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GOD'S STORY

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

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

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 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 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.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 24: from Mammals towards Mankind!

Living, breathing mammals are created! GOD’s creation moves from mammals towards mankind.

“Then GOD said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind” and it was so. And GOD made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and every thing that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And GOD saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:24-25)

Before GOD made man and woman, he made mammals: animals that were created after their own kind. And He created creeping things — snakes, reptiles — is that what the creeping things were?

There were felines and canines, those in the horse or equis family, and other beasts similarly after their own kind. And there were snakes and other reptiles created, and insects and spiders might fit here,… to creep. All these were after their own kind. All proceeded the creation of Man.

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…. What is that image and what does that entail? We get a step closer in this blog post. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

He created life in stages: first plant life, then birds (and fish), then animals and reptiles: earthbound creatures that breath air. And finally He created human beings. He breathed into man with His Spirit, giving humanity a unique spirit-filled life like no other living creature….

As Creation experiences a Crescendo

As GOD is bring more life onto the planet He created for life, the beauty must have resounded throughout the stratosphere!

On Day 6 the creation of animals precedes man, as does the creation of creeping things. It is as though the pace is increasing, or the noise or pressure is rising toward one climactic moment when He would breathe the life of the Spirit into His ultimate creation: Man.

But why LORD, did you create mammals and follow thereafter with that which creeps on the earth? I take to refer to reptiles, and snakes in particular?

That the devil would enter the serpent to speak to Eve does not escape me at this moment… How is that moment of deceit and temptation connected to this moment of Creation?

While the LORD is creating towards His most prized, He creates that which would later choose to come to steal and destroy the Edenic life for Adam and Eve. While GOD is creating life and beauty He is simultaneously creating what would become the pathway for Man’s downfall, even before He has created Man. Did He know when He created Lucifer that he would later become proud and an adversary to GOD?

Why LORD (and How LORD) did you create Lucifer?

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Examining Biblical Scripture Torah Portion Examined

Genesis Creation Story: Richness of the Truth offered by Creation Scripture

Genesis Creation Story

Genesis 1:1 to 6:8

In the Genesis Creation Story we find a richness, a wealth of power and truth, and through this an added empowerment to our everyday walk of faith.

“In the beginning GOD.”

I was reading this morning the first Torah Portion* for this Hebrew year which has just begun. Reading the Torah Portion puts the entire Pentateuch** to our eyes and mind in the space of a year. Gentiles reading alongside the Jewish people can gain much in re-reading the Book of the Law over and over again.

In my re-reading today I realised several keys:

  1. “Let the earth bring forth grass…” By about 1:11 I realised afresh: Oh, what a creative Creator He is. From out of nothing, sprang the earth: beginning with light, the heavens and eventually bio forms, life forms of grass, living creatures… and finally Mankind. He created life forms in order that they may beget life. Wow! Let us never take that for granted. Though the planets and solar systems existed before the earth itself, in some sense, life as we call it, did not. No bio life existed before GOD called it into being.
  2. Then along the way of reading chapter 1 of Genesis, I realised what a disaster we have made of the beauty of the world. I won’t dwell on that here.
  3. “And Adam said… She shall be called Woman” in Genesis 2:23 and I realised as he called all the animals so he called Woman. Does that mean he has superiority over her? Ouch!
  4. Eve probably didn’t hear GOD say not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but only that Adam had told her GOD had said that, which would explain why she over-stated saying, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” (3:3)
  5. The interminable struggle between good and evil, man and the devil, is synthesised in these words, “He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (3:15)
  6. Genesis does not share all the children borne of Eve, because there were many alive by the time Cain married (4:17), and this was easily accomplished since they all lived nearly 1000 years.
  7. Through Seth, men began to call upon the name of the LORD. This is important: i. Through Seth’s line came Noah. ii. the name of the LORD is important. This latter point will be made in future posts, just as I have referred to it before.
  8. GOD called human beings “Mankind” (5:2)… isn’t it remarkable how today, even this is being assaulted by those who wish to call us “humankind” or “people-kind” so as not to seem anti-feminine.
  9. Noah was the great grandson of Enoch, who never died but “walked with GOD; and he was not for GOD took him.” (5:23)
  10. “Sons of GOD” aka fallen angels (6:2) had sex with daughters of men and from these intercourses were mighty men descended. And there were “giants on the earth” (6:4). These offspring could well be the “gods” of ancient belief systems such as held in Greece, Rome for the West and others (I’m less familiar with) from the history of the East.

Contemplating Genesis Creation does not conflict with other religions or scientific belief. In fact, it enhances, explains from a Judea-Christian heritage how the earth and everything in it began, developed.

May I encourage you to read through the beginning of time to Noah. May I also encourage you to get a copy of the Torah Portions (free at: www.torahportions.org) and consider the Word of GOD deeply, richly and fully as you continue on your journey to knowing GOD more intimately.

Shalom and GOD Bless.

*Torah Portion: that part of the first five books of the Bible allocated per Sabbath Saturday. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible as written by Moses from GOD’s “dictation”.

** Pentateuch: the first five books of the Bible