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Read: Genesis 17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”

How did creation come to be? Who created it?
How do we know what God is like? How do we know that God is good?
Why do people do bad things? Why is there evil in the world?
Why do bad things happen? Why is life so hard?
Why do people grow old and change? How is new life created?
What is God’s will? How can we please God?
What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of death?
Is there life after death? What is that like?

These are some of the BIG questions that ALL religions and all cultures have in common. The sacred scriptures of any given culture tend to offer stories that explain the answers to these questions. That’s largely the role of Genesis 1-11 in the Bible; It gives us a starting point for understanding of who we are and Who God is. Such stories are less about historical events and details, and more about teaching spiritual truths, not unlike a parable.

As a youth growing up in the church (with little Bible knowledge) our youth pastor told us that the faith story really of God’s people begins with Abraham and Sarah, which is the 12th chapter of Genesis. His suggestion has some merit; God begins the covenant promise at that time. God’s chosen people began with “Father Abraham” and “Queen Sarah”; their lives are much more historical and chronicled.

The way God is represented is more familiar to the way Jesus taught, and the way that we have experienced God’s presence and activity in our lives.

I am just completing a sermon series on the lives of the patriarchs and matriarchs, so my upcoming WISH posts will overlap some of those sermons, but there is also more that can be explored and explained in a WISH post, than in a Sunday sermon, or a sermon series. As we explore God’s creating of a “chosen people” and the promise of the covenant, I hope these spiritual insights will continue to be a blessing for your life and faith.

Shalom,
Pastor Rob Nystrom