God is really working in me through Genesis. I never expected the study of it to be so rich (I fell in to the "that is Old Testament" trap!). I am teaching in it at church (up to Abraham and Isaac), Mary Ann is teaching in it at Children's Church (her curriculum chose it, not her!), and I am teaching our history class to Bethany for homeschool and find myself starting in, surprise!, Genesis.
Two things have really struck me there which I wanted to share. I am teaching them both to Bethany as the "eyes" to weigh and see history through.
First: The value of our free choice in God's eyes.
God didn't have to put the forbidden tree in the Garden. If He hadn't, all things would have been permissible. There wouldn't have been a "choice" of disobedience. But, He chose to give us a choice. He so valued our free will choice that He gave it to us, knowing in advance it would cause Him to later have to lay His own Son on the altar for us. This free choice in man, which God valued so much, is one of the driving forces of history. Since God didn't make us love Him, history becomes driven by His pursuit of us wooing us back until we CHOOSE Him. Evil runs rampant in the world because we CHOOSE against Him.
Second: The temptation of Adam and Eve.
This event first reminds us that there is a real enemy and a real war and this, in itself, drives much of history. Then, it show us the enemy's tactics (and these haven't really changed!). First, before tempting Eve, he placed doubt in Eve about God. He caused her to doubt God's Word ("Did God really say..."), God's trustworthiness ("You won't die..."), and God's love for her—planting doubt in her about it by implying God was holding something back from her for selfish reasons ("He knows you will become like Him...").
Then, (and I believe ONLY then—I don't believe Eve would have entertained the temptation if she wasn't first doubting God), from a place of now doubting God, Satan tempted Eve. Because she now doubted God she entertained the idea that she could find provision ("When she saw it was good for food"), pleasure ("she saw it was a delight to the eyes"), and wisdom ("she saw it was desirable to make one wise") apart from God. Isn't that the core of our battles today? The temptation to believe that we can find either provision, pleasure, or wisdom apart from God. Unfortunately, it is only counterfeit provision, pleasure, and wisdom. So, maybe the way to battle that is also seen in this story. To not counter the temptation as much as going after the root of doubts about God that even allow us to entertain the temptation in the first place.
From the Fall comes the explanation for the history we see and the situation today. Man became afraid of God, hid from God, evil entered man's heart (just look at the first two children—Cain and Abel!), the ground became cursed and labor (work and childbearing) became hard, death came upon man, sickness entered, etc.
Just some thoughts to share. Love you all!