Wednesday, June 27, 2012


One last thought on "the fall":  man succumbed to temptation and sinned.  It is no sin to be tempted.  But sin is committed when we yield to the temptation.  Temptation will always be there.  God allows temptation, but He never causes it.  James 1 reminds us of that.
Severe consequences follow when we sin.  Man was cast out of the garden.  Sin had separated man from the close fellowship with God.  Man would henceforth labor and toil and life would be harder.  Note that the Garden of Eden and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil were mentioned in the 2nd chapter of Genesis and the last chapter in Revelation, where it states that they will be restored.

.Chapter 4  -  Cain and Abel

One thing we must get out of the way first.  I don't have any concrete answers, but just a few thoughts.  As you read Chapter 4, you become aware that there seems to be many people on the earth, yet not too many decades have passed.  Remember what I said about the writers being limited as they conveyed on paper the words and thoughts of God.  Although we'll comment more on this when we get to the flood, I am still not convinced that God's creation of "Man" was limited to Adam and Eve.  His mentioning of man and mankind as opposed to a single man makes me think.  Certainly no believer limits God's ability to create as many humans as He wanted to.  I'm not trying to make this difficult, but we're talking about ALL CREATION here.  How can everything be contained in 3 chapters of 1 book?  We must have very forgiving minds and hearts if some facts and events are ommitted.  Like I stated in an earlier post, I believe the Bible contains everything we NEED to know.

There is so much in this short chapter.  The Scripture tells about an array of sins ranging from petty jealousy to premeditated murder, constantly teaching us about the "personality and character" of God.
Adam and Eve had 2 sons:  Cain first, then Abel.  Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd.  (Just like the work God assigned man)  Cain and Able brought offerings.  (Levitican Law not established yet.  I am to assume that God made these mandates known to Adam and Eve)  In verse 3, Cain brought as an offering "some of the fruits of the soil".  vs 4:  Abel brought "fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock"  God was pleased with Abel's offering, but not with Cain's.  I have a few thoughts as to why:  Cain's attitude may have been begrudging about giving anything to anybody including God.  Its easy not to like Cain much.  He reminds me of Esau.  Also, the best from Cain's crops would be the seed stock, or the very plumpest of the fruits and vegitables. It was clear that Abel offered the best.  God honors the "first born" as we'll see very clearly in the books to come.  Cain did not approach God and asked how he could do better or even why God was displease.  Instead, Cain got angry.  Very childish.  Vs 6 God said if you do what is right, you will be accepted, which tells me that Cain was rejected more than his offering was.  vs 7:  "sin is crouching at your door", dangerously close.  like a snake coiled up, ready to strike.  I see God here as tring to lead Cain to repentance, but remember God gives us a free heart to love Him and fellowship with Him.  Unfortunately this free heart can choose to go the other way.  So Cain took Abel out in the fields and killed him.  Jealousy had turned to murder.  Then God finds Cain and asked where Abel was.  "I don't know" (lie)  Am I my brother's keeper (smartmouthing God)  Punishment was swift and just.  Punishment was two-fold:  banished from his homeland, living the life of a fugitive, and the land would no longer be generous for Cain as it had been (I still say he took for granted how bountiful his crops were and was stingy with his offering to God.  just a thought)  He was banished to the land of Nod.  Doesn't tell exactly where Nod is, but the Hebrew of Nod is "wandering"  reminds me of the wilderness Moses and Aaron got stuck in.  One last thought about Cain.  This is from a 61 year old Christian and student of human nature.  A bad relationship with man causes a bad relationship with God.  A bad relaionship with God causes a bad relationship with man.  I've seen it time and time again.  Can a person be right with God and wrong with mankind at the same time?  Possible I suppose, but I doubt it.
As you finsh reading chapter 5, you'll see a lot of lineage (Old Testiment is big on lineage.  Maticulous records were kept)  But notice Cain's bloodline.  Gets to Lamech.  Vss 23, 24 He admits to his wife that he killed a man.  Appears out of anger.  Just like his great grandfather.
But this chapter ends on a wonderful note.  Check out vss 25,26.  God allowed Adam and Eve to have another son.  He was named Seth.  He was to replace Abel.  Seth also had a son he named Enos.  vs 26b  -  "at that time people began to call on the name of the Lord".  Think about that:  Cain descendants became murderers and the like.  Seth's descendant became Godly people.  Seth's heart was right, but we know that he must have put forth effort to teach and set an example for his family every day.

