In Genesis, God created the world.
And then he did it again.
Yep, creation occurs and reoccurs in different forms throughout Genesis. There are—count 'em—two creation accounts, in Genesis 1:1-2:4 and 2:4-25. Then, after some pretty mucky beginnings, God sort of re-creates things in Chapter 9, when Noah and his family repopulate the world after the flood.
You might be asking, which creation story is the real one? We'll shoot one right back at you: does it matter? By providing three origin stories, Genesis portrays the world in three different styles or modes or fonts or keys... you get the point. Each version makes its own music, and it's up to us to appreciate the symphony.
Remember the first time you called your brother a weenie? Well, Genesis will make you feel like that was the nicest thing in the world. See, the siblings in Genesis skip straight to murder, crime, deception, and revenge. But here's the thing. All this stuff is pretty nasty, sure. But it's also God's will. How do we reconcile this?
Oh, and can we invoke God's will next time we give our little sister a wedgie?
The women of Genesis need babies, and they need babies bad. Barrenness plagues Sarah, Rachel, and Rebekah—and a matriarch without kids just ain't gonna fly. Fortunately for these ladies, God usually intervenes. You might remember that, more than once, God promises numerous offspring to Abraham and his descendants. And with all this barrenness, it just won't happen. So God steps in, once again taking care of another pesky human obstacle to the divine will.
You've heard about making a deal with the devil. Well, how about making a deal with God? Plenty of figures in Genesis know all about that—Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all enter into a covenant with God. They have to do certain things, like circumcise the masses or walk according to God's ways, and in return God gives them all kinds of SWAG: land, offspring, and divine protection. Don't get too excited. It's easier said than done.
That sneaky little serpent isn't the only one lying in Genesis. Pretty much all of the patriarchs in this book know how to tell a good fib. And usually, their lies pay off. Does God want them to lie? Is lying is just a means to an end? And wait a second—isn't "thou shalt not lie" (kind of) one of the Ten Commandments? How do we reconcile all of this?