DebCorner

an ordinary blog

Tag: Genesis

Law & Sin

Law

  • The 10 Commandments
  • God’s law is perfect, but we can’t follow it perfectly.
  • God’s law has 3 uses:
    1. curb – good boundaries for society at large
    2. mirror – shows Christians our sins
    3. guide – shows Christians how to live
      Psalm 119:105 – your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

Sin

  • Genesis 3:1-6 – Original Sin
  • The tree of knowledge of good and evil was there for worship – not bowing down to the tree, but living in accordance to God’s will by not eating the fruit He commanded them not to eat.
  • Adam and Eve sinned not just disobeying God’s command, but desiring that they be “like God” even though they were already made in His image. They wanted to become gods.
  • That desire and disobedience broke their relationship with God. Discontentment settled in.
  • Sin is living with bad desires, not just doing something wrong.
  • sidebar thought: What is that verse about our being against God in our hearts?
  • Despite original sin tainting us all, we are not junk. God doesn’t make junk. Psalm 51:4-6 – We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • Warning: Genesis 4:7 – Sin’s (Satan’s) desire is to control you, enslave you, to have you.

The Fall

Genesis 3 introduces us to humanity, Satan and God’s plan for redemption.

That Darn Tree

The methods employed by the snake (Satan) are interesting to take apart. First, he asks Eve a question. Questions beg to be answered, don’t they? Satan’s question especially so because he didn’t get it completely right. Eve needed to respond to set the record straight.

Eve’s response corrects Satan’s error but highlights the one negative Satan wanted her to focus on – the prohibition of eating from the tree of knowledge. Eve was thorough in her instruction and included that the Lord God said she would “surely die” when she did eat that fruit (2:16 & 3:2).

The Lord was primarily referring to spiritual death, not immediate physical death. However it is the lack of physical death that Satan used to bolster his argument. Satan also made eating the fruit very attractive by pointing out that “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.” (3:5)

Now, Eve is pondering this forbidden tree. (3:6)

DANGER! 

  1. Its fruit can be eaten – it won’t kill her, the snake said so!
  2. It is very pretty – always a consideration.
  3. The fruit will make her wise and make her more like God – wow.

WAIT!

Eve neglected two important points in her consideration about eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. I’m hearing Mater’s voice from Cars here…

What did God tell you about eating this knowledge fruit?
Tuh not to.

Secondly, knowledge isn’t wisdom. That’s a big idea that Eve may not have been able to conceptualize. You can know lots of stuff and still have no clue how to use that knowledge.

knowledge := acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles
wisdom := knowledge coupled with just judgment as to action; discernment or insight
(dictionary.com)

Well, you know how this story goes. Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who was with her during this conversation. They were removed from the Garden of Eden where God walks. They were separated from God, spiritually dead.

Salvation

After a brief game of blaming (3:11-13), the Lord gives hints of the plan for their salvation. They aren’t even booted from the Garden yet, and God has a plan. I find that pretty cool.


Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”


Verse 15 states that Eve’s offspring will bruise Satan’s head (implying a deadly injury) and that man would have a bruised heel (suffer but live). Christ Jesus was one of Eve’s descendants, and He delivered the death-blow to Satan through his death on the cross. Done.


Hebrews 2:14
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.


Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for providing this record of how to recognize Satan for the liar that he is. Please continue to guide me in Your light and truth. Lord, thank you for being God. You are the ultimate planner! Thank you for the plan of salvation realized in your Son, Christ Jesus. Lord, thank you for the Bible, the living Word of knowledge and teacher of wisdom. Thank you also for the Internet with all the knowledge available through it. Please grant me your Spirit of wisdom in how to use and apply that knowledge to your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Beginning

Genesis 1:1-3
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.


In the beginning, there is so much promise. There’s huge potential. Everything is perfect. In this fallen world, that state of perfection is what I find most attractive about beginnings. Not all beginnings in this world are perfect though, are they? When the beginning is perfect, it ceases to be perfect within nanoseconds! Figures.

However, the world didn’t fall in nanoseconds. There’s a good period of time between creation and Eve listening to that snake where things are perfect. I’ve often pondered the existence of that snake. Was the garden really perfect if that sneaky, conniving snake could live there? And talk? Additionally, there was a tree of knowledge, but not of wisdom? Quick Eve! Go grab a piece of fruit off that wisdom tree over there! Perfect.

Well, God had a plan. Why don’t we meet our God, first.

Creator God

Everything is the fruit of God’s amazing imagination, and Genesis 1 is the story of that imagination transformed into reality. God created the universe, the Earth and all life on it out of absolutely nothing.


Genesis 1:26 -28
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


The most significant verse for me is when the triune nature of God is revealed in verse 26. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there creating with God from the very beginning!

What is even more astonishing is to know that humans were created in the image & likeness of God. The way we look, our personality traits, our sense of humor, equity, justice and our capacity to love. All of who we are comes directly from God’s nature.

Father God


Genesis 2:7
then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.


God not only formed man from the very dust He created, but He gave man the spark of life itself. In Genesis 2:7, our Father God “breathed into” man the “breath of life.”

