Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Sunrise Looking Forward to the Return of the King

I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on Christmas morning with my husband. Every sunrise is unique, and this one touched my heart with thoughts of the return of Jesus as King. I hope you enjoy the beauty of sunrise and are blessed with the same encouraging thoughts.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


It is always interesting to me how the Spirit seems to lead me in certain directions in my studies. Recently, I have encountered the subjects of creation, origin and the foundational truths in Genesis quite frequently in my studies and as a result of conversations with my husband on apologetics and resources that he brings home in support of those studies.

I was listening to David Guzik recently, and he made a statement that caught my attention to the effect that redeemed man is greater than innocent man. I hadn’t really considered God’s actions or His purposes in light of that possibility. As have many others before me I am sure, the question has come to mind as to why God created man since He knew all that would result in conjunction with that act. It would seem that the emergence of a new creation in the person(s) of redeemed man was the intent from the beginning.

This would also figure in to the argument for the creation of the angels prior to man. One could argue that maybe man would not have sinned without being confronted with temptation from one who could give him a reason for questioning God’s authority; thus, the privilege of choice given the angels to remain obedient to God or to reject Him. From Satan’s conversation with Eve it seems to me that the angels were created with more wisdom and understanding than was given man in the very beginning.

Genesis 3:4–5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

This implies that Satan already knew the difference between good and evil. Ezekiel tells us that he was perfect until unrighteousness or evil was found in him.

Ezekiel 28:15 “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

Isaiah gives us a bit more insight by revealing the motives behind Satan’s rebellion.

Isaiah 14:12–14 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

It seems he understood the desire to want to be “like the most High.” This would imply understanding regarding God’s authority and power along with flawed discernment regarding his ability to attain a like position.

In previous studies, I have made reference to the truth that love cannot be understood apart from hate and good cannot be understood apart from evil. It is also true that true love can only be expressed through the freedom of choice on the part of an individual to give that love; it cannot be forced. I think that is why one of the greatest testimonies to the fact of our love for God is to choose to love others in the body of Christ.

John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

He chose to love us in spite of our unworthiness, and we most mirror Him when we love others with the same mindset.

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 John 4:9–11 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

No one has the right to question the Creator as to the rightness or righteousness of His actions. Paul actually addresses this thought in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 9:20–23 “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,”

The truth is that God has revealed so much to us through creation and most importantly through His Son that declares His character as the truest expression of love, righteousness and holiness that we have no valid grounds upon which to question Him or reject Him. His desire is that we accept His gift of salvation and embrace Him as Lord and Savior. It is not His desire that any should perish, though He knew that many would choose to reject Him. That, however, does not speak to a flaw in His character. He created both the angels and man as sinless entities with the freedom to choose to accept Him as LORD or not. It is the character of the fallen angels and sinful men that is flawed.

Scripture is clear in declaring that everything that God created was for Him—according to His pleasure.

Colossians 1:16–17 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

The Greek defines the word “pleasure” as “a determination (properly, the thing), i.e. (actively) choice (specially, purpose, decree; abstractly, volition)….” In other words, we were created in accordance with His plan and His purposes according to His will.

When taking all these observations into consideration and trying to understand from a limited human perspective, I can only rest in the truth of Who He Is. “Who He Is” embodies everything that is good, and the actions of a good God should not be questioned.

When we choose to accept the LORD as Savior, we become a new creation that seems to be better than the original creation. As Mr. Guzik stated, “We gain much more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam.”

Ephesians 4:24 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Ephesians 2:4–7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the
exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:16–18 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

And wouldn’t that be a logical conclusion coming from the plan and purposes of a good God!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


It wasn’t long before the LORD went in search of some fellowship with Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”

God called out in search of Adam. This was unusual; God didn’t usually have to look for him. He, of course, knew that Adam had sinned and was hiding. Still the LORD provides the opportunity for man to confess to his disobedience. At first Adam only responds that he is hiding because he is naked. God then confronts him with how he knows he is naked; this knowledge could only have been gained by eating of the forbidden fruit. So, instead of repenting and asking God to forgive him, Adam blames “the woman You gave me.” This was in effect also blaming God.

