The End of the Beginning

July 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Genesis | 4 Comments
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Jacob was 130 when he met Pharaoh. He lived to be 147. He had his beloved son, Joseph, living with him for the first 17 years of Joseph’s life, and for the last 17 years of his own life.

Jacob’s father, Isaac, lived to be 180. Abraham lived to be 175. Jacob “only” lived to be 147!

And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.

Genesis 47:13-16

Joseph saved Egypt, but his administrative plan took away the people’s possessions. He centralized the Egyptian government and made the people slaves to Pharaoh.

And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.

Genesis 47:24-25

By the end of the famine Pharaoh owned all the possessions (livestock), land, and people. This helps to explain how the Jewish people ultimately became slaves in Egypt.

Jacob adopted Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, as his own sons.

The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

Genesis 48:16, emphasis added

Jacob had experienced much evil, but he recognized that he was on his way home. “The Angel” may be a reference to Jesus Christ.

And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.

Genesis 48:17

This is another reversal of the birth order, which is something God had done a number of times before in showing favor to the younger over the elder: Abel over Cain; Isaac over Ishmael; Jacob over Esau; Joseph over Reuben; Rachel over Leah; Zarah and Pharez (Judah’s sons by Tamar).

And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

Genesis 48:18

The life story of Joseph is a big part of the Book of Genesis, and it speaks volumes about the character of Joseph that this may be the only instance recorded in sacred Scripture of Joseph being displeased with anyone.

In Genesis Chapter 49 Jacob blesses his sons and prophesies over them and the future of their tribes.

Reuben, the firstborn, lost the blessings of being the firstborn.

Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

Genesis 49:4

How is water unstable? (1) It takes the shape of its surroundings. (2) It is affected by the temperature. Reuben had been to bed with his father’s wife.

Simeon and Levi lost a large part of their blessings because of the incident with the circumcision and slaughter of the Shechemites.

Joseph’s inheritance (and the inheritance of his sons who were now Jacob’s sons) is listed in Verses 22-26. The word “bless” or “blessings” is used six times in these Verses:

Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Genesis 49:22-26

In Genesis Chapter 50 there are three burials.

Jacob’s burial:

For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.

Genesis 50:13

Joseph’s burial:

And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.

Genesis 50:22

So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Genesis 50:26

The burial of the past:

So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Genesis 50:17-21

Spiritual Lessons Found in Historical Accounts

April 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Posted in Genesis | 7 Comments
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Genesis is a book of “firsts.” Genesis 23 contains the first mention of tears in the Bible.

And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

Genesis 23:2

Abraham had grown greatly in faith. His internal faith had been there already, but by this time it had also transformed him on the outside.

I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

Genesis 23:4

Abraham was a pilgrim. He did not take Sarah’s body back to Ur of the Chaldees because by faith he knew that the land of Canaan was to be the inheritance of his descendants.

That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.

Genesis 23:9

He didn’t haggle over the exorbitant price, or give offense, or try a scheme.

Genesis 24 gives us the account of the mission to find a bride for Isaac.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Romans 15:4

The New Testament clarifies that the accounts of the Old Testament patriarchs are given to us for good and bad examples. But even in the bad examples we see the difference between believers and unbelievers – saved and lost. Abraham and Isaac both had an Abimelech to deal with – and they both tried to deceive him by pretending their wives were their sisters (Genesis 20 and 26). Abimelech showed integrity; Abraham and Isaac didn’t. The Bible does not hide the faults of its heroes. However, Abimelech was lost and Abraham and Isaac were saved. We should remember this when we start reading about Isaac and Jacob and some of their shenanigans, so that we are not tempted to try to find an excuse for everything they did.

The Internal War

March 15, 2010 at 9:20 am | Posted in Genesis, Luke | 10 Comments
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Abraham was 85 years old. He had been walking with the Lord for 10 years. Abraham had not been perfect. He was still learning about faith, but he was in an unbreakable covenant with God.

God’s promise that Abraham and Sarah would have a child began to seem too long in its fulfillment. So, they did the opposite of exercising faith: they schemed (Genesis 16:1-4). This scheme involved Abraham conceiving a child with Sarah’s slave, Hagar, and it was a sinful scheme. Why was it sinful? Because whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

The child which Hagar conceived was named Ishmael. He was Abraham’s only child for 13 years, until God fulfilled His covenant promise with Abraham, and gave him a child by Sarah. This child was named Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3). Ishmael and Isaac could never co-exist peacefully, for God preordained them to be forerunners of the two types of men who can never get along, and are always at war with each other, even unto this day. Ishmael represents the man of flesh, born of faithlessness and sin, who can never change. Isaac represents the second birth – the spiritual “rebirth,” which is born of faith. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6; Galatians 4:29).

