Posts tagged ‘Genesis’

January 28, 2013

How Did We Get Here?

by pastortimfowler

Blog

 

I want to fast forward through the rest of Genesis to get to Moses and the deliverance from Egypt. I am currently working on a commentary of the Bible so I don’t want to duplicate that in blog form. Most people are familiar with the story of Moses and how God used him to free Israel from slavery in Egypt. What most don’t think about is how they got there. If you have read your Bible you know the story of Joseph being sold into slavery and the brother’s lie to the dad saying that he was killed. What happens after that is often forgotten when the slavery part comes around.
The Old Testament is full of typology. Certain things and places represent certain common theological issues all throughout the Bible. For instance, Egypt is a type of sin. God’s people, Israel were in bondage to sin, Egypt. When we get to that point in the Bible, most of us are feeling sorry for Israel and rooting for them to be delivered. We all want God to fix the injustice that Egypt is inflicting on them. What we forget is that Israel chose to live there.
Keeping in mind the typology, Israel chose through the years to disobey God. God promised them a land through Abraham and his descendents and over time they rebelled and did what they wanted to do. They chose what felt right to man over what was right to God. That is how sin works. It causes us to go farther and farther away from God. Before you know it we are deep in trouble and crying for God to get us out of it..
Remember that Joseph was sold and left for dead. God sent a famine, and his family that did this to him had to face their sin by going into Egypt and asking for help. Joseph made it possible for the family to move into Egypt and for a while, things were great. But that is how it is, way to often, with sin. It usually feels good and for a while even looks like the right thing, but before long, sin shows its true colors and turns ugly.
God said from the beginning that sin would lead to death. He said that sin would cause trouble for mankind as long as we are on this earth. The more we sin, the less God can fix our problems until we finally decide to turn to Him in desperation and let Him restore us. The good news is that when we finally ask God for help, He will help. He is the only answer to our sin problem. His gift of salvation and forgiveness comes through. Call to Him with all your heart. It is called faith and repentance. If we cry out to God with a change of heart He will forgive us and begin to deliver us from our sin.
The best thing we can do is trust God before we move to Egypt. Turn to God before we think that we can fix a problem by trying to get even further in sin.
Don’t forget that it was Israel that chose to live in Egypt. Don’t forget that even their best efforts turned into slavery. Don’t forget that God is the one who set them free. And don’t forget that you too can be set free if you cry out to God.

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January 22, 2013

Liar Liar

by pastortimfowler

liar

Genesis Chapter 12:10-20 is a strange story in the Bible. Abraham is going to the place that God will show him and he comes into Egypt where he thinks that something bad will happen to his wife so he lies about her and calls her his sister. He does not have to lie, for a couple of reasons. One, he has God on his side and two, his thoughts were unjustified, as we see when we read the story.
Lying is a common place in our lives. We have this idea that if we are lying for a good reason that it is justifiable. I think that all of us have lied about stuff at one time or another. Those of you who are now saying that you have not done this are now lying. Lying is one of the first sins that humans commit. We don’t have to be taught to lie, it comes natural.
The Bible says that the truth will set us free. It also tells us the Satan is the father of all lies. But, we think that lying is a tool to help us not hurt feelings. So that brings me to the purpose of this blog. If lying is so appalling to God, why do Christians think it is okay?
Abraham is the father of faith. He trusted God to go to a place that he would be shown. Trusted God to make him the father of many nations, even to the point of being willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac. But when facing the present perceived threat to his family, he lies. What I think happened is that he was in a place that was so ungodly, that He dismissed God’s protection for self-protection. When you can’t see God it is easy to turn to self for what we think is best.
Faith is about trusting even when we can’t see or don’t feel God’s presence. Faith is remembering that God is truth and truth never changes. Faith is knowing that when we are in a situation that God has put us in, we can continue to be godly, even when no one else is.
God does not want us to remove ourselves from the things of this world. Jesus lived and ate with sinners. The difference is that He never forgot to be holy. He loved those who were sinners but taught them to not sin. So God wants us to influence others as well. As soon as we give in to the temptation to lie, we give away the ability to allow our faith to shine through. We also limit our ability to show how God works through the tough situation that makes Him the one who solves our problem and not ourselves.
Lying is never the answer. It may feel better, but it will not set us free. Feelings can often be our worst enemy.
God is gracious and will never stop being the God of truth. He often works around our failures and in spite of our sin. But never confuse His love and grace for acceptance of our lack of faith and feeling as if we need to lie. Often our feeling of the need to lie is not justified, even to those who don’t believe. In Abraham’s case the ungodly king was the one who reminded Abraham that God was who He was. I think far more people who claim to not be Christians still know in their hearts that there is a God. They are just looking to see if those of us who publicly say that we believe will allow our faith in action to match our words.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that lying is okay. Tell the truth and live it and watch how God is faithful and true. Jesus said, ” I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”

