Family Worship Questions (Genesis 1-11)

Family Worship Questions (Genesis 1-11)

As you begin your 2015 Bible Reading Plan I wanted to provide you with some questions you can ask during your Family Worship. Each week I’m going to provide a list of three questions for you to discuss with your family as you read three key passages from the week’s assignment. I’ll provide some brief comments that might help you as you lead your family worship time.

This week we are reading the first eleven chapters of Genesis. We could spend a lot of time here. Every doctrine in the Christian church is found in seed form within these chapters.

Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27  So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

  1. Who was created on the sixth day? Animals and people (The first question is easy to make sure everyone was listening. This might be a question you ask the little children to answer.)
  2. Is God happy with his work? How do you know? Yes, he said it was “very good” in verse 31. (This is important to understand, because we want our children to know that the pain and suffering we experience was a result of the fall. It was not how God originally created the world.)
  3. What do you think it means to be created in the image of God? We have authority (The text seems to suggest that it has something to do with having dominion. As God rules over all things, He appoints mankind to become co-rulers with Him over His creation.)

Genesis 2:18-25

Bible Text

  1. What was “not good” about God’s creation? That the man was alone (God’s creation is always described in terms of being “good” and “very good” until we come to 2:18. Here is our first note that something was “not good”.)
  2. What do we learn about God? Answer (Comments)
  3. What do we learn about ourselves? Answer (Comments)

For communion – God decides to make a suitable “helper.” Feminists will often attack Scripture as being out-dated and chauvinistic. It is the misinterpretation of verses like this that exacerbate the problem. The term “helper” here has nothing to do with subordination, but function. God does not think less of woman than he does of man. In fact, the word “helper” typically refers to divine assistance.

However, we do see from this passage that husband and wife, while equal before God, have distinct roles to play in marriage. Adam names Eve which implies a level of authority. Paul, in the New Testament, argues that the order of creation establishes Adam as an authority—the man was created first, then woman was formed from man.

For union – Naked and unashamed. The point is that Adam and Eve were completely trusting of one another. This was the continual sense they had of one another. Their relationship did not ebb and flow between trust and shame. They lived in a continual state of trust.

An old Hebrew adage says that “God chose to make Eve from the rib of a man. He did not take her from Adam’s head that she should rule over him. He did not take her from his foot that he should trample upon her; but from the rib that she might protect his heart.”⁠1

Like a father passing his daughter off to her husband, we have the image of God bringing Eve to Adam as a gift. God has established the institution of marriage.

God deals with family units from the beginning. This is an important indicator of how covenant life will continue. God doesn’t work primarily with individuals, but with family units. The family takes prominent position throughout Scripture. The covenant promises are passed on through generations of families. Covenant signs are given to families.

Now, I don’t think we can read these verses and ignore their obvious implications for marriage.

  1. Separation is not in the plan. Although divorce is allowed under a few select circumstances, it is never considered ideal. Jesus, after referencing this passage, discouraged divorce saying, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6).
  2. Marriage is between one man and one woman (polygamy and homosexuality are not in God’s plan).

Genesis 3:14-19

Bible Text

  1. Question? Answer (Comments)
  2. What do we learn about God? Answer (Comments)
  3. What do we learn about ourselves? Answer (Comments)

God punishes the serpent (14-15) – First, the serpent was to slither with it’s mouth in the dust. Second, there would be constant hostility between the serpent and the offspring of the woman. Notice the way in which God’s punishment of the serpent is an act of mercy towards mankind. The fact that there would be “enmity” between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent implies that the harmony established by the first act of sin was removed. Sin broke harmony with God, no doubt. But God inflicted the punishment in such a way that sin would be restrained. In this we see God’s “fatherly concern and love for his creation.”⁠1

God’s judgment of the serpent also includes a clear reference to the gospel. Genesis 3:15 has been called the proto-euangelion, the “first-gospel”. The seed of the woman is none other than Christ as Paul affirms in Galatians 3:16. The serpent (Satan, Rev. 20:2) bruises Christ on the heel at his crucifixion, but this same event, which is the climax of history, provides the final crushing blow to Satan’s defeat. This is the theme of the Scriptures.

God punishes the woman (16) – The pain in childbearing was multiplied. Then we also read, “your desire shall be for your husband.” Compare this verse with Genesis 4:7, where God warns Cain “[Sin]’s desire is for you but you must rule over it.” John Currid points out, “The issue for Cain is what will dominate him and have control and mastery over him.”⁠2 So the woman’s “desire” regards her determination to dominate the man.

God punishes Adam (17-19) – No longer would there be harmony between Adam and the ground. Instead, there would be hostility. Work would not always be easy and rewarding. Now it would require sweat and pain.

Sins consequences are devastating. Both the man and the woman will have pain and frustration at the center of their lives. Work is not cursed, the ground is. The very means by which we seek fulfillment will be covered with thorns. 

All of us are prone to make excuses when we sin. Like Adam and Eve we have a hard time accepting responsibility for our actions. The woman was clearly deceived here (1 Tim. 2:14; 2 Cor. 11:3), but not even that meant that she was free from punishment.

There is a day of judgment coming. God will ultimately bring just judgment upon the wicked. On that day, those who do not honor the Lord “will go away into eternal punishment” (Mt. 25:46). No one will be able to stand before God and say, “But it wasn’t my fault!” They will not get away with any excuses.

1 VanGemeren, Willem, The Progress of Redemption, 86.

2 Currid, John D., Genesis Vol. 1, 133.