Week Five (A look back at Genesis 4)

Woo Hoo Week Five, Ladies!

Welcome back! We are almost halfway through our study of the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

In the previous chapter, we dealt with a sad time in the history of man. Sin entered into a perfect creation and corrupted everything God had made good. Not only was man corrupted by sin, but the natural world received its (sin’s) curse, as well.

In verse one, we read of the gift of life; an offspring had been born. Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve, was the first child born to mankind. Note what Eve says, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Do you sense her hope? Eve remembered the words God had spoken against the serpent for his part in the Fall.

Let’s read those words again: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” As she held her newborn son those words must have passed through her mind, since she was so proud she had received a man child from God. Eve may have thought it was through Cain who the Seed, the Redeemer of mankind, would be born. Although she was incorrect, she understood one day God would send a Redeemer to the world. (And I forgot to mention last week that the phrase, “you shall bruise His heel,” is a foreshadowing of the Crucifixion of Christ. As a person nailed to a cross would push up to get a breath, the friction of the heel against the wooden cross would bruise that person’s heel. Satan thought he had won when Christ was crucified, but we know the Cross and subsequent Resurrection of Christ, sealed Satan’s fate. Satan was not—and is—not God.)

In verse 2, we read Eve had another son, Abel. A lot of time passes in this one verse, because we are given the occupations of the brothers. Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer. At some point in time, Cain brought to God an offering full of crops he had grown. Abel also bought an offering. The place of the offerings was likely near where the cherubim stood guard over the tree of life, but we don’t know with any certainty, however.

It is important to note here this question. How did they know to bring an offering to the LORD? I believe it was through the example of their father, Adam. Adam had been introduced to the practice of blood sacrifice when God sacrificed an animal or animals as a means of providing sufficient clothing for Adam and Eve. We aren’t told Adam sacrificed between Genesis 3 and 4, but how would the brothers know to do so unless they were told or shown by example? One of the results of the Fall of Man is death. Death is a consequence that not only humans, but animals, will experience, in fact, all of Creation experiences death. We have a constant cycle of new birth and death whether it be in the vegetation, the animals, or in humanity. Sin caused death.

Verse 3 tells us that Abel brought a different sacrifice from his brother, Cain. Abel brought his firstlings (or firstborn, and best) of his flock of sheep. It also notes he brought the fat too. The writer of Genesis made certain to note the LORD’s respect of Abel, and of his offering. However, in verse 4, we read the response of the LORD to Cain’s offering. God did not respect Cain nor his offering.

Exactly what type of offering this was, we don’t know. Up to this point in man’s history, the Law had not been given, so it could be God may have accepted grain, animal and/or other offerings. We can, however, read other verses in the Bible to get a clearer understanding of what is happening here. (Note that Scripture interprets Scripture. Scripture can helps us gain a better understanding of what is presented in another verse of Scripture.)

Let’s look at Hebrews 11:4. In the first part of this verse it reads: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” This is our commentary on Genesis 4:3-5. Abel’s offering was what God wanted. God wasn’t pleased with Cain’s offering. God is sovereign, and He also knows the heart of man (Acts 15:8). God knew who Cain was. Cain couldn’t hide what was in his heart which is true for all of us.

We don’t know what happened to signify  the rejection of Cain’s offering, but we do know how Cain responded. Cain’s response is an indicator of his heart. He was angry, and his countenance failed. Cain, as the older brother, could have been upset due to the fact his younger brother’s offering was accepted when his was not. Cain’s pride was hurt which is indicated by his countenance falling.

God lovingly gives Cain a warning in verses 6-7.

 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.

God questions him about his anger and his fallen countenance. He lovingly answers those questions for Cain like a father would do for a son. If Cain did well, he would be accepted. God warned him when he doesn’t do well, sin lies in wait for him. God tells Cain sin desires to capture him and control him. We would do well to heed God’s warning as well. Right?

In verse 7, God gives Cain a complete lesson on sin and its desire to control and ruin. God also gives Cain a clear message: we choose to let sin control us instead of us controlling it. Cain was not letting God be God in his (Cain’s) life. Cain was his own god. Abel, however, was allowing God to be God, hence the acceptance of his offering.

When we give sin root in our life, sin will control us.

In verse 8, Cain goes and talks with his brother, Abel, at some point. We are not given any indication of what Cain talked about with his brother. However, it isn’t hard to assume it most likely was related to the offerings and to the jealousy growing in Cain’s heart toward his brother. The jealousy and hatred had so exponentially coiled itself around Cain’s heart that one day, while they were in the field, Cain killed his brother. The sin (hate) in Cain’s heart drove him to be the first murderer in humankind.

Cain let sin control him and, in the process, he took another life. Cain’s dead heart was revealed in his actions.

In verse 9, did God not know where Abel was? God knew. But what Cain says to God in this verse indicates more about Cain’s character. Cain was not only a prideful, jealous, angry and murderous man, but he also was deceitfully wicked and spiteful. Cain, who had probably been taught the ways of God from his birth, as well as, the Fall of Man, arrogantly tells God he didn’t care about where his brother was. Cain had eliminated his competition.

In verse 10, God, however, tells Cain He knew where Abel was and what Cain had done to his brother. God says Abel’s blood cried to Him from the ground. (Cain had possibly buried his brother.) God then continues with a curse against Cain. Makes me wonder, what if Cain had admitted to God what he had done to Abel, could his fate had been a bit different? We’ll never know, will we? What we do see here (vv. 11-12) is: As the Judge, God requires consequences for sin. Since Cain had left his brother’s dead body in the field and had killed Abel with premeditation rooted in his heart, Cain would be forced to wander the land as a fugitive and vagabond. Cain would no longer be able to live on land he tilled. The ground simply would cease to produce a yield for him.

Then we see Cain say to the LORD in verses 13-14, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.”

Cain was complaining to God and afraid of what his new outlook was to be. The punishment of banishment as a vagabond and a fugitive was more than he could comprehend. Cain had not stopped long enough to consider there would be consequences for his grievous sin of murder. He reacted out of jealousy and hate. Cain knew he would have to leave his family unit, and the land he loved to farm, but also God would no longer be available to him. He mentions his fear of others who would find him and take his life. Who were those people, if the Bible only mentions Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel (who is now dead)?

We do know Adam and Eve have more children (see Gen. 4:25, Gen. 5:4). However, we do not know what age the brothers were at this point in history, but they were likely adults. If Scripture tells us in Genesis 3:16 God would greatly multiply Eve’s (and all women, for that matter) conception, although they aren’t mentioned other than the Scripture pointed out above, it is more than likely Cain and Able were not the only offspring at this time. They (possibly sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, etc.) had to have existed since Cain was afraid of someone, but there is no way of knowing who or how many people were on the earth. Who knows, maybe Cain was afraid his father and mother would seek revenge for Abel’s death. However, there were other unnamed people because in verse 17 Cain has a wife. His wife had to be his sister since it is very unlikely other non-Adamic family units existed at this time.

So, God, even in His punishment towards Cain, extends mercy in verse 15. God protects Cain even as he banishes him. He places some sort of mark on Cain that signifies if anyone kills Cain, God would take vengeance sevenfold upon his murderer.

In verses 16-24, we learn about Cain’s descendants. Cain’s descendent would be ungodly since verse 16 indicates Cain went out from God’s presence. The farther one was from Eden the farther one was from God. Cain dwelled in the land of Nod which is located east of the land of Eden. Nod in Hebrew means wandering.

Cain and his wife had at least one child that we know of. His name was Enoch. We are told in verse 17 Cain built a city and he called it Enoch after his son. We are also given the name of Enoch’s son Irad. Then Cain’s greats are listed, but only following one another, and not several lines of lineage. They are as follows: Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech (v.18).

After Lamech’s name is mentioned we are given more detailed information. Lamech, the first polygamist in Scripture, marries two wives: Adah and Zillah. Adah as at least two sons, Jabal and Jubal. Jabal is noted to be the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. He and his offspring are likely nomads. Jabal is the father of musicians who play the harp and flute.

To Zillah is born Tubal-Cain and his sister, Naamah. Tubal-Cain is a metallurgist working with bronze and iron, however, we do not know anything else about his sister, Naamah.

