Thursday, October 31, 2013
In renewing His covenant with Abraham, God ordered the circumcision of the flesh of all male children born to Abraham and his seed thereafter. Every child of 8 days old shall be circumcised. This was to include not only blood offspring, but male children born to servants and others that were born within the household. Specifically, God commanded any male child that was not circumcised shall be cut off from Abraham’s lineage as being outside of the covenant of God and outside of that line through which Messiah was to come. Then God said, as for Sarai thy wife, her name shall be now Sarah; and I will bless her and give her a son. I will bless her and she shall be the mother of many nations, and kings of people shall come of her. At hearing God’s promise, Abraham fell on his face and laughed and thought in his heart, “surely, God, you a kidding me. How can I a hundred years old father a child with a wife who is ninety years old?” Catching himself Abraham asked God, “surely you are talking about Ishmael aren’t you? But God told him plainly, Sarah shall bear a son and his name shall be called Isaac. “And I will establish my covenant with him and his seed after him, for an everlasting covenant. As for Ishmael, God said, I will bless him too, and many Kings and nations shall come out of him also. However, God told Abraham further, my covenant shall be with Isaac and his seed, and this time next year, he shall be born of Sarah thy wife. So Abraham laughed at God’s words but now he would be serious. He heard the words he had waited 25 years to hear. This was a direct, definite promise. A year from now, Isaac will be born. More.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. And 13 years later, when Abram was 99, God appeared unto him and told him; “I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee and will multiply thee exceedingly.” Filled no doubt with great emotion, Abram now falls on his face, prostrate before God, and so God talked with him. What would have been going through Abram’s mind as God told him for the umpteenth time as he had said before, “Behold my covenant is with thee; and thou shall be a father of many nations. As a matter of fact, your name shall be no more Abram, but Abraham for a father of many nations have I made thee. I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and Kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger; all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession. By this time Abraham’s head would have been spinning. What could all this mean? He would have been wondering. Could it be that all this seed bearing and nation building was to come through Ishmael? His son Ishmael would have by this time be 13 and fast approaching manhood. He Abraham, was 99 and Sarai 109, surely past the age of child-bearing. So what is God saying to me, Abraham would have wondered; but God was not finish talking to him. More.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
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Sarai might have been the first married woman to know the scornful look, the sneer and contempt of the other woman; but surely she was not the last for the profile of the other woman has not changed much. For it has been well said, that one of the things even the earth cannot bear is the way of the maid when she becomes the mistress. Be that as it may, Sarai now found cause to complain to Abram about her maid’s insufferable ways; but Abram smoothly parried and said, “She is your maid; do to her as you please.” So Sarai turn the screws on her maid Hagar so tightly that, when she could not take it any more she ran away. Soon after the messenger of the Lord met Hagar sitting by the side of the road and calling her by name, asked her what she was doing there. Hagar complained that she was fleeing from the face of her mistress Sarai to which the messenger of God advised her, “Return and submit yourself to your mistress.” Hagar must have been somewhat hesitant to obey; so the messenger decided to cheer her up not a little with some great news. “I will multiply your seed exceedingly so that it shall be numberless for multitude.” Furthermore the angel of the Lord told Sarai, “You are presently with child; and you shall have a son whom you should call Ishmael because the Lord has heard your affliction.” The news the angel had to give Hagar was good news and bad news. Yes you will have a son; he will be the forebear of many; but he shall be a wild and violent man. He shall be against every man and every man shall be against him. More
Monday, October 28, 2013
“And Abram hearkened unto the voice of his wife Sarai.” Abram was clearly good clay; clay that needed a little moistening and a little squeezing, but good clay nevertheless; for clearly God looked upon him as a remarkable man. But what would have been even more remarkable would have been for Abram to say like Job said centuries later, “O foolish woman.” Many venal minds would no doubt come to the conclusion that Abram was glad for the offer of sexual pleasure; but I feel sure that no such lustful considerations entered his mind. The Lord God had promised him an heir; but God did not tell him by what woman; surely, Abram, having regard to the continued promises, and the respective ages of his wife and himself would have looked upon the idea as not at all outside God’s plan for an heir. So he accepted his wife’s offer and accepted his wife’s maid Hagar as a second wife. In course of time Hagar became pregnant, and with her pregnancy, trouble began to brew; for as soon as Hagar realized she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress Sarai. So now Sarai had reason to complain to her husband and even to question the wisdom of her decision for which she was prepared to take the full blame. More..
