Wednesday, December 26, 2018

02 Genesis 3-4 – The Fall, Cain and Abel

Gen 3 - The Fall
Adam and Eve had everything.  Personal fellowship with God ... a perfect marriage with each other ... complete rule, under God, over the entire creation ... nourishment ... beauty ... security ... everlasting life. Why would they exchange all of that for a taste of the forbidden fruit? Would we have done any differently?
How is this sin unique? How is like all others?
Choices and Consequences
The crafty serpent. The first question and lie.
What’s the first question in the Bible?  “Has God indeed said …?”
What’s the first lie in the Bible?  “You will not surely die!”
The beginning of sin is the raising of doubt regarding the validity of God and His Word.
The heart of the matter: challenge to God’s authority, rule.
Remember, man’s role is only subordinate ruler over creation.
Because man is over creation, he can easily forget that he is under God and accountable to God.
Satan is the Father of Lies (John 8:44). He attempts to picture God as the liar and himself as the truth teller.
Why would anyone ever take Satan’s word over God’s?
Does Satan still operate in this same way? 2 Cor 11:3, 14; 1 Thess 3:5; 1 Pet 5:8-9
2 Co 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
2 Co 11:14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
1 Th 3:5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
1 Pe 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
What would you do if you saw a snake? Ignore it and hope it goes away? Run? Get your shovel or gun? Look at it up close to determine if it is poisonous or not?
Where did it come from? Why was it crafty?
As the Bible unfolds it identifies the serpent as the devil.
Why would it desire to tempt the woman?
If you have ever watched a snake interact with a mouse, you know how sneaky, alluring, misleading, and predatory the snake is. And the little mouse, who could easily run and hide, sits there, mesmerized and hypnotized, fooled into a false sense of security.
Eve knew from Adam (2:16-17), but …
“In the middle of the garden?” “Cannot touch?”
“You can be like God, know good / evil, not die!”
God-type independence, equality, and wisdom.
God knows! (Why won’t He share?)
The serpent’s words lies – distorted truth.
Who was at fault? Everyone! Discuss.
Adam – Rom 5:12-21; Eve – 1 Tim 2:11-15
The serpent – Rev 12:9; 20:2
Re 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Re 20:2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
Eve’s steps: she listened, responded, considered, saw, rationalized, took, ate, shared, hid, “died.” Every time one sins, there is some kind of death that results. Rom 6:23
Adam did not lead (3:6) but listened (3:17).
Compare 1 Jn 2:15-17; Mt 4:1-11.
Three areas of temptation: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
1 Jn 2:15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
Consequences: awareness of nakedness; desire to hide from God; fear of God; shifting blame.
Why does God ask, “Where are you?”
Gen 3:15 – first promise of the Savior.
Serpent – Gal 4:4; Rom 16:20; Rev 12:9; 20:2.
Woman – 1 Tim 2; 1 Cor 11, 14.
Man – Rom 8:18-25.
NT – 2 Cor 11:3, 14; 1 Th 3:5
The tempter, not God, tempts. Mt 4:3; Jas 1:13
But he only wins if we want what he offers!
Jas 1:13-17
How can we resist temptation before it comes?
Rom 13:14
Continuing grace:
Life continues. “Eve” = “life, living.” Cain, etc.
Note – all human life descended from Eve.
God Himself clothes naked sinners.
Continuing consequences:
Expulsion from Garden, tree, God’s presence.
Gen 4 - Cain and Abel
Marriage relationship – still blessed and holy.
“Cain” = “gotten one.” Conception – God’s gift.
“Abel” = “Breath, vapor.”
Opposite in occupation, character, temperament.
Cain: “of the evil one” by choice. 1 Jn 3:12
No Calvinism. Neither was born depraved, in sin.
Abel’s sacrifice: better because he offered it by faith, as God instructed (Heb 11:4). Faith involves trust, dependence, and allegiance.
Cain, of the evil one, did not act “by faith.”
