The Redeemer Is Prophesied

June 6, 2011 at 11:01 am | Posted in Bible Studies, Genesis | 24 Comments
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I am now getting near the end of a long series of posts on the Book of Genesis. Since Genesis is the first book of the Bible, it has been fun to point out several things, ideas, or words, which occur for the first time in Genesis. We have seen the first plants and animals, the first man and woman, the first marriage, the first sin, the first murder, the first song, the first tears, the first rain, and the first interpreter.

Now we will look at the first time a very special Bible word is used in Scripture: “redeemed.”

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

The Hebrew word is ga’al, and it means “to buy back,” or “to pay the price to set someone free from slavery.” When a sinner trusts Jesus Christ as his Savior, he is set free from the slavery of sin.

The concept of redemption is a key to understanding God’s plan of salvation, and it is a concept about which the Lord has much to say in the Bible. Below is a brief study guide on the Biblical concept of redemption:

Q. What was the price of redemption?
A. The precious blood of Christ. (I Peter 1:19)

Q. Can it be paid for with something else of value?
A. No, silver and gold are corruptible (I Peter 1:18), but the blood of Christ is incorruptible.

Q. To what were we enslaved?
A. Sin – such as serving divers lusts, hating one another, living in envy, living for self (Titus 3:3), and to vain conversation or empty living. (I Peter 1:18)

Q. What are we set free to do?
A. To serve the Lord diligently, not to be slothful or lazy. (Romans 12:11)

Q. Who is the Redeemer?
A. Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Colossians 1:13-14)

Q. How did the Redeemer first appear?
A. As a young child. (Luke 2:25-40)

Q. How does the Redeemer continue to work?
A. As a Mediator. (Hebrews 9:14-15 and Job 9:32-33)

Q. How long does redemption last?
A. Redemption is eternal. (Hebrews 9:11-12)

Q. How long will the Redeemer last?
A. He always has been, always is, and always will be: “He lives” (perpetual present tense). (Job 19:25)

Q. Redemption sets our bodies free from the slavery of sin, but what about our souls?
A. The price has been paid for our eternal souls to be set free. (Psalm 34:22)

Q. How should being redeemed make us feel?
A. Our lips and souls should sing and rejoice. (Psalm 71:23)

Q. Do we deserve redemption?
A. No, God’s mercy allowed our redemption. (Psalm 44:26)

Q. Can anyone other than Jesus be powerful, influential, or wealthy enough to redeem me?
A. No, true redemption is through Christ alone. (Psalm 49:6-9)

Q. How much time is there before it is too late to be redeemed?
A. The offer of redemption is for a limited time only – you must by faith receive Jesus, and trust in the price He paid, before you die and before He comes back. (Hebrews 9:27 and Luke 21:27-28)

Q. Should we keep quiet about our redemption?
A. No, the redeemed of the Lord should say so. (Psalm 107:2)

Q. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in redemption?
A. He seals us unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

The Real “First Thanksgiving:” The Pilgrims Meet the Egyptians

May 6, 2011 at 10:27 am | Posted in Genesis | 16 Comments
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It’s fairly easy to pick up on the soteriological symbolism behind the true historical events of God calling His people out of the land of Egypt and into the promised land of Canaan, as they are recorded in the Bible. In the book of Exodus God uses Moses to get his people out of Egypt. Egypt is a picture of the “world.” During the first “Passover,” the people – by the application of blood – are set free from the bondage of the world, and come out of it. This is a picture of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. Then, God’s people pass through the Red Sea. This is a picture of baptism, God’s first step of obedience for every believer. Then comes the book of Leviticus, which is full of rules for helping God’s people stay clean in their freedom. In Exodus, God gets His people out of Egypt. In Leviticus, God gets Egypt out of His people.

As we approach the end of a series of posts on Genesis, it is interesting to see how God’s people – the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – end up in Egypt in the first place. The answer lies in the adventures of Jacob’s son, Joseph. His brothers sold him into slavery, and he wound up a ruler in Egypt. Through God’s providence, he was able to relocate his family there in a time of famine, so that they would survive.

There are many metaphors for life: a contest; a war; a game; a race; a battle; a trap; a puzzle. You were probably taught in school that the first Thanksgiving occurred when the Pilgrims met the Indians. But when Joseph brought his father, Jacob, to meet the Pharaoh of Egypt, Jacob explained that he saw life as a pilgrimage.

And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

Genesis 47:9

Christians truly are pilgrims in this life, for our ultimate home is not in this world. We are just passing through it on our way to our real home in Heaven. Vagabonds have no home. Fugitives are running away from home. Strangers are visiting someone else’s home. Pilgrims are on their way home. Are you living the pilgrim life today?

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.

The Founding Father

October 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Genesis | 13 Comments
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Since Genesis is the first book of the Bible, it makes sense that it would lay the foundation for the great doctrines of God revealed later in Scripture.

In Genesis we learn that God founds. He creates.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2

In Genesis we also learn that God forms.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Genesis 1:6

In Genesis we also learn that God fills.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Genesis 1:20

Genesis is a Book of “firsts.” It contains the record of the first rest.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

Genesis 2:2

Genesis also contains the record of the first residence.

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Genesis 2:8

Genesis also contains the record of the first relationships (covenant and marriage).

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:16-18

Our modern world uses belief in the literal truth of the events recorded in Genesis as a test for a person’s sanity. I heard a commentator once say that America was divided into states where people believe in billions of years of evolution, and states where people believe that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church. I freely admit that I believe that the animals that we know today as “dinosaurs” were alive in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, and, before sin entered the world, Adam had dominion over these animals, so he might very well have ridden them to whatever form of worship (or “church”) which he and Eve practiced. Call me crazy if you like, but the Bible describes a relatively young Earth (approximately 6000 years old). And it does no good to say that the six days of creation might have really been “epochs” or “ages” or “periods of time” consisting of millions or billions of years each. The Hebrew word for a literal “day” – yowm or yom – is the same word used in Exodus 20:9-10: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:” No one can honestly argue that these “days” in Exodus are anything but literal “days.”

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:18

We see the wisdom of God in creating for Adam a “helper.” My wife says that this proves Eve was smarter than Adam, because a “helper” is someone who is able to do things that you couldn’t do on your own.

Notice that Eve was not taken from Adam’s head or foot, but from his side. This signifies equality, protection, and proximity to his “heart.” Eve was really a gift for Adam from God.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Genesis 1:20

The birds (flying) and the fish (breathing under water) could do things Adam couldn’t do, but that was good.

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 also declared the land animals to be good, but He brought them before Adam to be named.

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. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:19-20

Adam could do most of the things the land animals could do, but they were doing something in pairs that Adam couldn’t do alone – and that was not good. This seems to have been a motivation for God to make Eve.

It is important to remember that Adam was not a brute, a savage, or a cave man. He was probably the smartest man in the history of the world – hardwired straight from the mind of God. He named all the animals and got married in one day. He did not have a mother-in-law, but he had the best Father-in-law of all time. Those of us who have Christian wives need to remember that our wives are daughters of God.


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