Sin always separates and erects a wall between us and those we love. It’s obvious that God had expected to fellowship with man as He called out His question. I think it is significant to note that He didn’t force a response; He gave man the choice to respond to Him and waited for his response. Because of established relationship, the love of God won out over the fear of man—as it always will when we choose to accept His love.

God then turns to the woman and asks her what she has done. She admits that she disobeyed; but following Adam’s example, she tries to shift responsibility for her actions to the serpent. Our example always impacts others, especially those closest to us, either for good or bad. At least she doesn’t imply that God is somehow responsible since He created the serpent. She does, however, plead the case that she was tricked; and as stated in the previous post, scripture affirms the truth of her statement.

1 Timothy 2:13–14 “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

At this point God turns His attention to the serpent, and we encounter the first revelation and promise of God’s plan of redemption in scripture.

Genesis 3:14–15 “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (v15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Immediately, we see evidence of God’s power and authority. First, He passes judgment on the serpent. Satan had used the serpent just like he tries to use each one of us; and just like the serpent, we will be cursed if we choose to ignore God’s provision for us.

By verse 15, God is speaking directly to Satan. He is promising a lifelong hatred and conflict between Satan and the woman and between his seed and “her seed.” All other men that have lived since Adam were from the seed of man. I think this is a statement of the struggle of man in choosing between their innate knowledge of right and wrong. This choice is ultimately a choice of accepting or rejecting God as LORD; in rejecting God you have by default given the position of LORD in your life to Satan. The Apostle Paul addresses this knowledge and choice process in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 1:18–21 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

The ultimate showdown will involve Satan and the “seed” of the woman, the only human since Adam to be born without a sin nature—Jesus Christ, God’s precious Son. Though Satan will cause Jesus to suffer greatly in His humanity, the wound is compared to a bruised heel; the suffering will be temporary. Jesus, however, will eventually strike Satan with a fatal head wound.

This is also a prophecy, a statement regarding God’s omniscience. None of this was a surprise to God; His plan/provision was already in place waiting to be revealed.

1 Peter 1:18–21 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

2 Timothy 1:7–10 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

It seems that sin has a purpose in God’s plan and we will discuss that in the next post.

Eve was punished with multiplied sorrow in childbirth and Adam was punished by having the ground cursed. He would have to labor with sweat to make things grow and would have to deal with thorns and thistles in the process.

We are then told that God clothed Adam and Eve with coats and skins. The freedom that accompanied innocence was forever lost. The coverings of skin were obtained by the sacrifice or shedding of blood of an innocent creature to provide a covering for their sinful condition. This is already providing a picture of Jesus having to die and shed His blood for our sins.

Chapter three closes with man being sent out of the Garden of Eden. The LORD established angels and a flaming sword to ensure that man could not eat from the tree of life and remain in a sinful state for eternity.

Genesis 3:22 “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

One other note—God affirmed Satan’s statement that the knowledge of good and evil made them “as gods.” We know that God is sovereign and that this too was a part of His eternal plan, so it must be for our good. It would seem that we cannot understand love apart from hate or good apart from evil. So we had to come to this understanding to be able to make a meaningful personal choice to love and obey God.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Chapter 3 begins with an introduction to the serpent, and it is described as more “subtil” than any other creature. The Hebrew defines this as “cunning,” and Webster defines this as “knowing, skillful, designing and deceitful.” This tells me why Satan chose this particular creature through which to tempt man to sin. As I reference the serpent, I am confident in declaring that this serpent is possessed by Satan at this time.

Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Satan specifically chose to turn his cunning toward deceiving the woman evidently understanding that she would do better at getting Adam to disobey God than he. His approach was designing and skillful; he lured Eve into conversation with a statement misrepresenting God’s instruction to the couple. Eve immediately corrected him, but she added to God’s words of instruction in the process.

Genesis 3:2–3 “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

God had said only that they were not to eat of one specific tree, but He had said nothing about touching it. Satan immediately contradicts God’s words of warning; he calls God a liar. Then he implies that God is withholding something to be desired from them.

