I'm reading in Genesis now, as I often do at the beginning of the year, once again on a one-year journey through the greatest, most influential book ever published in human history. I'm in my fiftieth year, and having spent my entire adult life reading and studying the Bible, I feel like I may be in about the third grade in mastery. That's probably giving myself too much credit. This Book enlightens and confounds, humbles and encourages me. It has more wisdom in it than can possibly be mined in a lifetime. It speaks to me in the things that it explicitly says, and also in what it doesn't say. This January, Genesis is speaking to me of the work of God in the unremarkable years — all the years spanning between God’s recorded historical in-breakings.
The Unremarkable Years of Genesis
Genesis covers an incredible span of time. The most conservative Evangelical scholars estimate the time between Adam and Abraham at between 2,000 and 6,000 years (possible gaps in the genealogies being the variable). Which means at minimum, Genesis alone covers approximately the same amount of historical time as the rest of the books of the Bible combined, and possibly much more.
And what do we know about those millennia? Remarkably little when you think about it. After the creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26–2:25), we learn about the fall (Genesis 3), we learn about Cain's murder of Abel (Genesis 4), and then we are provided only genealogies with a few historical remarks tossed in until we get to Noah. How many years passed between between Adam and Noah (Genesis chapters 2–5)? A minimum of about 1,600 years, possibly much more.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]