Genesis 3.24 - “So, you Wanna go Back to Egypt?”

Genesis 3.24 - “So, you Wanna go Back to Egypt?...”

Wanna just get on a plane and fly home!? I feel your pain. Why do things have to change? Why do I have to change? Remember the cherubim with their flaming swords (Genesis 3.24) on Eden-blocking enforcement?  Of course, our fallen parents wanted a return to the ‘good old days’ with free access to the Tree of Life – all good with God, man, themselves, and their world! But their rebellion torched those treasures. Mercifully, we can get back to the Garden through the cross-work of Jesus (Revelation 22.2). But before we will have that grand apple-eat along the river of life with the Lover of our Souls, we must journey with Him through the challenges and changes of life. Growing does hurt, but it can “yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12.11). He alone never changes, everything else surely will!

Genesis 5 - A Bunch of Names

Genesis 5 - A Bunch of Names?

Genesis 5 seems just a list of strange names. But even this text is “God breathed and useful” (2 Timothy 3.16). These were the great names of their day, yet today we can’t even pronounce them.  How short and unnoticed a life can be! We see that families are crucial to the faith, passed from grandfather to father to son.  History is vital to the people of God; it is His story of His world.  Note also the accuracy of Holy Scripture -- not one name is missing; God’s record is perfect.  Genesis 5 reveals a faithful, covenant-keeping, timeless, eternal God, who keeps every promise to His people. He has not left Himself without a witness, and knows the name of His people. “A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name” (Malachi 3.16). Is your name recorded there?

Genesis 5.1,2 - Mrs. Eve Adam

Genesis 5.1,2 - Mrs. Eve Adam

“When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them ‘man’" (Genesis 5.1,2). This ancient text speaks to us moderns about marriage roles. ‘Adam’ is the Hebrew word for ‘man’ or better ‘mankind’ – the word can be individual or collective depending on its usage. This first couple are mutually inter-dependent, neither male nor female could exist without one another. We also see male headship. Eve takes Adam’s name, she is called ‘Mrs. Eve Adam.’ Yet Eve is fully Adam’s partner and counterpart, valued for herself alone – not just her role or function. Male and female together express what it means to be human (Genesis 1.27,28). The image of God is expressed in them together. Man and woman, two that become one in marriage, reflect our Triune God, fully known as three in one.

Genesis 12-25 - Hearing God

Genesis 12-25 - Hearing God

Abram put a ton of faith into a tiny message. Genesis traces about 100 years of his life - about age 70 to 175 (chapters 12-25). In that century God spoke audibly to him just 7 times (12.1,7 – 13.14 – 15.1 – 17.1 – 18 – 21.12 – 22.2,16). Sometimes it was “the Word of the Lord,” sometimes “a vision,” dreams, sometimes the voice of God, or through an angel. Does God give such extra-Biblical individual instruction today? Sometimes. We have an awesome, surprising, and wonderful God. I think it is especially possible for those who, like Abraham, have no written Word. Many unbelievers first meet God in dreams.  But for Christians, the more Bible you read the more God you will hear. All Abe heard would make a short chapter, but we have 66 books! It is hidden in most of our phones - I pray it is also hidden in our hearts.

Genesis 14 - Getting Involved

Genesis 14 - Getting Involved

“It’s not my problem!...” Sadly, people sometimes knowingly ignore others in great harm or danger, simply passing them by. Then we ask, “Why didn’t somebody do something?” But often doing something can be costly, time consuming, dangerous, awkward, and misunderstood. When should we poke our nose in? Father Abram jumped into a ‘world war’ to extricate his wayward nephew. When should we risk our position, our reputation, or our friendship to say or do something that might not turn out like we hope? It may help to ask four big questions:  

1. What will it do for God? Will it extend His Glory?
2. What will it do for His Church? Will it build and bless God’s people?
3. What will it do for others? Will it help them to meet and follow Jesus?
4. What will it do for you? Will it make you more like Christ?

Genesis 14.20 - Rich Giving

Genesis 14.20 - Rich Giving

Father Abram got richer after winning back Lot and his stuff. He and Lot had previously returned from Egypt loaded down with stuff. Yet stuff was not his Savior. He knew the unseen God who gave him all his eyes could see. He was a sojourner en route to an eternal city. “Abram gave (Melchizedek) a tenth of everything” (Genesis 14.20). Not sure where this money was going? But this cryptic phrase shows the tithe (10%) pre-dates the Mosaic Law. It was also taught by Jesus (Matthew 23.23) – even for our spices! Jesus says money, like most things in life, is a heart issue, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6.21). Our money follows our heart, and our heart follows our money – “be rich in good works…be generous and ready to share…(to) take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6.18,19)

Genesis 17.18 - Hope for Ishmael

Genesis 17.18 - Hope for Ishmael

Lunch with a former PLO sniper in Jericho! We drove past the walls that Joshua saw fall, the tree that Zacchaeus climbed, and feasted with Tass Saada. He told us how he was challenged at a low point in life, “If you want to get your life straight you need to love a Jew.” But Yasser Arafat had trained him well to kill Jews! (His book is excellent: “Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life”) Now Tass loves the Jew named Yeshua and lives as a peacemaker in that hostile land. Today’s text reveals God’s love for Ishmael and his sons. The plan of salvation comes through Isaac, but the promise of salvation is for all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only hope for Muslims, Jews, and for all peoples!