God creates a good world and commissions humans to rule it, but they choose rebellion again and again.
When God looks at the world he made, he declares it good. He installs humans as his partners in ruling creation. However, the humans choose to do what is good in their own eyes, leading ultimately to death. The first eleven chapters of the Bible record God's goodness and humanity's repeated rebellions, which introduce violence, disorder, and the founding of Babylon. It's these first chapters that set the plot in motion for God to respond to human evil with his redemptive plan.
Genesis 1-11 Overview
In the Beginning
Translated as 'origin' from Greek, the Book of Genesis sets the stage for the redemptive storyline of the Bible.
The story opens with God confronting chaos and disorder to bring order and beauty in creation. Humans are formed and appointed to participate in God's divine rule of the universe. As his representatives, humanity can choose to trust God for wisdom to rule, resulting in blessing for the entire world.
However, the humans choose to define good and evil on their own, which begins a destructive cycle that reintroduces chaos and disorder back into God's good world. The first eleven chapters of Genesis show a repeated theme of rebellion, from the garden to Cain and Abel, the "sons of God," the flood, and finally Babylon.
God continues to give humanity the chance to bring blessing into the world, and they continually choose their own way. Yet God promises, even in our rebellion, that a wounded victor will come who will defeat evil at its source. It's this plan that God sets into motion beginning in Genesis 12.
The Book of Genesis opens with God creating the heavens, the earth, and all life. He creates humans in his own image and rests in the goodness of what he has created.
Garden of Eden
God places Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, depicted as the perfect unity of heaven and earth. God blesses them and appoints them to rule the earth as his representatives.
Instead of trusting God for wisdom to rule, humans listen to the voice of a serpent and take good and bad into their own hands. Sin and its consequences are introduced into the world, yet God promises a wounded redeemer will come.
Humanity and spiritual evil proliferate across the earth, spreading abundant violence. God floods the earth, yet he saves Noah and his family. God reinstates his covenant with Noah. Yet Noah also ends up naked and ashamed in a garden.
Scattering of Nations
Instead of filling the earth as God commissioned, humanity comes together to exalt themselves in Babylon. In response, God confuses their language and scatters them across the earth.