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Our story so far has made only brief references to Sarai, Abram’s wife, although we know she was always in the picture somewhere. Now the emphasis shifts to her and the fact that she was childless. She too, would have been even more bothered and concerned about their plight than Abram was. After all, a woman’s primary role in the family was to bear children; and a woman who could not do that was no woman at all. So yes, she would have been very concerned; but like most women, she came up with a plan to do something about. Sarai’s reasoning was that it was necessary that the family should have at least one heir. Surely God had told her husband that his seed would be as plenteous as the sand of the seashore; but He did not say anything about motherhood. Accordingly, Sarai reasoned, why not give one of my younger maids to my husband so that he may satisfy the deepest and dearest wish of his heart, namely to have an heir? And so it was that Sarai decided to solve the insoluble; after all she was an old woman now, and her husband was not far behind in age. Perhaps even now there was a seed or two left in him; so she had an idea that might just work. Here is how Sarai put it to her husband. “Behold now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing; I pray thee, go in to my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her.” What Sarai proposed was well within the custom and practice of the time. Note the words, “I may obtain children by her.” That was the law of servitude that continued down through the Roman Empire. Offspring of the slave girl was mere fructus, [fruit], and belonged to the master or mistress as the case may be. Would Abram accept? We shall see. More
Saturday, October 26, 2013
It would seem that God was angry at Abram because he yet doubted Him. So in reply to his question, God instructed him to kill a three year old heifer, a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, a turtledove and a young pigeon, and Abram obeyed and waited as he kept watch over the pieces of flesh he had cut up and laid side by side. Each time the birds swooped down to eat of the preparation, Abram drove them away and waited. What was God going to say to him? What was going to happen next? Abram had no idea; so he waited. One may but guess the thoughts that flooded Abram’s thoughts. Was God going to make a grand appearance? Was He going to do something spectacular? Abram waited. At nightfall he fell asleep and while he slept, he slipped into a dark and dreadful dream. In his dream God told him he shall surely produce seed; but his seed shall go into captivity and be afflicted four hundred years. They shall be enslaved; but God shall also judge that nation, out of which his people shall eventually come with great substance. And he Abram God assured him, shall die at a good old age. Later in the night, in the midst of the darkness, a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp appeared and roasted all the pierces of meat; and God spoke again to Abram and again renewed His covenant with him, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the rivers of Egypt unto the great river Euphrates.” All this land have I given to your children for an inheritance. More
Friday, October 25, 2013
Abram’s Question: “Whereby shall I know?” Clearly what Abram was asking for was a sign; some token; something that he could hand his hat and his hopes on; not mere words but something tangible. If Abram was mature and seasons in the ways of God, he would have known; but the truth is, he was not. Speaking about tangibles, Abram had received many; but as has been said earlier, Abram was more focused on what he wanted first and foremost, a son; not the leadership, not the protection, not the wealth, not the land of the Canaanites to which God had led him. Isn’t that the way with all men? Even those men and women who profess a special relationship with the Almighty? Don’t we all have a little of Abram in us? Not Thy way Lord but mine? But Abram we know was called by God and being called, God was having His way with him. What for instance would have happened to Sarai, Abram’s wife in Egypt, if God had not put His fear in the Pharaoh? How else might the Pharaoh had treated Abram for deceiving him, if the Pharaoh was not told that Abram was God’s man? If God was not with him how, else could he have been blessed with Egyptian riches having entered Egypt in poverty? How else could he have vanquished a combined ten armies comprising ten kingdoms if the Almighty had not led him? Yet Abram dared to ask God, “Whereby shall I know?” More
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Most Christians look back on Abraham and patronize him as a hero of faith. They call him father Abraham, and we sing about him as the father Abraham who had many sons. But Abram’s faith did not come at a single stride, nor did it come overnight. Abram’s faith was a journey in not only self-doubt but God-doubt. It was for a long time a work in progress. For it is true and always was true; “Heaven is not reached at a single bound.” As we have seen, Abram often had serious doubt as to whether indeed God would ever give him an heir before it was too late. After defeating the ten Kings, and meeting with Melchizedek, God again appeared unto Abram and told him in specific terms. “Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward.” In reply, Abram said, “Yes Lord I hear you; I have been listening to all your promises; but yet I go childless. Am I to understand that the child of one of my servants, born in my house shall be my heir?” At this the Lord once more sought to reassure Abram by directing his attention towards the night sky and asked him whether he could number the stars. Of course Abram could not; and the Lord told him, “as numberless as they are, so shall your seed be.” Hearing this, Abram once again believes God. To be sure, he genuinely and earnestly believed God to the extent that God counted his belief as righteousness. Yet Abram asked God, “How shall I know that I shall inherit all your promises to me?” More
