Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Moral Man Transformed, Part VI

Genesis 18 and 20 make for another interesting contrast. Here we have a very full three month period of time. I say three months, because we know that God has promised Isaac in a year, and his conception takes place in chapter 21 after Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed, and Abram has journeyed south and pitched camp in Gerar. In chapter 18, Abram is visited by two angels (the ones that continue on to Sodom and Gomorrah) and a Theophany. Abraham recognizes His Lord and shows appropriate hospitality. At this time, Sarah also hears God's intention to give she and Abraham a child, and she hears it from God's own mouth. What has been a promise to her husband from her husband's God, becomes a personal promise to her from her God. As the travelers prepare to leave and head toward the plain, Abraham is invited to walk along with them, and God reveals His plan for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram boldly pleads with God to consider mercy if the angels find even ten righteous men in the city. He no doubt is pleading for his nephew Lot's sake especially. Having God's promise that the cities will be spared for the sake on ten righteous, Abraham returns home.

From Abraham's perspective, though we're not given these details, the next few days must have been horrific. His camp was right over the mountain ridge from a disaster. The sky was likely black from the storm of God's judgement--screams audible--thunder, lightening, and fire visible. The air was probably thick with soot and ash. Whether Abraham moved his camp south out of fear or necessity, we do not know, but move south he did--toward Kadesh where Abimelech was the ruler.

Here we see a previous side of Abraham return--the side of him easily overcome by fear--and in the presence of that fear, Abraham gives into an old sin. In chapter 20, we see a repeat performance of Abraham's early trip into Egypt. He tells Sarah to say she is his sister, so the men in the land will not kill him for his wife. The results of Abraham's half-truth are very similar to the results which occurred in Egypt. The king takes Sarah, intending to add her to his wives, God curses Abimelech's house, and Abraham is forced to 'fess up. By God's grace, Abraham is allowed to stay in the area (they kicked him out of Egypt), but it must have been an awkward and poor start in their new location.

What occurred to me as I read these accounts was simply this: obedience to God draws us near to God and makes us bold with Him. When we allow ourselves to be distracted by circumstances around us, we lose clear spiritual sight and fall prey to fear and sin. Abraham's swift obedience to God in regards to circumcision was followed by a season of fellowship and boldness. When he set his eyes on the disaster of Sodom, he became fearful and returned to an old sin. Everyone of us has experienced this cycle, so may we be mindful and keep our eyes on God and our hearts set on obedience!

A Moral Man Transformed, Part V

Genesis 16 seems to descend into a valley when compared to the previous chapter's mountain-top experience. An appropriate sub-title might be "Drama, drama, drama!" Chapter 16 finds Sarai coming to her husband and presenting her case. "Now Abram, we've been trying to have a baby ever since we left home. I know your God promised He would make you the father of a great nation, so we must be missing something. We're being to narrow minded where we need to be practical. You just need to take another wife. God must intend to keep His promise that way."

Well, Sarai's line of reasoning worked with Abram, and pretty soon Hagar was expecting, and there was baby-momma drama all over the place. Hagar, who had likely been serving Sarai since that first detour into Egypt, got on her high-horse when she found out she was pregnant. Perhaps she was emboldened, no longer a subservient "friend" figure to Sarai, but now an equal competitor. Whatever it was, pretty soon Sarai was in Abram's tent sobbing "My fault is on you! The Lord judge between us, but I'm pretty sure that this must be your fault!"

Abram basically responded, "My fault! Whatever. Do what you want." So Sarai did, and whatever she did must have been pretty extreme, because Hagar ran away. At least that's kind of what we assume, although one must take into consideration that Hagar was a bundle of pregnancy hormones and caught up in some pride. Sarai may have just put her in her place, and that was enough to send Hagar packing. I guess I just won't know until I get to heaven, but it's fun to imagine.

In the meantime, we're also forced to call Abram's true motives and feelings into question. At the beginning of the chapter, we can really understand how Abram might have been drawn in. He'd just had the promise of God renewed to him in an amazing conversion experience. What if Hagar was the way God intended to work? I think we've all gotten in trouble at one time or another, twisting God's will in our lives to fit into what WE WANT. But if Abram believed that this way was God's way with such conviction, why would he allow Sarai to send away the mother of his promised off-spring? No, there had to have been some doubt on Abram's part as he went into this situation, if he was so quick to dismiss his responsibility in dealing with the consequences.