January 9, 2013

Flood Damage

by pastortimfowler

noah

Chapter 6 of Genesis is the beginning of the most popular story in the Bible, next to Christmas and Easter. It is the story of Noah and the ark that saved his family from the great flood. It has taken on the status of great fairy tale rather than historical literature. We live in a day where science feels it must disprove the Bible and comes up with some things that are as difficult to believe as the miraculous stories that fascinated us as children. We are told of past catastrophes that wiped out most life on the planet, and are told of future events that will do it again and we are to tremble in awe of the stories. Yet, we are told of a God that judges the world with catastrophic events and we are told that we are fools for believing them. Again I will rely on facts and common sense, as well as my belief that the Bible is accurate to argue my point.
I scuba dive as a hobby. We often dive in what is known as black water in rivers that host alligators and bull sharks in search of fossils. The Megalodon shark is an extinct giant shark that used to rule the oceans. We find their 4-7 inch teeth in the bottom of the river right next to civil war relics. Many say that they are there due to erosion, and the fact that the oceans used to cover so much more of the earth. I think these massive sharks came inland during the flood in search of easy meals of drowned dinosaurs and other large animals. That would explain how the sharks quickly died when the waters receded like the Bible describes, stranding them so far from the oceans that would normally support them. It would also explain the mastodon tusk and teeth and bones that we find, many with gashes from what looks like sharp teeth. These same teeth have been found in the deserts as far inland as Utah and some even in mountainous regions.
Dinosaurs are not hard to explain. I was told by a scientist that reptiles continue to grow as long as they are alive. Lizards come in many different shapes and sizes, most well under a foot long. But there are a few, like alligators and crocs, who grow to be nearly 20 feet long. Those extremely large reptiles are close to 100 years old. Geckos, they rarely live longer than 10 years and don’t grow to be more than a foot long. So if humans in that day lived 900 years, what would happen if dinosaurs lived that long?
Fossils are interesting scientific anomalies. Something organic is transformed into something similar to a rock. This requires something to quickly cover and encase the object. If we are to believe that an asteroid hit and killed off everything, we must account for something the size of a Brontosaurus being covered very quickly and its bone preserved. That would mean that nearly 40 feet or so of sediment all over the earth falling in a constant pattern.
A massive flood would definitely have that effect. Years ago we had a flood that put 2 feet of water in our downstairs and there was at least a half-inch of mud on the flood when the water went away. A flood the scope of the one described in Noah’s day would easily cover the largest of animal or its bones with mud. I know that some will argue that over millions of years things get buried very deep, but in less that a year, it is hard to find anything left of an animal that dies in the woods. Bacteria and worms do a great job of cleaning things up.
I know that this is not pure science and that there is some opinion in here, but it is a blog, not a scientific dissertation. All I want to say is that for people who believe the Bible and those who don’t, there are other logical explanations for fossils and Noah’s flood is a good one.
One last thing. Next time you are flying over the earth in a plane, especially over land, look out the window and notice the way the earth shows signs of a great flood. It is the same patterns that scientists claim to give evidence of water on Mars at on time. This Earth shows lots of evidence of flood damage.

