BSF Genesis: Week 26, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
He walked about 100 miles.  His brothers plotted to kill him, thrown into a cistern, sold into slavery to the Ishmaelites/Midianites, taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar (here is a good map)

6.
a.
Reuben, Judah

b.
Distressed.  Pleading for his life.  Unjustly wronged

c.
Hatred for the message and favoritism of our Father

d.
guarded as a prisoner, stole his robe

7.
a.
20 Sheckels / 30

b.
He had been treated as something special, honored with an ornate robe.  He had only obeyed. Unjustly treated

c.
When things seem unjust and unfair.  When the innocent are victimized.

8.
a.
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith…. may be proved genuine…

b.
prophecy through dreams.  A walk with God (literally, for about 100 miles)

My Daily Journal:

It is easy to see the troubles surrounding Joseph.  He obediently walks almost 100 miles in search of his brothers and everything goes south.  But, in this story, just like in the challenges within our own life, we need to pull our eyes from “the troubles all around us” and see God’s amazing provision.

When they are ready to kill him, there just happens to be a cistern available.  It just happens to be a dry cistern.  No bones are broken throwing him into the cistern, no poisonous creatures are present.  Within minutes or hours at most a caravan just happens to be coming by.  It just happens to be heading to Egypt and the proprietors have cash, not just goods to sell.  Joseph just happens to be sold to Potiphar instead of into some other service. Backing up Joseph just happens to find someone who just happened to hear his brothers in Shechem, who, by the way, doesn’t choose to kill Joseph since he does belong to the family that killed all the men in Shechem in the not too distant past.  And, most amazing of all, Joseph, a guy, actually stops and asks directions!

I can see God’s hand in so many ways when I look for the blessings and the provision.

On  a different thought, I get it that these are his brothers, but I saw a strong lesson for myself and my children (and the children in my class) about carefully choosing our inner-circle of friends.  Let’s put it this way, if the people you are closest with are the ones who are willing to throw you in the cistern and kill you, having one phone call to call for help doesn’t do you much good.  Do I spend my time with people that would come to my protection or people that would throw me under the bus when they are angry?  How strong would my friends stand against the sentiment of the group?

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BSF Genesis: Week 10, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

6.
a.
That the faith of one man was enough to save mankind and all animals from destruction

b.
I think we do – the wicked are any who do not accept Christ as their savior. Some of these are my friends, co-workers and family and I do worry for them. Not that God is unfair, but that they are unwise.

c.
Yes. I have accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus and have become a transformed man, not within sin or wrong, but with a desire and longing to serve Him better and be a better example through it.

 

My Daily Journal:

How long did God wait for there to be a Noah?  Normally, when I think of the story I picture God one day looking around and realizing His whole creation had turned over to corruption and turned away from him.  He looks around and, lo and behold, there is Noah, one righteous man.

But what if it was the other way?  What if God waited patiently for there to be a Noah?  How long and how much sin did God tolerate?  How much pain did he feel over how many generations?

It made me stop and think about God timing.  When I say I’m waiting patiently on God’s direction, I normally think days, maybe a week or two.  How many hundreds of years did God wait?  What is he waiting on, today?

BSF Genesis: Week 10, Day 2

Today’s Scripture

Questions:

3.
a.
All of man’s needs, wants and desires were provided by God, focused on community – Not good to for man to be alone so God created companionship and community

b.
God’s first words following the fall of man was a promise of the coming of Christ to defeat Satan
4.
Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. The ancients were commended for it. Faith in the person of Jesus is the equal to faith and trust in God’s love for His creation from His word for all time

5
a.
Gave first and best. Gave sacrificially. Lord looked on Abel and his offering with favor. Revealed a trust and love of God

b.
Heb 11:5 – By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death

c.
Walk with God daily. Trust in him. Have faith. Give sacrificially (not holding back). Open your heart for God to see (He knows what is in it anyway)

My Daily Journal:

At first I was trying to figure out where BSF was going with the lesson this week.  But I think the overarching point that is being looked at is the character of these great men of the bible that we have studied so far.  Abel and Enoch.  And, most importantly within it, that their character was built squarely on faith.

