Well, we have finally arrived at Stage #1—the place where the Bible: the Love Story of the Ages will soon begin to unfold before us. As we depart from the Truth Train, let’s be sure to carry with us the Program Guides that we were given on the most recent leg of our journey. We will find that, as we watch the many smaller stories of the Bible being acted out on the Earthly Stage before us, these Guides will help us make sense of the One Big Story which will be taking place simultaneously on the Heavenly Stage above us. So, please find a good seat and make yourselves as comfortable as possible, because it is likely that we will remain at this stage for some time. That’s because the portion of the Bible Story which will be covered here is one of the most important ones of the entire production—so we dare not hurry through it.
As we learned in the video, “The Bible: the Story Behind the Story,” Act 1 is all about the Love Story that takes place between God and Israel; a Story with its beginnings in eternity past, when God, who is Love, purposed to have a family of His own to love. It was for this purpose that He created the world and the people living in it—people who, as they continued to multiply, would eventually develop into the nations from which Israel, God’s intended wife, would come. When Act 1 opens, however, Israel doesn’t even exist yet, so it stands to reason that everything which takes place in its opening scene will be for the purpose of bringing her onto the center stage of this very human yet cosmic drama.
Here, then, is a summary of what we will find taking place in Act 1, Scene 1—where we will be introduced to God, in His role as the Celestial Suitor:
In this opening scene, we will witness God’s creation of a world full of nations out of nothing. It will be from these nations that He will eventually choose one, Israel, for His own—to be His “wife.” The process by which this takes place is illustrated for us through the use of 9 Vignettes, or mini-stories, in which the most significant parts are acted out for us. These vignettes will cover:
1 – The creation of the world;
2 – The creation of man and woman;
3 – Their sin and fall from grace;
The consequences of their sin:
4 – Personally,
5 – In their family, and
6 – In society at large;
7 – The judgment on their sin during the Flood;
8 – The “New” World after the Flood; and,
9 – Mankind’s On-Going Rebellion and its Judgment.
As Vignette #9 ends, and as we look forward to the beginning of Act 1, Scene 2 and the entrance of Abram/Abraham onto the stage of our Story, we will also be introduced to another character—a very elusive, oftentimes invisible one—who will play a very significant part throughout the remainder of the Story. Her name is Mystery Babylon, and she is the corporate embodiment of the false religious system that will be established at Babel, and which will eventually become dispersed among the newly formed nations. To be identified later on as “the great prostitute and the mother of all of earth’s abominations (Rev. 17:5),” Mystery Babylon’s role in the story will be that of the consort of Satan, God’s enemy; and, as his companion, she will be one of his most effective enticements for pulling people away from a relationship with the One True God.
Of course, in order for us to get the most out of this Story, we will need to keep our Bibles handy at all times; that way, we can first read through the passages that will be covered in each upcoming Vignette; and then, we will be able to refer back to them if or when we get to any points in the Story that we may not understand.
One of the best ways that I have found to understand—or, to “navigate” through—Genesis 1-11—is just to “surf” it. Now “Surfing Genesis” may seem like a rather crazy concept to apply to Bible study, but I think that you will find it is one that works, plus it is really easy to understand. You see, in much the same way that we would “surf the web” for information—first going to a website and then clicking on one “link” after another, until we finally get to the information we are looking for—as we begin our study of Genesis, we will go to the first “site” of its action, that is, to Chapter 1, and look for the most important piece of information contained there. This information, in verse form, will then become the “link” which will carry us to the action awaiting us in next chapter.
In other words:
In Chapter 1————if we click on the creation of man, mentioned in verse 27, it will become the link that connects us to an expanded explanation of that event, taking place in Chapter 2.
In Chapter 2–———–if we click on the prohibition pronounced in verses 16-17, and the “one flesh” mentioned in verses 23-24, these will become links to the action that is about to happen in Chapter 3.
In Chapter 3————if we click on the promise of a redeemer mentioned in verse 15, and the animal skins and sacrifice for sins mentioned in verse 21, these will link us to the significant events coming up in Chapter 4.
In Chapter 4————if we click on the birth of Seth mentioned in verse 25, and go back to Chapter 2, verse 17, where we find the promise of death, these will provide us with the links we need to take us to Chapter 5.
In Chapter 5————if we click on Noah’s birth mentioned in verses 28-29, this will link us to the events coming up in Chapter 6.
In Chapter 6————if we click on God’s grace to Noah mentioned in verse 8, and the corruption of the earth mentioned in verses 11-12, these will be our links to Chapter 7.
In Chapter 7————if we click on the remnant alive in the ark mentioned in verse 23, this will become our link to Chapter 8.
In Chapter 8————if we click on God’s covenant with creation mentioned in verses 20-22, this will take us to Chapter 9.
In Chapter 9————if we click on the sons of Noah mentioned in verses 18-19, these will link us to Chapter 10.
In Chapter 10———-if we click on the descendants of Noah mentioned in verse 32, this will provide the connecting link to Chapter 11. And…
In Chapter 11———-if we click on Terah and Abram mentioned in verses 31-32, these will become our links to Chapter 12.
Now that we know a little about what to expect, and how to follow the line of connection between each of the chapters covered in the upcoming Vignettes, let’s prepare ourselves by opening our Bibles and reading Genesis 1 – Genesis 2:3. We need to ready ourselves because the lights are starting to go down, while the orchestra is starting to tune up—meaning that it is finally time for the curtain to rise on our Story!