In verse 23, Lamech’s brags to his two wives about his ability to defend himself, if necessary. The Kiel and Delitzsch Bible Commentary of the Old Testament states this about this passage: “whoever inflicts a wound or stripe on me, whether man or youth, I will put to death; and for every injury done to my person, I will take ten times more vengeance than that with which God promised to avenge the murder of my ancestor Cain.” Depending on what commentary one uses, some have said that Lamech killed someone with an implement that Tubal-Cain crafted and was bragging about it to his wives in song. I’m not one hundred percent certain, but what I do know is, Lamech was a very arrogant and godless man, and this ends the information we have about the line of Cain. His descendants did not know or honor God in what they did, but they relied instead on their own abilities and skilled trades.

Finally, in verses 25-26, we read of another son born to Adam and Eve. Eve recognized that Seth was a replacement for the line of Abel who had been the original godly line from which the Seed to save humanity would have come. Satan had, through the sin of Cain, snuffed out the godly line of Abel. Satan’s schemes did not surprise God. God always contends with the schemes of Satan to destroy God’s plan and purpose. God always prevails. Always! I like how Got Questions states it: “There is always a Seth to replace Abel.” No matter how the “destroyer” tries to usurp God’s divine will, God wins. God is Sovereign. Satan is not. Remember that! Believe it!

And what good news, Seth’s line continued with the birth of Enosh, of whom the godly line would ultimately bring the Redeemer, the promised Seed (v.26). I love how Genesis 4 ends: “Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.”  This is what has long-lasting significance, not advances in civilization as was mentioned in Cain’s line. What matters to God is that He is high and lifted up, not man. Mankind of Seth’s line began to call upon the name of the LORD to proclaim and worship Him.

What a beautiful legacy.

 

Homework assignment for this week:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 5

Suggested Scripture memorization:

“In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.” Genesis 5:1b-2, NKJV

Questions:

1.Whose genealogy was this?

2.What does this text tell us about God created humanity?

3.How old was Adam when Seth was born?

4.Did Adam have other sons and daughters?

5.How long did Adam live?

6.How old was Seth when Enosh was born?

7.Did Seth have other children?

8.How long did Seth live?

9.How old was Enosh when his wife had Cainan?

10.Are you seeing any pattern? What are the pattern(s)?

11.Did Enosh have more children? At what age did he die?

12.How old was Cainan when he begot Mahaleel? Any more children born to Cainan? How old was Cainan when he died?

13.Mahaleel was how old when Jared was born? Were more children born after Jared? How old was Mahaleel when he died?

14.Who was Jared’s son? How old was Jared at his son’s birth? Were more children born after Jared’s first born?

15.What was Jared’s age at his death?

16.At age 65 Enoch became the father of whom? What does Scripture tell us about Enoch after Methuselah was born? Are any of the previous men in Adam’s lineage described in this way?

17.Other sons and daughters were born to Enoch, but we learn something even more significant about him than just his faithful walk with God. What do we learn about Enoch? Why is this fact so significant?

18.Methuselah becomes a father at what age? What is his son’s name? How long does Methuselah live? Do you know what is significant about his age at his death?

19.Lamech has a son at 182 years of age, what is his son’s name?

20.What does Lamech say specifically about his son’s name? What does this mean?

21.After Noah was born, Lamech has other sons and daughters, at what age does Lamech die?

24.Verse 32 tells us Noah is how old? List the names of his sons.

25.Who was the last great great…. grandson Adam probably knew? (See if you can figure it out.)

_________________________________________

For Further Investigation:
Cain and Abel’s Offerings:
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/why-didnt-god-respect-cains-offering/

Cain and Abel:
https://www.gotquestions.org/Cain-and-Abel.html

Cain was afraid:
https://www.gotquestions.org/Cain-afraid.html

Mark on Cain:
https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_715.cfm

Nod:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/nod/

Lamech brags:
http://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/4-23.htm

Seth:
https://www.gotquestions.org/Seth-in-the-Bible.html

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Week Four (A look back at Genesis 3)

I’m so excited to have you back with me as we study through the book of Genesis. Part 1 of this study is over chapters 1-11. We are on the third chapter in Genesis.

Chapter three begins with a fact-filled statement:Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God (Yahweh) had made.” This tells us that the serpent is the most cunning creature at this specific time, and it was created by Yahweh.

Verse one closes out with the serpent speaking. It is a ploy to get the woman to question God and His wisdom.

And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (v.1)

What?

Can serpents speak? Presently no, but could serpents and other animals speak in the Garden? Anything is possible. Let’s make some observations based off the woman’s reply:

 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

The woman is having a conversation with the serpent. Is she fearful? No. If a serpent spoke to you, would you be fearful? I know I would. The Fall had not yet happened, although it is close. Since the woman is still innocent, she has nothing to fear of the serpent.

I wonder if there could have been previous conversations with the serpent, or other animals. It is possible. We do have animals capable of mimicking voices, so there is something in them which they can use to make those voice-like sounds. It is possible they possessed the ability to talk, but we can only speculate since we do not have more information on this subject recorded in Scripture. We do know of another instance in which an animal spoke, but it was God who spoke through the animal (Balaam’s donkey).

Reread the woman’s response. What did she add to what God had said about the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

Nor shall you touch it.

Genesis 2:17 says: “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” There is nothing about not touching it. Right? The woman added to what God said.

The serpent was being used as the mouthpiece of Satan, and undoubtedly accepted being used by Satan to deceive the woman. The serpent was a willing participant and would pay for his willingness in a few verses. He was doing his job: making the woman believe something contrary to truth. He planted a seed of doubt in her mind by questioning what God had already said.

Then he goes in for the “kill.” What does he say to the woman? “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (vv. 4b-5).”

That was a lie. Isn’t that like Satan? He plants a seed of doubt and once that seed of doubt is there, he tells a lie. Satan is the great deceiver, the first liar. John MacArthur says it like this: “Here you have the first lie, as far as we know, ever told. And that is what Satan does, he lies. And mark this down. He lies about two things…one, he lies about the character of God, and he lies about the Word of God. And that’s where his assault is inevitably directed.”1

Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). He used the woman as the weaker vessel to bring about the Fall of man. The serpent (Satan) was indeed cunning.

And the woman fell for that deception.

Verse 6 tells us the woman’s reaction.  The woman saw the tree was good for food. In addition to appealing to the eyes, because of Satan’s lies, she also believed it would make her wise. She takes it from the tree. She ate it. Lastly, she gives it to her husband. We have the temptation (saw), the participation in the appeal of the temptation (takes) and then the fulfillment of the temptation (she ate it). However, she doesn’t stop there. She brings (gives) someone else into her sin, her husband, who just happens to be with her, and stood by her silently while she is lured into sin by Satan. Adam seals the deal; he ate too. He participates in the sin, willingly without coercion, and without caring about what God had told him in Gen. 2:17. He had fallen for Satan’s lie too.

Note again that Adam was with Eve (v.6). We aren’t 100% clear on the timeline but at some point Adam was with Eve. Why did he choose to stay silent? What if he had have said, “Wait a minute, my dear. God told us we can’t eat that fruit. I will not eat it.” We could be looking at a whole different outcome. Got Questions has a few other scenarios to this section of Genesis 3. They are all good viable possibilities. But the bottom line is Adam could have refused the fruit, but he did not and as Adam and Eve were about to discover: we can’t hide our sin from God. He knows. And there are always consequences.

This whole issue could have been only an issue between the woman and God. It would have been Eve’s sin alone if Adam had refused to eat, but because he did not, the consequence of the sin fell on his head. He was the head of their home and the primary responsibility to guard his home was on him. Adam failed not only God, but he failed to safely guard his wife. Notice also, it was not until Adam ate that both realized their nakedness. Out of their shame they sought to cover themselves (v.7).

Formed as morally innocents, Adam and Eve were now sinners. (Our introduction to the Doctrine of Sin.) Adam was the first man who in the beginning he was made perfect, but by choice he became imperfect. At this point in time it was only Adam and Eve. Eve had not yet had children, so now because of Adam’s sin, his seed would be born as sinners; all offspring would be born into sin. (Please note: Jesus Christ was not born sinful. He being fully God, while being fully man was the ONLY exception.) Death had entered humanity because the first man, Adam, had willfully sinned, or rebelled, against God.