Monday, June 25, 2012


I'd like to cover Genesis chapters 3 and 4 today if time allows.  Seems like one could go on and on about every verse in Genesis.  But just a brief word or two about the first two chapters.  They are basic to the understanding of the entire Bible.  If it is not understood or seems unconvincing then the remainder is difficult to understand fully.  Remember, Genesis does not mean the FIRST.  The only thing first about Genesis is that it is the first book of the Bible.  Genesis means ORIGIN.  Not the first origin, but rather THE origin, thus an acute understanding is necessary.
Note back in 1.24 that God commented on his creation of all heretofore, saying "it was good".  But in vs 31, after He created man, He said "it was very good".  God knew that creating man was His finest work.  No wonder He gave His dear Son's life for us.  We'll find out after our study of Levitican Law how only God's perfect genious could devise the only way for us to have a restored fellowship with Him.
In chapter 3, things are a bit out of order.  Man was already created.  Now for some details.  God made man from the dust of the ground.  God breathed into the nostrils of man the breath of life, thus man became not only a living human being, but also a living soul, something to which the animals were not priviledged.  Man was made in God's image, and capable of fellowship with God.  Among all that was created, man was the bright and shining trophy.  And God was pleased.
He placed man in an absolutely perfect environment called the Garden of Eden.  This garden was perfect, watered through underground and on-ground streams so as to water everything effortlessly and perfectly.  The garden was beautiful and provided man with everything to sustain life.  God further blessed man by assigning him to work it and take care of it.  Work was a blessing from God and not punishment for wrong-doing.  Work and the ability to perform work is still a blessing taken much too much for granted.
The Lord God commanded that man could eat from the garden except for the fruit from tree of knowledge of good and evil which was in the middle of the garden.
((( In the 1st chapter of Genesis, God the Creator was referenced as "God".  However, beginning in the 2nd chapter and forward, He is refered to as "the Lord God".  Ever notice the change?  Throughout the old and new testiments, there will be different names used for God, all having a purpose.  I hope I don't neglect to mention these as we go through and meet the different names.  Some very interesting.  To me "the Lord God" means that God had moved from the Creator of all things to the Lord or "ruler", having power and authority over all living things, and is present and among them.)))
Everything seemed to have been working very well.  I'm not certain how long.  But then in vs 18" The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him."  then in vs 20 "but for Adam (I really like that name) no suitable helper was found".  So God created woman from the side of a man.  vs 24 "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh".  Say that vs  24 again to yourself.  That is exactly how God envisioned marriage to be.  The marriage of a man and a woman is to be exclusive, permanent, and God-sealed.  Man is made for woman and woman is made for man.  On a personal note:  I am only half without my wife Peggy.  She is my other half.  She completes me.  We are one.  We are partners.  Together we are smart, powerful, ordained of God, solid, strong, wise, productive, self-disciplined, happy.  She's my friend and confidant.  I've been with Peggy 40 years now and I cannot imagine how empty and incomplete my life would be without her.  I honestly think that my marriage is the way God wanted it to be. 
God instituted marriage and the home.  Family life and the home were part of God's original purpose for man.
Genesis Chapter III  -  The Fall
I meant to make this comment earlier, but better late than never:  Many many years ago when I was seeking an understanding of God through studying His holy scripture, a man tried his best to explain to me that Moses and the other men God used to write the scripture were inspired by the God through many different means (dreams, visions, directives, angels, etc.)  These people wrote the scripture in thier own languages, documenting these events and times in the only manner they knew, and making every attempt to describe and explain in such a way as to promote understanding to all of mankind in all future generations.  How does one accomplish that?  Thier languages had only so many words and they were commissioned often to describe things that nobody ever saw or heard of before.  ie Ezekial.  When John the Beloved tries to describe objects and events in Revelation, he described them the only way his limited language could, resulting in some confusion to say the least.  But taking it backwards to Moses describing the whole creation of the heavens, the earth, the universe, animal, vegitable, mineral, man, woman, serpants, sin, tree of good and evil, cheribim, seriphim, the flood, the tower of babble, just to name a few.  Just try to imagine God giving you a very vivid vision of all this and you are commissioned to explain it in writing.  I mention this because I honestly feel that this awareness helped me bridge the gaps in my mind between the direct, the concrete, and the abstract.  I suggest any serious student of the Bible to pray for understanding of these men's discriptions of events, especially in books like Genesis, Jonah, Revelation, Ezekial, Job, to name a few.
I am often entertained by the factual stories in the Bible.  This is one.  The serpent beguiles and persuades Eve.  She tells him God says she will die if she eats the fruit.  The serpent chuckles and says "now you don't really think He would kill you, do you?  C'mon."  The serpent goes on to paint a bad picture of God making such a restriction because He doesn't want her to know as much as He does.  Temptation wins (as usual)  Adam also partakes.  They know they've done wrong and are ashamed and actually hide from God.  But God seeks out Adam and asked about his disobedience.  Adam said it was the woman YOU gave me (Your fault God).  That wouldn't have sat well.  God asked Eve about it.  She was a little better and blamed it on the serpent.  At least she admitted her weakness.  The whole story is written plainly in NIV.  But look at some of the punishments.  The garden work will become really hard work now.  Weeds, thistles, thorns, insects.  The work will be hard and sweaty.  They will no longer be allowed in the Garden of Eden.  They must go out and work the land that is raw like the raw land we have today.
That story of the fall is good and educational and very revealing of human nature, but there is another important issue.  God did not punish Adam and Eve for eating of the tree of good and evil.  He punished them for disobedience.  Throughout the Bible, we'll see God punish mostly for two reasons:  disobedience and lack of faith.  Much of the time, He allows the results of our own actions to punish us.
Battery low.  will post again soon.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