These two “men,” or “natures,” are at war with each other within each and every man, woman, and child who has trusted Jesus Christ as his/her Savior. The descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac are at war with each other in the Middle East today, and they will continue until Christ Himself puts a stop to it. In the mortal bodies of Christians, the flesh-man and the Spirit-man war, as well. The flesh may be, to some extent, disciplined, controlled, and even mortified (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5), but it will never be changed. If you are a Christian, which man will win the war in your body – the flesh-man or the Spirit-man? The obvious answer is: whichever is stronger. But, which is the stronger? The answer to that is: the one which you feed the most. Make sure you are feasting daily on the spirit-strengthening, life-giving bread of the Word of God.

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Luke 4:4

The Great “I AM” Announces the Great “I WILL”

February 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Biblical Greats, Genesis | 15 Comments
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Genesis 12:1-3 records one of the earliest covenants made by God. “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Notice that the promises of God to Abram were unaccompanied by rationalizations or explanations. “I will shew… I will make… I will bless…” God entered into covenants in order to show that He is faithful, and that He keeps promises. The covenants of God are 100% pure grace – the unmerited favor and blessings of God. A born-again believer on the Lord Jesus Christ is saved by God’s grace, and kept eternally secure by God’s grace.

Their Ark Was Bigger than Their Bite

January 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Genesis | 6 Comments
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Noah’s ark is a good picture of how the Christian life is supposed to work. The Christian is a ship and the “world” (this world’s system which opposes Christ) is the sea. A ship’s proper place is on the sea. Christians must operate in this world, and not be isolated in “dry-dock.” As long as a ship is “on top” of the sea, everything is fine. The trouble comes when the sea gets inside a ship. When that happens, the ship begins to ride low in the water, and does not operate efficiently. Eventually (and sometimes very rapidly), more and more water starts to get into the ship, and it finally goes under and sinks to the bottom. Christians should be “on top” of the world, but we must not let the world “get into” us. If we do, we will make a shipwreck of our life and our faith.

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

Genesis 8:6-9

The raven did not come back when the dove did, because the raven was comfortable floating on dead carcasses and eating them.

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Genesis 9:2-3

Now men would hunt and eat animals, and the animals would fear men.

Where to Find Yourself

September 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Genesis | 7 Comments
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“Genesis” means “beginning.” The Book of Genesis is the beginning of the Bible, but not the beginning of God. He had no beginning and He will have no end.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

The first verse of the Bible presupposes the prior existence of God. God did not create the heavens and the earth and all the things and living creatures because He was lonely or bored. The triune God is eternally self-sufficient in glory. And He has enjoyed the fellowship of Perfect Father, Perfect Son, and Perfect Holy Spirit throughout all eternity. To be perfect means to be complete, to need or lack nothing.

In Genesis we can see some very basic things about God’s existence, and some of the basics of His plan concerning His creation.

We should not get frustrated that we can not understand more about God. The fullness of His glory is not comprehensible, but the glory of God is not discouraging or “hopelessly confusing.” Actually, it’s hopeFULLY confusing. If we are not motivated to service and worship by God’s glory and utter “otherness,” then there is a serious problem with our doctrine.

God is called by the Hebrew name Elohim 32 times in Genesis before the first appearance of “YHWH” – Jehovah.

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Genesis 2:4

Jehovah is “the mighty God.” Elohim is plural – God in three Persons. Also, in Hebrew, there is a great reverence of God’s name. The plural form Elohim is used because plural forms are used to give greater emphasis and magnitude to that which is being described. For example, some have argued that we shouldn’t speak of the majesty, beauty, and perfection of God. Rather we should speak of His majesties, beauties, and perfections. The glories of God – all His attributes – are overwhelming and unending.

So, we see that Genesis is a book of basics – a book of fundamentals. When you really want to learn as much as you can about something, you start at the fundamentals. This is true of academic, athletic, and practical endeavors. When I coached tee-ball, we didn’t start off by learning how to turn a double play, or hit the cut-off man. We started by learning what a ball is, what a bat is, and the order in which to run the bases. Sometimes – even in Bible study – you have to start at the basics.

