Posts in Category: Bible Study

January 22, 2020, Genesis 22

There are scriptures and stories I accept by faith, but I do not understand.

This is just such a scripture.

The challenge of the scripture to me is in God’s request. Such a request is more painful than physical pain.

When my oldest son was just two years old, he had to have surgery. The thought of my two year going under anesthesia was immensely painful to my heart.

As they wheeled him away and he cried out for my wife and I, I would have done anything to comfort him.

The request of God in Genesis 22 is that pain I had multiplied to infinity.

I understand that Abraham reasoned God could Isaac back to life (Hebrews 11:19), but I also knew my son would wake-up from anesthesia–but it was still a pain my heart will forever remember.

So again, this is a scripture I accept in faith, but struggle with in my humaneness.

January 20, 2020, Genesis 20

A quick note on the text today.

This story reminds us that simply because a person is a “pagan” does not mean they are less honorable than the “believer” in God.

Abraham shows dishonor once again to his wife Sarah,

Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

Genesis 20:11-13, NIV

But Abimelek seeks to restore Sarah’s reputation,

To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

Genesis 20:16

Abraham = I want to ask you to put yourself in a position of compromise for me.

Abimelek = I want to completely clear you from any blame or suspicion.

In verse 16, I also appreciated this subtle jab by the King, he tells Sarah, “I am giving your brother.” He doesn’t call Abraham her husband. Why? My guess is because Abimelek will not give the title of husband to Abraham when he has not earned such a respectful title.

Being a husband is to be earned.

January 19, 2020, Genesis 19

Genesis 19 illustrates the combined wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah and its impact on Lots family through sexual sin:

Before they (Lot and male guests) had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” 

 The New International Version. (2011). (Ge 19:4–5). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them.

The New International Version. (2011). (Ge 19:6–8). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.” 33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. 34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him.

 The New International Version. (2011). (Ge 19:31–35). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Due to the inference of homosexual acts in the first scripture reference above and our modern societies desire to avoid all condemnation of homosexual activity, there are efforts to minimize this sin of Sodom and Gomorrah,

It may be that sexual disorder is one aspect of a general disorder. But that issue is presented in a way scarcely pertinent to contemporary discussions of homosexuality.

Brueggemann, W. (1982). Genesis (p. 164). Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press.

So those that want to condone the homosexual acts within our society often point out that Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned in other parts of scripture for overall injustice (Isaiah 1:10; 3:9), adultery and deceit (Jeremiah 23:14), and the most popular explanation for their destruction,

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eze 16:49–50). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

I concur with commentators that there were other ills in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that does not mean one of those ills was not homosexual activity.

On the other hand, I would push against those who focus primarily on the sin of sexual activity between two individuals of the same gender, that the sexual sins in the rest of Genesis 19 and the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah listed in other parts of scripture need to be condemned just as strongly as the homosexual activity.

We as Christians that believe sexual activity, as God designed it, is to be reserved for heterosexual marriage, lose credibility when we ignore other sins of a society or within our own groups.

For Christians to condemn homosexual acts out of one side of their mouths and condone the vitriol, lies, and greed of a president out of the other side of their mouths destroy Christian credibility.

Sex between individuals of the same gender is sin. So is avarice, gluttony, pride, dishonesty, oppression of the poor, heterosexual sins, etc.

Christians, let us be consistent!


January 18, 2020, Genesis 18

Reading the Bible is unlike any other book for a multitude of reasons, but in one way that is so fascinating is how with each reading the Holy Spirit impresses a new emphasis.

Normally when I read Genesis 18 I focus on Sarah laughing or Abraham “bargaining” with God for Sodom–at least that is what the notes in my margins all tell me have been on my mind in the past.

But this time I thought about Abraham’s hospitality. This was an expectation of their culture, but there is a reason. The bedouin culture understood the value of hospitality and sharing a meal with another.

Recently we had a church meeting with some of our leaders and we decided to host it at our house. We provided food . . . my wife or I did not go and kill a calf . . . we catered Chipotle . . . but still, the meeting was different because before we got to business people took off their coats, some took off their shoes, and they sat together and ate.

It made me want to have a meal around every meeting . . .

I don’t know that we could afford that, but I do think we’ll do it more often than we have in the past.

Show hospitality, eat with people.

These aspects of human, and even in the case of Abraham, divine relationships seem to be very important in the Bible!

January 17, 2020, Genesis 17

The focus of this chapter is the covenant of circumcision.

But what jumped out at me, were the names.

Abram to Abraham.

Sarai to Sarah.

The name of the unborn Isaac, to remind Abraham that he laughed at God’s promise.

And my favorite of all, El Shaddai. Our English Bibles translate this, “God almighty,” but it is the name God gives to Himself,

“I am El Shaddai”

El is the term for God and Shaddai is often viewed as a translation for all powerful —

but there is also “the suggestion that Shaddai is a composite term of sha (“the one who”) and dai (“is sufficient”). The later Greek versions have adopted this meaning.”

Van Groningen, G. (1988). God, Names Of. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 882). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

 Sarai and Abram who could not have children, became,

Sarah and Abraham because God is sufficient to make a great nation out of the infertile–where there is nothing, God is sufficient to make something.


