A Bible Study
|In the Beginning God ...||11|
|The 6 'Days' of Creation||11-28 24-7|
|7th Day of Celebration||21-3|
|The 'Yom' - the Long Day|
|The Theory of Evolution - a Lie|
|Eden, Adam and Eve||28-25|
|Almighty God, Man and the Crafty Serpent||31-24|
|Abel Assured; but Cain Kills||41-16|
|Adam to Noah||420 - 532|
|The Days of Noah||6-9|
|The Tower of Babel||111-9|
| God and Abraham
God's Enduring Promise to Abraham
To Your Descendents I Give This Land
God protects Sarah in Egypt
Abraham and Lot Separate
Melchizedek brought out Bread and Wine
God's Covenant with Abram who Believes
Hagar Bore Abraham a Son - Ishmael
Circumcision, the Sign of God's Covenant
Three Men Visit Abraham
God Again Protects Sarah
Isaac Born, Ishmael Sent Away
God Himself will Provide the Lamb
What about Isaac and God's Covenant?
Has God Finished with the Jews?
|121 - 2510|
||211-7 241 - 289|
| 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated'
Jacob's Dream at Bethel
20 Years with Laban
Jacob Returns and in Earnest for God
Jacob in the Promised Land
Joseph's Dreams and their Fulfillment
Stage One of God's Planned Deliverance
Joseph in Potiphar's House
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as Prime Minister
Jacob Goes Down to Egypt
|2519 - 5026|
Genesis is foundational to all the Word of God.
Many of the great themes that flow throughout scripture have their source here.
e.g. Creation, the fall and God's rescue plan, God's justice and mercy,
God's choice, God's laws, the inclination of men to sin ...
It reveals God's foundations, and his plans for his world and his people.
It reveals what was, what might have been, what is and what will be.
3 Rules for the Word of God:
Take nothing from it
Add nothing to it
Alter nothing in it.
In Genesis God tells us of our origin on earth,
In Revelation he shows us our end.
The Bible is the only accurate book about the origin of man and his destiny.
Satan particularly hates both these Bible books as they reveal:
how he caused the fall of man
his final and total defeat.
the glorious end given to those redeemed by the Lamb
Almighty God remains the Sovereign Lord throughout every age.
It is the Counsellor, the Spirit of truth, who reveals what God wants us to know.
Concerning creation, some mysteries will remain,
but he reveals much truth to all with a humble heart and a desire to know.
If God reveals the truth of Creation, the believer will find lasting sustenance.
Men will resist and finally scoff at the truth of God being Creator. 2 Pe 33-7
This has now become the case as never before.
In every age men have hated being subservient to anyone, especially to God.
The Scriptures are not some old fashioned fantasy, but the testimony of God.
One young undergraduate complained to her professor that he was too old fashioned.
He replied, "Young lady, you entered this world in an old-fashioned way,
and you will surely also leave it by an old-fashioned way." Ecc 320
Look at the stars, and ask, "How come?" Ps 83,4 God's answer is in Gen 1,2
Today we are involved in the battle of evolution .v. creation.
Evolution is taught as truth in all UK education curriculum; but it is a lie.
The scriptures alone reveal the truth that God created everything that is.
Materialism asks how do you explain the existence of God?
but the real question is how does God explain the existence of everything else?
Mysticism says only the spiritual is real. But God says the physical is real too.
Animism and New Age think that God is in all things.
They worship things or 'Mother Earth' instead of the Creator of all things.
Superstitious (7/10 people in UK) read horoscopes.
They claim the star of Bethlehem proves astrology.
Yet it was not the stars that determined the baby,
but the baby who determined the position of the star!
Polytheism is a lie! There is no god called Buddha ... they are all just images.
Allah is only the figment of a man's dream for power.
All such gods are the imagination of deceived men, who prefer darkness to light.
Genesis 1 declares that there is only one God.
Deism is most subtle - and includes many church-goers!
They say there is one god who created the world, but he no longer controls it.
The world is only controlled by men and the physical laws. No miracles.
Men may need a little help, but they can basically make themselves right.
Each of these are readily promulgated on TV and the media.
Each deny that the Lord Almighty is the one Creator and Preserver.
If men also deny God's Judgement, e.g. flood in Noah's day, Sodom ...
then it is quite safe to ignore God. There is no need to fear him! 2Pe 33-7
But what does God himself proclaim?
In the beginning God ...
These first four words of Scripture make a clear definitive statement:
Before time began and before anything was created, God was.
He existed before time began.
Indeed, he made time - and all the other physical dimensions.
It would be more accurate to say, before time began, God is! The great 'I AM'.
It is said that the first and last sentences of a book are the most vital.
The last words are: The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.
Such is the profound kindness of God.
And the first words are:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 11 Heb 110
The words heavens and earth are both elastic.
Heavens = earth's atmosphere and also further solar and galactic space.
Earth = handful of soil and also all planet earth (mountains, sea animals - the lot!).
Both reveal God. Ps 191 Is 4026 Jer 1011,12
God desired to tell men what happened in the beginning. How would he do it?
This required decisions as to style, words, detail, view point,
the order of events, and also his purpose in creation.
God chose to make it simple for us. He chose prose, not poetry - except 127
It had to be clear and valuable for all men of every age.
It is told as from man's perspective.
God has to stoop to view the heavens and the earth! Ps 1136
He speaks about sunrise and sunset; knowing the earth orbits the sun. Ps 1133
He talks about the ends of the earth (x46), knowing the earth to be a sphere.
He will gather his elect ... from the ends of the earth. Mk 1327 Is 419 Ps 728
The 'sentences' are short; but each starts with Hebrew 'wah' = and, then, or but.
So in Hebrew Gen 1 is really one long sentence.
God wants men to understand the simple fact that he made everything.
All we can see, feel, smell, taste, hear - and all we cannot sense;
All that is on earth, beneath it and in the furthest pasts of the universe.
He does not tell us of all the detailed science in Genesis;
time, temperature, enthalpy, 118 elements, atomic structure, electricity,
gravity, general relativity, photo-synthesis, E = M C squared,
the earth's magnetism, cosmic radiation or the ozone layer ...
This fantastic earth cannot be the result of random chance.
God planned his perfect design, and spoke it into being;
both the inanimate things and the living.
In Genesis 1 and 2, God only gives a little detail of the order he used.
He could have told us much more; but we would not have understood it.
Into emptiness he created all matter and also time, form, order and purpose.
The centre of that purpose is the creation of man, the redeeming of fallen men,
and finally the re-creation of a new heaven and earth.
God reveals a fascinating framework of 6 days - 2 units of 3 days.
Day 1 to 3 - God makes the earth habitable.
He gives it orbit, rotation, tilt, shape, heat, light, ionosphere, magnetism.
Separates light and darkness (not sun or day/night)
Separates thick 'mist' into water and sky (clouds and atmosphere)
Separates water (sea) from dry land (water over and under land)
He creates vegetation; seed-bearing plants and trees and thus Oxygen (CO2 to O2)
Day 4 to 6 - God then populates the uninhabited.
He makes the sun and moon (already created) visible from earth.
He first populates the sea with fish and the sky with birds.
Then he populates the land with animals (and insects, microbes).
Finally he creates man in his own image.
God blessed man and gave him seeds for food and responsibility for it all.
Thus there was order, simplicity, balance, beauty, skill and blessing.
Though scientifically highly complex; it's form was simple to appreciate.
There is one subject in every sentence - God (Heb. Elohiym - plural). (x2075)
God, who created, made, fed, saw, blessed, gave, produced, gathered, called.
The 6 'Days' of Creation 11-28
Day 1 Gen 11-5
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 11
First he created time and space and matter.
Hebrew had no word for universe.
The 'heavens' includes all the stars we see in the night sky.
Each of these millions of stars is actually a galaxy, like our Milky Way galaxy.
Each 'star' in the Milky Way is the centre of a solar system, like our sun.
And earth is just one very special planet orbiting the sun!
This tiny orbiting speck of dust was carefully designed, uniquely positioned
at the right distance from the sun; it had rotation, tilt, and magnetism.
It had a largely molten core, a cooled surface, and water - lots of it.
God also created magnetism, electricity and gravity.
The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep
and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 12
He 'broods' (like a hen over her eggs) over the waters.
The earth was dead - no organic chemistry; no land, no light, no life.
God had created the whole vast universe; but now his focus is upon this earth.
He wants us to know something about how he made it so special.
God creates light and then separates it from darkness.
He starts up the sun's thermo-nuclear reactor that gives the earth heat and light.
He makes light different. Where there is light there cannot also be darkness.
Light is an electro-magnetic wave like radio waves or infra-red heat,
each having a different frequency (colour).
Light also has mass - photons and a fixed speed (186,000 miles/sec).
Jesus said, I am the light of the world ... Jn 812 95
He had chosen this earth and now brought his light to it.
That made it different! Different or 'separate' from all other 'dark' planets.
When Jesus speaks 'light' into our dark souls, he separates darkness from light.
He makes us different, gives us new birth, creates a new heart within.
In eternity there is no darkness, no sin, no shame, no tears.
Much of the church today teaches unification, often to the detriment of truth.
But God's way is separation; light from darkness, good from evil.
We are transferred into the kingdom of his beloved Son. Col 113
There was evening and there was morning.
This expression, used at the completion of each of the 6 days.
It is not sunset and sunrise,
but rather a glorious and satisfying completion (evening) of the day's task
that had been planned from the start (morning).
A literal evening to morning would only be 12 hours.
The Jewish day always starts in the evening - with God's achievement -
God will always complete what he has begun. Phil 16
Day 2 Gen 16-8
God creates an atmosphere on earth so that all fish, birds, animals could live.
Water with rivers and sea below; rain clouds in the sky above.
God designs and creates the water cycle.
He made the sun to warm the water of the sea and evaporate.
He made the warm air lighter, so it rises, cools, condenses and rains!
He made the weather, wind, cyclones (depressions), high pressure areas,
fronts where warm and cool air meet and bring rain or showers.
Without mist or rain to water the earth, there could be no vegetation.
And without vegetation (day 3), there could be no animals or man.
O2, CO2, N atmospheric balance needed for plants, fish, birds, animals, man.
God made the 'Trade winds', ocean currents, icebergs that floated ...
He also made the Ozone layer to protect earth from sun's ultra violet radiation,
and the earth magnetic to deflect the lethal solar wind.
Only in recent years has man discovered such wonders of God;
but instead of honouring our Creator, many reject and ridicule him.
Man can be very clever, and also extremely silly!
Day 3 Gen 19-13
God made nearly all matter to contract as it cools. Water is most dense at 4oC.
It expands when cooled from 4o to 0o before becoming ice.
He made the earth to cool and produce great folds in the earth's crust
which rose up from under the sea to form the continents and mountain ranges.
The continents are still moving (~1cm/year) and cause earthquakes.
Imagine day 3 when the Himalayas were formed!
So God moulded the continents and the oceans like a master potter.
God commanded the land to produce vegetation in all it's varied 'kinds'. 111
He devised photosynthesis to absorb CO2 and water to produce plant growth,
and provide the oxygen in sea and air required for fish, birds and animals.
6 CO2 + 6 H2O + energy (from sunlight) --> C6H12O6 (Glucose) + 6 O2
Storage of energy is a major problem for man, with no known solution.
But Almighty God made trees, forests that in growing absorb energy from the sun.
The wood can then be burnt to release that energy.
A massive battery!! Renewable energy on a grand scale.
He also created the carbon cycle, plankton, fungi ...
The plants bore fruit with seed. 111,12
God made each of the plant 'kinds' stable.
Species could not and cannot inter-fertilise. Mules are always infertile.
No fossils of mixed 'kinds' of plants, insects or animals have been found.
Seeds in abundance to multiply plants, and later for animal and human food.
Did God form the fossils, oil deposits and coal seams at this time?
Coal seams are commonly 2meters thick and up to 600meters from the surface.
Obviously they were formed after God created the carboniferous swamps.
But how and when were some covered by half a mile of rock?
And how are the seams usually so distinct and pure?
God also made gold, iron ore, uranium, diamonds, chalk, ...
From this time God caused vegetation to spread over the whole face of the globe.
Plants and trees with a huge variety of form, size, character, season, smell, fruit.
From the coral in the sea to cacti in the desert.
From snowdrops to mighty cedars; from nettles to roses.
From cauliflowers to date palms.
The variety is just staggering.
But then so is the Lord Almighty
who devised and brought them all into being!!
Day 4 Gen 114-19
God clears the sky of total cloud to reveal the sun, moon and stars.
At the beginning there was light before our sun and all other suns appeared,
and at the end there will be light after the sun has gone. Rev 2123
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1Jn 15
The sun and moon were made to serve or regulate the earth,
Days are determined by the earth's rotation.
Months by moon's orbit around earth.
Seasons (winter and summer) by earth's tilt.
and years by earth's orbit round the sun.
The stars do not regulate planet earth. (Astrology is demonic delusion)
Sun / moon illuminate the day / night and regulate the the tides.
One year = 365.2421875 days. Each Moon cycle = 29.5305891 days.
Both are precise, but inexact (non-integer).
Day 5 Gen 120-23
God's earth is now ready to be populated with fish and birds.
The sea has absorbed oxygen and the atmosphere has oxygen to breathe.
There is a sense of sheer delight when God said, 120
Let the waters teem with living creatures and let birds fly above the earth.
He created many thousands of species of fish and birds.
They still 'teem' in the sea and sky in all their great variety and character.