Then “they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden…” Can you imagine Adam and Eve’s fear at the sound of THE LORD God’s presence in the garden? They had just gone against God’s one law for them. They knew they were wrong (they had sinned) because they hid (v.8), and they were afraid (v.10).

God calls out to Adam, “Where are you? (v.9)” Did God not know where they were? Of course, He knew. He’s God. God wanted Adam to know where he (Adam) was. Adam knew where he was, too, even though he lacked the guts to declare the truth. Think about it: If he didn’t know where he was spiritually then why did he hide? Adam was very aware of his sin against God.

Adam responds with a half-truth. “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” That’s how we do it, we tell half-truths, so we don’t have to admit we’re wrong. Ask a child what they’ve done wrong, and they’ll beat around the truth, not wanting to own up to what they’ve done. Your sweet child knows. They do their best to hide the facts, but their attempts to cover the truth reveals what you already know. They are guilty.

God knew Adam was guilty. The LORD God says: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (v.11) God goes straight to the heart of the rebellion.

Adam still isn’t ready to ‘fess up, and worse, he places the blame elsewhere. He deflects the truth of the matter hoping to place the quilt somewhere else and off himself. He tells God it was the woman who did it. She’s the guilty party because she gave him the fruit, but he blames God, too, after all God had  given Eve to Adam. Adam was trying hard to convince God he wasn’t fully to blame as he confesses, finally, to the deed.

In verse 13, God addresses the woman asking her what she had done, but, following the example of her husband, she places the blame squarely on anything other than herself. She blames the serpent due to his deception before she admits to eating the fruit.

In the next few verses (14-21) we see what is called by most scholars as the Adamic Covenant*, or the covenant with man, which contains the conditions of the Fall of humanity.

Condition 1:

Serpent is cursed (v.14). The serpent allowed itself to be the tool by which Satan caused man to fall. The serpent would lose its ability to walk since it was cursed to move around only by its belly on the ground. Some biblical scholars assume the pre-Fall serpent most likely had legs and could possibly walk upright. (I believe they are correct.) Verse 15 points out the fear between mankind and serpents, but it also references Satan (see condition 2).

Condition 2:

Satan would be ultimately judged (i.e. bruised head) although he would be given opportunity for limited success on earth (in terms of deceiving many). “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Enmity also means hostility. There would be hostility between those who followed Satan (your seed) and those who followed Christ (her Seed).

Condition 3:

Verse 15 is also a prophecy of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the Seed of woman. God applied His grace as only He can do when Adam (and Eve) sinned by disobeying. Jesus Christ would bring reconciliation to God upon faith in Christ. As in the first Adam all men die, but by the second Adam redemption is provided (See also Romans 5, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49).

Conditions 4 and 5:

Verse 16 points out two things about offspring through the woman. First, childbirth would be painful (#4), and conception would be multiplied (#5). Because of sin bearing children would be painful to not just Eve, but to all women who follow her. Also, since death entered the world through sin, more humans would be necessary to fill the earth.

Condition 6:

Women everywhere would be under their husband’s authority. It doesn’t mean women are lesser vessels but that her position would be one of subjection to her husband. And… there would be conflict. Her desire would be to rule over her husband (v.16), but she would have to be submissive to his authority and protection over her. Due to sin’s entrance into the world, and since Eve was primary in bringing sin into the world, the husband and wife relationship would change to one of conflict over who was to in control. God did not mean that men have a right to dominate over women, but conflict would exist between the sexes because of original sin.

In the New Testament God gives us His ideal relationship between a man and his wife. Let’s remember that Eve was made from man. She was made from material from Adam’s side (rib and possibly more). It can be said that a woman was to walk side by side with her husband in a harmonious relationship. That’s what God intended, but sin entered and changed everything. (Read Ephesians 5 to see how God intends for a marriage between a man and a woman to be.) A good marriage takes hard work. It takes much effort to love one another unconditionally and to be mutually submissive. Just being real: I battle internally for control of my marriage. I fail miserably at this at times. I’m just thankful for a husband who loves me and seeks to protect me, even though sometimes I fight it. He constantly reminds me that he alone will answer to God for how he heads our home. He makes me laugh too, because he tells me he might be the head, but I’m the neck. LOL (Get it? Wherever the neck turns, the head turns with it.) When we allow God to work in our marriage, and within our God-given roles marriage is a beautiful thing and a beautiful picture of Christ’s relationship with the Body of Christ, His Church. Shouldn’t that take some of the pressure off? It should, and Ladies, we should rest in that. Let your husband be the head of your home. Love him. Mutually serve one another and love each other. Let your husband do what God intended for him to be in your marriage.

Conditions 7 and 8:

In verses 17-19 God tells Adam, since he allowed his wife to have authority over him, and chose to listen to his wife, it wasn’t going to be an easy future for humankind in terms of providing sustenance. The ground was cursed because of sin (#7). To satisfy their need for food, it was going to take hard work. No longer would he be living the easy life of tending and eating from God’s garden, but from now on he would have to contend with weeds, thorns, and sweat to be able to eat (#8). Man would have to cultivate his food and not leisurely take it from the trees of the garden.

If you’ve ever tried to sow your own garden for food, you’ve probably realized how hard it is. It’s like the ground grows rocks. Right? Where we live, the soil is full of rocks. When I gardened at our old house each year it seemed like more rocks would rise to the surface as I tilled the dirt to prepare it for new plantings. No matter how many rocks I pulled (or tossed) out of the ground there were always more. Plus, no matter how hard I worked to eradicate the weeds, more would pop up. It was a constant job and lots of sweat, but how delicious were those “fruits” of my labor.

Condition 9

In verse 19, God relays to Adam the final condition of sin’s entrance into the world: death. Adam and Eve had originally been made to live forever, but now because of sin they would die, and be returned to the ground. Although death wasn’t eminently fulfilled after the Fall, Adam and Eve would still face the penalty of their sin just as God had promised in Genesis 2:17. Yes, they would surely die, but God’s longsuffering and His full-on grace would allow them to live life. God was still going to allow them to carry out the “Be fruitful and multiply” mandate of Gen. 1:28.

In verse 20, Adam finally names his wife, Eve, which means mother of all living. Through her humanity would continue, and through her Seed, redemption would be provided to redeem mankind back to God.

God performs the first sacrifice to provide proper clothing for Adam and Eve (v. 21). The fig leaves (v.7) were not enough to cover them properly. The animals (possibly two) He sacrificed were innocent, and this foreshadows the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who was also innocent, but died for man’s sin guilt. The shedding of blood came about because of sin. This is the perfect picture of God’s Grace to mankind. God sacrificed on Adam and Eve’s behalf when He could have just killed them and started over, but He already had a plan in place.

The plan of Redemption (Doctrine of Salvation) was already in action before the foundation of the world was established. 1 Peter 1:20 says: He (meaning Christ) was foreordained before the foundation of the world…” God is sovereign and all-knowing; He knew what would happen and what was required to make things right with Himself. (Take a few moments and read 1 Peter 1; it will encourage you.) Mankind CAN NOT make things right with God, only a perfect, unblemished Lamb can cancel the sin debt we owe. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God is the only spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God (1 Peter 2: 5). It’s only through Jesus Christ can one be made right with God.

Read what Romans 3:21-26 has to say:

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,  to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.2

If not for grace we would all wander lost from the heart of God.

Because now Adam and Eve had knowledge of both good and evil, we read in verse 22 of God’s continued watch care over them. Here we see the pronoun “Us” again, which is a refence to the Trinity (Doctrine of the Trinity). There had to be a way to guard Adam and Eve from eating from the Tree of Life which would have caused them to live endlessly in their sinful state. To live that way would have been a despairing existence. Their innocence lost, they could no longer live in the Garden of Eden.

God sent them to live out their lives away from the garden (v.23-24). From that time forth Adam would have to work to provide for them (v.23). Cherubim (plural) holding a flaming sword were to stand guard to the way to the tree of life (v.24) to ensure man did not and would not have access to the tree of life.

Although God forced them out of the garden, He still was about the business of caring for them and continues to care for us today.

