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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.

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 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.

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

Reading this line reminded me of a wonderful sermon recently delivered. 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!

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?

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.

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!

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.

Many thanks Mike for your faith,enthusiasm and hard work bringing these emails to us.I did the daily readings in 2006 and have been incredibly blessed even though I didn't put in as much effort as I should have. I am so excited to have read the bible right through even though a lot went 'over my head.'I am so looking forward to this year and just the first days readings have bought a new depth of understanding.I know I shall spend the rest of my life reading Gods word and I know he will reveal himself as and when he knows I am ready.May he bless you and all those following his word abundantly.

As I read the title of the OT passage my heart sank...the fall of man.Many thoughts and questions ran through my head last year,how come Israel didn't know Jesus was the Messiah,it seemed so clear,why are people pulling out of churches,why is God's word sounding so much different these days in different churches.Here in Romania,a person who is seen/heard to be reading the bible is considered to be of a different religion apart from the "true"state religion;greek orthodox.
First of all Eve wasn't there when God told Adam not to eat from the tree of life,that didn't exempt her from the law.She was supposed to listen to Adam to whom God gave the law...Adam was silent.
From one act of disobedience,sin abounded.Cain killed Abel,Lamech 4 generations later killed two people...I'm sure the older generations are appalled at what's going on today...and sin increases.
Mathew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Last year as I looked through the church history,I noticed how our early"church fathers"began to turn away from God's law...soon enough the doctrine"God's so gracious that you don't need to be Holy"began.Cain inspite of his sins did get a warning from God"And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, (AM)but you must master it." He went on ahead to sin.I believe we need to be aware that we need to meditate on God's law day and night to be firmly planted....May God be with us all during these days for surely we can see how hard it is to love God and love one another because most of us are burning candles at both ends,time seems shorter,challenges at work/home increase all the time...
God bless you all

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

Wow! Even in their sin, God provided for Adam and Eve. He must truly be a loving God!

One Day late:)
roll-call questions
1) finished reading bible for the first time last year. Only was able to do research until October when computer crashed and workload tripled.

2)goal: to examine bible this year in terms of man's relationship with God, and to pursue a thread of thought from Genesis to Revelations of having to rely, trust in, and depend on God and how that links with salvation.

3)Finish above and be able to research Oct--Dec. readings.

5)Romans

6)I have about 2,000 emails to go through (tomorrow :(), so if you wrote me - I will get back to you. Accepted Jesus Christ 2 1/2 years ago at the age of 48.
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I am not going to be as exhaustive in commenting as last year :). Will be doing more quick hits and food for thought. Email me at link if something I say interests you.
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Quick hits on 1/01/07 readings:

Gen1&2
I see the Bible as the story of God's relationship with man - how it was broken, and God's plan to restore that relationship and how the story ends.

Genesis 1 is then, to me, a prologue. Setting the scene. It is not meant to be an exhaustive explanation of creation. If you want to explore creation theory, as opposed to what the press and science textbooks say - I suggest:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/
There are plenty of articles and question and answer sections. Articles range from technical, to semi-technical, to basic.

It is enough for me to know that everything began with God's spoken Word, and that to read and study His word is important to a Christian.

"Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,..."

'our image and likeness' - a backing of the trinity concept

God is a spirit - so what gives? I think God views not our physical bodies but our PERSONHOOD. That is what is eternal - whether condemned or saved.

What is unique in our Personhood, as the highest order created by God, from the rest of Creation? If the eternal Trinity loved, communicated, possessed knowledge, had morality, creativity, etc., I think these are examples of what God is getting at when it is said - we are created in His image and likeness.

[Morality: This is why a great many non-believers can do good and loving acts, it is inherant in our personhood. You do not have to believe in God or accept Christ as your Savior to be inclined to do good.]

The Trinity was in a relationship eternally, and I think that a human's need for relationship is a reflection of the personhood created by God. We will not be completely satisified in our relationships until we have re-established a relationship with God. It can be done, but on his terms - not ours :) An article and a sermon regarding image and likeness at these links.
http://home.att.net/~jamspsu84/ttocimage.html
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/90-218.htm

Genesis 2:
With the backdrop set, the story of God's realationshp with man begins. Boundries are set (command regarding the tree) and a helper is provided.