We shall never know some species that died, others have fossil remains.
Like the plants, fish and birds were created each according to their kinds. 121
God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number." 122
He was so pleased with all that he had created, he blessed them.
And the result was dramatic: they were obedient, and still are!
The waters and the sky teemed with life.
Sometimes 'blessing' is not so immediately obvious.
God is much more concerned with the long-term than our immediate comfort.
Consider the life of Jacob after blessed by God at Bethel. Gen 359
Jacob's wife Rachael dies, Joseph is 'lost', famine in the 'promised land',
he had to go down to Egypt and died there (not at Hebron).
But Jacob was blessed by God whose calls himself 'the God of Jacob'.
And Jacob's family grew in Egypt and became a nation. God's people.
Day 6 Gen 124-31
And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds:
livestock, creatures that move along the ground and wild animals." And it was so. 124
Just as God created all the myriad of fish and birds,
now he created all the living creatures, animals (domestic and wild);
a vast variety of size, character and purpose. Also insects, worms, snakes ...
From ants to zebras, from beavers to buffalos,
from moles to monkeys, from weevils to weasels.
Only then did God come to the pinnacle and purpose of all his creation - Man.
Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over all the creatures that move along the ground. 126
Created in the image of God; man is very special, unique and far above animals.
Worship, beauty, music, imagination, kindness, intellect.
But later fallen man also has greed, war, pride, cruelty, revenge, evil.
God says let man be like us. Thus able to fellowship together c.f. animals. 220b
Sadly some people are closer to their cat or canary than to other people.
Man is unique. He has a soul.
God created male and female. Sex in man is quite different than in animals.
It reflects deep love and affection; not just lust.
Children need both a mother and a father.
Same-sex marriage now legal in UK will be a total disaster.
Only evil man can invent such a demonic union.
Let us make man ... 'us' being the Trinity of God.
All God's earlier creation was good; when it included man it was very good.
The special Hebrew word 'Bara' is used for create. 11,21,27 23,4 51
God moves into poetry in 127 He feels really excited about his creative work.
Greeks restrict the resurrection to the soul, the spirit of man.
SOS = Save our souls (not save our body)
Hebrews think of the resurrection of the body as well as the soul.
Jesus fried and ate breakfast.
Humanists think man is only physical and death is the end - nothing more.
Lord Soper was asked, "What shape is the soul?"
"Oblong," he immediately replied. (A man's body is roughly oblong)
He was then asked, "Where is the soul in the body?"
"Where the music is in the organ," Soper replied.
Man is told to rule the earth and subdue it. 126,28
God's rule is kind, just and organised.
To subdue does not give man a licence to be cruel to animals, birds or fish.
But we can train a horse pull a plough or carry a man from A to B.
Dominion is given to all men and women, not just to one male dictator.
God gave man the responsibility for managing all his fantastic creation.
Our record to date can only be described as poor.
Far too often we have abused our privilege, and 'used' rather than managed.
God gave man every plant with seed or fruit for food. 129
And to animals he gave every green plant for food. 130
Only after the flood did God give man animals and fish to eat. Gen 93
It was probably also at that time that some animals became carnivores.
There are 10 commandments in Gen 1
Each of them was instantly obeyed! And it was so.
|1||13||Let there be light.|
|2||16||Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.|
|3||19||Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.|
|4||111||Let the land produce vegetation; seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their kinds.|
|5||114||Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark the seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.|
|6||120||Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.|
|7||122||Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on earth.|
|8||124||Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.|
|9||126||Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the seas and the birds of the air, over livestock, over the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.|
|10||128||Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.|
7th Day of Celebration 21-3
The creation was not a chance accident, it was a brilliant, planned design.
God blessed the 7th day and made it holy. 23
A day to celebrate and appreciate the power and ingenuity of the Lord Almighty.
How did he bless this day?
He made it holy - separate, devoted to God; not just different.
Our Great Creator richly deserves such thanks and adoration.
And he is also our gracious Saviour, Redeemer and Advocate.
Why is man so often reluctant to keep the 7th day holy?
Why does he continually try to compromise it?
If the Sabbath is boring we have lost our appreciation of God's creation
and cease to be grateful for God's rescue - the salvation of our souls.
Many long for the Sabbath to end so they can get on with earning money.
Man is told to operate on the basis of a week.
Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
but the 7th day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Exd 208-11 Ezek 2012
Animals can work 7 days/week;
but man is much more efficient on a 6 day week.
As always, God's command is for our good; but many think God is wrong!
God 'rested' on the 7th day, and so should we.
No evening and morning on the 7th day.
God continues to enjoy his marvellous creation.
When did Sunday replace the Sabbath?
The Church meets together on the 1st day to commemorate the death
and resurrection of Jesus, was in addition to the Sabbath.
Jn 2019 Act 207 1 Co 162 Rev 110
After Constantine, Sunday worship replaced the Sabbath that commemorates
God's creation. But the 4th Commandment specifies the 7th not the 1st day.
The 'Yom' - the Long Day
Gen 1 seems to tell us of a progressive creation, rather than 6 x 24 hours.
The word 'day' is a translation of the Hebrew word 'Yom'.
Our word 'day' nearly always means 24 hours, though there are exceptions:
The day of the Lord can be the hour of his coming
or the age of his rule - which is all eternity!
The Hebrew 'Yom' is a much more varied period of time:
Then you lived in the desert for a long time. (for a 'yom') Josh 247 (x64)
The chronicles ('yom') of the kings of Israel. 1 Kgs 1419
The ancient Hebrews had no clocks and so had a very different concept of time.
Many today are frightened by the suggestion that a 'day' (Hebrew =Yom)
isn't always 24 hours, but may be a much longer time.
There are several indications why the 'long day' may be the way God chose
and also the way that scripture (and science) reveal it:
1. In separating the land and sea, God used one of his design features -
that nearly all materials contract as they cool.
Initially the thin earth's crust cooled fairly rapidly; the resulting surface
contraction threw up huge mountain ranges high above the sea level,
and in other places divided continents.
Today the crust is ~10 miles thick and is still floating on a largely molten core.
Some think that the inner core is solid because under such intense pressure.
America and Europe are still separating at about 2cm/year.
Almighty God could do throw up mountains and divide continents by 1000 miles in 24 hours;
but I think this is unlikely.
2. God created each 'kind' of plant, fish, bird, animal and then finally man.
Having created each of these, he then commanded them
to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 122,28
God could have filled the earth at the time he created each of the 'kinds';
but that would make the command to 'fill the earth' pointless.
Each 'kind' obeyed - but the natural multiplication took more than 24 hours!
3. God called the light 'day'.
Saame Hebrew word 'Yom' here = 12 hours of daylight
c.f. 24 hour day and night. 15
4. 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. 24 (KJV & ESV)
The 'Yom' in this verse is clearly the 6 days of creation, not one day.
5. The day ('yom' or reign) of the Lord. Mal 41,5 Is 136,9 etc (x19)
This can be the instant of his coming
or the age of his rule (which is either the Millennium or all eternity!)
So, far from denying the accuracy of Scripture,
considering a Yom or a 'day' to be an indeterminate number of days or years,
enhances Scripture and the eternal truth of God's amazing design.
Even within the context of Gen 1,2 the Yom can be 12 or 24 hours or 6 days.
The Yom can thus quite legitimately be years or even millions of years.
Do Science and Scripture Conflict? No, I don't think so.
Science is not a threat to faith nor is it the enemy of Scripture,
but adds proof to its truth and consistency.
God wants us to be absolutely sure of the 'who' of creation; and of what God did;
rather than how or when he did it.
Be sure of the "Wow" of God's incredible, beautiful, ingenious, creation.
The power to make energy and matter from nothing,
its design, simplicity, complexity, variety, balance, colour, ...
from the microscopic to the millions of light-years,
and all with such apparently simple 'building blocks' -
just 118 elements or atoms!
An average adult has some 75 million x million cells.
Each human cell contains a million x a million molecules.
Each cell is only 1/150 mm diameter,
Its nucleus has a DNA molecule 1.8 metres long!
It is an intricately packaged in a very precise double helix structure
that includes 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs with genetic instructions.
Each cell absorbs energy and proteins to build a perfect copy within itself.
Only then does it divide.
Each cell molecule is made from varying combinations of 6 elements:
hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus;
some also contain small but essential amounts of iron, copper ...
Only God could design and then create such a marvel.
And then give it life!
The Theory of Evolution - a LIE
It remains a totally unproved theory; though it is taught in shools as truth.
Began with Aristotle. Darwin wrote 'The Origin of Species' in 1859.
Proud humanists, rejoicing in the industrial revolution, welcomed it.
10 years later he added man to evolutionary chain with 'The Descent of Man'.
Simple life came about by the chance combination of molecules.
All species developed in steps by genetic mutation from an earlier one.
Based on observation of similarities of species.
Genetic mutation always degrades rather than advances a species.
A horse crossed with a donkey produces a mule that is always infertile.
The human cell has a single DNA molecule which has 46 chromosomes.
Though the cell nucleus is only 1/150 mm yet it contains 1.8 metres of DNA!
It is a very precisely intricately packaged structure - double helix -
that makes adding chromosomes impossible.
Monkeys have 42, Chimps 48, Carp 104, Dogs & Chickens 78, Lions 38 ...
Mutations cannot make a new, more advanced species.
Even within a species, grafting in another persons organ requires matching
and lifelong anti-rejection drug treatment.
Consider something as simple as a mechanical watch; if all the separate parts
were put in a box and shaken, they could never by chance come together
each in the correct place and then wind up the spring to start it!
Each cell reproduces an exact copy of itself by absorbing free molecules.
It must absorb exactly the right molecules over a million x million of them!
Each is attached to a catalytic molecule that organises the building.
Only when the cell has doubled in size does it divide.
Catalytic molecules use 20 different enzymes to form amino acid proteins.
Each cell is in constant communication with its neighbours.
They cooperate to form living tissue, each of precisely the right form.
The tissue then forms organs, veins, bone, skin, nerves, brain, blood etc.
A vein cell can never reproduce a bone cell.
They receive nutrients and 'process' waste and exchange energy.
The most advanced chemistry cannot inject this organic life.
Even the simplest cells cannot be made; they have to reproduce themselves.
Gender change is likewise impossible. No amount of surgery or hormone
treatment can change the gender pair of chromosomes in any cell
from the male XY to the female XX or the reverse, let alone in every cell.
Each adult human being has about 75,000 billion cells.
No fossils of 'mixed' species have ever been found.
Complex species existed from the start.
Some have died out, but none have been created since the beginning.
No brontisaurus today; but there have always been mice and spiders.
There is clearly limited development within all species,
but a mouse remains a mouse and cannot become a cat!
Cows are bred for higher milk yields or better beef, but can never become lions.
Wheat is bred for shorter straw or for bread flour, but it never becomes maize.
Only in recent years have men begun to discover how wonderful God's design is;
and we are only just 'scratching the surface'.
The fusing of a female egg and a male sperm to form a single cell is fantastic.
That cell then has to multiply billions of times to form a child,
and then even more times to form an intelligent adult.
Only with extreme difficulty and danger can men clone a human cell.
And they know it is absolutely impossible to clone an inter-species cell.
God has given us an account of how he created all material and living things.
Men who hate God will always try to deny what God has done.
God's account is accurate.
The universe is the result of God's choice, not of random chance.
God also preserves and guards what he has created. Heb 13 1 Ch 2911 Col 116,17
He made man the responsible tenant, but not the Landlord.
Our best life is under his laws and commands.
Proud man wants to be free to do whatever he desires.
God offers salvation to weak, wicked, 'fallen' man, who deny he has any need.
Darwin developed his theory because he was 'on the run from God'.
Modern man endorses it for the same reason.
He thinks it gets him off the hook - to be free from a guilty conscience.
Man is a most extraordinary creature. He craves safety, but demands freedom.
"Man is the glory, the jest and the riddle of the world." Alexander Pope.
Accepting evolution theory as fact has some major results:
1. God is side-lined; he has no significance for modern man.
He can safely be ignored - and so can all his restrictive laws.
2. Believing such a major lie reveals how easily wicked men can be deceived.
3. Men worship 'Mother Nature' instead of God, who designed and created it all.
Hindus and New Age claim God is in everything and everyone.
4. Man becomes even more arrogant and proud of his achievements.
Thinks it is by his innate ability that he is so much superior to monkeys.
5. "Survival of the fittest" when applied to humans leads to genocide and war.
Basis of Nazi killing of Jews, gypsies and coloureds.
Eden, Adam and Eve 28-25
Having revealed to men the wonder of his creation,
God centers our attention on his purpose - man and woman living in Eden.
Living in freedom and fulfilment and in fellowship with their Creator.
The garden is described.
Many varieties of beautiful trees, each with fruit to eat.
Also the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 29
A river watering the garden flowed from Eden. 210
A large spring that then flowed out of Eden in 4 rivers, not into Eden.
There was also gold, aromatic resin and jewels. 212
The tree of life was a single and real tree.
It stands for eternal life; a gift that only Almighty God can give to men.
It will appear again in the new heaven and earth. Rev 222,14
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden
to work it and take care of it. 215
It was to work the garden, not to put his feet up all day and do nothing.
This was true before the fall, and will be true in the new heaven and earth.
God gave him total freedom and just one command:
He must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 217
It was not an unreasoned command "Do (or don't) do this because I say so",
but a profound warning for when you eat of it you will surely die. 217
God, who made time, knew that Adam would choose to ignore this command.
So he said 'when' you eat of the tree, not 'if' you eat ...