Why was Cain angry, and with whom? How should he deal with his anger? “Do well!”
Again, no Calvinism. Cain was free to choose.
What if he refuses to change?
Sin: person crouching at the door, desiring you!
Master it, or it will master and destroy you.
Cain killed Abel because … (multiple answers).
Again, why does God ask these questions?
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Discuss.
Abel’s blood crying out to God. Heb 12:24
Consequences for Cain: cursed from the ground; not able to cultivate it; banished as a vagrant and a wanderer (Heb., nod).
Irony: the murderer fears being murdered!
Who might kill Cain? Gen 5:4
Continuing grace: a mark to protect Cain.
Banished, yet may live. “Land of Nod” (of Cain).
Marriage. A son Enoch (“initiation”).
City-building. Lineage.
Lamech – two wives, Adah and Zillah.
First recorded instance of bigamy.
Technological development.
Jabal: invented tents, nomadic life of herdsmen.
Jubal: invented stringed and wind instruments.
Tubal-cain: invented metallurgy.
Naamah: sister. Why noted? Reason unstated.
Growing violence. “77-times vengeance.”
Cain’s family developed materially, economically … but spiritually? Lamech knew – and shared – re: Cain’s life. But would he be less violent?
Seth – “to put in place of” Abel. A fresh start?
First time since Eden: calling on the LORD.
Through Seth (Gen 5:1-3) to Christ (Luke 3:38).
The Line of Cain
1.       Restlessness apart from God - 4:16
2.       Common Grace, Apparent Security - 4:17
3.       Cities Dedicated to Man - 4:17
4.       Self-reliance, Techn’l Advance - 4:20-22
5.       Emphasis on Beauty, Youth, Pleasure - 4:23
6.       Success: Aggression, Revenge - 4:23-24

Saturday, December 15, 2018

01 Genesis 1-2 – Creation

Virtually every theme in Scripture has its roots in the book whose name means “beginning.” Genesis introduces the Author, sets the stage, presents the characters, and initiates the plot of the entire Bible. Grace, faith, sin, worship, sacrifice, obedience, blessing, jealousy, betrayal, and judgment – all are found there. Join us as we explore our Creator’s very first book. And, as an added bonus, get a head start on your Bible reading for 2019!
Genesis 1 is “the most amazing composition in all the world’s literature, using only 76 different word-forms fundamental to all mankind, arranged in a wonderful poetical pattern yet free from any highly colored figures of speech. It provides the perfect opening to God’s book and establishes all that men really need to know of the facts of creation. No man could have invented it: it is as great a marvel as a plant or a bird. It is God’s handiwork, sufficient for Hebrew children or Greek thinkers or Latin Christians; for medieval knights or modern scientists or little children; for cottage dwellers or cattle ranchers or deep sea fishermen; for Laplanders or Ethiopians, East or West, rich or poor, old or young, simple or learned … sufficient for all! Only God could write such a chapter … and he did.” Frederick A. Filby, Creation Revealed: A Study of Genesis Chapter One in the Light of Modern Science (Westwood, N.J.: Revell, 1963), 15–16.
Gen 1-2 – Creation
Gen 1
In the beginning ________.
In the beginning … WHAT? That next word determines what one will believe, what he will value, and how he will live.
So it was for Israel in the wilderness then; so it is for the church in the wilderness today.
How does our view of origins affect our daily lives?
Family, Society, Friendships – based on …
Morality, Right and Wrong – based on …
Purpose and Ownership of the World – based on …
VIEW OF ORIGINS – basis of all!
Concerning God?
Concerning the world?
Concerning my life? Worship, Purpose, Obedience
God, the Spirit of God, the Word of God. John 1
Worldview – definition, significance, and basis.
Every worldview answers three basic questions:
Where did we come from, and who are we?
What has gone wrong with the world?
What can be done to fix it?
Conflicts over morality are really conflicts over worldviews.
