Read an Excerpt
The Devotional Bible
Experiencing the Heart of Jesus
By Max Lucado
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2003 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All rights reserved.
THE BOOK OF Genesis
So there you are, a teenager at your grandparent's house. You don't really want to be there, but it's one of those family things and so you're there.
You sit politely and act like you are listening as your folks and grandparents talk. Then your grandmother says something that catches your attention. She refers to your great-grandfather and the trip he made to America from the "old country."
"What?" you ask.
Grandma smiles, knowing that at some point we all wonder about our origin and here you are wondering about yours.
She unravels a tale of your family escaping persecution and settling in eastern Virginia. Next she invites you into her room, where she opens a large chest that has sat at the foot of her bed for as long as you can remember. A rush of cedar and mothballs fills the room.
"Thought you might like to see this," she explains, handing you a black-and-white photo in a large walnut frame. "It's your great-grandpa." The only thing stiffer than his collar is his expression. "Here is his father," she hands you another photo, one of a cowboy wearing a wide-brimmed hat, riding a horse.
Piece by piece, the chest tells its family tales. Soon you find yourself lost in a floor covered with old wedding gowns, photo albums, diplomas, and bronzed baby shoes. And before you leave, you find yourself the owner of something precious—a heritage. An ancestry. A beginning. An origin.
You know that you are a part of a family tree. You aren't an isolated pond, but rather a part of a river winding through a great canyon.
You leave a richer person. Knowing where you came from says much about where you are going.
Perhaps that's why the first book of the Bible is a book of beginnings. God wants us to know from where we came. Learning that will teach us much about the place we are going.
The Beginning of the World
1 In the beginning God created the sky and the earth. 2 The earth was empty and had no form. Darkness covered the ocean, and God's Spirit was moving over the water.
3 Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, so he divided the light from the darkness. 5 God named the light "day" and the darkness "night." Evening passed, and morning came. This was the first day.
6 Then God said, "Let there be something to divide the water in two." 7 So God made the air and placed some of the water above the air and some below it. 8 God named the air "sky." Evening passed, and morning came. This was the second day.
9 Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered together so the dry land will appear." And it happened. 10 God named the dry land "earth" and the water that was gathered together "seas." God saw that this was good.
11 Then God said, "Let the earth produce plants—some to make grain for seeds and others to make fruits with seeds in them. Every seed will produce more of its own kind of plant." And it happened. 12 The earth produced plants with grain for seeds and trees that made fruits with seeds in them. Each seed grew its own kind of plant. God saw that all this was good. 13 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the third day.
14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the sky to separate day from night. These lights will be used for signs, seasons, days, and years. 15 They will be in the sky to give light to the earth." And it happened.
16 So God made the two large lights. He made the brighter light to rule the day and made the smaller light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 God put all these in the sky to shine on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that all these things were good. 19 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fourth day.
20 Then God said, "Let the water be filled with living things, and let birds fly in the air above the earth."
21 So God created the large sea animals and every living thing that moves in the sea. The sea is filled with these living things, with each one producing more of its own kind. He also made every bird that flies, and each bird produced more of its own kind. God saw that this was good.
22 God blessed them and said, "Have many young ones so that you may grow in number. Fill the water of the seas, and let the birds grow in number on the earth." 23 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fifth day.
24 Then God said, "Let the earth be filled with animals, each producing more of its own kind. Let there be tame animals and small crawling animals and wild animals, and let each produce more of its kind." And it happened.
25 So God made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling animals to produce more of their own kind. God saw that this was good.
26 Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the tame animals, over all the earth, and over all the small crawling animals on the earth."
27 So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. 28 God blessed them and said, "Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
29 God said, "Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds and all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you. 30 I have given all the green plants as food for every wild animal, every bird of the air, and every small crawling animal." And it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good. Evening passed, and morning came. This was the sixth day.
The Seventh Day—Rest
2 So the sky, the earth, and all that filled them were finished. 2 By the seventh day God finished the work he had been doing, so he rested from all his work. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day, because on that day he rested from all the work he had done in creating the world.
The First People
4 This is the story of the creation of the sky and the earth. When the LORD God first made the earth and the sky, 5 there were still no plants on the earth. Nothing was growing in the fields because the Lord God had not yet made it rain on the land. And there was no person to care for the ground, 6 but a mist would rise up from the earth and water all the ground.
7 Then the Lord God took dust from the ground and formed a man from it. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nose, and the man became a living person. 8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in a place called Eden, and put the man he had formed into it. 9 The Lord God caused every beautiful tree and every tree that was good for food to grow out of the ground. In the middle of the garden, God put the tree that gives life and also the tree that gives the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river flowed through Eden and watered the garden. From there the river branched out to become four rivers. 11 The first river, named Pishon, flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is excellent. Bdellium and onyxn are also found there. 13 The second river, named Gihon, flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The third river, named Tigris, flows out of Assyria toward the east. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God put the man in the garden of Eden to care for it and work it. 16 The Lord God commanded him, "You may eat the fruit from any tree in the garden, 17 but you must not eat the fruit from the tree which gives the knowledge of good and evil. If you ever eat fruit from that tree, you will die!"
