Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Genesis 7~Faith leads to action~ Day 7

I think its interesting that God felt it important enough (in the few details given about the flood) to tell Moses that “The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.” (7:19)  
I don’t think Noah would have been outside, dropping the line to measure the depth because “the Lord shut him in” (7:16)  So, this information was known by God and he wanted us to know.

That one sentence causes me to pause on the theory of the flood being limited to one area of the globe.  Think about it, water seeks to level itself.  If the water was 23 feet “above the mountains” it would pour over those mountains into other areas and continue to rise until it was level.  God said it was level at death of more than 23 ft.  Some interpreters who want to believe in a local flood would like to translate that as, that quantity of water “washing over the mountains”.

Well, the debate can continue, but the end result is the same; destruction of life was complete. “Every living thing that had breath of life in it’s nostrils died.” (7:22)
God is holy and just.  He hates evil and loves righteousness (Psalm 11).  Like Noah, we don’t need to fear punishment, but we should definitely respect (fear) His justice.

Noah is a great example for us.  I like what the Hebrew writer says about Noah.  “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.  By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” (11:7) 

God wants faith to lead to action.  Noah had that type of faith.  That’s the type of faith I want!! Faith that leads to action, that leads to saving my family!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Genesis 6~Jesus said it happened!~ Day 6

Ahh, now we come to the flood.  Debate exists, even among believers, as to whether the great flood was global, local or ever happened at all.  Geologists insist it never happened or at least it was not global due to lack of evidence in ice and sediment layers, radiation output of the sun, and radiometric decay rates.  Biblical scholars have made attempts to integrate lack of scientific evidence to promote the view of a devastating local flood destroying the “whole known earth” that was populated at the time.

Well, I love to see new scientific discoveries.  It’s exciting to learn how God did things!  But, I will always hold scripture as the “plumb line” to new discoveries.  If things don’t make sense, wait for more discoveries!  
For example, archeologists have discounted the story of the Exodus because they have not been able to find proof to such an event.  That is not to say that revealing discoveries had not been made.  The beginning assumption of trying to line up evidence to the story is that historians and archeologists started with one particular famous Pharaoh and the time he lived.  The evidence did not line up with that Pharaoh, therefore the Exodus didn’t happen. 
However, in a recent documentary, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus.  The film explores the possibility of using a less known Pharaoh who lived earlier in time.  The amount of archeological evidence that lines up and points to the exodus of a large group of people from Egypt, is remarkable when using the time frame of the other Pharaoh!!! 

Scientists make discoveries by starting with a hypothesis and proving it right or wrong.  The starting hypotheses is pivotal in how one looks at the evidence. 
So, as for me, I will wait for more evidence to explain the flood or a perspective that looks at the existing evidence differently. 

What is my ‘plumb line” as I wait for more evidence to be found regarding the flood?….Jesus! Jesus, the Word, who was with God in the beginning (John 1:1); he should know how things went down, right?  So, if he referred to the flood….then it happened!  End of debate!

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the last days of the Son of Man.  Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:27 & Matt. 24:38-39)

Exactly how that all went down is still a mystery, but I have no doubt that “man” will continue to explore God’s creation and keep working to find answers. And just as it has continued to happen over time…the Bible will be proven correct in how it is worded. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Genesis 5~Tell the Stories! ~ Day 5

A lot of people in today’s society are confused!  I am, when it comes to remembering the  letters LGTBQ!  I actually have read that the letters have expanded to, get this, I’m not kidding, LDGTBIPAGFGQA+ 😱
What everybody needs to do is go back and read Genesis 5:1, “When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female and blessed them.”
I love that it says, “and blessed them”!
He blessed both male and female to have special unique characteristics from each other that can complement each other. Those differences are blessings!  Isn’t it just like Satan to promote the opposite; that differences are wrong and should be discouraged.

On an entirely different note, did you see the foreshadowing of the “chosen people” coming down one particular line of Adam’s decedents? (Chosen people, at one time being the Jewish nation but now all who have faith in Jesus- Galatians 3:26-29.)
I always thought the line of faith coming down from Abraham (and rightly so, if you read Gal. 3:29.) But, today we read the foreshadowing to that faithful lineage.  The lineage we read is Seth’s line, even though Adam and Eve continued to have other sons and daughters (Gen. 5:4).  It’s Seth’s line down to Noah that goes down to Abraham.  

