Posts Tagged: Bible Study

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 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 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.

January 5, 2020 Genesis 5

Genesis 4 places in between the story of the death of Abel and the birth of Seth the genealogy of the Cainites. Then Genesis 5 provides the genealogy of the line of Seth. The two genealogies share two names: Enoch and Lamech. And both genealogies give descriptors of these four individuals.

Genesis 4–

  • Enoch–had a city named after him.

Genesis 5–

  • Enoch–walked with God and was no more because God took him to heaven.

Genesis 4–

  • Lamech–Bragged to his wives about taking the life of others.

Genesis 5–

  • Lamech–The father of Noah, whom he named such because he believed God would use Noah to bring relief to humanity.

The genealogies serve a prophetic picture of God’s people in contrast to the people of the world.

God’s people have rewards eternal. The people of the world only have rewards here on this earth. God’s people promote life. The people of the world destroy life.

January 4, 2020 Genesis 4

A text for all the world to ponder!

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He (Cain) said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:9 ESV

The answer: Yes! Yes, you are!

Most of us will never kill anyone, but many of us value the lives of other humans no more than Cain valued the life of his brother. This is what happens when we do not see ourselves as our brothers keeper.

January 3, 2020 Genesis 3

What happens when we decide that we know better than God’s Word? Genesis 3 is a testimony of the results . . . SIN . . . regret . . . SIN . . . Consequences.

How humanity deals with our sin problem . . .

  1. Cover-up (Gen. 3:7b)
  2. Fear (Gen. 3:8, 10)
  3. Blame God (Gen. 3:12a, 13)
  4. Blame others (Gen. 3:12b, 13)
  5. Try to justify (Gen. 3:12c, 13)

How God deals with our sin problem . . .

  1. Consequences (Gen. 3:16-19, 23, 24)
  2. GRACE (3:14-15, 21)

Consequences can hurt–but I still prefer God’s way!

I Can’t…

“I can’t”

those are the words my Dad spoke to me not more than 2 1/2 years ago. That was his response to a question I had asked him, “Dad will you do a Bible study with one of our contacts?”

“I can’t”

Let me tell you a little about my Dad, almost all of his adult life he has been a teacher. He taught in Adventist academies for about 6 years and then at Pacific Union College, Loma Linda University, & Andrews University Dayton, OH campus, & University of the Pacific. He has a degree in Education, Physical Therapy, and it seems like there may be something else. He has a Master’s degree, two in fact, and an earned Doctorate. He started a Master’s Physical Therapy program from scratch and was the director of it for 10+ years.

“I can’t”

Seemed like a pretty ridiculous answer!

And even more importantly than all the above, and really all that mattered, he was constantly telling me how much he loved Jesus and how much Jesus was blessing his life.

“I can’t”

Was then an even more unbelievable answer!

“I can’t”

Is the answer I hear a lot when I talk to folk about giving Bible studies to another individual.

I used to accept this answer as legit.

“I can’t”

I believed some people really couldn’t, I no longer believe that.

Why?

Because–

“I can’t”

Doesn’t fit at all with the promises of scripture–

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. –Matthew 28:19, 20.

“I can’t”

Really doesn’t go with, “I am with you always”

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” –Acts 1:8

“I can’t”

Doesn’t work with, “you shall receive power”

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” –John 14:12-14

“I can’t”

Does not correlate with, “greater works than these he will do” “whatever you ask” “If you ask anything…I will do.”

“I can’t”

Does not work with John 14:26 either,

 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

So even if my Dad had zero degrees and zero teaching experience, it would seem quite silly for a man that says he loves Jesus and is blessed by Jesus to say…

“I can’t”

“I can’t”

is foolish for any of us to say.

“But it is not my gift which is why…”

“I can’t”

Knowing the Bible and sharing what you know with another person has nothing to do with gifts. Because even if you are nervous, you can have word for word what you want to say right in front of you…and yes people

“CAN”

come to Jesus this way…and they DO!

So the only way

“I can’t”

works is if that is the answer to one question, “Are you capable of caring about the eternal salvation of another human being?”

If you can say…

“I can’t”

to that, okay you’re off the hook.

But that wouldn’t go with,

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;” –Matthew 5:44, 45

In other words if you’re a Christian…a Jesus follower…

“I can’t”

NEVER works when it comes to sharing the truths of scripture with another human being.

So let’s be real and admit…

“I can’t”

is really

“I won’t”

and after we admit that, let’s repent of it…

And trust Jesus to help us move from…

“I can’t”

Which is…

“I won’t”

To

“I can!”

My Dad did and praise Jesus I have baptized several he has studied the Bible with.


 

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