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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.

Speaking of temptation, I was actually struck by our reading today in Psalm 2:8 in which God is speaking to Christ (as we see from v.7 "You are my Son" and v.6 "I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion") and says to Christ:

"Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession."

Now compare this to what the devil later tried to tempt Jesus with:

"Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” (Luke 4:5-7).

Satan was trying to pervert that which was from God, even complete with taking Jesus to the devil's own "mountain" or imitation of Zion. Nevertheless, Jesus doesn't waste any time discussing this with the devil but rather goes to the heart of the most important, worshiping God alone, and tells the devil to get behind him.

It is wonderful to see how Jesus taught us to deal with temptation, and that is with the Word of God. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to read the Bible and, obviously, the more the better. Following this one year Bible reading plan is such a great way to do this at an easily sustainable level, helping us to acquire internally as much as possible the Word of God. That way when the devil, or our own flesh, tempt us (e.g. we see both the devil and the flesh in Eve's case as she saw it was "pleasant to the eyes") the Holy Spirit can bring to bring to "remembrance" (that word is interesting, seeming to indicate that we should have previously read) all things that Jesus said to us (John 14:26) and this is the way to fight temptation as we see Jesus quoted scripture each time we see He was tempted.

This internalizing of the Word by reading also helps us to make sure that we are not prone to misinterpretation of scripture by ourselves or when someone quotes a specific scripture (and this appears to be the devil's preferred method as we saw he did with Eve when he quoted God directly and with Jesus when he quoted scripture) that their interpretation or use of scripture harmonizes and balances with all of scripture, just as those in Acts 17:11 did as "they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

Excellent commentary throughout these passages for today. Thanks for the visuals and for the reflection, especially on the existence of Satan. I believe in Satan and evil simply because Jesus did. Jesus talked directly to the devil often and the devil talked to him (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus said in Matthew 7, "If you then being evil...." in reference to people.

That's good enough for me.

and paul said in 2 cor 11:3, "But i am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your MINDS will be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." Let's keep focused and alert to the evil one's desire to lead us astray early on in the year from a 'sincere (simply) and pure devotion to Jesus."

Hey Anne from SE Australia,

It's great that you are checking the Bible out. I saw your comment yesterday and I just wanted to let you know that I know I group of people who get together in Melbourne to study the Bible. Do you live near there? I'd love to chat with you...I am a SAHM too! You can email me at [email protected]'d love to hear from you.


You do a very good job with this blog. Thanks for what you do.

I always thought A & E were kicked out of the garden because they sinned. No! because God didn't want them to eat also from the tree of life. [22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.] You always learn something new from God's word.

Hello Everyone,

Anne & Esther--I'm so encouraged to learn that there are other stay-at-home moms (SAHM's) following the plan along with me. Although I am literally on the other side of the world (USA), I'm excited about being your sister in Christ through this study ; )

Henry--I thought that was an interesting point too. In the Believer's Bible Commentary, which I was reading this morning, he notes:

"If they had then eaten of the tree of life, they would have lived forever in bodies subject to sickness, degeneration, and infirmity. Thus it was God's mercy that prevented them from returning to Eden."

This was a new thought to me too--I never thought of it as an act of mercy for the Lord to send them out of the garden.

I also wanted to encourage some folks who may be new to regular Bible reading and may feel overwhelmed by the extent of the Bible plan, Mike's blog commentary, and then our individual comments. I've learned from experience that I can't "take in" everything all the time...sometimes I just get the basic reading done, sometimes I have time to read comments, sometimes I can't even get all of the basic reading done that day.

But, I feel like the larger point is to just jump in, don't get discouraged, and stay in the Word according to this plan as much as you can. If you feel overwhelmed, you could even start with just a piece of this plan (ie., Proverbs and Psalms or the New Testament) Although it is attractive to get the whole scope of the Bible in a year, some is always better than none. It's the daily habit of staying in the Word that is significant. On this note, I love what Kary had to say above about the importance of staying in the Word and internalizing it.

It's key that we give His word a chance to speak into our lives each day and part of this is keeping His word fresh in our minds.

Have a great day,

It was really emotional to read about the fall today. I've been thinking a lot about spiritual warfare lately, probably because I'm reading through C.S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters." I've read it before, but it's always such an eye-opener. Satan is absolutely active in our world today. I need to be constantly on guard.

I think spending time in the Word is the biggest weapon we have against Satan. If you look at when Jesus himself was tempted, his responses were all scripture! The Bible is the only concrete, 100% true thing we have. My emotions and thoughts change constantly, but the Word of the Lord is constant. If I try to combat Satan alone using my own logic and feelings, I'll end up like Eve, going directly against what the Lord has already told me.

Henry and Elizabeth - Today was also the first time I saw that the Lord kicked them out because He didn't want them eating from the tree of life! I've never noticed that verse before. Very interesting.

You all are such a blessing to me! Being in Africa with very few outside resources, I'm always afraid I'm going to start thinking of God as something other than He is, interpreting scripture to meet my needs instead of how God intended it, etc. This is a great opportunity for me to share with other believers and be encouraged by their walks.

Genesis

The Fall (Gen3) and the "shining one"

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

Ray Stedman also uses "shining one" instead of serpent here:
http://www.raystedman.org/genesis/0314.html

Genesis

Atonement

In Genesis 3:21 we see a foreshadowing of Christ. At some point during God's speech - Adam believed. Evidenced by the fact of his naming the woman - Eve. Adam had faith and accepted God's plan - no matter how painful.

