When Moses led his people out of Egyptian bondage under Jesus’ direct leadership (Jude 1:5 (ESV) Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.), the people had learned much Egyptian theology, we can suppose. They had been steeped in the fallen and dark arts of Egypt.
The Lord Jesus had introduced himself as I AM, Yhwh to Moses as the one leading the folks out to safety. When they follow Moses leadership, the Lord miraculously saves the people at the Red Sea and does a multitude of amazing acts to show love to his people as he saves them.
So, as Moses pens Genesis, part of his mission is to not only recount what Yhwh has done, but make sure his people know who God is and how he operates.
No doubt the people knew the generic name of Elohim, “god”. Moses uses this name to attribute creation to him, but Moses connects the Lord’s name of promise to that generic name “Elohim” in Genesis 2:4 and in doing so introduces “god” not as some distant deity in a pantheon of other deities. No. Moses introduces the real God, the only God, who has a name and is personal. Moses shows them who God is and what he is like. Genesis is a great big course on some basic theology for new believers!
We learn Jesus is Creator.
We learn that Jesus is God.
We learn that God has a name, Yhwh, and that he is personal with his people not distant.
We learn Jesus gave creation to humankind to manage.
We learn Jesus creates man and woman because it was not good for man to be alone.
We learn Jesus institutes marriage, and he defines what it is and how it’s to be done.
We learn Jesus delights in relationship because he, apparently, exists in relationship in this mysterious language of “let us create man in our image.” (Clears throat…Trinitarian introduction).
We learn that Jesus is good, and that he creates good, and we get a glimpse in just two chapters that shame is part of the darkness Yhwh never calls good and that shame is a creation of darkness.
We learn that there is something afoot that is not good because already there is knowledge of good and evil to be had, and the foreboding music is sounding already, and the need for rescue was there long before they found themselves in Egypt. So, their problem is not “them”, it is a conflict between good and evil and they are somehow caught in the middle and Jesus wants to save them.
There is so much more, but that’s a good start on the first day of the restart of our yearly reading through Scripture.
Go get you some of that goodness today!