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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 54 Intimacy with GOD

To worship the LORD is the beginning of holiness, the beginning of our holiness journey.

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” (1 Chronicles 16:29)

Genesis 4:25-26 shares that another son of Adam is born,

“And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” 

When we look at Seth, we’ll see another man who is born in sin, and yet through Seth a society is developed that seeks after Him.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 4 ends with the birth of Seth and the leadership of his son Enosh, and to mankind acknowledging “the name of the Lord.”

Praise GOD!

The most interesting thing

When we look at scripture, there are times when “LORD” is spelled in capitals; this refers to Father GOD, the Creator. Then other times we see it written as “Lord”, and at these times it refers to the Word, Jesus or the Lord who is GOD but not as the 1st Person of GOD: The Creator or Father of the Universe.

I find it interesting that here in Genesis 4, Lord is not put in all caps. What does that imply? That these people acknowledge GOD but as one walking with them, or in proximity or in intimacy.

Wow! Not only did GOD not abandon humanity, but He still walked with the people, in spite of their being cast out of Eden, in spite of their losing their perfection, in spite of their being dead in the Spirit.

It is through the line of Seth and Enosh that Noah is born. This we will look at in some detail next week…

Every blessing as you navigate GOD’s witness within your spirit this week.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 53 Cities

What does GOD think of cities?

“Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.” (Genesis 4:16-18)

Cain lived, and prospered. He married, had children and lived to see several generations. 

God mentions that Cain built a city and named it after his son. Jacob would later become named Israel… which in turn would be the name of the Hebrew nation in perpetuity.

GOD refers the the New Jerusalem, the city spanning thousands of 1000s of square miles in the New Earth, with great enthusiasm,

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)

And so GOD is not opposed to cities per se.

And yet, there is also the Tower of Babel which leads to mankind being dispersed in order to prevent them from completing the tower,

“But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.” (Genesis 11: 5-8)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Cain and the building of Cities

GOD allowed Cain to survive the murder of his brother yet ultimately, to prosper. 

Through Cain… and his brother Seth… humanity would survive and thrive. But it is through Cain that we see an absence of worship of GOD. It is through Cain that cities and progeny develops first. It is through Cain that the sin of man develops and grows until the Flood wipes out virtually all that went before.

Man’s ingenuity is seen in Cain. But it is an independent ingenuity. It is an ingenuity which extends as a result of man being created in GOD’s image; but without GOD there is no mention of beauty or grace or peace. The cities of Enoch and New Jerusalem are completely different one from the another, the one being originated by man’s concept and design, the other originated and planned by GOD.

In GOD’s Story, man can get on without GOD though tragedy and chaos ultimately ensue. When man looks to GOD, creativity and worship bring things to life with great beauty and blessing, and ultimately, with hope.

My preconceived thoughts 

Initially, I thought GOD was opposed to cities and preferred the pastoral. And yet, throughout the Old Testament, He enables the Hebrews to inhabit cities they didn’t even have to build, and convicts gentile kings to allow His chosen people to return to the homeland of Israel and to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

GOD is not opposed to cities. But as with Sodom and Gomorrah, as with man’s corruption, cities can manifest evil. His Jerusalem, His city of peace, is on His heart and will be until the New Jerusalem is manifest. 

Man without GOD

Mankind has and does develop to sophistication with or without GOD. Cain’s story shows us where that pattern without GOD began. However, when we look at Seth, we’ll see how a man who is born in sin yet knows GOD, can instead develop a society that seeks after Him.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 52 Brother’s Keeper

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 4:9

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The answer is Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. Yes and Amen.

We are our brother’s keeper

The Father has put into our hearts a love for one another. He has created us in His image and His love overflows toward all His children, as we also must do. We are called to watch out for and watch over our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are also called to love our neighbours, those who may not know the Lord as their LORD. Yes, we are called to be our brothers’ keepers.

Let s all meditate on this well known parable in Luke 10:30-37,

“Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

How will be “do likewise”?

What GOD says we are to do

Show love and compassion.

GOD’s love and compassion for Cain

Even Cain the murderer was shown compassion.

Genesis 4:10-15 reads,

“And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”

There was a consequence for Cain’s sin and yet, as he received the consequence and was full of fear, the LORD GOD committed to protect Cain’s life.

The LORD is good. His mercy endures to all generations. (1 Chronicles 6:34)

From GOD’s point of view

We are to model the Lord. From His point of view, He is full of compassion for all. There is no-one who cannot receive the Kingdom of Heaven. 

And so we are called to “go out into all the world….” (Mark 16:15)

And so we do!

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 51: Birth, Sacrifice, Murder

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 4:1-9 New life through the first Birth, Sacrifice, Murder

“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

“So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

“Now 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 killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”

He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?””

GOD reveals to us the weakness of our humanity

We see the first human family torn apart with jealousy, violence and shame. First, there is new life which is wonderful.

The first birth of the human race

Eve conceives and gives birth to Cain. How wonderful! Then she gives birth again to Abel. A double blessing… but not for Cain.

The boys grow, Abel offers a sacrifice to the GOD whom He recognises. Here is sacrifice, a sincere desire to worship the Creator.

But Cain’s sacrifice is deemed unworthy. Perhaps it is because he is copying his brother and it isn’t a heart-felt sacrifice. Perhaps it is because there is no blood shed that Cain’s sacrifice is not recognised. But GOD shows compassion as he seeks to teach Cain, ““Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?If you do well, will you not be accepted?” He warns Cain to do well.

GOD is GOD. And he who is humble is a blessing and is blessed while he who is insecure, proud and rebellious will reap what he sows. In Genesis 4, we see sin is in Cain’s heart and it leads to fury, jealousy, murder. Cain first strikes, then he shirks responsibility, and finally he must be outcast. Yet, even though he is cast out, we see later that GOD shows him mercy, giving His own mark of protection upon Cain.

Pain of parenthood

And the story doesn’t mention Adam or Eve at this point. What suffering do they endure as one son is killed, the other has caused the parents’ grief, and then he is banished for it.

What does GOD want us to understand?

Moses wrote down Genesis under GOD’s instruction. Surely there were many stories but GOD chose which stories to share, where to give detail, and what will be remembered across time through His Word.

In this aspect of Biblical history we learn the importance of relationship to Creator GOD. We discover there are godly ways to honour Him and ungodly ways. We learn that GOD sees, He receives, and He teaches if only we will learn. We learn the bitter heartache that selfish pride causes. And we learn that in spite of our sin, He seeks always to teach, guide and protect us even from ourselves.

Conclusion

The story of Cain and Abel is crucial to GOD’s message to us: He values sacrifice and yet it is valued on His terms. He sees into our hearts and exposes pride which is so destructive and does not escape GOD’s gaze. He always seeks to show mercy, grace and justice. Amen.