Man was created with the knowledge of good; but not of evil.
In the kingdom of God the knowledge of evil will be taken away. Is 35
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents God's right to declare
what is right and what is wrong. Man cannot steal this right. Is 520
Only the Designer and Creator knows what is best for men.
In the last 50 years the UK have foolishly challenged Almighty God:
his Commandments have been reversed - a high price will be paid.
God had created male and female for fish, birds and animals - but not yet man.
It is not good for the man to be alone. 218
So, as he had always planned, God said "I will make a helper suitable for him."
It must be before the conclusion, "and it was very good." 131
God knew that Adam felt his need for companionship.
So he brought each of the animals and birds to him - as he did for Noah. 78,9
Adam named them all, but none was a suitable mate. God had made man unique.
In a perfect operation under deep anaesthetic, God extracted a rib from Adam
(It is a fallacy to say that men today have one less rib than women)
"God did not take it from his head for her to lord it over him,
nor from his feet to be trampled by him,
but from under his arm to be protected by him
and near his heart to be loved by him."
Eve is created to be a suitable helper for Adam - but not inferior. 220b
Almighty God is also helper! Deut 3329 Ps 461 1187
Eve is compatible and complementary.
Eve was different from Adam. Female.
In God's design for reproduction, male and female are both equally necessary.
Adam's Y chromosome in his XY pair was replaced with X, to make the female XX.
When God created Eve from one of Adam's ribs,
he had to remove all the Y chromosomes in his XY pair
and replace them with X, to make the female XX.
Whatever surgery and hormone treatment a man or woman may undergo,
their basic gender cannot be changed.
Every cell in their body will still have either an XX or an XY pair,
and that determines their gender.
Not the clothes/makeup they wear or the plastic surgery undertaken.
When Adam saw Eve, he said, "Wow!!"
God had done another wonderful job.
God delighted in man whom he made in his own image;
so he knew Adam would delight in one made like him.
Scripture records Adam's response in a short poem. 223
God then introduces a vital principle:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 224
This is true for both man and woman - as per marriage ceremony.
This leaving does not absolve our responsibility to honour our parents. Exd 2012
Permanent marriage was, and continues to be, God's design and desire.
Their shameless innocence and joyful union could only be spoiled from outside.
And it soon was.
Almighty God, Man and the Crafty Serpent 31-24
Gen 1 is the stage, Gen 2 is the cast, Gen 3 is the drama.
Satan appears as a handsome serpent - with none of today's dark connotations.
In the first two and the last two chapters of the Bible, life is perfect.
What went so badly wrong in between?
And what has God done to correct it?
Satan appears as a handsome serpent - with none of today's dark connotations.
Eve had no idea that he was so crafty, evil and determined to make her sin.
Satan puts a question that promotes doubt about what God said. Rev 129
Did God really say ... c.f. Did God say ... implies criticism of God.
The emphasis is more apparent in the tone of voice than when just written.
He is a master who spins fable out of truth.
What was his motive for asking the question when he clearly knew the answer?
He is determined to cloud any clear command of God with compromise.
Satan purposely misquotes what he knew God said.
'... You must not eat of any tree in the garden.' c.f. the unbiased question,
Did God say there was a tree in the garden you should not eat from?
Again it was not only what was said, but the way it was said.
He loves to promote discussion that elevates man's opinion above what God
had declared directly to Adam and Eve or is recorded in Scripture.
Satan loves to distract us from preaching why Christ had to be crucified.
Eve replies correctly; but she adds to God's command you must not touch it. 33
Men have always added to God's Word - Pharisees concerning Sabbath,
Roman Catholics with purgatory, church tradition and Papal bulls.
Eve in her innocence, had no idea of Satan's trap.
God has now warned us clearly of Satan's snares, so we are without excuse.
Satan is now ready to proclaim a bold-faced lie.
You will not surely die. ["You won't die", the serpent hissed. NLT see below]
Like Arafat proclaiming in Bethlehem "Jesus was a Palestinian!"
Before 1964 there never was a Palestinian people, only Jews and Arabs
living in an area renamed Palestine (Philistine) by the Romans in 135 AD
The crafty serpent didn't hiss; if he had, Eve may have realised his evil intent.
He lied - like a highly professional con-man.
Lying is one of Satan's chief characteristics. Jn 844
One of his favourites today is 'God is love, he will not judge anyone'.
He challenges the inevitable result of disobedience declared by God.
Why are his lies so easily believed?
Because we often want his lies assuring us of 'costless sin' to be true!
He tells Eve she can be like God - wouldn't that be nice!
And he deceives and distorts God's pure motive to be like his own, saying,
God doesn't want you to have your eyes opened.
He tells Eve that God is a restrictive spoil-sport, he only pretends to be kind.
Satan's great desire was to become like God - and to become even greater.
In his lie he implanted this evil desire to be like God in Eve.
Righteous people desire to be like Jesus in character,
but they never wish to usurp his position or power.
Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God they knew good, but only knew about evil;
afterwards they knew evil but only knew about good.
Eve did not see Satan's offer was really only to give her the knowledge of evil!!
But of course it didn't sound like that to her.
Eve was completely hood-winked, she only saw it was:
Good for food. Better than all the other fruit?
Pleasing to the eye. Much beauty, but appearances can be deceptive.
Desirable for gaining knowledge. And pride!
She entirely forgot God's clear death-sentence warning. 217b
For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes
and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 Jn 216
Satan is always alert to feed our fallen, sinful desires.
Be wary. Be alert.
If 'Christianity' appeals widely and is popular; beware, ask why.
e.g. 'signs and wonders', cheap revival without repentance,
tribulation omitted, as also need for mercy and the Cross.
Satan had directly targeted the only test that God gave Adam and Eve.
You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 217a
God had clearly warned them for when you eat of it you will surely die.
Note that God did not say 'If' you eat of it, but 'when'.
He was not surprised at the fall; he had already made his rescue plan.
Jesus would have to die in my place and bear the punishment I deserve.
My death would then become his death, and his life would become mine.
She took some and ate it. 36b
And thus brought misery upon herself and the whole world.
She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 36c
Adam was with her and thus probably heard the whole enticing conversation.
But he did nothing to protect Eve.
He knowingly and willingly ate it too.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked. 37a
What was their reaction?
They sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 37b
How pathetic - as are all men's excuses for sin.
The leaves soon withered in the hot sun.
The highly fluted fig leaves were a poor choice for covering.
It totally failed to deal with the cause, or the real problem.
They had died. Their innocence was gone for ever.
Though physically alive, their relationship with God was broken - dead.
Only Jesus would be able to bring them life again.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking
in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God. 38
In the past the sound of God's footsteps brought joy and excitement.
Now the sound brought dread and fear.
They tried to hide among the trees. How foolish.
Did they think they could escape death?
No doubt Satan was delighted. Horrible beast!
God dreaded this awful moment, but it had not stopped him creating them.
He called to the man, "Where are you?" 39
As if the Lord Almighty did not know!
Adam replies, "I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." 310
He was afraid because he had been disobedient, not because he was naked.
He vainly tried to hide not only himself, but his sin. Impossible.
God asks, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree ..."
Adam again makes excuse, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me
some fruit from the tree and I ate it." 311,12
First he blames God. What audacity.
Then he blames Eve. How unfair.
Finally he says he only ate 'some', not all of the fruit.
God gave him 3 opportunities to confess his sin. Each time Adam failed.
And Eve was no better.
When God asks her, "What is this you have done?"
She replies, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." 313
God does not question the serpent; he proceeds straight to judgement:
Cursed. (He is damned, doomed and defeated)
Crawl on your belly and eat dust. (Serpent = snake)
Enmity with all men.
He (Jesus, the Son of Man) will crush your head. 1Jn 38b
You will strike his heel and afflict him and all men.
Pain in childbearing.
You will covet your husband's protection, but he will rule over you.
Ground cursed; it will naturally produce a profusion of thorns and weeds.
Like the fallen heart of man now naturally turns to do evil.
You will have to sweat to provide food - instead of just tilling and picking.
To dust you will return. He would also physically die, and so would Eve.
This suggests that had they not disobeyed,
there would have been no aging process and death.
But God also made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 321
These clothes would constantly remind them of sacrifice.
Did they understand the significance of God's gift?
That Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Heb 922
No evidence is given. But his son, Abel understood the need for a sacrifice.
God in his mercy also banished him from the Garden of Eden. c.f. Rev 221-3
He placed an angelic guard lest they return to eat of the tree of life. Rev 27 2214,15
The Tree of Life never leaves the stage of human experience.
Seen as real wisdom. Prov 313-24
Two trees, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.
These real trees also have a profound spiritual effect - like the bread and wine.
First of these trees would shorten life and the second lengthened it.
They were not allowed to eat of the tree that shortened life.
And they were prevented from eating of the tree that would keep them
in a permanent state of wickedness.
Their innocence was lost and could never be regained in this life.
They were sentenced to death. And so were all their offspring.
In the Tabernacle the cherubim also 'guarded' the 'mercy seat' (KJV & ESV)
or 'atonement covering' (NIV). Exd 2518-22
When Jesus fully bore the punishment we deserve, the temple veil was torn.
At last the way back into 'Eden' was opened for all who repent and believe.
Sin never delivers what the Tempter promises. He is an accomplished liar.
They were not made wise, but were made sinful, separated and filled with fear.
This just judgement of God explains much concerning
the present plight of man
his natural inclination to sin
his separation from God.
Any man denying this, bypasses his need to confess his helplessness and repent.
and his need to believe and trust in the substitution and redemption of Jesus.
Why do so many reject God's true, generous and eternal offer?
The choice is:
a few years of indulgence, pride - and Hell for ever
or repentance, redemption - and Heaven for ever.
Sin and its death sentence did not stop with Adam and Eve;
it was passed on to all succeeding generations. Ro 515-19 1 Co 1522
The ease with which Satan continues to deceive men is all too obvious.
Since the creation of the world God's eternal power and divine nature
have been clearly seen ... so that men are without excuse. Ro 120
Our 'fall' was not accidental, but by deliberate choice.
It should therefore be called 'the rebellion' of man, not the 'fall'.
Do not flirt with sin, shun it immediately, with zeal and trust in the Lord's help.
When born again, God gives us dominion over sin. Ro 614 Col 113 1Co 1013
Though for the present age sin rules over the earth.
Do not deny sin, and do not try to excuse sin. Is 59 Ps 3418
The conversation of Satan and Eve is given in full -
and must have been relayed by Eve herself (and Adam who was with her. 36b)
It greatly enhances our understanding of how Satan tempts us.
Scripture doesn't say the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was an apple tree.
Abel Assured; but Cain Kills 41-16
Eve became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. 41
Who taught Adam midwifery, and showed Eve how to bring up her baby?
Eve was amazed at her baby's gestation, his birth and his growth.
In it all she clearly saw the hand of God - as many parents still do.
She gladly acknowledged it was only with the help of the Lord. 41
There is a book with the provocative title, "Did Adam Have a Belly-Button?"
The answer is No. Neither did Eve, but Cain was born.
Both Adam and Eve were almost certainly created 'fully grown', as adults.
As with all mammals, their babies require to be milk fed after birth.
It is akin to the question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
The answer here is less certain.
God could have created either the egg or the chicken.
As with all species he would have had to create two - male and female.
With trees, God could have created either a 60ft oak or an acorn.
Probably an acorn, as trees have rings for each previous season's growth.
Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. 42a
Abel became a shepherd; Cain was an arable farmer. 42b
Both brought their offerings to the Lord. 43,4
There is no record of Adam doing so.
What they brought and especially the way they brought it reveals their heart.
Cain casually offered 'some' grain. Nothing special; but certainly not the best.
Abel however brought the best portions of the firstborn of his flock.
Nothing but the best of the best was suitable for offering to God.
Why the difference? They had the same home, same parents.
Abel was grateful to the Lord God; Cain wasn't.
Abel gave his very best because God had assured him he was forgiven.
He was commended by God as a righteous man. Heb 114
Even though it was his best, he knew his offering wasn't good enough.
Like Abraham, he knew God would provide the sufficient sacrifice. 228,14
And like the forgiven ex-prostitute who anointed Jesus. Lu 736-50
Cain was jealous of Abel's God-given relief and joy.
Cain still carried his guilt, the burden of sin; and now he was also angry.
So God warned him that sin was crouching at the door. 46,7
But Cain chose to ignore the word of God.
There were no pubs, TV, pornography, money ...
Yet Cain chose wickedness: he plotted murder!
He killed Abel out in the field - away from home,
He thought no one saw could see him. Like Joseph's brothers. Gen 37 8,20,26
But God had seen him, and asked Cain where his brother was.
God gave him the opportunity to confess his sin.
Just as he had given Adam and Eve the same opportunity.
But Cain lied, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?" 49
So God presents the 'blood' evidence,
Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. 410
Then he gives just judgement: 411,12
Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground ...
Cain's ground would no longer yield its crops.
Cain would become a restless wanderer on the earth.
Such is the cost of pride and man's stubborn refusal to repent before the Lord.
Cain was afraid that others would kill him,
but God graciously marked Cain and assured him that they wouldn't.
However, by his own choice, Cain went out from the Lord's presence.
Down through the world's troubled history,
proud man has mostly chosen to follow Cain's example - and paid the price.
Our gracious God continues to offer his rescue plan;
he pleads with men to come, to return.
The door is low, the way narrow and the cost is high - especially to Jesus.
The rest of the Bible tells the story of how God always keeps his word.
