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Friday, October 24, 2008

(4) The Tidal Wave, Genesis 5:6-10:32

Genesis 5:6-10:32
Some say that they flood mentioned in the Bible was just a local flood. Even some Christians believe this. Let's see what the Bible has to say about it.
Gen 6:11-19
  • 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
  • 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
  • 13 And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
  • 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.
  • 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
  • 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
Five times in this passage we see that the words "all" or "every" or "everything" is used. These words mean "complete". When the Bible says that all flesh was corrupted, all flesh will be destroyed it didn't mean that somewhere on the earth some will be okay. Noah was saved due to his righteousness. Some animals he was to take on the ark for food and sacrifice and so that the human race could go on living after the flood was over. How could it have been a local flood if all flesh died in the flood?
  • 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
  • 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.
  • 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them."
All kinds of animals were taken into the ark. Not one species was left behind. All were taken. If the flood was local why would all animals have to be brought to the ark to be saved? Why was every sort of food taken if all they had to do was wait until the waters subsided and then go get more like after floods here in the US?
  • 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.
  • 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.
  • 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks.
Why make Noah build an ark so large and make him work so much for a local flood? Why not just tell him to move to a different land like he did with Abraham?
Gen 7:17-20 (The Message)
  • 17 The flood continued forty days and the waters rose and lifted the ship high over the Earth.
  • 18 The waters kept rising, the flood deepened on the Earth, the ship floated on the surface.
  • 19 The flood got worse until all the highest mountains were covered
  • 20 The high-water mark reached twenty feet above the crest of the mountains.
Where did the waters stop? If it was a local flood then how would it go 20 feet over the highest mountain? Wouldn't the waters flow over the top and go somewhere else? It did. It kept going until there was no more places to go; a global flood.  If it was a local flood then why did God tell the people to disperse and leave the area?  People would have already been around the world if it was only a local flood.  Scripture says this is where the languages were divided.  What language did these other people have that were not in the flood, if it was only a local flood?  If it was only a local flood, why does almost every culture have a version of the story.  If their culture was not part of it, then why would they make a story about it?  It had to be global.  Noah's family told the next few generations about it.  When the languages were divided, the story became diluted and distorted.

To say that this was a local flood wipes out the reason of Noah's life and story. Without this total destruction of a people who disregarded God then there would be no such thing as repentance. There would be no such thing as total grace. The Bible speaks of new creation, not something added on. You are the new creation. You need to be completely washed in the grace of God, not just part of you. This was a huge tidal wave.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

(3) Lost in Paradise, Genesis 3:1-5:5

Genesis 3:1-5:5

We (Adam and all of mankind, since we are one) had Paradise in the palm of our hands. We were supposed to live forever. We were supposed to be in a world protected by God and walk with Him all of our days but we couldn't do it. But, we had to eat from the wrong Tree.
  • 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
  • 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,
  • 3 but God said 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
  • 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
  • 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
  • 6 So 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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
  • 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
The first sin was not the fact that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. The first sin dealt with our own desires. If we follow our own desires that means we have disobedience of God's Word. Disobedience causes guilt. When we feel guilt we tend to do irrational things. Disobedience separates us from God.
Adam irrationally tried to cover his sin and shame. We know that only God can do that. Notice when God did the covering, He used animal skin not fig leaves. Animal skin lasts. It can be washed. It can stand the test of time way longer than a leaf. This action shows us how our ways are always worse than His ways. This also is a foreshadowing of the shedding of blood for the covering of sin, because an animal had to be sacrificed in Eden and give it's life for us so we can be covered. Wouldn't it be amazing if the skin that covered Adam and Eve was lamb?
Because of this we are separated from God. We are now in need of some factor that will bring us back to Paradise. There needs to be another Lamb to cover our sin and shame.
Man's walk with God was no longer side by side. We now have to walk on our knees. Our walk with each other now is strained. The perfect union of man and wife is now a life journey of trying not to hurt each other. The Tree of Life was taken away from us. We now die. We now rot. We now toil; sweat, blood, and tears. Instead of living forever we now have to reproduce to keep on living. We pass down traits of ourselves and since we are imperfect beings we pass down our imperfection as well. Cain killed Abel in the next generation. Cain also tried to cover his sin. This time by denial. But we know God is all-knowing. Cain's denial was needed because he didn't want to blame himself for his own destruction. Like us, he blamed God for the scenario of his life.
One sin leads to another, leading to another, leading to another. Our desire breeds in our minds. It gives birth to sin and sin brings death. We have a natural desire in us. It's not wrong to have desires. The problem is we let it breed. We need to bring every thought into captivity under the obedience of Christ.
There is only one way to get all of what we lost back...Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

