This article is written by Nick Thompson and sponsored by Reformation Heritage Books. You can learn more about Joel Beeke and nick Thompson’s new book, Beginning: Family Worship in Genesis, here.
Does Genesis offer relevant lessons for your children? Can the complex and often graphic narratives really be suitable to family worship? After reading the following article, we think you will say yes.
Your family needs the book of Genesis, and so does mine. Many arguments could be given to support this assertion, but I want to focus here upon four.
Genesis puts us in our rightful place as creatures.
In case you are unaware, our culture is relentless in its attempt to indoctrinate our children in atheistic evolution. The message they are being spoon-fed from the earliest age is that they are random blobs of highly evolved protoplasm, and thus the only way to find true identity and purpose is to create it. But Genesis tells our children that they are image-bearing creatures, created to know, enjoy, and reflect their Creator. The creation account in Genesis teaches our children that humans are altogether unique. It shows us that the self is not and can never be autonomous—that we are always under the authority of God and that it is good for us to be so.
Genesis puts us in our rightful place as sinners.
Our children come out of the womb thinking they are great, and we as parents continue to suffer from this delusion about ourselves and our children. But Genesis sets before us our catastrophic fall into sin. Through engaging narrative, it confronts us with our tragic condition—by nature, we are hell-worthy, death-deserving sinners who have nothing to be proud of in ourselves. That kind of message might not sell in the Hallmark world, but it is reality. We desperately need to hear this message, especially in our age of empty motivation and fault-deflecting victimization.
Genesis sets before us the mediatorial grace of Jesus Christ.
Teaching Genesis to our children helps them to see that Christ did not appear out of thin air in first-century Palestine, but that God has been promising from the very beginning a son of Eve, Noah, and Abraham who would crush the serpent’s head and bring salvation to the world. Genesis wonderfully calls our children to faith in Christ and also beckons them to marvel at the unity of God’s redemptive purpose from the start.
Genesis instills hope of a consummated world full of God’s worship.
When we reach the final chapters of Scripture, we are confronted by the fact that the end looks remarkably like the beginning, only better. God’s purpose for Adam to be fruitful and fill the earth with image-bearing worshipers will be realized in climactic finality as God’s garden-temple stretches to the four corners of the globe. The book of Genesis calls our children and us to look forward with great expectation to this coming day and to pray and labor to hasten it. As the cultural scene around us grows bleaker, our children need not merely faith in Christ but hope in the final triumph of Christ.
Give Them Genesis
There will be difficult questions to answer and complex realities to explain to your children in the book of Genesis, but dear parent, do not rob your family of the riches of this most foundational and glorious book. Give your children Genesis and pray for God to use it to grow Christward faith and hope in their souls unto His glory.