Both the undeserved promises and the clear warnings.
He reveals his amazing grace, his desire to have mercy and his judgement.
Adam to Noah 420 - 532
God has recorded two contrasting family trees.
One evil and the other who sought God and loved righteousness.
There were obviously many other children born to Adam.
417-24 traces the seven generations from Adam through Cain to Lamech.
Adam, Cain, Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methushael, Lamech.
Adam introduced death to all generations.
and with Cain their family tree begins and ends with murder.
Lamech also introduced polygamy, but it was never God's intention.
Islam says a man can have up to four wives; so revealing it's evil origin.
He proudly claimed his right to excessive personal revenge - 70 times 7.
Compare this with Jesus who told Peter to forgive 70 times 7. Math 1822
425 - 532 traces the ten generations from Adam through Seth to Noah.
Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jarad, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.
Though Adam introduced death, Abel offered his sacrifice to God with faith.
Seth was named because God has granted me another child in place of Abel.
When Seth's son was born scripture records that:
From that time men began to call on the name of the Lord. 420
This verse suggests that 'the fall' was immediate and total.
In these years of rapid population growth there is no evidence that anyone
bothered to seek the Lord - except Abel, and he was murdered!
But as Joel proclaims
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Joel 232
In this family tree Enoch walked with God 300 years. 522
Did anyone else?
Why did Enoch walk with God? It was after the birth of Methuselah.
He was so amazed at God's handiwork.
Today in UK each year 170,000 mothers choose to destroy their babies.
This reveals the rampant advance of wickedness here.
How was Enoch able to walk with God?
Not told specifically, but no man can even see the kingdom of God
without being born again. Jn 33
As always, God satisfied his yearning, thirsty soul.
Pray earnestly that we will never lose our hunger for God,
nor the thrill of walking with him.
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; Is 551
God's gracious invitation remains open.
Then suddenly one day Enoch was no more, because God took him away.
But his son Methuselah remained to testify to the purpose of God.
And Enoch was also a prophet who named his son with godly care.
Methuselah = "In the day that I die it shall happen."
Years of Methuselah = 969 = 187+782 Gen 525-27
Lamech born in 187th year of Methuselah
Noah born in 182nd year of Lamech
Flood came in 600th year of Noah. 187 + 182 + 600 = 969
So the last thing Noah did just before the flood,
was to bury his prophetic grandfather Methuselah.
See 'Adam to Jacob' chart.
How very different this family tree is from that of Cain.
The Days of Noah 6-9
The disastrous scene is set in Gen 61-7, 11
Polygamy. They married any of them they chose. 62
Wicked men (Nephilim) were considered heroes. 64 Is 520
Every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 65
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 611
The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth. 66a
His heart was filled with pain. 66b
How different from the scene when God had finished the Creation.
God was then so pleased that he declared it all to be 'very good'. 131
But 1500 years later, men had caused God's earth to be very different, so:
The Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face
of the earth ... for I am grieved that I have made them. 67
There was one exception.
But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord. 68
Such a testimony is a real gem, a huge relief.
Scripture here makes it clear that it is possible for a man to please God.
David asks this question in Ps 243-6
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Saviour.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
But how can any man have clean hands and a pure heart?
Who can say he has never coveted (the root of idolatry. Col 35)? Ro 78
Can anyone claim never to have been economical with the truth, or lied?
So how can we ever find favour with God?
David does gives us the answer - learned by God revealing the truth to him.
God had to become 'his Saviour' !
There was nothing he could do to earn his favour. Ps 5116
God had to break his heart to grant him a willing spirit. Ps 5117,11
God had to create in him a new and pure heart. Ps 5110
As Jesus would tell Nicodemus, he had to be 'born again'. Jn 33,5
The Spirit of God would cause him to seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Note the choice of name, David did not seek the God of Abraham or Isaac,
but he sought the God of Jacob, Jacob - the schemer and cheat;
Jacob, whom he had changed by giving him a new heart,
was also rename - Israel ("wrestled with God and prevailed").
After Peniel, Jacob rested upon his Staff, Jesus. Gen 4731
The details of how Noah found favour are not recorded.
But God and his word are consistent.
Like Seth and Enoch, Noah had responded to God's Spirit and sought him.
The result is recorded:
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time,
and he walked with God. Gen 69
As he walked with God each day, truth was revealed to him.
Jesus, the Truth, set him free from sin, violence and corruption. Jn 831-36
Evidence of this is included in God's instructions for building the Ark.
Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it
and coat it with pitch inside and out. Gen 614
The Hebrew word "Kaphar" is only here translated 'pitch'.
All the other 94 times in the OT it is translated:
atone, cleanse, cover, pardon, purge, reconcile ...
God is telling Noah to cover the Ark inside and out with Atonement!!
God saves Noah by the atonement of Jesus.
And he wants Noah to know this and be assured of his salvation.
He also wants those outside to know that they need to be saved.
He waited patiently for 120 years while Noah built the Ark. Gen 63
And while Methuselah's name warned them all of impending disaster.
Only in the Ark of God, in Jesus, can men be saved by his atoning blood.
There is no other way, no other name, no other religion. Jn 146
Noah and his family saw the Atonement of God.
They probably did not know the details of how Jesus would be crucified.
But like Abraham, they believed God, and saw the day of Jesus Christ. Jn 856
He 'saw' that God would himself redeem man from sin and judgement.
As we see and eat the bread and wine,
we look back to what Jesus did for us.
So Noah saw the pitch, the atonement,
and looked forward to what Jesus would one day do for him.
Noah was a righteous man ... and therefore
Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Gen 69,22
"Jesus, thy blood and righteousness my beauty are, my glorious dress,
Midst flaming worlds in these arrayed, with joy shall I lift up my head."
What about today?
Jesus said the endtimes would be like the days of Noah.
Few, if any, expected it.
Noah made no secret of his boat building or the reason for it.
It was plain for all to see. The signs of the end will also be plain to see.
God has told us clearly of the order of events in Rev 6-19.
(See Are we Ready?, Danger in the Church Today on website)
Jesus warns us about the last days in the Gospels. Math 24 Lu 21
Beware that you are not deceived by falsehood and false 'Christs'.
False teaching, signs and wonders. Persecution, disasters, wickedness
Peter prophesied that in the last days men would scoff at God's creation,
and God's judgement in the days of Noah. Men are now scoffing!
In Noah's day they ridiculed him - until it was too late. Likewise at the end.
We will not know the precise day,
but the imminent return of Jesus will be obvious to all who walk with him.
In every generation God has his witness.
They shine like a penetrating beam of light in the darkness.
May God enable us to shine brightly.
May his word inspire, quicken and assure us in difficult days.
May we be earnest in living a holy life and eager to share God's rescue plan.
Let us both challenge and encourage each other in truth and righteousness.
Let us continually thank the Sovereign Lord
who planned the means of our salvation and paid the price.
And so at the end, by the grace of God, may we each hear his welcome,
"Well done, my good and faithful servant."
Besides Noah, Scripture reveals 3 others who especially found favour with God:
Abel Gen 44
Samuel 1Sam 226
Mary Lu 130
And of course Jesus, the Son of God Lu 418,19
Daniel gives assurance of God's favour to the saints in the last days:
As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days
came and pronounced judgment in favour of the saints of the Most High. Dan 721,22
Thus the Lord Almighty reveals to us that men can bring him great pleasure.
But men can also cause God to be grieved and his heart to be filled with pain.
He determines the just penalty for men intent on wickedness.
He tells Noah - the only one who can hear God -
I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens,
every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. Gen 617
Now that is disaster with a capital 'D'.
God was not pretending, it wasn't a vain threat; it was for real and deserved.
In the 'last days' wickedness will be as bad or even worse!
God has warned us of the resulting disasters - Math 24, Rev 6-19.
To Noah, and to Believers today, God gives this assurance:
But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark. Gen 618
When God makes a promise he never ever breaks it. What a relief.
God was not going to waste his glorious creation in the impending destruction.
Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature
that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. Gen 620
Noah did not have to go out searching and collecting all the creatures;
God brought them all to him; two of each kind, and 7 of all 'clean' ones.
But Noah did have to gather and store sufficient food for them all.
On the appointed day when all was ready God said to Noah:
Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth ... 74
Grandfather Methuselah died. 'On the day that I die it shall happen'.
Noah and his family spent that last week leading all the animals and birds
to their appropriate quarters in the 'atonement' covered Ark.
Then the Lord shut him in. And everything and everyone else out!
On that very day ... all the springs of the great deep burst forth,
and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 713,11
It didn't just rain for 40 days, continuously and heavily,
but water burst forth from under the earth.
In the Yellowstone Park, California USA, there is a geyser called 'Old Faithful'
. Every 30 minutes it erupts sending hot water and steam 80 ft in the air.
Much of the 2 million acre Park rests on a huge underground lake.
It is one part of the earth where the springs of the great deep remain.
So every 30 minutes it reminds man of God's judgement in Noah's day
But there is no mention of Noah or the flood on the Yellowstone website!
Worldwide Continental Shelf shows that the water level was once ~70feet lower.
i.e. before the water that God created and separated under the earth's surface
became the springs of the great deep and the land surface collapsed.
So the waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
Only Noah was left and those with him in the ark. 724,23
For God to do this, the worldwide sin must have been very black indeed.
How does the Great Creator view his world today, some 5000 years later?
Blasphemy, violence and war, murder and abortion abound.
Men are liars, greedy, pleasure seeking, sex-mad, power hungry, idolaters.
The promises of men are broken
Both God and his law are despised.
God's people, the Jews have returned to their land, but are hated by all.
In the days of Noah God waited 120 years while he built the ark.
How long will he wait now until the final 7 catastrophic years begin?
The Western church is far from ready for extreme persecution.
No one can say we have not been warned by our most gracious God.
But God remembered Noah and all ... that were with him in the ark. 81
Righteous Noah who walked with God was not forgotten,
not for even a single second. Is 4915,16
Every moment the Lord Almighty watched over the ark and its precious cargo.
No winds or waves could destroy it.
No storm was allowed to cause it to leak and founder.
God would never allow his planned salvation of men to be shipwrecked.
As with Jesus on a boat in a Galilean gale, the apostles would not be drowned
In order to forgive our sin God 'remembered' his covenant
i.e. he 'acted on our behalf' - he sent his Son to die in our place,
and thus he does not remember our sins.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions,
for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Is 4325 Jer 3134
Also Gen 1929 3022 Exd 224 65 Lev 1621,22 1Sam 119
Ps 983 10542 10645 13623 Is 118 Rev 1619 185
We are not saved so that we can start going to church,
but to be made ready for heaven.
God instructs Noah to bring out every kind of living creature
so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful
and increase in number upon it. 817
This is almost identical to God's instruction when he created them
in 5th and 6th day. Gen 120-25
It reinforces the probability that at creation God made only two of each kind,
male and female and told them to multiply.
Obviously this 'Yom' was longer than 24 hours.
|17/02||0||Rain and springs flood the earth.
Water covered all the mountains to >20 feet
|40||Rain and springs stop|
|17/07||Ark came to rest on Mt Ararat|
|1/10||223||Tops of Mountains seen|
|270||Dove released and returns|
|277||Dove released and returns with olive leaf|
|283||Dove released and did not return|
|1/01||309||Noah removes covering of the ark. Ground dry|
|27/02||375||Earth completely dry.
God tells Noah to come out of the ark.
When Noah disembarked, his first act was to give thanks to God.
His protection and deliverance had been so wonderful.
The Lord God was so pleased with Noah that he promised:
Never again will I curse the ground because of man,
even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.
And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. 821
He makes the clear statement that all men are naturally evil.
This is contended by many who think they know better than God.
Men hate to admit that they are rotten and need a new heart.
And even if there are some poor characteristics, they correct it themselves.
Some may admit that they need a little help.
But very few will acknowledge that they can do nothing;
plead with God to be born again,
and believe that Jesus Christ agreed to give his life for our forgiveness,
taking upon himself the punishment that we justly deserve.
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them
"Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." 91,7
Just as he had told all creatures as the came out of the ark. 817
Today, 5000 years later, there are over 6 billion people on the earth.
But it is not because of man's desire to be obedient to God!
~20% of all babies conceived are murdered by abortion,
and a huge number are prevented by various contraceptive means.
God tells Noah that two areas of life after the flood will be different:
The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth,
all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground,
and upon all the fish of the sea. 92
Everything that lives and moves will be food for you ...
but you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 93,4
In the creation God gave to man every seed bearing plant ... food. 129
And to the animals and birds he gave every green plant for food. 130
So all men and animals were vegetarian
and even the wild animals had no fear of each other or of man.
A few domestic animals (sheep) were used for sacrifice.
After the flood relationships in, and with, the animal changed markedly.
God's Covenant with Noah
Then God said to Noah ... I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that ... came out of the ark with you ... Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood, never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth ... Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant ... 98-11,16
There will be local and very destructive floods and tsunamis,
but they will never be worldwide.
God has, and always will, keep this unconditional covenant.
Unlike men, God is faithful and fulfills every promise and every word he speaks.
At the end of the Millennium reign of Christ returned to earth,
many men will choose to follow Satan in attacking Christ.
God will then cause fire to consume the earth,
before he creates a new heaven and a new earth. Rev 207-9 2Pe 37 Rev 211,2
The Lord Almighty will also keep this promise.
In other religions men make promises to their various gods.
In Christianity it is God who makes promises to us - and keeps them.
Noah's Vineyard 918-29
Noah was a farmer. He was also a carpenter / boatbuilder,
and presumably had many other unmentioned skills.