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Imagine 300 men, however well trained and well armed, pursuing after a conglomeration of a hoard consisting of ten vanquishing, marauding, bloodthirsty, battle proven armies. Yet Abram took only 300 men and chased after them. Not only did he vanquish them, he was able to retrieve all they had taken away from his friend Lot, including Lot’s family and all his people, including the people of Sodom which had been carried away captives. On his return, having slaughtered Chedorlaomer and his massive army, Abram met with the new King of Sodom, who came forth to meet him. Indeed the return of the victorious Abram created quite a stir as even Mechisedek, King of Peace and Priest of the Most High God, performed the first known sacrament of Holy Communion, using in historical if prefigured perspective, the elements of bread and wine. At this ceremony also, we see the first pronounced beatitudic prayer, “Blessed be Abram of the Most High God; possessor of heaven and earth. And blessed be the Most High God which has delivered thine enemies into thy hand.” And here again we see Abram’s nobility of spirit; for when the King of Sodom suggested to him that he should keep all the goods he had retrieved and return the people only, Abram declined, acknowledging that what he had achieved in completing his mission was by and through the mercies and power of God. Therefore, he told the king, apart from that which the young men had eaten, (after all they had earned their keep), and the portion for the men who went with him, the King and his people could have it all. In any event Abram wanted to have none of the spoils of war, although he too would have incurred considerable expense in feeding and outfitting his men. More…
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
In the course of time, war broke out between two military alliances, one led by Amraphel, King of Shinar, together with three other kings, and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their alliance and of course Lot was caught in the middle. The state of war dragged on for some twelve years with the Sodom alliance entering into a tentative entente with the King of Shinar. But in the thirteenth year the King of Sodom and his allies rebelled and rose up against the leader of the Shinar alliance which was by this time led by a mighty King, whose name was Chedorlaomer. The upshot was that the Sodom/Gomorrah alliance was defeated and both kings perished during the course of the war. All of their goods and possessions were taken, and Lot himself and his goods and possessions were taken by the mighty alliance now comprising ten kings. During the war, Abram continued to live in the plain of Mamre; and with war drums beating all around him, and while not participating in the hostilities, he took defensive precautions by forming his own triple alliance. When, therefore, news of Lot’s capture reached him, Abram determined to rescue his cousin and friend. Interestingly, he did not call upon his allies in this venture, but took only 300 of his best men and pursued the vanquishing army of the ten kings. More
Monday, October 21, 2013
In this episode we see qualities of justice and nobility; qualities which may explain why God chose Abram above all the other men of earth. Here we see a man who was truly the kind of person God wants us to be, namely to esteem others better than ourselves. So when it became apparent to both Lot and Abram that they could no longer dwell together in unity, and without strife, Abram gave lot the first choice with regard to who should go where. So Abram said, “Let us separate, but you go first; if you go to the left, I will go to the right; or if you go the right, I will go to the left. So Lot looked around and his eyes fell upon the fertile plain of the Jordon, and so he chose the plains of Jordon and started out, going to the East, having said his farewell to Abram. Now Abram was content to remain in the land of Canaan, while Lot went and lived in the cities of the plain and built his tent near Sodom. Ostensibly, Lot got the better deal. He had plenty of grass and water for his livestock, and got as it were the best of both worlds; a fertile plain on the one hand and a taste of city life on the other. Even then the grass looked greener on the other side; but as we shall see shortly, there was trouble aplenty ahead for Lot. In the meantime, after Lot left, God again spoke to Abram and renewed His promise to make his name great; “Look North, South, East and West,” God told him. “Walk all over the land; you shall have descendants numberless, and all of this land shall be yours.” And so Abram moved from there and built his tent in the plains of Mamre which is near Bethel, and built there an altar to the Lord. More
Sunday, October 20, 2013
