Life-Study of Genesis

Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0836-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 92 of 120 Section 1 of 7

LIFE-STUDY OF GENESIS

MESSAGE NINETY-TWO

BEING MATURED
THE PROCESS OF MATURITY

(1)

In this message we come to the most pleasant section of the book of Genesis, chapters thirty-seven through fifty. All children like the stories in these chapters. When the writer came to this section, he changed his way of writing. The record of the first thirty-six chapters is brief and emphatic, but the record of the last fourteen chapters is very detailed. Chapter thirty-seven, for example, contains many details. This section is so detailed because it is very practical for our human life. No section in the book of Genesis is more practical than this last section of fourteen chapters.

Before we consider chapter thirty-seven, I would like to call your attention back to the beginning of this book. In the reading of any book we must understand the subject, the purpose, of that book. After reading through the book of Genesis, a book of fifty chapters, you still may not know the subject. What is the subject of this book? When I was young, I was told that Genesis covers two main things—God's creation and man's fall. Genesis begins with the words, "In the beginning God created," and it ends with the words, "He was put in a coffin in Egypt." I was told that because the first verse speaks of God's creation and the last verse speaks about Joseph's being put in a coffin in Egypt, Genesis is a book about God's creation and man's fall. Although this view is not wrong, it is a very inadequate understanding of this book.

It is not easy to understand the Bible. In fact, it is even difficult to understand ourselves. Although we have hair on our heads and ten toes on our feet, do hair and toes make a whole man? Is this a complete person? Certainly not. All the crucial parts and organs, such as the heart and the lungs, are between the hair and the toes. Likewise, the most important parts of Genesis are between the first verse and the last verse of the book.

Genesis 1:26 is a very crucial verse. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion..." Notice two significant words here—image and dominion. Yes, man was created by God, and he fell. But we must consider in what way and for what purpose man was created. The Bible says that man was made in the image of God. Nothing is higher than God. Thus, man was made in the image of the highest One. Perhaps you have never regarded yourself this highly before. Because we bear the divine image, we should have a high regard for ourselves. We are not low creatures; we were made for the purpose of expressing God and exercising His dominion. The subject of Genesis is man bearing the image of God and exercising God's dominion over all things. We bear God's image that we might express Him, and we have God's dominion that we might represent Him. Therefore, we are God's expression and representation. This is the heart of Genesis.

In order to know this in a progressive way, we need all fifty chapters of this book. All the generations recorded in it—Adam, Abel, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph—are for one purpose: to show that God's economy in the universe is to express Himself through man. This is God's purpose, God's goal, and the desire of God's heart. God's purpose and economy are related to man.


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