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GOD’S STORY: pt 50 Where is Eden?

At the end of Genesis 3 it is written,

“therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:23-24)

So, where is Eden? 

If it existed, and certainly it did or else the whole of Genesis is in question… Where is it? Surely it didn’t vanish. What happened to the angels guarding the entrance to it and what happened to the tree of life?

There have been films with heroes and villains searching for the holy grail, the elixir if life and yes, the tree of eternal life. But unlike the proverbial cinematic quest, the tree has never been found. Where is the garden?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

GOD has given us our brains to question

It is vital that we question, probe, contemplate, seek answers and I wholeheartedly believe GOD loves our questions as part of our relationship with Him. And there is no question too shallow or too deep, in which He cannot take delight and that He cannot answer.

And so I challenge you as I was challenged recently, to look at the Cherubim — the angels; to look at the flaming sword which turned every way — the gateway, and ask: 

“LORD, where is Eden now?”

A very intriguing series of 4 online lectures, which leads to scientific answers, discussing angels, dimensions, and portals, offers serious and intriguing answers. The first is here.

This is not New Age stuff but a GOD loving and fearing speaker named Chuck Missler discussing how physics and faith meet the scriptures to reveal how what is unseen exists — both how and where.

Feel free to watch these, to dialogue with me at sarahtun@laruspress or on this platform in Comments below.

Every blessing,

Sarah

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GOD’S STORY: part 49 Immortality

Man created Immortal

I’ve decided to back track a bit in the look through Genesis because there’s an important point to address, rather than assume it’s common knowledge.

Did you realise mankind was made to be immortal?

Made in GOD’s image, mankind was originally created immortal, but part of the curse that GOD laid upon man was mortality:

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground,

For out of it you were taken;

For dust you are,

And to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:19)

After the sin of Adam, mankind lost immortality. That means we lost not only our relationship with GOD, but our physical strength and power became limited, and our immortal existence was lost.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Man became mortal

With the recognition that we became mortal through sin, the reality that Jesus brings us back to immortality through faith in Him is also true.

Salvation of Jesus gives us eternal life… again

Not only was Jesus born free from sin, but through faith in Him, we inherit that eternal life. It is not only spiritual but physical rebirth…

BUT ALSO

That we were created physically immortal implies GOD intention is for us to be physically immortal. Ah but don’t our physical bodies still die? Yes, indeed! So how does the truth of physical immortality line up to our mortal, physical death?

Forbidden fruit

GOD cast Adam and Eve from the garden in order to prevent them eating from the tree of life. All humanity lost the opportunity to maintain immortality both because of our sin which we inherit from Adam, but also the “ticket” through eating of the tree of Life… Until Jesus.

GOD did not want us to have immortality AND sin. So we were denied the privilege of remaining in Eden.

We know that through our faith in Jesus: our faith in who He is and what He has achieved through His death and resurrection (Ephesian 2:8-9), once our sin is removed it is logical that the physical immortality is also made available to us once again. But how? We don’t see the evidence of that, but rather we see the evidence of our mortality every time a loved one dies.

We will inherit new flesh

We who are in Christ — saved by faith — are not going to be disembodied spirits for eternity. No. That is not what GOD had for us at the Creation and it is not what He has for us forever.

Isaiah 65:17 says, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

and Revelations 21:2 says, “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Therefore a newness to Earth and Heaven is coming where Jesus will dwell with those of us who are saved.

Ezekiel 11:19 says, “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh” in the context of taking dry, dead bones and bringing them back to life.

Revelation 21:3-5 says, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

GOD does not speak about an etherial reality in time to come but a physical reality. He speaks of a revived earth, where Jesus sits on a physical throne. And He is with us. There will be no more tears, pain or death. The things former are gone and all is new. He tells John to write things down, which John does — We have the book of the Revelations as evidence.

There is physical immortality as there is spiritual immortality

Praise GOD.

Those of us who have chosen faith in Jesus have everlasting life: The spirit is revived yes, but also the body too is made new and immortal.

Eternal life is through Jesus, both spiritual and physical life. Thank you LORD!

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GOD’S STORY: part 48 GOD’s Will always wins

Man created Immortal

Made in GOD’s image, mankind was originally created immortal. Although this was lost, it has also been restored because GOD’s will always wins.

Part of the curse that GOD laid upon man was mortality

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground,

For out of it you were taken;

For dust you are,

And to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:19)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Today we’ll see that GOD’s will always wins. How?

Man became mortal

With the rebellion, the fall, the sin of Adam: which ever way you choose to label it, man lost his immortality when he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:22b-23 reads,

““And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.”

Forbidden fruit

GOD cast Adam and Eve from the garden in order to prevent them eating from the tree of life. Did that mean GOD didn’t want man to have life forever?

As a consequence of Adam’s sin, all of humanity lost physical immortality, inheriting the same consequences. All born from Adam, we all have inherited mortality. 

…. But then comes Jesus who offers us eternal life once again. 

Salvation from Jesus gives us eternal life… again

Not only was Jesus born free from sin, but through faith in Him, we inherit eternal life. 

Praise GOD.

Although all are born into mortality — eternal life is through Jesus. 

GOD’s will is done

GOD created humanity in His image, immortal. This was and is His will for us. His will ultimately is done as He offers salvation to those who choose it, through faith in His son’s death and resurrection. It is a huge cost which GOD bore, and yet, it was and is in His will. 

No matter what’s Satan tries, GOD has His ultimate way forward, and the ultimate victory, always. Hallelujah!

So we can move forward in all our circumstances, knowing GOD wins, always.

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GOD’S STORY: part 47 GOD’s 4 Questions

How did man fall?

What were GOD’s 4 questions to Adam that preceeded the fall of mankind?

GOD created man in His own image, out of His creativity and for fellowship.

But He also gave one condition… Man failed to uphold the condition and through scripture we observe the fallout:

“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him,

“Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the Lord God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

To the woman He said:

“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”

Then to Adam He said, 

“Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.

Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:9-19)

How does GOD’s respond to Adam’s disobedience?

Surely GOD knew all that had happened in the Garden and yet He asked Adam 4 questions. How He must have felt such deep sorrow as He observed Adam digging himself deeper when he didn’t trust GOD enough to just admit his sin but instead, though he answered factually, he deflected the blame.

What is GOD’s response to the  disobedience of Man? It appears to me that it isn’t only the disobedience but something else that touches GOD deeply as well. 

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

GOD’s 4 questions

Adam hid and what did GOD do? He asked Adam questions.

Adam did not conceal his guilt when GOD asked him where he was, but he did divert it. I think this is the core issue with his fall.