January 8, 2013

Where Did They Come From?

by pastortimfowler

SONY DSC

In Genesis chapter four we are introduced to Adam and Eve’s two son’s. Every time I read about their story of envy and murder I am reminded that parenting has never been easy and maybe, just maybe, I did okay, ’cause none of my kids killed the other; yet. There are a couple of things that we are told in this chapter that make people ask questions so I figure I will give my explanation. The first is, after Cain murdered Able, it almost seems like God gave him a really light punishment and even offered him protection. The second and probably the one I am asked about the most, is, where did Cain and Able’s wives come from? Both answers have a common answer. Let me explain.
The easy answer, but less acceptable answer for many is the one about the wives. They married their sisters. The other answer helps to make this more understandable and I will offer some biblical evidence for my answer as well.
Let me give an analogy to set the tone. In America there are laws against speeding. I have seen some speed limits as low as 15MPH. It is a known fact that horses can run faster than 15MPH. But when the cowboys were running around in early America on horses running faster than 15MPH, none of them were given tickets for speeding because there was no law against speeding. Sadly, today we have little regard for speed limits and the severity of this analogy is not the same as murder, or even incest, but, if there is no law, even if it is something wrong, there can be no punishment.
Now Adam and Eve were punished for their disobedience. They were told not to eat of that tree. But there were no other laws given. There was an awareness of right and wrong, but no law specifying individual deeds as sin. Romans 5:13Sin was in the world before there were any laws. But no record of sin can be kept when there are no laws. This is what explains the murder being treated with kid gloves, and can explain the “sister act” of Cain and Able’s marriage.
Today we have laws against incest. We also have medical evidence of the dangers of incest. But there are a couple of other things about Cain and Able’s situation that we must keep in mind. And there are some Biblical truths that we must remember as well.
Cain and Able’s generation was the first from Adam and the effects of sin on the human body were not as bad yet as we know them today. For several generations after Adam, humans lived upwards of 900 years. After the flood in Noah’s day, the lifespan of mankind was quickly limited to about 120 years, by God’s say so and the accumulating effects of sin which is what brought us death and disease. So the medical reasons for not having incest were not yet in place and there was no law against it yet.
There are two times in the Bible where marrying close relatives was necessary, or the Bible is false. Cain and Able and Noah’s family after the flood.
Many question whether or not God made other humans and they were the wives. Not according to the Bible. Genesis 3:20 Adam named his wife Eve [Life] because she became the mother of every living person. Adam and Eve lived over 900 years and could have many babies in that time. They were fully mature at creation and could have started having kids right away. There was not even many causes of head-aches then, so that excuse did not exist to not make babies. And we are told that sin entered into the world by one man, Adam, and was forgiven by one man, Jesus.
So that is where they came from.

January 3, 2013

Is There An Eternity?

by pastortimfowler

ETERNITY

Genesis is an incredible book of the Bible. It has the seedbed to all Bible doctrine and has been the source of many questions throughout time. The very beginning of all that we know is put out for scrutiny and scientific analysis. I have heard believers of the creation account called fools and complete idiots for believing such nonsense. But today I want to challenge you to question science with science and to take a good hard look at what the Bible says about the beginning of all that we know as this universe.
Science and the Bible tend to work well together. I believe that God gave us amazing brains and the ability to figure out great mysteries. Somehow science has been turned into an “anti-God” field of study that shows how there is no need for a God and only a desire to show that man is the higher power due to evolution. So lets look at the definition of science.
Science: a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws. I like that definition because it puts the Bible in play. The Bible claims to contain the truth. One thing I learned about the truth long ago is that some people don’t like the truth. Especially when it goes against their feelings. But science is not about feelings it is about facts and truth.
Here is a claim from the Bible that science often disagrees with: Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Most scientist say that there was a big bang and this ball of mass exploded causing cosmic dust to form the universe. So lets look at some logic, facts, and science to see which makes more sense.
The real question that I believe must be dealt with is eternity. Either something always existed or at one time there was nothing. Science will prove over and over that nothing cannot be the answer because nothing can’t explode or create something. Nothing, absolute nothing, leaves it impossible for either the Bible or some scientific claims to happen. So that means that something had to have always existed. That works well for me, a Bible believer. And if you are a big banger, it works for you. So what is it that always existed?
Science would have to say it was a lifeless mass so dense that it was collapsing in on itself and exploded. The Bible says that God, a living, loving, all-powerful being always existed. Science uses a term called cause and effect: Cause and effect (also written as cause-effect or cause/effect or cause and consequence) refers to the philosophical concept of casuality, in which an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event. So we must ask what caused this lifeless mass to do anything? Was it getting bored with just sitting in a vacuum of space and decided to collapse in on itself one day? Science says that there must have been a cause for this action.
The Bible says that God, an intelligent and all-powerful being spoke into existence all that we see. There is cause and effect. Science. Sure it is not easy to understand how, but it does meet the criteria for science better than the other possibility. Remember that we are not going on feelings, only science and facts and truth.
You see the true problem that must be addressed is the problem of eternity. If mankind can prove that there was a beginning to everything from lifelessness, then the Bible is wrong and we don’t have to worry about eternity on the other end, death, nor answering to a higher authority when we die. If all that we see came from nothing of any intelligence or power or conscience, then we are merely scientific accidents awaiting our end.
But, if God did create everything because He has always existed, then we have to admit that we are not the highest form of life and there is a possibility that we will have an eternity on the other side of death and we may have to give an account to Him, the one true living God.
God loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him. He made a way. His name is Jesus. And whoever will call on the name on the Lord will be saved.
Romans 14:11-12
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.

