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Run away, now!

satanTemptation.  You know, Snickers bars, buttery popcorn, ignoring speed limits, yelling first asking questions later, even pretty ladies.  We all deal with temptation in our own way.  How do we overcome it?

Here we go!  Let’s look at a guy named Joseph.  He gets sold into slavery and bought by a rich family.  He’s a really smart guy and the man of the house sees it.  Joseph is given incredible responsibility to run the household because he does it so well.  The family prospers.  You must also know that good ole Joe is a pretty handsome guy too.  His owner’s wife notices this fact.  Uh Oh.  She wants Joe to pay attention to her if you know what I mean.  Joe isn’t into that at all, and he runs away from her repeatedly because he was taught to not mess around with another man’s wife!  Eventually, this lady is so fed up she traps Joe and he gets away, but he has to leave his coat because she is holding on to it.  Talk about a prima donna who must have always gotten her way!

Well, this lady goes on to tell a lie to her hubby.  She says Joesph tried to rape her. This leads to Joseph getting tossed into jail.  Fun, right?  Well, this all ends well.  Joe is so smart he is given a high place in running the jail, he helps others in jail and eventually is noticed by the King.  In the end Joseph is 2nd in command of the entire land and he helps everyone survive a severe famine.

Here’s the moral of this story.  No matter what evil temptations are coming your way, run from them.  You may have guessed this is a paraphrased version of the Biblical account of Joseph in Genesis 39-42.  God blesses Joseph in all that he does and even the bad circumstances lead to even better situations.

Do we trust God that much?

 

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What’s in a Commandment? #4

The fourth commandment is probably my favorite.  It’s been shortened in most listings of the 10 Commandments.  This condensed version, usually reading like “Remember the Sabbath”, is dull and hardly meaningful when compared to the full text.

4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

The most common arguments to come from this command is to NOT work on the Sabbath and accepting WHICH day is truly the Sabbath…  What’s funny is neither of things really matter too much in my opinion.  Why?6 on 1 off

1) We need to rest.  We all know it.  If we actually worked 6 days and rested, truly rested, on the 7th, we would most likely agree that it’s a good schedule.

2) The Sabbath is the 7th day.  What’s your schedule?  If the first day of the week is Sunday, then Saturday is your Sabbath.  If the only day you can rest is Wednesday, then your week starts on Thursday.  If you don’t agree, I’m sorry.  Many people work odd hours and have little control over it.  We must rest sometime.  If we don’t then our bodies WILL fail.  God knew that.  It’s also a time to “rest” in God.

Now, on to why I like this commandment.

As one who holds the Bible in high regard,  I really notice the confirmation of the creation week.  Did you notice it?  God created everything in 6 days…rested on the 7th.  It’s NOT just in Genesis 1.  Exodus 20 is a direct challenge to those who think there were gaps in the “days” or for those who feel the “days” weren’t days.  Hmmm.  Are we to work thousands of years, then rest?  Try it.

Okay, instead of failing at the “working for a thousand years” thing, try working for 6 days and then resting a full day.  Keep in mind what Jesus taught us later.  Are we to not help those in need on the Sabbath?  Are we to not heal those in need on the Sabbath?  Our attitude plays a larger part in all this than the legalistic arguments that can grow out of this 4th commandment.  If we did a deep study on this command not to work, I bet “work” would be defined in a selfish light.  We must recall that English was not the original language, and sadly, English fails to often fully define a Greek or Hebrew word.  Has anyone studied this deeply?

Some other interesting links to this 6 ON 1 OFF ratio.  Not only did God model the work week, the Bible also notes that fields should be worked 6 years and rested the 7th year.  There are also civil laws on forgiving debt on the 7th year as well.  Boy, I wonder how our economy would work with that notion?  Lots of 6 year loans?

The Marriage Trap and How to Defeat it!

Have I ever mentioned how the Bible is full of great insight and wisdom?  Of course I have, but here’s a new one that came to my attention.  Not every theologian agrees with all the particulars, but this can be said of many other interpretations as well.  So, here we go!

Genesis 3:16b notes some particular details regarding how Adam and Eve are punished for disobeying God.  Here’s what is said…

Your desire will be for your husband,
       and he will rule over you. (Gen 3:16b NIV)

 Now, in context, God is talking to Eve and has just explained how child birth will be painful.  Then, God says the quote above.  What is interesting, it that every version of the Bible I reviewed uses “desire” and “rule over”.  If we look at the Greek definitions of the Greek words that have been translated, many theologians agree that “desire” and “rule over” are defined as follows from a fine explanation I found on the web…

When it says, “Your desire shall be for your husband,” it means that when sin has the upper hand in woman she will desire to overpower or subdue or exploit man. And when sin has the upper hand in man he will respond in like manner and with his strength subdue her, or rule over her.(a)

 Doesn’t this sound like many marriage relationships today?  The woman seems to run the house because she has succeeded at overpowering the man, or in harsher terms, exploited the man’s apparent passiveness.  Inmarriage 1 defense of this outcome, we could argue that “someone” has to take the reins!  And the ladies did… 

Men, we cannot be passive!  Guess what?  A certain man was passive in the Garden of Eden and didn’t step in to stop the serpent from tempting Eve with the fruit of the forbidden tree!  You know, in Genesis 3 it reads, “She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”  Adam, was there the whole time and just “let” Satan tempt Eve and break the one law God had put in place!  Adam was passive!  If Adam was to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, then Christ was surly NOT passive!