Gen1:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone..." Underscoring again the need for relationships.
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Matthew 1&2

Genealogy of Jesus: This is Joseph's genealogy and it underscores why it HAD TO BE a virgin birth.

Matt1:12 12After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,

As we will find out in Jeremiah 22, Jeconiah is cursed and no descendant of his will sit on David's throne.

Joseph's seed could not mingle with Mary. However, Jesus as Joseph's oldest (adopted) son had all the legal rights to the throne. (By Jewish Law). That is what Matthew is intending to establish as his gospel is written for the Jewish nation. Israel is wating for a bona-fide king and Matthew is providing the background check (here) :)

Ain't God grand? He not only had a solution for the problem of Jeconiah, but he allowed it to be foretold centuries before Jesus' birth.

As to those who do not believe in "virgin birth" idea - I guess the question is: Are you saying God could not perform that kind of birth????

Magi: "At the time of Christ in the eastern empire, there was a ruling body called the Megistanes, who would be similar in function to the United States Senate. It was totally composed of Magi who had the right of absolute choice for the selection of a king. They were king-makers....When the Magi arrived in Jerusalem asking for the whereabouts of the new king that had been born, Herod got panicky, knowing that those Persian king-makers had come to find their king."
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/sg2182.htm

If Herod was so troubled why did he not just get rid of the magi - the way he did all the 2 and under babies?

Probably because the magi came in a caravan with bodyguards etc. There is nothing to indicate there were only three magi in the bible (that is extra-biblical).

I think it is interesting to ponder the concept that Daniel was so loyal and obediant to God during the Babylonian captivity that he may have caused some of the Babylonian magi to become believers in the God of Israel through his lifestyle testimony.

Contrary to manger scenes - the magi came to (in the Greek) - a "house" indicating that it was a time past the birth of Christ as Joseph and Mary had settled in Bethlehem.

The magi gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I think they may also have symbolized a Gentile acknowledgment of Christ's birth?????

Gold - for kings
Frankincense - for deity. Exodus 30:34-38 tells us that the incense was for God, not the people.
Myrrh - was the gift that spoke of Christ's mortality, since it was used to embalm the bodies of the dead.

The magi left a different way due to a message from God - God always is in control. He has and will always thwart the plans of his adversary(ies) regarding his Will and plan for mankind.


THE SERPENT

For those bothered with the story of a serpent deceiving Eve. A repost from last year:

Some people have trouble with a talking serpant (snake) deceiving Eve in the garden. Me too, I just accepted it as something I could not understand. Then I picked up a copy of Bullinger's "Companion Bible". Bullinger breaks down Hebrew and Greek text to the minutest detail. He seems to know the forms of literature, differing styles, words and their roots, construction styles of the passages, etc. He is great on Figures of Sppech. Bullinger offers an explanation of Garden scene that seems plausible to me. Let's look at it:

Satan was not a serpent. He came to Eve as an "angel of light". Eve had communed with God. She had seen His glory and light, she was not scared or put off by a "shining being" who spoke well and engaged her in dialogue. This "shining being" deceived Eve, and got her to doubt God's Word.

Oh come on! How did Bullinger come up with this scenario?

Hebrew word for "serpent" is "nachash" and literally, yes, it means serpent or snake. But the root of the word means: "shining whisperer," "shining enchanter."
http://headcoverings-by-devorah.com/HebglossN.html

So Bullinger is saying that instead of using a literal translation of "nachash", one should look at it figuratively using the root. He gives an example of "nachash" used in Numbers 21:8. Bullinger also asserts that Gen3 is in the hebrew literary style of "Intorversion". That the cherubim in the last verse (Gen3:24) must be offset with another similar spirit being in the first verse. If your curiosity is piqued, I encourage you to read the appendix 19 from the "Companion Bible" at this link:
http://www.ovrlnd.com/Teaching/serpentofgen.html

Lest we be too quick to dismiss Bullinger as an over the top micronaalyzer, recall Pauls description of Satan in 2Cor11:14

"And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."

[NOTE: In Genesis 3, it is possible that nachash is used in the verbal form as a noun. If that is the case, the proper translation of hanachash in Genesis 3 would be "the Shining one." This understanding of nachash fits in very well with Paul's description of Satan appearing as an "angel of light" (II Cor. 11:14).]
http://users.aristotle.net/~bhuie/satan.htm

Paul was describing false apostles that were coming to the Corinthians as servents of righteousness (GOD). Do you not believe this - Satan himself masquerades as an "angel of light".

