What is the basic message of the book of Genesis?

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The essential message of Genesis is that God created the earth and gave it to man, who he made in his image, to rule. Repeatedly, however, the reader sees that man falls short of God's expectations and is punished accordingly, particularly in the Fall in the Garden of Eden and in the case of the Noahic flood. Yet despite man's repeated failures, God renews his covenant with him, in the case of Noah, as well as, most significantly, with Abraham. So the essential message of Genesis is the covenant between God and his creation, man, and more specifically, the descendents of Abraham. This covenant is consistently renewed despite man's inherent unworthiness.  

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