August 3, 2011

Read It All

by pastortimfowler

Today I am reading the last few chapters of the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. I love this book. Every time I read it I get encouraged. As someone who has been a pastor for over 15 years, I usually hear the opposite from people who read Revelation. It usually brings on confusion and fears and that right there tells me that God is not leading them through it, but rather Satan is. After all God’s word is one of Satan’s most used tools. He used it in the beginning with Adam and Eve and he even tried to use it against Jesus, what makes us think he has stopped trying to use it on us? Here is wisdom; any time you get confusion and fear from God’s word, it is not because God doesn’t want you to understand it. Revelation ends with this blessing:Revelation 22:7 ~ I’m coming soon! Blessed is the one who follows the words of the prophecy in this book.” God would never offer a blessing and then make it confusing and scary.
So why does this happen?
Currently I teach a class to the men of our church and have offered it and will offer it to everyone who wants to attend, called, How to Study the Bible. Most people, even seasoned Christians have little practical knowledge of how to properly interpret scripture. For some reason the church teaches bits and pieces of the Bible and not the whole Bible. Most people want to know where to find their problem solving verse rather than live the life that solves their problems as described in the complete Bible. What I teach is that in order to know what God is really saying to His people, we must read the complete Bible, starting in Genesis and ending with Revelation. But instead we read a few verse here and a few there or we read only the New Testament and skip the Old Testament. What we don’t realize is that the New Testament was written not to void the old but to complete the Old Testament. This makes it impossible to understand much of the New Testament and correctly interpret what God wants us to know and be blessed by.
We do not read any other book like we read the Bible. I hear people get all excited about the latest greatest book by the latest greatest author and never hear them say that they are only going to read a few select lines or chapters or that they will read the last chapter and understand the whole book. We do not build a new shopping mall by skipping to the last page of the blue prints, yet we try to build new lives that way.
It is impossible to understand the book of Revelation without reading the entire Bible, so stop trying. I know that I have read the entire Bible at least 20 times and I still don’t understand it all, but every time I do it again, I get more understanding and closer to knowing that blessing that God promised. I have been through 7, almost 8 years of seminary and still learn something new each time I read it. There is not a quick way to understand an infinite God. The Bible is not everything that God knows, it is, however, everything that He wants us to know. God wrote us a love letter and we call it the Bible.
I challenge you to read your Bible from Genesis 1:1 and not stop until you reach Revelation 22:21. Let me rephrase that. Read it again and again and again from start to finish, then you will begin to understand and look forward to reading and seeing the encouragement and blessings of Revelation.
One final note. It is properly titled The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, for short, Revelation. There is only one. It is not Revelations. Just thought you should know.
So read your Bible and read it all.