Avoiding responsibility, avoiding shame

Adam diverted responsibility. I wonder if this is his greater crime?

What if Adam had repented then and there? What if he’d taken full responsibility rather than fearing, hiding, pointing his finger at his wife? Would GOD have responded differently?

Did GOD ask Adam questions to invite him to confess? Would it have made a difference to the curse or the consequence?

Knowledge of good and evil

We aren’t meant to know good from evil and yet we tend to weigh our decisions using a strategy of working out what is the good behaviour or good action verses the bad? Adam was suddenly aware of his wrong-doing and became afraid. He didn’t trust GOD to deal righteously. Rather, Adam didn’t want the consequence of his action and so first he covered himself and hid, then he tried to dilute his sin by pointing the finger elsewhere.

Is each of us living free from shame as we’re meant to be?

Shame is a hurdle most of us encounter and must learn to overcome. 

When we do wrong, we may try to hide behind lies; this triggers our own shame. We choose this path rather than to hold up our hands and admit our guilt. Had we been obedient in the first place, we could have avoided so much pain.

GOD’s broken heart, GOD’s desire

To live free from shame, first we choose to trust a sovereign and kind GOD, then we bring light into our situation by being transparent, seeking to admit our sin and walk in love and obedience. When we have nothing to hide, we walk without shame, and enjoy the joy of the LORD. This is GOD’s passion for us.

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GOD’S STORY: pt 46 The first shame

The First Shame

When was the first time you ever felt embarrassed? Vulnerable? Like you made a big mistake? How was it dealt with by your parent, employer or yourself?

Genesis 3:7-8: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden.”

The Shame of Adam and Eve

What was the first shame mankind ever experienced? It began with Adam and Eve recognising their nakedness.

What did they do with that shame? First they covered themselves and then they hid themselves.

Our shame

Where do we get our sense of shame from? Where does our feeling of oppression originate? 

It begins with knowing good from evil.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Knowledge of good and evil

We were not meant to know good from evil but rather we were meant to remain innocent. And yet, how frequently do we attempt to make “good” choices or to refrain from “evil”?

The first shame was never intended to occur, not if Adam had not eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But he did, and then shame, regret, fear… provoked him and Eve to cover themselves and to hide from GOD. How tragic.

Light and Truth of Jesus

Jesus says, “the truth shall make you free”… and so when we make a mistake, let’s not hide it, let’s not cover it up, let’s not live in shame or false bravado. But rather, let us confess and be set free from shame.

When light is shed on a problem or a mistake, light allows correction and healing. 

What did GOD do when Adam and Eve put on the fig leaves? That’s for next time. In the meantime, let’s meditate, contemplate, and consider: Are each of us living free from shame as we’re meant to be? If so, praise the LORD. If not, how can we get to that place of freedom?

Blessings for the Christmas and New Year Season. 

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45 GOD’S STORY: Adam’s sin

Adam’s Sin

Satan engaged with Eve; he set her up. Adam was present and allowed her to be deceived. He observed, he took the fruit and ate as she had eaten. 

What was his motivation? I think Adam didn’t want to lose Eve. Just as she prioritised Adam over GOD, so did Adam put Eve first rather than GOD. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

This is where we left off in GOD’S STORY last week.

Why is it that Eve was deceived but Adam sinned? Why has Eve been painted throughout history as the one whom Satan tricked but Adam was the one who rebelled against GOD, sinned, fell from GOD’s grace?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Genesis 3:6 reads,

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” 

When Satan was speaking to Eve, for at least part of the conversation Adam was present. He didn’t interrupt, he didn’t divert Eve’s attention. He watched, listened and did not intervene.

So when Eve ate, he watched her. When Eve offered him fruit, he took it. Why?

I think he wasn’t deceived but he let Eve be deceived. That’s just conjecture. But what is clear is, she took some fruit and ate, and then offered it to him. He took it and ate it.

Why did Adam eat the fruit?

The only conclusion I can draw is that Adam wanted to go along with Eve rather than be separate from her. And ultimately, they were together … even though they became separated from GOD.

In the garden, Adam observed Satan when Satan was talking to Eve. And Adam is the one held accountable for eating the forbidden fruit. He disobeyed GOD’s command and is held responsible for the rebellion. Eve ate because Satan got her to believe it would be a good thing to become wise, and for Adam’s sake she ate and offered it to him. While Eve’s motive may have been pure, simply wanting to help Adam, Adam didn’t need to help someone else. His calling was to name the animals and look after the earth. His motive to sin then, was only for himself.

Personally, I don’t see that Adam believed it was within GOD’s will that he be wise, and yet he went along with the act of disobedience. He must have wanted to be with Eve more than he wanted to obey GOD. And his behaviour suggests he wanted to be wise for his own sake, even though he knew it was against GOD’s intentions.

Adam’s motive, Eve’s motive

Motive is key to how GOD views us. GOD looks at the heart. While Eve’s heart may well have been to be helpful, Adam’s motive was for himself. At its heart, that was Adam’s sin.

And so Adam is held responsible ultimately for the fall of all mankind. He broke our relationship with GOD.

Salvation through the man without a human father

We inherit sin from the male. We all have a human father…. except for Jesus. Jesus was born without sin because the Holy Spirit was His father. He didn’t have an earthly father from whom He inherited sin.

And so when Jesus died, He died for all of us. When He was resurrected He defeated death for all who believe. 

We all need Jesus’ sacrifice to receive forgiveness for our sinfulness. Eve was deceived but Adam sinned. And Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to restore the relationship GOD intends for us all. Adam broke it; Jesus restores it. Hallelujah!

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GOD’S STORY pt 44: Evil entices Eve

Evil entices Eve?

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

“And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” (Genesis 3:1-3)

The cunning serpent engaged with Eve and asked her a question. Innocent Eve engaged with him by answering. She shared her heart; he was keen to capture her heart. Motivation is key to what is good and what is evil.

Satan wanted to entrap Eve. Eve was Adam’s helper, and so it is reasonable to conclude that she wanted to help him. But she got distracted.

Let us not get distracted

Eve said she couldn’t even touch the fruit! This was an exaggeration. Rather than thinking it was a lie, I reckon Eve believed what she said: if she touched that fruit, she would die!

When Satan heard her exaggeration, and saw her intensity, he used it against her. He sowed doubt.

Genesis 3:4-5 says, “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

I wonder that his voice wasn’t soothing (manipulative) and calm, stroking her with words that would entice her with his false gentleness in contrast to GOD’s awesome and frightening power.

Remember, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) tells us we are made to fear GOD. 

Don’t touch!

Perhaps Eve touched the fruit. It’s logical to imagine that she looked, and touched it to test the danger. Then, when she didn’t die, perhaps she concluded the perceived threat was unfounded. 

When Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6)

Eve got distracted, thought and doubted the danger. Then in her attempt to be helpful, she put Adam first before GOD, inviting him to eat. 

The consequence of this was absolute mayhem!

The cunning serpent, who’s motive was to destroy GOD’s Creation, distracted Eve from her calling to help her husband and enticed her to doubt GOD. Eve, desiring to be helpful to Adam, tested GOD’s word and found it wanting. She chose to follow the voice of the serpent and her own inner desire, rather than to trust GOD’s warning.

Adam’s fall

Satan engaged with Eve; he set her up. Adam was present and allowed her to be deceived. He observed, he took the fruit and ate as she had eaten. 

What was his motivation? I think Adam didn’t want to lose Eve. Just as she prioritised Adam over GOD, so did Adam put Eve first rather than GOD. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

More about Adam next week.

Blessings and prayers for ourselves… Let’s keep ourselves on the mission the LORD has given us, without getting distracted from our major task which is to love and obey the Father of Life.

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GOD’S STORY: Pt 43 Leave and cleave

What GOD intends for married couples is the leave and cleave principle…

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Male discovering Female

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:24-25)

Imagine as a man, awaking to the presence of Eve, a more beautiful, softer, gentler version of yourself. Wow!

And this is what happened for Adam.

Adam went to sleep alone but awoke with Eve in his presence (Genesis 2:21-23)

Significance of Eve’s arrival

When Adam says, “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23) he sounds excited! Then they get married and establish the template for marriage:

The man leaves his parents and becomes one flesh with a woman, his wife. And there is no shame.

That’s the template for marriage: one person in two, one body nurturing all its parts, soul and body laid bare and without shame.

Beautiful!

What about singleness

Paul talks about singleness and prefers it. But he also says it is better to marry than to sin (not to have sex out of wedlock, I assume he means). Singleness is a calling, just as marriage is a calling. We are not incomplete if we don’t marry. It is simply that if we do, a healthy marriage means the man no longer is tied to his parents, and the man and woman enjoy one another and feel as naturally comfortable when together as if they were still alone.

Leave and Cleave

So I hope and pray for marriages, that we can get back on track as a society, and at least for those who love Jesus, that we can love GOD, love one another, but especially prioritise and enjoy the marriage that GOD intends for us: intimate, free and surrendered to one another in trust, devotion and love.

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GOD’S STORY: pt 42 Innocence has no Shame

When we are joyful, when we are full of excitement, enthusiasm, hope, fun… when we have joy, we are like children at Christmas, we are like puppies experiencing snow for the first time; we are as the young who in their innocence, are free. In joy, we are free to express, uninhibited as young children; we are as innocents. And innocence has no shame.

“The Joy of the LORD is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

GOD made man in His own image. But it was not good that man should be alone, so GOD made Adam a helper… He made Eve. And what was Adam’s response: sheer joy!

“And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23)

I believe Adam was awestruck. He was delighted. He was overjoyed. And he was reverent. Out of pleasure, excitement and respect, he named this creation Woman… because she was taken out of himself.

No inequality

In the naming of Woman, there appears to be no balance for power, no hierarchy. But factually, she was so named because of where she came from. “Wo” makes me think of womb and given that the construct of Adam’s “rib” refers to the rib cage rather than to a single bone as I mentioned in my previous post, it may be sheer coincidence that in English “wo” leads to the spelling of womb. It is not linguistically reliable because this is a translation from Hebrew, but it just leads me to that thought… As under the protection of the womb-like ribcage, so woman was created from man.

The quote for today continues,

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

One flesh

One person in two… Marriage in this context reminds me of the truth that GOD’s identity is 3 persons in One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In creating Adam and Eve, GOD created a marriage bond much like the bond between His 3 persons. 

Why did He do that? Perhaps He gifted Adam with intimacy because created in His own image, GOD gifted man for relationship just as He was so gifted Himself.

Humanity is created for relationship. All of us, whether destined for a physical, literal marriage or not, we are all part of families from birth (or intended to be), and not created in or for isolation. GOD did that right from the beginning. It is a tragedy of the Western civilisation that family breakdown is so rife and so we see society broken because people are broken — because we are so alone.

Instead, GOD’s intention is for the unity of relationship, and the ultimate intimacy is marriage: to be with another “as one”. This was GOD’s intention: to gift mankind with relationship as intimate as His own relationship with Himself. And so He also created woman.

Ultimate in Intimacy

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25)

Born to be intimate: without secrecy or shame, we were created to be free. But by its nature freedom requires innocence. Just as children are innocent, not being accountable for right and wrong, so too in marriage we are meant to experience that same freedom.

Marriage is the perfect template for the expression of  total intimacy. This is why we are meant to be virgin when we marry. Experience breeds shame just as innocence personifies shamelessness. 

GOD created humanity for His delight, just as He created all of Creation to rest and to take pleasure in. Then He created woman to pair with man, so that they would experience intimacy as He experiences intimacy.

What a gift GOD gave to Adam. And what joy and delight Adam and Eve must have experienced, before their downfall.

This is the bliss marriage is meant to be. Some are blessed to experience it. Oh may we get back to that standard once again, for the betterment of all society, that GOD’s joy, our joy, may be complete.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Pt 41 Adam’s core job

Adam’s core job

Genesis 2:19-22 reads,

“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”

Imagine GOD creating one creature superior to all others such that the latter — Man — would have the fascinating responsibility and the authority to execute a core job, namely to name all the other creatures. How would he come up with the names of each living creature? No wonder he needed help… Was it to come up with ideas? Or to curb his isolation? Or both?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

GOD is generous and compassionate

GOD created the planets and stars, the earth and everything in it, for His pleasure. He — in three persons, Creator, Word, Spirit — had fellowship. Then He created beasts and birds and fowl and plants, each of which had a duplicate minus a complementary difference… Barring some variation (I’ll call it artistic licence) GOD created creatures in pairs: each creature having two versions: two sexes, male and female. But Adam initially had no complement. GOD saw Adam industrious but alone and it was “not good”…. until the creation of a Female: Eve.

At what point did GOD know there would be joy and sorrow?

One theory as to what happened following the creation of man and woman relates to the discovery of the serpent-like dinosaur skeleton on display in Toronto Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum, with its elongated body and spindly legs. Could this indicate the existence of a great being, these bones indicating a descendant of that which was in Eden and which was eventually inhabited by Satan to tease and deceive Eve? It is a far cry from the small serpent we imagine, yet is something that the proud and powerful Satan might equate himself to within the chain of living creatures which GOD created. 

Could Satan have inhabited something immense to lure Eve to listen, be deceived, and draw Adam in? If size matters relative to ego, then this very well may be true.