Well, I couldn’t help myself, I had to do the math with all those ages and in so doing, made an interesting observation.  Lamech, the father of Noah, was 56 years old when Adam died!  Can you imagine the stories Lamech heard “straight from the horses mouth”?!  

Adam: I remember the good old days when Eve and I would walk in the garden with God.  It felt so good to be walking with him!  Boy, do I miss that!!  
Young Lamech:  Tell me more Greatest Grandfather!

Lamech personally knew all his grandfathers! They were all still alive!  Can you imagine the family reunion when they all talk about how Enoch disappeared?! 
Then, only 17 years after Seth dies, Noah is born to Lamech.  You can be sure that these forefathers and their personal stories influenced Lamech and in turn Noah.  What I find remarkable is that the other lines of Adam’s children either didn’t listen to the stories of their forefathers or didn’t care, and as a result, “wickedness” grew (which we will read about tomorrow).

Believe it or not, there is a practical application to a chapter that is seemingly just a chapter with names and ages.  Tell the stories of how God has worked in your life or how you felt his presences!  Tell those stories to your kids and your grandkids!  Pass on the rich heritage of your faith!  It WILL make a huge difference in your family line!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Genesis 4~ Don't sin in your anger!~ Day 4

Once when I was so angry at my husband (most likely due to sin curse I was talking about yesterday!),  I got some very good advise from a friend, “You can be angry, just don’t sin in your anger.”
I didn’t realize at the time that the advise came from Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Well, doesn’t that sound familiar! Paul took that straight from God’s mouth!  
“But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7)

God has been saying the same thing since the beginning of time!  Deal with the little sins BEFORE they become big things!  We become very vulnerable when we are angry.  I’m sure that is the reason for the expression, “I was so angry I couldn’t see straight.”  We are vulnerable to Satan’s lies and start to believe them.
Cain actually believed that if he got rid of his brother, things would be better. He was not thinking straight!!  Boy, people don’t change!  But, look, God’s advice doesn’t change either! “Rule over sin or else you will give sin, (Satan) a foothold.”  

Truly, the only way to “rule over sin” is by putting on the full armor of God, which starts with knowing the truth (Jesus), having faith (in Jesus), being saved (by Jesus) and having His spirit live in you (Eph. 6:11).
In other  words, to truly resist the devil, you need Jesus!  God was beginning to reveal this plan in chapter 3!  This was his plan from the very beginning!

It’s fun going back, reading the beginning and seeing the clues that point to Jesus!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Genesis 3 ~Desire to rule~ Day 3

Growing up, we all heard the famous consequences of Adam and Eve’s decision to eat the forbidden fruit.  “Thanks a lot Eve, because of you, child bearing is painful!”  “Thanks a lot Adam, earning a living is now hard work!”  
But you never hear, “Thanks a lot Eve for making me want to dominate over my husband!”
As a child, I never heard a Sunday school teacher mention the two part curse put on men and women in 3:16, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

First read through, I’m thinking, well….desiring your husband isn’t such a bad thing, is it?  I wouldn’t think of it as a curse….
Then, I read a commentary that explained the word “desire” as being in the same context of how the word is used in 4:7 describing how sin “desires to have you’.  Scholars conclude that God is saying, “Eve, you will desire to rule over Adam.  You will struggle to do that, but he will rule over you.”
Yes…now that sounds like a curse; to want to be in charge but having to battle for the position!  So, ladies, it’s part of our sin nature to battle for control; rebel against man’s God given position of leadership.

Now, if you look close, this isn’t just a curse on Eve.  It’s also a curse on Adam, that he will have to deal with the rest of his life.  He is going to struggle over his desire to “rule over” Eve.  That’s a curse! God’s design was to give Adam a “suitable helper” (2:20).  (I like the symbolism of God forming Eve out of Adams rib; a part of his body that makes the two side by side.) To be a “ruler” causes one to miss out on all the benefits of having an equal partner; to be that cord of three that can not be easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
So, now it’s man’s sin nature to dominate over women. Haven’t we seen that over human history?!
The odd thing is, we have figured out how to birth children in easier ways, we have learned to make a living, not sweating so much…but we haven’t learned how to submit to each other very well have we?!