Where does Paul get this idea of an "angel of light"? It could have been a reference from Job 38:4 (morning stars). But perhaps through Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul knew the story of the Garden and it was the "shining one" before Eve.
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GETTING BACK TO ADAM

Let's assume that Bullinger is correct. If so, then Adam would have known that the "shining one" that deceived Eve was an adversary of God. A good clue was when God cursed the "shining one":).

Adam is intelligent. He would have gotten the symbolism in Gen3 concerning Eve's curse when referencing it back to the seeds of Satan and woman. Some descendant would defeat the "shining one".

Adam's relationship with God was broken, but he had hope that it would be restored due to God's Word. Even if Adam did not "get it all" in Gen3, there is nothing to say Adam did not ask God later. Remember God talked to Cain, so communication was not cut off completely.

When Eve gave birth to Cain, even his name might imply that she thought this would be the "redeemer" - the one to make things right.

Cain - Acquire; to get

Eve said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth (the) man." Gen 4:1
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Ok. I will admit to some different thinking in this theory, but I do not believe it violates Scripture. Just a different way of looking at the garden scene. Just something for people, that have an interest, to chew on :)

Gen 3

Funny how the lies from God's adversary (Satan)have not changed over thousands of years. They are even now reflected in the New Age movement of spirituality.

Gen3:4-5
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

"You will not surely die" - doubt of God's Word. Literal back then, and the Bible today.

"eyes will be opened" - you can gain spiritual enlightenment on your own.

"you will be like God" - pantheism.

"knowing good and evil" - man can determine good and evil without God. Moral relativism.

If nothing else, satan is consistent.

Gen3:21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

(Right on Thomas!)

Atonement in Hebrew (kaphar) means to cover.

So here is the first look at substitutionary death by an innocent victim to provide a garment of covering for an unworthy sinner. God Himself chooses the substitute. God Himself executes the substitute. They didn't ask for it. They didn't participate in it. God did it. He acted in grace towards the sinner. And grace comes in because God initiates the covering; God initiates the satisfaction; God initiates the atonement. - John MacArthur
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/90-247.htm

Just like Adam and Eve had to depend on God - we, as sinners, must also depend on God for our atonement. It is not about anything we can do - but what God's grace and mercy provide for us through Jesus Christ.
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Gen 4

To deb: Why was Cain's sacrifice unacceptable?

Let me add to your thought. I agree that God had communicated what was a proper sacrifice - the shedding of innocent blood. God communicated with Adam after the "fall", and with Cain after the murder of Abel - so there is no reason to think there was no communication inbetween.

Cain could have traded some of his harvest for a lamb (from Abel), but instead he went to God and offered HIS best works - the fruits of HIS toil.

1John3:12
"Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous." NIV

I believe Cain belonged to the evil one before the sacrifice. Cain bought into the lie. Cain believed that he could bring to God - through the sweat of his brow - something as good as the blood of an innocent animal.

Cain did not listen to the Word of God, instead he relied on himself and his works to please God. It did not please God. His actions were evil because Cain did not rely on the Word of God and obey it. Cain was righteous because through faith in God - he did listen and obey.

It is the same with us. The Bible is the Word of God. It clearly states in the gospels that you must believe and receive Jesus Christ to attain eternal life. Yet how many people (who have exposed to the Word of God) continue to insist that they will get to heaven because they are a good person and have done good works in their life. For those people - sadly - the result will be the same as with Cain, except it will be eternal banishment from God.
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Matthew 2&3

Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience. They have been waiting for a king as prophesied in OT. Here, in continuing the gospel, Matthew is pointing out to the Jewish readers that Jesus WAS fulfilling prophecy - Citing Hosea, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. Jesus was and is their King.

If you have trouble with,
"He will be called a Nazarene." not being in the OT. You might look at John MacArthur's sermon here:
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/sg2186.htm



A word on Satan being in the Garden of Eden – Before man was ever created, God gave man the power to rule over everything on earth (Genesis 1:26-27) and that includes Satan! Satan can tempt us but he cannot have power over us unless we give that power to him. We will be tempted by Satan just as Christ was tempted by Satan, but we need to claim the power that was given to us before we were created and use that power to thwart off the temptations of Satan and worldly sinful delights.