How many years elapsed between Abram’s call to the time he went down to Egypt is not known. But having regard to the time to travel into the land of the Canaanites, his building a house for himself and an alter whereat to worship the Lord, and the time it would have taken him to journey to Egypt, one would say at least five years. If this is a reasonable estimate plus or minus a year or two, Abram would have been around 80 and Sarai 90. Imagine then a 80 or 90 year old woman today who would be able to stir up so much jealousy because of her beauty! But when God is in control, nothing is impossible. One can just imagine, Sarai, a five feet 2 to five feet 5 tops, silver haired beauty, still stirring the hearts of men. Abram went down into Egypt in a state of famine looking for food; but he returned a very rich man, possessing cattle, silver and gold, and Lot also with him, to the tent he had built before, and to the altar which he had built, and there he called upon the name of the Lord. Before going down into Egypt, Abram and Lot struggled to make ends meet; but after returning to Bethel, they were both so rich, and their substance so great, that a dispute arose between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s, to the extent that they decided that they could no longer dwell together. Clearly they both had the same kind of animals and it was not easy to keep track of each new birth, and so able to distinguish between which was which or whose was whose. So Abram being a just man said now let there be no strife between us or our herdsman; let us go our separate ways. More
Saturday, October 19, 2013
After Abram was entered into Egypt, his worst fears were realized, as the men of Egypt began to look upon his wife Sarai as a beautiful woman, much to be admired and desired. Her beauty was not missed by the Pharaoh’s Princes, who brought her to the Pharaoh with the intention of making her one of his many wives or concubines. Obviously the Pharaoh himself found her pleasing, and began showering Abram with gifts, sheep and oxen and asses, and camels, as well as servants, males and females. In other words, for Abrams sister’s sake, the Pharaoh set about making Abram wealthy. But God was not about to let Sarai, his servant Abram’s wife, become a part of the Pharaoh’s bedchamber whether as wife or concubine. As a result, the Lord showed his power by smiting the Pharaoh and his house with great plagues, and revealed to the Pharaoh Abram’s treachery while at the same time cautioning him not to mess with his wife. Just how long Abram and Sarai were in Egypt before his subterfuge was discovered is not certain; but surely it was long enough for Abram to be increased substantially before he was asked to leave Egypt. “And the Pharaoh commanded his servants concerning Abram and they sent him away and his wife and all that he had. I believe a good point can be made here, that is, God does not allow our weaknesses and failings to get in the way of his ultimate will and plan for us; and even when we fall short, Hs is still willing to cut us some slack. For if the Lord shall regard our iniquity none of us shall stand. More…
Friday, October 18, 2013
The inference that Abram was acting on his own impulses and not necessarily on God’s instructions, or under His guidance, is further supported by the fact that Abram was almost entered into Egypt when he first realized that he might be walking into trouble. For it was then, and only then, he looked upon his wife and became jealous for her, realizing he ran the risk of losing his wife to some rich man in Egypt. Indeed, Abram was not only apprehensive over the fact of losing his wife; he feared for his own life also; for he told his wife that when those in Egypt behold her beauty, they may even kill him and take her away. Said Abram, therefore, to Sarai, let us not let anyone know you are my wife; say instead you are my sister. I am aware that many try to explain away Abram’s lie by saying that indeed Sarai was his half sister; but this attempted explanation does not in any way erase the lie. Abram not unnaturally was fearful and sought to lie his way out of his situation. That was his intention and that is what he did. However, Abram was God’s man. God had his mark on him and lie or not, fearful or not, God was not going to let anything thwart his plans for Abram; He was in God’s school, and God was going to teach him many lessons before school was over. More …
Thursday, October 17, 2013
So then, God reaffirms His promise of offspring to Abram in the plains of Moreh; and the next thing Abram did was to look for a high place to build a house. Was Abram expecting to be starting a family soon? He found such a place on a mountain to the East of a place called Bethel, and there he pitched his tent. Having built a house for himself, Abram next built an altar; a place where he could call upon and worship God. But after a while food began to run short. The anticipated son did not arrive; and so Abram decided to move on. What was actually operating on Abram’s mind at this stage of his life? Did he consult God regarding what to do, whether to stay put and rely on God to feed and sustain him, or did he decide it was up to him to fend for himself? Was the decision to go South God inspired or directed, or was it Abram’s best considered option? The text does not say; but one would have thought that if Abram asked God’s direction, the text would have said so. Since, then, the text does not speak to this, it would be reasonable to assume that the decision to move South was Abram’s alone. Going South Abram it would seem found no sufficient food to sustain his company; so he kept moving until eventually he found himself in the land of Egypt. Before moving on to Egypt, we should remind ourselves, that here was a man whom god had made mind boggling promises to; but yet this man was now on the run. Tomorrow we shall see how it started off for him in Egypt. More
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