He planted a vineyard - not a sin. Wine, like money, is not sinful.
But on this occasion Noah drank too much.
Satan never misses an opportunity to make us stumble,
especially when life is easy. Always be on guard.
The problem with alcohol is largely what a man does when he is drunk.
Noah went to sleep in his tent.
Like Adam, the means of his fall was fruit, the result was nakedness,
and as a consequence he needed a covering.
The Bible never pretends; it deals with the realities of life.
All have sinned - even the great men of faith. Abraham, Moses, David, Peter ...
Ham was not cursed for Noah's folly, but because he made fun of his father's.
God would later give us his Commandments; the 5th is to honour parents.
This is where Ham failed so dismally. And he paid dearly for it.
Canaan, Ham's son, and his descendants came under the same curse,
not because of Ham's sin, but because they too were sinful.
500 years later the gross wickedness and idol worship of the Canaanites
would be judged by God in the days of Joshua.
Noah was not 'judging' Ham and his descendants himself,
God showed him how this most wicked nation would pay for their sin.
Ham would also be the father of
Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Philistines and Sodomites. Gen 610-20
All nations that would subsequently afflict the children of Abraham.
Only Jesus Christ can remove the curse of sin and set us free.
All men at all times need the presence of Christ to keep us from sin.
I must never make light or excuse my sin; never blame others for my sin.
Believe in the effective 'covering' of Jesus; his blood shed for me, and others.
The Tower of Babel 111-9
After the flood Noah continued to walk in the fear and gratitude to the Lord.
But it did not take long for men to rebel against God, and to become proud.
Gen 11 tells how men decided to build a huge ziggurat.
This is a square pyramid with a stairway spiralling upwards to heaven.
They thought they could at least rival God!
Forget about repentance, and offering God sacrifices.
Let us make such a name for ourselves that men worship us, they thought.
The Lord Almighty was not impressed.
He sent confusion simply by making them all speak different languages.
Their proud dreams were shattered.
God scattered them over the whole earth.
What a contrast to the day of Pentecost in Act 26 when the apostles
each started speaking in languages that the people could understand.
They told the seeking Jews about Jesus Christ and many were saved.
Or in the days of Tyndale when England began to receive the Scriptures
in their own language. Roman lies were rejected and men heard God's truth.
Dark confusion was replaced by the light of the Reformation.
There were many martyrs, but a new day dawned
and the name of Jesus Christ was honoured
The 19th C. Industrial Revolution and the 20th C. Technical Revolution
have not led men to honour God and stand in awe at both the fantastic design
and power of God in his creation, but to outright rebellion.
Men have delighted in the Theory of Evolution and rejected God.
His Commandments are ignored and God is ridiculed because arrogant men
think they know better than God.
All man's proud dreams will soon be shattered and scattered.
War, disasters, wickedness, financial and civil instability, family breakdown ...
Scripture warns us clearly from Babel to Revelation.
God has been so gracious and patient. But now the end time is near.
These 9 verses plead with men to re-consider;
to turn to the Lord and seek him before it is too late.
God and Abraham 121 - 2510
The first 11 chapters of Genesis cover ~2,000 years.
The rest of the OT covers the next 2,000 years.
It begins with God choosing Abraham
and continues with the unfolding of God's purpose for his world with Israel.
Why so important?
Abraham and Israel have profoundly shaped world history - and still do.
God's plan to redeem sinful men centred on his Son being born a Jew!
The Sovereign Lord has the right to choose.
He chose Jewish Apostles to spread the Gospel to all the world.
At the end Jerusalem will be hated by all nations and attacked;
but Jesus will return to rescue his chosen people and rule the world.
Why does the world view God's choice and apparent favouritism
with such obvious disfavour? Jealousy?
Equal opportunity and own 'right to choose' is popular.
But not always so keen on another's right to choose.
To the Patriarchs God reveals much of his plan to bring salvation to men.
How he has chosen to provide for all men 'a full perfect and sufficient sacrifice'.
God appeared to Abram at least 9 times.
Gen 121-3 127 131-17 1418-20 151-21 171-22 181-33 2111-13 221-18
Our studies of Gen 12-25 will be largely based on these events.
God's enduring promise to Abraham 122,3
Abram obeyed God and aged 75, left the comfort of Haran for an unknown land
and lived the rest of his life in a tent.
God made an unconditional fourfold covenant promise to him:
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Gen 122,3
One major snag: he and Sarah had been unable to have children.
It would be a further 25 years before God enabled Sarah to give birth to Isaac.
God never makes a promise and fails to keep it.
The circumstances may make it seem impossible,
and we may have to be patient to see the fulfilment.
In our 'instant' world today, the latter can be a big problem.
God did bless Abraham throughout his life;
though much of it was filled with trouble and trial.
What was the greatest blessing of God in his life?
The revelation of Jesus! Who would tell his disciples 2,000 years later,
Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day;
he saw it and was glad. Jn 856
Abraham was also blessed by Melchizedek with bread and wine! Gen 1418
Melchizedek, priest of God Most High and king of Salem
We can only speculate on how much he understood the significance of this;
but he was certainly richly blessed - and so was God!
He did become a great nation. His son Isaac was the father of Jacob,
who went down to Egypt with 70 people and settled in Goshan. Exd 15,7 1237
400 years later the Hebrews left Egypt a nation of over 1 million.
His name did become great, even while he lived.
He defeated the 4 kings who had captured his nephew, Lot. Gen 14
His flocks became so great that he and Lot had to separate. Gen 132,8
It is true that those who personally bless Israel are blessed by God.
But I cannot name any nation that has blessed Israel.
The US gives Egypt almost the same $2b/year, but both have to spend it
on arms from the US. It is thus really only a grant to the powerful US Arms Industry!
And it makes Israel totally dependant on the US and open to blackmail.
e.g. Israel was forced to give up the Levi fighter because better than F-16
Today Israel is being forced to give up Judea to the terrorist PA.
Many nations have 'cursed' Israel, Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, USA, UK ...
UK reneged its promises under British Mandate when at peak of her power
and did our best to prevent Jewish emigration to their homeland.
In 1947/48 we led the cynical UN approval of Israel, knowing the Arabs
(to whom we had supplied arms) would immediately attack and defeat
the new arms-starved Israel.
Field Marshall Montgomery said at the time, Israel could only last 3 weeks.
But God had other plans for Israel. They were not defeated.
But UK and US have been weakening Israel by enforced concessions ever since.
England has lost her Empire, and the US is currently in dire straights.
God has kept his promise. And will continue to do so. See also Zech 12,14
God has indeed blessed all the world through his Son, Jesus Christ,
born a Jew, a direct descendant of Abraham, Redeemer of Jew and Gentile.
His grace far surpasses all our hopes and dreams for forgiveness and life.
Why did God choose Abraham and the Jews? Why has he chosen us?! Amazing.
Very simply, Because the Lord loved you. Deut 76-9
William Ewer wrote, "How odd of God to choose the Jews."
Cecil Browne added, "But not so odd as those who choose a Jewish God,
but spurn the Jews."
To Your descendants I give This Land 127 1314-17 157,18-21 178
This promise of the Lord Almighty to Abraham is hotly contested today;
especially by Muslims and the oil-hungry, God-rejecting West.
The promise is specific, repeated and unconditional.
Even when Israel refused to repent of their sin and God twice exiled them,
by Babylon and Rome, he has remained faithful and brought them back.
Israel (and all the world) belongs to God who has given it to the Jews for ever.
God emphasises the folly of nations who attack Jerusalem.
I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. Zech 122,3
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, ... then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. Zech 142,3
Arrogant nations have and always will ignore God's clear warning
to all who try to divide the land of Israel and give it to others.
The huge amount of aid to the totally corrupt and violent Palestinians
will never bring peace and the national leaders must know this.
Their objective is not peace but the removal of all Israel from the land.
But God will keep his promise to Abraham.
In the day that Israel is 'broken' and calls upon the Lord, Jerusalem
will look on me whom they have pierced, and will mourn for him.
On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great.
On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David ...
to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
On that day I will banish the names of idols from the land. Zech 1210-132
What a day!
What did Abraham do when God spoke to him concerning the land?
He built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Gen 128
Joel 232 Deut 429
What do our national and Church leaders do today
when reading of God's promise and world history?
Almost to a man they discard the Word of God
and power politics or self interest take over.
One day soon they will see the truth of this - but it will be too late.
Abraham was a far wiser man.
God protects Sarah in Egypt 1210-20
There was a famine in Canaan so Abraham and Sarah went down to Egypt.
Sarah was very beautiful so, to protect himself,
he told Sarah to say that she was his sister. She was his half sister.
Pharaoh took her into his palace and gave gifts to Abraham.
But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh 1217
Thus he protected her because she was Abraham's wife.
When Pharaoh found out this he sent them both away with all he had been given.
Such is the kindness of God
who was not going to let a mere Pharaoh upset his plans!
Abraham and Lot separate 131-18
On returning from Egypt (200 miles) he (and Lot) went to the east of Bethel,
where he had earlier built an altar to the Lord. 128
And there he again called on the name of the Lord. 134
Insufficient pasture and water (following the drought) for both Abram and Lot.
Competition caused quarrelling. Decided to separate.
Abraham graciously offered Lot first choice.
He chose the well watered Jordan valley - and it's evil cities. (Sodom etc)
Their separation obviously grieved Abraham. In his grief the Lord spoke to him.
Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west.
All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you. 1314-17
The newly assured Abraham went to live near Hebron.
And again he built an altar to the Lord, and called upon him. 1318
His desire for the Lord God was supreme; it never took second place.
Melchizedek brought out Bread and Wine 1418-20
Abraham defeats the 4 kings who had captured Lot and rescued him.
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand."
Jesus is Priest and King for ever in the order of Melchizedek. Heb 717
With bread and wine we remember Christ, his body given and blood shed for us.
Now he lives for ever and is thus our permanent Priest:
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Heb 724,25
Why do we call ministers who serve in the church 'priests',
men who claim that only they can absolve sin and serve bread and wine.
We have an eternal High Priest who made a perfect sacrifice who pleads for us.
Abraham's response was to give generously and keep none of the victory spoils.
God's Covenant with Abram who Believes 151-21
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." 151
Fear is usually because we dread something bad that may happen to us.
It can also be because some expected good may not happen.
Abraham and Sarah remained childless. Abraham was nearly 100
and Sarah had long since come out on the wrong side of her menopause.
He feared that his servant Eliezer of Damascus would his heir.
God came to Abraham to assure him that this was not his plan.
"This man will not be your heir,
but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 154
It was a clear dark night, so God took him outside his tent and said to him;
"Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be." 155
What a graphic illustration. Though difficult to count
there are approx 5000 stars that can be seen with the naked eye.
(Yale Bright Star Catalogue lists 9110 stars of magnitude 6.5 or greater,
only half are visible at one time at one place. It is estimated some
70,000 million million million are observable with the best telescope!)
Abram believed the Lord and he credited it to him as righteousness. 156
He believed the impossible, that God would give him a son - he did. Heb 1111,12
Do we believe God has given us his Son?
God's gift to us included him being crucified,
bearing the punishment for my sin that I deserve, but cannot pay.
It was in believing that the Lord would do the impossible for him
that enabled God to say that Abraham was made righteous.
This reveals a vital principle.
It is by faith (believing God's revelation) that we are saved.
It is not by anything we may say or do or not do;
but by the effective sacrifice of Jesus Christ crucified and risen.
God not only made a covenant this day with Abraham concerning a son,
he again promised him the land. 157
Abraham is not so sure about the promise of the land:
"O Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I shall gain possession of it?" 158
God is not angry at this honest expression of doubt / concern.
He tells him to prepare a specific covenant sacrifice.
Abraham does so - and then waits.
At sunset he falls into a deep sleep and the Lord speaks to him.
He tells him exactly how he will take possession of the land.
Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure. 1513-16
Faithful Jews would count off these 400 years.
Moses' parents would know that the time had come
and their son was very special, God's chosen deliverer. Exd 22 Act 720
Then God sent a smoking brazier between the halved sacrifices.
So the gracious Lord made clear and certain his promise
and he specified the boundaries.
from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates. 1518-20
The timing of God's promises are sometimes unexpected.
Abraham is told exactly when it would happen, so in Hebrews we read:
By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. ...All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Heb 119-16
Like salvation, the land was received 'by faith'.
Each day he would look out and appreciate the kindness of God and say
"One day ..." knowing the faithful God would fulfill his plan.
Each day we look forward to the day
when this dark and evil world will be changed and ruled by King Jesus.
And we appreciate that our Master the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
so that we will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 122,3
The vision he has given us is not like a forlorn dream that dies in the morning.
It is the Jewish hope, 'Next year in Jerusalem ...'
Jerusalem filled with righteousness and peace.
One day soon it will be so. The Lord Almighty has declared it.
His covenant with Abraham and all his descendants - Jew and Gentile -
will be fulfilled. Ro 924,25 1111-15
Hagar Bore Abraham a Son - Ishmael 161-16
Sarah had a 'good idea' and Abraham (aged 85) agreed.
Perhaps God wanted them to fulfill his promise of a son by using Hagar.
It sounded plausible and legal. If they waited any longer it may be too late!
Should they be patient while the impossibility grew stronger each year?
Or were they afraid to act and so be disobedient to God's revealed plan?
Sarah's maid Hagar became pregnant; and Hagar despised Sarah.
It was the start of a 4000 year road that has brought heartache to the Jews.