Thought I’d leave you with the words to the song, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” It’s a great reminder to keep our focus on Christ and be mindful every day of His all-consuming Grace, in spite of the daily battle we have against sin and we will have as long as we are on this earth. (Scroll below for suggested memory verse, homework, questions and extra information you may want to explore.)

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.3

 

Homework assignment for this week:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 4

Suggested Scripture memorization:

 “Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.” Genesis 4:4-5, NKJV

Questions:

1.Eve means mother of all living (Gen. 3:20). In Chapter 4 is the first recorded birth on earth. What was the curse mentioned in Chapter 3 in regard to birth?

2.What was the name of Adam and Eve’s first child? The second child?

3.According to verse 2, what were Cain and Abel’s occupation?

4.Verses 3 and 4  references the offerings of the sons of Adam. From whom did they learn the act of worship through sacrificial offerings?

5.What was Cain’s offering? Abel’s?

6.There is a noticeable difference between the offerings. What is God’s reaction to the offerings?

7.Does Scripture record a response from Abel? What could be a reason for Abel’s silence or the Scriptures lack of giving us Abel’s response to God’s praise?

8.What was Cain’s response? What does Scripture tell us about his countenance? What does that mean?

9.What did the LORD tell Cain in verses 6 and 7?

10.What does the LORD mean when He tells Cain, “…And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”?

11.Retrospective Question: Does sin rule over you, or do you rule over sin? How can sin ruling over you destroy your life?

12.Cain’s sin changed his life. What was his punishment? How did he respond to his punishment?

13.Cain felt doomed and feared for his life, how did God supply grace to Cain even in his punishment?

14.Retrospective Question: Have there been times God has applied His grace even in punishment toward you for sin? How did it make you feel? Did that cause you to cling to God or turn away from Him?

15.Where did Cain go? Scripture notates he went out from something/someone. List that something/someone. What did that represent for Cain’s future?

16.Verse 17 tells us Cain knew his wife. Who was she if there was only one family line on the earth at this time?

17.Cain built a city and named it after his son, Enoch. List Enoch’s sons and grandsons.

18. Which grandson are we given more information about? How many wives did he have? What were their names?

19.List Lamech’s sons and their occupation.

20. What news did Lamech reveal to his wives? Did he think highly of himself? Was he godly or ungodly?

21. Who was Seth? What did Eve say about him?

22. What is Seth’s son’s name?

23. What is the last sentence in Chapter 4? What does it tell you about the culture of that time?

24. Fill in the Blanks:

Cain’s lineage was ____________________________________, but Seth’s lineage was ___________________. (If you need a clue, your headings in your Bible for vv. 16-24, and vv. 25-26, will probably give you the words for the blanks.)

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­For further exploration:

Could the serpent speak?:
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/eve-shocked-a-serpent-spoke/

Adam with Eve:
https://www.gotquestions.org/Adam-with-Eve.html

Then Adam ate:
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/why-were-eves-eyes-not-opened-until-adam-ate/

God walking in the Garden:
https://www.gotquestions.org/God-walk-garden.html
https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_712.cfm

If Adam and Eve never sinned:
https://billygraham.org/answer/what-would-the-world-be-like-if-adam-and-eve-had-never-sinned-or-do-you-think-it-would-be-pretty-much-the-same-as-it-is-right-now/

Knowledge of Good and Evil:
https://www.gotquestions.org/knowledge-good-evil.html

Guarding Eden:
https://www.gotquestions.org/guard-east-Eden.html

Works Cited:

1John MacArthur sermon: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-238/the-fall-of-man-part-1
2Romans 3:21-26: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+3%3A21-26&version=NKJV
3Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing: http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/o/comethou.htm

*You can find a wealth of information in the notes in your Bible. I found great notes from my NKJV Bible (p.9). It’s The New Open Bible Study Edition published by Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville, TN. (Copyright 1990). If you don’t have a study edition, I recommend one. I hope to get an additional one sometime soon.

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In the Beginning God: Week 3

Week Three (A look back over Genesis 2)

I’m so glad to have you back!

Last week we went over Genesis 1- Genesis 2:1-3. We saw an orderly Creation story broken down into six days. Everything created up to man’s creation was set in place by God for man to flourish on the earth. God established a six-day work day with one day of rest. Before time, God already existed. He was from the beginning of all we see today.

For this week’s study we will begin where we stopped previously in Genesis 2:1-3.

Doctrines in this section of Scripture:

Doctrine of Creation
Doctrine of God
Doctrine of Man

Name of God: Jehovah or YaHWeH (paired with Elohim: Jehovah-Elohim, English: LORD God)

The seventh day God rested from all He created the previous six days. God saw all He made, and He proclaimed it good. His work was done. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart for His worship.

Did God really need rest? No, He doesn’t need rest. It doesn’t say He needed to rest, simply that He did rest; He stopped. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 40:28 that “The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary (NKJV).” God is all-powerful or omniscient and doesn’t require rest.

Genesis 2:4-25 appears to be another Creation account. Some have said it is a contradiction to Genesis 1, but it is not. Genesis 2:4-25 is Day 6 of Creation, but with greater detail than presented in the chronological account of Creation in Genesis 1.

Verse 4 tells us that what follows “…is the history of the heavens and the earth…” It emphasizes the LORD God made the earth (and everything on it) and also the heavens before anything in the field had grown (v.5). In verse 4, we are introduced to a new name of God: Jehovah or LORD (all capitals). It is paired with Elohim; Jehovah-Elohim. Jehovah is the English version of YHWH, or Yahweh, with vowels. Jehovah is translated from Hebrew into English as LORD, to distinguish it from the Hebrew word for Adonai, which uses lower case letters; Lord.1 YHWH is the true name of God.

Jehovah, LORD, means “…the Being who is absolutely self-existent; the One who in Himself possesses the essential life, permanent existence.”2 When God told Moses to tell the Israelites Yahweh had sent him (Moses) to them, Moses was to say: “I AM has sent me to you” (see Exodus 3:14). The great I AM is self-existent.

In verse 5, we see that the earth is not self-existent. It is only by the power of God that the earth produces any kind of fruit. It is God who sends the rain. It is also God who provides man to tend creation.

In verse 7 we read, “…God formed man from dust of the ground,” i.e. dirt. Formed means to shape or fashion into something. God took a part of the earth and fashioned man. It was God Who breathed life into man (v.7) and made man a living being or soul. Apart from God there is no life.

God created the animals, but man was special. Man was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). The image of God (imago dei) does not mean that we are like God (we are not an exact copy), only that we have a resemblance to God.

God made man with a body, mind, and soul. We are unique among His creation in this respect. We are created beings who can rationalize, and we can willfully choose to do right or to do wrong. We are not animals acting solely on instinct. We are image bearers of a holy and righteous God, but because of the Fall (Genesis 3) we are not without sin. Man was first made innocent, but we’ll see how in Genesis 3, man willfully chose to sin and with that choice came consequences.

God planted a Garden in a land He called Eden (v.8). The Garden of Eden contained trees which were pleasant to the sight and would provide food (v. 9). God placed man in the Garden (v.8) to tend it (v.15). We don’t know all the vegetation types in the Garden of Eden, but we do know the names of two trees placed in the midst (or middle) of the Garden. The two trees were the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (v.9).

Verses 10-14 further describe the Garden. A river in the land of Eden went out of the Garden and split into four different rivers. The first was Pishon, and it surrounded the whole land of Havilah (v. 11). Havilah was a land rich in gold, and also contained Bdellium and onyx. The second was Gihon and surrounded the land of Cush (v. 1e). The third river was the Hiddekel, and it is noted that it went east toward Assyria (v.14). Finally, the fourth river mentioned in verse 14 is the Euphrates. (This is probably NOT the present-day Euphrates River. Remember the flood during Noah’s time? It most likely destroyed the original Euphrates River along with the Garden of Eden and the other rivers mentioned in these verses. Please see the link in the “For Further Investigation” section below. We’ll also “talk” about this in a few weeks, but this will give you an idea of what I’m referencing here. You may not have heard of this theory, but it makes more sense when you understand the enormity of the catastrophic changes to the land due to the world-wide flood of Genesis 7. Flood water and the subsequent erosion are mighty powerful and can reshape or destroy landforms.)

