Friday, April 20, 2018

The Old World Judged

God had directed Noah to build and ark to save a small sample of all the different species of land animals.  When the ark was finished, God directed them to get aboard, in Genesis 7:1-5.  “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.  Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.  For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.  And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.”

Noah was accompanied by his wife and three sons, and their wives, for a total of eight people.  In addition there was one pair of each species of animal.  Such a small sample would greatly reduce the available gene pool, and genetic research confirms that several species can be traced back to a single pair, indicating that the record is probably accurate.   Of all the different species of mankind, only Noah’s family, those we know as homo-sapiens survived, although fossils prove there were at one time other species. 

The flood was violent, as we see in Genesis 7:11-12.  “In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”  When God created the world, there was a vast amount of water suspended in the upper atmosphere.  That water fell to the earth in the form of rain for forty days.  In addition, the great underground reservoirs were broken up and squeezed out, probably by earthquakes, resulting in a tremendous worldwide flood, trapping and burying millions of animals and plants.  Today we find large numbers of fossils indicating a sudden flood. 

Genesis 7:18-23 describes the impact of the flood.  “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.  And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.  Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.  And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”

The Ark drew about twenty three feet of water, and the water was deep enough that for six months, it not run aground on any of the mountains.  Every land dwelling creature, both man and animal died, as did most of the land plants.  When the water began to go down the seeds left in the soil began to sprout.  Earthquakes created new underground reservoirs, and pushed mountain ranges higher, accounting for the relatively new appearance of some modern mountain ranges.  Water rushing across saturated soil from those up-thrust areas created the canyons and rock formations we see today.  While some of the water evaporated and went back into the atmosphere, very little made it back to the stratosphere, compared to what had been there originally, simply because the condensation and rain had cooled the upper atmosphere so that it would no longer hold as much moisture.  As the ground dried the layers of sediment hardened to form the sedimentary rocks we see today.  Curvature of the layers indicate earthquakes moved some of them before they hardened while fractures indicate others had already hardened. 

Finally, a year after the flood began, the ground was dry enough for men and animals to move around freely.  Genesis 8:13-14 tells us, “And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.  And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.”  Some low lying areas would remain swampy lands for hundreds of years. 

There is an amazing amount of physical evidence to support the biblical record of the flood.  Romans 1:18 warns, “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 showed 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.” 

Mankind’s rejection of God before the flood was deliberate, and resulted in their destruction.  God still has that power, and II Peter 2:4-13 warns that he will exercise it again.  “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.”   

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Noah’s Family to be Saved

God designed the earth to follow certain principles.  Originally all the animals and man were vegetarians, and they were designed to live forever.  Because of Adam’s choice to disobey God, man gained a conscience, but he lost that capability to live forever.  People began to ignore the principles God set, eating the animals and killing each other, and fighting over food, land, power and mates, just as they do today.  Even the animals were forced to change to survive.   As Genesis 6:11-12 says, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”  Everything on earth had been affected by man’s rebellion. 

Only one man, Noah still considered God’s plan important and followed his principles.  God is a just God who will not destroy those who do what is right.   God spoke to Noah, telling him what was going to happen and what Noah needed to do, in Genesis 6:13-21.  “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.  But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.  Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.  And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.” 

God had given authority over his creation to mankind, but man had chosen to follow Satan in rebelling against God and ignoring his principles and messing up every living creature, almost like a cancer spreading in one’s body.   In order to fix the problem, God was going to surgically remove all the infected animals and people, and regrow the population starting with Noah’s family and a few of each species of animal, much like a surgeon removing part of a cancerous organ in hopes of saving the person’s life.  Noah was to build an ark or watertight box larger than any ship built before about 1900 AD to preserve his family and the animals.    He was to stock it with every kind of food that would be required.  Since all the animals had originally been designed as vegetarians, there would be no need for meat to feed the carnivores, and no problems storing it. 

Noah believed God, and he obeyed God’s command, according to Genesis 6:22.  “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”  It was an enormous undertaking although it appears to have taken far less than the  hundred twenty years tradition claims.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mankind Rejects God

Cain had murdered Abel, and set out to get away from God.  A hundred thirty years after creation, Adam and Eve had another son, who would fill Abel’s place, according to Genesis 4:25.  “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”   In personality and attitude, Seth was like Adam, as Genesis 5:3-5 tells us.  “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.”  In the next eight hundred years, Adam and Eve had many children, but none of them had quite the same attitude.   