As usual, God is the best part of this story. Hagar, an Egyptian unbeliever, is now wandering in the wilderness carrying Abram's child. God sends an angel to find her, give her instructions, and make her a promise regarding her son, Ishmael. Hagar was a servant and a woman--powerless in this situation and time period--yet God undertook for her and the son she carried. What great compassion! Not only did Hagar receive help and direction, but she was also introduced to the nature of her husband's God. She was impressed that in the middle of nowhere "God sees me!" though by her own admission, she was not looking for Him. Our God has not changed! He sees us all the time, in all circumstances; and often, when we are not looking for Him or to Him, He stoops to help us in our greatest times of need!

So, Hagar returns to her mistress, and the two must work things out (or at least manage co-existence), because in verse 15, Ishmael is born. Then chapter 17 skips forward 13 years. You have to wonder if Abram had started to doubt. Even with the great experience of chapter 15, we all know that it's human nature to forget even God's most dramatic interventions to us with time. Maybe Ishmael is God's promised son . . .

And then chapter 17. God appears to Abram in another vision and reaffirms yet again, his promise, but after all these years in which Abram has demonstrated both blind obedience and belief, a wise God knew that it was time to give this human servant a few concrete land marks to hold onto. First of all, he changes Abram's name to Abraham and Sarai's name to Sarah. How dramatic it must have been--especially at first--to be reminded of God's promise every time his name was called!

Secondly, Abraham was given the command to circumcise all the males of his company both now and always. This physical sign was to remind, not only Abraham, but also every man born in the years to come of God's promise that salvation would come to all nations through the Hebrew people!

Finally, though God assured Abram that he would bless his first son Ishmael, he also revealed that he did indeed plan to fulfill his promise through a son that Abraham and Sarah would have together--even in their old age. For the first time, God did not just promise, but he set forth a time for fulfillment. In one year's time, Abraham would hold God's promised son--Isaac--in his arms.

I think I started out my study of these couple of chapters feeling disappointed to find this great "Father" so fallible. After all, doesn't the old hymn read "Faith of our Fathers," not "Faults of our Fathers"? However, as I kept meditating on all that happened here, I found myself praising God. Abram is no different than any of us. He had strengths and weakness. Abram needed God. Abram sought God, and God was faithful to draw him near. Abram struggled with issues of the old man and of the flesh. Sometimes Abram was obedient, and sometimes he failed. God's promise and presence were consistence regardless of Abram's performance. Praise God for His reliable character--both in Abram's life and my own!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Moral Man Transformed, Part IV

In Genesis 15, Abram is finally made new. He no longer just a moral man, but a man who's heart has been transformed and redeemed through the act of belief. In verses 1 to 5 God comes to Abram in a vision, and Abram cries out with his inner doubts. He wonders how God's promises can come about when he still has no child and heir. Again, God reaffirms that Abram's own biological child will be the father of a great nation that will number more than the stars of the heaven. This time, Abram just believes. God knows His heart and the saving work is done.

And what is Abram's first act as a transformed man? To doubt. "Whereby shall I know?!" We humans don't change much over time. More than two thousand years later, Paul pens Romans 10:9 and 10, "That if though shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, though shalt be saved." Mere verses later, he offers this reaffirmation in Romans 10:13. "He that calls upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved." It can be no coincidence that God's inspired Word first leads in the way of salvation and then reiterates the surety of it.

Nevertheless, God does not upbraid Abram for his question, but rather gives him instructions for worship. After he has obeyed, God reaffirms His promise and gives Him a level of insight into his future. He gives details and boundaries that those of us reading are blessed to see fulfilled in time.

Tithes and Giving

I just wanted to start a brief study on tithes here, since I noted the first occurrence of a tithe in my reading. In Genesis 14:20, Abram gives a tithe of the spoils of Sodom to Melchizedek, priest of the most high God (most likely a theophany). As I continue to read God's Word, I want to study God's commands and attitudes towards giving--whether it be time, talent, goods, or money.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Moral Man Transformed, Part III

Genesis 14--In this chapter, we see the occurrence of civil war. I call it that, because if you go back a few chapters to Genesis 10, we can see that all these warring "kings" are descendents of Noah's son Ham. Abram remains uninvolved until he receives word that Lot and his family have been taken by King Chedorloamer. At this point, he takes his own small band of fighters--some from his own house and willing neighbors--and pursues King Chedorlaomer. Even with small numbers, Abram is victorious, the offending kings slain, and all the peoples and goods (Lot's and all of Sodoms') are taken back.

Of course, now the king of Sodom shows up (the fight's over) but so does a very special visitor. Melchizedek, the King of Salem, brings sustenance and blesses Abram publicly. Abram pays Melchizedek tithes, but refuses to take Sodom's goods.