Genesis 3:4–5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Since God created us with an ability to make our own choices, there had to be a degree of knowledge and awareness on which to base those decisions. I can really relate to the desire to understand/know something that is unknown by you but known by someone else. As the serpent stated, Eve had no concept of the difference in good and evil; everything in her life had been good. Would one really choose to know about evil and all its consequences?

It’s also interesting to note that Satan’s lie was couched in truth as revealed in verse 22 below, and we’ll comment on this a bit more as we get to it.

Genesis 3:22 “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil….”

I think one of Satan’s most effective ploys is to adulterate the truth of God’s word. He appeals to the fleshly desires of man and often argues for the legitimacy of those desires by getting men to use their own reasoning in interpreting God’s revealed word. He’s very adept at getting man to look at the scripture through a worldly filter rather than a clear, spiritual filter.

We all know that Eve succumbed and got Adam to join her in disobeying God’s only prohibition.

Genesis 3:6–7 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

It stands out to me that the woman “saw” that the tree was good for food. Did the serpent eat of it to tempt her? She “saw” that it was pleasant to the eyes. I think this is one reason a lot of people identify the fruit as an apple. She also “saw” enough to make her desire the wisdom that eating it would provide her. She seemed to realize that the serpent knew more than she did, and it did not appear to have harmed it. So, Eve took the fruit and gave some to her husband to eat with her. It was interesting to me that after checking several translations, I got the picture that Eve ate first, gave to her husband, he ate—and THEN the eyes of both of them were opened. Scripture is very clear in attributing the sin to Adam because the woman was deceived. She was tricked; he deliberately disobeyed.

1 Timothy 2:13–14 “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

This tells me that from the very beginning, the husband was established as the spiritual cover for the woman. I think that from the first recognition that they were naked, their actions proved that they regretted their decision. They did not hesitate to try and make a covering for themselves. Sin changes the way we see the world around us for the worse. Knowing good from evil certainly did not prove to be the treasure that Satan implied it would be. Nothing with which Satan tempts us will ever be worth sacrificing the blessing that comes with obedience to God. Scriptures tells us that the pleasures of sin are only for a season.

Hebrews 11:24–25 “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season….”

1 John 2:15–17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Chapter two begins with a description of the first Sabbath day.

Genesis 2:1–3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

I believe the establishment of the Sabbath was important for two main reasons.

1. To establish a “type” for use in communicating to man concerning God’s plan of redemption.

2. To establish the importance of rest after work—both for the land and for men and animals that work the land.

As we continue in chapter two, we are given a few more details regarding the creation week.

Genesis 2:5–6 “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”

Though the wording is a bit difficult, it seems that God had prepared a mist to water the face of the ground before filling it with vegetation. There was no cycle of rain, snow, sleet, etc. It would seem that the earth was of uniform conditions and temperature at this time.

This is also the first time that the phrase “the LORD God” was used as the Creator’s title. The Hebrew states “Jehovah Elohim,” the self-existent, eternal divine being. The term Jehovah is the term that was most holy and sacred to the Jews. The word God placed an emphasis on His strength and power and position as righteous judge.

Now we are given more detail concerning the creation of man.

Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Note that the LORD God “formed” man of the dust of the ground. This pictures God as a potter working to “squeeze into shape” (from the Hebrew) the form that He wants out of the clay. After shaping the man to His liking, He then breathes into his nostrils the breath of life. I personally believe that this was imparting to man the whole of life—both spiritual and physical. We know today that the human body is an intricate, complex creation that gives testimony to an awesome, amazing, powerful Creator.

This verse emphasizes that God took special care in the creation of man. He is paying attention to the details. When He breathed into man, He was filling man with a part of Himself. This breath from God made man unique from the rest of the living creation; it gave us a soul. When Adam sinned, it was spiritual death that was experienced immediately. He lost the indwelling Spirit of God, the source of spiritual life.

Next we are told that God had prepared a special garden for man to live in and take care of that is identified as “eastward in Eden.” In that garden there was only one tree that God commanded the man not to eat its fruit—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:16–17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

The consequences for disobeying God’s one command—“you will surely die.”

Several questions and/or observations now come to mind. God evidently created man with an innate language and the ability to communicate using that language.