A word on Adam and Eve being the first man and woman God created – Adam and Eve INDEED were the first man and woman created by God! About that, there should never be a doubt. However, the scripture does not say they were the only ones created by God. We should not place God in a box and limit His powers. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He can and does perform miracles over, and over, and over. Praise the Lord!

God Bless!
Pat

Thoughts arising from a couple of Mike's questions:

Re: What is your reaction to reading about The Fall in Genesis today?

I am sorry it happened so soon in the story. It would have been nice to hear some more about life in the good times before The Fall. And now we are heading into a year less one day of reading about the troubles and disasters that are consequences of The Fall and about God's efforts to provide us with a means of rescue.

Re: Do you believe Jesus has saved us from The Fall?

Well, it appears that even Jesus cannot turn the clock back. So we are stuck with the aftermath of The Fall. However, He has done something better than saving us. He has shifted us to the next level. He has rescued us from the Law (which was one of God's attempts at salvation). There is a huge difference between life in Christ and life under the law. There is a paradigm shift . Life under the law and life in Christ are different worlds.

"He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross." (Col 2:14 TNIV)

So we are free to live in Christ. We are walking around with the Spirit of God in us. That has massive implications. The Spirit of God, the creator of the universe, dwells in us. The Spirit we read about yesterday in Gen 1:1-2.

"First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss." (The Message)

So that's far more than just saving us from The Fall.

Well, it appears that even Jesus cannot turn the clock back. So we are stuck with the aftermath of The Fall. However, He has done something better than saving us. He has shifted us to the next level. He has rescued us from the Law (which was one of God's attempts at salvation). There is a huge difference between life in Christ and life under the law. There is a paradigm shift . Life under the law and life in Christ are different worlds.

I a bit unclear about "one of God's attempt at salvation"....it would seem that God tried his hand at saving us but failed.
Life under the law as I understood from last years reading had something to do with the atonement of sin....which didn't remove the sin...only covered it....Jesus our High Priest died so that if we do sin,His sacrifice would not just cover the sin but will cleanse it completely if we confess it,giving us access to the father.
I know the law vs grace is a huge topic of dispute and I really pray for clarification on this issue...would welcome any corrections in my line of thinking.
God bless you all

I do believe that fear of God is the beginning of knowledge in my life. I am willing to embrace wisdom and discipline in my life, and see them as my priorities this year.

Who created the devil ? or is the term 'devil' an antomyn? for sin?

I like v.8 "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day". How incredible to think of God walking through the garden. Adam had it all, but blew it big, for all of us! of course he blamed the woman or really God and she blamed the serpent. Its our fallen nature that wants to blame others for our trespasses, including God! they died spiritually when they ate of the fruit! satan is definitely still deceiving today. cant really understand not believing the existence of the devil since i always have (when my sis and i were lil kids, she told me never to wear a necklace or anything around my neck wen i slept or satan would “strangle you in the night”. i believed it for years!)

I know the Screwtape Letters is a good book, i know many who have read it, but its not for everyone. maybe those who dont believe in his existance. I had the book and was reading it years ago and it was messing with my mind. i started thinking about satan, noticing the thoughts he put in my mind and it kinda overrode my listening to the voice of God. the book started really disturbing me, i had to get rid of it. I know the enemy exists, but DONT give him too much attention. we are NOT to battle him, that is God's job! there was a time my dad was studying demonology (my dad is a believer and took part in exorcisms) and was bringing home study tapes and listening to them...i didnt know it, i was young, but my mom told me later. well, at that time weird stuff was happening in our house. my sisters n i heard things, saw things, i wont freak anyone out, keep the FOCUS ON CHRIST! know there is a predator, but don’t dwell on it.

Gen 4:6 stood out "...sin is crouching at your door..." There are often times when the spirit will alert us that sin is at the door. We can chose to yield or obey God. I don’t really understand where all these other ppl came from. Like when Cain was scared he himself would be murdered by others…where did these others come from.? It goes on to say that Eve had Seth to kinda take Abel’s place. So did Eve populate the earth by herself? (I mean with adam’s help). Hmm. Anyone know? My study bible just says the earth was highly populated by that time. I’ll have to pull out the ol’ Dr McGee 10 year bible with commentary.