But if GOD created such a being, with an ego which thought it might be Man’s equal, and who was offended when Eve became Adam’s partner, why did GOD create this creature at all? Is it reminiscent of the creation of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Is it that which was another aspect of the battle against Satan?

In GOD”s capacity for compassion towards Adam, did He miss the threat from a competitor who sought Adam’s attention or status?

I don’t believe so. If anything, He put Adam first, created Eve to help him, and then came the fallout. 

Perhaps that is what triggered Satan’s rebellion… envy, rage, pride may have come to Satan following Creation and the elevation of Man over all other creatures.

Something to ponder…

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GOD’S STORY: part 40 Marriage

What is GOD’s Perspective on marriage? 

Biblical marriage is between a man and a woman just as GOD made Adam and Eve, a man and a woman, to start off humankind.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Genesis 2:18 reads,

“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.””

Equal but different

We can argue ’until the cows come home’ whether women are able to preach or teach. There is scripture that can be picked out for both cases.

We can debate whether woman obeying husbands is dated or current.

We can discuss homosexual Rome and elsewhere in Ancient Times.

But this space is not about debate. It is looking into GOD’s point of view from Creation until now, as best we can…

Why GOD created women

I purport that in making woman for man, it means to GOD’s eye, it was not good for man to be alone. Male and female animals had been created. GOD was Adam’s companion. And yet, man should also have a partner, a female person who would help him.

This means women have something to offer that men don’t have, as I see it. That’s why man needs help from someone else, who is female rather than male. 

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

One flesh means equal. Of course we’ll explore this more when we come to this verse in our chronological approach. Two parts become one and make a new “whole”.

Partners

Marriage is a partnership. What is a partnership? 

Psalm 133 says, “How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity…” 

Partnership in GOD means both members trust Him, both believe in Him, both follow Him (not to be unequally yoked). It means rowing together not against one another. It means supporting each other and adapting strategies so that they can work together to achieve the common goal. It means having the same common goal.

Partnership is two or more equals striving together, complementing one another. In the case of marriage, it is two people rowing together.

Obedience and Love

Ephesians 5:25 states,

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” and for far too long, for some, this has been overlooked, with emphasis going to that which comes before, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

Since, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16) then I will use this truth to discuss the relationship between man and woman from the time of GOD’s Creation.

There are a couple of verses telling wives to obey their husbands. Then there is a stream of verses telling men to love their wives. I wonder if that is significant. Is it GOD’s sense of humour? Or do men need to be given detailed reason rather than simple instruction to get them to recognise GOD’s guidance in this matter?

What is sure is that obedience and love go hand-in-hand. One is not conditional on the other. One is not more important than the other. From GOD’s perspective, wives need to obey and He tells them so, likely because it isn’t easy for women to do so… and because men inherently need respect. Equally, men need to love their wives, and instruction is plain, probably because men need it spelled out…. and women need to be loved.

Both obedience and love are difficult for us. GOD prefers obedience over sacrifice, though He gets a lot of sacrifice historically. And He is love, expressing it perfectly as no human can manage.

Conclusion

There is not hierarchy in marriage. There is partnership. There is no superiority in marriage. Both answer to GOD. That’s the starting place. He encourages each to reach beyond their ability for the benefit of the other and of the partnership.

Of course there will be cultural nuances. Of course the buck needs to stop somewhere and so husbands are responsible, ultimately, to GOD. Eve was deceived. Adam sinned. There is a difference in GOD’s eyes between the two. Men are physically stronger than women. Women are more naturally empathetic, and so on go the differences.

But all-in-all, to my mind, the LORD does not suggest men are more equal and women less so. We need to love one another and respect one another (my opinion) and follow the pattern GOD outlines in His Word. 

The two were one flesh — Eve made from the flesh of Adam. And so goes the pattern of a Godly marriage.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 39 The Tree (pt2)

What is GOD’s Motive? 

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” Genesis 2:15-17)

What is GOD’s ultimate motive behind including the tree of the knowledge of good and evil being in the garden but not permitting it to be eaten?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

GOD’s higher calling for mankind

Was it necessary to give Adam the option ie the tree and commandment not to eat, so that he would discover the knowledge of good and evil, and then be able to combat it? And through that strife, mankind would embrace the truth of GOD but at a higher level than where is Adam in his innocence in the garden. This is where we left off from the previous post.

GOD’s love, GOD’s perspective

Although man will surely die if he eats of the tree, that death is first physical and second spiritual… but not eternal. Although his physical death is not immediate, he becomes mortal having a finite number of years to live in his physical body. That is the consequence of his disobedience to GOD. That death is also spiritual, becoming separated from GOD with mankind’s spiritual death. And yet, the soul will live on in eternity. 

But GOD!

In GOD’s plan, that death gives way to rebirth. Man, both societal and individually, struggles and in that struggle his character is refined. Though with the Fall of man, all things become subject to death, so too do they become subject to rebirth on a higher level. Plants die, seeds are buried, new life comes forth. 

In GOD’s redemption plan, He makes way for all to return to Him as ‘He wants that none should perish’.

He sends His son,

“Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ” (Isaiah 49:6)

Satan and his demons are not given the same option. Those who follow GOD are rescued and those who do not, are destroyed. Evil is conquered and destroyed.

The Glory

And so perhaps the purpose for the tree and the subsequent events is to allow Satan to see the result of his rebellion… and that he can never defeat nor rise above Yehovah GOD. Satan can never win!

Perhaps GOD’s motive has little directly to do with mankind, so confident is He in the ultimate goodness of mankind, through His son. But perhaps it is much more about the entire universe, His Creation and all that is in it.

This walk with GOD

All the glory is in and from GOD, not with mankind, not even with His creation, but only to Him — because He is righteous and good. And no glory will ever go to Satan. 

Ultimately, all glory goes to GOD and Satan will experience this. 

All the glory belongs to You, Father GOD. Thank you for your resurrection power and grace.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 38 The Tree (pt1)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Eden and the forbidden tree

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

What did Adam have to do to tend the perfect garden? There was no rainfall so presumably the garden, like man, soaked up moisture. And there was no death, so would there be any clear out of the garden? What did “tending” entail?

And in the garden, why did he put in a tree that was for looking only, and not for eating? It must have been a beauty to look at! And there must have been fruit on it or else what would be available to eat from that tree?

My thoughts on the Garden

It must have been enchanting to walk in the Garden of Eden, with the Creator of the Universe. Adam would have experienced peace, perfect weather conditions, no concept of anxiety or conflict or tension. Wonderful! Tending a garden was perhaps simply enjoying it, ensuring the flora and fauna were content. I can imagine the fragrance and the beauty to the eye, but surely my imagination cannot do this true justice: “Breathtaking!”