At this stage, and before continuing on, it would be pertinent to remember that at the time God spoke to Abram, he was married to a woman named Sarai. Abram himself was 75 years old and Sarai was 85. Surely even though Abram was even by the standards of those days deemed an old man, his wife would have been regarded by most, including the old couple, as beyond the age of child-bearing. Therefore, as exciting as all the other great promises were, Abram would have held on dearest to the implied promise that God was about to bless him with an heir. Surely, God had said that he was going to be the father of a great nation. Certainly, that had to mean that Abram and Sarai were going to have at least one child soon and very soon, because even tomorrow might be too late. Accordingly Abram packed up everything; his possessions, his servants and took his wife together with his cousin Lot and his wife and his possessions and off they went, from the land of Haran and started off towards the land of Canaan. As Abram journeyed, he had to pass through the land of Sichem and Moreh, lands in the occupation of the Canaanites, as he passed through, led by God or not, Abram’s heart must have been in his mouth several times as he encountered the occupants of those lands. So God came to Abram and reassured him. “Thy seed will I give this land,” said God to Abram. And somewhat relieved, Abram built an altar there unto the Lord. For to be sure, Abram once again would have taken God’s promise as a reassurance that seed would be born to him. More
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Clearly, God wanted His creation to know about the Creator. Without the Bble in general and the Genesis account in particular, mankind would have no safe or reliable means of knowing about its origin and antecedents. Through the Bible so much of what would have been otherwise unknown is explained. The making of man; his substance; his journey from Eden; his ordeal in the flood; the bible is apply seen as man’s story, his story. On the other hand as the Jewish Nation came to life, and as they related to other nations in war and in peace, God was able to demonstrate his mighty power by showing to his chosen few, special favor, leadership, protection, guidance, and victory over their enemies. Thus the nations looked at the Jews and knew that the God of the Jews was a mighty and fearsome God. Also God had a plan for the birth of the Christ child, who was to be Savior of the world. God’s purpose in this regard was to preserve a Royal Line, through the ages so that later writers could chase the genealogy of Jesus, not only from His earthly mother and father, but right back through hundreds of years to Adam the first man and to God Himself. More…
Monday, October 14, 2013
As has been said, God made Abram an offer he couldn’t refuse. For God told him, “Get up and leave your country, and your father and mother, and all your family members, and your friends, and follow me; and I will take you to a land, and make you a great nation. I will bless them that bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing to others. I will bless them that bless you, and curse them who curse you; and through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Obviously then, Abram took God at his word. He was promised greatness and riches, and power and fame. We have surely heard similar words in our day; “Go West young man. There is a land of fame and fortune awaiting you.” So out of Abram came the Jewish Nation and many other nations to boot; but as has been said earlier, the focus now shifts almost entirely to the rise and fall of the Jewish Nation. We promised to explain the three reasons why God called a special people for His purpose. But first let us imagine a large membership body, whether dozens, or hundreds or thousands. We know that in order to manage the affairs of the body as a whole, a small executive body is selected or elected to carry out the day to day affairs of the organization as a whole. The reasons are obvious. A meeting of hundreds or thousands of people would be unwieldy, cumbersome, counter-productive and impossible. One could readily appreciate, therefore, why to carry out His purposes, God chose to choose one nation through whom to work, in demonstrating to the world that He is the one the and living God. So what were those purposes? It is suggested that they were: Firstly, to write the history of mankind from the cradle, the garden of Eden, down to the coming of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, to show the blessedness of serving the true and living God, and Thirdly, to be the Royal line through which Messiah would come. More…
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Having laid the evidential foundation for the origin of man and of the nations, God next turns His attention toward choosing out a man to be the father of all nations in general, and of the Jewish nation in particular. That man was Abram, whose name God later changed to Abraham. Now one may say that Abram must have been a very special, maybe a particularly righteous man, perhaps the only perfect man in all the earth, for his special mission; but the evidence of Abrams story does not exactly bear out such a point of view. The story shows that Abram was often weak, faithless, and undeceive; but clearly God chose him because God new that, for all Abram’s weaknesses, he was a man He could work with and work through. Not surprisingly, Abram was well induced, as we shall see shortly; because the promises God made to him were particularly attractive, the kind of promises that no reasonable man could refuse. Chapters 12 – 50 of the first book, Genesis, deal almost entirely with the call of the Jewish Nation; and so it may be instructive to know why of all the nations then extant, God chose to be almost exclusively from Abram to the coming of Christ, to be the God of the Jews only. It is submitted that God had three main purposes in calling out a particular group of people, which we know as the Hebrews, the Jews, particularly since we know that they were particularly, selfish, stiff-necked, disobedient, unthankful, rebellious and sinful. Yet God stuck with them, gave them land and protection, led them in battle and in peace, fed them water them and blessed them, and time after time, gave them victory over their enemies. More….