The word Genesis means "origin".  It is our beginning and lays the foundation for the entire existance of this world.

The very first verse can lead our minds to many questions, hours of pondering and seeking an understanding with which we are satisfied.  Take note of the very first phrase "In the beginning".  Beginning of what?? Eternity past is even more incomprehensable that eternity future.  The beginning it speaks of is the beginning of our earth and universe only.  Due to the very fact that God began creating this universe is evidence itself that God existed before the universe did.  Was this the first universe?  the only universe?  I have not seen in The Bible anywhere that states it is the only universe.  There are religions today that INSIST that God created many.  We'll discuss that more in-depth later.
I see God invisioning the kind of world He wanted.  (didn't take man long to louse it up)  He stared creating.
1st day  -  Light and the separation of day and night (how perfectly He created it.  The angel in charge of the Alpha Centuria must be a busy guy)  Did he creat man to live in harmony of the earth and its universe or did He create the universe to accomodate man.  ie day, night, earth's rotation around the sun, seasons of hot and cold determined by the tilt of the earth's axis, perfect gravitaional pull and gravity of the sun to keep us in orbit,  the list goes on and on, but the question remains as to which was created for which?
2nd day  -  Firmament (KJV)  Vault (NIV)  Simply, the sky.  Don't underestimate the importance of this part of His creation.  The sky holds everything between us and the Heavens.  God made the earth to have the EXACT amount of everthing, including water.  No matter what we try to do with or to water, the sky keeps every drop within the earth and its atmosphere.  None can excape.  Frightening to imagine what would happen if any did actually escape.  We are the stewards God assigned to all this.  More on that later.
3rd day  -  The land, the seas, and the plant life.  Now its starting to look like something.
4th day  -  Sun, moon, stars.  Remember, God being perfect, know all of that which is needed before He started.
5th day  -  Animals in the water and animals in the sky.  I still see sparrows and listen to them and still marvel at how complete His creation is.
6th day  -  Animals on land and then Man.
There it is.  All we need and I think nothing we don't.  I've believed this most of my life, just as I belive that the Bible contains all we NEED to know.
Verse 26 is thought-provoking:  "Let us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness"  The word "Our" always told me that God the Father was speaking to Jesus.  And further that God actually is a phsical as well as a spiritual Being, complete with a shape similar to ours.  So when we speak of God's hands or God's eyes, we are not at all being disrespectful in our references.
Verse 27 stated He made male and female of everything living, so that all things' existance will be self perpetual.  He said to be frutful and increase in number.  God imparted to every life form the capacity to reproduce itself.
He further said for man to "rule over" all animals.  I have at times lost patience for the factions of our society that have taken seemingly unreasonable steps to protect certain of our species of animals, but I must remind myself that God made us stewards of these and we must act responsibly with much prayer.
7th day  -  God rested from His work.  He blessed the seventh day and made it holy.  Holy means set apart.  The Sabbath still means Saturday.  Nowhere in the Bible have I found that the sabbath was to be switched to Sunday (I've looked)  Have we made a very LARGe mistake??  I'll bet we have.  We'll discuss this further down the road.
Before I close this post today, I must comment further on verses 25,26,27........ This is sooooo important.  God created everything, including the birds, the fish, and all the animals and His creation was full and alive.  But none of these had the capacilty to love God or fellowship with Him.  I think that is why man was created.  Remember, God has angels to worship Him.  That was covered, but even the angels were not able to make a concious decision to love and serve and fellowship with their Creator.  Only man has been blessed with the ability to do that.  That is a sobering thought.  One which will be commented on very frequently in the months to come.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