I always liked John the Baptist too, very cool guy. he loved the Lord, was bold, passionate, took care of business, takes no credit, gives Jesus all the glory.
I love Psalm and proverbs too, but I’ll meditate on those alone, b4 this gets too long. But I love how God is our protector, in this life and more so eternally. no matter wat happens in this life, God does allow bad to happen, but i can be 100% certain i am safe eternally c'bos i belong to the King of Kings! wow...truely amazing!

Re Anka's comment on my phrase "one of God's attempt at salvation":

I am here paraphrasing and compressing my understand of explanations in Eugene Peterson's book "Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places" in the chapter on "Christ Plays in History". It's not that God tried and failed, it is rather God tried and we failed.

Peterson writes about salvation being the main business of history. He shows the patterns of God's offers (may be a better word that "attempts") of salvation. The classic example is the rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. There was also the flood where Noah survived, the giving of the Law, the return from exile in Babylon, the Prophets and, of course, ultimately the crucifixtion and resurrection of Jesus.

So from Peterson I get this picture of God repeatedly finding ways to offer recovery from The Fall.

I have more quotes and thoughts arising from this book at:
http://isthistheway.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/12/notes_for_mierl.html
http://isthistheway.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/09/idolatory_in_wo.html
http://isthistheway.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/08/glorious_realit.html

But best is just to read the book. See LibraryThing for more details at
http://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?work=17090

God wants us to be honest with him all of the time. In Genesis 3 and 4, God asked the same question twice to two different people. Once Adam and Eve and another time to Cain. He asked Adam and Eve, why he couldn't find them when he was calling them. And he asked Cain where his brother was. God knew the answers to those questions even before he ever asked them. God doesn't just want to know what we do, he wants us to confess our actions.

2. I don't find it painfull to read about the fall because it was part of God's plan, I would have done the same thing in that same place.
3.Satan talked the perfect woman, in a perfect place, with a perfect husband into sinning deception is Satan's biggest weapon. How many of us know that we are "Fearfully and Wonderfully made" but the minute someone else we think is better looking is the minute that we clam up and start judgeing our selves.
4. We can do a lot of things one is fill our minds up with the truth, pray and not let world tell us what we should be. Let the one that created us tell us what we should be.

The verse that stood out to me today was Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

I have read this verse so many times since I became a follower of Jesus and it has never hit me the way it did today. The entire message of chapter 4 was like a brick hittiing me on the head. I always wondered why God didn't like Cain's offering but today it hit me that Cain did not give God his best. Alot of times I don't give God my best in many areas of my life. At times I am a slave to mediocrity, and God needs my best... not my average. Then, Like Cain, I get angry with God when something bad happens and I wonder why. God says well....hey if you do what your supposed to do then I will accept what you give to me, but if what you give me is just average then sin will start to creep into your life. We have to master the resistence of sin, and we do so by giving our best to God.

I also love reading the fall of man and the love the part in quote in the blog that says"The devils greatest trick is to make you think that he does not exist". One of my family members is heavily involved in the New Age Religion and she calls herself a polygamorous Christian, she does not believe in sin or hell or the devil, but she does claim to follow Christ. When I was reading the Blog I felt compelled to Pray for her. Would you pray for my sister also?

I am so thankful for this opportunity to fellowship with other believers. God is good!

Genesis 4:7 stood out for me..."If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you but you must master it." (New International Version) - Kind of like what Jenny was saying - we have a choice to make at pretty much every step in our lives. We can either obey God or "obey" ourselves. (I hope it's okay to share this.....)
One of the first things I had to do right after I was saved was make a choice to obey God in a HUGE way! I won't get into all the details, but my husband and I were separated at the time (almost 2 years) and I was "with" someone else (ok...I'll call it what it was...an affair...ie. SIN!). God said repent and go back to your husband! Unlike Joseph...I didn't respond very quickly to His call, but eventually I did choose God over my own desires and my husband and I were reunited...it's been 5 years since that time and God has blessed us abundantly!! Gos is so good!!!