Biblical theism: the belief (worldview) that there is a transcendent God who created and rules the universe and that all of life is to be lived for His glory and under His direction.
Genesis examines every area of life in the light of this view.
Genesis 1 Refutes the Competing Ancient Worldviews of Egypt and Canaan:
Polytheism … there are many “mini-gods,” limited in power, subject to failure.
Pantheism … everything is god, including animals and objects.
Animism … all natural phenomena have souls independent of their physical being.
Nature Worship … the sun, the stars, or other forces are divine (astrology).
Genesis 1 Anticipates and Refutes Competing Modern Worldviews:
Naturalism: … natural causes alone are sufficient to explain everything that exists.
Materialism: … matter is all that there is, with no spiritual realm or reality.
Existentialism: … “Existence precedes essence.” Life is absurd and meaningless; the individual self must create his own meaning by his own choices.
Secular Humanism: … man is god, the center, sum, and ruler of all.
Moral relativism: … every moral principle is a personal or social preference.
Multiculturalism: … all cultures are morally equivalent, choosing their own values.
Pragmatism: … whatever works best is right.
Utopianism: … social and economic structures can solve humanity’s problems.
Post-Christian thought: … Judeo-Christian truths are no longer to be used as the basis of public philosophy or moral consensus.
Postmodernism: … there is no universal, overarching truth; … all truth claims are merely social constructions shaped by class, gender, and ethnicity.
Our modern secular culture is redefining every element of life in light of current worldviews that do not begin with God.
Without form, so God forms on days 1, 2, and 3.
Void (empty), so God fills on days 4, 5, and 6.
The process of creation (Repeated pattern in six parts):
ANNOUNCEMENT - “And God said ...”
COMMANDMENT - “Let there be ...”
RESULT - “And it was so.”
REPORT - “And so God made ...”
NAMING - “And He called ...”
EVALUATION - “And it was good ...”
CHRONOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK - “And evening ... morning”
How do later Scriptures reflect back on the Creation?
PSALM 8 (All)
Man’s dignity, in spite of his smallness
PSALM 19:1-6
The creation declares God’s glory.
God, the master architect; His majesty seen in creation; His providence sustaining His creatures
PSALM 136:5-9
Thanks to God because of His creation with skill
MATT 19:4-6
God’s plan for marriage based on His creation
MARK 13:19
Tribulation “not since the beginning, when God created”
JOHN 1:1-13
In the beginning the Word
COL 1:15-17 parallel
ACTS 17:24-29
No temples, no divine needs, no distance, no images.
ROMANS 1:18-23
Visible creation reveals God’s invisible qualities.
2 COR 4:6
As God brought light into darkness then, He has brought us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
1 TIM 2:11-15
Woman’s subordinate role based on her being created second and deceived by the serpent
The worlds prepared by the word of God ... what is seen was not made out of things which are visible
God worthy to receive praise because He is Creator
God’s naming implies His authority over each.
“Let there be light!” 2 Cor 4:6; John; 1 John
“Let Us make man in Our image.” 3:22; 11:7
Gen 5:1; 9:6; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10; Jas 3:9
“Man” – male and female. Equally in His image.
Distinct from, to rule over, animals and all else.
“Be fruitful and multiply.” Gen 9:1, 7
God “rested” – only from creating. John 5:16-17
OT Sabbath; our eternal rest. Ex 20:8-11; Heb 4
Gen 2
Gen 1 – overview of creation. Gen 2 – focus: man, woman.
No rain yet, but a mist (vapor or fog).
Man from dust – back to dust (3:19).
Heb. adam (man) from adamah (ground).
Man became a “soul.” 1 Cor 15:45; Matt 10:28.
Garden “in” Eden. “Eden” = “delight.”
Tree of life; tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Each tree’s purpose and message (reminder).
River from Eden --- Tigris, Euphrates, 2 more.
Different topography before / after the Flood.
Possible showing of “Is Genesis History?”
Work – its nature and purpose before the Fall.
