Glimpses in Genesis: Creation and The Fall of Adam and Eve, Genesis 1-3.

This will by no means be an exhaustive look at Genesis.  That would take a whole library of books.  No, we’re just going to look at some interesting things along the way.  This study will take us up through the Fall of Adam and Eve.  Part 2, Lord willing, will cover the Flood and the Tower of Babel; part 3 will consider some things about the patriarchs, and maybe part 4.  I’m trying to make each post not too long.

Nor are we going to enter into the academic discussions about who wrote Genesis and the rest of the 5 books of the Pentateuch.  Our Lord accepted it and them from the hand of Moses, as did both Testaments in numerous references, Mark 12:26; Ezra 6:18; Romans 10:19.  That’s good enough for us!

As we come to the first chapters of Genesis, we find that it tells us where everything came from – not from some random cosmic explosion, but from the power and wisdom of God.  So Genesis is the book of origins.  It tells how the earth came to be, and where man came from.  It accounts for the entrance of sin into the world, and reveals that man is a moral being, different from all other earthly creatures, in contrast to evolution, which says that he came from them.  It gives us the beginning of the nation of Israel, as well as the origin and distribution of many of the rest of the nations of the world.

Genesis is also the foundational book of the Bible.  It tells of sin and redemption and forms the basis for most, if not all, the rest of divine revelation on these subjects.  It’s first redemptive prophecy contains in a single verse (3:15) the whole of prophecy given in the rest of Scripture.  It also gives a tremendous amount of vital information about the Abrahamic Promise, or Covenant, information which, it seems to me, is often overlooked in the interpretation of Scripture.

As to an outline, here are some ways Genesis might be outlined:

1.  The Beginning of Human History, chs. 1-12
2.  The Beginning of Hebrew History, chs. 12-50.

or

1.  The Beginning of Man’s Residence on the Earth, chs. 1, 2.
2.  The Beginning of Man’s Rebellion on the Earth, chs. 3-11.
3.  The Beginning of Man’s Redemption on the Earth, chs. 12-50.

or the more familiar:

1.  Creation, chs. 1, 2: Preparation for Man.
2.  The Fall, chs. 3-5: Presumption of Man.
3.  The Flood, chs. 6-9: Punishment of Man.
4.  The Tower of Babel, chs. 10, 11: Perversity of Man.
5.  The Patriarchs, chs. 12-50: Preference among Men.

As we look more closely at Genesis through this last outline, we note the following:

Creation, chs. 1, 2: Preparation for Man.

A. It refutes many errors, including:

1. Atheism.  “In the beginning, God….”  Note:  the Bible was written to people who believed in God, in many cases, had had personal dealings with Him.  The Bible never attempts to “prove” the existence of God, although there are “proofs” for those who will see them, Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:18-20.

2.  Pantheism, that is, God is everything, and everything is God.  Scripture shows that while God is indeed the Creator and Sustainer of everything, He is separate and distinct from everything.  He IS everywhere, not every thing.

3.  Materialism, that is, matter is eternal and has always existed.  This still doesn’t answer the question, “Where did ‘matter’ come from in the first place?”

4.  That everything came unintentionally and spontaneously into existence, i.e., “the big bang.”

B.  Genesis reveals the origin of the universe and the earth, 1:1.  It doesn’t particularly tell how or why.  Theistic evolution, in a sincere but misguided attempt to align materialistic science with Scripture, doesn’t seem to see what Scripture says about the origin of this earth.  I have no difficulty believing that the earth is older than 6,000 years.  I just have trouble with the idea, as we shall see in a moment, that it’s billions of years old.

Herbert Spencer, a scientist who died in 1903, taught that everything exists in one of five categories: time, force, action, space or matter.  Moses knew that millennia before Spencer:

1.  time – “in the beginning”
2.  force – “God”
3.  action – “created”
4.  space – “the heavens”
5.  matter – “and the earth”

C. Genesis has many features which do not agree with “evolution”.  We’ve seen some.  Some more are:

1.  It has an intelligent Creator, not a mindless, cosmic catastrophe, followed by aimless and random development.

2.  The earth was created before the stars!  They were made on the fourth day.  Earth was already in existence.

3.  Plants were created before the Sun.  If the “days” are geologic ages, then how did the plants survive without the Sun to nourish them?

4.  On the first day, God created “light” as something apart from Himself, Who is light, 1 John 1:5.  On the fourth day, creating the Sun, He created “time.”  Our “time” would have no relevance anywhere else in the universe.

5.  Each kind of animal was created fully developed as it came from the hand of God.  It had no need for further “development,” other than adaptation to an environment that changed.  There are many instances of such development within species; there are none between species.

6.  Each creature was made with the ability to reproduce according to its kind, 1:11, 21, 24, not mutate into another kind.

7.  Sea creatures and birds were created on the same day.  Birds did not somehow evolve after or from dinosaurs or amphibians.

8.  In a separate act, man was created from the dust of the ground, 2:8.  He did not “evolve” from “lower” life forms, nor did God simply choose one or two from a number of already existing hominids with which to develop a “special relationship.”

The Fall, chs. 3-5: Presumption of Man.

1.  Note that man fell because of a discussion over whether God’s Word was to be understood “literally”.  That discussion is still alive and well, especially in the area of prophecy.