One of Seth’s sons developed a similar attitude as we see in Genesis 4:26.  “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.”  Enos had a similar interest in the things of God, and began to worship God.  He passed that attitude on to some of his descendants, as Genesis 5:6-32 describes.  And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan: And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.  And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel: And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.  And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared: And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:  And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch: And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.  And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.  And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.  And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.  And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”

Enos’ descendants intermarried with Abraham’s other descendants, as we see in Genesis 6:1-2.  “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”  The intermarriage between the different races of people resulted in races of giants and men of superior intelligence, much like what sometimes happens when people of different races intermarry today.  Unfortunately, most of Enos’ family also adopted the attitudes of the other groups. 

God was frustrated by their deliberate rejection of his plan and design, as Genesis 6:3-7 tells us.  “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” 

Things got so bad, God regretted having made mankind.  Though he had known they would rebell against him and reject his authority, even he had not realized how complete the rejection would be, or how he would feel about it.   He determined to wipe mankind off the face of the earth.  However, there was one man and his family who had not completely rebelled against God.  Genesis 6:8 tells us, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”  Noah was the only one of Seth’s descendants who still worshipped God.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Civilization Begins

God had just informed Cain of the consequences for having murdered his brother.   Genesis 4:13-14 describes his reaction.  “And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.  Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.” 

 People tend to judge other people by what they know about themselves.  His guilty conscience would make Cain assume others were looking to kill him, and he would spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder, never able to really relax.  Like most criminals today, Cain insisted the penalty was too harsh.  Recently, a man who had been sentenced to thirty years in prison for murder appealed his sentence saying he had already served five years and he thought that was enough.  After all the victim was dead and wouldn’t suffer any more.  Like Cain, he ignored the fact that they took away their victim’s life.  At least he is still alive, even if he has lost his freedom.   

At the time, God was concerned with the survival of mankind.   Though he would constantly live in fear for his life, God forbid anyone to kill Cain, according to Genesis 4:15-16.  “And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.  And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.”  With that constant sense of fear hanging over him, Cain left the region around Eden, going into an uninhabited area to the east, trying to get away from God and forget about his authority, as Romans 1 describes.  

Cain would start his own civilization, possibly in the area of present day Pakistan or Afghanistan or even further East.  Genesis 4:17-22 tells a little about the development of that culture.  “And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.  And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.  And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.  And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.  And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.  And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.” 

Within just a couple of hundred years, they had started to form town, and Cain’s great great grandson Jabal had begun to domesticate livestock.  His brother Jubal had begun to develop music and musical instruments,  and their half-brother, Tubalcain had begun to smelt metals and produce iron and brass tools and weapons.  Legends of these men would be carried for thousands of years by some cultures, sometimes even retaining the proper names. 

The sinful nature of man increased right along with the population.  Cain’s great grandson was forced to kill a man I self-defense, according to Genesis 4:23-24.  “And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”  As Lamech said, if killing Cain deserved seven times as serious a penalty, surely someone who had only killed in self-defense deserved better treatment.    

Things continued to get worse.  Genesis 6:11-12 tells us, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”  Murders and violence were not limited to Cain’s descendants, but had spread throughout the entire world.  Finally things got so bad, God decided to destroy the entire world, as Genesis 6:13 tells us.  “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”  The development of culture and civilization often facilitates the growth of evil instead of hindering it.  Often civilizations or cultures, like the one Cain formed are for the purpose of getting away from God’s authority.   

Monday, April 16, 2018

Escalating Sin

In most animals, the sexual drive is strictly about reproduction.  As a result, the sexual drive is in abeyance for most of the year, mainly becoming a major issue during the breeding season.  Once the mating urge is satisfied, the sexual urge ceases until the following mating season.  In Humans, the sex act has a powerful emotional impact, creating an emotional  bond only a few animals seem to experience.  The sexual desire continues through out the year, maintaining and strengthening the bond.   God intended it to be a way of demonstrating our love for our mate that is never to be shared with anyone else.   Because it is not solely for reproduction, the chances of coitus resulting in pregnancy in humans is much lower than in the animals.

