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"Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling."(Ps 2:10)

Reading this line reminded me of a wonderful sermon recently delivered by Fr Jeff Wilborn. In relating the theological analogy that CS Lewis wove in The Chronicles of Narnia, he quoted a dialogue between the children regarding Aslan, the Christ figure. One child asked if Aslan is Safe. The child responds that surely cannot be considered Safe. He is, however, Good.
Good, indeed!

One more reflection on Cain and Abel, and it's regarding expectations. Cain expected his offering to be accepted by the Lord but it was not. There are many times I've found myself disappointed when I expected God to do things in my life (like cure my father's cancer) that didn't happen. The truth is that the Lord's ways are so far beyond my comprehension that I can't possibly begin to sense or see them. What is important is that I respond humbly and faithfully, and continue to trust that His ways are way better and bigger than my own!

Monday January 2nd 2006

Genesis 3:1-4:26

Since there are sooooooo many participants on the Blog this year, I have made a resolution only to concentrate on one section of the Bible this year when I post instead of posting looong diatribes. This year I will concentrate on the Old Testament readings and then focus on the New Testament and Psalms and Proverbs in the years to come.


The verse that really caught my eye this go round was verse one in the third chapter:

NOW THE serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? [Rev. 12:9-11.]
(Genesis 3:1 AMP)

Pride gets us into trouble every time. When our pride is kept under submission, we will not fall into the trap of trying to answer the question, “Can it really be that God has said…” We don’t have to see an actual snake or a guy dressed up in a red suit, pitchfork and a bifurcated appendage to get into trouble. In an attempt to appear all knowing and not left out of the loop, the woman went to a dangerous place, she tried to prove to someone else how close she really was to God.

If I really evaluate my life in truth and study the wrong choices I’ve made they were always made under the threat of appearing to be something than what I truly was. The woman needed to prove who she was to the devil and in reality to herself that she was important to God and that she was in the “know”. Did she know the difference between “good” and “evil”? Since everything God made was good, including them, why was she, they, trying to prove they knew what evil was when there was nothing in their experiential understanding that said, “This is bad.”

My desire is to clearly understand who I am in Christ and know in my knowing that what God has said is what is and not what someone or something else says I am.
God should be the one telling me who I am and not man. We are reading through the Bible to find out who and what God says we are and what He has done for us. May we all have ears to hear and eyes to see His Truth.


Grace and peace,
Ramona

I have always been inspired by a picture of the salvation story I see wrapped up in Genesis 3, around the Fall of Man. I think I may have posted about it this time last year too.

Firstly, Genesis 3:10, Adam and Eve are hiding themselves because they are naked, and this is the shame because of their sin - compare Genesis 2:25 and 3:7. I am fascinated by how Adam and Eve sew fig leaves together to cover their nakedness (their shame) and how they try to hide themselves. This reminds me of what we, as humans try to do until we reach out and accept God's grace; even in the church we try to earn our way back, our own works, our own attempts at getting over our sin and shame. It's almost humorous how Adam and Eve think they will keep it hidden from God when he comes walking through, but of course God sees everything (Genesis 3:11). How amazing and how loving that He still wants us, even in our sin.

In light of all this, Genesis 3:21, God makes the first blood sacrifice - garments of skin - and this reminds me of the eternal sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for all of us, atoning for us. Again another reminder in Genesis 3:24 - God stations the cherubim and flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life. We can't get to the tree and to eternal life by ourselves - nor can we even find it. There is one way and one way only, and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Hallelujah!

Thomas.

Hi from Australia.
I am reading the One Year bible for the 3rd time this year. A friend from the Christian rooms on Paltalk, told me all about the One Year Bible and I was so excited to have a disciplined format, where I could read the whole bible, cover to cover in a year. Each year I get a deeper and more revelational understanding of God's plan for mankind. I have grown more in my understanding the last 2 years than ever in all the 27 years of my Chrisitan walk.
Thanks to the author of this site who encourages us all, God bless,
Deborah.

Another wonderful day of reading. The verse today that caught my eye was vs 7 of Proverbs Chapter 1. Looking back over my life, I defintely see that the times I was most foolish was those times that I did not "fear" the Lord while making my lifes decisions.

I'm excited about going through the One Year Bible with all of you this year.

I was struck in today's reading with Genesis 3:5. The serpent was, and still is, wise on what would entice us humans. He suggested that "you will be like God, knowing good and evil." It seems that so often this is the root of sin, at least for me. I want to be like God, I want to have ultimate authority, I want to be in control. This verse is a good reminder to me that this is a lie of the devil.

I continue to be intrigued by Psalm 2. Each year our nation tries to erase a little bit of God from our country. We are now cautioned against saying Merry Christmas because it may be found offensive to some. Psalm 2 puts this into perspective for me. As the world tries to break free from the truth of Christ; God is still in control and his Son is still on the throne. Being a public high school teacher these words bring comfort and strength to me and I hope to you as well.