Fruit of all trees allowed, except one.
Purpose: choice and consequences. Death!
Good. Good. Good. All good. Not good!
Man’s need: a helper “meet” or “suitable.”
Not found! Woman as a unique creation.
Adam’s naming animals implies his authority.
Man and woman –
Equal in essence, value, intellect, spirituality.
Equal in status before God. Gal 3:26-29
Distinct in relationship roles. 1 Cor 11:1-3
Interdependent. 1 Cor 11:8-12
Made by God from one (bone, flesh) – into two.
Then united from two into one again by God.
Called woman (Heb., ishah) from man (ish).
“Therefore” conclusion: leave, cleave, one flesh.
Jesus’ further inference: Matt 19:1-9
Marriage copies that original pattern.
Naked together without shame or sin.
The marital relationship: God’s holy design.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

00 JOSHUA – Claiming God's Promised Land – Intro and Outline

After Moses’ death the LORD told Joshua, “Cross this Jordan to the land! Be strong and courageous!” By faith God’s people conquered the fortified cities of the Canaanites (Josh 1-12). Their tribes divided the territory (Josh 13-22) and pledged to heed Joshua’s final exhortations and warnings (Josh 23-24). Like them, may we claim God’s promise through obedient faith!
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“To Canaan’s Land I’m on my Way”
Centuries had passed since God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that their descendants would possess the land of Canaan. The Hebrews passed that promise down from generation to generation, even though its fulfillment was delayed by Egyptian slavery and Israelite unbelief. Joshua, born in Egypt and trained by Moses, took the reins of leadership after his mentor’s death. God’s repeated call challenged him to be strong, courageous, and unafraid. And he was. Note the transition as described in the first chapter.
Jos 1:1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, 2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. 3 “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. 4 “From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Let’s consider Joshua the man and then Joshua the book.
Joshua the Man
Born in Egyptian slavery. Of the tribe of Ephraim, key tribe in the North.
Moses’ attendant from his youth. Num 11:28
Groomed to succeed Moses as torch-bearer.
Orig. “Hoshea” (Heb. for “salvation”). Moses called him “Joshua” (“The LORD is salvation.”) Num 13:16
“Jesus” is the Greek equivalent of “Joshua.” Matt 1:21
Moses’ general vs. Amalekites. Ex 17:8-13
Moses’ servant up to Mt. Sinai. Ex 24:13; 32:17
A tribal leader, chosen as a spy. Num 13:1-16
Faithful with Caleb. Num 14:6-10, 28–30, 38
Outnumbered. Not yet a national leader.
Knew his place. “Second fiddle.”
Grew in influence over time.
Chosen. Num 27:15-23; Deut 31:14-15, 23; 34:9
Military, political, and spiritual leader.
A strategic genius re: battle. Plan and execute.
Quiet and assuming, yet assertive and brave.
Capable administrator. “Go-first” example.
Bridge-builder, maintaining harmony.
Spokesman and statesman. Motivator.
Type or shadow of Jesus Christ. Their names are the same (see above). Both brought salvation and rest. The Promised Land in Joshua’s time prefigured the Promised Land of heaven, where the “new Joshua,” Jesus, leads us. Heb 3-4
Great Themes in Joshua– Stephen J. Andrews
The Divine Warrior In the book of Joshua God engages in combat as a divine warrior on behalf of Israel. Just as God fought against the Egyptians at the Red Sea (Exod. 14:14), He now fights for them in Canaan (Josh. 10:14).
Holy War In battle, every living being and every piece of property is to be dedicated to the deity. Why would a loving God order the wholesale extermination of the nations living in the promised land? Critics of the Bible find fault with such extreme measures. However, Israel was commanded to drive out the nations living in the promised land because of their sinful abominations (Deut. 9:4–5; 18:9–14; 20:16–18). Those who reject God’s wrath against these disobedient Canaanites tend also to discount or deny the reality and eternal nature of hell. These are parallel, both reflecting the holiness and righteousness of God and the fact that sin is an abomination in His sight.
