Archive for May, 2009

The Lord of Second Chances……

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

“So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way of the Tree of Life.” (Genesis 3:24)

One of Adam’s primary responsibilities was to guard the Garden! It was his vigilance that was to keep the Garden a place of fellowship with God. The place where God and man could walk together. Angels may now guard the Tree of Life with drawn swords but Adam was initially given the first task of guardianship, a task at which he failed miserably.

Yet today we, the sons and daughters of Adam, have been given the same responsibility to guard that Life which has been entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “He that believes on Me, as the scripture says, “out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38). It falls to every one of us as believers to “guard your heart for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). Let us not fail to guard the Life and subsequent fellowship with Jesus that has been given to us, as Adam did so long ago. (more…)

Clothed by God…….

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:20-24

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Genesis 3:21).

God sheds blood in order to make clothing for Adam and Eve – the first animal sacrifice. He made them from the skins of animals, and therefore those animal lives were sacrificed to clothe Adam and Eve. This is but a picture, as all animal sacrifices are but pictures—a kind of pre-school of grace—in order to teach us the great truth that God eternally attempts to communicate to us. As John the Baptist said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away [and in my opinion, who is continually taking away] the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Paul uses a wonderful phrase in Ephesians: “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). When we have acknowledged our guilt, and acknowledged that what we have done is contrary to what God wants, and we stand there with nothing to defend ourselves with and make no attempt to do so, but simply are in honest acknowledgment of our own doing, then we are “accepted in the beloved.” (more…)

Dust to Dust….

Friday, May 29th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:16-19

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it (Genesis 3:17b).

We must struggle so hard to make a living because the ground has been cursed. Man is reduced to never-ending work and sorrow. Work is not the curse given to humans. It is toil that is the curse. If you do not have work to do, you will tend to be miserable, although some would like their days of work to end. Work is a blessing from God; but hard, grinding, toiling work is the result of Adam’s fall. It is sweat, anxiety, and pressure coming constantly upon us to create the endless toil we call the rat race.

Another factor that resulted from Adam’s failure in the garden is death. God said, “For dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19). Isn’t it this sense of death, lurking at the boundaries of life, which gives us a feeling of futility about life? Remember the rich man who built barns and filled them up and then said to himself, “Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you…” (Luke 12:19-20). Then he asked this question: “Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20).

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A Bruised Heel……

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:14-15

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

This is one of the most remarkable verses in the Bible. The early church fathers called it the Protevangelium, which means “the first preaching of the gospel.” It is the clearest promise of the coming of a Redeemer. There are several unusual features about this remarkable verse that reveal the divine hand.

First, it predicts an unending enmity to exist between two classes of humanity. Here is the beginning of the two divisions of humanity into which the Bible divides the race. Its first manifestation is that of enmity between Eve and the serpent. “I will put enmity between you and the woman,” says God. This is understandable. We can see why Eve would detest this one who had betrayed her by his lies, and as the effects of the fall would become more evident in her own life, she would feel a continuing abhorrence against this one who had so cleverly and ruthlessly led her astray. On the other hand, the enemy would surely hate her because she was now the object of God’s love, and His hand of protection was around her. But also, it was not enmity merely between the woman and the devil but between his seed and her seed.

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…..and I ate…….

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:10-13

“Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. “Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?” (Genesis 3:11b-13).

There is something very interesting here. God asks essentially the same question to both the man and the woman. He is saying to each, “Tell me, what is it that you did? Specifically, definitely, clearly what is it that you did?” But there is an exquisite touch of delicacy and grace here that we ought not to miss. He does not put the question in the same form to Adam and Eve. To the man, He is forthright and blunt: “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” But to the woman He puts the question much more softly and gently.

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Where are you?……….

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:8-9

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9).

In my search for answers what I found most striking was that all religions, apart from Christianity, begin on the note of man’s seeking after God. Only the Bible starts with the view of God’s seeking after man. This highlighted an essential difference between our Christian faith and the other major religions of the world. Furthermore, this first question here in the Old Testament is matched by the first question asked in the New Testament. In this passage we find God asking man, “Where are you?” and in the New Testament, in Matthew, the first question that appears is that of certain wise men that come asking, “Where is he?” (cf. Matthew 2:2).

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The Beginning of Death…..

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:7-8

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Genesis 3:7).

This passage reveals three things that mark the beginning of death, and the proof that this story really occurred is found within, because these three things are true for every person. When we yield to temptation we experience the pleasures of sin. But what this account forces us to face is that with the pleasure comes an undesirable companion, a fall-out of sin, which we cannot escape. It is all a package deal. Here is spelled out for us the three things that mark the beginning of death.

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The Strategy of the Enemy……

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:1-6

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made (Genesis 3:1a).

Let us move on and look at the strategy that the Tempter of man employs. This is most instructive because it is exactly the strategy he employs when he appears as an angel of light to us—not that we shall see visions of shining beings—but it is an example of this personality, the character in which he appears, is the same now as then. He is an angel of light. Scripture makes clear that the devil can also appear as a roaring lion, meaning he can strike in tragedy, in sickness, or in physical evil, as he struck Job or Paul, with his thorn in the flesh, which Paul called the messenger of Satan. When he appears as a lion, he can strike fear into our hearts. But his most effective strategy is to appear as someone good, someone attractive, something or someone who appeals to us as an angel of light. (more…)

Boy meets Girl…….

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 2:18-25

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (Genesis 2:23-24).

This is a remarkable passage because it brings together all the great concepts of marriage that run like a vein throughout the Bible. After God finished making woman and Adam slept off the deep unconsciousness into which he had fallen, God brought the woman to Adam. What a scene that must have been! Here is the first of a long series of boy-meets-girl stories. Out of this account emerges four factors that are essential to marriage.

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Fearfully and Wonderfully made……

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 2:4-17

…the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

What tremendously significant things are contained here in this condensed account. I do not think we need to dwell on just how God formed the body of man. Did He pile dirt together, wet it with water to make a kind of a mud statue, and then breathe life into it? No one knows. When we consider the miracle of conception and birth, we need not ask about the ability of God to make man in His own remarkable way. Perhaps the event occurred along the line of the development of birth. I do not think we need to be concerned over some of the questions that people in the past have beat each other over the head with. Whether Adam had a navel is of little significance. What we are told here is that there are three divisions of man.

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