A Christian Journey

Archive for September, 2014

Look For Your Rainbow

“But I will establish My covenant, promise, pledge with you, and you shall come into the ark – you and your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives with you.”    Genesis 6:18   Amplified

As we move on to the next woman of the Bible I felt compelled to look at Noah’s wife.  Genesis 6:8 says, “But Noah found grace, favor in the eyes of the Lord.”  Now I’ve heard it said that behind every good man is a good woman.   She isn’t named, but she must have been a woman of faith.  There’s nothing negative said about her, unlike other women we will see later, so she was at least a good helpmate to Noah.

Let’s recap the setting.  The world’s gone mad, the wickedness was great, so much so that the Lord regretted making man.  He tells Noah that He’s going to destroy the world and to build an ark to carry him and his family away to safety.  And oh by the way, take ALL the animals too.  Noah starts building the ark as instructed, with his wife and family to help.  Don’t you think the neighbors question them about the ark.  It hasn’t rained yet so what is this thing? Yeah and also, what is rain?  Since Noah and his family aren’t partying sinners they’re likely made fun of anyway.  As a wife, how do you deal with that?  She probably didn’t hear God talk to Noah, but unlike Eve who doubted God told her husband to do this, she helps him and goes obediently into the ark.  Have a few animials at your house to take care of?  How about taking care of two from every kind of animal.  The big ferocious kind and the slithery kind.  Ever been stuck in a cabin or hotel room for a few days with several people?  Try a boat full of animals and seven other people for 110 days!  She gets my vote for Woman of the Past.

Her reward?  She got to see the first rainbow, and I’m sure it was a beauty.  So you think you got it rough, think about Noah’s wife and all she went through.  Then hang in there so you can see your rainbow.

Where Are You

“But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you?” Genesis 3:9   Amplified

Today’s verse is a call from the Lord that I hope we all hear, not that God doesn’t make it to everyone, but not everyone is listening.

In Genesis, Adam and Eve have sinned and are now hiding from God because they are aware of their disobedience.  There have been many discussions on what the “fruit” was, but the main thing to look at is the disobedience.  When man was created God longed for them to give themselves back to Him in obedience.  He still longs for us to do that today.

This is the first time fear is mentioned in the Bible, Adam told God he heard Him walking in the garden and was afraid.   God knew what had happened, but he asked Adam for an explanation.  True to human nature, and where it all began, he blamed Eve, even telling God, in a round about way, that it was His fault because He gave her to be with him.  Then God looks to Eve and asks for her explanation, of course she passes the blame on to the serpent.  Then the curses rolled down – the serpent must crawl in the dust on its belly, the woman must feel pain in childbirth, the man must work hard to survive, and finally the ground was cursed.  Death came to the garden when God killed an animal to clothe Adam and Eve, the first blood was shed, an animal sacrifice.

Even after they were banished from the beautiful Garden of Eden and forced to take care of themselves they suffered more.  The first human death is recorded as Cain killed his brother Able.  Eve lost one son at the hand of another son.  It’s hard to imagine what that must have felt like, a torn heart.  Who would have thought eating a piece of fruit would end this way.

We see in this first story of life the consequences of living for self and doing what pleases us.    The lesson I learn from this is to seek God in all my decisions and not to trust my senses, the fallout can be horrific.

Innocence Lost

“Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles.”   Genesis 3:7

Our verse today says that the eyes of them both were opened.  If this were talking about physical eyesight then that means prior to this Adam and Eve were physically blind.  That’s not what this verse is saying though, their spiritual eyes were opened.   They now could see the difference between good and evil, blessing and calamity.  This is not to say that the naked human body is evil, but they were now viewing it as evil because of their disobedience.  Then they tried to cover up their disobedience with fig leaves.  Isn’t that what we always do when we have done wrong, try to cover it up, excuse it, or hide it.

Now they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden. Can you imagine being able to walk with God in your garden and talk to Him about life?  That’s an awesome thought, but in their selfishness they gave that up.  Normally they would probably run to God when He came walking, but this time they hid.  Since God is omniscient and omnipresent, He already knew what had taken place, He wanted to see what their reaction was going to be.  Some may ask, if He knew what was going on when it was happening why didn’t He stop it?  Free will.   We all have it, and it’s a blessing and a curse.  In their free will, I believe, if they had gone to God instead of hiding from Him, things might be different, they would have blessed God and He might have forgiven them.  Because they hid from Him, as we try to do, they received the curse, they basically cursed themselves.

Always go to God with everything and He will lead you through it.

Did God Say That

“Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made.  And he, Satan, said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?”  Genesis 3:1  Amplified

The third chapter of Genesis is the saddest of the Bible, that’s where sin entered in.  Satan uses the same tool today that he did then, doubt.  Notice he didn’t tell Eve, God didn’t say you shall not eat from every tree, he asked her, did God say that?   If you look back at Genesis 2:17 God told Adam after creating him that he should not eat it, Eve wasn’t around yet.  That means Adam told Eve what God said, she didn’t hear it from God directly.  Satan knew that and planted the seed of doubt in Eve’s mind.  She likely thought, maybe Adam heard wrong.  Then Satan told her, You shall not surely die.  Well, in Eden nothing had died yet so what did that mean.  I don’t think Eve even thought about the rest of what Satan said to her. He told her about her eyes being opened, her eyes were already open, and that she would be like God knowing the difference between good and evil, blessing and calamity.  She had only known good and blessing, she had no knowledge of evil and calamity.