Symbollically God showed them how atonement is acheived. Shedding of innocent blood that provides a covering (symbolized by "skin" clothing) for a person who has faith in God.
======================================================
Tree of Life

The worst thing in the world would have been for Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Life and live forever. If it happened mankind would live forever here on earth in a sinful state.

Instead God's plan was to provide a way to eternal life as co-heirs to heaven through Christ.

Much better result than just being rulers over earth. What Satan meant for evil, God turned to good :)

Genesis

Cain and Abel

Abel's sacrifice was acceptable - Cain's was not. Why????

We do not have a record of everything said, but I assume at some point - perhaps at the clothing of Adam and Eve it was made known that an offering to the Lord was to involve the shedding of innocent blood.

Abel followed God's direction (Psalm 1 - Blessed), and Cain decided to offer the "work" of his hands, the best he could produce, his efforts to the Lord. It is not about what we do or our efforts - and God was displeased.

Why did God give a mark on Cain and preserve him instead of allowing relatives to take his life? I believe it was because there was no societal structure at the time, and God has said that vengence is His. No individual would be allowed to take Cain's life.

So what punishment? Cain could no longer do what he loved - farm. He was to be a fugitive and vagabond. So where is God's grace? It is God's mark. This man is mine - hands off. Why? There can only be one reason - to give Cain time to reflect and repent. Does he? We don't know.

Peter says, "it is rather his mercy, it is his grace, giving men time to repent in order that none may perish but that all may come to repentance," (2 Peter 3:9).

Matthew

God's plan is so intricate. Interesting that the time in Egypt was greatly - if not completely - financed with the gold gift of the magi. No magi, no gold, a much harder time for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
======================================================
John the Baptist

The Old Testament prophets all had the same core message: Repent and turn back to the Lord your God.

'Do not keep your backs to Him. Face Him and tell him your sins and that you are sorry.'

John the Baptist continues to prophesy in that vain: Repent, Repent, Repent....

[Soon one is coming who will expound on that message, and it will become 'Repent and Believe".]

Psalm 2

Christ as King

Three things:

1) No one stands up against the Lord our God in rebellion and wins. Not kings nor rulers, not Satan, no human, not me or you.

2) In Psalm 1 Blessed people are mentioned and two characteristics are given of Blessed people. Here in verse 12 one is told how we become Blessed:

"Blessed are all who take refuge in him."

It is taking refuge or (KJV) trusting in God that makes us Blessed. Faith is not about head knowledge, or acknowledgement of Jesus - but in becomeing one with Him through "Trust".

3)In verse 7 when it says become your Father or beggoten you - it is not about Jesus being born. It is about His Kingship being created at this time.

In verse 12 Kiss the Son is the concept of paying homage - submission and fidelity to our Lord. That is the deal - submit yourself to the Lord or be vanquished.
======================================================
Proverbs

Many people are turned off or misunderstand the word for "fear" of the Lord.

The Hebrew word is better translated reverence or devotion of/to the Lord.

This leads to knowledge that when applied leads to wisdom.

Wisdom comes from and through the Lord. Fools (those who are lost) despise wisdom and thus despise God.

I found this read to be a good one, in light of the sin of Adam and Eve It's t comforting to know that God cares and wants to correct our bad behavior. He seeks to protect us from our selves and our sinful nature if we allow him too. The scripture that is most impacting to me is Prov 1:7. This scripture is the acknowledgement of God and his power in my life.

concerning genesis 3:14 Upon your stomachyou will go,And dust you will eat All the dys of your life.

my commentary says this- This implies that God limited Satans activity and move to earth. As long as we set our mind on things above the earth, the serpent, the devil, Satan, cannot touch us(Col.3:1-3 1 John 5:18

Hi Mike,

I love the song you post through YouTube "Give me your eyes". Like you, this song remind me of Proverbs 1:7. This proverb also reminds me to fear God, to love Him in reverence, to trust Him, and to submit to Him totally. In God's strength, I do want to make embracing wisdom and discipline in my life as top priorities in 2009, and beyond.

1. What is your reaction to reading about The Fall in Genesis today? HOW TURE IT IS WE ALWAYS PASS THE BUCK
2. Is it painful to read about The Fall after reading about The Creation yesterday? YES, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING AND SATAN OF COURSE HAD TO RUIN IT
3. If Satan was able to deceive Adam & Eve back then, do you think he still deceives people today? YES, DAILY EVEN CHRISTIANS
4. What is our remedy from the lies and deception Satan might throw our way? KEEP GOD’S WORD IN YOUR HEART
5. Do you believe reading and studying God's Word on a daily basis might be one remedy? YES IT IS
6. What are some other remedies? (prayer, going to church, being in a small community group with others, etc.?) STAYING CONNECTED WITH GODLY FRIENDS WHOM WILL PRAY FOR YOU WHEN SATAN ATTACKS
7. Do you believe Jesus has saved us from The Fall? HE DIED ON THE CROSS FOR Y
8. Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Genesis 4: 6-7 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 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."
DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR GOD IS A WONDERFUL WAY OF BEING ACCEPTED.

I'm playing catch up here... but as a SAHM I can adjust time accordingly and am determine to make up for 'lost' days.

did two days today... this 2nd day's reading in Proverbs was especially thought provoking. I'm using The Message Bible

"When you grab all you can get, that's what happens: the more you get, the less you are. "

A good reminder not to focus on the "things" in life and more on cultivating inner beauty and a closeness with our God.

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