Now that we gone over the basic elements of Stage, Cast, Theme, Plot, and Presentation Method for this production of God’s One Big Story, that information has been consolidated into two Program Guides, something which should help us maintain a Big Picture Perspective on our Story. As well as reminding us of who the major players are, they will provide us with a breakdown of the Acts and Scenes which, as you may remember, are formatted in keeping with the Ancient Jewish Wedding Traditions previously discussed. So, with these guides in hand, the time has finally come for us to move on to Act 1, Scene 1 of the Story itself!
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 purposed to have a family of His own to love. It was for this reason 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. However, when Act 1 opens, Israel doesn’t even exist, so it stands to reason that everything taking place in its opening scene will be for the purpose of bringing her onto the center stage of this incredible drama.
Here, then, is a brief summary of what will be taking place in Act 1, Scene 1 (Genesis 1-11)—where we will be introduced to God in His role as The Celestial Suitor. In this opening scene, we will look on as God creates the world of nations out of nothing, nations from which He will eventually choose one, Israel, to become His “wife.” The process by which this takes place will be illustrated for us through the use of 9 Vignettes, or mini stories, covering…
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.
When we get to the end of Vignette #9, and before Abram/Abraham makes his entrance onto the stage of our Story in Act 1, Scene 2, we will be introduced to another character—an elusive, oftentimes invisible one who will play a very significant part throughout the rest of the Story. Her name is Mystery Babylon, the corporate embodiment of the false religious system that will be established at Babel, and which will eventually be dispersed throughout the newly formed nations. Identified later 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 as Satan’s Consort and, as his companion, she will be one of his most effective weapons in wooing people away from faith in 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 read through the passages covered in each Vignette, and then be able to refer back to them if we get to any points in the Story that we may not understand.
One of the best ways I have found to understand or “navigate” my way through Genesis 1-11—is to “surf” it. Now “Surfing Genesis” may seem like a rather crazy concept to apply to Bible study, but I think you will find it to be one that works and is one that is easy to understand. The concept is simple: in the same way that we “surf the web” for information by first going to a website and then clicking on one “link” after another until we finally get to the information we are looking for—when 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 the 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 needed 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 reading Genesis 1 – Genesis 2:3. And let’s do that soon, because the lights are starting to go down and the orchestra is starting to tune up—informing us that it is finally time for the curtain to rise on Vignette #1 of our Story!