Here’s the next step to the fall, when she saw that the tree was good, suitable and pleasant for food and that it was delightful to look at, a tree to be desired in order to make one wise.  Her senses were deceiving her, she saw, yes with her physical eyes, but not her spiritual ones and she was lead astray.  We must be in control of our feelings and senses or they will lead us astray as well, let’s learn from sister Eve.  Go beyond the physical realm, ask God to open your spiritual eyes, so that you can truly see.

She ate of the fruit and gave some to Adam and he ate.  Now, this is where I draw the line on the fall being Eve’s fault.  Adam had the opportunity to refuse to eat of the fruit and he didn’t.  Some say he didn’t know it was from that tree, some say he had to eat it because she already had and he loved her.  I don’t know why he did it, but he joined in with her. I would argue that he actually has a greater fault because he DID hear directly from God NOT to eat the fruit.

So what can we learn from all of this?  Doubt opens the door to wrong decisions, never doubt God, but if that door is opened then go to Him for reassurance.

It Started With Eve

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the place with flesh.  And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”

Here is the creation of woman, it started with Eve.  I thought it would be interesting to look more deeply into the women of the Bible and this is where it all began.

Now man was created when God formed the dust of the earth and breathed life into him, Genesis 2:7.  Then God made all the other creatures out of the ground, Genesis 2:19, there’s your chicken or egg question answered.  Note it doesn’t say that God breathed life into their nostrils.  That is one of many distinctions we have with the animals, the breath of God is not in animals.  Remember the trees and plants are living things too and God brought them out of the ground as well.

Even though Adam had all the plants and animals there are he still didn’t have a helper or companion like himself.  In His love for Adam God realized that the man should not be alone and so He “built up” a woman and brought her to him.  Our verse today says she was taken from Adam’s side and that is where a companion or helper should be.  According to Genesis 2:23 Adam said, “This creature is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of a man.”

Up to this point everything was perfect in the Garden of Eden.  We’ll take a closer look at what happens next tomorrow.

What’s Your Temperature

“So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!”   Revelations 3:16  Amplified

Here we are at the last book of the Bible, Revelations, and what a book it is.  Many try to understand it, some try to explain it, few read it.  To me, the most important chapters for us right now are the first three.  Some believe the seven churches are literal churches that existed at the time John wrote this and historically that’s correct.  Some say the seven churches are the progression of the church over time in history.  If that’s true then today’s verse describes us, the church today.

The last church listed in Revelation is Laodicea and in verse 17 it is described as “I am rich, I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing.”  Sound familiar?   The Lord goes on to say, “You don’t realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”   Outwardly you may be and appear rich, but inwardly/spiritually, you aren’t.  He says, “I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be truly wealthy.”

Remember that the church is actually the body of believers, those who have a relationship with the Lord.  So this is addressed to each of us individually.  Some believe the seven churches describe the progression a believer goes through.

Verse 19 goes on to say, “Those whom I truly love I tell their faults, convince, convict, reprove, and chasten. So be enthusiastic and in earnest, burning with zeal and repent, change your mind and attitude.”  Don’t be lukewarm, be hot and on fire for the Lord.

Finally verse 20 states, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears, listens to, and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him and he will eat with Me.”

Do you hear someone tapping at your hearts door?  Listen.

What Is Your Passion

“These are inveterate murmurers, grumblers, who complain of their lot in life, going after their own desires, controlled by their passions; their talk is boastful and arrogant, and they claim to admire men’s persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage.”   Jude 1:16  Amplified

We are nearing the end of our study on the 3:16 verses of the Bible.  Jude only has one chapter, but the 16th verse seemed so appropriate for today.  It’s interesting to me to think about how this verse applied to the first century church and still applies today. 

I confess I had to look up the word inveterate, it means habitual.  Do you know anyone who’s an habitual murmurer, grumbler or complainer?  We all do.  Are you that person?  Ouch, that hit a little close to home.  I hope not.  The next sentence, I believe, explains why people are that way, going after their own desires, controlled by their passions.   Passion doesn’t necessarily mean lust or romance, passion is enthusiasm or strong feeling of excitement for something or someone.   What is your passion? What do you get excited about?  Whatever it is, don’t let it be the primary focus in your life or you might become a murmurer, grumbler or complainer.  Even if our passion is another person, they shouldn’t be number one in our life.  God is always number one.  I’m happy to be number two on my husband’s list, I want him to put God first.

The next part of the verse says that these people are boastful and arrogant, pride usually is.  They’ve placed themselves in charge, but when their plans fail they murmur, complain and grumble.  Whose fault is the fail?  Take your plans to the Lord, seek His guidance in all you do.

Lastly, they claim to admire other people and flatter them, but it’s to gain advantage.  Why do you give others compliments, think about that.

In verse 21 it says, “Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah – which will bring you unto life eternal.”