The First Woman
18 Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him."
19 From the ground God formed every wild animal and every bird in the sky, and he brought them to the man so the man could name them. Whatever the man called each living thing, that became its name. 20 The man gave names to all the tame animals, to the birds in the sky, and to all the wild animals. But Adam did not find a helper that was right for him. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to sleep very deeply, and while he was asleep, God removed one of the man's ribs. Then God closed up the man's skin at the place where he took the rib. 22 The Lord God used the rib from the man to make a woman, and then he brought the woman to the man.
23 And the man said,
"Now, this is someone whose bones came from my bones, whose body came from my body. I will call her 'woman,' because she was taken out of man."
24 So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.
25 The man and his wife were naked, but they were not ashamed.
The Beginning of Sin
3 Now the snake was the most clever of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day the snake said to the woman, "Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?"
2 The woman answered the snake, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But God told us, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it, or you will die.'"
4 But the snake said to the woman, "You will not die. 5 God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will learn about good and evil and you will be like God!"
6 The woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of the fruit to her husband, and he ate it.
7 Then, it was as if their eyes were opened. They realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves.
8 Then they heard the Lord God walking in the garden during the cool part of the day, and the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees in the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said, "Where are you?"
10 The man answered, "I heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid."
11 God asked, "Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?"
12 The man said, "You gave this woman to me and she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it."
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "How could you have done such a thing?"
She answered, "The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit."
14 The Lord God said to the snake, "Because you did this, a curse will be put on you. You will be cursed as no other animal, tame or wild, will ever be. You will crawl on your stomach, and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your descendants and her descendants will be enemies. One of her descendants will crush your head, and you will bite his heel." 16 Then God said to the woman, "I will cause you to have much trouble when you are pregnant, and when you give birth to children, you will have great pain. You will greatly desire your husband, but he will rule over you."
17 Then God said to the man, "You listened to what your wife said, and you ate fruit from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat.
"So I will put a curse on the ground, and you will have to work very hard for your food. In pain you will eat its food all the days of your life.
18 The ground will produce thorns and weeds for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 You will sweat and work hard for your food. Later you will return to the ground, because you were taken from it. You are dust, and when you die, you will return to the dust."
20 The man named his wife Eve, because she is the mother of everyone who has ever lived.
21 The Lord God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, "The man has become like one of us; he knows good and evil. We must keep him from eating some of the fruit from the tree of life, or he will live forever." 23 So the Lord God forced the man out of the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 After God forced the man out of the garden, he placed angels and a sword of fire that flashed around in every direction on its eastern border. This kept people from getting to the tree of life.
The First Family
4 Adam had sexual relations with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. Eve said, "With the Lord's help, I have given birth to a man." 2 After that, Eve gave birth to Cain's brother Abel. Abel took care of flocks, and Cain became a farmer.
3 Later, Cain brought some food from the ground as a gift to God. 4 Abel brought the best parts from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry and felt rejected.
6 The Lord asked Cain, "Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy? 7 If you do things well, I will accept you, but if you do not do them well, sin is ready to attack you. Sin wants you, but you must rule over it."
8 Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out into the field. "While they were out in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Later, the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"
Cain answered, "I don't know. Is it my job to take care of my brother?"
10 Then the Lord said, "What have you done? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground. 11 And now you will be cursed in your work with the ground, the same ground where your brother's blood fell and where your hands killed him. 12 You will work the ground, but it will not grow good crops for you anymore, and you will wander around on the earth."
13 Then Cain said to the Lord, "This punishment is more than I can stand! 14 Today you have forced me to stop working the ground, and now I must hide from you. I must wander around on the earth, and anyone who meets me can kill me."
15 The Lord said to Cain, "No! If anyone kills you, I will punish that person seven times more." Then the Lord put a mark on Cain warning anyone who met him not to kill him.
16 So Cain went away from the Lord and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 He had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. At that time Cain was building a city, which he named after his son Enoch. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad, Irad had a son named Mehujael, Mehujael had a son named Methushael, and Methushael had a son named Lamech.
19 Lamech married two women, Adah and Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who became the first person to live in tents and raise cattle. 21 Jabal's brother was Jubal, the first person to play the harp and flute. 22 Zillah gave birth to Tubal-Cain, who made tools out of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.
23 Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice! You wives of Lamech, listen to what I say. I killed a man for wounding me, a young man for hitting me.
24 If Cain's killer is punished seven times, then Lamech's killer will be punished seventy-seven times."
Adam and Eve Have a New Son
25 Adam had sexual relations with his wife Eve again, and she gave birth to a son. She named him Sethn and said, "God has given me another child. He will take the place of Abel, who was killed by Cain." 26 Seth also had a son, and they named him Enosh. At that time people began to pray to the Lord.
Adam's Family History
5 This is the family history of Adam. When God created human beings, he made them in his own likeness. 2 He created them male and female, and on that day he blessed them and named them human beings.
Excerpted from The Devotional Bible by Max Lucado. Copyright © 2003 Thomas Nelson, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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