Why did God forbid man anything if everything was good? God never intended us to be robots. The only way He could be glorified by and enjoy fellowship with us as His creation was to allow us to exercise choice. There is no love without choice.

What did Adam understand death to be? I am sure God would have explained it to him in some way for it to be a valid deterrent to disobedience.

The name of the forbidden tree is revealing—“the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Adam was placed in an environment that God had pronounced to be very good. As long as Adam remained in fellowship with God through obedience, he would know nothing different. When, however, he chose to disobey God, he became aware of something that was not good; he was made aware of evil.

God had given Adam the privilege of naming all the animals. In the process Adam realized that he was alone, and God determined that was not good for Adam, and He created woman.

Genesis 2:21-23 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Adam knew that God had taken a part of him to make woman. I think this is emphasizing the truth that the bond between a man and his wife is to be strong and intimate. In fact God looks upon a married couple as one flesh.

Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

I’ve heard a famous quote many times throughout the years, but I don’t know who originated it: “Woman was not made out of man’s head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010


On the sixth day, the final day of His creative work, God creates land animals and humans. Every creature was created from the earth “after his kind.” The wording indicates that God speaks His instruction to the earth and the animals appear out of the earth. God immediately pronounces His actions good.

God then turns His attention to the creation of man, the object around which the rest of creation was centered. Man was to be given dominion over the earth and every creature in it. But there is more; let’s look at the following scripture.

Genesis 1:26-27 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Notice that God said “Let us” make man “in our image.” This is a direct reference to the Trinity.

It is also significant to note that both man and woman were created in the image of God. They too were told to multiply and fill the earth and exercise dominion over the other creatures on land, in air and in sea. They were informed that all the herbs and fruits were given to both man and the animals for food. There were no meat eaters on earth at this time.

Genesis 1:29–30 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

This time God pronounces His work as “very good.”

I think it is important to note that God emphasizes the truth of six literal days of creation at the giving of the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20:9–11 “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

There is a wonderful book called, The Secret of the Universe, by Nathan Wood that provides a wonderful presentation as to how the creation reflects the triunity of God. I think the excerpts below will add to this discussion about creation and inspire one with awe concerning our Creator and His creation.

First, Mr. Wood declares that the universe consists of three things—space, matter and time. He goes on to explain that “each one of these elemental things of the physical universe is threefold.”

• “It is length, breadth, and height, in one Space.”
• “It is energy, motion, and phenomena, in one Substance.”
• “It is past, present, and future, in one Time.”

“If God is Three in One, each one of the three is God, and each one is the whole of God.”

The last quote I’ll use is as follows:

“This universe about us is vast beyond our comprehension. New universes of stars beyond this universe are floating into our ken.

The cause of it must be at least as great.

This universe, from the island universes quintillions of miles away to the electrons whirling in the invisible atom, is one immeasurably articulated, rationally working fabric.

The cause of it all must be at least as rational as that.

This universe contains personal beings, who think, who love, who hate, who hope, who fear, who choose, who determine.

The cause of such beings, of a universe which contains such beings, must be at least as personal they.

The equation of the universe is clear. A vast, rational, personal cause of the universe = God.

He goes into much more detail in the book, but that’s enough to make you go WOW! We truly serve an awesome God.

Monday, December 13, 2010


On Day 3 God gathers the waters into one place, implying that the land occupies its own separate place. He then causes grass to appear on the earth along with herbs and trees with fruit possessing seeds by which they would reproduce after their kind. It is on this day that God first describes what He has done as good. This also implies that “bad” was already in existence for there to be a contrast.

It is not until Day 4 that God speaks into existence the sun, moon and stars. They were created to serve as signs and to mark the seasons, days and years. Though man has not yet been created, God is preparing the creation specifically for his benefit. Man is a creature that operates in time and space. The marking of time is a necessary tool for successful agricultural practices. God would use the designation of time in establishing worship practices intended to teach His people and in declaring prophecy pertaining to the working out of His plan of redemption.

Wayne Walter,, makes a beautiful observation regarding verse 17.

Genesis 1:16–17 “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth….”