Knowing this, we have no way of knowing how long it was before Eve became pregnant, but inevitably it happened.  Genesis 4:1-2 tells us, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.  And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”  As the two boys grew up. Cain became a farmer, constantly digging in the soil to cultivate his crops, while Abel became a sheep herder.  Both were earning their living by the sweat of their brow, as God had specified as a result of man’s sin.  It appears that people had begun to eat meat, even though God would not make eating meat official for at least another fifteen hundred years.  Death was becoming accepted as a part of life. 

God had killed animals to make clothing for Adam and Eve, because as we saw in Hebrews 9:22, “…without shedding of blood is no remission.”  Unfortunately, as Hebrews 10:4 tells us, “…it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”  At best they could only postpone judgment.  As a result, another sacrifice had to be made every year.  Only the death of the guilty party could take away the sin.  With this in mind, Genesis 4:3-4 tells us, “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” 

Like Adam, Cain ignored God’s command, bringing fruit and vegetables instead of the animal sacrigice God had specified.  Abel had brought the sacrifice God commanded, and God accepted it, but he refused what Cain had brought.  Cain became very upset because God did not approve his offering, much like child who deliberately does something besides what his parents asked him to do.  God asked him what right he had to be mad, since he had the same instructions as Abel, in Genesis 4:6-7.  “And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” 

If he had simply followed instructions, his offering would have been acceptable as well.  In Hebrew, the wording ‘sin lieth at the door’ implies that Abel had provided a lamb so Cain could not even say he didn’t have a proper sacrifice.  He could either offer the proper sacrifice or sin by refusing to obey.  Cain chose to disobey, as Genesis 4:8 tells us.   “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”  Instead of offering the sacrifice and pleasing God, Cain murdered Abel. 

Cain had waited until he thought no one would see him, but God knew exactly what he had done.  He gave Cain the opportunity to repent, asking where Abel was, in Genesis 4:9-10.  “And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? ...” Cain pretended not to know where he was, insisting he was not responsible for what happened to Abel.

God was not fooled by Cain’s denials.  Genesis 4:10b-12 says, “…And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.”  As a result of murdering Abel, Cain’s conscience would cause him to live in constant fear, never daring form permanent roots anywhere.  He would end up working harder than others because God would curse his efforts so that it would not produce as well for him. 

There are always consequences for our actions.  Galatians 6:7-8 warns, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.   For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  It is not possible to fool God.  He will see that we experience the consequences of our actions.  If the actions were geared to this natural body’s pleasure, they will rot along with the body, but if they were done at the Holy Spirit’s direction, they will produce eternal life.   

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Effects Of Sin

Our God is a forgiving God, and as I John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   Forgiveness allows us to be justified, or properly aligned with God.  Unfortunately many have defined justified as meaning “just as if I’d never sinned.”  If a person accidentally injures, causing him to lose an eye or a finger, his friend, the friend may forgive him and their friendship continue, but the eye or the finger do not grow back.  Similarly, when we sin, God forgives us and continues o have a close relationship to us, but the physical and emotional consequences of the sin remain, often affecting people in unexpected ways. 

Genesis 3:14-15 describes the effects of Adam’s sin on the serpent.  “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: 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.” 

God has given us the power to control our minds, and Satan can only take control if we allow him to do so.  If a person allows Satan to have too much control, he may not be able to regain control of his thinking by himself, becoming increasingly demon possessed or insane.  The serpent had allowed Satan to use his body to tempt Adam and Eve.  As a result of his actions, he lost the ability to move about in an upright position, and became what we know as the snake today.  The trust between Eve and the snake would be destroyed, becoming hatred instead, forever seen as representing and serving Satan.  The enmity against Satan would eventually lead to Christ’s crucifixion, and ultimately to Satans destruction, in Revelation 20:10.  “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

While the woman had been deceived, she had violated God’s command and there were consequences for her as well.  Genesis 3:16 tells us, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”  Physically, giving birth became a much more painful and frightening thing with both the mother and child’s lives at risk, and that concern would continue through the child’s life.  The woman’s greatest level of satisfaction and happiness would come from surrendering to her husband and allowing him to lead, contrary to what modern culture would have her believe. 