Hagar runs away but the angel of the Lord tells her to return to Sarah,
she was to call her son Ishmael and
He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers. 1612
Muslims trace the heritage of Mohamed back to Abraham through Ishmael.
God knows so well the hearts of all men.
This prophecy has a profound bearing of ME events today.
Abraham and Sarah would have to wait another 15 years before Isaac was born.
Circumcision, the Sign of God's Covenant 171-27
The Lord appears to Abraham (aged 99).
What had happened in the last 13 years?
Abraham had continued being a herdsman and getting older!
He continued to honour the Lord and worship only him.
"I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers ... As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God." 171-8
God Confirms His Covenant
Nothing had seemed to happen for last 13 years, but God had not forgotten
what he had promised. He was awaiting the right time.
Patience and faithfulness are lessons that are hard to learn.
Father of many nations, not just Hebrews.
This clarifies the promise that all nations would be blessed through Abraham.
The apostle Peter was surprised when God began to call Gentiles. Acts 10
And so were the others. Acts 111-18
The UK is greatly privileged to have a Protestant Christian heritage.
Sadly today this is largely unrecognised or rejected.
The resulting mess is all too obvious.
But God has faithfully fulfilled his promise to Abraham 4,000 years ago.
Name change. Abram (exalted father) becomes Abraham (father of many).
This would remind him that Isaac would not be his only son,
he would become the father on many.
No Hebrew word for grandfather, grand-father etc.
God sees far into the future that is completely unknown to us.
Everlasting Covenant to be your God.
Covenant is everlasting. Not just when easy or convenient, but when costly.
It would cost the Son of God his life! There is no other way to be saved.
All Canaan was given to the descendants of Abraham as an everlasting possession.
This is fiercely contested today especially by Muslims.
But the whole earth is the Lord's and he has given it to the Jews for ever.
Though Israel rejected their faithful God and they were exiled - twice -
By Babylon in 586 BC and by Rome in 70 AD.
Yet did not revoke the covenant, it still stands true.
God gave them a somewhat strange sign for this covenant -
Male circumcision. 1710-14
The sign was not like a ring or a document that was simply passed on;
it had to be enacted on each child on 8th day (max. antibody resistance).
Faith cannot be simply passed on either. Each must be personally born again.
Sometimes the sign can become more important than what it represents.
God is dishonoured or at least largely ignored, with tragic consequences.
Paul weeps much over this disaster. Ro 91-13
God also changes the name Sara to Sarah (Princess):
I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations, kings of peoples will come from her. 1716
Abraham laughs; Sarah was now 90! So did Sarah when she heard. 1812
But God was in earnest. He meant what he said. He always does.
Three Men Visit Abraham 181-33
The chapter opens with the Lord appeared to Abraham ...
He looked up and saw three men standing nearby.
The Lord came to him with two angels for two reasons:
1. To tell him when he and Sarah would have a son -
I will surely return to you about this time next year. 1810
The miraculous birth would clearly require the Lord's presence.
(so also would the conception)
In the same way our 'new birth' is by the direct action of the Lord,
and almost always 'conceived' by God inspired faithful prayer.
2. The Lord wanted to warn Abraham of the destruction of Sodom.
The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great ... 1820
Righteous Lot had added to this outcry, the gross wickedness. 2Pe 27
In UK all 3 main political parties have sent letters supporting 'Gay Pride'.
Young children in school are taught that homosexuality is normal and good.
Votes are more important to them than righteousness.
This country will pay a high price for supporting such great sin.
Abraham pleads for Lot and any righteous men who live in Sodom.
He does not plead for the cities or deny that they deserve total destruction.
The Lord agrees to spare the cities if there are just 10 righteous men.
But there wasn't. There was only Lot and possibly his two daughters.
That night the two angels had to rescue Lot from the evil men of the city.
They tell Lot, his wife and daughters to flee for your lives! 1917
They fled, but Lot's wife looked back, and became a pillar of salt. 1926
Any man who does not flee from sin and heed the warnings of God
will likewise be destroyed.
When Jesus was teaching about the last days he said, Remember Lot's wife!
Whoever tries to keep his (old sinful) life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life (and is born again) will preserve it. Lu 1732,33
We do well to heed this warning ourselves
and tell all who will hear about the Judgement and the Cross.
There is but one way of escape - Christ crucified for our sin.
The worldwide spread of homosexuality today is surely a warning sign in red.
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools ... Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie ... Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. Ro 118-32
Men consistently deny Creation and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie.
Therefore God has given men and women over to their shameful lusts.
We cannot but observe the consequence - the rising tide of wickedness and depravity.
We are indeed without excuse.
Where will it end? For the people of Sodom it was total destruction.
It was not a random, natural event.
The destruction was both planned and executed by the Lord Almighty;
as just punishment for their vile sin and remains a stark warning to others
that he sees homosexuality as worse than disgusting and unnatural.
Revelation gives a graphic account of the last and most evil days,
when man will blaspheme and spurn their Creator,
but Jesus returns triumphant and the satanic beast is destroyed.
God again Protects Sarah 201-18
Abraham moved down to Gerar in the Negev.
King Abimelech was told that Sarah was Abraham's sister (half true).
So he took her. Though 90 years old she was obviously still a rare beauty!
But God warned him in a dream:
I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. 206,7
The sin would have been against God, not Abraham.
God declares Abraham was a prophet.
He had told him that Israel would be 400 years in Egypt,
then they would be delivered from slavery and given the promised land.
Later he would reveal that he would provide a Lamb for their salvation.
Abraham prays for Abimelech.
Isaac Born, Ishmael Sent Away 211-34
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 211,2
This pair of verses describe precisely the character of God.
He does what he has promised.
He does it on time as planned.
He does it by grace, it is his nature to be kind.
It is not difficult to image how thrilled both Abraham and Sarah were.
They call the boy Isaac = He laughs or He brings laughter.
Sarah has no difficulty nursing Isaac with her own milk.
There was one problem: Hagar and Ishmael (aged 15. 163) mocked.
We are not told who or why they mocked.
Presumably Sarah because she complained to Abraham, who was distressed.
God then tells Abraham:
Do not be so distressed ... Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring. 1612,13
Abraham obeys and sends them away with provisions.
God provides a miraculous well of water when Hagar cries in the desert,
and assures her that he will make Ishmael into a great nation
because he was Abraham's son.
Abraham makes a treaty with Abimelech:
He would deal kindly with Abimelech and his descendants.
Ownership of the well Abraham dug at Beersheba would not be challenged.
He planted a Tamarisk tree there and called upon the name of the Lord. 2133 128
This reveals the earnestness and the desire of Abraham for God.
It is much more than attendance at church or even a w/e retreat.
Abraham looked to the future, he sought a long term view of life.
He was determined to honour the Lord Almighty, the Eternal God.
A tamarisk is a small tree that thrives in arid conditions,
its leafy branches provide welcome shade -
a good place to quietly seek the Lord; like Nathanael did. Jn 147-49
God Himself will Provide the Lamb 221-19
Some time later God tested Abraham. 221
And what a test it was!
In it the Lord God would reveal the most profound truth to Abraham.
God would provide and himself be the one perfect sacrificial Lamb.
Then God said, “Take your so, your only son, Isaac, whom you love,
and go to the region of Moriah.
Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering. 222
Abraham knew it was the Lord Almighty who had spoken to him.
He had learned over the years to know the voice of his Lord and Master.
He didn't question the instruction - but Isaac is the son of promise,
the son through whom you will make a great nation and bless the whole world.
He obeyed. Not blind careless obedience. He truly loved his son.
Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead. Heb 1119
He reasoning was 'by faith' and revelation.
He had in his heart the full assurance of God who doesn't change his mind.
This test was a clear forerunner of what Almighty God would do.
When the time was right God sent his Beloved Son to this world, Gal 44,5
to be born of a woman and to die on the Cross - Lu 322 935 2013
'a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.'
In the fulness of time Isaac was born; his only and beloved son of promise.
Both Jesus and Isaac were willing to be sacrificed.
The young man Isaac could easily have resisted his 120 year old father.
But he didn't.
Neither did Jesus, the only and beloved Son of God resist his Father.
He was willing to be crucified; he was obedient unto death. Phil 28
... not my will but yours be done. Lu 2242
Isaac was to be sacrificed on Mt Moriah (on Jerusalem's Temple Mt.,
where Islam today defiantly declares that 'God has no Son')
The Son of God was crucified just outside Jerusalem's city wall at Calvary.
When God gave Abraham this instruction, he did not delay or procrastinate.
Early the next morning, Abraham got up and saddled his donkey ... 223
After two days journey, he left the servants and the donkey.
Isaac carried the wood and Abraham the fire and the knife.
The curious Isaac asks, "The fire and the wood are here,
but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Abraham answered with amazing prophecy,
"God himself will provide the Lamb for the burnt offering , my son."
He did not know that on that day on Mt Moriah God had caused a ram
to be caught up in a thorn bush by his horns. A substitute for Isaac.
For the Son of God at Calvary there would be no substitute,
Jesus was our substitute. We deserve the cross, he never did.
When they arrived at Mt Moriah they did not see the ram;
the willing Isaac lay on the altar.
Just as Abraham was about to use the knife, God said, "Stop!"
Then he saw the ram. And sacrificed it instead of Isaac.
No doubt Isaac was much relieved, and so was Abraham.
This incident would have a lasting and profound impact.
Abraham named the place The Lord Will Provide.
He did not call it the Lord has provided, as one might have expected.
On Mt Moriah God had revealed to him that one day in the future,
he would provide a better sacrifice, a perfect sacrifice.
A sacrifice that only had to be offered once.
He saw that all their animal sacrifices pointed to this one sacrifice
that God himself would make - the day of Jesus Christ.
Jesus confirmed this when he told his disciples, Your father Abraham
rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad. Jn 856
For Abraham this test on Mt Moriah became a fantastic and joyful revelation.
Do we see God's tests like this?
Each test is so that we may see the mercy and grace of God more clearly.
Then the Lord spoke to Abraham again:
"because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." 2216-18
Joshua and David were obedient; they took possession of the cities of Canaan.
And through Jesus, the Son of David, all nations have indeed been blessed.
Jesus was obedient too, and became the source of eternal salvation. Heb 57-10
O God, may I be obedient as Abraham and so be a blessing to all I meet.
What about Isaac and God's Covenant?
After Sarah died, and was buried in the cave at Hebron (bought from Hittites),
The aged Abraham wondered about the future of God's promise with Isaac.
Like many a parent he was most concerned about who he would marry.
She must not be a Canaanite - they were wicked and did not fear God.
Isaac must not go to Haran or Ur or leave the land of promise.
Abraham decided to send his trusted servant to find a wife for Isaac.
The story of how he brings back the willing Rebekah is well known.
So she became his wife, and he loved her. 2467
When Abraham died he left everything he owned to Isaac. 255
Including the promise of God:
To became a great nation
To be a blessing to nations
To possess the land of Canaan in 400 years time for ever.
Ishmael went to live of the borders of Egypt and had many sons.
And they lived in hostility towards their brothers. 2518
They still do, and will not change. As the Lord Almighty revealed earlier:
He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers. 1612
Muslims trace the heritage of Mohamed back to Abraham through Ishmael.
World leaders think they can overturn what God has said
and bring peace to the Middle East - between Israel and the Arabs.
They will not and cannot.
As Gabriel revealed to Daniel:
War will continue to the end, and desolations have been decreed. Dan 926
Has God Finished with the Jews?
Has God forgotten his promise to the descendants of Abraham today?
Does scripture tell us anything about the future of the Jewish people?
Has the church taken over the status of 'favoured nation'?
Both OT and NT emphatically say no. Jer 3135-37 Ro 1020-112a,5 1111,12 1125-29
The wild branches, the Gentiles, have been grafted in; but remember:
If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. ... But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. ... After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! Ro 1117-24
And God will do so on that great day -
when the full number of the Gentiles have come in. Ro 1125
In that day God will open the eyes of the Jews, they will repent,
call upon the Lord and be saved.
They are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. Ro 1128-31
This day, when God will fulfill his covenant with Abraham and his descendants,
will follow the time of trouble for Jacob. Jer 307 See also Jer 3012 c.f. 17
Today the Jews have returned to their own land, but it is a time of increasing trouble for two reasons:
1. Most of Israel still refuse to turn to the Lord Almighty
2. The nations of the world are trying to divide the land and destroy Israel.
Note: I have never heard the church claim this prophecy of a time of trouble!
It is either ignored or they say this only applies to Jacob, to Jewish Israel.
Many prophets reveal that God has promised to revive and save the Jews.
And I will pour out on the house of David ... a spirit of grace and supplication.
They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and mourn for him
as one mourns for an only child ... Zech 1210
Also: Jer 3314-16 Ezek 371-14 Joel 31,2,12-16 Deut 301-10
Zech 121-5 Amos 98-15 Act 16,7 319-21 Is 6010-12
It is true that Israel today lacks righteousness.
But so does UK and many even within the church:
Abortion, divorce, homosexuality, injustice, greed, multi-faith religion,
violence, lying, adultery, evolution ... to name just a few gross sins.
Except there be an 18th Century re-run of Whitfield / Wesley preaching
we are in line for God's just judgement; not revival, as some claim.
One fact remains true:
The Sovereign Lord is merciful and faithful,
he will fulfill the covenant he made with Abraham made 4,000 years ago.
One day we will all stand together, or more probably bow before him,
surrounded by a sea of undeserving people
all amazed at the incredible grace of God.