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

The thought I have with regard to this tree, the key insight I have to offer, is that the tree is the focal point in the war between the Creator and the fallen Lucifer — ie Satan, with GOD’s command to Adam putting him smack into the centre of that  other relationship.

Adam… and Job

Did GOD allow Satan access to Adam in a similar way to the access he would later give to Job?

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 1:6-12)

If the antagonism between GOD and Satan is about where the power lies in character, then Job demonstrates a character dedicated to faith in GOD no matter the circumstance. He knew evil v goodness, as he was part of fallen man. Did this help him to understand the vital part his faith had in his own life? Was the knowledge of good and evil fundamental in his overcoming?

What then of Adam? Adam “did eat” and fell from GOD’s grace. Was that simply because he was innocent of evil and didn’t recognise what he was up against? And if so, why would it be necessary for him to recognise it at all? Why did he “need to be tempted?”

Certainly, I learn the hard way, which is certainly what happened to Adam… Is that what Adam was up against? And if so, why did he need “to learn” at all?

Hold that thought and I’ll come back to it momentarily…

Satan’s scheme

After the conversation between GOD and Satan, when Satan went from GOD’s presence, what occurred next? Did he begin to scheme? In the case of Adam, at what point did Satan begin his manoeuvres? 

After the creation of Eve, at some point Satan was waiting, lurking to deceive her. And was Adam standing by, ready to be drawn in? How badly did Adam want to taste that fruit? Or did he simply want to ensure he walked in full relationship with Eve, even if it meant disobeying GOD. Didn’t realise this would mean he was also abandoning GOD?

Was GOD creating a set-up for the greatest showdown to expose Satan to his own failure. Was this the ultimate way to humble Satan? If so, there certainly was a huge cost: so much tragedy from that time to this, and still the combat continues. Is this all to put Satan in His place, because otherwise Satan would rule and destroy the world? 

Is the entire history of mankind about revealing to Satan the ultimate victor?

Forbidden Fruit a choice

GOD told His children not to have knowledge of Good and Evil because of the pain it would cause. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit that was forbidden they immediately lost innocence, felt shame, and became separated from their Creator. GOD did not want shame for us. He did not want pain. But perhaps it was necessary to give the choice. It is the human experience to grow through adversity. Perhaps GOD did not want that we would be innocent out of ignorance but rather innocent by choice, which is what become “like a child” and being born again is all about.

By offering a choice, man would inevitably choose knowledge, and pain, yet would also learn the difference between what is good and what is evil. We are all born with this knowledge (Romans 1). What do we do with it is the making (or breaking) of our lives.

This knowledge has enabled the battle and ultimate demonstration that good will overcome evil (as best personified in Jesus Christ) and that GOD’s love was and is and always will be more powerful than Satan in his pride.

A lesson for Satan

Perhaps quite simply, GOD sought to reveal to Satan his failure before he would be eternally damned. In his interest to put himself higher than GOD, Satan pursued Eve to draw division between the union of Adam and Eve, and the unity between Man and GOD was torn… and yet this would be the pathway to Satan’s ultimate defeat.

GOD knows everything, new everything. In creating mankind, He must have known He’d created the means through which Satan would be humbled and by offering the choice of the tree of knowledge, knowing man would choose knowledge, GOD made a way for perfect relationship with mankind, superior even to that which He had with Adam. 

Our frame of reference

Today we tend to look from our own perspective — as though we are at the centre of the universe. 

GOD loves us! But even though He loves us, I reckon there are higher aspects to the universe than GOD’s love for mankind. It isn’t only the earth and mankind which is on GOD’s heart, but the entire universe, with His angels and the demons who fell from His grace included.

Perhaps we need to be reminded that man is not the centre of the universe but GOD is. We are given a choice through our forefather, Adam: to choose GOD and the everlasting life which He promises through Yeshua/Jesus 

or to choose or live by the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The Glory

All the glory is in and from GOD, not with mankind, not even with His creation. Ultimately, all glory goes to GOD and Satan must see this.

Next time I’ll explore what GOD meant by “you shall surely die” and draw attention to our human growth through adversity.

Every blessing,

Sarah

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GOD’S STORY: part 37 Three More Rivers

Genesis 2:13-14,

“The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

Three more rivers

“Rivers of water run down from my eyes, Because men do not keep Your law.” (Psalm 119:136) 

I think of this passage when I read the Genesis 2 passage. Why?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Rivers: significance

Fresh water brings life. These rivers which flow from Eden reach out in all directions to the further world. Water, a source of refreshment, in all its richness, is available to humanity, animals, and plant life. Ah!

So, why am I drawn to the Psalm 119 passage? Because GOD gives to humanity and humanity messes up. Law came in, step by step, covenant by covenant, in order to maintain relationship between the LORD and mankind. And the Psalmist (and I) weep, because humanity keeps messing up.

These three rivers

Did the LORD create the River Pishon (Genesis 2:11) and these three rivers knowing that Adam and Eve would be cast out of Eden? Mankind would need the freshwater sources.

Did He create these rivers because of the beauty which they inspire by appearance? Or was His priority the practical necessity of fresh water for the land?

Why did He share the direction and expanse of the rivers? Why did He talk about the land, the nations, the boundaries? He wanted the readers centuries in the future to identify these rivers. He wanted precision to prove Creation. He wanted us to recognise these rivers in relation to the necessity for water and for beauty. 

Most of all, I believe, He wanted us to know His attention to detail: that He never misses a thing — not the smallest to the largest necessity. And He knew He’d be completely taken for granted but poured love into His Creation nevertheless.

That’s my GOD

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: pt 35 Water

“Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.” (Genesis 2:10) 

Water! 

Gardens need water. Life forms need water. Water quenches the thirst and gives life!

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Why did GOD create a river?

How is it that we need water for life? And air for breath?

In Genesis 2, GOD is revealed as having created a river to quench the thirst of the garden. Then the river is split into four and runs beyond Eden.

We know that mankind also needs water for survival. The animals in Eden needed water; all life needs water. But water is more than H2O…

Holy Spirit

For life to be sustained, it needs fresh water. That is a known scientific fact.

Do you recall what is equated to water as the Godly thirst-quencher? Surely this is the Holy Spirit.

The Creator provides spiritual quenching, an anointing of the Holy Spirit upon us who are spirit-filled followers of Jesus. After the fall of man, that life force from the Spirit left us, or became dormant, and our spirit could no longer be quenched. But now it is possible and we are encouraged to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) just as Jesus was after His baptism (Luke 4:1).

Do not quench the Holy Spirit!

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). We must allow the Spirit to work in us, to teach, help, guide, lead, change us into the likeness of Jesus. “Do not quench the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) we are warned.

