Genesis – Our History

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“After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubims to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24 I love history. I have written one book on “The Story of Palmerdale.” It is a history of the community that we live in. I am in the process of writing a second history book about our community. I have been reading about the Great Depression, World War II and the history of our nation and how it was formed and why. Today most people could care less about our history, but if we don’t know and understand our history, how are we going to know how to change our nation. How are we going to know the mistakes that our fathers made and try not to repeat them?  We have come to the close of the first three chapters of Genesis. This is the story of the history of mankind. If we don’t know this history, how in the world can we follow God and be committed to Him. We need to look at the mistakes that Adam and Eve made and try not to make the same mistakes. I started these devotions in Genesis because I felt that most of us did not understand the entire history of mankind. Yes, I know that the ones of us that were raised in church have heard these stories many times, but at times we need to go back and look at the basics. I pray that God has touched you in these devotions and you have a stronger faith in God. I hope that you have been enlightened and that you will be able to defend our Christian faith easier.  […]

Genesis – Lost Paradise

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“Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.” Genesis 3:22-23 Genesis 3 tells the story of paradise lost by the willfulness of human sin. Humanity was originally given every perfect thing they could need or want, and virtually no restrictions. Despite that, Adam and Eve needed only a bit of prompting from a talking serpent to disobey their good Creator. Immediately overcome by shame and quickly cursed by God, the painful story of human history begins with their exit from the Garden of Eden. This was paradise lost. Humans have been looking for the Garden of Eden ever since Adam and Eve were banished from this paradise. They did not want to leave the Garden because this is where they had fellowship with God. They did not want to lose this fellowship, because God did put in there spirit a longing for this fellowship. Today humans are still looking for the Garden of Eden. They use sex, drugs and anything else that will allow them to think that they are in paradise. This is one of the tricks of Satan. He wants to give us a false Garden so that we will not look for God and that relationship that is built through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This longing for the Garden can only be filled by Jesus Christ. 

Genesis – Sacrifice

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“And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.” Genesis 3:21 In order for Adam and Eve to be clothed, a sacrifice had to be made. An amimal had to die. “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:12) Some creature had to die in order to provide them with garments. God provide the garments to cover their shame. This was the start of the aminal sacrifice. God ordained this in order to lead us to Jesus Christ our Savior. The Lamb of God has made the robe of righteousness that covers our shame and sin. There are only two religions. The religion of fig leaves and there is the religion of God’s perfect provision through Jesus Christ. Covering ourselves with our good works is like Adam and Eve trying to cover themselves with fig leaves. Your good works are essential to what it takes to live out your life, but they are not legal tender before God. Adam and Eve were clothed with a garment that was purchased with the life of another. We are clothed with a garment of righteousness that was purchased with the life of another, Jesus Christ.   Today’s Bible Reading: Hebrews 9:11-28

Genesis – Dust

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“By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19 Man became mortal; although he did not die the moment he ate the forbidden fruit, his body underwent a change, and that would lead to death. The union between his soul and God having already been dissolved, he had become liable to all the miseries of this life and to the pains of hell for ever. What a sad chapter this is in the history of man. It gives the only true account of the origin of all the physical and moral evils that are in the world. When Adam sinned, death came into the world. “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (Romans 5:12) Yes, Adam’s sin brought death, but because of God’s wonderful grace He had a plan to bring our relationship back to Him. Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curses that God put on Adam and Eve. Sin brought pain in childbirth; no one knew more pain than Jesus did when He suffered for our sins. Sin brought conflict and Jesus endured great conflict to bring us salvation. Thorns came with sin and the fall. Jesus endured a crown of thorns to bring us our salvation. Sin brought sweat. Jesus sweated great drops of blood to win our salvation. Sin brought sorrow. Jesus became a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief to save us. Sin brought death. Jesus tasted death for everyone so that we would not die; so that we could live with Him for all eternity. Today’s Bible Reading: Romans 5:12-20

Genesis – Man

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“And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.” Genesis 3:17-18 Due to their sin, Eve would have pain in childbirth and Adam would have pain in his daily labor in the field. As he worked to get his food, he would encounter obstacles and have to toil and sweat to get a harvest. This was to remind him that his disobedience had affected all of creation. Adam sinned by not standing up and speaking the truth to his wife when she invited him to participate in her sin. And, judging by the description of Eve’s conversation with the serpent, for failing to protect and lead her as he should. God makes clear that Adam was independently responsible for his choice to eat from the tree. He wouldn’t be allowed to get away with passing the blame to her or anyone else. Adam failed in his responsibility to be the head of the family. As with Eve, Adam’s curse is one of hardship in doing the necessary work of life, in doing something that would otherwise have brought great joy and meaning to his existence. Instead of easily producing crops as seeds were planted, as had been the case in the garden up to this point, the ground would be cursed. Adam will suffer great pain in getting the ground to yield edible crops in doing his daily work. And this curse will afflict him all the days of his life. Eve’s curse was in the family relationship and Adam’s […]