Rest on that thought a moment.

God breathed.

God shaped what man would look like out of the dust, but it is His breath that created life within man. God’s spoken commands created everything else. God’s personal actions and intimate breath created man… and woman.


Genesis 2:18-23
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”


Continuing to verses 21-23, God makes a woman out of the man’s side. Everything else, God created from dust or nothingness. The woman was created from the very structure of man – his rib bone.

She was also created with a specific purpose. The woman is the perfect “helper fit for” man (v18). Furthermore, woman is the helper created because Adam couldn’t find a helper in all the creatures brought before him.

Women are irreplaceable assets in the equation of humanity. Man is not complete with out his helper. Neither of us are anything at all without our Father God.

Prayer

Lord, my Creator & Father, thank you!
Thank you for creating such a beautiful Earth and Universe to live in – it is so fascinating! Lord, thank you for your personal care and obvious love in creating us and everything that surrounds us. Thank you for creating us for teamwork with each other (man & woman) and with you. Please help each of us find the root of our purposes in You, Lord.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Abram Went

From Genesis 11, Terah settled in Haran on the way to the land of Canaan. Where they tired of traveling and/or was Haran a great and attractive city to live in?

In any case, Genesis 12 begins with the Lord commanding Abram to pick up and leave his home and the convenience of city life. The remarkable thing to me is that he went. What faith! I’ve always known faith to be so much more than a feeling. Faith is a trust in the unseen, the unknown and the unknowable. True foundational, Christian faith has content, substance and is the basis for all actions in our Christian walks. Abram’s faith walked out of Haran at 75 yrs old with everything and leading everyone in his family tribe including Lot and all that he had.

When Abram arrived at Canaan, the Lord appeared to him (which is so cool in itself!) and told him that this land is the land he will give to Abram’s offspring. At this point, Abram doesn’t have any offspring. Abram honored God there with an alter, and moved onward (presumably at the Lord’s guidance?).

Due to a famine in the land, Abram travels to Egypt. Upon entering Egypt, he conspired with Sarai to lie about the true nature of Sarai’s relationship with Abram. This bit always brings up several questions:

  • Why did Abram lie?
    He lied as a strategy to preserve his life. (Genesis 12:11-13)
  • Is lying a sin?
    Yes.
  • Did Abram sin?
    Yes.
  • Was this a crisis of faith for Abram?
    I doubt it.
  • Was this lie-strategy a lack of faith within Abram?
    Maybe. The Bible doesn’t say that Abram was afraid or lacking faith as I see it assumed so many times. Perhaps he wasn’t truly afraid so much as wise-to-the-world and thus trapped by worldly thinking a bit. Who knows?
  • Does this part of the story undermine Abram’s example of faith?
    Not to me.

Let’s continue.
Whatever is behind it, that little lie didn’t go well for the Pharaoh. God protected Sarai through afflicting Pharaoh with plagues. Pharaoh’s reaction catapulted Abram and Sarai back on their journey. Additionally, they left Egypt very rich – the stuff they had already plus the stuff Pharaoh gave them. God is good.

Prayer
Dear Lord, author and perfecter of my faith, I pray to be brave and live in the adventure of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life. I seek Your Word, Lord. I seek to know Your will for my life, and I pray to be better able to listen to Your still small voice and obey. Lord, be with me when I fail, that my failure teaches me and by Your grace leads others to You. Amen.

Noah’s Progeny

Japheth
Of the sons mentioned, only Gomer and Javan are expanded on. Gomer’s and Javan’s sons are listed, and Javan’s sons are mentioned as being seafaring people.

Ham
We already know that Ham’s son Canaan is the ancestor of the Canaanites from Genesis 9. The specific Canaanite clans are listed out in Genesis 10. Ham’s son, Mizraim, is the ancestor of the Caphtorites, which is the ancestral clan of the Philistines. Cush is the ancestor of Nimrod – a mighty warrior who established the beginnings of Babylon and Assyria including Babel.

Tower of Babel
This short story is about mankind working together to build a monument to their own arrogance, and God stepping in to teach them that God is greater. Without the ability to communicate with each other, construction of the tower of Babel ceased, and the people scattered. This scattering was God’s plan from the beginning when “God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.'” Genesis 9:1

Shem
Shem’s son, Arphaxad, is the most significant since his line flows down to Abram & Sarai. Stay with me here… Arphaxad had Shelah, who had Eber, who had Peleg, who had Reu, then Serug, then Nahor and finally Terah. Terah’s sons, Nahor, Abram and Haran, kick off the next significant sections of Genesis. Lot (whose wife later turns to a pillar of salt) is the son of Haran. Haran’s daughter, Milcah, married Haran’s brother, Nahor. This tells me that this family unit was very close. Abram married Sarai, who could not have children. Terah took Lot, Abram and Sarai away from the land of Ur (and their families) and headed towards Canaan. For some reason, they settled short of that goal and lived in Haran where Terah eventually died.

