Genesis 16-18

August 29, 2015

Ch 16: Abram and Sarai were not able to have children, though God promised children from Abram’s body (though not explicitly from Sarai’s). Abram listens to the voice of Sarai, who tells him to impregnate Hagar her maid, so Abram can have a son through her. This is akin to Adam eating the forbidden fruit when Eve gave it to her–a man, or anyone, is responsible to do what the Lord commands and are not to be swayed by alternative voice. Once Hagar was pregnant, Sarai despised Hagar. The angel of YHWH (preincarnate Jesus, 2nd person of Trinity) appears to Hagar to comfort her and promises that a great nation will arise from her son, though his descendants will be violent and in much conflict with their neighbors. This prophecy has been borne out to a ‘T’, as we can observe in the Middle East today. Abram named the son “Ishmael”. Its interesting to note that Ishmael was named before Abram’s name was changed (Sarai too).

Ch 17: At 99 years old, YHWH appears to Abram, changes his name to Abraham and promises him that within a year he will have a son (through Sarai), who is to now be called Sarah. This chapter is significant. God promises Canaan to Abraham forever. He makes a covenant with Abraham, the sign of which is male circumcision. Circumcision is in itself a sign of our lives belonging to God. Later in Galatians we find the Jews making it a requirement of salvation under the new covenant, which it is not, and it becomes emblematic of the Law, which we are no longer under as new covenant believers (Gal 3:25).

I think Abraham doesn’t quite believe God yet about a son through Ishmael and begs that God allow Ishmael to be the heir to the promises God has made. God says no, the covenant will be with Isaac, a child of (God’s) promise. Abraham is then circumcised at 99 and Ishmael at 13.

3 visitorsCh 18: YHWH appears before Abraham in the form of three men (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and speaks to him. Sarah and Abraham invite YHWH in for a meal, making 3 cakes and slaughtering a “choice” calf, like a sacrifice. They again promise Sarah she will have a son and she laughs, just like Abraham when he was told. Isaac means “he laughs”. The men (YHWH in bodily form) tell Abraham they are going to destroy Sodom. Abraham negotiates (intercedes) with God to preserve Sodom if 10 righteous men are found in the city. Abraham began with 50, then 45, 40, 30, 20 and finally 10. He didn’t feel bold enough to go lower than that.

This episode, if I were a Jew, I would find very hard to understand. Jews believe God is invisible and not a man, and here we have YHWH clearly appearing as a man, in fact as 3. And in the previous chapter the “messenger of YHWH” appeared to Hagar, speaking as God.


Genesis 12-15

August 10, 2015

Ch 12: Abram called from Iraq to Canaan. He brings a lot of people, animals and possessions with him. Abram trusts God by following his call to move to Canaan. He sets up an altar near Jerusalem before heading down to Egypt because of a famine. He lies to Egyptians about his wife (calls her his sister; he’s afraid he’ll be killed and she stolen from him if he tells the truth) who is very beautiful. Judgment comes down on Egypt because Pharaoh is about to make her a concubine/wife. They get expelled back to Canaan.

Ch 13: Lot, Abram’s nephew, and Abram return to Canaan. The land can’t support both, so Abram gives Lot first choice of land. Lot chooses the Jordan river valley since its well-watered. YHWH has Abram look in all directions and is promised everything he can see and told that his descendants will be more than the dust of the earth. Abram trusts God by putting others before himself; he trusts that God will take care of him.
melchizedek
Ch 14: There’s a war, nephew Lot is captured. Abram assembles his men, goes after him and rescues him and takes much booty. Melchizedek, the king of Salem (Peace)and a priest of YHWH (Jesus is our high priest) comes and brings out bread and wine (body and blood of Christ); Abram gives him a tenth (a tithe). This is a Christophany, an appearance of Christ in the OT. King of Sodom says “keep everything, just give me back my people”. Abram says “no, you can have everything back; I will trust God to provide for me.”

Ch 15: Abram is worried that he doesn’t have an heir. YHWH tells him he will have an heir that comes from his own body. Abram believed/had faith in God and it was counted as righteousness.


Job 38-42

August 9, 2015

god-jobFinally its God’s turn to question Job…

Ch 38: YHWH asks “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Have you entered the springs of the sea, the dwelling of light or lead forth a constellation of stars?”

Ch 39: God asks Job about nature–did you set the donkey free? Give the ox his strength? Watched deer calve young? Instruct the hawk on soaring techniques?

Ch 40:  God: Are you going to find fault with me?
Job: I am insignificant; what can I reply to You?
God: I made behemoth (sure sounds like a dinosaur), can you lead him around by the nose?

Ch 41:  God: I made leviathan (sure sounds like a dragon, including fire-breathing, vss 18-21), are you going to pierce his armor?

Ch 42:  Job: I know you can do all things; I know you much better now; I’ll shut up
God is not happy with Job’s three older friends, He has them sacrifice and allow Job to pray for them. God doesn’t address the younger questioner of Job (Elihu), Perhaps this is evidence of an “age of accountability”, or perhaps it is another Personage, like the fourth person in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (Dan 3:25)?

The book concludes with YHWH again blessing Job with much wealth, 7 sevens and 3 daughters, and 140 more years.


Job 32-37

August 8, 2015

Elihu is a fourth person who had not until now addressed Job. He is younger and has waited his turn, letting the older ones speak to Job first. He is full of “vim and vigor” and goes on for a full 6 chapters.

Ch 32: He begins by explaining how he has waited to let the older men exhaust their comments to Job but that he is just about bursting, trying to hold in what he has to say.

