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Exodus 31

We can gather from this chapter, that God takes rest seriously.   We can certainly see how workaholism can lead to death and that if we don’t slow down, we don’t function well.  The Sabbath, isn’t just for rest though, it’s also remembering who God is and his provision.  The New Testament says that Sabbath was made for man and not man for Sabbath (Mark 2:27).  We also see a new freedom in the New Testament.  I believe observing the Sabbath is still important, but we also have flexibility as to how and when we observe it.  The end of the chapter 31 says that God was refreshed after his rest.  I believe he wants the same for us. 

 

Genesis 15:16

God already knew His people would be subject to Egyptians slavery for 400 years.   It refers to “the inequity of the Amorite as not yet complete” and therefore Abraham’s descendants can’t return to Canaan and need to dwell in a foreign land till 4th generation.   Genesis 14:13 refers to Abram living by oaks of Mamre the Amorite… Is there any reference in bible as to what the inequity of the Amorites on the land had been, that prevented the Hebrews from moving back to the land sooner?

 

We hear some of the practices of the Amorites in Deuteronomy 18:9-12; child sacrifices, witchcraft, etc.  Evidence of these practices was discovered in 1929 in an archeological dig at Ras Shamra.

The NLV of 15:16 is:  After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”

This gets at God’s patience in his judgment against the Amorites.  It’s not that the Hebrews couldn’t return because of their sin, but rather, God waits to bring his judgment upon them.

 

 

Genesis 11
Tower of Babel just makes no sense…. why would God want to confuse their language and made it babel?

 

Starting way back at Genesis is certainly bringing stories we have have known for years into new light, isn’t it?

In these verses, it seems like God is concerned about the motives behind the tower building –

Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a names for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth (Gen 11:4)

The people were creating to make themselves seem important, to appease their own egos, and certainly did not appear to be doing it for God, or in any ways even thinking about God when they planned this.  They made a selfish decision, which God wanted to put to an end.  It should be about God’s name, not ours.

A second point could be that by building the city, and staying where they were – Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a names for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth (Gen 11:4)  

They were disobeying God’s direct command to Noah after the flood. In  Gen 9:1 God says to Noah “be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth”, and again in Gen 9:7 “be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it”.  The people building it, so that they would not be scattered as God commanded, again was an indication that they had no desire or plan to live trusting in God, and obeying him.  It was all about them – and in this case, about their sense of security if they all stayed together.

God brought down the different languages, or confuse their languages as some translations put it, and scattered them, to reinforce that he is the one to be trusted, obeyed, not their own reputation or false security.  If they had remembered to seek his leading and follow it, the languages and scattering would not have been necessary.

When one looks into the New Testament, some scholars have seen Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) as the redemption of language.  Though many spoke different languages, they heard the disciples, by the power of the Holy Spirit, speaking in a tongue that they recognized.  As we trust God, lean on Jesus Christ and seek the Holy Spirit, all will be brought back into God’s plan eventually.

 

 

Genesis 7 & 8

Is it safe to say the sea animals were safe? Nothing was ever mentioned about them; and they shouldn’t fear flood?

 

Yes, that’s the general understanding that the sea animals were okay.  Sea animals fall outside the categories of animals mentioned in 7:14.

 

 

Genesis  4

Why is the genealogy of Cain recorded?  The Lord has made him a wanderer, yet, He wants to record Cain’s descendants/genealogy, which seems odd that He still cares about Cain’s descendants.

We can’t be sure why Cain’s descendants are recorded, but even though God punishes Cain for killing Abel, He still promises to protect him.  We see the advancement of culture through Cain in these verses.  I think it speaks to God’s generosity and that fact that even though all of us have fallen short, God can still work good through us.