Life-Spans Shortening
In Genesis 6:3, “the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.'” After the days of Noah, the life-spans did start shortening significantly. At the beginning of Noah’s progeny, Shem’s life-span was 600 years. Terah lived only 205 years. Later we learn that Abram/Abraham dies at 175 (Genesis 25:7), and Sarai/Sarah died at 127 years (Genesis 23:1).

God always does what He says He will do!

Prayer
Dear Promise Keeper, Sovereign Lord, and Mighty King; thank you for the rich history within the pages of the Bible. Thank you for showing us real people in a real time trying to live after you, our real and living God. Lord, I ask that you continue to help me to not glance over the boring bits and learn a little something from every bit. Amen.

After the Flood

In Genesis 8, the flood waters recede. There’s a complicated process Noah utilizes to determine if the dry land has appeared. I don’t really get the reasoning behind this process. Eventually, God tells Noah it’s time to leave the Ark. The important part of chapter 8 is the promise God makes to Noah (and mankind).

God promises to never flood the whole Earth again (v21-22). I find it interesting that God adds “while the earth remains” into this promise. It reminds us that even the earth is temporary! We can see this idea better in Luke 21:33; “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

In chapter 9, Noah receives blessings and instructions from God. God also provides a sign of his promise to never flood the earth again.

Sidebar:
The ESV says “bow” in the clouds. I’ve always read “rainbow” in the NIV version. I did some research on this, and found that Ezekiel 1:28 makes a similar reference to “the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain” or we can say “rainbow.” The Hebrew qesheth is used in both verses for “bow” or “my bow.” (Interestingly, this same word is used to describe a weapon – think bow and arrow – in Zechariah 9:13.)

Now, we are introduced to the sons of Noah. Ham brought a curse upon his descendants, the Canaanites, by his sinful actions (9:22). He sinned against Noah in two ways: Ham dishonored his father, and he gossiped about Noah’s shameful moment of weakness. I almost think there was a bit of pride there too. Didn’t Ham realize it could have been him? The flesh is weak! (Matthew 26:41) Additionally, we all fall short of God’s standards. (Romans 3:23)

There’s one lingering question to this story: Why were the Canaanites cursed for Ham’s sin? I don’t really know. I did find an interesting blog entry that helped, though. The curse is more of a prophecy than an actual curse, and anything Moses did say to Ham (“Why you little –!”) wasn’t recorded because it wasn’t relevant to the story that God needed outlining for His people.

Finally and perhaps oddly, I like the fact that even the great Noah, who “walked with God,” wasn’t perfect.  Ephesians 5:18 states that we better “not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” Yet, Noah fell into this sin passed out and naked. Nobody is perfect, save Jesus!

Prayer
Thank you, Lord, for your promises. You are my God, Sovereign and in control of every single detail! I trust in you, Lord. Thank you for leading me on this journey through your everlasting Word. I pray that the many questions I have will be answered — even if the answer is merely another question! I pray to never grow tired of searching and praying over your God-breathed messages to me.
Lord forgive me when I am weak. I’m a rotten sinner who falls regularly. If it is Your will, please provide more Shem and Japheth type people in my life than Ham-types… encouragers rather than destroyers. I love you, Lord. Amen.

Noah – The Flood

Genesis 6-7

The beginning of chapter 6 tells of “sons of God” marrying “daughters of man” and from what I can tell, there’s a lot of debate on just what these phrases actually mean. I found a great FAQ reading from the Blue Letter Bible that briefly outlines the different views. I don’t know which interpretation is right, but I do know that this bit of information is not a salvation issue. So, I move on.

The corruption increased throughout the Earth beyond God’s tolerable limits. Early man lived for hundreds of years, but God determined that it was time to shorten that timeline to 120 years. I don’t see this as a maximum age, but more of a reference. If you live to be 900, 120 is young! Today, you are very old if you are 100 years old, and you are expected to experience your natural death soon.

Shortening the life-span wasn’t enough, though. That’s where the flood came in. The flood cleansed the earth of both people and creatures (the giants/Nephilim) whose purpose on this earth was finished.

Genesis 6:6 states that “the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” (ESV) This expression is worded to impact us on just how bad the situation was. Did God regret creating man? I don’t think so.

God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and ultimately sovereign. God knows everything. God is everywhere at all times at the same time. God is in control and has more power than can be imagined. My brain wants to explode thinking about these awesome qualities of God.

However, there is one more quality that must be mentioned! It is the quality of God that I rest on. Our God is a personal God. He is a God that desires and longs for a relationship with you. He speaks to us personally through the Word, and He is grieved by our disobedience and dishonoring of Him. Genesis 6:6 is a human expression to describe the indescribable. God knew all of this would happen, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t pained to see it through.

God’s plan included Noah, who walked with God. This walk is of faith, trust, and obedience. Noah built the ark and filled it exactly as God commanded and enabled. The floods came exactly as God said they would. God always does what He says he will do!

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for such an interesting story to read and explore. Lord help me where I don’t understand, and help me accept that I won’t understand the unknowable. Thank you, Lord, for being ultimately dependable – even when the reality of what is needed is a bit ugly. You are my God, and I pray to walk with You in faith, trust, and obedience. In Jesus’ mighty and holy name, Amen.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén