The wayyyyyy too brief overview of Genesis
Now, Genesis is absolutely action-packed! So we’ll try to sum up all the goodies as quickly as possible.
It starts with the first 6 days of creation where God created the Earth, everything on it, and mankind whom he named Adam and Eve. Here is where humans are introduced to good and evil when they disobeyed the Lord and ate from the forbidden tree when tricked by the devil.
They then had two sons Cain and Abel.
The kids continued to get busy and multiply. Soon enough there were so many people and they were so evil, God decided to wipe them off the face of the Earth by bringing a flood for a new start. He called to Noah, one of the only good one’s left, to build an ark and save his family and all the animals from the flood.
God then promises to never flood the Earth again.
Hundreds of years later, God came to a man named Abram, who later changed his name to Abraham, and told him to leave his family and live in the promise land, Canaan. He promised Abraham a son even in his old age and created a covenant (promise) with Abram that for his undying faith he will create many nations out of him and they will inherit the promise land.
He then had his son Issac.
Issac had two sons Jacob and Esau. Jacob ended up tricking his father and Esau into giving up his inheritance and blessing. Esau is a little upset about this, rightfully so, and Jacob flees to live with his uncle.
He marries there, changes his name to Israel, and has 13 sons, one named Joseph.
Joseph, who will dive into a bit later, ends up a slave in Egypt then through God’s grace and gifts becomes second in command. He ends up bringing his entire family to Egypt to keep them safe from a horrible feminine.
The book of Genesis ends with Joseph’s prophesied that their family (the Israelites) will once again return to the promise land, Canaan, that God created for them with the covenant with Abraham.
And that’s Genesis in a nutshell for you! If you want more information the blog overview bible goes into great detail on Genesis and has a nice overview.
But let’s dive into how to use these stories in our every day lives as young adults in the 21st century!
Big Takeaway #1 – When you let God work through you, you are in turn capable of all things.
Genesis 41:16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharoah, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
In this scripture, Joseph is taken to Pharoah to interpret a dream that no one else is capable of. Because God was with Joseph, he had the power to decipher the message as he had done previously in jail. So when Pharoah, the highest power in the world at this point who could literally give Joseph everything he ever dreamed of and release him from prison asks, “Can you decipher this dream?”.
Joseph does NOT take the glory himself. He doesn’t reply to Pharoah in pride stating that he surely can because God’s on his side or that his own ability is great. But replies with a simple phrase, “I can’t do it.”
You know who can do it? God can and he’ll work through me to decipher your dream.
In return, God gave Joseph the glory back. He then turned Joseph into the highest power in Egypt, saving thousands of lives including his own brothers.
The big takeaway for us young adults from Genesis 41:16
Stop thinking about if YOU can do something. But with your God on your side and if you give the glory up to him and his ability not your own, you’re able to refrain the question to can God do this? And for those of you that know the Lord, know that God is capable of all things beyond our wildest dreams.
When you let God work through you, you, in turn, are capable of all things as well.
Big Takeaway #2 – Everything happens according to God’s plan not our own.
Genesis 50:19-20 “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, and saving many lives.”
Now to back up a wee bit here, you’ll need to understand the story.
Overview of Joseph and the dreamcoat
In short, this is the story about Joseph and the dreamcoat. When he was younger, Joseph got a little cocky and decided to tell his 12 brothers that he had a dream that they were all bowing down to him, including his father.
Joseph was already the favorite and given the cockiness, the brothers were furious and decided to sell him off into slavery one day and pretend that he had gotten eaten alive by wild animals. #savage
In-Slaved In Egypt
Joseph ended up in Egypt and he rotted away in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Luckily, he became respect in prison for a strange gift that he could interpret dreams.
Years of sitting in a jail cell later, Joseph was pulled out to interpret a dream that the Pharoah had that no one else could. Given this godly gift, Pharaoh made Joseph second in command and the most powerful person in Egypt underneath himself.
As second in command, he used God’s word to lead Egypt into its richest time, making it the most powerful nation on Earth. When a famine struck all surrounding nations became increasingly weak but due to God’s visions and words to Joseph, Egypt remained strong.
Desperate for food, Joseph’s brothers and family came to Egypt to buy grain and eventually end up bowing down to Joseph, exactly how he depicted in his first dream.
Joseph’s reaction to his brothers
This story would be great as is. But it gets even better.
Now obviously, Joseph could have his way with his brothers as they had with them. He could have held a grudge and gotten his ultimate revenge on them for selling him into slavery, pretending he was dead, and allowing him to sit a dark cold prison for years on end.
I mean, I probably would have been a little salty about this situation and gotten some revenge.
But Joseph’s reaction shows how enlighted being with God has made him.
When his brothers asked, “Aren’t you mad at us and want to get revenge for what we did to you?” Joseph replies with the beautiful message in Genesis 50:19-20 – “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, and saving many lives.”
The big takeaway for us young adults from Genesis 50:19-20
This lesson isn’t just about forgiving and forgetting and turning the other cheek when someone harms you. But it dives deep into the path God has for us. It may not be the easiest road or journey, but no growth happens on a straight line. What might seem like a time of despair for you where it’s painful, you’re struggling and feel like giving up you have to know in the long run, there’s a silver lining in God’s plan for it.
You didn’t want this to happen, but you needed it to happen in order to get to your final destination. And God’s final destination for you is greater, bigger, brighter, and better than you ever imagined, just ask Joseph.