Sinning, I believe for the most part, is a choice...and another of my favorite verses is 1 Cor 10:13 - No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. - It goes back to Genesis 4:7...sin is always going to be around you...Satan will always be tempting you in some way, that's his job! But you have a choice and God will always make a way for you to get out if it...or "master" it like it says in Genesis. Which is why I believe being in God's word every day is so important...so we can hear from God and know when He is telling us to run the other way!!!

Psalm 2:11 is great too..."serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling"...it's a reverential (sp?) fear that we need to have! God is good and faithful - we should be in awe of Him and what he does for us. We should serve Him with a glad heart...because He is God...not to see what we can get out of it.

Ok, I've rambled enough and I must get to work! Blessings to everyone... :0)

I believe that the devil exists in the world.

I actually have the same picture in a church bulletin. :) with the cat and the dogs.

Too bad everyone can't be like John the baptist and just live life like its suppose to be. :)
It isn't painful to hear about the fall, just kind of sad. That we can't live in a perfect world. Although it would of been nice to run around with no clothes on and not have to worry about the worries of life..not to cry..have to lie in the Garden of Eden..how awesome would that be??
Yes, Satan decieves people today and I sent you a msg about that :)
Our remedy from Satan is to have the bible at hand and have Jesus there to protect us every step of the way as well as praying.
Jesus saved us from some of the fall when he died on the cross for our sins..but when we are saved we save our selves from the rest of the way :)

God knows and sees all. We cant hide from God. It is reassuring that God is able to do this.

“Sin wants to destroy you, but don't let it!” I have been struggling lately with the Devil. The Devil has been trying his hardest to get me to listen to the lies he wants to feed me
its so reassuring that God wants me to be strong and not let the Devil have a chance.

Just as Psalms 2:12 tells us “He blesses and protects everyone who runs to him.” I have found this to be true in relation to how I am dealing with those relentless lies from the Devil.
If Satan was able to deceive Adam & Eve back then, do you think he still deceives people today?
Without a doubt its what Im going through at the moment

What is our remedy from the lies and deception Satan might throw our way?
Turn back to God and let our faith rest in Him

OOPS

Cain did not listen to the Word of God, instead he relied on himself and his works to please God. It did not please God. His actions were evil because Cain did not rely on the Word of God and obey it. [Cain] was righteous because through faith in God - he did listen and obey.

Big typo mistake from earlier post today. Should read:

[Abel] was righteous because through faith in God - he did listen and obey.

Lesson learned - never proof-read when you are exhausted :)


What is your reaction to reading about The Fall in Genesis today?

I think of the story of Corrie ten Boom when, at about the age of 8, she was going to Copenhagen with her father and asked him about sex; some of her peers had caused her to be curious. When they arrived at Copenhagen, her father asked her to carry the heavy suitcase with the watchpieces to the station from the train. When she tried to lift the bag she complained that it was too heavy for her; he responded that so was the question she was asking about sex.

Is it painful to read about The Fall after reading about The Creation yesterday?

Oh yes. I believe that is why God tried to protect Adam and Eve from knowledge from the tree of good and evil because I believe He wanted to keep them pure and innocent.

If Satan was able to deceive Adam & Eve back then, do you think he still deceives people today?

Yes, of course. But the more we read the Word of God and the more our minds are renewed and washed through it, I believe the less advantage he has in deceiving us.

What is our remedy from the lies and deception Satan might throw our way?

Memorizing scripture, meditating on the Word of God, getting to know His character and attributes and wanting to please Him and be more like Him.

Do you believe reading and studying God's Word on a daily basis might be one remedy?

Absolutely! I believe in the transforming power of the Word of God; it is the fear--reverence for the Lord -- that is the BEGINNING of knowledge! It changes our worldview to be conformed to Him.

What are some other remedies? (prayer, going to church, being in a small community group with others, etc.?)

All of the above, and I believe teaching is a wonderful way to avoid being deceived. Teaching requires us to KNOW our subject because we will be tested by our students, so we must have a pretty thorough understanding in order to teach.

Do you believe Jesus has saved us from The Fall?

Yes. I believe He was spoken of when scripture talks in Genesis 3:15 of the "seed" of a woman. How many women have "seed?" It is men who have seed, but to me God prophesied the virgin birth that was to come in this verse.

I live in Australia which means that I'm ahead in the reading assignment and it is good to recap reading the comments.

