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Genesis:  Creation and Redemption

In 1997 a Nobel Prize-winning physicist made a stir when he wrote, "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless." Responding to the statement, one astronomer wrote, "Why should it have a point? What point? It's just a physical system; what point is there?" Another scientist, agreeing, said, "I am willing to believe that we are flotsam and jetsam."

Flotsam and jetsam? Yet, considering their premise—that we are here by pure chance alone—what other conclusion would they have drawn? After all, we just one day are born; eventually we become aware of ourselves—pain, fear, and hunger often being the first sensations of self-consciousness. Uninvited, life is foisted upon us without asking for it and yet remains difficult to give back if we don't want it and impossible to retain if we do. We're given something none sought after, planned for, or acquiesced in; we're not sure what it is, what it means, or even why we have it; its most real and immediate givens—pain, sorrow, loss, fear—remain inexplicable.

No wonder these scientists, left to try to understand our origins on their own, see it as all pointless, a mere physical system, nothing more.

How thankful we should be, then, that the Lord hasn't left us on our own regarding our origins. Genesis is God's revelation to us of those origins, and it presents a view radically different from what most science presents. That science, without revelation, has determined we're the creation of meaningless and purposeless forces is more than enough proof of how, without revelation, we get it all wrong.

Indeed, contrary to the "scientific" view, which says we're here only because of pure chance, the book of Genesis says that we're here because God created us, that our existence resulted from the purposeful act of a loving and caring God who made human beings "in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Gen. 1:27). It's hard to imagine two more conflicting, irreconcilable positions.

But Creation is only the beginning of Genesis. The book teaches us about the Fall, the global Flood, the Tower of Babel, which together help us better understand the nature of the world we have all found ourselves in without any choice of our own.

Most important, though, Genesis also tells the story of Abraham and the patriarchal line that would arise out of him, the one in whom "all the nations" shall "be blessed" (Gal. 3:8, RSV). Genesis doesn't focus only on the Fall and its results; instead, scattered through its pages are symbols and shadows that point to the great hope of salvation offered to God's fallen world through Jesus, a hope offered to everyone who, like Abraham, claims it by faith. Or, as Paul, steeped in Genesis, expressed it: "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Gal. 3:9)--the father of "all who believe" (Rom. 4:11, NIV).

This quarter we'll get an inspired account of the miracle that created us; we'll also get, in hints and symbols, the earliest revelations of the miracle that saves us: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

All this is found in Genesis, a book about Creation and Redemption, not "flotsam and jetsam."

Born in Germany, the late Arthur J. Ferch immigrated to Australia, where he worked for many years as a pastor, teacher, and administrator


No. Study


Oct 7 Foundations  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Oct 14 "In the Beginning"  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Oct 21 The Early Earth  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Oct 28 Paradise Lost  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Nov 4 Destruction and Renewal  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Nov 11 The Earth After the Flood  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Nov 18 The Man Abram  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Nov 25 Faith and Frailty  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Dec 2 The Triumph of Faith  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Dec 9 The Price of Duplicity  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Dec 16 Jacob Becomes Israel  (KJV)  (NKJV)


Dec 23 From Prison Cell to Palace  (KJV)  (NKJV)
 13 Dec 30 The End of the Beginning  (KJV)  (NKJV)

Giardina Sabbath School Study Helps

Jerry Giardina of Pecos, Texas, assisted by his wife, Cheryl, prepares a series of helps to accompany the Sabbath School lesson. He includes all related scripture and most EGW quotations. Jerry has chosen the "New King James Version" of the scriptures this quarter. It is used with permission.  The study helps are provided in three wordprocessing versions Wordperfect; Microsoft Word;  RTF for our MAC friends (this is now a zip file); and HTML (Web Pages).

Last updated on September 3, 2006

Editorial Office: 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
Principal Contributor:  Based on previously written work by Arthur J. Ferch
Editor: Clifford R. Goldstein
Associate Editor: Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti
Publication Manager: Soraya Homayouni Parish
Editorial Assistant:  Larie S. Gray
Pacific Press Coordinator: Paul A. Hey
Art and Design: Lars Justinen
Concept Design: Dever Design

Copyright 2006 by the Office of the Adult Bible Study Guide,
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights Reserved.

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