Genesis 4:1-16 – Jealousy

Read Genesis 4:1-16

When we think about how the world began, Adam and Even no doubt come to mind. The names Cain and Abel may also be familiar to us as the first two sons born of the first couple. Sibling rivalry at it’s worst. If you’ve had children or had siblings growing up, you know that there are times when kids don’t get along. Since each of us is gifted differently, there are bound to be issues. For instance, the musically inclined may wish they were athletic and visa versa. Perhaps the oldest (or the youngest) gets more attention. It’s when jealousy gets so overpowering that it can be dangerous.

In our Biblical account, the jealousy turned deadly. We’re not told why Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t accepted, but that was a big deal for him. We did hear that Abel brought “choice” lambs from the “best” of his flock for his sacrifice. It didn’t say Cain’s was bad, but it didn’t indicate it was his “best” stuff. God could clearly see the heart. In Cain’s despair, God cautioned him, “Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Obviously, Cain was not able or willing to be a master over this evil. Continue reading “Genesis 4:1-16 – Jealousy”

Genesis 2:25-3:25 – It’s Not My Fault!

Read Genesis 2:25-3:25

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve read this Bible account of the first sin. The sin that forever changed it all. I’m trying to read it with fresh eyes so that new understanding might shine through. How about you? Were there any new revelations that spoke to you?

I like how Satan uses an already “crafty” animal to do his bidding. The serpent or snake, and this one even speaks. Satan uses temptation to lure Eve into his trap. We, too, face temptations every day. The first step is to look. When we see the temptation before us, it is all the harder to turn away and avoid it. So while just seeing the temptation is not a sin, it very soon becomes sin when we take the next step and take it or do it. After all, it “looks good” at first. Then because we feel a little guilty, we get someone else to come along with us down trouble lane. Continue reading “Genesis 2:25-3:25 – It’s Not My Fault!”

Genesis 2:4-25 – Adam’s Story Begins

Read Genesis 2:4-25

Chapter 2 is almost like a second creation story with the focus on Adam, the first human. It can be a little confusing at first when you read about there being no one to cultivate the land when we just read in Chapter 1 that God created man and woman. This account gives a little more detail to the creation of man and what I love here is that God “breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” Think of it. We are filled with the breath of God.

The term “ruach” which means breath, wind or spirit, is the term used here for breath. We are set apart in this way from the other animals who were given life, but not the spirit of God inside. How does it make you feel to know you have God’s breath in you? Our bodies truly are a living temple for God.

I got a little caught up on the whole geography lesson of the garden in this text trying to find it on a map. Of course, I’d heard of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The other two were a mystery to me. As it turns out, I am not the first to be curious, and there is no real agreement on where the Garden of Eden may have been. But, the fact that two of the four rivers still exist was a pretty cool fact to me. Again, we need to be careful to never get so caught up in the “details” that we miss the message.

So what is God saying to you today through this creation story? For me, I am thankful for the degree to which we can make our own choices. In fact, I am feeling more and more inspired to be obedient lately. There have been too many times in my life I have made it through on my own, only to look back and realize I was never alone. God was always beside me. Did he let me take my own path? Yes, and sometimes my way wasn’t always the best choice. It’s when I stop and let God guide my path that I have had clarity and confidence in what I am doing.

I learned long ago that to force something to happen isn’t the best way. If it was God’s direction for me, there would be no force involved, it would be an open path, like the taking the yellow brick road. I need to remind myself daily (maybe hourly) who is in charge and to wait on God. I may want answers now, but God’s timing isn’t always the same as mine. His is perfect though.

God gave Adam great responsibility to care for the garden, just as he has given us responsibilities within our sphere of influence. Take a moment to reflect on the what responsibilities you have. Are you being a good steward?

Finally, God made the perfect companion for Adam, a woman. Even Adam seemed pretty excited by her. After seeing the other animals of the creation God paraded past him as his soul mate, none really fit for him. He exclaimed, “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!” He would no longer be alone with all of the other animals. He had a workmate, a play mate, and a soul mate at last. God intends for us to each find that perfect fit for us. I have been blessed in this way and thank God every day.

Thank God today for all of the beauty in creation and ask him to help you with your responsibilities.

Let’s pray. Lord, I do thank you for the beauty that surrounds me. Each flowering bush, each creepy creature, the breeze, the birds chirping. Your creation is to be enjoyed and treasured. Help us as a society to take better care of what you have given us. I thank you, too, for the choices you have given me. I ask that you give me the wisdom I need to discern your will for my life. Help us find the perfect  home you have waiting for us. Help our business to reach more and more people giving us the opportunity to share you and your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Genesis 2:1-4 – All Done – Now Relax!

Read Genesis 2:1-4

As you read yesterday’s account of creation, you’ll note I stopped with Day 6. That’s where Chapter 1 ended, and it seemed a good place to stop. Today the focus is on Day 7, the day God rested. He declared that day holy. God intends for his people to do the same. Work their tails off for 6 days, and then spend time getting refreshed on the 7th day, the holy day.

You may recall in Hebrews, we spent time looking at rest in THIS POST. There are other places in the Bible, too, that remind us what God intends for us. I love when Scripture points to Scripture. You know that it is something to pay attention to. Continue reading “Genesis 2:1-4 – All Done – Now Relax!”

Genesis 1:1-31 – In the Beginning. . .

Read Genesis 1:1-31

I am really excited about starting this book of the Bible with you. It is where it all began. We will encounter stories that are familiar, and the task will be to meet them as if for the first time. God’s word is alive, and we need to let it speak to us in new ways each time we read it. The Old Testament has a beauty and charm of its own, and after spending a lot of time in the writings of Paul and other early church leaders, it will be a good challenge for all of us to go back to our roots, to the beginning.

What struck you upon reading this account of creation? Did something new come to the surface for you? Clear your mind and reread the passage and let God’s spirit move through you. Continue reading “Genesis 1:1-31 – In the Beginning. . .”