Ch 33: Elihu summarizes Job’s arguments fairly accurately and then says “you are not right in this”. Elihu tells Job that God allows difficulties into a man’s life in order to redeem him so that he will repent, “to bring back his soul from the pit”

(c) Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Ch 34: Elihu again reprises Job’s justification of himself, that he didn’t earn God’s displeasure. Elihu says that God is aware of every part of our lives and does not act unjustly; we reap exactly what we sow–pretty much the same argument as the previous three men. Elihu says ‘don’t add rebellion to your sin’, just confess and repent.

Ch 35: Elihu: Is your righteousness more than God’s? He’s not listening because your cries to Him are not sincere, since you won’t admit your wrongdoing and your words are empty.

Ch 36: Elihu: God is perfect in knowledge, He sees everything–you’re not getting away with anything.

Ch 37: Elihu: God is behind the storms and in control of nature, His power is exalted–He is not going to regard the “wise in heart”.


Job 17-31

August 7, 2015

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More KJVSV (Kurt J. Very Short Version):

Ch 17: Job: My name has become an insult, people mock me; all I have to look forward to is the grave.

Ch 18: Bildad (friend #1): You think we’re idiots, you’re not listening to what we’re saying–let me tell you what happens to the wicked; does this sound familiar?

Ch 19: Job: And you’re not listening to me–God has brought this upon me from nowhere–even so, I do have eternal hope because I know my Redeemer lives and He will one day stand on this earth and I will see Him in the flesh.

Ch 20: Zophar (friend #3): I’ve held my tongue long enough listening to your insults and denials–the wicked have what’s coming, they can’t avoid it.

Ch 21: Job: You say the wicked get punished in this life, but I look around and a lot of them seem to be doing pretty good–I don’t think we can base our understanding of their walk with God on their level of blessing in this life. Yes, they will eventually receive their just reward in Sheol.

Ch 22: Eliphaz (friend #2): So its because you are so obedient to God that He’s reproving you? If you will just forsake your protests and repent, God will restore your good fortunes.

Ch 23: Job: If I could just appear before God, I would present my case, but of course I can’t perceive Him like He perceives me. I have remained steadfastly obedient and He knows that–eventually there will be reward; God is in control.

Ch 24: Job: Why does God seem to ignore evil? (Job gives a ton of examples) Who can dispute this?

Ch 25: Bildad (friend #1): God is awesome, even stars are not pure in His sight, how can you say this about Him?

Ch 26: Job: You’re some help! Of course God is incomprehensible (Job gives a science lesson) He “hangs the earth on nothing”.

Ch 27: Job: Yes wicked men will eventually get their due, but I wasn’t wicked before God, so I just don’t understand why I’m in this situation.

Ch 28: Job: You know, silver, gold, iron and copper can be searched for and dug out of the ground; finding wisdom is much harder, and the value of wisdom is much greater than gold–fearing God is wisdom and departing from evil is understanding.

Ch 29: Job: My life used to be one of integrity, righteousness and blessing where I defended the weak and orphaned and pursued justice for the guilty.

Ch 30: Job: Now I am taunted and spat upon by young people and those who were administered the justice they deserved. I call out to God to restore my former estate and He is silent.

Ch 31: Job: I conducted myself in the utmost integrity–I didn’t lust after virgins, lie, steal, mistreat slaves, gloat in my wealth nor rejoice over the downfall of my enemies.


Job 6-13

August 6, 2015

job_3

The KJVSV (Kurt J. Very Short Version):

Ch 6: Job: You guys aren’t very good at comforting someone who is suffering.

Ch 7: Job: My life is futile and I’m in physical pain; what did I do to deserve this?

Ch 8: Bildad: You must have sinned. If you’ll just repent, God will make everything good again.

Ch 9: Job: You’re right in theory; there is no one righteous. If this is the case then I’m doomed, there’s no arbitrator between me and God.

Ch 10: Job: Why God? Tell me where I am guilty?

Ch 11: Zophar: Repent and have a positive attitude, things will turn around!

Ch 12: Job: You guys are numbskulls; YHWH does things we can’t understand.

Ch 13: Job: I am going to keep crying out to God; even if He kills me I’m going to keep trusting Him. He’s big enough to handle my complaints.


Genesis 8-11

August 4, 2015
  • Noah, his family and the animals were in the ark for over a year–went in on 2/10 and came out on 2/27 of the next year.noahs-ark2
  • God promises never again to curse the ground nor kill everything as in the flood. Lesson: God cars about the ground, the earth itself.
  • Man is recommissioned in his leadership over the earth; this command is very similar to Gen 1:28:
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 4 Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Notice verse 3–although there is some recognition of “clean” animals gathered for entry to the ark (5 instead of 2 for all other animals), this verse is clear: prior to the Law or further clarification which I have not gotten to yet, man is told he may eat ANYTHING. The only prohibition: blood.

  • Gen 10 is “Table of Nations”, very important for understanding the rest of the bible, particularly the OT. Its the “who’s who” key. Note that there are “bad guys” descending from all three brothers, Shem, Ham and Japheth–there’s not one who’s bad and two who are good, for instance. From Shem descends Abraham and from him Ishmael, father of the Arabs and eventually Islam; from Ham we have Canaan, Nimrod and Babel; from Japheth we have Magog, of “Gog and Magog” fame.Babel_Tower_JS
  • “Tar” shows up first in the Bible as mortar for the Tower of Babel in 11:3. In the “law” of first mention, its notable that we see the precursor to oil being used as the ingredient that binds together the construction of a tower demonstrating man’s pride and vanity–it allows us to do the same today and is foundational to our modern world of jet travel, autos, plastics, etc.
  • End of Gen 11: genealogy of Abram. The lifespans continue to get shorter, from 500 years down to 119.

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