Isaac 211-7 241 - 289
The life of Isaac is largely told in one chapter of Genesis - 26.
He struggled with many of the same problems that his father had:
For 20 years Rebekah was unable to have children. 2520,26b
Then the Lord answered their prayer and Esau and Jacob were born. 2521
The two sons struggled in her womb even before they were born.
Though Ishmael would become a great nation, Isaac inherited the blessing.
And so would Jacob. There was little family harmony!
There was a famine in the land and Isaac went to Abimelech of the Philistines.
When there he claimed his wife was his sister - as Abraham had done.
But it was not even half true.
Rebekah was Terah's great grand-daughter through Nahor and Bethuel.
Isaac was Terah's grandson through Abraham.
God again protected both Isaac and Rebekah as he had Abram and Sarah.
Both were successful herdsmen and became very wealthy.
Both dug wells and Isaac had to contend for the wells Abraham had dug.
The Lord appeared to Isaac and reminded him of his covenant with Abraham.
From there he went up to Beersheba. That night the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham." 2623,24
Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. 2625
Ishmael got a wife from Egypt; Esau married two Hittite women. 2121 2634
Ishmael's children lived in hostility to all their brothers. 2518
Esau's wives were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah. 2635
'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated' Mal 13 Ro 913
(See website sermons "Two Brothers" and "Esau and England")
Abraham had watched the struggles of his son Isaac as he grew up.
And then also of his young grandson Jacob.
Then Abraham died and Isaac was left very alone with his family.
How would he deal with Jacob and Esau were so different?
Esau became a skilful hunter, a strong-armed macho man. 2527
He felt no need for God. 2534b
His two Hittite beauties brought much grief to Mum and Dad. 2635
Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. A mummy's boy. 2527
Isaac loved Esau, mostly because of the wild game he caught. 2528
Rebekah loved Jacob. 2528
God loved Jacob and God hated Esau. Mal 13 Ro 913
Not exactly a recipe for harmony and good the family relations.
As a boy Jacob yearned for his father's approval,
but there probably came a day when he realised it was impossible.
He had a greater yearning - for the God of his grandfather Abraham.
When 15, I expect he wept much when old Abraham died;
he had probably been more of a Dad to him than Isaac.
A boy without a father or rejected by him will often turn to Grandad.
Especially when Grandad respected the prophecy at their birth.
Abraham knew whom God had chosen to receive the promise. 2523
All the family knew the prophecy, but Isaac and Esau rejected it.
Esau was careless about the Lord God. He despised his birthright. 2534b
Fancy selling the eternal promise of God for a bowl of soup!
Esau sealed the sale will an oath.
But like many modern politicians, such a promise was just empty words.
He knew that when Isaac died he had the power to grab all he wanted.
He only wanted the flocks and herds anyway. And he got them.
Jacob desired the promise of God to Grandad. And he received it.
Both sons inherited what they wanted!
It is not difficult to see which son had the better desires.
By the grace of God, all who seek shall find. Math 77 1625,26
All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Joel 232 Jer 333
All the family knew about Esau's sale and his oath.
But they also knew that neither Isaac or Esau would honour it.
So Rebekah devised a scheme to deceive Isaac. And it worked.
But Jacob had to lie to avoid being found out until after it was too late.
Then Jacob fled to the land of his mother, to both escape and to find a wife.
He was alone, very much alone.
And to that frightened, longing heart, the kindness of God spoke. 2741 281-5
At Bethel (Heb = 'house of God') the Lord revealed the truth.
God confirmed the Covenant would pass through Jacob!
"I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring." 2813,14
Jacob was amazed.
God himself had confirmed that his covenant would pass through Jacob!
But that wasn't all the Lord said.
He knew Jacob's need, his longing heart and so the Lord continued:
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. 2815
The kindness of God to a needy and lonely soul is here displayed for all to see.
If God kept his word, Jacob promised to give him 1/10th !
But God was not offended by this gesture. He knew Jacob's heart.
And God loved the imperfect Jacob.
One day, 20 years later, his name would be changed to Israel!
No longer would he be called 'grasper', but 'struggles with God and prevails'.
The Lord Almighty was not only kind, but full of mercy and grace.
Jacob would know for sure the love of God; but Esau would never know it.
'Jacob' and 'Esau' have continued to do battle down the ages.
The flesh and the Spirit still continue at war in believers and in the world.
Ro 723 Gal 517 2 Kg 822
Obadiah prophesies to Edom, the descendants of Esau,
concerning their pride, their violence, and their gloating.
Edomites were not unlike Ishmael and his descendants. Gen 1611,12
Islam failed to subdue Europe at Tours (central France) in 732
and again at Vienna in 1683. They will try again.
Oil power has inflamed their intense desire for world domination. Beware.
Currently responsible for wars in Nigeria, Algeria, Sudan, Albania,
Chechenya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Indonesia, Philippines ...
Operation World states that of the worst 86 countries for persecution,
7 are Communist and 72 are Islamic!
The Koran says at least 13 times that "God has no Son".
Islam hates both Saturday people (Jews) and the Sunday people (Christians).
Herod (the murderer of the Bethlehem babies) - was an Edomite. Math 216-18
Satan has always tried to negate the covenant of God by killing Jews.
He hates them, as he also hates Christians.
But it is always the plan and promise of God that prevails.
This is clearly seen in the brief history of the world given in Rev 12.
How can we overcome such an implacable enemy? There is only one way:
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony. Rev 1211
Testimony for some was preaching, living a righteous life, translating or printing the Bible.
Others were chosen to speak most eloquently when beheaded, shot,
or burned at the stake!
But for all the courage and power to overcome was by the blood of Jesus.
And it will continue thus unto the end.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ro 835-39
This is the victory that will never be denied - whatever the cost.
The Cross seemed like defeat, yet it was the greatest victory ever.
As God promised Jacob,
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. 2815
This is what the Lord says - he who created you , O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you ...
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned ...
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. Is 431-3
Some 450 years later Moses spoke the word of the Lord to Joshua:
Be strong and courageous, ...the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deut 317,8
Isaac recognises the hand of God in his unwittingly giving the blessing to Jacob.
He recognises the danger Jacob is in. The jealous Esau planned murder. 2741
He knowingly blesses Jacob and confirms the blessing of God Almighty. 281-5
It is by the grace of God that anyone admits his faults.
Esau tries to win favour by marrying one of Ishmael's daughters.
This confirms his folly. Satan loves to encourage compromise.
Jacob's Dream at Bethel 2810-22
He probably saw a ziggurat with large spiral steps reaching up to heaven.
The 'ladder' was not to enable Jacob to climb up to heaven;
it was to reveal the angels, busy on their various missions;
and the Lord Almighty who was directing them.
He speaks directly to Jacob:
All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 2814
These words may be familiar to us, but they are amazing.
How could Jacob, the fugitive with only the clothes he stood in,
ever be a blessing to anyone, let alone the whole world.
And not just him but his descendants would do so too.
He did not give the world oil or a cure for leprosy;
but through him the Saviour of the world would be born.
The Christ, who would redeem, forgive and bestow eternal life!
This is what God himself promised Jacob after he obediently left home.
Jacob calls this place 'The House of God' and 'The Gate of Heaven.' 2817
When Jesus came to bless all nations with salvation,
he told his disciples,
I tell you the truth, I am the Gate for the sheep ...
whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture, the thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I am come that they may have life and have it to the full. Jn 107-10
Did Jacob discern something of this truth all those years earlier?
He certainly knew that God intended to bless him greatly,
and that his brother Esau intended to steal and kill him.
20 Years with Laban 291 - 3155
Jacob walked for over 500 miles - no camel or donkey, no maps or a sat-nav.
He came to a well near Haran in Paddan Aram.
There he met 3 shepherds and his cousin Rachel.
The Lord had prepared their meeting place.
Just as he had done for Abraham's servant when he found his mother, Rebekah
And later when Aaron set out from Egypt and Moses from Midian,
God led them to meet in the desert. Exd 427
The three shepherds were unable to roll away the stone at the well;
but when Jacob saw Rachel he did it by himself!! 298,10
Jacob worked for Laban for a month without any wages.
Then when asked, Jacob proposed he work 7 years for Rachel to be his wife.
Laban naturally approved of this inverted dowry.
The 7 years seemed like a few days to Jacob. 2920
(To me it would have seemed more like a millennium)
But on their wedding night Laban gave him Rachel's elder sister, Leah.
Surprisingly, Jacob only discovered this in the morning!
He completed the bridal week for Leah, and only then was he given Rachel.
But he had to agree to work for another 7 years for her.
Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. 2930
So there follows the consequences of who was loved and who wasn't.
Jacob had suffered this in his own childhood.
There was sorrow, anger, rivalry, bitterness - but little security and love.
Also Rachel's maid and Leah's maid each had two sons by Jacob.
Leah gave birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.
Then Rachel's maid Bilhah gave birth to Dan and Naphtali.
Then Leah's maid, Zilpah, gave birth to Gad and Asher.
Then Leah gave birth to Issachar and Zebulun
Finally Rachel gave birth to Joseph (and later after leaving Laban, to Benjamin)
Jacob asked to return to his homeland. Laban persuades him to stay
Agrees than all speckled sheep and speckled lambs would be Jacob's.
Why peeled poplar branches at mating time caused speckled lambs
remains a mystery. But Jacob gained all the best lambs.
Laban was not happy - his 'deal' was turning sour.
And so was his relationship with Jacob. 311,2
It was time to go. And God confirmed this longing to Jacob. 313
When Jacob told Rachel and Leah, their response was:
Does not Laban regard us as foreigners?
Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us ...
So do whatever God has told you to do. 3115
Little love here; they both had a somewhat mercenary view about leaving.
1. Jacob did not tell Laban he was leaving.
2. Rachel stole her father's household gods.
An angry Laban pursues Jacob and catches up with him in Gilead after 7 days.
God warns him in a dream:
Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad. 3124
Laban pours out to Jacob a whole string of questions:
What have you done? Why did you run off? Why did you steal my gods? ...
He says he has power to harm him, but is only stopped by God. True!
Jacob tells him to search for his gods and kill whoever he finds has them.
He clearly didn't know Rachel had stolen them.
Rachel was having a period, so was not yet pregnant with Benjamin.
And it made a good excuse to prevent her father searching her camel bags.
Jacob would later order the destruction of these gods. 352
But one cannot but wonder if they were the cause of her death
when she gave birth to Benjamin. 3516-20
Jacob and Laban set up a pillar as a witness, and a boundary between them,
that neither would pass the pillar and cause harm to the other.
They would never meet again.
Jacob twice refers to The God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac. 3142,53
Awe of God is an entirely appropriate response;
but he also desires to be our Father, known for his love and compassion.
He tells Laban that it is God who rebuked him and brought justice
though his wages had been changed 10 times. 3141,42
Laban kisses his grandchildren and daughters, but not Jacob. 3155
Jacob Returns and is in Earnest for God 321 - 3320
Jacob went on his way - but he was afraid of Esau.
So in the kindness of God the angels of God met him. 321
We are not told what they did or said.
He sends a message to Esau which said that after 20 years with Laban,
he was now rich and desired to find favour in Esau's eyes.
He was not coming back to claim his birthright - 2/3 of Isaac's possessions.
Esau comes to meet him with 400 men!
A fearful Jacob sends whole herds of goats and ewes, plus donkeys and camels,
in wave after wave, each with a message - 'a gift sent for my Lord Esau.'
He divides his wives, servants and possessions into 2 groups,
and they cross the ford over the river Jabbok.
Jacob prays - but it is very different from the vow he made at Bethel. 2820-22
O God of my father Abraham,
God of my father Isaac,
O Lord, who said to me,
"Go back to your country and your relatives,
and I will make you prosper,"
I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness
you have shown your servant.
I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan,
but now I have become two groups.
Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau,
for I am afraid he will come and attack me,
and also the mothers with their children.
But you have said, "I will surely make you prosper
and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea,
which cannot be counted." 329-12
Reverence to Almighty God, who had
chosen Abraham and spoken to Jacob.
Remembers covenant of God.
Due humility. Acknowledges all success
gained is due to God's kindness and
Always afraid of Esau. Jacob was an
expert herdsman but had never been a
military fighter like Abraham or David.
Cared for family as well as himself.
Again he remembers God's covenant,
and rightly claims its reliability and
truth. There is no complaint about Laban's
tricks and underhand dealing.
Jacob remains on the East side of the river - alone with God.
All night he wrestles. 3224
I will not let you go unless you bless me. 3226
His desire for the blessing of God had been his goal for many years.
He had gained wealth and a large family, but that was not what he sought.
He wanted the approval and presence of God - that Isaac had not given him.
Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because
you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." 3228
When God names or changes a man's name it is always of great significance.
Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (exalted father of a multitude). Gen 174,5
Hoshea (salvation) to Joshua (saviour). Num 1316
Solomon (peaceful) to Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord). 2Sam 1225
'Deserted' and Desolate' to Hephzibah (delight) and Beulah (married). Is 624
Pashhur (son of Horus - hawk-headed sky god, power) to Magor-Missabib
(terror on all sides - i.e. Babylon). Jer 203,4
Simon (hears, obeys) to Rock ('Cephas' in Aramaic or 'Petros' in Greek). Jn 141
To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Rev 217
Why does Jacob call the place Peniel?
It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life is spared. 3230
He now saw God as truly the Lord Almighty
and himself as a sinner who deserved condemnation, not reward.
That God should come to him and spare him was utterly amazing.