Genesis – Woman

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“Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 Adam and Eve have both sinned against God. They have distrusted His goodness and turned away from Him to depend on their own wisdom. They rejected His word and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God showed them that there was consequence for sin. This was not the relationship that God wanted in His world, but sin changed all of that. What is described in this scripture is the ugly conflict between the male and female that has marked so much of human history. The essence of sin is self-reliance and self-exaltation; first in rebellion against God and then in exploitation of each other. This is not God’s plan. In Ephesians, Paul tells us “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.  For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:21-26, 33) The man has the greater responsibility in the relationship. In this relationship, we need to have mutual respect for each […]

Genesis – Serpent

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“Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 God’s love for sinners in no way eliminates His holy hatred for sin, for it is true that God is love it is also true that God is just. A holy God must deal with sin, for the good of the sinner and the glory of His name. God pronounced sentence first on the serpent, then on the Satan who used the serpent. It seems that the serpent was originally upright because God humiliated it by putting it into the dust. God’s judgment on Satan was that he will always know defeat. He will always reach for victory but always fall short. There will always be hostility between Satan and all humanity. It seems that at one time there was a friendship between Eve and Satan. That ended when Satan was cursed. If we are born naturally rebellious against God, we are also born cautious and afraid of Satan. One must be hardened to willingly and knowingly serve Satan. We don’t serve God or Satan, we serve ourselves. There is no doubt this is a prophecy of Jesus’ ultimate defeat of Satan. God announced that Satan would wound the Messiah, but the Messiah would crush Satan with a mortal wound. It was as if God could not wait to announce His plan of salvation, to bring deliverance through the one known as the Seed of the woman. God’s plan was not defeated […]

Genesis – Excuses

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“He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”Genesis 3:10-13 God doesn’t ask questions because He needs information. He is God and He knows everything. He asks questions for our good, to give us an opportunity to face the facts, be honest, and confess our sins. God called to Adam to give him the opportunity to answer and come out into the open. That God called at all is an act of grace on the part of God. He could have spoken the word of judgment and justly destroyed Adam and Eve. Another gracious wonder was that Adam could hear God’s voice and respond, for his inner nature had been so polluted by sin that he did not want to face God. When God asked Adam point blank if he had eaten of the tree, Adam never said, “Yes, I did.” Instead he blamed God and his wife. When God asked Eve she blamed the serpent that you created. There were excuses but no confessions. When people start making excuses, it’s evident that they don’t sense the enormity of their sins or want to confess them and repend. If sinners can find a loophole, they’ll run through it as fast as they can. This is the same today as it was with Adam and Eve. We do not want to say that we have […]

Genesis – Hound of Heaven

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“When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9 Then the Lord called to Adam, “where are you?”  This is still what God is doing today. He is calling to us; He is the Hound of Heaven pursuing us until we give up. There is a poem written by Francis Thompson “The Hound of Heaven.” “The poem is autobiographical for it tells of Thompson’s own story of being utterly lost and relentlessly pursued by God and finally found. It is a record of conversion. The Hound of Heaven is the love of God pursing the poet’s soul till he surrenders to it. As he tries to evade this love, seeking consolation in human loves and earthly delights, the pressure of the divine demand gathers urgency in the image of the following feet that pound behind him till he is driven to his knees by the inadequacy of the alternative satisfaction. His endless fight ends when the poet finally comes to see that the darkness of deprivation which all along he feared was really but the shadow of the Divine hand stretched over him in love.” (Harry Blamires)  I feel that most of us can see our life in this poem of God pursuing us. I know in my life I can see God never giving up on me and the calling that He put on my life. When God called me to the ministry, He gave me this scripture, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even […]

The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson

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I fled Him down the nights and down the days I fled Him down the arches of the years I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind, and in the mist of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter. Up vistaed hopes I sped and shot precipitated Adown titanic glooms of chasm-ed fears From those strong Feet that followed, followed after. But with unhurrying chase and unperturb-ed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat — and a Voice beat, More instant than the feet: “All things betray thee who betrayest Me.” I pleaded, outlaw-wise, By many a hearted casement, curtained red, trellised with inter-twining charities; (For though I knew His love who follow-ed, Yet was I sore adread lest having Him, I should have nought beside ) But, if one little casement parted wide, The gust of his approach would clash it to. Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue. Across the margent of the world I fled, And troubled the gold gateways of the stars, Smiting for shelter on their clang-ed bars, Fretted to dulcet jars and silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon. I said to dawn — Be sudden; to eve — be soon — With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over From this tremendous Lover! Float thy vague veil about me lest He see! 1 I tempted all His servitors but to find My own betrayal in their constancy, In faith to Him, their fickleness to me, Their traitorous trueness and their loyal deceit. To all swift things for swiftness did I sue, Clung to the whistling mane of every wind, But whether they swept, smoothly fleet, The long savannahs of the blue, Or whether, thunder-driven, They clanged His chariot thwart a heaven, Plashy with flying […]