Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. Genesis 1.26-27
When we look at our world, we see the results of God’s power. It is a power so great that our human minds have trouble grasping it’s immensity. There is such detail in the most minute things. The beauty of the colors can hold us in awe as we watch a sunset. Have you ever asked yourself what the most important thing was in creation?
God started creating from nothing with only his spoken word. He started with the physical location of his creation. Then he preceded to add plants and animals. He saved the best for last. On the last day of creation, God created humankind. Humans were to rule over all things. However, humans had a differing factor. God created them in his own image.
We are created in God’s image. We have eternity in our hearts. The question is where we will spend eternity. Not all will spend eternity with God. Only those who have listened to his words and responded accordingly will spend eternity with him. If we want no part of God in this life, we cannot expect to live in the next life with him. The good thing is that decision lies with me.
#risingjoy #Genesis #creation
“And the Lord God said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’”
Nakedness is shameful because man is sinful. Disobedience ruins his relationship with God. Sin brings shame and distance and many consequences unforeseen when the temptation is offered.
Only when we understand the consequences of our sin can we see the error of our ways. What consequences have you suffered? How and when have you been able to avoid temptation?
#votd #Genesis #disobedience
“He prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, guide me today. Be faithful to my master Abraham.'”
The servant of Abraham was sent to find a wife for Isaac. He prayed for God to guide him in the process. God immediately answered his prayer.
We have been sent on our Master’s work to wed others to Christ. Prayer is an essential component to our success. What is your prayer today?
#votd #Genesis #prayer
See if this organization of Genesis 28.10—32.2 holds water for you. If so, it’s a beautiful picture of some important emphases in the book.
A: 28:10-12 – Jacob encounters angels
—B: 28:13-19 – A covenant and a stone pillar
——C: 28:20-22 – God watches over Jacob
———D: 29:1-12 – Jacob journeys and meets Laban
————E: 29:13-14 – Laban lauds family ties with Jacob
—————F: 29:15-30 – Jacob negotiates wages with Laban
——————G: 29:31-30:24 – Rachel and Leah compete for children
———————H: 30:25-26 – Joseph is born & Jacob is ready to leave Laban
——————G: 30:27-43 – Jacob and Laban compete for sheep
—————F: 31:1-13 – Laban renegotiates wages with Jacob
————E: 31:14-16 – Laban repudiates family ties with Jacob
———D: 31:17-32a – Jacob journeys and is pursued by Laban
——C: 31:32b-43 – God watches over Jacob
—B: 31:44-55 – A covenant and a stone pillar
A: 32:1-2 – Jacob encounters angels
via Soil from Stone: A Chiasm: Until the Time of the Gentiles Is Complete
#chiasmus #Genesis #Bible-structure
Rick K. nails it with this original association. Do read the entire post.
All societies are engaged in a continual process. Either they draw closer to God, or they grow further away from him. In either case, certain features will become evident in time to mark the direction.
In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah (and the other surrounding cities), the man-made Utopia involves a number of trademark qualities and preferences (explored more in chapter 19:
- a segregation from Divine influence,
- an extreme – even aggressive – lack of tolerance for individuals who disagree with their Utopian way of life,
- a profound lack of concern for consequence, as the ends seem to justify any means used to achieve them,
- and this one signature matter: the up-ending of social and sexual norms.
You can easily track this humanistic, Utopian philosophy from ancient Sodom to modern San Francisco.
via The great Utopia | Root Downward, Fruit Upward.
What do you think of a Catholic reading the Bible? I think, of course, that is a good thing. Yet, at least with regard to one Catholic, I wonder if it is.
So troubled by reading the book of Genesis that one writer wrote of her troubling sentiments. Since she had much difficulty putting her arms around what she read, she started coming to a realization that she, evidently, is the determiner of what is moral, or what God would/should do.
This approach to God and the Bible fits exactly 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
Why have so many given up on Genesis 1 and the creation record? Everyone wants to be intellectually respectable. No one respects the fool who blindly and stubbornly holds to that which is both arcane and archaic. I believe many Christians are in this position. They feel if they hold to Genesis 1, they are in a position that is intellectually indefensible. But the truth is the only position that is indefensible is evolution. Harvard professor Steven Jay Gould, leading evolutionist until his death in 2002, famously stated that there have been over 100 major debates between evolutionists and Creationists and quote: “We have lost every one of them. We should stop debating these people.” If it wasn’t for the fact that evolution is the darling of the media, people would begin to realize evolution is the one intellectually indefensible! This is Just-A-Minute.
What difference does it make if one believes in the Genesis creation record or the theory of evolution? As long as God is behind it, what difference does it make? The truth is it makes a world of difference! Either we are created in the image of God or we are evolved in the image of a monkey! Either we are both body and spirit or we are simply physical with no immortal soul. Jesus, himself, said “yes” to Genesis 1 and creation. He referred to creation for the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. If you cannot trust what Jesus said about creation, then how can you trust what he said about salvation, redemption, justification or sanctification. This is Just-A-Minute.
It is not unusual for a family member to do battle with another family member over the silliest of things. It could be a fuss over politics, over who is better in baseball (the Cubs or Cardinals), or even over who bought the last dinner. As quickly as one might fuss over such things, one will be just as quick to defend the other when someone outside the family is fussing with kin. Sometimes, it does not matter if the family member is in the wrong. There is this “implanted” notion that one needs to defend kin.