January 16, 2020, Genesis 16

Proverbs 30:21-23 states,

21  Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up:  22  a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food; 23  an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 30:21–23). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.


We see Abram’s earth begin to tremble when the latter of the above becomes Hagar and Sarai’s reality.

Abram has shown moments of great faith and he will continue to, but he has also shown moments of great timidity and he will continue to do this also.

It is evidence that overcoming our character flaws is not the work of single moment, but the work of a lifetime . . .

As one with greater insight than I wrote,

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime.

White, E. G. (1911). The Acts of the Apostles. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 560.

Abram let’s Sarai rule the day in every part of this chapter. She recommends he sleep with her servant to get a child. He acquiesces–it might have been a little more intentional than acquiescing.

Sarai then gets mad at Hagar and when she asks Abram to do something about it, his response,

“Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 16:6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

“Hey, I only slept with her and now she’s carrying my child, but what business is it of mine.”

Actually sounds like too many modern men that impregnate women.

It’s your body, I don’t want anything to do with it . . . it is not my problem.

Abram still a work in progress . . .

Praise God for grace!

January 11, 2020 ​Genesis 11

If a person believes in the authority of scripture, they cannot read Genesis 11 and not recognize that sometimes God allows or even does things that will make us unhappy in order to protect us.

The first 9 verses of Genesis 11 tell the story of the tower of Babel and what jumps out at me is God was willing to upset a lot of folk and give them a level of unhappiness and frustration in order to save humanity.

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:5-9

Lesson to me, to us? Don’t assume every situation in our lives that is frustrating is a.) from the devil. b.) something to be upset about. c.) something that is working against us.

The Lord confused the languages of humanity and saved us from ourselves.

Lord frustrate me I pray if it will save me!

January 10, 2020 Genesis 10

What is the purpose and value of genealogies in the Bible (Because that is all Genesis 10 is)?

  1. Genealogies help to substantiate the historical accuracy of scripture.
  2. Genealogies help to confirm prophecy from the past.
  3. Genealogies remind us that God works with families. Strong families. Weak families. Intact families. Broken families.
  4. Genealogies sometimes share with us small stories or insights that we can apply to our lives for edification. Some of you may remember a little book that was very popular called, “The Prayer of Jabez.” Jabez’s story came from a genealogy, 1 Chronicles 4:9, 10. Two verses in a genealogy that God used to bless a lot of people.

So let’s not look down on genealogies. Let us mine them and see what blessing there may be for us.

January 9, 2020 Genesis 9

“The rainbow is a promise in the sky . . . ” is the opening line to a song written by Chuck Fulmore and performed by his trio.

I loved singing this song when I was a kid growing up, and have renewed the joy as I sing along now with my three sons.

We can read about the origin of the rainbow and it’s meaning in Genesis 9,

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbowappears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

Genesis 9:12-17

It is the only visual symbol of a promise that God Himself gave to humanity for all eternity. The cross is a modern-day symbol, but we created that symbol, The Lord never told us to look upon the cross and remember anything. But God did tell us that every time we see a rainbow it should remind us of ONE thing, His covenant with humanity after the flood.

It is not politically correct to say, but I will say it; I am saddened that the promise of God is not the only thing thought about when one looks upon the rainbow.

One day when one of my sons points out the pretty rainbow flag he sees flying, I’ll have to tell him it is not flying to symbolize what we’ve sung about all these years, God’s covenant with all life.

“The rainbow is a promise for you and me, there’ll never be another flood throughout eternity. ‘Till Jesus comes to take us home with Him to be, the rainbow is a promise for you and me.”

January 6, 2020 Genesis 6

Genesis 6 begins with a much debated passage:

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.

Genesis 6:1-2

Some believe this passage is speaking of human women sleeping with evil angels or evil spirits. Some believe this passage is speaking of women becoming wives and sleeping with men of renown, kings and princes, etc. Others believe this is speaking of men from the line of Seth taking for themselves wives from the line of Cain.

I go with the latter. The latter is the least supported position amongst modern commentators and even ancient Jewish writers such as Philo and Josephus (they supported the angel and humans intercourse theory).

Why do I choose the idea of Sethites mingling with Cainites, because to me it fits in with the rest of the narrative of the Old Testament. As one will discover in later books God consistently warns God’s people not to take wives from those that are not followers of the one true God. And in multiple places in scripture when this does happen, wickedness flourishes.

I believe Genesis 6 is the first time God has chosen to teach the “unequally yoked” concept of 2nd Corinthians 6.

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

2 Corinthians 6:14, 15

Marriage to someone that does not hold the same faith as you, (this does not mean they belong to the same denomination–a committed Adventist marrying a uncommitted Adventist or a committed Baptist marrying an uncommitted Baptist, is still being unequally yoked) is a path that often leads to deterioration in ones home, ones morals, and even as we see here in Genesis 6 society.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lordwas sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Genesis 6:5,6

There are many reasons evil spreads in the world, but in the context of Genesis 6 it is firmly rooted in the relationships ungodly marriage relationships being developed in society.

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