My comments on the second creation story is discernment of God giving us CHOICE.
Having introduced the concept of DICHOTOMY it seems logical to give choice to mankind even at the risk of our rejection of God as the determinant of right from wrong.

In the Fall we would discover our common human condition of choices, self sufficiency, self-centeredness but also a call that will take us beyond ourselves

Do I believe Satan excist and still deceives people? Yes, I absolutely believe that! Satan still tries, he hates it when people get saved by Jesus. And he'll try to change your mind. My remedy is indeed going to church, going an hour early to be at the prayer meeting, share my experiences with other people. Praying and reading the Bible, Gods word, helps me when I'm being attacked by Satan. My Pastors wife became my friend and she's also able to get me through hard times. She's such a loving and wise person, I always learn a lot from her. She's wonderful and whenever I talked to her, I feel so strong again, just what I need.

The Psalms stood out for me today "Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God's royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of your pursuits--for his anger can flare up in an instant. But what joy for all who find protection in him!". I loved reading this! I truly believe that Jesus saved us from the fall. It will not be easy and we all know it's not easy. We'll fall down many times, but He always gives me the strength to hold on. No matter how tough it may get. When I'm going through hard times I listen to "God of Wonders" by Rebecca St James (or is it Natalie Grant?), that song lifts me up and makes me so strong and ... no mountain is too high!!!!

Good Morning to all,

I've been reading the commentary on Matthew by D.B.Wallace, as mentioned by Mike in this week's email.
I have particular trouble with one of Wallace's conclusions - he writes "In 2:16-18 the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem fulfilled the typico-prophecy of Jer 31:15..."

I have a lot of trouble reconciling Jer 31:15 with Mat 2:16-18.
At 1st (and even 2nd and 3rd) glance, I find the link pretty tenuous.

Wallace says that "each OT passage has major interpretive difficulties attached to it - that is, in terms of Matthew's use... Matthew's use of the OT becomes clear: his tendency is to pick passages which are not fully prophetic, but which are typico-prophetic"

I know Wallace is trying to make a point - that Matthew's style is a deliberate means of (1.) establishing Jesus' royal lineage on Earth and (2.)uses the typico-prophesies to anticipate fulfillment of the Messianic role.

But I think that Wallace's use of 2:16-18 to 'prove' the fulfilment of Jer 31:15 is unconvincing.

Any thoughts?
Any other interpretations of Jer 31:15? Any other OT references that could better support Wallace's assertion?

With thanks, Tony

I do believe in the exsistance of the devil. My husband had a conversation the other day with one of his friends where they denied that satan exsisted. My husband was shocked and I reacted the same when he told me about it.
"This Present Darkness" is a great book demonstrating the battle of demons and angels. Where the angels get their power and strength from prayer. It's a great book and I recommend it.

What is your reaction to reading about The Fall in Genesis today? Adam's dual denial of responsibility--"but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it." I had not noticed before that Adam blames both Eve ("the woman") and God for his sin of eating the "fruit" (which, incidentally, was not necessarily an apple.)

Is it painful to read about The Fall after reading about The Creation yesterday? The fact is, I have never lived in a perfect world. Also, I have already learned about the Fall and am living in the world resultant. Had I lived in perfect Eden and been in Adam's position--the first to sin--I would probably feel awful. I also notice that Adam is not directly told here that God will curse future generations because of his sin.

Also, I read: "16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"

If Satan was able to deceive Adam & Eve back then, do you think he still deceives people today? Yes.

What is our remedy from the lies and deception Satan might throw our way? Each person must accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and meditate upon God's Words in the Bible. Also, we need to fellowship with other believers--forming actual relationships with them and holding one another accountable in our behaviors and actions--not judging one another's wrongs, but gently restoring one another to righteous living.

Do you believe reading and studying God's Word on a daily basis might be one remedy? Yes. What are some other remedies? prayer, going to church, being in a small community group with others, etc.

Do you believe Jesus has saved us from The Fall? We still fall. Jesus offers us all a way out of darkness and into eternal life. Jesus saves us after we fall, once we acknowledge that we are "fallen", sinful beings.

