We are excited to introduce you to Jen Wilkin’s latest study, God of Covenant!
This study is a little bit different from many of our Bible studies. The video teachings are essential to getting the most out of this study, so we’ll be giving you an inside look at the video content instead of our usual Bible study book excerpt. (You can still view a free sample of the Bible study book here.)
In fact, we’re hosting a viewing party of the full Session 1 video teaching at Lifeway stores on Thursday, January 3 at 6:30 p.m. We hope this will be a fun way for you to get a preview of what this Bible study is like. We’d love to see you there!
For now, we’ll let Jen tell you a little more about this study:
Instead of an excerpt from the book, below is an excerpt from a transcript of Jen’s video teaching:
What I can know is probably true about each of you is that you have spent time in the Book of Genesis because most of us are really great about doing a Bible reading plan. And in Genesis in January, everyone is an optimist. They start out in Genesis chapter one, and they’re like, “I’m going to do it this year.” And although you may have fizzled out somewhere around First or Second Chronicles, I can be pretty certain that your optimism carried you through most, if not all, of Genesis on more than one occasion.
So why should we study the Book of Genesis? I think one of the biggest reasons that we should study it is because we think we already know it. We feel like its stories are familiar to us. Many times we encountered them when we were children in church. If you grew up with a church background, you’re familiar with them as they occur on a felt board or in a Sunday school classroom. But often, we have not taken a look at the big story of Genesis and asked some questions about how that story shapes the whole story of the Bible. And that’s another reason that it’s so important for us to understand the story of Genesis: because Genesis is the seed plot in the Bible. It is the place where all of the seeds of the stories of the Bible that are going to be carried throughout it are planted.
So the Bible tells one big story across 66 books, and it’s the story of creation, and fall, and redemption, and restoration. We call that the metanarrative if you’ve ever heard that term used before. And so when we look at Genesis, we should be asking, “How is Genesis setting in place that pattern for our understanding of all of Scripture?” Genesis is the ultimate context giver for the rest of the Bible.
So one of my favorite movies—it may be my absolutely favorite movie—is Forrest Gump. Everybody seen that? ‘Cause it’s not exactly a new movie, and I just dated myself. I love that movie, and I always tell myself that I can dive in toward the end of it and I’ll be fine. The kids were watching it recently, and I got in there right at the end. It’s the scene where Forrest comes into Jenny’s apartment and he sees his child for the first time. And he gets all choked up and he says, “Is he smart?”
And I’m like, “I’m cool. I’m not gonna cry.” And then I’m sobbing on the couch, right? Well, why do I cry at that scene? I cry because I know the whole story. And I understand why he asks that question at that time because his entire life has been a question about the foolishness and the wisdom of the world in correspondence to the foolishness and the wisdom of Forrest Gump. And so when you get to that scene, it’s all coming together. And the scene hits you hard every single time because you know the beginning of the story.
Genesis is going to tell us the beginning of the story of the whole Bible. And so while you may spend time in the New Testament and feel like you’re getting so much out of it, if you’ve avoided spending time in the Old Testament and specifically spending time in Genesis, the things that you are drawing from the New Testament will only have a limited impact on you because they’re intended to build upon what has been said in the earlier parts of Scripture. Genesis is absolutely foundational to our understanding of the Bible as a whole. So we need to understand what’s in the Book of Genesis because it is the ultimate context giver and because we can feel overly familiar with it. I want us to be able to look at these stories that we think that we know and see how they fit into the entire narrative of the Book of Genesis.
I think in particular as we walk through this study, you’re going to look at the story of Jacob differently than you ever have. Because often we just hear Jacob’s story divorced from the rest of what Genesis has to say about Jacob as a person, and about where he came from, and about where he ends up. I think you’re going to look at Joseph differently than perhaps you have. Abraham, Isaac, and the women who we find in these stories. Tamar. I hope you look at Tamar differently than perhaps you have. If you’ve ever even spent time studying Tamar to begin with, I think we’re going to see an interesting dynamic with Leah and with Rachel when we get to their week. So my hope is that we can revisit some of what we might consider to be familiar ground. And see it with different eyes.
And, to celebrate this new release, we’re giving you some free wallpapers of our favorite quotes from the study! Simply click the images or links below to download.