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 15, 2020, Genesis 15

For all few of the readers of this blog, you might have noticed I missed January 14. I apologize, I started to write last night, got a major headache and shut-it-down for the night.

Rather than going back. I’m just picking-up with the next day.

In this chapter the big idea that caught my attention, was one of politics . . . please don’t tune out just yet 🙂

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 15:18–21). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

This verse would indicate to me that a two-state solution in the Middle East would be a viable position.

For those who may not know what the two-state position is, here is an oversimplified explanation of the two-state concept from the New York Times,

The two-state solution would establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel — two states for two peoples. In theory, this would win Israel security and allow it to retain a Jewish demographic majority (letting the country remain Jewish and democratic) while granting the Palestinians a state.

Fisher, Max. (2016, December 29). The Two-State Solution: What It Is and Why It Hasn’t Happened. Retrieved January 15, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/world/middleeast/israel-palestinians-two-state-solution.html

The Bible states that the land would be to Abram offspring, as we will see in future chapters that includes Ishmael. Ishmael is seen as the ancestor from Abram over many Arab people. And God states,

Now there is definitely a Biblical point of view that sees the promise being transferred exclusively to Isaac’s line . . .

And I am probably wading into waters I don’t fully understand. But this blog is representative of my thoughts . . . and I see a Bible passage that leads me to perceive that a two-state position would be copasetic.

Even the end of the passage I quoted above, speaks of those being removed from the land as nations that predate the children of Abraham, not the nations from Ishmael.

My thoughts on Genesis 15 . . .

What say you?

January 13, 2020, Genesis 13

In Genesis 13 Abram returns to the place we first saw him worship in Genesis 12,

And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord.

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 13:3–4). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

And just as in chapter 12 immediately after worshiping Abram is confronted with a dilemma. The confrontation in chapter 12 led to failure.

In chapter 13 Abram now faces conflict with his nephew and his nephew’s supporters.

But could it be that Abram remembers the last time he worshiped between Bethel and Ai how quickly he lost faith?

In this confrontation, Abram resembles the generosity and humble spirit of God.

What do we see?

Abram learning and growing from his past mistakes.

Isn’t that all that we are called to do–to learn from our past–to come again to worship God and to grow . . . to be better next time?

I Need Your Social Media​

Greetings faithful readers and new readers.

I made a choice two years ago to leave the Facebook world, you can read about that here

A little over a year ago I left Twitter.

And this past February I left Instagram, you can read about that here

Unfortunately no longer being on any social media platforms has hurt the traffic on this blog now that I have returned to writing.

Now maybe this is wanting my cake (having the advertisement of social media) and eating it too (being off of social media), but I would like to ask you the reader, if you read something on this blog that you think would be helpful, interesting, encouraging, challenging to others will you please click on the buttons to the left and share these posts in your social media environs.

I would also like to encourage you to subscribe to this blog at the bottom of the page.

Thank you for your help.

January 12, 2020,​ Genesis 12

“Consistency” was the word that came to my mind when I read Genesis 12 this morning.

God’s consistency.

Humanity’s lack of consistency.

The chapter begins with God making a promise to Abram (this is before God renamed him Abraham),

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great . . .

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 12:2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

And the chapter ends with God being faithful to that promise. I won’t add the entire story here, but read it for yourself and Abram while he was in Egypt received,

"sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels." (v. 16b)

 Also, The Lord protected Abram from the Pharaoh in Egypt (vv. 17-20)

God was consistent!

The only reason, however, that Abram had to be protected from Pharaoh is due to Abram’s inconsistency towards God!

God made a promise to Abram, Abram trusted God and followed God’s leading and worshiped God,

From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb. 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 12:8–9). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Until things got tough.

Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 12:10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

 And since Abram was in a place God had not called him to go, he had to start operating under his own logic, which was to lie and betray his marital commitment (vv. 11-13).

Abram was inconsistent!

Let me point out the obvious.

God’s faithfulness is consistent.

Our faithfulness is not.

Who do you want to follow?

A consistent God . . . or your inconsistent self?

I’m going with God!




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.

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