For me the image that stuck with me came in the last answer.  I’ve prayed many times for an open heart to receive God’s word.  I’ve prayed it for myself, for my kids and family, for my church, for the children in Sunday school and BSF.  And, every time I’ve prayed it I had the image of an open vessel, something to catch what God wanted to pour out on me or them.

That is not a bad image, but I saw a different one today.  Today I thought about the fact that the scriptures say God looked at Abel and his offering.  It isn’t that God just looked at the offering, but first and foremost, he looked at Abel and what the offering was saying about him.  The visual idea that came to me was the image of pulling out my wallet and opening it up wide, allowing whoever is with me to take whatever they choose.  From a monetary standpoint it is saying, here is everything that I have, no secrets, no hidden pockets, full disclosure, you see everything as much or little as there is and I am offering it to you to take freely, please.  When I read that about Abel, that is the image I saw of him with his heart to God.

That’s what Abel and Enoch did.  They opened their hearts to God like that open wallet.  This is all that I have, not bragging, not shame, just full open disclosure in complete trust, eyes closed, no caveats, just trust.

But here is the interesting thing.  God already knows what is in our heart (and wallet for that matter).  So the act of opening it up is for us, not for God.

So why hide it?  Well, shame, lack of trust, wrongful pride, holding back — you name the sin condition.  And how does that work out?  Well Cain held back, that didn’t go so well, and if that isn’t clear enough there is the story about Ananias and Sapphira.

That’s convicting enough for me.  When I now think of opening my heart – I’m planning to open it wide.

BSF Genesis: Week 7, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
Jesus tells us that he prays for us to the Father even though he is part of the trinity. I think it means that was happening.

12.
a.
2/17 started, lasted 150 days, 10/1 mountains visible, 40 days later raven, 1/1 saw dry earth, 1/27 complete dry – They were in the ark until God said to come out, not a day more or less.

b.
God said to Noah “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.”

13.
I have prayed and God has intervened. I had prayed that a new employee at our company starting this week would have a great first day on the job.  When he didn’t show up for work on his first day and then called to say he had accepted a different offer the day before and had started with that company instead, I knew God was in control.  I assume he had a good day at his job, but he wasn’t not supposed to be part of our team.  It isn’t easy to rely on God in the short run, but I have to remember that God knows far more and better than I.

Today’s Journal:

My meditation for today was on stepping in puddles.  Our verses today made me think about how many times I get my feet all wet and how muddy my walk is because I rely on my own judgment to step out rather than wait on God.  Noah sought discernment with the raven and the dove.  I seek discernment with bible study and prayer.  Noah waited patiently for God’s word.  I knock down doors when I think the timing is right.  Noah found favor with God.  God’s grace shines favor on me, but I’m sure the muddy tracks I leave in His house must be very frustrating to Him.

BSF Genesis: Week 6, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

5.
a.
And then he died, 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31

b.

  • The only way to eternal life is to be born again in the spirit
  • If you do not believe in Jesus, you will “die in your sins”
  • Death has reigned ever since the time of Adam
  • Wages of sin is death

6.
All of mankind is made in Adam’s likeness. Because Adam became imperfect, we are copies of that imperfection. Because Adam sinned, we are all sinners. The likeness of God in every person has been corrupted by original sin

7.
a.
Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. Noah: “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.”

b.
I can do that.  Enoch didn’t have some special power or calling.  He didn’t have some extraordinary gift or blessing.  He walked.  I walk.  He walked with God.  I can do that.

