This is a seven lesson video devotional study based on the first chapters of Genesis. Each lesson includes a video clip from the feature documentary Is Genesis History?, a Scripture selection, and a Devotional written by the writer and director of the film. Learn more about the feature film here.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:1-10, ESV)
I remember being in 10th-grade biology class studying evolution. The textbook taught the earth was billions of years old, life evolved from bacteria, and humans were related to monkeys.
I instinctively understood this was a different history than the one in Genesis. It was presented as the findings of science, however, so it must be true. I reasoned if the earth was old and we evolved, then Genesis must somehow be mistaken. This included Adam and Eve, a global flood, and the tower of Babel.
Thankfully, I was challenged by a Sunday School teacher with a simple proposition: “you’d better research both sides first.” When I did, I realized Genesis was a reliable book of history.
Fast forward to a few years ago. My daughter began asking me the same questions I had asked. Since I’m a filmmaker, I decided to make a documentary about Genesis.
As I dug in, I realized it would need to be about everything. That’s why Genesis is so important. It presents a history of where we came from, why we’re here, and what our issues are.
Yet when you hold Genesis up against the history taught in most schools, books, and media, it’s radically different. Some people may even find it laughable, but that’s what the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill thought about Jesus’ resurrection, too.
History is what the author of Hebrews encourages his readers to consider. He knows they’ve been facing difficult times and struggling in their faith. As encouragement, he reminds them how God worked in other people’s lives long ago.
The first thing he says is that the universe was created by the word of God. He’s talking about Genesis 1, and he’s reminding them God made everything we see from absolutely nothing. That’s real power.
He then talks about Abel making a sacrifice, Enoch pleasing God, Noah building an ark, and Abraham traveling to Canaan. He wants them to remember that God was interacting with real people in real places in a real way back then.
And He’s doing the same thing today.
We just need to remember history. Whether it’s Noah, Abraham, or ourselves, He’s interacting with us in real ways that we can see, know, and trust. Faith isn’t a leap in the dark, it’s an assurance and trust based on real actions by a powerful God that happen in actual history: your history and my history.
How have you seen God work in your personal history?