John 7:37 says, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”” And when he was with the woman at the well, He said, “… whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14) This is the Helper He refers to when He explains He must go in order to send “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in [His] name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

Find your source of Refreshment

The Creator has given us all we need for life. He provided immortality in the beginning and gives us everlasting life through faith in His son, Jesus. That life source is through the Holy Spirit. He is our refreshment. He and only He quenches our spiritual thirst.

Then we may allow Him to work in and through us as we follow Jesus and seek to be like Him.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 36 Rivers!

Water Water Water flows…

Genesis 2:11-12 says, “The name of the first [river] is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there.”

I’ve just been listening to this song: Let it Rain and if you believe the LORD sets up our circumstances to speak to us, then He’s talking to me about rain, waterfall, rivers…. I become thirsty and joyful just thinking about this!

Next, I think of the verse from Psalm 119:136,

“Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law.” This is so tragic.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Water, Rivers, Oceans…

I believe the LORD loves water which offers refreshing: it is purity and clarity, it sustains life and washes away death. 

I believe the LORD knew where man would wander before He even created him. And yet, He created him nevertheless. 

I believe the LORD knew we would need refreshing and cleansing. So He built in the system physically and morally even before our immortality was established and then lost.

I believe the LORD knew He would rescue us: we would need it and He would offer it. The water is symbolic of this rescue just as much as it is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

The River Water in Eden

Rivers are fresh water which flow naturally, unhindered, offering life wherever they flow.

The Pishon River went round the whole land, even where there was gold and jewels. How beautiful the scene must have been!

GOD’s Creation is Beautiful

There was and is perfection in everything GOD has created. The beauty and life of Creation are beyond words to share adequately. The detail is profound. We can only imagine… I am overwhelmed in the imagining of it!

He provides in His word enough detail to enable us to imagine it all. He provides guidance through this Word: to keep the Law and then to walk in His fulfilment of it through Jesus. And throughout Biblical history there are those who mourn the weaknesses of humanity, calling us back to our centre: to our Creator. All of this is through the leadership of our GOD of love.

Today’s text

There will be theologians and Biblical historians who are much more learned and sophisticated than am I. They would guide as to the significance of this first of four rivers, the River Pishon. They would be able to illuminate for us the significance of Havilah, of the gold, the bdellium and the onyx stone. And praise GOD for these people.

However, I simply want to take in (and to share with you) the splendour, the detail, and the life-quenching power of this river and its surrounding environment. This says to me profoundly, GOD is our Provider and He will always provide for our needs: sustenance, beauty, and peace. He shares this truth with us through the poetry of Creation itself. In turn, this even encourages us to be poetic, to express our thanksgiving fully, freely, creatively.

Hallelujah! Let it Rain! GOD is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Shalom and GOD Bless…

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: pt 34 Eden part 3

A Garden

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9)

Why did GOD create man?

Man was created to have dominion over the earth and everything in it. (Genesis 1:26)

Recently it was pointed out to me that the angels were created on Day 6, at the same time as the animals and mankind (thank you, Bishop Malcolm Wilson),

Genesis 2:1 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.” The earthly animals and the heavenly hosts — aka angels — were created.

GOD gave the earth to man to manage. Is it possible that this enraged Lucifer, which led Him to inhabit the serpent? Perhaps GOD gave the earth to man, out of love and also out of the knowledge that Lucifer’s pride would be exposed… 

Why did GOD put man in Eden?

GOD put man in a paradise, full of beauty and perfection. Then He added woman, who would become deceived by the serpent.

Surrounded by absolute perfection and full of love, man has everything. He names the animals; he has responsibility. That certainly is fulfilling. But he gives it all up….

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Where Adam fits in

Adam was presented a choice: to remain in his current state intimate with GOD and free from sin, or to discover knowledge to be “as GOD” — he chose the latter. He chose knowledge of good and evil, and Eve over GOD, His creator and companion.

Adam chose to “go it without GOD”. Although he may not have known GOD would send Him from the garden, he wanted knowledge and risked paradise. He may not have known GOD would send him away and their relationship would be forever changed, but he chose Eve and disobedience (only then to blame her for his choosing her*) over GOD.

GOD’s desire 

GOD wants us to choose Him. GOD wanted Adam to obey which was his way of choosing GOD. Adam reveals to us that we all have a choice and the choice we make, for or against GOD, will effect our lives now and forever.

What Adam’s actions reveal

Adam reveals in us our power to choose. 

Adam reveals in us our weakness and our strength.

Adam reveals in us our choice.

GOD gives everyone a choice and what we do with it shows us GOD’s unequivocal love and forbearance. When we choose other, GOD loses us and He grieves.  When we choose Him, now that Jesus has paid for our sin, when we will fail from time to time, GOD accepts our repentance and forgives us.

Adam fits into the Genesis Story because he exposes our choices, our humanity and our frailty.

Some might say the story of Adam and the garden and all of the Creation Story is an allegory or a metaphor, revealing GOD’s character and our own. I think this is true. Some recognise the story literally, which I believe as well. GOD creates the perfect opportunity for Creation to choose Him or to rebel. 

In Adam, we see humanity’s natural proclivity to rebel. And through Adam’s disobedience, we see GOD’s compassion, desire for relationship, and love. He does not destroy Adam but there are consequences for his sin.

Adam now separated from GOD, unveils the unfolding of human history: how man becomes rejoined. It is a master plan of GOD’s, because only in choosing Him, does GOD truly have relationship with us.

*There is so much more that could be said about Adam, Eve, their relationship, the deception and the rebellion… but not for this time:)

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 33 Eden (part 2)

A Garden

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9)

The essence of this garden?

Every fibre in my being suggests, when I read reference here to Eden, that it is a quiet and peaceful place, full of trees, full of sunlight, full. It is eastward — but in relation to what that is westward? And why is it full of trees? Not flowers or waterfalls or animals are mentioned, all possible aspects of an idyllic world.

Why did GOD create Eden?

How spontaneous is GOD? Did He have a plan for man and Eden? Or did things just happen?

It is likely that Eden was special if not completely unique. The whole earth may have been damaged by the fall of Satan, which was “like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) Perhaps Eden was a part of the earth that had not been damaged or…. less likely, perhaps the LORD reestablished it to its Creation state at some point before creating Adam. In either case, Eden was unique: guarded by angels, full of trees bearing luscious fruit. And therein were two particular trees: one of Life, the other of Knowledge of good and evil.

In that beautiful garden was complete freedom, total bliss for every living creature therein. Eden is peace, Eden is rest, Sabbath Rest, daily today and for eternity. An Eden existence is what was intended for mankind; that is what we are drawn back to when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

“Be anxious for nothing…” (Philippians 4:6)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

In Eden lies the future of mankind

Eden represents the opportunity for a peaceful mental state. In Eden is our spiritual place of rest. In Eden is our life — abundant life without strife, without antagonism, with harmony and grace, love, joy… and peace.