 

My Daily Journal

One thing I love about the people in the bible is how ordinary they are.  They sin.  They make mistakes.  They live and die.  They are like me.  But they also serve as examples for me.  I can do what Enosh did and call on the name of the Lord.  I can do with Enoch did and walk with God every day.  I don’t have to build an ark (jumping ahead), I can just walk.  It doesn’t take a leap of faith to begin, just a single step.

BSF Genesis: Week 3, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

10.
a.
The fruit that comes from and unites us with God, the divine. The fruit of the spirit and the tree of death (cross) conquered by Jesus to give us everlasting life.

b.
They were prevented from, not allowed to have the choice. To live forever without justice would be eternity apart from God.

c.
Yes, not only to eat of the fruit but believers have been “grafted to the vine”. John 15:5, and thus we also may bear fruit Gal 5:22, We also eat of the fruit of the divine through communion John 4:43

11.
Rom 6: 23: the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord; 1 Peter 2:24: He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed

My Daily Journal:

What does it mean to die?  As anyone who has spent any time pondering the question has concluded, there are things far worse than physical death.  We understand that the time we have on this earth is not even a dot on the timeline of eternity.  We know that our existence in the physical world is a dead end street.

However, we learn that (1) we weren’t created to end and go away and (2) we don’t have to stay on that path.  Yes, our cells and organs and flesh will cease to grow and will die, but we have been given the opportunity to eat and drink in the gift of salvation and to once again unite with our divine creator.  Jesus became man and paid the price of just punishment to buy us back from the choice man originally made and all men since have repeated.  And, he has offered to make us one with Him, for us to “remain in Him and for Him to remain in us (John 6:56).  He offers for us to become the branches of His vine and to live in Him for eternity.

But eternity doesn’t start after we draw our last breath.  In the same way someone turns off a dead end road as soon as they know it dead ends, so to are we given the opportunity to turn off the dead end road of mortal death and onto the path of eternal life.  Why wait to begin living until death – we are called to live in Him now with a well of living water flowing from us daily.

BSF Genesis: Week 3, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

Questions

6.
Iraq, parts of Turkey

7.
Trees, pleasing to eye and good for food; work and care of the garden; free to eat from any tree but one

8.
Free to eat from any tree buy not the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will die

9.
a.
Companionship, comfort, beauty of the plants and trees and flowers, great food, rewarding work and ministries

b.
Prov 3:5-6: I fail to trust in the Lord, I lean on my own understanding and I fail to acknowledge him – no wonder my paths zig zag and are so full of hills and valleys.

My Daily Journal

Just a couple of points to think and pray about today:

1. Interesting that it is a tree of knowledge of good and evil since one of the items I struggle with is to try to take control away from God and rely on what makes logical sense to me.  I struggle to try to figure things out on my own, using my knowledge and my judgment and then, too often, turn to God to bail me out.  We don’t consider it ignorance or naivete for a child to trust that their loving parent knows better; we call it wisdom.  Yet, even knowing that God is all knowing, I still convince myself that I should rely on my own limited knowledge first.

2.  I don’t know if it is just how it translates into English, but I had not before caught the wording in Genesis 2:17, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”  It doesn’t say “if you eat from it”, but simply “when you eat from it.”  What amazing love God has for His creation that He would give us the ability to turn from Him even with His perfect knowledge.  It was never a question of “if” only of “when”.

BSF Genesis: Week 3, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions

3.
a.
1:26 Made by God in His image to rule, 27 male & female, 28 blessed, be fruitful, rule 29 given plants for food 2:7 formed from dust, God breathed life into man, 8 placed in garden, 15 to work and care for garden, 16-17 free choice, 18 not good alone 20 name animals, 21-22 woman formed from rib, 25 naked not ashamed, P8:5 lower than angels crowned with glory, 6 rulers

b.
That we are blessed: In life’s trials it is critical to remember that from the moment we were formed we were blessed and crowned with glory and honor, trials will pass, but life in God will last forever

4.
a.
First man, Ruler over all things (Gen 1: 28, 29; Ps 8:6-8, Heb 2:8)

b. Responsibility but not position. A failed leader. God did not revoke our responsibility, but we have failed to perform our job

c.
That while we failed as mankind, Jesus, in becoming a man and conquered death, has regained the position

5.
a.
v15 to work the Garden and care for it

b.
Work the harvest and care for the Kingdom on Earth. My services focuses a lot on the youngest sprouts in the garden.

