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Showing posts with the label Genesis

Why did God do that?

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In our Sunday morning youth class we've been walking very slowly through the opening chapters of Genesis. It's been 6 Sundays and we're just now into chapter 3. There's just so much there!

Anyway, it's incredible how we often have those aha! moments in passages that we've read and read and read and have even taught and written about.

I had one of those last week.

I have often heard the question: Why did God put the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" there in the first place?

The assumption is that the tree itself was bad. The first humans were not allowed to eat of it. Ever. Never ever were they supposed to touch or eat of this tree because it was bad. God must have put it there because there could be no free will where there was temptation, i.e. God created temptation...?

But throughout the first chapter of Genesis, EVERYTHING God created was declared "good." In fact, the only thing that was labeled as "not good" was the fact…

In the Garden

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In case you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you've probably noticed that there is a big push to "Go Green." Environmentalism has entered into mainstream pop culture. Now with oil prices on the rise and sky-high energy prices, more and more people are jumping on the eco-train. And why not? Using less energy = saving more dollars.

What's more, Americans are becoming more aware of the long-term environmental impact that everyday decisions can have. Global warming has become a household term and a serious concern for many people. We understand now that if we continue on the same track, there won't be much of an earth left for our grandchildren to enjoy.

This is all good in my opinion. The only unfortunate part about this whole green revolution is that it has begun and is primarily sustained from a secular angle.

Let me explain. In response to the whole global warming issue, I've heard many Christians scoff, brush it off, and say that it…

Dirt

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Yeah, can you believe someone actually made a movie about dirt? I started watching it the other day, but didn't have time to finish it. The filmmakers and the interviewees shared some very interesting insights about the ground beneath our feet.

Did you catch the one guy in the trailer who said, "We are dirt"? As a matter of fact, fertile top soil contains pretty much all the building blocks of human life--carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, water, and various other elements and minerals. When any living organism dies, it is broken back down into these fundamental elements to become...dirt.

[This is where I'll throw in this week's eco-tip: Composting! Is simple, it's green, and it will help replenish parched dirt or fertilize your own gardens. For some helpful ways to get started, check out these websites: howtocompost.orgcomposting101.comcompostguide.com]


When God made humans, Genesis 2:7 says that He formed man out of the dust of the earth. When a person is dead, t…

High Five Thursday!

Interesting turn this week. Here is my list of my
Top 5 Not-So-Preachable Bible Verses
WARNING: Reader discretion may be advised.
Genesis 1:29-30 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Wait...so, every animal was originally created to be strictly vegetarian? Apparently so. I guess this means that in God's original design, humans were not encouraged to eat steak, hamburgers, or chicken nuggets. I suppose this also applied to lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
A world in which every creature is vegetarian, thus eliminating the need to kill any other living being. Try preaching that right before the monthly pot-luck!
Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those …

Beginning, pt. 2

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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

So begins the creation story. From there, God goes on to create light and land and stars and everything else. As a child, and on into adulthood, when thinking about creation, I always pictured God sitting in his throne room which resembled something like the bridge on the Enterprise from Star Trek. I imagined God sitting atop his captain's chair, handing out marching orders to the angles around him, and watching it all take place before him on a 72" LCD screen.

But look what it says:

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."


Formless. Empty. Dark. Deep. This sounds like a place I would never want to be. This sounds downright hellish. This sounds like the opposite of where God would be found, thus the made-up image in my mind of God creating from afar.

But God was right there. His Spirit was hanging out right in the midd…

Beginning

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It is my general understanding that almost everything we need to know about God can be discovered within the opening chapters of the Bible. Genesis 1-11 are some of the most controversial, most hotly debated chapters in Scripture. Are they literal 24 hour days during creation? Was there really a Garden in Eden? Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons? How could Noah fit all the animals on the ark? Could there really have been a global flood?

Many of these narratives have been passed off as Sunday school flannel board stories. Rarely do we revisit these chapters as adults to try and figure out why are they in the Bible? Why did God choose to open the most important book in all of human history with such outrageous sounding stories? Or maybe they're not so outrageous if we just tweak our own modern/postmodern worldview a bit.

So let's begin in the beginning.

Genesis 1:1 -- "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Thus begins the greatest story ever told.

N…

The heavens and the earth

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1 The phrase "the heavens and the earth" is a prime example of a Hebrew literary device in which two opposites are mentioned but the implication is that everything in between is included. Another way of understanding that verse is to say, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...[and everything contained therein] or [and everything in between] or [and everything else we see]" A common question is raised, however: Why did God bother going to such great lengths to create a seemingly infinite universe when the small pebble called earth is all that really matters? It seems like God went a little overboard with the whole creation thing. But when you think about the purpose of the universe and all of creation, what seems like wasted space actually testifies to the awesomeness of God. The purpose of creation is to reflect the character and the glory of the Creator. Think abou…