Adam had deliberately violated God’s command, and the effects of his actions would affect not only him but the world around him, as Genesis 3:17-19 tells us.  “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” 

Because Adam had put his wife’s opinion ahead of God’s command, eating the fruit when she offered it, mankind would live their entire lives with the constant awareness of death being close by.  The ground was cursed for his sake, so that it would no longer be as productive as it was originally, and some of the plants would no longer be edible.  Most of their food would come from annual plants rather than the trees, and would require work to cultivate.  Ultimately, they would all die and their bodies decay and become part of the soil from which they had originally been made. 

Adam recognized his wife’s importance, in Genesis 3:20.  “And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.”  Eve means the life giver.  Without the woman, there would be no human race.  Men who denigrate women and consider them inferior ignore the fact that they owe their mother their very life.  Similarly, women who consider men inferior forget they would not exist without their father.  I Corinthians !!:11-12 reminds us, “Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.  For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.”  Neither can exist without the other, and both are dependent on God.    

Justice requires that suitable reparation be made, and Hebrews 9:22 tells us, “…without shedding of blood is no remission.”  In Genesis 3:22, an animal was sacrificed as a result of man’s sin.  “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”  Until they broke God’s command their nakedness had not been a problem, and no covering was needed. 

Before they broke God’s command Adam and Eve had full access to the Tree of life.  Had they chosen to eat it instead, they would have given us eternal life.  God is good, and he was not willing to spend all eternity with people who deliberately did what was evil, any more good people like to spend time with criminals and drug addicts.    It is his world, and he eliminated any other means of obtaining eternal life, according to Genesis 3:22-24.  “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: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” 

There is now only one way to obtain eternal life.  John 3:36 tells us, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  Any other way has been eliminated as a result of man’s sin.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Guilt and Confession

Satan had deliberately deceived Eve, using the serpent to convince her God had lied to them, as I Timothy 2:14 tells us.  “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”  No one had lied to Adam, he just went along with Eve, knowing full well they were disobeying God’s command.  Thus, Adam was fully culpable for his sin.  While Eve had sinned she did not bear the same level of responsibility.  This is why Romans 5:12 places the blame on Adam, rather than on Eve.  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

During the seventies, people who used LSD used to talk about how it expanded their minds, making them so much more artistic and intuitive.  Apparently, the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil had a similar effect on their minds, according to Genesis 3:7.  “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.”   While most drugs repress one’s moral standards, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil accentuated it, producing what we know as the conscience. 

Before they ate the fruit, their nakedness had not bothered them.  After they ate the fruit, they felt guilty about their nudity and began to make clothing out of fig leaves to cover it.    They didn’t want God to see their wrong doing.  Genesis 3:8 says, “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.”  That conscience has been passed down throuth the generations, and people still hide from God because of their feelings of guilt.  Unfortunately the conscience is not always a good guide for what is right or wrong.  Titus 1:15 tells us, “…unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”  Their concept of good and evil get distorted.

Genesis 3:9-11 describes what happened next.  “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” 

God knows everything.  He didn’t need to ask man where he was, and he knew why he was hiding.  Unless a person admits to himself that he was wrong, he is not likely to make any effort to change, regardless what he says publicly to avoid the consequences of his actions.  God wanted them to voluntarily admit their sin.  I John 1:8-10 warns, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  If we freely admit our guilt, we will be forgiven and have the guilt removed.  If we refuse to accept responsibility, we imply God is wrong, and can never get rid of the guilt.  God gave Adam and Eve the chance to confess. 

Adam admitted he had eaten the fruit, but he blamed the woman, according to Genesis 3:12.  “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”  He did not want to take full responsibility for his actions, implying his choice was either her fault, or God’s for making her like she was.  People still try to shift the blame rather than acknowledging their guilt.  The woman did the same thing in Genesis 3:13.  “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” While the serpent had tricked Eve, both of them had known God said not to eat the fruit, and both of them had chosen to eat it.  Neither was innocent, although Adam bore a greater level of guilt than Eve. 

The popular belief that one should never admit to being wrong to keep from appearing weak prevents one from correcting their errors or getting forgiveness and leaves them stuck with their guilty conscience.