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Posts Tagged ‘Old Testament’

As we mentioned in the last post, the book of Genesis, is a book of origins or beginnings.  We found many origins or “firsts” in Chapter 1, but there are more to be found in Chapter 2:

Verse 7 – First record of rest

Verse 8 – First garden

Verse 9 – First record of Tree of Life and Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Verse 10 – First record of a river

Verse 11 – First record of a job (Adam was to tend and keep the garden)

Verse 16 – First record of God giving a command to Adam.

Verse 20 – Origin of the names of animals

Verse 21 – First surgery

Verse 22 – First woman

Verse 23 – First words of Adam

Verse 24 – First Marriage

Verse 25 – First husband and wife to wear matching outfits

If I missed one, post a comment and let me know.

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According to Dr. Henry M. Morris, in his book The Genesis Record, the following are some of the origins that are given in the book of Genesis:

  • Origin of the Universe
  • Origin of order and complexity
  • Origin of the solar system
  • Origin of the atmosphere and hydrosphere
  • Origin of life
  • Origin of man
  • Origin of marriage
  • Origin of evil
  • Origin of language
  • Origin of government
  • Origin of culture
  • Origin of nations
  • Origin of religion
  • Origin of the chosen people

As you are reading through Genesis, consider what God says about these various subjects.

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Easter is easy to locate in Leviticus . . . just follow the blood.  If you have read through the Bible, you may remember Leviticus as one of the more challenging books to get through.

In a chapter near the middle of the book, we find out the purpose of all the blood-letting and sacrifice outlined in Leviticus and other books of the law.  Leviticus 17:11 says, ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

The statement, “for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” is a center piece of God’s plan for salvation.  Atonement is defined by dictionary.com as “satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.”  Had we been alive when sacrifices were being offered in the Tabernacle or the Temple, we would have seen blood flowing from the altar and out of the place of worship.  Blood (the sacrifice of life that it represents) and worship are intertwined and inseparable in the Bible.  For the worshiper to be able to meet God, it took a lot of spilled blood and the loss of at least one animal’s life.

Formula for meeting with God:

Prepare for worship = spill blood (give up life)

The picture of the sacrifice with the blood spilling out to atone for the sin of the one seeking to approach God was a picture of what was to come when God sent His only Son to be the perfect and final sacrifice.  .

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But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.   1 Peter 2:9

high priest

Peter, for all his awkwardness during the earthly ministry of Jesus, definitely pulled things together when he wrote his epistles.  This verse in his first epistle is just marvelous.  The whole section in 1 Peter 2 is worth an in-depth study.  The mention of us (the church) being a priesthood is especially interesting given its very “Jewish”  flavor.

Of course, there is nothing new under the sun and Peter lifted this imagery, probably very intentionally, from Exodus  19:5-6 where Moses is given this to tell the children of Israel by God:

 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

A couple of quick observations:

  • Priests in the Old Testament had privileges that no other member of the society Israel, namely they were the only ones with access to God and the only ones allowed to make sacrifices to God
  • The limited access to God of the Old Testament was represented by the separations in the Tabernacle (Gate, Court, Holy Place, Most Holy Place) and later the temple.  The veil represented the separation between God and man.  Only the High Priest could go past the veil into the Most Holy Place and then only once a year to make atonement for the people
  • When Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn and the separation between God and man was removed
  • We have access to God by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross
Peter reminds us from whence we have come:  who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.  1 Peter 2:10  It is good news!

As a final thought, let us consider our purpose as this “chosen generation,”  “this royal priesthood,” and “this holy nation.”  For Peter does tell us the why:  “that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  1 Peter 2:9

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Don’t look so surprised.  Genesis is not some lofty preamble to the Bible, but rather it is its spine, giving support and reinforcement for many of the later events which are recorded in other books of the Bible.

In Luke 1, starting in verse 26, we read of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary and announcement of God’s plan for her life, a plan that would be the salvation of all.  In the exchange between Mary and Gabriel regarding this baby that she was to bear, we see a glimpse of Genesis 1.

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.”  Luke 1:34-35

In Genesis 1:2, we read “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”    Just before He created the world, God hovered.  Then in a moment, God spoke and the world was created.  It was His glory shown forth.

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

And so it was with Mary.  The Holy Spirit came upon her, the power of the Highest overshadowed her and the glory of God was once more shown forth.  God became man.  The Christ was born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, and a Great Light came to those in darkness.  Promises kept.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.  1 Timothy 3:16

Jesus is the glory of God shown forth.  It was the glory of God to not spare His own son, but deliver Him up for us all that we might have the chance to know God, to fellowship with God, to live in the glory of God forever.

The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.  Revelation 21:23

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Two mountains which figure prominently in the Bible when taken together, represent the character of God.  One mountain is characterized  by a consuming fire.  On that mountain, God displayed His judgment and His holiness.  The other mountain is characterized by blood and sacrifice.  On that mountain, God displayed His consuming love and mercy.

Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai is the backdrop for Israel’s receipt of the Law.  The mountain is where God met Moses and is primarily characterized by fire:

  • Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.  Exodus 19:18
  •  The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.  Exodus 24:17
  • Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness.  Deuteronomy 4:11
  •  The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.  Deuteronomy 5:4
  •  Then the LORD delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.  Deuteronomy 9:10
Mount Zion
The other mountain is Mount Zion (found within the land given to the tribe of Judah).   Mt. Zion was sometimes called The City of David, and descriptions of Mt. Zion paint a very different picture from those describing Mt. Sinai:
  • Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed-This Mount Zion where You have dwelt.  Psalm 74:2
  • But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.  Psalm 78:68
  •  Those who trust in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.  Psalm 125:1
  • And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.  Joel 2:32
  • Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.  Revelation 14:1

Paul makes the case for the two mountains in his letter to the Hebrews:

For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. . . . And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.  

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”  Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.   Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.  Hebrews 12:18-29

It is the same God of both mountains, so we should keep both mountains in view:

  • one where God laid down His law, a place of judgment.
  • one where God laid down His life, a perfect sacrifice, a place of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.
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The LORD promises that with His love He will quiet us.  In Zephaniah 3:17, the prophet tells us, “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

The picture is perhaps of the child who buries her face in the bosom of a parent; the small body shaking with sobs.  The parent speaks soft words, sings gentle songs of reassurance until the sobbing subsides.

This is a picture of our Heavenly Father.  He will hold you to His bosom as you pour out your sorrow, your fear, your loss, your frustration, or whatever is stealing your “quiet.”  In that moment, He whispers to you of His great love for you.  Knowing of His love, being reminded again of how much He loves you, all His promises to you, you become quiet.  He has quieted you with His love.

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