2.  Note that man fell because he decided to replace God as the moral authority as to what was “good” or “evil”.  The essence of sin is the disagreement with God over jurisdiction: who decides what is “good” or “evil”?

3.  Because of his sin, man fled from God.  We are still fleeing, left to ourselves.  Man may be “religious”; witness the number of religions in the world, but how many of them, even those who claim to believe the Bible, actually follow the Bible, or believe it’s authoritative, or  even read it and have any real idea of what it says?  God must seek us, if we are to “find” Him, Isaiah 65:1.

4.  Man was taught that because of his sin the only way he could continue to live physically was through the substitution and death of an innocent sacrifice.  All religion revolves around this central issue:  how can a man or woman live before God, regardless of how “live” is defined, and whomever or whatever “God” is believed to be.

5.  Because of man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness, God’s justice bars the way to the tree of life, Genesis 3:24.  All religion seeks to answer the questions posed very early in human history, “how can man be righteous before God?”  “…Or how can he be pure who is born of woman?” Job 9:2; 25:4.

To put it another way, how can I satisfy God’s justice and the obedience His Word requires, or endure the penalty for disobedience that is required (which, by the way, is infinitely more than the mere rote repetition of some form prayer!)?  It is only Biblical Christianity (for there is a great deal in “Christianity” which has nothing to do with the Bible) that proclaims the answer foreshadowed and typified by the slain animals and coats of skin.  The only way God’s justice has ever been and ever will be satisfied is through the sinless life and shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  By His death He paid forever the penalty demanded by a broken Law, and by His sinless life He obtained that righteousness imputed to believing sinners, by which and only by which we and they are able to stand before God uncondemned.

Friends, if we have ever committed even one sin, and who among us would not admit to that, though our sins are without number, we are lost and undone without the Lord Jesus!  O blessed life, that did what we could not, and blessed death, that did what we dare not!

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Queen E-E-E-E-E-E….

I mean no disrespect to Queen Elizabeth by this title, or any other lady whose name happens to start with “E”.  And it’s NOT an April Fool’s joke.  It just has something to do with an unpleasant memory from my past.

This post will definitely depart from my usual topics.  It will also probably be the only one like it that I ever post.  Although, never say, “never”.

As a young child, I grew up stuttering.  By the grace of God, I’ve been able to get over it, except on very rare occasions, and then for only a word of two.  This post is about the two different times I’ve overcome this malady.

The first time, I was just a child, maybe twelve.  The title for the post comes from an episode in school.  The teacher had the class read, out loud, a certain piece.  When it was my turn, I came to the words, “Queen Elizabeth,” and got stuck.  I couldn’t get past the “E” in her name.

My grandmother used to room and board students, mostly, from the local junior college.  I spent the summers with her.  One summer, she had this lady student.  I developed a crush on her.  Twelve years old.  What can I say?

I don’t know if this lady knew how I felt about her.  I hope not.  Anyway, one day, for some reason, she offered me a quarter if I would stop stuttering.  No, she wasn’t being mean; she was being kind.  I don’t know what she expected from this offer.  Maybe nothing.  Surprise!  It worked!  I got my quarter.  Don’t ask me how or why.  I have no idea.

I had no problems speaking for about ten years.

Forward to my own college days.  Now I was 23.  Old.  My freshman year, I met a girl in Detroit.  I fell for her.  I prayed a lot about this and I was convinced she was the one for me.  She wasn’t.  She didn’t share my feelings.  She broke up with me.  It broke my heart.  [I asked God, “Why,” but He didn’t answer.  He just gave me this sense of being comforted I had never experienced before, or since.]  I didn’t know at the time that He had someone else for me, someone who is just right!  I hope He had someone else just right for her, too.

Just in passing, she came down to the school my senior year, with the friend, I think, who had introduced us.  She came into a classroom where I was.  It was the strangest thing.  I had an uprush of emotion, like the old gas stoves used to do when you turned them off – a rush of gas, and flame, before it went out.  That uprush of emotion, then nothing.  I said, “Hello, —,” to her, but I was “over” her.

I just wasn’t over my reaction to her breaking up with me.  I had begun to stutter again.  Since I was a pastoral student, this was not a good thing.  Even though the Lord did lead me to a church as pastor, I still stuttered.

I also led singing.  I love to sing.  As I was singing, I noticed something.  When I was singing, I never stuttered, even over words that would have been hard to say.  I would go to the church during the week when there was no one there, stand behind the pulpit and sing.  I tried to pay attention to what it was that made me able to sing words I had trouble saying.  I tried to talk in the same way.  I don’t know exactly why, but it worked.  As I said earlier, I have only occasional trouble, usually when I get excited about something, or nervous.  It’s been about 45 years since then.

I’m not a speech therapist.  I’ve never been to one.  I don’t know anything about it.  I just know my own experience.  If you stutter, I don’t know if what I did would work for you. Probably the offer of a quarter wouldn’t do much.  But you might try the singing.  See if you stutter doing that.  You might try doing the same things talking that you do singing.  See if it works.

If it does, or not, I’d love to hear from you.  Or if you overcame stuttering some other way that doesn’t include expensive professionals.  Nothing against them, they do good work.  It’s just that God sometimes uses people to help us; sometimes He doesn’t.  But what you did or learned might help someone else. Through this post, I hope what I learned helps someone 

God’s blessing to you.