Saturday, October 12, 2013
After men were scattered throughout the earth, the Bible gives detailed accounts of the offspring of Shem over a period of several hundred years leading to the birth of Abraham, whom the bible calls the father of the Jewish nation. It is to be noted that the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis have to do with the Origination of the Nations, that is to say, all people that on earth dwell, came directly through Adam and Eve initially, continuing down to Noah before the flood, and after the flood, through Noah’s three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth until the birth of Abraham. Accordingly, we say that those first eleven chapters deal with, and show the source, origination, of every nation on earth. We may also see in those chapters three especial purposes namely, (1) the Historical Purpose, which shows that the origin of all men began in the garden of Eden and shows also that God created all men as well as the entire world of beast, insects, birds, and fishes as well as heaven and earth; (II) the Doctrinal Purpose, that God as the father of all men has the ultimate power, rule and control over all the earth and the affairs of men. That in dealing with the earth he has the power to do his own will. To send floods and end floods, to interfere with and stop, or prevent the doings of mankind, and to frustrate their designs at his pleasure; and (III) the Christological Purpose; that Christ came into the picture of God’s administration from the very beginning. That He, Christ had a hand in the creation, (sic) “and God said,” the Word, and it was so, and God said, “Let us create” and it was so, and God’s declaration to Adam and Eve, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heal.” More
Friday, October 11, 2013
5 So the word says, God confounded their language so they could not understand one another. Accordingly the building stopped, and God drove them out, scattered them, to all parts of the earth; but not before He put His special touch on them. Now, I have often heard it asked, or said, “if it is true that God in the beginning made one man, Adam, and one woman Eve, whence came different colors on the earth among men” Well that is a good question, and it is submitted the answer may be found right there at Babel. Given that Adam was made from red clay, the dust of the earth, it follows that as far as color goes, he was the color of clay, red. It is in this wise, it is averred, that when God confounded and drove out the dwellers at Babel, he also separated them by color. Some he drove out into the snow covered areas of the earth and at the same time struck them with what was seen then as a kind of skin sickness, later associated with leprosy. After centuries of living in cold snowy conditions, the offspring of the original forebears became genetically paler and paler until it became an indelible condition, we today call whiteness. It may be noted, in this regard, that when white persons become even now exposed to the sun, they have a tendency to revert even beyond the original pigmentation. On the opposite end of the scale, there were those who were driven to the area of the world we now call Africa and conversely, their pigmentation changed to the color we today call black owing to the process of genetic adaptation which too, after centuries, became an immutable genetic trait. Obviously, while people went North and South, East and West, some men were allowed to remain in the area in between where they maintained more or less, but subject to climatic and other factors, the original color as to the color made. More
Thursday, October 10, 2013
So the Lord came down and beheld the city that Nimrod and his followers had built and didn’t like it one bit. We are told that the whole earth was one. They spoke one language and one dialect; and God perceived that they were up to no good. How long after the great flood was this? It could not have been more than two hundred years. Twenty five to fifty between Ham and Cush and fifty to a hundred years between Cush and Nimrod, a hundred and fifty to two hundred years tops, and sin was on the march again. God himself said, “Behold the people is one. And they all have one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined to do.” And so God made a Trinitarian statement, “Come now let us go down and confound their language that they may not understand one another’s speech.” What the Lord did? He scattered them abroad all over the earth and they left the building unfinished. The implications of this chapter in the history of man are many and momentous. The fact that the people were one, of one language, working together as one unit, would surely imply they were on race. There was no color difference between them. They were much as God made them if albeit worse. Adam it is opined was named after the color of the clay God used to mold him. It was red and so God called his name Red Clay. One can just hear God, at the beginning when He came to commune with the man we know as Adam, calling him Reds. But at Babel God confounded more than just their language when He scattered them, as we shall see tomorrow when we continue. More. …
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
So God came down, He saw and He banished. Go’s way is that He will share His glory with no one. He had long kicked Satan out of Heaven for wanting to be equal with God. Now these earthly mortals wanted to build a tower to reach up to Him. So God soon put an end to that. Looking more closely, we discover that the leader of this rebel group was a man named Nimrod. He was the great grandson of Noah. His grandfather was Ham, Noah’s second son, and his father was Cush, Noah’s grandson. This man Nimrod was clearly an interesting character. For one reason or another the Bible has not said a lot about him; but the little it does say, says plenty. Here is what it says: “And Cush begat Nimrod: He began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: Wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. Nimrod then, was the first king of the earth, mentioned in the Bible. Since we know that the name Cush signifies Ethiopia, we also know that Nimrod was a Cushite, or to use a modern term, an Ethiopian. He, we are told, is the first King of the earth and he was a mighty man who dared to challenge the Almighty More