In verse 15 we read that “…the LORD God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” God gave man a job to do. He was to care for the garden. Man was not to only enjoy the fruits of the garden, but he was responsible for its care. This is part of what is known as the Edenic Covenant. Adam was given five instructions or charges by God. We’ll discuss the ones in chapter two below. I’ll list the other two at the end of this blog entry since they were specifically mentioned in Genesis 1.

Tending the garden was the first instruction Adam (we learn his name in v. 19) was given by God in chapter 2. Adam was to care for the upkeep of the garden. We have no idea how large the garden was, but God, the Planter, intended for Adam to be the gardener.

In verses 16 and 17 God gives Adam his next instruction which came with a life or death warning. God clearly details what Adam could and could not eat. The only thing mankind couldn’t eat was the fruit from one tree.

Seems simple, right?

All the other trees which produced fruit were fine for eating. Although, we have no idea how many different types of fruit trees were in the garden, we can assume Adam had a plethora of choices.

But that warning…

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die (v.17).”

The warning is very clear. Right? Eat it and you’re dead, Adam.

What was God wanting of Adam?

Simple obedience.

God didn’t give Adam an opening for questions, rebuttals, or doubts. He wanted Adam’s obedience, and with obedience came a reward: LIFE.  (We all know Adam’s ultimate response to this instruction. We will see his disobedience and the consequence in Chapter 3, which will be your homework.)

In verse 18, we’re given new insight into man’s situation: it isn’t good for him to be alone. The LORD God would make man a helper. This helper was to be a woman (v.22-23). Since the text of verse 19 follows, some have believed God looked to the animals first as companions for Adam, but that was not God’s intention. Also, Adam was not made before the animals, as it seems to first imply in verse 19. The animals were made earlier in the day. We know this since the order is mentioned in Genesis 1:24. In verse 19, God brought the animals to Adam to name them which can be said to be part of the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:28. Dominion over the animals was another part of the Edenic Covenant (see Gen. 1:28). Verse 19 points out that animals were also created from the ground, but they were not made in the image of God.

I love how Scripture points to the creative aspect of man in telling us the LORD God brought the animals to Adam to SEE what Adam would name them (v.19). Whatever Adam named them, God agreed with the name (v.9). Adam was a fully functioning man with the ability to think and decide conclusively for himself. Adam named them all (v.20). God created kinds of animals (see Gen. 1:25), so we can’t say how many separate animals Adam named, but most likely Adam named the animal kinds or families (i.e. Canine family, Feline family, etc.). Adam named the livestock (this is what is meant by cattle), the birds of the air, and the beast of the field. This does not include the marine species (fish, mollusk, etc.), insects, and probably not reptiles.

But why would God bring all these land animals and birds to Adam? Remember verse 18? Bringing them to Adam was to show Adam of his need for someone like him to be his helper: “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him (v. 18).”

God set about the work to create a helper in verse 21. Here we see God perform the “first operation.” God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep then God opened Adam’s side to remove a “rib.” God closed the incision. With the rib from Adam, God formed woman. (Please read the article in the “For Further Investigation” section for more about the use of a rib, and possibly more, to form woman. It is very interesting.)

God took the woman to Adam.

We know what Adam thought about her because Scripture tells us with these words (v.23):

And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

Adam recognized that Eve (we learn her name in Gen. 3:20) was part of him. She was formed from part or possibly parts (see link) of Adam. God did not choose to form Eve from dust like Adam, but He took part of man to create her. Woman was made from man, not separate from man. She was a helper comparable to Adam because she came from Adam. A bond existed which Adam could not deny.

Verse 24 begins with the word, “therefore”. I know you’ve probably heard the saying: “We need to find out why the word ‘therefore’ is there for.” We do so by going back to verse 23. Verse 23 confirms verse 24. Man and woman were made for one another, and God established the covenant relationship of marriage referenced to in verse 24. Since man and woman are made for one another they can, within the bonds of marriage, cleave to one another as husband and wife and become one flesh through a sexual relationship. God performed the marriage ceremony between Adam and Eve although it is not mentioned in Scripture. However, we know they were married by God, since no one else was around to perform the ceremony.  Also Gen. 3:6 mentions “husband,” then Gen. 3:8 mentions “wife” in reference to Adam and Eve’s relationship to one another.

Finally, verse 25 closes out the chapter with a matter-of-fact statement: And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. There is no reason to be ashamed of nakedness within the marriage covenant of one man and one woman.

The other two instructions in the Edenic Covenant are: the charge to populate the earth (Gen. 1:28) and to subdue the earth (Gen.1:28).

I hope you can see the doctrines I mentioned in the beginning of this overview. They were: Doctrine of Creation, Doctrine of God, and the Doctrine of Man. Please, if you have any difficulty with this let me know, and I can further explain the answer to your question(s) in the comments section, but you must ask. And don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you need a clarification to something I wrote here.

–Thanks, Latanya

Homework assignment for this week:

Scripture reading: Genesis 3

Suggested Scripture memorization:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” Gen. 3:15

Questions: (Sorry, there are a lot more questions over this reading section.)

1.Who was the serpent in verse 1?

2.The serpent talked. Would you expect a response of fear or something else from Eve?

3.What did the serpent ask Eve? Was it an actual legitimate question to the woman or was it a seed of doubt?

4.What was Eve’s reply to the serpent?

5.Was that what God had told Adam in Genesis 2:16-17? What was different than what God had originally instructed?

6. What did the serpent tell the woman in verses 4-5?

7.What was incorrect with the serpent’s statements to Eve?

8.What were Eve’s reactions (4 things in verse 6– Hint: look for the verbs) after the serpent told her she would not surely die?

9.Who was with her? What did he do?

10.What could be a reason why Adam remained silent about God’s original instruction?

11.What happened after Adam ate the fruit?

12.Why did they sew clothing out of leaves for themselves?

13.What was God doing in the garden?

14.Why did Adam and Eve hide?

15.Did God not know where they were?

16.How did God respond to Adam in verse 11?

17.Who did Adam blame for his sin?

18.God asks the woman a question in verse 13. Why do you suppose God asked Eve this question? What did she tell the LORD God?

19.What curse did God give to the serpent because it allowed itself to be used by Satan? What was the possible physical state of the serpent before the Fall based on the curse God pronounced over it and future generations of the serpent?

20.What did God tell the woman would be her state as the result of sin?

21.What did God tell Adam about his future and the earth’s future because of Adam’s sin?

22. What name did Adam give his wife? Why?

23.Who made the first sacrifice? What was made from the skins? Who made these items?

24.Why was man driven from the Garden of Eden? What did the LORD God not want man to eat now that man knew both good and evil?

25.Who was placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden? What were they really guarding?
No retrospective questions this week.

 

 

 

 

 

For further investigation:

Genesis 1 and 2 contradiction?:
https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/do-genesis-1-and-2-contradict-each-other/
https://www.gotquestions.org/two-Creation-accounts.html

Genesis 7 Flood changed landforms:
https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/death-valley-stream-shows-geologic-changes/
https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/garden-of-eden/where-was-the-garden-of-eden-located/

Adam naming the animals:
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/how-could-adam-have-named-all-the-animals-in-a-single-day/

Made in the image of God:
https://www.gotquestions.org/image-of-God.html

Eve’s Creation from Adam:
https://www.gotquestions.org/Adams-rib.html
 

 

 

Books cited:

1Stone, Nathan. Names of God. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010), 33.
2Ibid., 34.

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In the Beginning God: Week 2, Continued

Week Two (A look back at Genesis 1- Genesis 2:1-3)

Here is the continuation of Monday’s post, as promised.

Day Six: (vv. 24-31)

This is the largest section of Creation on day six. Here we have both animals, insects, and the crowning achievement of God’s Creation: man (see Psalm 8:5). In this section, we see another reference to the Doctrine of God, and the Doctrine of the Trinity, and we are introduced to the Doctrine of Man with the creation of man.

In verse 24, God tells the earth to bring forth the living creatures, and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each within its kind. And we know this happened, because Scripture once again uses, “and it was so.” In verse 25 we are told that the beasts and creeping things of the earth pleased God: “And God saw that it was good.” Every animal kind, and every insect kind was blessed by God.

Next, in verse 26, we read about the creation of man (This is the introduction of the Doctrine of Man).