 

 

Genesis 3

  1. From verse 3:11, it seems that the serpent was made by God.  Why did God make a crafty serpent?  If it was to test the man and the woman, why did God bother to do the test as He knew about the weaknesses of them?
  2. Assuming the serpent is another term for Satan, then why did God create Satan ( the fallen angel)? When did God create the angel beings? Why did God not destroy Satan when it rebelled against God and allowed it to cause harm to the human beings?
  3. Why did the woman choose to believe the serpent, instead of what God had said in verse 2?  Other than what was said in verse 3:6, was it because the woman did not take God’s words seriously and did not trust God do everything for her good? As the man and woman were created in God’s image and likeness, why would the woman not obey God’s words ? What are the ” likeness” being referred to in Genesis 1:26?  (Carol)

 

Satan decided to inhabit the serpent, but we don’t see that in the Bible until the New Testament.  (see Revelation 12:9, 20:2 – that mentions Satan as “that ancient servant”)  It appears that before this event, snakes didn’t crawl along the ground.

God created human beings with free will.  Meaning he created them to choose right or wrong, good or evil, to worship God or not.  In order for them to be truly free, they would actually have to have the option to make a bad choice.  This is why God has not destroyed Satan yet (one day, during the final judgment, Satan will be finally destroyed).

We hear about Satan’s rebellion from God in Revelation 12:7-17.  That he was defeated by Michael and his angels.  We see a slight reference to this in Isaiah 14:12 as well.  The Bible tells us that the angels were witnesses to creation, so they were there early on.   Job 38:4, 7

Eve, choose to give into the temptation.  She was enticed.  Adam was given the warning to not eat from that tree, and we can assume that Adam must have told Eve about it.  But Eve, actually misquotes God.  God didn’t say that you couldn’t touch it, just not eat from it.   I think they gave into temptation in the same way we do today.  I often choose what I should not choose.  I regret it and confess it – but I often repeat the same choices.

Image of God or in God’s likeness.  There’s is a lot to say about this, “Humanity is unique among the creatures in that he is like God and therefore able to have communion and fellowship with God.”  I think that is one of the major pieces of being created in God’s image.  It could also relate to authority, respect and honour.

 

 

Genesis 2, 3

I thought God gave man the ability to make choices, which I presume was for man to choose to do good vs. evil. 

Yet in Genesis Ch. 2/3, God tells Adam he shall not eat from the tree that would give him the understanding of “Good and evil”?  It seems contradictory to me?

Also interesting to me that in Gen 3, God says since Adam ate the forbidden fruit, now he is “like one of us” (I assume God means like the holy trinity) – knowing good and evil, and then God banishes Adam from the tree of life?  

I’m not sure I follow.  Any thing you could share with me? 

 

Yes, God gave humanity free will, the ability to make choices.  On one hand, they already had a knowledge of good and evil or right and wrong, otherwise God’s instruction to them to not eat that fruit wouldn’t have made any sense.  But, what exactly did “knowledge of good and evil” mean is open to debate.  I think it has to do with being independent from God.  Adam and Eve were tempted to make their own choice, to go against God’s instructions, and to become like God by acquiring “divine” wisdom.

Yes, the “us” in Genesis 3:22 is the trinity.  So Adam and Eve have experienced independence from God, they have broken that link by “knowing good and evil, which refers to diving wisdom, that corresponds with the idea of becoming like God or the gods.”

So, that break from God, that we can choose against God and live apart from him, has now been introduced into creation.  That brings with it death, so they are sent out from the Garden (from the tree of life.)   In a sense, the rest of the Bible is God’s plan to redeem that break.  Even in Genesis 3 after the break, we see God pursuing relationship with Adam and Eve and providing garments for them to wear.

 

 

Genesis 1

Genesis 1:27 said God created man in his own image male and female and that was on the Sixth day. How does this tie in with the description of the creation of Adam and Eve in Chapter 2 ? 

 

These are really two different, but similar creation accounts. The first, Genesis 1:1-2:3, provides a macro level view of the creation.
While 2:4-2:25 gives a micro view of the events.  Actually the second account goes all the way to the end of chapter 4.  The first account is a general account of creation.  The second account focuses on the beginning of human history, or the perspective of, “What happened to the creation?”