Matthew 2:13-3:6

Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men's report of the star's first appearance.
(Matthew 2:16 NLT)


Herod was wrong. It wasn’t the wise men who had “outwitted” him, it was God. This is the same theme that runs through today’s in today’s Old Testament reading, blaming others when the culprit is ourselves. Adam blamed God by way of Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and Cain blamed Abel for his unacceptable sacrifice. As it was then so it is today, we fail to take responsibility for our own actions. God is looking for people to take responsibility for what they have done. I believe salvation is beyond our grasp until we recognize that the fault, the sin our sin, lies within us and not someone else. We cannot be healed or washed of our “stuff” until we realize that the person in the mirror is the root of our sin, not our spouses, not our co-workers, and not that “fine” looking neighbor across the street, hall or the community.

May we search our hearts and take inventory of our actions and realize the problem is us, then we can go to Christ for cleansing and restoration.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I think the fall brings out the humanness of us. It shows that we are fallable and can be molded by evil.
And it's something I loath in the world today. It is one reason why everything is so materialistic and why I reeeeally hope we can escape it. I see so much sin just in anything to the point where I think it would corrupt just about anyone (undoubtedly including myself).
I truly mean there is no remedy but GOD himself. Everything about GOD is sinless and thats the substance we should take shelter in. That is our only peace. From the Bible from the church, even from praying with friends from other denominations those our sanctuaries.
Jesus is our savior forever. No doubt to that!!! *cheers*

Ponderings....
Gen 3;10
I find it absolutely amazing the Adam heard God walking. To me that speaks volumes. I want to know God in such a way where I know His walk and talk without a 2nd thought.
Gen 3;14 -
It seems that the serpent during that time walked upright because God cursed him to crawl on his belly and eat the dust all the days of his life. He would not have done that if he was already crawling on his belly. Very interesting. I also don't believe Satan has completed his job. He is alive and still trying to deceive and get as many of us on his side as possible. Which is why we MUST stay in fellowship with one another, swim in the word daily and pray to God for understanding and wisdom.
Two verses stand out to me today:
First John had no ill feelings or at least the text does not make mention of it if he did. He is ok with being second, he was not puffed up nor did he have a problem knowing he was making the way for our Lord.

Proverb 1;7 this is the first time I read this verse and understood FEAR to mean hold in awe and reverence. I love how Solomon teaches us believing in God is the way to understand Him. I thought fear meant how we define FEAR.

This is my first year reading the bible with this community and so far I am having a good time. I have invited 4 of my friends.

I came to the site to read the January 2 reading at 8:29 p.m. Pacific Time. So it was still January 2 all over the U.S. The January 3 reading is already up and the January 2 reading is gone! What time do you switch it? This is not going to make it easy to keep up if you are already going to post the next day's reading before I even get to the same day's! Thanks.

Teri,

There are people who are posting up that live in Australia so you can say that they are already in the next day, almost, by the time Mike post the day's readings. This is a global community and not just the United States. You may have to make adjustments to your schedule if you want to post BEFORE Mike puts the next day’s readings, questions and pictures up.

Don’t let inconsequential things keep you from reading the Word.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Hi Teri - I do need to post up early in the evening for the next day as Ramona indicated for the folks participating in New Zealand / Australia. My postings go up in the early evening the following day for them. However - I hear what you're saying about it being hard to find the daily posts - so, you'll note that I've moved the monthly calendar link to the top left of the blog. This will allow you to click on the exact day's posting that you are looking for and to get to it right away. Hopefully this helps. God bless, Mike

A comment about Jan 2 reading. In Genesis 4:17 it says that Cain laid with his wife and out of that is Enoch. My question is where did his wife come from? How many women are alive at this point or men for that matter. In verse 15 the Lord says if anyone kills Cain he will suffer 7 times over. Who is alive at this point. I thought just Adam and Eve, who produced Cain and Abel. Help me out
Dave

Dave,
According to the note in the Life Application Bible for Gen 4:14, Adam and Eve had numerous children. They have been told to "Fill The Earth" (Gen. 1:28). So the wife that Cain chose may be either a sister or a niece. This is backed up by the One Year Bible Companion with an added note that the human race was still genetically pure, and there was no fear of side effects from marrying relatives.

Mike, I appreciate your moving the calendar to the home page so that I can just click on the day, since I honestly don't get a chance to do the reading till it's the next day where you are. This helps. Thanks!

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