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

First, man is created in the image (imago dei, Latin) of God. The pronouns “Us” and “Our” are used here, indicating more than one, a plurality. The name of God in Genesis 1 is Elohim. It occurs 32 times in Chapter one. Elohim is the Hebrew word for God. Nathan Stone, in his book, Names of God, says the name Elohim “…contains the idea of creative and governing power, or omnipotence and sovereignty.” (Stone, 26) Elohim is plural in its form and use which explains the use of the plural pronouns, “Us” and “Our.” This is also our first introduction to the Doctrine of the Trinity in Scripture.

Doctrine of the Trinity:

The Trinity is God in three distinct persons, but one God; i.e. three in one. This is not saying three separate gods, but it indicates the tri-unity of God. The Trinity is the biblical view of God. The word, Trinity, is not found in the Bible, but the concept is there. The Trinity is composed of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; three separate, co-existing and eternal persons of the Godhead. God the Father is not God the Son, nor God the Holy Spirit. God the Son (Jesus Christ) is not God the Father, nor is He, God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not God the Father, nor is He, God the Son.

God does not morph from God the Father into God the Son, (Jesus Christ), and then into God the Holy Spirit. That is the false and erroneous belief of Modalism (Oneness Pentecostalism). It is a belief that God exists as one Person revealed across history in different modes or names.

Some may say, “I see how God the Father is in Genesis chapter one, and I can accept that the Holy Spirit was there, as well, but how is God the Son, Jesus, present at Creation?”

To see that Jesus was present at Creation, let’s go to the book of Colossians in the New Testament.

Colossians 1:15-17 states:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

This “He” is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We know this is Jesus because Paul references Jesus in v. 13 by writing about the Son of the Father’s love. Reading the above Scripture, we can conclude Christ was present at Creation, and moreover, everything created was “…created through Him and for Him”. (A side note: the reference to Jesus being firstborn over all creation does not mean He was the first born of all Creation. Instead, it refers to His preeminence; His superiority over all things. He is first place above all Creation. It is because of Him that all things exist.)

In Colossae at the time was a growing heresy called Gnosticism which combined bits and pieces of Greek speculation, Jewish legalism, and mysticism from the Orient. It taught that the body was evil, but the spirit was good. These Gnostics also believed Christ could not be human and be God at the same time, since to them the body was evil, which God is not evil. It also taught of a secret knowledge of which only Gnostics could experience to gain salvation. This heresy was threatening the Colossae Church, but it had not been fully embraced by the Colossian church when Paul wrote Colossians. Paul knew the Colossae Christians needed correct teaching on the preeminence of Christ, otherwise they would undermine the person and redemptive work of Christ, bringing forth confusion and the wrong understanding of who Christ is. The American-born movement called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) teaches Gnosticism. (Please see the link below on the NAR.)

In verses 26 and 28, God gives man (humankind: male and female) dominion (rule) over all living creatures, from the insects on the ground to the birds in the air. Man is to have stewardship over Creation. We are to take care of it, as opposed to abusing it, and we were not created to worship Creation. (We’ll cover more about the stewardship of Creation next week.)

Verse 27 repeats a truth: man was created in the image of God, but then it further defines man as male and female. (We’ll cover more about male and female context next week when we look at an overview on Genesis chapter two.)

Man:  male and female, were blessed by God in verse 28 and are also told to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God furthers informs man of these facts: the plants yield seed and the fruit trees which also yield seed were to be used for food. Every green herb (plant) would also provide nourishment to the beast of the earth, the birds, and to every living creeping thing on the earth. God is Sustainer over the earth, and He put man in a watch-care role over what he was given.

In verse 31, the sixth day of Creation was closed with the statement, “So the evening and the morning were the sixth day,” but in the same verse we note, after the pinnacle of God’s Creation was created, i.e. man, “…God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good.” God was well pleased with His creation.

Day Seven: (Gen. 2:1-3)

After the sixth day, Creation was complete (Gen. 2:1).  On the seventh day, also known as the Sabbath day, God rested (v.2). By stating that God took a day to rest, God established a six-day work week with one day set aside for rest. It is a blessed and sanctified day, or a day set apart for God’s special use (v.3). We are to worship Him on the seventh day.

God created our seven-day week, and it is a format that works.

Stalin, dictator of Russia, desired to erase all religious memories in his citizens, and he sought to do it by doing away with a seven-day week. In the book, Genesis: Finding Our Roots, the following account is written:

In Russian language, Sunday is called Resurrection Day, and Stalin didn’t want that reminder every seven days. So he instituted a ten-day week and called the days simply by numbers. It turned out that people couldn’t work nine days with one day of rest. The experiment fell apart, Russians returned to the age-old week of seven days. Other attempts to change the week have also failed, and the week has existed now for almost 6,000 years. (Beechick, 16)

As moral beings, we bear the image of God. From the beginning, God established order, and He expects us to follow His example of work and rest. Could God had created everything on one day? Sure, He could. He’s God. However, by creating everything in the method and order he chose, God established time, laws of nature, and man’s watch-care role over the earth, and most of all, He established His preeminence over it all.

 

Homework assignment for this week:

Scripture reading: Genesis 2

Suggested Scripture memorization:

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7, NKJV

Questions:

1.What verse indicates the beginning of humankind?

2.What was man’s first job and his responsibilities?

3. What were God’s instructions pertaining to every tree except for one tree in the Garden?

4. What was the name of the tree they could not eat from?

5.What warning and consequence was given in verse 17?

6.What was not found for man?

7.How did God make woman?

8.The making of woman signifies what aspect of humankind?

9.Who instituted marriage?

10.Why were the man and woman not ashamed of their nakedness?

Retrospective Question(s):

What do you believe was the significance of God creating a tree called the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Did God set up man to fail? Why or Why not?

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­————————————————————————-

Notes: (Great resources.)

Gap Theory:
https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/gap-theory/the-gap-theory-an-idea-with-holes/
Twenty-four hour days:
https://www.gotquestions.org/Genesis-days.html
Light:
https://www.gotquestions.org/light-first-sun-fourth.html
https://creation.com/how-could-the-days-of-genesis-1-be-literal-if-the-sun-wasnt-created-until-the-fourth-day
Firmament:
https://www.gotquestions.org/firmament-Bible.html
*Astronomy:
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/does-the-bible-say-anything-about astronomy/
Counting the Stars:
https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/stars/counting-the-stars/
Definition of preeminence:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/preeminence/
More on preeminence:
https://bible.org/seriespage/4-preeminence-christ-colossians-115-19
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR):
http://www.piratechristian.com/berean-examiner/the-six-hallmarks-of-a-nar-church
http://www.spiritoferror.org/2017/11/identifying-new-apostolic-reformation-churches-in-your-city/7294
http://www.apologeticsindex.org/2977-new-apostolic-reformation-overview

Books:

Stone, Nathan. Names of God. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010.
Beechick, Ruth. Genesis: Finding Our Roots. Pollock Pines, CA: Arrow Press, 1997.

 

 

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In the Beginning God: Week Two

Week Two (A look back at Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3)

 

Welcome back!

<I’m breaking this week’s study into two separate posts. Today’s post will cover an overview and Creation days 1-5. I will post the conclusion of the study over Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3 tomorrow, Tuesday, covering days 6 and 7. Tuesday’s post will also include the homework assignment for Week Three along with study questions and the Scripture Memory verse.>

So how was it? I’m sure you can agree that Week One’s reading assignment and questions were not difficult.

Let’s look at what you read and at the same time cover the answers to the questions as we look back over each verse.

In this chapter, we are introduced to the first doctrines presented in Scripture:

Doctrine of God
Doctrine of the Trinity (I’ll show you this, I promise, it is there)
Doctrine of Creation
Doctrine of Man

Name of God: Elohim

Right from the start, Genesis 1:1 points out a basic premise in the Doctrine of God (sometimes called Theology Proper). Doctrine of Creation is the overall theme of Genesis Chapter one, from its start in verse one to its conclusion in verse 31.

Genesis 1:1 reads: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

The basic premise of the Doctrine of God is the existence of God. Genesis 1:1 states, without compromise, the reality of the existence of God. From the beginning of Creation’s time, God already existed. Moses had no reason to defend a hopeful assumption about God, because he knew God was, is, and always will be. The Bible does not have to prove God’s existence. The Bible says God exists, therefore He does exist! God is real!

