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Preaching The Bible- The Beginning

16 Apr

I have often thought that if I remained in the ministry I would have liked to have preached from Genesis to Revelation. this is a series that will fulfill that dream though it may not touch on every chapter of the Bible and it may not always be done in chronological order. it is hard to say but it will be a weekly event, if it works out.

I hope to focus on key and often obscure verses that do not normally make it into discussions and again, we shall see how God leads as the series develops. This post will cover the first three chapters of Genesis and seek to highlight important words and teachings God has placed in them. {All scripture will come from the NASB unless otherwise noted}

#1. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

We see these words in bold repeated throughout the first chapter and maybe some people routinely skip by them in their haste to prove that it was God and his power that created all things yet there is great importance attached to these words. Here is what Keil & Deliztsch have to say about those highlighted words:

God saw His work, and
behold it was all very good; i.e., everything perfect in its kind, so that every
creature might reach the goal appointed by the Creator, and accomplish the
purpose of its existence. By the application of the term “good” to
everything that God made, and the repetition of the word with the
emphasis “very” at the close of the whole creation, the existence of
anything evil in the creation of God is absolutely denied, and the hypothesis
entirely refuted, that the six days’ work merely subdued and fettered an
ungodly, evil principle, which had already forced its way into it. (K & D Commentary On the Old Testament Vol. 1)

What God did at creation was pure, holy and a reflection upon his nature–perfect.  No corruption existed in his finished product and it could easily be described as paradise on Earth.  Because we do not have a real conception of this purity it is hard to describe how the original Earth and its content looked or how the animals acted.

All the animals are described by these words as well thus their behavior would not be evil nor would they have evil intent towards their counterparts or humans. They would be docile, friendly and no one needed to be afraid of them– even the dinosaurs. Yes we have to include the dinosaurs because all the animal kinds were created on that 6th day.

Many people, some claiming to be Christian, try to argue that these days were millions of years long and that God used a process to create all that we see in the world today.  They focus on the definition of the Hebrew word ‘yom’ and try to take other passages of scripture out of context in order to shoe horn their evolutionary and scientific ideologies into the text.

They fail because of two key verses found at the start of Chapter 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done,

Every aspect that God wanted to bring into existence was complete and no process was needed to fulfill that task. Those 7 days were the totality of his work. When we couple this verse with the correct meaning of

And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Gen. 1)

we can see that an evolutionary process was not used by God to do his work.  When these people make their ‘theistic’ evolutionary claims, we need to ask one important question– ‘Why Would God need to do so?’.  God has all this power so why would he make himself look weak, incapable and open himself up to later accusations of lying by saying he spoke and it was, then turned around and let some invisible process steal his credit?

We would not see God as all-powerful, creative nor see his glory if that were the case. We would be questioning why we were following such a conniving being. A being incapable of being totally honest with his creation, which would then make us wonder if he was serious about his gift of salvation, for the only proof of Jesus resurrection is in the very volume that fooled us about our origins.

How could we take Jesus’ redemptive work by faith when we could not take his revelation about his creating everything by faith? This is just one of the problems we run into when we alter the creation texts found in chapters 1 & 2. A brief word on chapter 2. You here many people claim that it is a second creation recorded by a second Genesis author but those words are just not true.

If you read Chapter 2 correctly you will see that God merely supplies more specifics about his work that first week. He does not change the order of creation, he does not alter what he did or who did the creating thus we can put such thoughts of contrary accounts to rest. God does not contradict himself nor his work. If the scholars were right, we would need to ask , why didn’t Jesus tell us the truth when he was on earth?  If the two accounts were different records of different creations then Jesus would have been dishonest about it as he said, ‘if you do not believe Moses, how will you believe my words?’

Jesus would have disqualified himself as our Savior for not correcting what Moses had written and telling us the truth. Yet Jesus confirmed Moses’ accounts thus we can be at peace knowing that the two chapters are not contradictory but in full harmony with each other.

The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden;

Eden is a location that spurs many people to leave their homes and search for its garden paradise but sadly for us, in one sense, both the garden’s and Eden’s location is lost to us. As we read those words, they tell us that Moses and the ancient Israelites possibly knew the location of Eden, at least, as Moses writes as if everyone knew where it was. So the question is, how would they know about Eden and where its boundaries lay?

The answer is simple. All we have to do is turn to Genesis 11 and see that

11 … Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and he had other sons and daughters.

The family of Noah could easily have passed on the information about the location of Eden as well as other information concerning the pre-flood world. This is how Moses could write of the first 9 chapters, the information was available to him in one form or another and being a friend of God’s, the latter would have also informed him of those facts. The answers to how Moses got his information is not a puzzle or mystery.

Even though Shem and his brothers did not live to see Moses born, their stories would have been preserved, most likely by Abraham, though we cannot be sure, and we can again be at peace knowing that God kept his people informed of the truth. They would not be lost without it amidst the numerous alternatives that were arising or had arisen by the time of Moses.

Yet, in spite of all this humans today and in past generations have always pointed to the condition of the world and accused God of being incompetent, incapable and inferior as his work certainly doe snot reflect the first 2 chapters of the Bible. But those humans would be in error and here is why:

Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Ch. 2)

God gave man a choice.  They could either follow him and his ways or choose to disobey and follow after some alternative. We know the story–

The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

People choose to not listen to God and listen to evil thus it is their choices, not God’s work that has ruined the work God did in the beginning. Man chooses to do evil then turns around and blames God because the world is not a paradise. Man accuses God of something he did not do while ignoring that God had provided a way to avoid encountering such corruption. Those people forget that satan had/has a hand in all of this yet he escapes unblamed for whatever reason a person may have for denying his involvement.

Here is one example of such behavior:

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would’ve been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say “this guy”, because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man.
No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he’s at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn’t give a shit. Doesn’t give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.” (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/235413-something-is-wrong-here-war-disease-death-destruction-hunger-filth)

It is the classic ‘take no responsibility for one’s decisions’ mentality. Instead of blaming those humans who choose to do evil, people like George Carlin opt to place all the blame at God’s feet and that is just wrong. As we saw in chapter one, God created everything pure and good thus he is not ‘incompetent,and everything else negative point towards God in that quote. Man is the one who was the weak link, vulnerable to evil and made the choice to disobey God’s instruction.

Eve listened to the wrong voice and made her fateful mistake and Adam listened to the wrong voice and brought sin and corruption into the world. By Adam listening to the wrong voice I am not denigrating Eve or women here but pointing out that Adam was told by God not to eat of the fruit of those trees yet instead of listening to God, he listened to his wife.

When anyone tells you to ignore what God has said and do something different then that voice is the wrong one to listen to.  Doesn’t matter what the issue is, if they are saying that the Bible is in error then they are the ones who are wrong NOT the Bible. Eve knew God’s instructions and she knew it was wrong but she listened to the tempting voice and obeyed it over God thus she was wrong and though Eve was NOT tempting Adam, her descriptive words on the fruit convinced Adam to violate God’s instructions.

These simple acts turned the world from paradise into what the late Mr. Carlin describes in that quote. God is not at fault and he should not be blamed for the condition of his world. His stewards failed him and continue to fail him on a hourly basis.

Believers today, when they hear these type of accusations can always counter them with the following simple question: ‘Have you made the decision to obey God today?’ In other words, those blaming God are not obeying him and continue in the tradition of Adam and Eve by continuously making the decisions to disobey God and contribute to the demise and downfall of God’s creative work. God did not create suffering, that issue is the result of so many people making the decision to disobey God’s word.

In the beginning God created and it was all good…

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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in academics, Bible, church, creation, faith, history, leadership, theology

 

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