“The Hebrew word for set means enhance, show off as a jeweler might magnify the brilliance of his diamond by placing it in a case of black velvet. The firmament surrounding the earth enhanced the beauty of the luminaries even as a magnifying glass.” [end quote]

Again, God pronounces His creative work on this day to be good.

It’s interesting that even in the night God provides a measure of light. The obvious parallel is to His presence in our lives even when we feel surrounded by sin/despair. Christ, the light of this world, separates good from bad. Only the presence of His light in our lives can separate us from the power of evil/dark/Satan.

All the sea creatures and flying creatures were created on Day 5. Point is made that the waters brought forth abundantly and that just as with the vegetation, the living creatures were of different kinds. It is significant to note that God created with variety in His creation according to kinds. He didn’t create using the process of evolution from a big bang that would eventually result in the different kinds of vegetation or creatures.

We are also told that God blessed these creatures and caused them to be fruitful and multiply so as to fill the seas with what we now know to be a multitude of amazing and beautiful creatures. The flying creatures were to be just as fruitful. Again, the more we learn about the natural instincts of these creatures, the more amazed we are by the Creator who made them to be so unique. I never cease to be amazed at the variety and beauty and wonder revealed in creation that continues to be evident even after the impact of the curse of sin on creation.

Again, God pronounces His creative work on this day to be good.

I don’t think I have a made a point of the fact that all God did was speak to accomplish His work of creation. It is simply stated but impossible to understand. God is certainly a God of authority and power far beyond our human understanding. If we could understand all about Him, He wouldn’t be God.

Isaiah 55:8–9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Deuteronomy 3:24 “O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?”

Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee….”

Friday, December 10, 2010


The gap in time between verses one and two in no way affects the account of the six days of creation that follows. God chose to take six literal days to make a new creation of planet earth, even though He could just as easily have done it in one. Just as fallen man has to become a new creation in Christ to fulfill God’s purpose, so the fallen earth had to become a new creation to fulfill His purpose for man—as it will again before eternity begins.

As I have continued to study, especially in the area of prophecy, I believe the six days of creation and one day of rest were necessary to establish the foundation for the consistency of God’s teaching in the area of “types” or examples throughout scripture. He was illustrating His truth by the use of these examples. I personally believe that one of the key truths to be learned from the time of creation regards the timeframe of His plan for the redemption of mankind. Both the Psalmist and the Apostle Peter equated a day with 1000 years from a heavenly perspective.

Psalms 90:4 “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”

2Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

That would give a picture of 6,000 years for the work of redemption to be accomplished and a time of 1,000 years during which man would enjoy the rest of Jesus as the authority on planet earth without the interference of Satan.

Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

I think it is significant that God defines the days of creation with the phrase “and the evening and the morning were.” The scripture is God’s revelation to man and was written so as to be understood by man. The next revelation given is that on the first day God said, “Let there be light…and God divided the light from the darkness.” (v3-4)

We know from scripture that God is light.

1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

It would seem that Satan’s rebellion caused God to remove His presence from planet earth resulting in darkness. Light had to be added to the darkness that resulted from Satan’s rebellion. It would also seem that the universe as we know it was quite different before Satan’s fall. The sun and moon and stars weren’t even made until day four. The sun and moon weren’t necessary for God to define “evening and morning,” but they were necessary to man’s understanding of the terms and what God is saying.

The account of Day 2 seems to indicate that a flood of some type also resulted from Satan’s rebellion since God used this day to divide the waters to make room for the firmament of Heaven between them. This made me think that there might be more significance to the establishment of the rainbow than is at first obvious.

Genesis 9:13 “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.”

It is interesting to note that on the first two days of creation, God makes no statement that it was good. I think this probably relates to the fact that He is reestablishing order from the chaos caused by Satan. On the following days he will be adding things to the creation that are specifically meant for the good of man.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


While my interests are more directed toward a verse-by-verse understanding of scripture, especially in the area of prophecy, my husband is more interested in apologetics. Frankly, both areas go hand-in-hand with one another. Apologetics, being able to defend why you believe what you believe, is one of the primary purposes of studying scripture according to Peter.

