Fertile Journey through Genesis: Introduction - Part 2
Genesis contains the birth story of creation, humankind, and Israel. It is also the story of God fulfilling his promise of fertility despite many obstacles. (see the Jewish Study Bible) According to the Jewish Study Bible’s introduction to this book it is appropriate for us to view each narrative as a story being told to convey a point. As we read we picture old Uncle Ned sitting there telling us a story he has told us a thousand times, but each time with a slight shift in the storyline to convey a new point. Genesis is a book that reveals God’s blessing in the midst of our earthliness.
As a woman struggling through her own time of barrenness I find this quite encouraging. Early on a friend encouraged me to hold on to hope. I responded by explaining to her that I couldn’t place my hope in a promise God never made. Yet, as I read through Genesis I hear the undertone of God’s willingness to bless with fertility, even though God doesn’t seem as committed to making that happen in the ways that we expect. God’s vision is much more expansive and long-term than our own. And starting with the death of Abel we see the words of Romans 8:22 being fulfilled - “the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains” waiting for the divine adoption of humankind and redemption of our bodies. As the temporarily infertile we can find hope in knowing that while our bodies groan, God is working on a plan to resolve our barrenness, although it may not be in the ways we expect.