To read The Bible Project, Pt 4 click here.
• God created.
• God created humanity in His image, with freedom and authority
• That creation got fractured in a big way, but God responds with mercy and grace
But there’s still a long road ahead, and the central problem is this:
Creation is broken; what is God going to do about it?
From Genesis 3 to Genesis 11, evil and chaos spread over the earth, but then when we get to Genesis 12 something interesting happens:
A man named Abram hears something.
“The LORD said to Abram, ‘Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, those who curse you I will curse; all the families of earth will be blessed because of you.’
Abram left just as the LORD told him, and Lot went with him.
With those few lines, everything changes, and God reveals His plan:
• Abram is going to have a family/nation
• God is going to “bless” (fix) the earth
• This blessing is going to come through Abram and his family
With that, God’s “rescue project” is underway. His plan is to deal with the fracture of Genesis 3 through a people.
This passage also says two additional things about God and His story:
First, this God calls. The Bible doesn’t tell us how many people God actually spoke to, only that Abram listened. Regardless, God is a god of invitation, of extension, of welcome. We just have to learn to open our ears (or eyes) to hear Him.
Secondly, in the same way that God gave humanity “work” to do in the garden, God gives humanity work to do to help in the rescue of His creation.
(He obviously thinks a lot of us).
Put another way, God seems to be saying, “You were part of this problem (the brokenness); now you’re going to get to be part of the solution.”
Hidden inside this pronouncement is something else that will have a profound impact on the story. As the rescue project moves forward, it will be marked by three characteristics:
- It will be a community (“a nation” in v2). The rescue mission involves an invitation to be a part of a people. It is an invitation to connectedness.
- It will be marked by purpose (“an agent…”). It exists to be a blessing to the world, to be a part of the rescue project. To that end, to join the family of God is to receive purpose.
- It will be marked by holiness (“blessing”). “Holiness” can be a scary word, but in words of Dr. Brian Russell (who pointed out this three-fold framework), “Holiness is just a desire for people to be a little bit better than they are right now.” To join the rescue project is to desire to be a blessing, not a curse, and therefore involves growth in “blessing” things: love, gratitude, joy, generosity, and so on.
Next up: The Mission in Jeopardy