Eden was a real garden. It is also a symbol and a destination of the heart and of the mind. We are in a tug-of-war between our will and GOD’s, between our residence and Eden.

A friend recently said when she prays, she “meets Jesus in the garden.” That garden is the garden of our hearts! When our hearts are pure, we are as though we are in Eden.

Where Adam fits in

GOD created beauty. He created life. He created opportunity: eternal life or knowledge of good and evil; a walk with GOD or a walk without Him. Adam didn’t know the detail, he wasn’t given the detail. 

Adam was presented a choice: to remain in his current state, or to discover knowledge to be “as GOD” — he chose the latter and that, we shall unpack in the third and final part of our look at Eden

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 31 Creation of Man

Genesis 2:7 says, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

This Creation of Man is so exciting!

A month’s worth of posts and we’re finally at the Creation of Man. That includes all human beings by the way, though not at the particular moment cited in Genesis 2:7.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

GOD made the first person from out of the dust. And how did this person take his first breath? 


GOD breathed into him. Wow!!

We are made in GOD’s image

If ever there is any doubt we are fashioned from GOD, here is the evidence for what we have in common: Our very breath comes from GOD. That is amazing. Life is in the blood, life is in the breath. Our breath comes from the breath of GOD. Incredible.

Ponder our connection to the Creator of the Universe

Humanity is not an accident. We each are no accident. The very Creator of all the earth breathed into the first of humanity to give him life. And so we inherit that same life.

GOD made his brain. He made is body, fingers, toes, organs. He set his heart beating, his lungs breathing, his energy, eyesight, taste buds, passion. His life.

Worship

Let us celebrate our Creation. Let us worship our Creator!

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!” As the first man began so let us continue. This is a mark of praise and worship: to celebrate His Creation, to celebrate the Creator, to celebrate life!

Hallelujah!

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 30 The Mist

What is the Mist?

“…before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” (Genesis 2:5-6)

All the livestock and other animals, all the plant life, proceeded man. There was no one to tend and yet nature thrived… because of the mist that provided all the moisture necessary for life.

Day 6 brought beast and man. The commission to man was to tend and multiply. And so Adam did.

But what is the mist? And how does it provide for life?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

The Mist

Before rain came upon the earth there was mist. Moisture existed in the form of mist. No one went thirsty, not plant, not animal. No one trekked for miles to an oasis in the desert. The earth brought forth mist to quench the thirst.

This was how the atmosphere was until the Flood. People lived on average some 700 years and more. And there was no need to dig wells. (I’m not saying we didn’t drink… no idea, I wasn’t there. But there wasn’t rainfall, that’s for certain.)

Fascinating. GOD is so creative. And that He had a plan to start all over again when necessary is also amazing. He gave so much. With each step away from Him, mankind has made it harder for himself because each step away has brought consequences.

From GOD’s point of view

He gave us immortality. We threw that away. When we became depraved, He brought the flood so mankind could start afresh… With the flood came rain and a shortened lifespan….

GOD gives what is perfect. We mess up. He puts in boundaries to help us mess up less.

That’s my point of view of GOD’s point of view!

Then Jesus

Then He sent Jesus…. Jesus is the opportunity to be freed from 1. the shackles of humanity’s evil inclinations and 2. the law which is there to protect us from those evil inclinations. In Jesus, we surrender and receive our freedom back — that freedom that Adam had. Though we may stumble through it, and though we may not recognise the extent of our freedom, nevertheless, it is there, available, through surrender to Him and sharing of love from Him.

If the mist was there initially to give us all the moisture life required, now Jesus has cleared the fog and given us new life, hope, strength, power and love.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY pt 29 Creation History

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

The history of Creation is encapsulated in the Genesis story. But why does the Bible restate so often the Creation History?

Genesis 2:4 says, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD GOD made the earth and the heavens,”

To follow the Word of GOD there can be no doubt in this and other statements that GOD is the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

The time line may be debatable and for our purposes I don’t think it necessary to debate that here and now. GOD simply wants it reiterated that He made it all. Why?

Ages Past

In pagan times, before the western world heard the Gospel of Jesus and in the main accepted it, pharaohs and emperors led their people in worship to gods and demons. There was an understanding that there were higher powers…. or that the Pharaoh was himself deified and was included in the realm of the most powerful. Humanity knew there was power beyond themselves.

Then was the voice of Judaism and the beginning of a world understanding who ruled ultimately. Ruth and Rehab are just two examples of Biblical persons outside of the Hebrew nation who came to recognise Yehovah, Elohim: the GOD of the Universe. Some from outside the Hebrew line accepted the Hebrew GOD. Ultimately, when Jesus walked throughout Israel He brought attention to the Father of Creation and gentiles received the message. Matthew 15:21-28 reveals a Canaanite woman asking for the crumbs from GOD’s table.

After Jesus’ commission, the apostles began ministering, “into all the world and preach[ing] the Gospel to all nations.” So the Word of GOD became known and accepted by people of many nations and across the socio-economic spectrum. Thus the way was paved for the Creation story to be spread across the known globe. And so it was.

Scientists and Faith

Across the Middle East and Europe, there was no real debate for centuries. Scientists in Europe were struck deeply as they investigated the intricacies of their speciality, to discover how GOD, through His creation, was confirmed repeatedly. Galileo, Newton are just two incredible scientists who did not alter their belief in GOD but were in fact moved more deeply and more profoundly in their faith in GOD.

Then came Darwin. His theory of evolution challenged the time line of GOD. Those who came after him though not he personally, as well as philosophers jumping on the bandwagon, lusted after pushing out religion and the Bible and GOD in the name of science and philosophy.

Today’s challenges

So much for the scanty history lesson.

Today western society’s most vocal contenders for authority (the so-called Woke folk) have thrown out GOD and science as well, in favour of individualistic truth and attempts to put current individualism: feeling and emotion, above and before any biology or historical reality.

And so, whilst GOD had Moses record early history all the way back to His Creation, He knew such a time as this would come. As we have headed our way back into paganism and hedonism in the West, and as Christian persecution is by far the greatest religious persecution on the planet at 86% of the total, we know GOD has this all in hand.

GOD’s Message to us today

With my whole heart I believe the Father’s message to us today is, He is the Creator. He knows the heavens because He made them. He knows the earth, because He made it. As we look to Him we will know how to navigate the times and seasons we are in. He knows how to take care of the planet earth and He knows how we can best take care of one another. We are stewards. Nothing has changed since GOD commissioned Adam and Eve to look after the garden.

Nothing has changed. We can hold onto that.

Every blessing.