Abraham (Abram) was a great man; he was (and is) considered to be the father of those who are faithful to the Lord. As well-known as he is in this regard, it is not as well-known that he had a deferential spirit. Rather than do battle with his nephew (kin), he deferred to him concerning a place of residence. When he was in position to take preeminence, he gave it up for the benefit of family.
However, when his family was threatened, he gathered his forces and went out to relieve them of the pressure applied against them as they were taken into captivity. When Abram returned from “doing battle for his brother,” he conducted himself in such a way that the King of Salem (Jerusalem) recognized him for being the great man he was (Genesis 14:17-20). To the king of a wicked city, however, Abram would take nothing that did not belong to him; he returned all to where it belonged. Abram did right by his kin, but he wanted nothing to do more than was necessary with a wicked king and its people.
There is a lesson in this for us. We need to do right by our brother (and all people) all the time, but we never want to have anything to do with evil than is absolutely necessary. We live in a society that slaughters innocent children and promotes sexual immorality; our association with such evil may not always be avoided, but we need to do what we can for that which is right. The Lord will judge our country for such evil deeds, even those who support of those deeds. If we are not careful evil influences can influence adversely godliness. RT
Almost every child Bible student knows the story of the coat of many colors that was given to Joseph. It was that coat that was deceitfully used by Joseph’s brothers to make Jacob think that Joseph had been killed by an animal. Those of us who are Bible students know that it is “the rest of the story” about Joseph that is so intriguing.
We have so much blame spread around today by those who feel they have had a bad deal in life. Many who believe they have been mistreated in life, especially as youth, become bitter, hateful, and prejudiced against all who have a more pleasant life.
Joseph is a great example for us all. How could one be treated much worse? He was hated by his brothers, which must have made life miserable. He was forced into slavery. He was imprisoned through false accusation.
But we never even read a hint of bitterness nor see a coarseness of heart against others. All of this happened while he was a boy and then a young man. It happened at the time that counselors tell us we have the least control over our emotions. We often excuse someone’s misconduct because of “how tough a life” he or she had.
Joseph shows us we can overcome emotional and physical adversity in our lives. We can choose to act with different emotions than anger, bitterness or self-pity. Joseph never acts as though he would steal, cheat or mistreat others because he had been so cruelly mistreated by the world. Continue reading
38. GOD ALMIGHTY IS THE JUDGE, NOT MORTAL MEN.
Genesis 50:19 – “Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?'”
In one sense, Joseph, as Prime Minister over all of Egypt, was about as close as a human could come to being in the place of deity. He had tremendous authority and vast resources at his disposal. Had he desired to harm his brothers, he certainly could have done so. The power Joseph wielded did not corrupt him, however, for he understood this important lesson: God is the judge, not man. He knew God would administer appropriate judgment upon their heads (cf. Rom. 12:17-21).
37. GOD CAN USE THE WICKED CHOICES OF MEN FOR MUCH GOOD.
Genesis 45:5 – “But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
This is one of the most amazing lessons of Genesis to me. In fact, it is one of the most incredible lessons we can see from the Scriptures, period. How God, in His great wisdom and providence, can see the future and know how it will unfold based upon the free will decisions of human beings, and then use those decisions (good or bad) to accomplish His will is beyond amazing to me (cf. 50:20)! Joseph’s understanding of this principle no doubt helped him not bear a grudge against his brothers, and it can help us do the same.
36. PROTECT YOUR CONSCIENCE FROM LANGUISHING GUILT.
Genesis 42:21,22 – “Then they said to one another, ‘We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.’ And Reuben answered them, saying, ‘Did I not speak to you, saying, “Do not sin against the boy”; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.'”
Some sins are life changing in that they damage our conscience and burden us with long-term guilt. Such was the case with Joseph’s brothers. I have to wonder: Did they recall their ill treatment of Joseph every time something unfortunate happened to them? Why would they still be thinking of this after twenty years? Why, after so long, was it still in the front of their minds? The answer probably lies in the heavy burden they had indirectly placed upon their father–a burden which they saw regularly. The grief of their father coupled with their deception of him caused them to suffer from languishing guilt. They felt the sting of that guilt afresh when they are faced with a trial, but, fascinatingly, even being treated graciously reminds them of it (cf. 42:25-28). Even nearly four decades after they had sold Joseph, they are still carrying guilt and fear over the matter (cf. 50:15). Learn from their mistake: protect your conscience at all costs by living righteously and, when you do commit iniquity, don’t compound it by sinning further to cover your initial transgression (cf. II Sam. 11).
35. ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE GOOD IN ADVERSITY.
Genesis 39:21-23 – “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.”
Joseph didn’t deserve to be a slave or a prisoner, but that was his reality nevertheless. He dealt with his circumstances exceedingly well and God blessed him. Like Joseph we must stay strong, keep the faith, and never quit doing what is right. Even when we are burdened with problems, there is always good to be thankful for and to motivate us to keep on walking in the light with gratitude.
34. THE WISE WILL AVOID TEMPTING SITUATIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
Genesis 39:7-10 – “And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he refused and said to his master’s wife: ‘Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.”
Joseph couldn’t completely avoid her, but he did his best to stay away. Perhaps the best way to keep from yielding to temptation is to simply avoid it as much as possible. Don’t go to places where you are likely to be drawn into sin. What a lesson for us today! And where we are unable to avoid tempting situations, we must be strong and resist the devil’s snares (cf. James 4:7).