Praise the Lord, Jesus came to clarify the original plan and help us deal with that two part curse! Through the Holy Spirit, Paul and Peter encourage us to overcome this curse ( Eph. 5: 22-33 and Peter 3:1-7).  And, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, right?! (Phil 4:13) 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Genesis 2~ Resting with God~ Day 2

“God blessed the seventh day…” (2:3)  That seems like such a simple sentence.  I picture God sitting back, kicking up his feet and admiring his work.  (That’s what I do after I finish a big project!)  
However, SO much more is wrapped up in that verse!!  In fact, it’s the biggest, most profound foreshadowing of the entire story! (Old & New Testament)!

What am I talking about?  Well, God uses the Sabbath theme to foreshadow Jesus!  First we get a picture of what pure rest looks like; “it is good”, it’s peace, satisfaction and communion with God.  
But, then, man gets that messed up in short order with the “fall”.  There is now no rest for us.  Yet God wants to bring his people back to that!!
He wants us back in communion with him…so the foreshadowing continues…
In Exodus 20:1-17 we see God giving the “chosen people” the 10 commandments.   The first four keep God in his holy status, worthy of all glory and praise.  The 5th commandment is that Sabbath idea, he wants us in communion with Him….again, that commandment is a foreshadowing of Jesus…

Jesus says, “So the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Luke 6:5) and Paul says, the Sabbath day is “a shadow of things to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (col. 2:17)

I like how one author put it, “The physical rest provided by the Old Testament Sabbath finds it’s fulfillment in the spiritual rest provided by Jesus.  To experience God’s Sabbath rest, therefore, is to cease from those works of righteousness by which we were seeking to be justified.  The New Testament fulfillment of the OldTestament Sabbath is not one day in seven of physical rest, but an eternity of spiritual rest through faith in the work of Christ.” (Storms, pg. 24)

That is and was God’s plan from the very beginning of the story; to rest with HIm~ found in chapter 2 of Genesis!  How cool is that?!!

On a totally different note, I couldn’t help think of this song as I was reading about Eve getting formed out of Adam’s rib.  It’s the most popular wedding song right now for Christian couple’s fist dance.  I love it! I thought you might like to hear it, Heaven’s Knife by Josh Garrels:  

(Don’t forget to skip the ad.  It’s about a 3 minute song)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Welcome to Day 1 of Genesis!!

I recently read a book “Navigating Genesis”  by a scientist with a degree in physics and a PhD in astronomy and he is a Christian (Hugh Ross).  I really appreciated one of the observations he made regarding chapter 1:1&2, 
“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

Ross explains that scientific methods begin with “Identifying the frame of reference or point of view”.  The writer of Genesis (Moses) is getting the story from the Holy Spirit.  Verse two establishes the point of view that the Holy Spirit (the observer in this situation) is relating the story, “hovering over the waters”.

Reading Genesis in the past, I have always pictured watching creation unfold from a perspective of being in outer space looking down on the planet.  And, to be honest, I could not figure out why there would be light, three days before the sun and stars were made. πŸ€”  It didn’t make sense.  However, if the story is being told from the view point of one "on the surface of the water" and not in outer space…it makes perfect sense!!

The atmosphere “in the beginning” would have been so thick with the debris cloud surrounding the earth, very little, if any light from the sun would have been able to penetrate it.  This is how Ross put it: “Astronomers estimate that Earth’s primordial atmosphere was at least 200 times more massive than our current atmosphere.  So light from the Sun (or stars and other heavenly objects) would have been unable to penetrate to the early Earth’s surface.” (Navigating Gensis, pg. 35).

So, one who was hovering on the surface of the water, would have been in darkness at first, but as the plant life (created on day three) consumed carbon dioxide and water vapor, the atmospheric transformation would go from translucent to transparent.

Therefore, from the Spirit’s perspective (the observer telling the story), light could be seen penetrating through the atmosphere, before the actual sun and stars could be seen (on day 4). 

That makes so much sense!!! I love how God created man to be so curious as to try to figure out how things transpired!  It’s fun learning and seeing that it happened just the way God said it did!!