Passages from Genesis are found quoted over 200 times in the New Testament. In Genesis we find the blueprint for God’s whole plan of redemption.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Revelation 21:1, referencing Genesis 1:1

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Revelation 22:2, 14, referencing Genesis 2:8-9, 3:24

In Genesis the tree of life is forbidden and guarded. In Revelation it is open and available.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Revelation 19:7-9, referencing Genesis 2:24

Genesis has the first marriage. Revelation has the last.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:10, referencing Genesis 3:1

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:4, referencing Genesis 2:17

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Revelation 18:21, referencing Genesis 11:9

In Genesis Babylon is built. In Revelation it is destroyed.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Revelation 11:15, referencing Genesis 3:15

In Genesis the Redeemer is promised. In Revelation the Redeemer reigns.

In Genesis the first Adam disobeyed in a garden. In the Gospels the last Adam accomplished the ultimate obedience in a garden. (Luke 22:41-42)

Genesis tells us a great deal about ourselves. It tells us where we came from, why we are here, and what God expects us to do.

In Genesis we learn about God, ourselves, and our world. When you first meet Christ, you learn about God. Then you learn about yourself. Then you learn about the world.

There is a heresy which says that Biblical Christianity is “all about me.” But there is also a heresy that says, “It’s not about me at all.” No psychologist, self-help program, chemical, or worldly experience will help you “find yourself.” However, if you look, you will find yourself in the Bible.

The World’s First History Book

September 4, 2009 at 9:27 am | Posted in Genesis | 15 Comments
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And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21

God created everything in existence. He created the animals that live in the seas, and the animals that live on the land. God charged Adam with the naming of the animals.

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Genesis 2:19

Adam, the first man, was not a brute, a savage, or a caveman. He was probably the smartest man in the history of the world, with an inherent intellect hardwired straight from the mind of God. I have read that most people today only use around 10% of their brains. Apparently there is some dispute about this, as neuroscientists are forced to admit they really still don’t know all that much about how the brain functions. But I have wondered if Adam, before he sinned, used 100% of his brain.

Some people get confused about Genesis 2:19. They say that it sounds like the land animals and the birds were created after Adam, but before Eve. Genesis 1:23–25 makes it clear that Adam and Eve were created after the animals. The solution is in understanding that Genesis 2:19 is giving a summary of what happened previously in Chapter 1. In modern English, we would probably say that God “had formed.”

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

Genesis 2:4

The phrase, “these are the generations of,” in Genesis is a sign post identifying a break in the narrative. There is a similar phrase in Genesis 5:1. The word translated “generations” is the Hebrew word toledoth, which means “origin” or “record of the origin.” There are ten of these toledoth statements in Genesis. It is believed that the written records of Genesis were probably first kept on stone or clay tablets.

The events recorded in Genesis 1 were probably described by God to Adam. Genesis is a historical record, and many ancient historical records are written in a style of giving an overview of big events first, followed by more detailed accounts marked by summary statements from the overview. In Genesis 1, the events are generally in chronological order. In Chapter 2 they are not. These two chapters are not contradictory. The Lord Jesus Himself said:

Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Matthew 19:4-5

Jesus referenced both Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 as though they were both part of the same consistent account.

Do not be deceived by the false teaching that there existed a civilization of human beings living on Earth before God created Adam and Eve.

Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Ezekiel 28:13-15

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

Romans 5:12

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth and all that in them is…

Exodus 20:11

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

Job 38:4-8

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31

These verses refute the so-called “Gap Theory,” as popularized by the Dake study Bible, and used by many Charismatics and Pentecostals today. Jimmy Swaggart’s “Expositor’s Bible” also incorporates Dake’s false claims of a “pre-Adamic” race.

Universe or Multiverse?

August 24, 2009 at 8:09 am | Posted in Genesis | 11 Comments
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The Bible clearly refutes the currently popular theories of what is falsely called “science” (I Timothy 6:20), and the proponents of these theories who are “willingly ignorant” (II Peter 3:5). When a “scientist” claims that, several billion years ago, some sort of cosmic accident formed the “universe,” he would do well to repent, and read Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

“Uni” comes from the word meaning “one,” as in “unicycle” (a cycle with one wheel), and “uniform” (a set of principles or things which have been standardized to one type). A “verse” is a sentence of language, usually found in a poem or song. Therefore, God created the “universe” in “one sentence.” That sentence is found in Genesis, Chapter One, Verse One.

What’s worse is that most “scientists” who have come to believe the heretical lies of the “big bang” and “evolution” theories learned these at a “university.” Perhaps they should call it a “multiversity.” The Bible, on the other hand, is based on the foundational truth that God, the omniscient, omnipotent Creator, exists eternally, and that all “things” and living “creatures” were made by Him and for His Glory.

petrified truck

Petrified truck proves that trucks are billions of years old!


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