1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

As I thought about the important chapters in scripture, I don’t think you can overemphasize the importance of the opening chapters of scripture. Being able to embrace the truth of earth’s early history as detailed in Genesis is foundational to establishing a strong faith in the whole of God’s word. Doubts concerning the truth of God’s revelation in the opening chapters of Genesis make for a weak foundation for one’s faith as to the rest of scripture. In light of this truth, the next series of blogs will be used to share my understanding of this foundation of our faith. I will state from the outset that I consider the scripture to be authoritative truth from God to man. I believe that God’s revelation to man is meant to be understood by man. Though God’s revelation of truth to man is necessarily limited, there is no truth that contradicts God’s word. All truth will conform to God’s word. We do not need to make adjustments to God’s word to fit in with man’s attempts to discover that truth in any area of endeavor. It’s man’s understanding of the truth that changes the more he discovers—not the truth itself.

The opening words of Genesis establish God as the Creator of heaven and earth.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

I believe this is a reference to the beginning of His creation. This action resulted in the existence of more than just the three persons of God, the Trinity. I also think it includes the creation of the angels. We know from Job that the angels were witness to the creation of the earth as we know it.

Job 38:4–7 “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

For many years I refused to contemplate the possibility of a gap between verses one and two of Genesis because I did not believe in evolution and firmly held to the understanding that the days of creation are literal days—evening and morning. After much study and research, I learned that the existence of a gap did not preclude a belief in literal days, nor was evolution the only possible explanation or reason for a gap. Let’s take a look at verse two.

Genesis 1:2 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

I actually came to understand that the Hebrew for “without form” made reference to “waste, desolation, worthless, confusion, vain.” Scripture is very clear in declaring that God is not the author of confusion.

1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion….”

Isaiah 45:18 “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”

The verse in Isaiah above uses the same Hebrew word for “vain” as is used for “without form” in verse two of Genesis. This led me to believe that it was during this gap of time that Satan led his rebellion against God in which one-third of the angels joined him.

Revelation 12:3–4 & 9 “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world….”

It just now stood out to me that the rebellious angels were cast down to the earth. Further reading resulted in the following insight from Jewish scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum.

“In Genesis 1:1-2, we find two examples of what we call “syntagmes,” which are words that occur together to denote one unique concept. One such example here is “heaven and earth,” which is the totality of the ordered universe. Second, tohu vavohu – waste and void – the totality of judgment and chaos.”

“Our conclusion here is that we have a disorderly chaos and an orderly cosmos; of course, these cannot apply to the same thing at the same time. In other words, Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 cannot be contemporary, but must be chronological in sequence. In Genesis 1:1, the earth and the heavens are created in a perfect order. Then, sometime later came this chaos as a result of Satan's fall – the chaos of unformed matter which caused it to become undifferentiated, unorganized, confused and lifeless. The earth, thus, became formless and empty.”
[End quote from Fruchtenbaum]

I also found more food for thought during my verse-by-verse study of Revelation.

Revelation 16:18 “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.”

It occurred to me that this seemed to indicate there might have been an earthquake that would have compared to it before man was on the earth.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Son’s Reward

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

“it pleased the LORD” – This is a hard phrase for me to digest. God the Father was pleased (desired and took delight) with the bruising (beating to pieces, crushing) and grief (pain, weakness, wounding) of His Son. I can hardly see through the tears even as I type this. It’s easier for me to put the focus of His pleasure on the obedience of His Son—His Son’s desire to do the will of His Father over His own will. The thing is—the Father would never have put such a plan into place were it not for my sin. I know my heart; I would never have chosen such a selfless act of unconditional love and sacrifice involving my son. His love is so amazing! The lengths to which He has gone to have a relationship with me as His child is totally beyond my understanding. I know how many times I have failed Him—sometimes ignorantly, but more often than not by willful choice. I am so unworthy, yet He considers me of great value, a special treasure. This is one truth I’m not sure I’ll ever understand—even in heaven.

Jesus was both our complete sin and trespass offering (described in Leviticus
4-6). Again, the Jewish people understood this far better than do we. The main difference being that the offering of Jesus was sufficient once for all.

