Posts Tagged: Blogging the Bible

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 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 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 2, 2020 Genesis 2

I wish Genesis chapter 1 ended after Genesis 2:3. But since chapter and verse breaks are not inspired (they were standardized in the 13th and 16th cent. respectively) I will not spend too much time worrying about it.

When I read Genesis chapter 1, I read about an overview of all creation.

When I read Genesis chapter 2, I read about the relationship of the creation to story to man and man’s relationship to that creation.

Genesis chapter 1 is a wide angle lens and Genesis chapter 2 the lens zooms in on that which is most relevant to the reader…our relationship to creation…

Wait a second, maybe that is why Genesis 2 begins with:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Genesis 2:1-3, English Standard Version

Genesis chapter 2 is about mans relationship to creation and thus to the creator…

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11, ESV

Blogging the Bible Day 38: Judges 1-6 and a ‘bit of a rant at the end

Today we start a new book! The book of Judges. This book could be made into a movie, if you don’t believe me check out the story in 3:15-30 or what about the story of Deborah and Jael in chapter 4 those are two tough women!

In today’s post though I want to focus on the first two chapters because they set the stage for the rest of the book. Beginning in verse 27 of chapter 1 we see a pattern begin to take place:

  • “But Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean…so the Canaanites persisted in living in the land…they did not drive them out completely.” (v. 27, 28b)
  • “Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer…” (v. 29)
  • “Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron…so the Canaanites lived among them” (v. 30)
  • “Asher did not drive out…”
  • “Naphtali did not drive out…”

This inspired writing is not just here to instruct us in history. Something very clear is happening, the people of Israel were to remove all the remnants of those who did not worship the one true God, and they did not. By not doing so this decision eventually led to what we see taking place in the rest of the book of Judges, a people constantly waffling back and forth between loyalty and compromise.

I want us to notice something though, the effects of this decision to not drive out the Canaanites at first doesn’t seem like such a bad thing from the perspective of Israel. In fact in several instances the scriptures tell us that the Canaanites were forced into labor as the Israelites servants. For an entire generation the decision to not drive these people out seemed “ok.”

“The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel.” (2:7)

But then…

“All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” (2:10)

Why was this so?

“they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger. 13 So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.” (2:12, 13)

Notice the phrase in there

“and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them”

And why were those people around them? Because they had chosen “not to drive them out”

Then in chapter 2 verse 21 God said

“I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,”

God is not being mean He is just not delivering them from their willful choice.

So my summary in all of this is:

From a Spiritual lesson that borderline sin that is hanging around or that slight compromise that might not seem like that big of deal to us at the time, may have great ramifications on the generations below.

I think of the parent that may watch some subjective movies with their kids…maybe no big deal for the parent in the big picture, but what if it opens the door for the kids to desire to explore even greater depths of that subjective material and the next thing the parent knows their children are addicted to pornography.

Or the parents that compromise slightly on their Sabbath afternoon activities, but they still go to church in the morning…no big deal…’till they see their own kids not taking the grandkids to church because they not only compromise Sabbath in the afternoon, they also compromise Sabbath in the morning.

I think it can also happen to us corporately just as it corporately effected Israel:

Just tonight a group of us that love sports (as we watched the Super Bowl I know the irony) were discussing the challenges of interscholastic sports within our Adventist schools (also a concern outside of Adventism as well).

Years ago our schools decided to move away from the counsel of Ellen White in regards to emphasizing or over promoting interscholastic sports,

“I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball,” Ellen White said, “but this, even in its simplicity, may be overdone. I shrink always from the almost sure result which follows in the wake of these amusements. It leads to an outlay of means that should be expended in bringing the light of truth to souls.” Ellen White, 2nd Selected Messages, p. 322.

She also states in another book,

“The games that occupy so much of … [the student’s] time are diverting the mind from study. They are not helping to prepare the youth for practical, earnest work in life. Their influence does not tend toward refinement, generosity, or real manlinessSome of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling. Other athletic games, though not so brutalizing, are scarcely less objectionable because of the excess to which they are carried, they stimulate the love of pleasure and excitement, thus fostering a distaste for useful labor, a disposition to shun practical duties and responsibilities. They tend to destroy a relish for life’s sober realities and its tranquil enjoyments. Thus the door is opened to dissipation and lawlessness, with their terrible results.” –Ellen Whtie, Education, pp. 210, 211.

By ignoring this counsel at some point years and years ago we now have people that love sports, some of us that played varsity sports all through Adventist Education now asking the questions, “Are we missing something?” “Are we really helping the current generation by endorsing this the way we do?”

This is not a diatribe on sports. I enjoy them very much, we (my family) enjoy watching the games of our school and supporting the youth of our area. But with this passage in Judges in mind and the conversation I was a part of tonight, I just must be honest…I take pause…

Of course could we say the same for the emphasis on classroom academics and our abandonment of more outdoor education, or starting kids in school at 4, 5, & 6 rather than 7, 8, & 9…

What about in the church are our shrinking churches in North America reaping the consequences of abandoning the model of pastor as church planter/evangelist for the more convenient model of settled pastor.

Okay I will save those for another post 🙂

Whether you agree or disagree I hope we will all think and be cautious if not for ourselves, for the sake of future generations in all our decision making.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 15-17




Blogging the Bible Day 37: Genesis 20-23

The obvious topic to write on in today’s reading is the story of God’s call to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and then His intervention when He observed Abraham’s trust and faithfulness.


That is not what I am going to spend time looking at.

What I needed to hear and what spoke to me in my devotional today is the story of Abraham and the return of his deceit to not claim Sarah as his wife. I see in this story that Abraham is a repeat offender of the same sin, just like I can be…but that is not what caught my attention…

What truly caught my attention was God’s response to Abimelech,

“But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” -Genesis 20:3-7

God spared Abimelech from unknowingly sinning, but God still calls it sin. “I who kept you from sinning against me.” When I was a child I was taught to pray forgiveness for both the sins I was aware of and the sins I was unaware of. Society has shifted, even within the church, now sin is only sin if “I” think it is sin or know it is sin. Sin to me is no longer defined by God it is now defined by themselves. God clearly shows here that it didn’t matter that Abimelech didn’t know it was Abraham’s wife, if he had touched her it would have still been sin.

The sins we’ve committed both with knowledge and without knowledge Jesus took both on the cross. That is what is said, “I who kept you from sinning against ME.” All sin known and unknown is sin that killed Jesus, let us return to seeking forgiveness for both.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Judges 1-6


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