The Promised Land God had promised to give Israel “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exod. 3:8; Deut. 8:7–9; 11:8–12). The promise of land was conditional. God gave the land to Israel in its entirety, but Israel had to trust God and follow Him to occupy the gift. Israel’s tenure on the land was also based on faithful worship of God (Deut. 7:12–15). The penalty for worshiping other gods was to be driven from the land (Deut. 6:14–15; 8:19–20; 11:8–9, 17; 28:63).
The Covenant The covenant renewal ceremony of Josh. 24 has many similarities with the vassal-treaties formulated by the ancient Hittites. Both types of documents contain an introduction, a historical prologue, a set of stipulations, provisions for keeping the documents and for their public reading, a list of divine witnesses, and finally, curses for disobedience and blessings for obedience. Israel was to be faithful in keeping the covenant. Disobedience eventually brought about the exile.
The Holy and Redeeming God In the book of Joshua, a holy and redeeming God is graciously at work on behalf of Joshua and Israel. God’s mercy is offered to non-Israelites as well. Both Rahab (6:17–25) and the Gibeonites (9:1–27) are brought within the covenant community.
A Rest for the People of God Joshua was to lead Israel into their inheritance, into their “rest” (1:13, 15; 11:23; 14:15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1). A faithful covenant relationship with God would secure a peaceful tenure on the land. Nevertheless, the rest provided by Joshua was temporary (Heb. 3:7–4:11). Soon after the death of Joshua, Israel would begin to serve the Canaanite gods and break the covenant relationship.
Outline and Overview – Stephen J. Andrews
Claiming the Land (1:1-5:15)
A.      After the Death of Moses (1:1a)
Moses had led Israel for forty years! How would this new nation survive without him?
B.      The Call of Joshua (1:1b-18)
As John C. Maxwell writes, “There is no success without a successor.” Furthermore, Joshua could not have succeeded Moses effectively without God’s and Moses’ clear endorsement. “AS I was with Moses, so I will be with you.”
C.      Rahab and the Spies (2:1-24)
Rahab, though a Canaanite harlot, responded to God in obedient faith. She became an ancestor of King David and of Jesus Himself (Matt 1). She illustrated the fact that “Faith without works is dead” (Jas 2).
D.     Crossing Over the Jordan (3:1-4:24)
God powerfully affirmed Joshua’s leadership by parting the Jordan River, as He had parted the Red Sea through Moses.
E.      Covenant Consecration at Gilgal (5:1-15)
Conquering the Land (6:1-12:24)
A.      The Capture of Jericho (6:1-27)
The fall of Jericho’s walls proved that the battle belongs to the LORD. Moreover, that victory may only be claimed by obedient faith.
B.      The Campaign at Ai (7:1-8:35)
Achan violated the ban by taking and hiding prohibited items from Jericho. His confession outlined the sin cycle. He said, “I saw. I coveted. I took. I hid.”
C.      Victory - Southern Coalition (9:1-10:43)
The Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the Israelites, who granted them covenant protection without first seeking God’s guidance. They kept their vow regardless and expanded their territory by overpowering the Gibenoites’ enemies.
D.     Victory - Northern Coalition (11:1-12:24)
Colonizing the Land (13:1-21:45)
A.      East of the Jordan (13:1-33)
B.      West of the Jordan, Part 1 (14:1-17:18)
C.      West of the Jordan, Part 2 (18:1-19:51)
D.     Cities of Refuge (20:1-9)
E.      Levitical Cities (21:1-45)
Consecrating the Land (22:1-24:33)
A.      The Disputed Altar (22:1-34)
Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built a replica altar, not for worship, but to serve as a reminder that they belonged to the new nation and its tribes beyond the Jordan River.
B.      Covenant Exhortations (23:1-16)
C.      Covenant Renewal at Shechem (24:1-33)
His Choice, Theirs, and Ours
Jos 24:14 “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”