“he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days” – I had to stop and think about this phrase quite a while. I finally realized that the word his was throwing me; it is not in the original. It doesn’t matter so much with the first phrase as it does with the second. Jesus would see His seed, His offspring; that is a reference to His spiritual offspring—not physical. “He shall prolong days” I think is a reference to the time that the Father would allow for the offspring to be a great multitude. As I was reminded when reading through one commentary, to have many children was considered a special blessing to the Jews. The Father wants to greatly honor His Son.

The last clause of this verse is a declaration of victory and success; there is no doubt of the Father’s will being accomplished. No matter how deceptive Satan and his legions are and no matter how rebellious and denying mankind is, God’s plan will be carried out in every detail. I thought it was interesting that the Hebrew for prosper stated “to push forward.” Jesus is the One Who will accomplish the plans of the Father through His workings with and among people on this earth.

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

“my righteous servant” = Jesus, the Son of God

When Jesus sees what He has accomplished through His very painful and sorrowful obedience to the Father, He will be satisfied (to the full, satiated). It’s only because the Savior was obedient in following the Father’s will to truly “know” such pain and sorrow that many will be justified (made righteous—just as if I’d never sinned). How? By becoming the final sin offering. (See 2Corinthians 5:21 as discussed in a previous post.)

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Frankly, I didn’t like any of the translations I read. Something doesn’t set right with me in understanding that the Father is giving the Son a portion or division of the spoils of victory. When I looked at the Hebrew for divide, it included “separate self.” No I don’t know Hebrew, but it makes more sense to me for it to read something like, “Therefore I will separate Him to receive great (multiplied by the myriad) reward, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I see Christ as the Victor and as the One Who will divide His kingdom with the strong (those who by faith are overcomers). This seems to be the truth stated in Revelation

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

The Father shared His throne with the Son, and the Son will share His throne with those who follow Him in faith. That is the prophetic future of those who choose to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Why will the Father reward His Son so magnificently? Because of His obedience. He willingly laid down His life despite being unjustly condemned and treated like a common criminal. He became my sin, our sin, the final sufficient sin offering for all who would come to Him in faith. Even as He was suffering on the cross, he prayed for those who had rejected Him.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

What an amazing Savior I strive to serve!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Willing Sacrifice

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Oppressed doesn’t sound so bad; the Hebrew gives a clearer picture—He was driven like an animal and tyrannized. He was afflicted; the Hebrew included humbling oneself and submitting. No matter how unjust or cruel His treatment, He endured it without complaint or fighting back. He is pictured as a lamb being taken to slaughter and as a sheep being taken to have its wool shaved off—completely submissive.

Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

I really liked the reading of the Complete Jewish Bible for this verse: After forcible arrest and sentencing, he was taken away; and none of his generation protested his being cut off from the land of the living for the crimes of my people, who deserved the punishment themselves.

The Hebrew for declare includes speaking out in complaint. That is a very sad statement and fits in with the gospel accounts. They are clear that Peter made a point to deny Him several times. We know that His mother, John and some other faithful women followers were at the cross and grieving; but nowhere do we hear anyone speaking out on His behalf except Pilate.

The most important point being made in this verse is that Jesus was beaten and killed for our willful sins. Isaiah is specifically referencing the Jews but it applies to all of us

Isaiah 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

I wasn’t really happy with any of the nine translations I read for this verse. Its wording is a bit confusing. The word grave is a reference to the tomb and the word death references Hades, the place of the dead. I think I got tripped up by equating “the rich” with Joseph of Arimathea (the rich man in whose grave Jesus was buried). The key seems to be that He was put to death with those who were wicked and deserving of death. When He went to Hades, He would have gone to the section we know as Abraham’s Bosom.

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Note that Hades is translated “hell” in Luke 16. Paul speaks of the Lord going to Hades in his letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:9-10 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Knowing that Abraham’s Bosom was the section designated to people of faith, then we understand that Jesus indeed fellowshipped with those who were truly “rich” in Hades. These are they who would experience the joy of eternity with the Savior.

The last half of the verse emphasizes that Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God as John the Baptist had declared.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

He had not done anything violent (or wrong or unjust) and had never spoken deceitfully (or falsely or fraudulently or treacherously).