My Daily Journal:

Work and care.  Thinking about the fact that God gave Adam, and by extension all mankind, work and care to do from the very beginning of creation stirred me.  We are often described as a culture of consumers.  But we weren’t created to consume, we were created to work and care.

Too often our only thought is on WII-FM: What’s In It For Me?  Even when it comes to church and bible study (i.e., getting to know God).  We don’t recognize we are put here to work and care and when we do that we get to enjoy the fruits of the garden.  I’m not saying that people don’t grow and there aren’t different churches that are better fits for families at different stages of life.  But in the big C Church – the body of all believers, we are all to work and care.

I also love how, from even the very beginning, those two terms go together:  work and care.  It reminds me of James 2 and the discussion in the early church over the position of faith and works.  In Genesis we see and even more basic command.  As men, created by God in His likeness we are to do work AND care.  Community service without caring for the spiritual being is a fool’s errand.  Having a heart for the Lord without rolling up our sleeves is also foolish.  We need to care for God as a child cares for a father; we need to care for God’s creation as a prince cares for his father’s kingdom; we need to care for other people as God cares for us – totally.  From this caring and compassion we need to be compelled into action to save and care for God’s people.

BSF Genesis: Week 2, Lecture

We established at our beginning of the study of Genesis that the bible is God’s Word put in place as the means that God reveals Himself to us so that we can have a right relationship with Him, one of love, respect, worship and praise, comfort, peace and joy, eternally.

One of the things I thought about this week, that our teaching leader mentioned in his lecture, was the point that the development of my relationship with God is different than developing any other relationship on this earth.  Normally, when we are entering into a new relationship, whether work, friend, neighbor, romantic, or casual, there is an gradual revealing that occurs as each party learns about the other and each party opens up to tell about themselves.  But with God, He already knows everything there is to know about us and He has put everything about Him down in writing.  The depth of my relationship with God is directly tied to my dedication in increasing my knowledge of Him and moving closer to His unmoving rock of salvation.

In Genesis 1, we see this.  Last week we looked at this chapter and focused on better understanding “who” God is.  This week our focus shifts to “what” God did: He created everything.

So, again, let’s start at the beginning where God is in the beginning.  God’s first action into his new creation is to speak.  He said let there be light and there was light.  We could camp out right here and discuss the awesome power of God’s word.  We could talk about this intrinsic and everlasting light that goes on like a ray coming from the Trinity to shine for ever more.  And, with the richness of Genesis, if you are ever struggling for something to ponder and pray, pick any one verse in Genesis 1 and use it to see God’s glory and power.

God first divides the waters below and above and then He gathers the sea.  I love this visual image of how God’s voice could stretch out like arms across a table and draw in the waters of the sea to make dry ground.  And then God brings life to the planet.

He brings vegetation, plants, trees, to grow and bear fruit, each according to their kind.  And it was good.

He then speaks the sun, moon and stars into existence.  These are the vessels that hold the light that He created on day 1.

When I think of all of this, it reminds me of how parents-to-be prepare the nursery and their home for an expectant baby to arrive.  They paint the room, they prepare the furniture and bedding, they even put in a night light.  How much more so our heavenly Father, and the moon is a pretty amazing nightlight!

In your language about the nursery God prepared for us, do your comments express gratefulness or do they convey an attitude of a whiny child complaining about the heat or cold?  Do you reach out to your heavenly Father for comfort and joy or are you busy throwing a temper tantrum?