I'm very excited about joining you all this year as we all go through the one year bible.

I won't share everyday, but when I can I will.

Genesis is a great book of FIRSTS, among them are the FIRST mention of:

Trinity - 1:26
Fear - 3:1
Messiah – 3:15
Sacrifice of animal - 3:21
Murder - 4:8
Just to mention a few.

Our Matthew reading:
First I would like to say Matthew is so exciting for the MANY old testament references referred to and fulfilled in Jesus.

ALSO
The Old Testament, written over a 1,000 year period, contains over 300 references to the coming Messiah. All of these were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and they established a solid confirmation of His credentials as the Messiah.

Many of the prophecies concerning the messiah were totally beyond human control:

Birth: Place, time, manner of.

Death: Peoples reactions, piercing of side, burial

Resurrection: Where did His body go?

The chance of any one man fulfilling all of 48 prophecies is one in 10 to the 157 power. The electron is about as small an object as we can imagine. if we had a cubic inch of these electrons and tried to count them, it would take us (at 250 per minute) 19,000 time 19,000 time 19,000 years to count them. Now mark one of them, and thoroughly stir it into the whole mass. What chance does our blindfolded man have of finding the right electron? --- The same chance as one man of fulfilling 48 of the prophecies about Christ, without being the Son of God!

Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophecy written about the coming Messiah --- over three hundred of them! Would that have been possible had He not been the Son of God?

Also love having a daily reading from Psalms and Proverbs.

Have a blessed year reading the Bible together.

Pastor Jim (www.biblefood.org)

Question regarding Cain in Genesis 4. It says that Cain "lay with his wife" (NIV). Then in Genesis 4:25 it is mentioned that Adam and Eve have another child, Seth. So are we to believe that God created other humans apart from Adam and Eve (not mentioned) or that Adam and Eve had a daughter (not mentioned) that Cain married?

Just wanted to let you know that I'm on my second time through the Bible with you. Thanks for doing this! God bless!

Answer to own question:
Didn't do my research before posting. Apparently

- Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters ("Be fruitful, and multiply" (Genesis 1:28) and (Genesis 5:4 "And the days of Adam after he had fathered Seth were eight hundred years. And he fathered sons and daughters." No mention as to _when_ these sons and daughters were born)

-Cain was afraid "they" would kill him for killing Abel (who other than relatives would have any interest in doing this?)

-Further .. there are good explenations as to why borther-sister marriages where ok back then (gene pool no cluttered back then etc.) Not saying it's ok now though! Forbidden by God 400 years later in the laws given to Moses (gene pool probably cluttered by then .. as I see it, something caused by the Fall, as in everything was perfect before the Fall and everything has slowly deteriorated since then)

So there, there is plenty more material on the subject but I rest my case with this :)

Here's a good link on the subject: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c004.html

K-E - Thanks! I love it when people answer their own questions like this. :) I actually really love it when folks get involved in the Bible text, like you just did, and do some further study! That is actively engaging God's Word, which is a beautiful thing.

I will try to answer folks questions each day, but it can get tough to do w/ my overall schedule sometimes. I do know there are Pastors and others that know the Bible well participating with us, so please post up your thoughts / answers to others questions in these Comments when you can? Thanks in advance!

Thanks to everyone for all the Comments you are posting up each day! This is wonderful!

Mike

As always while reading Genesis 3, I wonder about the presence of the Devil. Why would God allow the Devil into Eden in the first place? If God is the creator of everything, does it mean the Devil was created by God too? If so, does this mean God had planned for the original sin to take place?

Today, I seem to have found an answer. Adam and Eve committed the original sin not because God planned it to be that way, but because God had given them free will. Having created human beings in the image of Himself, it makes sense that God would allow human beings free will as well. And free will is not something you can give in varying degrees! We lack the infinite knowledge that the Lord has, so with free will we are bound to make mistakes. So why would God give us something as risky as free will? I think it's so that when we do good, our actions are really worth something. If we were created with the ability to do only good, what value is there in us doing good?

With regards to the Devil. I think the Devil's existence is a corollary of God's creation. Recall in Genesis 1, God saw that his creations was GOOD. 'Good' would be an empty concept without 'bad'. I think we are all the more grateful for God's goodness and greatness precisely because we are well aware of the ill-intentions of the Devil.

best,
Kristy

I am reminded again in Genesis the attractiveness of sin. It has an allure...it promises something, but delivers a lie. It causes a discontentment, but truely our contentment can only be found in obedience to a loving God. When we sin, are we not questioning the veracity of God? The sin was not eating the fruit, the sin was disobeying and not believing God's words. This year, my prayer is that I will choose to believe God, who He is, and what He says and not fall for the empty promises Satan proposes daily.