God created the earth out of nothing. Ex nihilo, a Latin term meaning “from nothing,” is used to describe the implied context in which everything was created. In other words, before Creation nothing existed (apart from God’s eternal existence). God did not use anything to make (create and form) the heavens and the earth. In Hebrews 11: 3 we read: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things that were visible.” To be visible would mean identifiable, concrete matter. Hebrews 11:3 can be seen as the commentary of Genesis 1:1. For explanation, the term heavens is defined as the space beyond the earth, i.e. outer space.

In verse 2, we are told the earth was without form and void of anything, after the earth was created darkness was on the deep. In its beginning form, Creation was formless. There were no identifying markers of substance, so to speak, only darkness on the deep. Darkness is not evil here; it is only an absence of light. Some proponents assume between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is a period of time known as the “Gap Theory” to imply the false claim that the earth is millions of years old. What we are reading in verses 2-31 is a sequence of events, not vast periods of time.

(Please refer to the link below in the Notes section for more info on this topic. I tend to believe the same as the author of the article in the link. I’m not covering the “Gap Theory,” but thought I would provide a link which explains my views on the subject.)

Continuing in verse 2, we read that the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. This is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead. We know that all three persons of the Godhead were present at Creation. We will look at this key doctrine (Doctrine of the Trinity) later in the chapter.

Verses 3-31 speak of six literal days of Creation.

How can I say six literal days?

By looking at other Scriptural references for the Hebrew word for day, yom, used in Genesis 1, the logical conclusion is a literal twenty-four hour day, not periods of time as some interpret it to mean. A biblical Hebrew day begins at approximately 6:00 p.m. in the evening and goes to the next evening at 5:59 p.m., a full 24 hours. In context, the use of the word yom in the first five chapters of Genesis is referencing a full 24 hour day. This conclusion has been the consensus from early church history. Got Questions (see notes below) has a great explanation for the literal twenty-four hour day interpretation of yom.

Here is a break down of each day of Creation:

Day One: Light is created, and light is divided from darkness
Day Two: Heaven is divided from the waters below
Day Three: Dry land is separated from the waters. Vegetation is created.
Day Four: The stars and heavenly bodies (Sun, moon) are created.
Day Five: Marine life and birds created
Day Six: Animals, insects, and human life created.

 

Day One: (vv. 3-5)

Light is created by God, and He saw that it was good, then He divided the light from darkness. God called light, Day, and He called darkness, Night. God was establishing order from the beginning, which came out of nothingness. God created darkness (see v. 1). Darkness is something, and therefore it was created when He created the heavens and the earth. In verse 3 God creates light. He didn’t create a light source here, just light. We know from John 1:7 that God is light. In the new heaven and earth, there is no sun giving off light, but light will emanate from Christ (Revelation 22:5; see also Rev. 21:23-24) lighting Heaven. Could it not be that the light referred to in verse 3 is the Light of God? I tend to believe so. (See below for a link on the Light in verse 3 of Genesis 1.)

Day one was concluded with the statement: “So the evening and the morning were the first day.” This is our first 24 hour day.

 

Day Two: (vv. 6-8)

God made the firmament and separated the waters from the waters. The firmament is the expanse of heaven and our atmosphere. It is what we see when we look up; the sky. The separated waters from waters references to when God separated the atmospheric waters from the terrestrial waters on earth. Scripture again uses the phrasing: “And God saw that it was good.” God was, again, pleased with what He had made.

God called the expanse Heaven and Scripture closes day two by declaring: “So the evening and the morning were the second day.”

 

Day Three: (vv. 9-13)

The first thing we see happening on the third day of Creation is the separation of the waters from the dry land, which God called Earth. He called the waters the Sea. Again, we read the repeated phrasing: “And God saw that it was good.” Next, we read about the creation of grass, the herbs of the field and the fruit trees. Both the herbs of the field and the fruit trees are described as that which yields seed according to its kind. The herbs are the plants, which can only produce its own kind, also the fruit trees are distinguished in this way. There is order in God’s Creation. A pecan tree is not able to produce peaches, just as a bean plant cannot produce potatoes. This was an establishment of a law of God: A Kind can only produce its own kind, not something else entirely. This destroys the theory of evolution. You cannot get something completely different from the original kind. A pecan is a pecan and not a peach.

Perhaps, you noticed how in verse 9 it states the command: “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear” and then it goes on and says, “and it was so.” Don’t you just love that? God spoke, and it was. Creation couldn’t help but to do what was commanded of it. This same command is used when referencing each day’s created order.

Again, the phrasing, “And God saw that it was good” is applied to everything that happened on day three (vv. 10, 12). Then the pattern continues of closing out the creative day with the statement: “So the evening and the morning were the third day.”

Day Four: (vv. 14-19)

Here we have the creation of the Sun, moon, and stars to divide the day from night. I love how God called them lights, not light, like He created on day one. This distinguishes lights, from LIGHT. God is light, but He made concrete objects that could project light to the earth. He created the foliage (grass, plants, and trees) on day three, but waited until day four to create the Sun which provides the means by which the foliage on earth can survive and thrive through the process of photosynthesis.

In verse 16, after God said His “Let there be…” statements in reference to the lights and His declaration of “and it was so” in verses 14-15, it reads: “…God made two greater lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.” God placed the Sun at the exact point in the celestial expanse for Earth’s optimal benefits. If it had been further away, Earth would be cold, and if it was any closer, Earth would be too hot to sustain life. The Sun’s position isn’t a coincidence of the “Big Bang Theory,” but its placement was set by a purposeful God who knew best how to provide for the Earth and her inhabitants.

The moon was set in its position purposefully to reflect the Sun’s light on the dark earth at night. For generations the moon’s phases have influenced the agricultural planting schedule. The moon’s gravitational effect on the earth affects our tides. The moon stabilizes earth’s rotation. Our calendars are built around the phases of the moon. Without God’s placement of the moon in our night sky, our life here on this planet would be greatly different. The stars are beneficial to us, as well. For centuries, they have served as navigational aids and as heralds of coming events (i.e. Star of Bethlehem). God counts the number of stars and calls them all by name (Psalm 147:4), which is amazing considering their possible numbers. (“The total number of stars in the observable universe is estimated to be 1025 <1 followed by 25 zeros>. Nobody knows the actual number.” From Answers in Genesis article notated by *Astronomy.)

Again, as Day four is closed out, everything created on this day is declared as, “it was good.” Along with Day four distinguished as evening and morning in verse 19.

 

Day Five: (vv. 20-23)

On this day the waters are filled with “an abundance of living creatures” and the sky with birds, both created according to their kinds. Bluegill are bluegill (a type of freshwater fish, also called brim), and not a large mouth bass. Eagles are eagles, and not sparrows.  Again, in this section of verses, we read the repeated phrasing “Let the…”, but we read something new in verse 22. Verse 22 reads: “And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” God commanded what He created on this day to multiply and fill their respective waters and sky. Today, we can enjoy the fruitfulness of these creatures through observing them and as nourishment when and where necessary. And as this day closes, verse 23 states that this day was composed of both evening and morning.

 

Come back Tuesday for the conclusion of the study over Week One’s Scripture: Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3. Since this was such a long section for discussion, I felt it best to split this post into two sections. You can choose to reread Genesis 1-Genesis 2:3 as a refresher.

————————————————————————-

Notes: (Great resources.)

Gap Theory:  https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/gap-theory/the-gap-theory-an-idea-with-holes/
Twenty-four hour days: https://www.gotquestions.org/Genesis-days.html
Light: https://www.gotquestions.org/light-first-sun-fourth.html
https://creation.com/how-could-the-days-of-genesis-1-be-literal-if-the-sun-wasnt-created-until-the-fourth-day
Firmament: https://www.gotquestions.org/firmament-Bible.html
*Astronomy: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/does-the-bible-say-anything-about astronomy/
Counting the Stars: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/stars/counting-the-stars/

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Genesis: In the Beginning God Bible Study

I’m so excited you’ve decided to join me in this study through the book of Genesis. Everything we know and believe about Scripture hangs on the first four words written in the book of Genesis:

In the Beginning God.