(2) Six Days, Genesis 1:1-31

Genesis 1:1-31
Some people say that the earth and the universe are billions of years old. And on the other hand you have those who think the world is only 6000 years old. Let's take a look at what the Bible says on the subject.
  • 1 In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.
  • 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
  • 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
  • 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
  • 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
The first argument will come over the word "day". First of all, a suggestion; do not use the Greek language to decipher the OT. It was not originally in Greek. The original version is closer to Hebrew. The Hebrew word for day is "yom". Now day has a couple of meanings. It could mean: "back in my day", "24 hour period", or "daytime- when light is hitting the earth". Notice that verse 5 starts the problem. It has the word day in it twice and it is used as two of the meanings listed. But since this word has more than one meaning, there are those who will say that the second time day is used could mean an "indefinite time period". Hence this is where billions of years comes in. Christians who try and rationalize billions of years will bring in the scripture verses of Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8. Both of these scriptures link a thousand years to God is like a day. That would be an incorrect interpretation of these verses. Both passages here talk about how God has been around forever. These verses mean that time is not important to God. He is beyond all measures of time. Day one had one part daylight and one part night. If this was supposed to be billions of years then that was one long day.
Another argument will be about light. Some stars are billions of light years away from us. So, in order for us to be able to see their light then the universe has to be billions of years old for it would take that long for their light to travel. The natural law of physics would not allow this to be any other way. True. But God created the laws of physics. God is not part of the natural world. God set things into motion and to do that He created this in state of maturity. Adam was not a baby when he was created. Light was the first thing after the universe that was created. It was in its maturity. Let there be light and BOOM there was light, everywhere. They do have a neat theory. It is called doubling time theory. With the expansion of the universe happening in their eyes, every time the universe doubles in size, time is cut in half. Given the rate of the speed of light and the calculations of how big they say the universe is one can use the following to decipher how old they say the universe is:
  • day one took 8 billion years
  • day two took 4 billion
  • day three took 2 billion
  • day four took 1 billion
  • day five took 500 million
  • day six took 250 million
  • and the Christian scientists claims we are still in day seven
Add these together and you get 15 3/4 billion years.
www.aish.com/societywork/sciencenature/Age_of_the_Universe.asp will give you more information on this theory. It is neat but doesn't hold all the water.
Science tells us that the sun had appeared by an explosion of gas and bits and pieces were thrown into our solar system. When these pieces cooled you have some planets forming. Same with the moon. Earth started to cool and a piece of earth had broken off and cooled 300,000 miles away in the form of our moon. So science tells us the order of these things coming into existence as: Stars, Sun, Earth, Moon. But scripture tells us that the earth came first. Then the light. Then the sun and moon and stars. The earth is the oldest but not billions of years old. So, if some of these stars we could not see until today because they are 15 billion light years away, and the stars were not created until the 4th day then by their own theory the stars could only be 3 billion years old at the most. Thereby if you stick to the doubling theory then the earth is either 60 billion years old or the stars are a lot closer than they thought. Or the Bible is inaccurate about which came first. In any way, their theory now has holes in it or the Bible does.

To get the final picture you have to go back to the way Genesis was written. Remember from Lesson A, Genesis was written so we could understand it. Six days is six days.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

(1) Book of Genesis

The first book of the Bible, literally means "beginnings". When you start to read Genesis it may get confusing because of the way some of the stories intertwine. It seems like the timeline is disrupted and it will not make sense. Some say that the book was written as a form of poetry and that is why the flow is the way it is. Some say it was written in an analogical way and not everything can be interpreted the way it is written. To understand how Genesis is written you have to go back to what it means; beginnings. Genesis is about the beginning of everything. It is separated into many sections that deal with beginnings of many subjects. The following is break down of what it is all about.
  • Genesis 1:1-2:3, the beginnings of the universe. It takes us back in time before man existed. It tells us how the universe was created and the beginning of life on earth.
  • Genesis 2:4-25, the beginning of mankind. These passages lets us know how man and woman came into existence. This is why some of it is repeated from the 1st chapter. It is a different creation. It takes part of the creation of the universe and explains it in deeper detail.
  • Genesis 3:1-5:5, the beginnings of sinful nature. These chapters explain to us how man lost Paradise and his place with God. It shows the need of a bridge to get back to Him.
  • Genesis 5:6-10:32, the new beginning. Man was so corrupted that God in His mercy decides to give man a new beginning. He does not give a new creation, just a new beginning.
  • Genesis 11:1-11:32, the beginning of cultural differences and languages. It shows why languages are different.
  • Genesis 12:1-15:21, the beginning of God's people. These chapters describe why God chose the Hebrew race as His chosen people. It also shows the Promise of man's redemption.
  • Genesis 16:1-21:34, the beginning of the Covenant. Abraham is given a covenant to show the Promise will be fulfilled.
  • Genesis 22:1-25:18, the beginning of true faith. The story continues to show us what true faith is all about.
  • Genesis 25:19-39:23, the beginning of Israel. A novel about one man's struggles and how he overcomes his own insecurities to become the nation of Israel.
  • Genesis 40:1-45:28, the beginning of captivity. Israel will be a captive in Egypt. This outlines how they needed to have an Exodus and the break away from captivity.
  • Genesis 46:1-50:23, the end of the beginning. From here on out we will read what happened to the nation of Israel, it's struggles, it's triumphs, it's legacy, it's Son.
Don't get bogged down with the style more than what is being spoken to you. It is not written to confuse man. It is written from man's perspective so we can understand why we are the way we are. It should be taken as literal as possible except when the words "like" or "as" or any other words are used with the scripture.

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