This is Part 3 of the Confessions of a Pastor series.
I place my hand on the first book of the bible and solemnly swear that I am a Genesis addict. I preach out of it way too much. My first daughter’s middle name is Genesis. I read through it more than any other book in the bible. Actually, one year, that is all I read.
The book captivates my attention with its raw authenticity.
Humanity is shown without mask or covering.
Flaws, both fatal and forgiven, are blatantly recorded for us to learn from.
For example, the Father of the Faith, Abraham, wasn’t picture perfect by any means. To read of his moments of doubt, trepidation, and apparent stupor – it shocks us out of our ‘perfection is needed to produce’ paradigm. Feeling (more like floundering) your way forward with faith is really all that is needed for God to touch nations.
Genesis is aptly named the book of beginnings. God takes the worst that mankind has to offer, and with the residue that remains, He begins again. I guess it gives me hope that God can take my flaws and do something with them that will be worth recording.
25 chapters are given to my favorite character in scripture – Jacob. His is the journey of a saved man being subdued by his Savior. This man with 2 names, Jacob and Israel, often vacilitated between being the man of flesh and the man of power. I definitely can relate to that. Sometimes my Israel wakes up, and sometimes Jacob beats him to it. I can be Israel in the pulpit and get one phone call that will magically bring Jacob to the surface. Ours is a lifetime process of subduing and overcoming.
Jacob received his name change during an all-nightlong MMA bout with none other than God Himself. God finally got tired of this man that wouldn’t tap out. So God struck and shrank the sinew of Jacob’s strength. This shrinking of the strongest sinew in Jacob’s body changed his agility and his appetite. Israel still doesn’t eat of the sinew that shrank. A real touch from God will affect our walk and alter our appetites.
Remember that Seth, the third son of Adam, also had a son and called his name Enos (frailty). Paradoxically, this child called frailty, sparked a widespread revival of men calling on the name of the Lord. Our frailty and insufficiency should be the catalyst that causes us to cry out to God with a savage desperation, for divine connection.
My frailty causes me to focus on His sufficiency.
These simple points and many others, leap off the pages of Genesis and challenge me to my core.
I need this book. It helps me with what hinders me.
It confronts me with a challenge to change. Personally, the people and principles in this book have enabled my emergence as a disciple of Jesus Christ, more than any other book.
My name is Greg and I love Genesis.