Those four words state an emphatic truth: In the beginning, God was and is. God’s existence was not an assumption needing to be proved. God was and always has been and will be; forever. Genesis is the foundation of the Bible, both Old and New. It lays the groundwork upon which all truth builds. From the beginning, God’s hand was on Creation, on Mankind, and the plan to save Man from sin’s death grip was set in place before Creation’s story.

In Hebrew (בְּרֵאשִׁית) Bereshith literally means “in the beginning.” In the first chapter of the first book of the Bible we are brought into the Creation account as God forms the earth and the heavenly bodies, and as He creates both man and animals of the land and sea. The origin of sin, the consequences of God’s judgement of sin, and the beautiful promise of redemption through Jesus Christ are all revealed in this book of beginnings. The history of man is unveiled as God reveals Himself to His creation.

In Genesis, God is Creator, Sustainer, Sovereign, Almighty, Holy, Most High, All Sufficient, the Self-Existent One, and much more. Concepts such as the Trinity, salvation, justification by faith, and obedience are laid out before us in the accounts given to us of Earth’s early history. As we study through the book of Genesis, we will study the names of God as they are presented and the Doctrinal truths that are revealed in the Word. Some of the doctrines we will study are: Creation, God, Christology (yes, even in Genesis we will study Christ), Man, Sin, Salvation, and Angelology; just to name a few.

In our study of beginnings, we will make application to our own lives as we read and study the Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Table of Nations, the Tower of Babel, and the vivid accounts of the *Four Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. (*Some do not include Joseph as a Patriarch, but I’m including him because of the significance of his story to the overall history of the Israelites.) There is much richness of truth in the book of Genesis upon which we can use as the basis for a further study of God’s Word through the Old and New Testaments.

Here is a general breakdown of this 4-part study:

Part 1: Genesis Chapters 1-11 (12 weeks)
Part 2: Genesis Chapters 12- 25:18 (approx. 12 weeks)
Part 3: Genesis Chapters 25:19-36 (approx. 12 weeks)
Part 4: Genesis Chapters 37-50 (approx. 13/14 weeks)

We’ll study Genesis verse by verse, chapter by chapter, with breaks in between each of the four parts. I’ll post weekly studies here on my blog, and I will also post short videos on my Grace Beyond Measure Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/GraceBeyondMeasureMinistry/). There will be homework, but nothing like the normal video-driven studies common in most Women’s ministries at church. Those can be quite overwhelming and intimidating. I don’t want you overwhelmed or intimidated. My desire is that you learn not only how to study God’s Word, but that God’s Word will be a treasure to you.

One of the most important things to do when you study Scripture is to know the background of the book you are studying, or studying a portion of. Have you heard that context is key? Knowing the background helps bring the correct meaning and understanding as you study. It’s not about us reading ourselves, or our presuppositions, into the Word of God, but about learning what God desires us to know about Him, and about ourselves.

I introduced the Hebrew meaning of Genesis above, but we can also know the Greek meaning of Genesis. In Greek, Genesis means origin or source. How fitting the meaning is, since Genesis gives us a view into the origin of earth’s beginnings, as well as, the beginnings of everything on and above the earth.

Ultimately, God is the Author of Scripture, the Holy Bible, but He used men to pen His words as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17). With every book in the Bible, it’s important to know the author. The accepted author of Genesis is Moses, although he is not directly named in Genesis as the author. There is Scriptural proof of Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament, of which, Genesis is included. Some of the Scriptures which point to Mosaic authorship include: Exodus 17:14, Leviticus 1:1-2, Deuteronomy 1:1, 1 Kings 2:3, Nehemiah 13:1, Malachi 4:4, Matthew 8:4, Mark 12:26, Romans 10:19, 1 Corinthians 9:9, plus more that are not listed. The Early Church Fathers, Josephus the First Century Jewish Historian, and the Jewish Talmud (Jewish civil and ceremonial law) all support the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch.

An amazing fact about the book of Genesis is the issue of time. The time span in Genesis is more than the other 65 books of the Bible combined. Most scholars attribute a span of 2,000 years or more to Genesis Chapters 1-11, and then a period of 286 years to the remainder of the book (Chapters 12-50). This fact struck me. Although, I probably have read about the time span before, I guess with the approach of my fiftieth birthday, and the knowledge, in all likelihood, I’ve lived most of my life already, the time span stood out to me like a beacon. Our life here on earth IS truly like a vapor as it is described in James 4:14 (…whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.) Thinking about life as a vapor can put things into perspective. We simply do not have much time here. For me, it makes me think about all the time I’ve wasted on unimportant things, for the important things are what makes this life worthwhile.

Retrospective: What makes your life worthwhile? How will you live for Christ? (I’ll throw in retrospective questions along the way just for serious personal thought. It’s your choice to answer this in your notebook or not.)

As we study the book of Genesis, we will also study about the type of Christs located within the book as we get to each one. The first will be Adam. I’m not saying he is Christ, he is NOT, but there are historical truths that point to spiritual truths which are very important for us to understand as we study Scripture.

Are you ready to begin?

Now that you have background information we can start this journey through the book of Genesis.

Your Homework for this week is:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3

Suggested Scripture memorization:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” *Genesis 1:1-2

<I use the New King James Version, but if you prefer, you are free to choose another version. I would recommend staying away from The Message, a paraphrase version and The Passion “Bible,” an awful translation from the cultic New Apostolic Reformation.>

Questions:

1.What was created on each of the six days of Creation? List the day and what was made.

2.What is a repeated phrase in the account of Creation?

3.What pronouns are used in verse 26 about God?

4.What was man to have over Creation?

5.What command did God give to the male and female who were made in His image? See verse 28.

6.What was God’s conclusion about His creation?

7.What did God do on the seventh day?

8.What was God establishing through the six days and the seventh day?

9.What one thing struck you as meaningful in the account of Creation?

10.What one question do you have about the Creation account?

___________________________________________

Notes:

“Genesis Study Notes.” The New Open Bible: Study Edition. (New King James Version.) Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990.

All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

About The Message Bible: http://www.gotquestions.org/The-Message-MSG.html

About The Passion “Bible”: http://www.gotquestions.org/Passion-Translation.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After a Long Hiatus, I’m BACK!

I’m back to my blog after a LONG hiatus. Come join me on Monday, March 12, 2018, as I introduce a new Bible Study on Genesis.

This will be a very simple Bible Study where all you’ll need is your Bible, paper (like a notebook), and a pen or pencil. This will not be a five day out of the week busy question and answer type of study. Each Monday, I’ll post about the assigned Scripture reading, teach the doctrines and names of God within the assigned Scripture, plus any other points that correlate with the assigned Scripture reading. I’ll also give you simple questions to answer in your notebook, and some which may require a little more thought and honesty. You’re welcome to share your thoughts in the comments, but it’s not required. (I do monitor the comments, so please be patient with this homeschool momma, because there will be a delay in their appearance on the blog.)

Occasionally, I will also include a short video on my FB page that goes along with the week’s Scripture study. More than likely, it won’t come out on Mondays, but midweek, either Wednesdays or Thursdays. I’ll also include extras such as resources online and off, sermons I found to be helpful (most likely either: John MacArthur, Alistair Begg, Voddie Baucham, or other biblically-minded pastors).

Part 1 will be from March 12- May 28. On Monday, I’ll introduce the study to you with background information that will be helpful to our study. I’ll assign homework which will include Scripture reading, questions, and a suggested memory verse.

Here are the other dates for the remaining parts of the study: (These are subject to change, but I plan to stick to these dates, if possible.) June will be completely free.

Part 2: Genesis Chapters 12-25:18   July 2- September 17
Part 3: Gen. 25:19- 36   October 1- December 3
Part 4: Gen. 37-50   January 7, 2019- April 8, 2019

If you happen to miss a week or two it won’t be difficult to get caught up.

I’m so excited to have you join me on this exegetical study where we’ll explore God’s Truths as they are found in His Word. A correct understanding of God’s first four words to us, “In the beginning God,” will determine what we think of Him and His Word, plus how we see others.

I hope to “see” you on Monday. (Please invite a friend to join too!)

Only by His grace,
Latanya

Grace Beyond Measure Ministry FB page

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