Betty, you reminded me of the following,

"This is the heart of the concept of sin: sin is not only committing what is forbidden by God, but refusing to do what is commanded by God."
-Godless Morality, by Richard Holloway

Betty and Kristy .. very well put!

I wanted to say I am really enjoying the daily Bible readings and the comments the daily blog has. I can see how much effort has gone into this. Thanks! Also, is there a reason we read Old and New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs in that order? Why not just go through Old Testament readings then New? I am curious.

Kristy,
Thanks for your free will comments. I also feel that without free will we would be unable to choose God/Jesus as our savior. If we didn't have free will, it doesn't seem that we would be able to give God our love freely.

Genesis 3:6 stands out to me today. "...She also gave some to her husband, who was with her." I used to question why Adam was the Father of sin. Someone pointed out that Adam knew God's command, Genesis 2:16-17 - Adam is given the warning from God before Eve is even in the picture, but just sat watching; doing nothing to stop Eve. He let her do the dirty work. How often do we sit by and do nothing.

Betsy - good question on why we're reading OT, NT, Psalms, Proverbs each day. Basically it's just one of many ways to read through the Bible. Tyndale House Publishers came up w/ this format 25 years or so ago (I believe), and it's a very popular format. Some folks don't like this format - and prefer to go through the Bible chronologically - every book of the OT, then NT, straight through book by book. That's a good way to go too. Personally, I've found this mix of OT, NT, Psalms & Proverbs to be the best way for me to personally make it through the Bible in a year. I'm not sure I'd do well w/ the Chronological format. But many do. Bottom line - it's personal preference. This One Year Bible format works well for many - Chronological works well for many too. And there's a bunch of other format options out there too. This blog will be following the OYB format, but you may be able to find blogs following other formats too. Hope this helps!

Mike

I’m going to throw something in this discussion if only to stimulate thought regarding the devil and evil as per Kristy’s question,>

Yesterday we read:

28God blessed them and told them, "Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals." (Genesis 1)


Subdue: 1 : to conquer and bring into subjection : VANQUISH
2 : to bring under control especially by an exertion of the will (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

I believe evil was always around. It was around in Genesis 1:1 and it was certainly around when God placed man in the Garden. Why would man be given the mandate to “subdue” his surroundings unless the environment had to be brought under and kept in control?

Just something to make you go “Hmmmm!”

Grace and Peace,
Ramona

God created man in His image and likeness. Free will is a part of God's image and likeness. Therefore when Adam and Eve were created, they were people with free will. Luke 3:38 says, Adam was God's son. The Heavenly Father loved His son Adam and gave him authority over the earth. Satan being an immortal being had acess to the earth. God did not prevent Satn from approching Adam. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. It would be against God's charactor to seclude Adam, a man created with free will, from Satan and his temptations, eventhough God knew Satan may (will) tempt Adam. God wanted Adam to use His freewill and reject Satan. But Adam did not.

God is infallable. Man is fallable. Man in his free will chose to fall, thus Adam became a sinner and through Adam all mankind sinned and come short of the glory of God..

Re Kristy's question about why God would take such a risk in giving us free will - I think part of the answer is that without free will it is not possible to have real relationships. God intended that we should be in relationship with Him, so He created us with free will. Otherwise it would be like having a relationship with a robot. I guess a really good robot could simulate a relationship up to a point - but at the end of the day, without free will on both sides it is not a real person to person relationship.

I agree with Andrew about us all being a bunch of robots without free will. I was also thinking maybe we have free will because we were made in God's image and He has free will.

Also in response to Pastor Jim's list of firsts in Genesis. It is also the first recording of passing the buck!

Final note, I have read Genesis several times (attempting to read the Bible cover to cover), and I never made the connection with the serpent and man crushing its head with Jesus crushing Satan. Isn't it great that you can read something over and over and keep learning something new, or something different grabs you?

God bless!

Hey Everyone 

I'm excited about this year ahead for many reasons... God is doing amazing things in my home church, Soul Survivor Watford. I sense he is stirring things up, and shaking the foundations. Not only in the life of the church but in my own life too. I have a nervous but excited expectancy, so for me I think that deciding to walk a daily bible reading journey with you guys will be a flagstone in my walk with God this year.

Anyway getting to the scripture now…

One of the things that has blown me away from yesterdays read... (Sorry I didn't post this yesterday) ...is noticing that FIVE WOMEN make it into the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew;

Tamar – Rahab – Ruth – Bathsheba – Mary

Not only that they are women and how exciting to see that God used them powerfully (against the norm of culture and society in those days), but that these were women with such broken lives, and how God not only used them powerfully and uniquely but that he valued them so much and deemed their value to be so great that they appear in the genealogy of Jesus. When so many women suffer with low self-esteem and struggle to believe in the love that God has for them the acknowledgement of these five ladies is powerful and offers such an encouragement to the ladies.