June 13, 2012

My son Adam has set up a blog page for me (this is all very new to me).  We have decided that this blog would be the best way for me to go thru the Bible and post my thoughts.  Adam agrees that this will give him a shared insight of the Bible as a whole and a multitude of passages within.

As I post my thoughts, I will be less than organized as in writing prose, so I ask any reader to suffer me tolerance throughout.

I truly pray that Adam and I and any other reader will be truly blessed by this effort.

I consider this to be somewhat of a sobering undertaking due the importance of doing it properly. The prospect of misleading someone in the understanding of the Holy Bible is frightening due to its potential harm in a person's quest for spiritual growth. Therefore, I must make the disclaimer that all of my comments are opinion, given not by authority, but rather by permission.

I consider the Bible indeed holy. The Bible is to be studied in an attempt to know God, understand Him and His purpose for us and His expectations of us. The Bible is not to be worshipped. It is to be used as a tool in one's quest for knowledge and wisdom.

I consider the Bible to be perfect howbeit complicated for a full understanding. Although the Bible has a single Author, being God Himself, He used as many as 37 - 40 human beings as instruments for His writings. Over the centuries many additional people were used in documentations, translations, paraphrasing, etc.

For the absence of a more accurate term, I will conduct this by "expounding" on the word of God. Although I am not placing myself in the company of Ezra, this is the only way I know to go about promoting an understanding of the Bible in such a way to make it real and meaningful to the 21st century. (I mention Ezra because he was the first person I found in the Old Testiment to actually "teach" or promote an understanding of the scripture)  When I speak of the Bible, I am very careful in the refering to sections or passages as "symbolic" because I feel that this is a dangerous path and not only waters down the whole Bible, but promotes shortcuts in thoughts when trying to grow spiritually thru Bible study.

I've never read the New International Version, let alone teach it.  I've always used the King James Version. So, in order to try to expound on the NIV, I have obtained a copy and will read it, Genesis to Revelation, as I have done so with the King James, and will "think out loud" on this blog as I go along.  If I am ever confusing in my comments (possibly often) please request clarification as you go over any in question.

I've never created or posted onto a blog before. I guess any reader can post onto it. I hope.

This entire Bible study should take no more than 18 to 24 months.

I consider there to be 9 sections in the Bible:
The Law
Poetry and Wisdom
Major Prophets
Minor Prophets
Gospels & Acts
Paul's Letters (Epistles)
General Epistles

Although the first 5 books are in the Torah (Law), Genesis, the first book, is actually more History and very interesting, giving a solid foundation for the entire Bible and all It encompasses. Ever wonder why it is proper to capitalize the word History? Because the word's origin is "His Story" God's Story.

The Book of Genesis

Human Author: Moses
Place: Egypt and Canaan
Date: 1450bc - 1400bc