But let’s go a little deeper in looking at some of the days of creation in this chapter.  God didn’t just create these things but He actually gave them purpose.  Look at vs 11 and 12.  God didn’t just make plants, but he made plants to bear seeds and fruit.  In 14 and 15 He didn’t just make the lights in the sky, but He made them to be signs to mark sacred times and days and years.  In 20-23 He made creatures of the sea and sky and specifically blessed them and commanded them to be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth, each according to its kind.  Same for the land animals, each according to its kind.

God created not only objects, but He endowed them with both purpose and order.  That word “according” is an interesting one.  It reminds me of “a chord”, a musical harmony.  When man thinks of nature, particularly its origins, our minds see chaos and battle, survival of the fittest, struggle for life.  But in God’s design there is harmony, order and purpose.

In your day, are you striving to find God’s harmony, order and purpose or are you viewing it as a fight, dog-eat-dog battle?  How does your approach influence your outcome?  If all creation is a harmonious melody that sings praise to Him, are you putting in practice time for the musical every day?  As a challenge, look at the ways that God uses animals throughout the scriptures to reveal Himself to mankind (colt for palm sunday, dove, the fish for the multitudes, Jonah’s whale, Balaam’s donkey, just to name a few.)  They are more prevalent than we realize when we look for them.

Then, the 6th day.  God, the trinity, made man in His image, in His likeness.  God made us male and female.  He provided for us with food to eat and He gave us purpose and direction, one to preserve and maintain order.  He delegated rule to us as only a ruler could do.  He gave plants and fruit to us as only the owner of the fields of harvest could do.

Interesting that God gives us two specific tasks.  The first shows our kinship with all other living creatures of the earth, to be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth.  The second shows our kinship with the Almighty, to subdue the earth and rule over every living creature.  And, as we will study in the weeks to come, how we have done pretty good at the first directive, but almost immediately failed in the second when we let the ways of the earth and the temptations present rule over us instead of the other way around.

But, we will also learn that the game isn’t over.  Like a reset button in a video game, those of us who have accepted the saving work of Jesus Christ have the ability to start over.  When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and He will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  Just like a reset button, we get a “do over” button through confession to God that lets us start executing our order, harmony and purpose all over again.  And each time we stumble and fall, His spirit helps move in us and with us, transforming us back into His image and likeness until the day we stand before Him for all eternity in the harmony and unity of heaven.

BSF Genesis: Week 2, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

10.

  • God spoke to Himself, the trinity: Make man in our image and likeness
  • Rule over the fish, birds, livestock wild animals, all creatures
  • God create us male and female
  • God blessed us and spoke to us – fill earth and subdue it,
  • God gave us rule over every living creature

11. a.  Increase in number, fill and subdue earth, rule over living creatures, all plants with seeds for food (bummed about navel oranges and seedless watermelons)

b.  bible, church, teachers, knowledge, love of family, food, shelter, and so much more at every level

12. We are made in God’s image, made to rule (as He is sovereign) God knows everything about us, even while we are still in the womb, even all the days of our lives. God made all the nations, all boundaries and appointed all times of history so that… we would seek Him and reach out for Him and find Him. We are His offspring.

My Daily Journal

Again I am drawn back to the “in” word.  We are made in God’s image.  Not like God’s image, not from His image, not a representation of His image, but IN the image of God.  We are also made unto this world.  Interesting then that the two commands we are given are to (1) be fruitful and increase in number – the same command given to the other living creatures of this world and (2) to rule over the other living creatures as is the nature of God in whose image we are made.

Continuing, it is all the more interesting that of those two commands, we did pretty good at the first one, and failed at the second – we allowed the temptation presented by the earth to rule over us. In Adam and Eve’s desire to be “like God” they gave up the sovereignty that had been a gift given exclusively to them which made them the most like God.

And, to save us from that fall (and what a fitting word that is once you think about it), God’s Son had to step down, becoming lower than the angels, to lift us back up into the position we were originally created into, the offspring (the family) of the King of Kings.