The second verse that I often dwell on appeared in todays reading…

“He said to me ‘You are my Son (Daughter); today I have become your father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession” (Psalm 2:7-8)

Being so passionate about the nations, this for me is something that I hold onto in crying out to God for the nations, I long to see all nations changed, but I hold some countries in my heart Brasil, Cambodia, Thailand, India (maybe more as I walk this journey).

Here’s to the heights and the valleys of 2006 – God Bless, Sj 

PS If any of you are on MSN messenger and wish to chat please mail me on [email protected] It will be good to encourage each other :)

There are times that I have really wondered about Cain and his truly unjustified rage. But, oddly enough, if we look very closely, we see this sad state in much fo our society. Insted of taking the time to correct a mistake, harming someone else is done. I just thought that was interesting. Wonderful day of reading. Happy New Year to all!

All four readings today highlight the need for wisdom. In Genesis, wisdom was one of the key temptations of Eve. In Matthew, Joseph exhibited wisdom in hearing and listening to God's voice in saving God's Son and then in returning to Israel. In both Psalms and Proverbs, wisdom is defined as fearing God, worshiping him, and obediently hearing him.

The need for wisdom is from the beginning. It predates humanity's decision to follow itself rather than God. The American Heritage Dictionary defines 'wisdom' as "The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting." Hokmah (the term normally translated 'wisdom' in the OT) means, 'skill, shrewdness, prudence.'

I know that for me, decisions (small and large) are the biggest areas of temptation. Wisdom--skillful choosing and living steming from proper respect for God and immersion in his Word--is most needed.

i thoroughly enjoy the pictures that you have found to go along with the scripture readings. they are marvelous!! however, your commentary is extremely poor. what i mean by that is that you read into scripture many things that are not there. two examples: Gen doesn't say this is the devil in disguise also to say polygamy is against God yet give no relevant scripture besides man and woman shall become one, which only implies unity not a commandment against polygamy. please don't misunderstand me. i'm not for polygamy or discount the devil. there are relevant scripture for these but the one's mentioned here are not!!
thanks again for the powerful images..
God bless,

rev slick

Hi Rev. Slick. I must confess - I do often go off on "tangents" on various things I am thinking about on this blog based on what we might read on a particular day. If you are looking for straight Biblical exegesis, I do highly recommend Zondervan's NIV Study Bible. It's world class with straight exegesis and references to supporting scripture. I am glad you enjoy the pictures!

Grace,
Mike

I must have read Genesis 1-4 more times than I can remember, but I still find it fascinating each time. The Bible never gets old to me, and this One-Year Bible study is going to help increase my discipline and knowledge and faith. I am excited about this study and actually look forward to the time spent in the word of God. I know there will be days when it's harder than others, but that's ok - I will do it anyway with God's help. I thank Him for this opportunity to study along with 'the communion of saints'.

Sorry, Mike. i didn't mean to come down too heavy. ...frustrating day with the kids.
Keep up the great work.
Peace,
rev. slick

Hi Everybody I think it is awesome that this blog is read by people all over the world. I pray that we will grow together in Gods amazing grace and knowledge as we read and share the daily readings. May God richly bless you all!!!

Thanks Rev. Slick. I do worry sometimes on how far out I go on my tangents - or how silly I might get with a picture or two. But I think it overall encourages folks to actually read the Bible each day and think about how it applies to our lives. But if ever I'm too out on a theological limb, feel free to reign me back in. :) -Mike

Mike,
Thank you so much for such an awesome site. I have tried the one year Bible before and I usually make it to about Exodus and begin falling behind. This site helps me to get excited about my Bible time and time with the Lord. Also, your thoughts, comments and interation with others is very much respectable and appreciated. God has used you in a mighty way and I am excited about this learning and growth adventure in 2006. Thank You & Praise the Lord!!

why didn't God look with favor on Cain's offering? Commentaries I've read suggest that Cain's offering was a careless or thoughtless offering whereas Abel's offering was a choice or generous offering.----- My comments:
Keep this in mind as we study the sanctuary in Exodus and onward. The sanctuary and its services are so often ignored, but show the whole plan of salvation! The slain lamb represents Jesus, who died for us. Thus, I suspect that once sin entered, God showed, by example what would happen to Jesus - that our sins would kill Him. As a reminder of what He would do, and of what sin would do, I think God instructed the first family to slay a lamb for their sins. --it would certainly make me think before doing something I believed was sin! If such was the case, then Abel did as he might have been instructed, and Cain, with his own self-justification, decided it really didn't matter what was brought to God's altar. Thus his sin and God's displeasure.

I still can't get over the power of the spoken word of Jesus in Matthew 4. I wish it was that easy for us today to get workers. I guess that just goes to show you that we aren't God!

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