgiveness and with His holy Word.)

2. Who is the LORD (Jehovah God) who was worshiped at Jerusalem? What did He create?

3. Cf. Psalm 96:5 and Psalm 115:2-11. How is the LORD God so much greater than the gods worshiped by other peoples and nations in the earth?

4. How is it comforting to have the God who created the heavens and earth as our Source of help? Cf. Nehemiah 9:6 and Jeremiah 32:17.

5. What does it mean when the psalmist says that the LORD will not allow our foot to be moved or to slip? Where do we regularly pray for this? Cf. Matthew 6:13.

6. Is there ever a time when the LORD will not be attentive to our prayers? Why not? Cf. Isaiah 65:24.

7. Why can we come to the LORD God in prayer? Cf. 1 John 5:11-15.

8. What does it mean when it says the LORD is our Keeper? Cf. Daniel 5:23; Acts 17:23-28.

9. How is the LORD our shade? From what does He protect us? Cf. Psalm 91:1-8.

10. How does He protect us from all evil? Cf. Psalm 91:9-16. When things which appear evil happen to us, how does the LORD use them in our life? If God allows us to die, how are we still protected from all evil? Cf. Matthew 6:13.

11. How does the LORD preserve our soul? Cf. Philippians 1:6; John 10:27-30.

12. How does the LORD preserve our going out and our coming in from now to eternity? Cf. 2 Timothy 4:18.

Look at LSB Hymn No. 877. How does it echo the message of this psalm?

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1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, 4 Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. 5 You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever, 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. 8 They went up over the mountains; they went down into the valleys, to the place which You founded for them. 9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth.

10 He sends the springs into the valleys; they flow among the hills. 11 They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 By them the birds of the heavens have their home; they sing among the branches. 13 He waters the hills from His upper chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. 14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth, 15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart. 16 The trees of the LORD are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted, 17 Where the birds make their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. 18 The high hills are for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers. 19 He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its going down. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about. 21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they gather together and lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. 24 O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.

The earth is full of Your possessions — 25 This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. 26 There the ships sail about; there is that Leviathan which You have made to play there. 27 These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season. 28 What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29 You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.

31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in His works. 32 He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke. 33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34 May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD. 35 May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Bible Study

Psalm 104 praises God for His mighty works in creation and speak of God’s design in creation as described in Genesis 1 and 2.

One thing which was a part of God’s design — either at creation or following the Genesis Flood — was to tilt the earth on its axis to give us the seasons of the year (cf. Gen. 1:14 and Gen. 8:20-22).

  1. How different would the world be without seasons? How do the seasons flow together for our good and benefit?
  2. How does the psalm describe God’s creation of the heavens and the earth (v. 1-9)? Compare this with Genesis 1:1-10. How are these accounts similar?
  3. How does the psalm describe the angels? See v. 4. What does Hebrews 1:14 tell us of the angels? Compare Psalm 103:20-21.
  4. Read verses 10-24. How does God’s design in creation, the seasons, the rains, the creation of day and night, work together to make God’s creation wonderful and work together for good? Compare Genesis 1:11-19.
  5. Who waters the earth and feeds and nourishes all of creation? How?
  6. Consider the spring plants and how they grow? Who brings all this about? And, how does it work together for our good?
  7. Read verse 24. How is this true? Is God’s design in creation simple, or complex with interdependence and, of course, full dependence upon the Creator built in? Compare Neh. 9:6; Heb. 1:1-3.
  8. What about the seas? Read v. 25-30. Do we depend on them? What do the seas tell us about the Creator?
  9. What is the great Leviathan? Do we know for certain?
  10. Read Genesis 1:20-25. Does this sound similar? How?
  11. Who gives food to all the creatures? What happens when God withholds His hand? When He takes His spirit from His creatures? Compare Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:20-21; 12:1-7.
  12. Who gave life in the beginning? Compare Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7 with Psalm 104:30.
  13. What does the psalmist say of the Lord in v. 31-32?
  14. What does the psalmist say he will do in v. 33-34? How long will he continue to do this? What about us?
  15. How can our praises and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to the LORD God who made us and redeemed us? Compare Psalm 51:14-15; 66:18; Psalm 32:1-11; Ephesians 1:6-7; 1 John 5:11-15.
  16. What does the psalmist pray in v. 35? Is this a fitting prayer that we can pray? Do we ever pray the same thing? Why? Compare Matt. 6:10a; 2 Pet. 3:9-10; 2 Thess. 1:3-10; Rev. 22:20.

Sing LSB 804: “O Worship the King.” How does it reflect the words of Psalm 104?

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