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
After the flood Noah did not have any more sons; but his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth had sons and descendants aplenty; and soon the earth was well populated. They spoke one language and one dialect and an itinerant people, they eventually founded a plain and built a city in a place called Shinar and settled there. It would seem that from the beginning of man’s existence, he was always possessed of an enquiring and enterprising nature. So now having built a city, the very first of its kind, they turned to masonry. Let us make bricks out of stone and slime for mortar; but having made the bricks, they had to find a use for them. Having all those bricks on their hands, gave them an idea. And so they decided to build a tower that could reach clear up to heaven. Once the idea of a city that would reach up to heaven was conceived, it gave birth to a new idea. Now, they said to themselves, if we can get as high up as God, that is to say, we are no longer below while he sits above, we no longer need to be subject to him. Let us in short take us a new name and be our own man. Part of their reasoning was of course the idea of banding together, so that together they would be able to resist God himself; for they said, “And let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the whole earth.” Their motive and their intentions were clear; they were planning rebellion against God; but unfortunately for them God soon appeared on the scene. More…
Monday, October 7, 2013
God now turns to the question of the shedding innocent blood; for He tells Noah, “Surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood shed; for in the image of God made He man.” Having given Noah this stern warning about the sanctity of human life, God told Noah that He was about to establish an everlasting covenant with him and with all men and beast alike, that never again would He cut of all flesh by means of the waters of a flood. And as a token God set His rainbow in the sky as a token of the covenant He was making with man. “And it shall come to pass”, says God, when I bring a cloud over the earth that the bow shall be seen in the cloud. And I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” And in support of a point made earlier about none copulation during the Noahic odyssey, the Bible story states, “And the sons of Noah that went forth of the Ark were Shem Ham and Japheth, the same that went into the Ark. More...
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Before proceeding on, let us pause to consider one or two of the questions that impose themselves on the mind, when considering the voyage aboard the Ark. We know that the Lord ordered Noah to take into the Ark all living creatures wherein was the breath of life by pairs, male and female. We know too, the breeding habits of insects and some animals like birds and rabbits which have short gestation periods. The question is then was Noah faced with an over population problem? One may be led to speculate that perhaps the rabbits and the chickens and birds provided food for the crew, until we remember that flesh eating and thus egg eating were not permitted in those days. Another question might be posed is that we know today that certain animals just do not sit well together. Not only do they eat one another; they also fight on sight. How did Noah cope with all such problems, or did Almighty God personally attend and oversea the voyage so that everyone behaved, so that there were no copulation, no fights and no confusion. And is it also possible that at that time all the animals, too, were vegetarians? It would seem that the best answer, the most logical answer is that all the creatures took a rest from their previous assignment to replenish. We take this as a reasonable inference because we know that God does all things well, and will always do his own will; and also because we know that the humans who disembarked from the Ark were the exact same number which embarked almost a year before and no babies were born to them. More ….
Saturday, October 5, 2013
They say tempus fugit. Latin for time flies, and indeed it does, especially when you are having fun. Its been 20 days already since I undertook this mission of taking a quick daily survey of the Bible, and thank God I have not missed a day so far. Hope I can continue every day, 365 days, the first objective. When I ended yesterday, I left off on the note where God told Noah, “Kill and eat;” and I hinted that it was significant as indeed it is. We will recall that in the several generations before Noah going back to Adam, men lives almost a thousand years. Indeed, Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, the longest recorded lifespan, lived 969 years, and Noah’s father, 777 years. Some numerologist would point to the three sevens and say they are both significant and portentous; but I will leave that for another time. The point is here is that all the men who preceded Noah were vegetarians, and look how long they lived! Now after God decided to destroy the Old World and limit man’s lifespan to 120 years, God said now go ahead and eat flesh. Was that in order to help man to die more quickly? The proposition surely begs the question. For myself I do think that the Creator knew exactly what the human body needed to slow it down and start the aging process. After all he made it! More…..