In the other scenario, often times the man becomes abusive.  The man overpowers and subdues the woman.  This action often happens emotionally and physically.  Someone took charge, and the man did here…

What’s the problem?  They are both unbiblical scenarios.  We can try to justify one spouse “subduing and exploiting” another in a number of ways, but in the end, we are to be married and live as “one”. 

Recall, in it’s entirety, that Paul writes in the New Testament that “women marriage 2should submit (respect) their husbands, and husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the Church!”  This scenario is peaceful and complementary to each spouse if applied in a biblical manner!

So, has your household fallen into the battle presented by God in Gen 3:16?  Do you live as “one” or is the household being “ruled over” by one spouse?

Recognize the problem and seek to resolve it!  One way is to submit your marriage to the authority of God.  The next is to seek ways to enrich your marriage!  Go to a Weekend to Remember conference or get away for a few days and talk about your marriage!  Remember, the marriage you model will be the mold your children attempt to live.

God bless you!

(a) http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper89/5-21-89.htm

A Recurring Question

In discussions with Atheists or other interested people, a common question tends to come up….It’s usually regarding God, time and creation. Often it is confusing to people how God could create everything, yet He was around before everything was created. There are some faulty assumptions that often go into making this statement. This blog series helps to clear some of that up. I haven’t hit on everything by far, but my hope was to make one think about this question as well as give biblical evidence that supports it.  I also do not contend that reading this will make someone change their mind.  It’s simply information as I see it.  Enjoy!

Creation and Time Part 1

Creation and Time Part 2

Creation and Time Part 3

Tar pits?

As a child I was mesmerized by the thought of big pits of tar or tar pits.  All sorts of animals seemed to have met their demise in these pits.  What’s interesting is that much of the time, these tar pits are putrefied animal and plant remains that have turned into oil and tar over time.

In reading through Genesis, I found it of interest that in ch. 14 vs. 10 it notes “the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits”!  It is archaeologically known that the area around the Dead Sea in Israel used to have lots of tar pits.  It is also archaeologically known that Israel was a lush, green and fertile temperate zone in the time of Abraham.  I find it interesting that if Noah’s flood did occur,  then the 30th parallel would have been much more moist and fertile until the earth cooled off.  With the earth cooled off, the air circulation between the poles and the equator make the 30th parallels dry and desert-like, as it is now.  These realizations thus allow for laying the ground work for the theory of why this area was once a lush tropical type zone (the global flood).  In addition, these wonderful tar pits could be theorized as a product of all the death that occurred during the flood.  Lots of dead animals, plants and bodies plus lots of pressure = oil and tar.

I also found this interesting link that talks about Israel in both a historical and archaeological point of view while referencing scripture throughout.  It also talks a bit about the changes in the temperate zone.  Enjoy!

http://www.totheends.com/sodom.html

~Jeff

Vegetarians Beware!

Not that being a vegetarian is wrong or anything…although if anyone would say that it is unbiblical or unchristian to eat meat, I would wholeheartedly disagree.  I am always reminded while reading Genesis how clear the Bible can be.

Genesis 9:1-3
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

 Yep, everything.  Eat it ALL up!  Of course some of this changed with the LAW (namely pigs), but it’s clear we were created as vegetarians, but in the end we would be just fine eating meat too.  I love a good steak and of course eggs!

Adam was how old?

930 years old, really?  How could this be?  Is this the smoking gun that can be used to show the Bible is….is…..wrong?!?!?!  OF COURSE NOT!

I’m in Genesis and reading through the genealogy of Chapter 5 and it made me decide to write about age.  It is well documented in the Bible that the early humans lived for long periods of time.  Why?  I ask.  I have lots of “ideas”.  Here goes:

1.  Adam was to be eternal (we all were) and Adam was the first human created.  It would make sense that he still had a “bit” of the eternal perfection in him.  No mutation yet, no ill effects from radiation and hard living etc…. his decendants would logically live long too.

2.  Adam lived in a pre-flood environment.  We don’t know what this was like.  We CAN surmise that it was tropical since there are tons of tropical like plants that have been buried in the earth, assuming these are from pre-flood conditions.  It had never rained until the flood rains of Noah’s time fell.  Thus, I would suggest that the air or atmosphere may have been purer, had more oxygen due to all the plants and was more dense due to moisture.  This may have blocked more radiation from reaching the earth’s surface as well.

If these thoughts make sense at all, then living longer would make sense as well.  We also have a very nice record of the many generations that followed Adam.  See chart for ages.  Note how the ages drop off dramatically after the Flood.

This also happens to follow a nature exponential decay rate. (Not something an author would have been thinking about 3500 years ago when this was written)

The Bible also notes that the more recent average age is 70 maybe 80 years, and that average holds true today.

“The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10)

One thing that I think is interesting to think about is that Adam was alive so long that his great, great, great, great, great, great grandson Lamech (#9 on the partial list above) was born when he was 874 years old.  Adam died when Lamech was 56 years old and only 126 years before Noah (Adam’s great X 7 grandson) was born.  So, Noah’s dad had 56 years to talk to Adam about how he messed up by eating the fruit.  No wonder Noah was a Godly man, his dad, Lamech KNEW Adam, most likely. 

Bet you never thought about that.