Genesis really is the foundation of the world and the revelation from God in the remaining 65 books of the Bible. Here is a little bit that you can have fun with as you are reading through God’s Word and living in His world.
In the beginning, God made the world, then in that world He made the land of Eden, and then in the land of Eden He planted a garden (Genesis 1-2). We have a three-tiered structure to God’s creation.
God then put Adam and Eve in the Garden, the sanctuary, where His presence dwelt. You know what happened, they sinned. Adam and Eve’s act of rebellion was sacrilegious because it occurred in the sanctuary of God. When this happened, they were expelled from the Garden into the land of Eden.
Then Cain and Abel are on the scene in the land of Eden. And you know what happens, fratricide. Cain murders Abel, and he does so in the second tier of creation, the land. Then Cain is expelled from the land and sent into the world (Genesis 4).
Then we are told about this sin that is so bad that God is going to wipe out the world through a global flood. The sin is the intermarriage between the godly line (Sethites, Seth replaced Abel) and the Cainites (Cain is the ungodly seed). When the righteous begin to intermarry, compromise, and give in to the ungodly, wickedness ensues (Genesis 6). Because of this sin in the world, there is nowhere else for the people to go so, God is going to remove them from His creation.
Maybe this will help.
Garden (sanctuary)–man sins against God–expelled to the land.
Eden (the land)–man sins against man–expelled into the world.
World (the place of Gentiles)–the faithful compromise with the wicked–God removes them from the earth.
Make sense? This plays out through the rest of Scripture, as you may already be thinking of the Tabernacle, and then the Temple, and the exile and such things. If your mind is going there, good!
But look more at Genesis.
God calls Abraham from a foreign land and Abraham is given a promise in which he needs patience (something Adam and Eve did not have!). Everywhere Abraham goes he is talking with God and setting up altars to worship God. Abraham is functioning where Adam fell.
Then we get Jacob, and of course he is well known for striving against his brother Esau. Fraternal strife, which ought to remind us of Cain and Abel. Jacob is also the one who enters the land. He is functioning where Cain and Abel fell.
Then we get Joseph, who certainly had some fraternal strife, but his main story is concerning how he interacts with the world. Will he give in and become an Egyptian and take Potiphar’s wife? Will the son of God take a daughter of man? What will he tell Pharaoh when he stands before the king of Egypt in chains? Unlike the sons of God in Genesis 6, Joseph remains a faithful witness to the world. Joseph is functioning in the position that the sons of God fell.
Abraham–trusts God–establishes worship.
Jacob–strives with brother–inherits the land.
Joseph–does not compromise the faith–rules the world (Egypt).
There is quite a bit to unpack here, of course, but the main thing for us as Christians to understand is that in the church (sanctuary) we are to trust God’s Word and remain patient. In the land (our homes) we are to be steadfast in labor and live well. And in the world, before kings, or media screens, we are to remain faithful and not compromise. The story of Genesis shows us that the faithful will not only inherit the land (the earth), but the faithful will convert the nations, kings included.