Friday, October 4, 2013
Immediately after the flood, God turned a new leap in His record of earth and said and did some new things; things that were entirely and completely within the exclusive province of a Creator. Firstly, God blessed Noah and his family, a sort of welcome back to earth, if you please, much the same as a National leader, a Monarch, or a President would welcome home an expedition that has returned safely from a mission that has been well accomplished. Secondly, in recognition of Noah’s service to mankind and in a show of approval for the way he had conducted himself throughout his mission, from the building and equipping of the Ark to the ordeal of the mission through to his safe return to earth, God promoted him. Now God told Noah, I am giving you dominion over the whole earth and all the creatures in it. They are yours to kill and eat as you please. Whereas heretofore man was given only the green herb for food, now you have my permission to kill and eat flesh. The only restriction is that you must not eat anything with the blood in it. In God’s words, “But flesh with the life thereof which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” As we shall see shortly, this permission to eat flesh was most portentous, and would affect the future of man in ways not immediately apparent. More…
Thursday, October 3, 2013
So the Ark came to rest, the earth was dried up and God commanded Noah to disembark with all his family together with all the animals that were in the Ark with them. Most people would readily agree that after a long and arduous flight, the feeling when one sets foot once more on solid ground is a feeling like no other. While perfectly content to place his life and well being in the care of his God, Noah nevertheless would have been thrilled when at last his ordeal was over. His first reaction, therefore, was to build an altar, and offer burnt offerings unto the Lord. The Lord smelled the sweet savor of the offering and had appreciation for the sacrifice made to Him so He declared, and so it has remained ever since, “I will not again curse the ground any more for the man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Who but the Creator could guaranty the continuum of time, and the seasons and day and night? And yet so has He declared it, so has it been, and so ever shall it be. God alone has the whole world in his hand. Soli Deo Gloria! More …
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Many men of today would look at Noah’s ordeal and say impossible. How did they store up enough food to feed 8 people for almost a year, much less food for all the animals on board for such a long period. The truth is nothing is impossible with God. Just as he gave to Noah what would be to most a herculean task, God was able to provide Noah with the wisdom, the strength, and the wherewithal to perform it. So the Ark finally came to rest on Mount Ararat on the seventh month; but the waters were still high enough to cover the trees; and it took another three months for the water to recede sufficiently for Noah to feel safe to open the window to the Ark. Even so it took another two months or so before the water dried up altogether on the face of the earth. Noah did not have a weather balloon; so at first he sent out a raven, a bird that can fly on the wing for a long time. After it did not return he sent out a dove; but the dove returned shortly afterwards, not having found a tree to perch on. After another week he sent out the dove again and this time the dove came back bearing an olive branch in its mouth. It would seem the dove brought Noah a peace offering. All was now well or nearly so. After another week the dove was sent out and came not back again; for the waters were dried up. God had brought him safely through; but he must have been very relieved and excited to plant his feet once again on terra firma. More.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
BRAGADAYJAH 16 All flesh died that moved upon the face of the earth. From the first drop of rain to the mighty flood that overflowed the highest mountain, to the last drop that fell on the fortieth day; the fate of all within the Ark as well as those without; they were all in the hands of and subject to the awesome power of the Creator God. As the Ark and its inhabitants drifted upon the swelling flood Noah would have been aware of the likely fate of those who were left on earth. It is likely too, that he had a care or two for his and the fate of those with him; but it is also possible that he trusted God to the point where he was confident that wherever he drifted, God had a plan and a purpose for his life. Noah and his family must have been resourceful in terms of earthly possessions. The wood and materials needed to build, outfit and equip the Ark of that size was certainly not inconsiderable. He might have been a man of some substance at least, and as he departed the dry land, he might well have wondered what would have happenedd to his home and property and worldly possessions. But then again he could have counted himself blessed, particularly since he had beside him his wife and their three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth together with their wives. The Lord God caused the waters to remain on the earth for almost one half of a year, that is to say one hundred and fifty days; but at that juncture God caused a wind to blow over the waters and they began to subside. More….