It should continue to amaze all Christians too.
The gracious Lord is merciful, he does not give us what we deserve,
but what we do not deserve - forgiveness and eternal life.
From this day on, Jacob would always limp;
and remind him of this life-changing night at Peniel, and God's grace.
Jacob separates Zilpah and Bilhah and their children,
then Leah and her children and then Rachel and Joseph in the rear.
He goes ahead to meet Esau and bows 7 times.
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him;
he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. 334
What a different reception from what he expected.
Obviously God had been at work.
Esau refuses the droves Jacob had sent on ahead, but Jacob insisted.
He wisely refuses Esau's proposal to go back to Seir (Edom) together.
Jacob went to Succoth - only 4 miles W. of Peniel
Jacob journeyed on to Shechem.
There he bought a plot of land and set up an altar.
He called it El Elohe = God, the mighty God of Israel.
Jacob in the Promised Land 341 - 3529
First problem: 341-31
It arose because Dinah, Leah's daughter, went to visit the Hivites.
Shechem, the ruler's son raped her and was desperate to marry her.
He offered Jacob a huge dowry and prosperity in their land.
Jacob's son's agreed deceitfully - but they must all be circumcised.
Hamor, the ruler, and his son agreed.
They encouraged their people with the promise
that the property and animals of the Israelites would become theirs.
Simeon and Levi killed all the men when they were sore.
And they plundered the women and wealth of the Hivites,
so avenging the rape of Dinah.
Jacob did not approve of this action that threatened his existence in the land.
But the Canaanites did not combine and attack Jacob.
God tells Jacob to move to Bethel (25 miles SW) and to build an altar there. 351
Jacob told all his family to get rid of their foreign gods (Laban's and the Hivites).
He buried them and their ear rings under the oak at Shechem.
They also needed to purify themselves and change their clothes.
God causes all the people to be in fear of them. No one pursued them. 355
At Bethel God appears to Jacob again. 359-15 2813,14
He blessed and reminded him:
That although his name was Jacob, he would now be called Israel.
A nation will come from you, and kings.
The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac will be yours and your descendants.
The grateful Jacob set up a stone pillar where God had spoken to him,
and poured out an offering to the Lord who was so gracious.
God blessed Jacob - but that does not mean an easy life. After Gen 359
Jacob limped, Rachel dies, Joseph was 'lost', famine in promised land,
he is exiled to Egypt, and discovers that his sons lied to him.
Jacob and his family moved on south, but then tragedy struck.
Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin.
He buried his beloved with many tears just outside Bethlehem.
Eventually he arrived at Mamre and Isaac.
Soon the aged Isaac died old and full of years. 3529
We are not told if Rebekeh died before or after Isaac.
They were buried together in Hebron with Abraham and Sarah. 4931
Jacob and Leah would also be buried there at Machpelah. 5012
Jacob inherits the land - or did he? Gen 461-4 Heb 1113-16
Abraham and Jacob were given the promised land
and something (or rather Someone) far better.
They now live with God for ever, rejoicing in their salvation! Exd 36 Math 2232
Abraham wasn't perfect.
Jacob had many faults
So do we.
What hope have any of us?
How can the guilt which Abraham and Jacob felt be overcome?
They looked forward to the day of Jesus Christ.
How can my guilt be removed?
By looking to Jesus who made an end of all my sin on the cross.
Joseph's Dreams and their Fulfilment 371 - 5026
These 14 chapters have the title This is the account of Jacob. 372
But they are nearly all about Joseph!
Family life in the tents of the Patriarch's Isaac and Jacob
was not filled with harmony and love.
Jacob's sons tended the considerable flocks away from home.
Their behaviour was not good.
Joseph when 17 brought their father a bad report about them. 372
Jacob loved Joseph more than all his elder brothers.
(Like his father Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob)
Jealous, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. 374
Envy and jealousy are cruel masters. Cain also allowed them to reign.
Joseph had two dreams, which he (perhaps unwisely) told to his brothers.
1. At harvest time Joseph's sheaf stood upright
and all his brother's sheaves gathered round and bowed down to it.
2. The sun, moon and 11 stars were bowing down to him.
He told his father the second dream and Jacob rebuked him;
but unlike his other sons, he also kept the matter in his mind.
Joseph's brothers however, hated him all the more. 378
God would fulfill both these dreams that had the same obvious meaning.
Stage One of God's Planned Deliverance 3712-36
Some 170 years had passed since God had revealed to Abraham
that the Hebrews would be 400 years in Egypt before being delivered.
But how would the Israelites become enslaved in Egypt?
Jacob was about 110.
He sent his 20 year old Joseph to Shechem 50 miles away
where his brothers were with Jacob's flocks.
When he got there they had moved another 13 miles N to Dothan.
His brothers saw him in the distance and immediately recognised his coat.
They plotted to kill the dreamer. 3718 c.f. Lu 2014
Reuben didn't want to kill him;
they agreed to just throw him into an empty cistern and let him die.
But God had planned that some Midianite merchants were on their way to Egypt.
The brothers sold Joseph to them.
They kept his coat, soaked it in blood and took it to Jacob. Joseph was dead!
Jacob refused to be comforted.
Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials.
And that might have been the end of this grimy story.
But God ....
Joseph in Potiphar's House 391-23
Scripture often gives brief summaries; here is one:
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered. 392
And so did his master. So much so that he both saw and acknowledged it.
The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph's care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. 395,6
It is rare that a man can so trust his servant that he has no worries.
Only the presence of the Lord could achieve this blissful state.
Daniel would later do the same for Nebuchadnezzar and Darius.
The true church should bless any land and be seen to do so.
But sadly it has failed.
We can only conclude that men in the church have preferred their own power
or sinful ways to the presence of the Lord.
In Potiphar's house there was only one problem - sex.
Joseph is described as being well built and handsome. 396b
Day after day Potiphar's wife lusted after him saying, "Come to bed with me."
But Joseph consistently refused her invitations or even to be with her. 397-10
One day when she grabbed his cloak the righteous Joseph ran.
She pretended he had tried to rape her. Potiphar believed her.
Was he so blind as to not notice his wife's affections?
Joseph was sent to prison.
Joseph in Prison 3920 - 4146
While in prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him
favour in the eyes of the prison warder. So the warder put Joseph in charge of all
those held in prison. 3920b-22
Like Potiphar, the warder soon saw Joseph was both trustworthy and efficient.
So he gave him all the dull organisation of prison life.
Thus he had no worries and very little work to do.
Some time later Pharaoh was angry with his cupbearer and his baker.
He sent them to prison - to Joseph's prison.
One night both of them had a dream - different dreams.
Joseph immediately noticed that they were dejected and asked why.
They couldn't discern what the dreams meant.
(He obviously cared about his fellow prisoners.)
Neither could Joseph; but he knew One who did know precisely.
He said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God?" 408
When the chief cupbearer told him his dream, God revealed its meaning.
The 3 branches are three days.
In 3 days you will be restored to your old job.
Then he asked him when you are restored and all goes well with you,
remember me to Pharaoh.
When the baker heard the favourable interpretation, he asked too.
But God revealed that his dream was very different.
The 3 baskets were also 3 days.
But in 3 days Pharaoh will lift up your head and hang you!
Both dreams were fulfilled.
But the Chief Cupbearer forgot all about Joseph. 3923
He only remembered 2 years later when Pharaoh had a pair of dreams.
Pharaoh was troubled. His magicians failed to interpret them.
Then the Chief Cupbearer told him about Joseph.
He is sent for; but first has to shave and change his clothes!
"I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."
Joseph replies, "I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer." 4115,16
When told his dreams, Joseph said,
The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: they are seven years of famine. ... The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. 4125-32
God also told Joseph what Pharaoh should do.
It is amazing how the Lord Almighty unfolds his plan for Joseph and Israel.
And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.
The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 4133-37
Joseph never returned to prison.
Like Daniel, when he revealed God's word to Nebuchadnezzar,
he is promoted to Prime Minister, aged 30 years. 4146
And the warder had to do his job again!
Joseph as Prime Minister 4146-57 471-26
He immediately set to work.
For 7 years the harvests were abundant - as God revealed they would be.
Joseph travelled throughout Egypt building grain stores in every city.
He bought all the cheap surplus grain.
It was so much that they even stopped taking records of it. 4149
No one asked why he was doing this or copied his example.
Pharaoh did not question the huge expenses year after year.
Perhaps it was like in Noah's day; they thought he was a loony.
This God of his is just a figment of his imagination!
But the 7 good years soon passed; then the harvest failed.
And the next year, and the next ... Prices rose sharply.
Joseph was prepared for what God had promised would happen.
Are we prepared for the last days of great wickedness and persecution?
How should we prepare?
Learn and believe the Word of God regarding sin and salvation in Christ
Discern the revelation of what God has prepared for those who love him.
in the short term - Rev 137,10 Dan 121,7 721,25 824
In these times of persecution God remains sovereign and faithful.
in the long term - Dan 726 825b 244,45 Rev 1714 18-22
Almighty God will bring eternal justice, truth and righteousness.
He will establish his glorious kingdom on earth.
The grain that Joseph bought cheap was now sold expensively. 4713-31
The people of Egypt (and surrounding nations) would live - at a price!
First all their money, then their livestock, then their land and 1/5 of all crops.
And Joseph reduced the people to servitude. 4721
All except the priests and the Hebrews
No doubt Pharaoh was grateful to have all Egypt in his pocket.
If he wasn't absolute dictator before he was now.
What did he do with this incredible wealth; how long did it last?
He, and all his successors left it all behind when they died!
There is no record of this mass enslavement or great building program
in either 12th Egyptian Dynasty 1991 to 1783 BC
nor in the 13th Dynasty 1783-1640 BC, during which there were 70 kings.
The Hyksos Pharaohs (not native Egyptian) were overthrown by Ahmose
in 1532 BC and the Hebrews became slaves.
The Exodus is thought to be ~1290 BC (Ramses II) and thus Joseph ~1690,
But both could be 200 years earlier!
Why doesn't Egyptian history record the important Biblical events?
The total servitude of all Egypt under Joseph, and 400 years later
the 10 major plagues, the Exodus of the Hebrew slaves
and the destruction of the army in the Red Sea.
Jacob goes down to Egypt 421 - 4731
Scripture gives a long detailed account of how famine struck the Promised Land.
Jacob sends his sons down to Egypt to buy grain,
Joseph recognises them, but they don't recognise him,
Joseph imprisons Simeon so that Benjamin has to go to Egypt too,
Joseph then reveals who he is.
His character if filled with the grace of God
He has long since forgiven his jealous, lying brothers and says
God sent me ahead of you to preserve you ...
it was not you who sent me here, but God. 457,8
He send them back to Jacob saying, "Do not quarrel on the way." 4524
He knew his brothers well.
Then old Jacob goes down to Egypt - he longs to see Joseph.
On the way Jacob offers sacrifices at Beersheba and God assures him. 461-4
I am God, the God of your father, do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph's own hand will close your eyes.
God did bring him back - in a coffin! Jacob was buried in Hebron.
God did bring a large Hebrew nation back under Moses and Joshua.
When Joseph died he was embalmed and his coffin taken to Hebron by Moses.
When Jacob meets Joseph they embraced and wept for a long time. 4629
Israel said to Joseph, "Now I am ready to die." 4630
But he lived a further 17 years in Egypt. 4728
When Jacob met Pharaoh, it is Jacob who blesses Pharaoh. 477
Jacob had far more to bless Pharaoh than Pharaoh had to bless Jacob!
Shortly before Jacob dies he calls for Joseph and his sons.
With his right hand upon Ephraim (the younger son):
Then he blessed Joseph and said, "May the God before whom my fathers walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm - may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly upon the earth." 4815,16
Almighty God was his Shepherd all his life, even with Laban and in Egypt.
Though his days were often filled with trial, he was 'delivered from all harm'.
His children were called by his name 'the Children of Israel', the Israelites,
the chosen descendants of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
He had already obtain Joseph's promise not to bury him in Egypt. 4729
God had promised him a far better place in the promised land!
His promise to Abraham in Gen 122,3 was always most precious. 2531 3226
And Israel worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 4731
Finally Jacob blesses each of his sons - honestly! 491-28
There are not many complementary words.
The sceptre will not depart from Judah ... until he comes to whom it belongs.
Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships.
Asher's food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
Joseph is a fruitful vine ... his bow remained steady ... because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above.
Joseph, who was sold as a slave by his jealous brothers, not only became PM,
but he treasured the Lord God, and forgave as he had been forgiven by God.
It was the later that old Jacob saw and rejoiced in.
It enabled him to give such an abundant blessing to Joseph.
And he was Rachael's firstborn.
When Jacob had blessed his sons he again gave instructions about his burial
at Hebron with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah.
(Rachael was buried near Bethlehem).
Jacob then drew his feet up into his bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people. 4933
Joseph wept. Scripture does not tell us how his other sons reacted.
Jacob was embalmed and mourned for 70 days.
Pharaoh gave Joseph permission to go and bury Jacob.
His brothers were very concerned about their safety now Jacob was gone.
Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am in the place of God? You intended harm to me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. 5019,20
Joseph lived another 53 years in Egypt and died aged 110.
To the end he was deeply concerned that they remember God's word.
"I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ... then you must carry my bones up from this place." 5024,25
So Joseph died, they embalmed him and placed him in a coffin in Egypt. 5026
Moses did carry his bones back to the promised land. Exd 1319
And Joshua buried him at Shechem. Josh 2432