“Living Stories” are the great stories of the Bible, retold in condensed form, highlighting important themes, and offering questions for discussion and real-life application.
Early in human history, the Bible describes humanity as being united in culture and language. And when they put their minds together to achieve great things for themselves, they seem to step over the line and irritate God. What was the big deal? What was going on with humanity that God felt it necessary to step in and interfere? Passage Genesis 11:1-9 The Story In those early days, the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as humans journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled...read more
Humanity has seen some dark times. And we, as individuals, will experience corruption, chaos, and violence in our lives. It seems an inescapeable part of the human condition. We may wonder where God is in all the mess, or why he lets things get as bad as they are. Somewhere in the crap going on around us, God is moving, and may yet have one decent person in the background ready to turn the situation around — make it ultimately work out for the good. Passage Genesis 6:5 – 9:17 The Story Humanity had become very corrupt, and the...read more
Dysfunctional families aren’t a modern invention. There never was an ideal time when family life matched Norman Rockwell paintings. Parents fail, and siblings have always squabbled, even to the point of bloodshed — from the very first family on down. It’s a famous story, the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, but what prompted it? And what clues does it offer about human nature and the way God responds to us? Passage Genesis 4:1-16 The Story After being sent out of the Garden of Eden, Adam had sexual relations with...read more
When God created humans, he placed them in a Garden. They had an idyllic life, full of beauty, peace, productivity, purpose, and fellowship with their Creator. They were also in-tune with creation itself, with the earth and the animals. They were fully connected to each other and the universe around them. They had it all — except one thing. One thing was held back from them, and that one thing is what obsessed them. And ultimately let to their expulsion from paradise. Passage Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-24 The Story God placed...read more
“Where do we come from?” is a basic question asked by virtually every human being. Curiosity about our origins and where we fit in the cosmic scheme of things seem to be questions hardwired in our DNA. This first story in the Bible answers some of those basic questions — or at least points us in a general direction. And it helps set the framework for everything else in our lives. Passage Genesis 1-2 The Story In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was shapeless and empty, and darkness was...read more