I have to admit, I don't feel like I quite have a handle on the presence of Melchizedek here, but after some study of New Testament references to this passage, I feel it is strongly suggested by the writer of Hebrews that Melchizedek was a Theophany. He is called the King of Salem, which means peace, and Christ is also called the Prince of Peace in the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6. He is introduced as a priest of the most high God at a time when the hierarchy of religious leadership for the Hebrew people has yet to be established--far from it, with Isaac still just a twinkle in Abram's eye. Finally, Abram paid Melchizedek tithes. This honor of first fruits is owed to God alone. In any case, Abram definitely understood this King to be from the God who had been speaking to Him all of these years.

Though still not transformed, Abram's morality continues to be evident. He is loyal to a disloyal family member. He is brave enough to pursue danger with risk of great personal cost based on the principles of family. He shows respect and homage to the priest of God through tithes. He refuses the spoils of Sodom for himself, but makes provision for those who fought beside him. His heart was in the right place for God to reveal himself to Abram, and to transform him into that new creature!
Abram's continued morality, though not yet "transformed." He has been shown the truth repeatedly, but it is not until the next chapter that he believes the truth and it's counted unto him as righteousness.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Moral Man Transformed, Part II

In Genesis 13, Abraham leaves Egypt very rich and returns to the location of his altar at Bethel and Hai. This time, Abram calls on the Lord. Lot joins him, but Abram's nephew does not have the same heart of belief.

Soon after, there is conflict between the herdsman of the uncle and nephew, and Abram is extremely gracious to Lot. He offers His nephew the choice between two very different grazing lands, and Lot (showing no gratitude or respect) takes the better of the two. His heart becomes evident as he chooses not to maintain a distance from the wicked population of the cities in the plain of Zoar, but rather dwells among them and pitches His tent toward Sodom.

Again we see that Abram is a good man. He gives another man the best land with a heart of good will. Shortly after he and Lot separate, the Lord speaks to Abram again and says, (vs14) "Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever." God also tells Abram to walk through the promised land, and to view it, and to be assured that it will be his. After God finishes speaking, Abram actions show a heart of belief, because he "removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and there built an altar unto the Lord." He saw God's promise and worshiped. Throughout Abram's journey to transforming his heart, He is so very gracious to continue to affirm to Abram over time, that He is the true God and what He says is true. Does He not do the same for us, not only before the time of our salvation, but also afterwards as His work of sanctification transforms us more into the image of Christ?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Moral Man Transformed, Part I

In Genesis 12, Abram hears God speak and obediently takes his family and leaves his home in Haran. He journeys into Canaan, and when God informs him that he is viewing his inheritance, he builds and altar and makes sacrifice to God. Then for some reason, Abram journeys on into Egypt. Here, we see him make a poor choice motivated by fear that gets him into a tight spot. I am summarizing of course, but before I start dissecting the chapter a bit, I wanted to mention the light details.

I mentioned in my previous entry that God chose to share certain people's lives for two reasons. The first was so that we could see Him working His redemptive plan throughout history. The second was so we could see how he worked through human failures and victories to glorify himself. As I encounter the many character accounts in chapters to come, I want to view them through these two sets of spectacles.

1)Abram's journey and God's plan
When God first instructs Abram to leave his family, part of his promise is that "in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." He is also told that "I will make of thee a great nation." Here we see God laying the ground work for his people, though they would not leave Egypt as a numerous people for more than 500 years. Here also, we see God lay the groundwork for Christ the Redeemer, who would come into the world through the nation of Israel more than 2000 years later.

Also, though Enoch "walked with God and was not," and "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord," I believe Abram is the first person recorded whose belief was counted to him as righteousness. By no means was Abram the first "redeemed" individual in history, but he is certainly the first detailed account of a person whose unregenerate--albeit moral--life was transformed by a belief that God would do what he said through a Redeemer who would come through God's fulfilled promise of a son for Abraham. We can see who Abraham is--good, though flawed through sin--, we can see him come to a point of belief, and we can see him change as a believer (though he still struggles with elements of the old nature).

2) God's use of Abraham's life
Abraham succeeds--He obeys God and travels into a new land. He builds and altar and worships God. God is glorified in the longevity of his name. Noah built an altar and worshiped God, but that event is now more than 450 years distant (though Noah had probably only been deceased 20 years or so prior to Abram's journey to Canaan). Still, Abram KNEW who Jehovah was. He KNEW who was speaking to him, because he knew TO WHOM he was building an altar. God is glorified as His name and appropriate worship of His name are passed from generation to generation.

Abraham fails--Fear is the sin that seems to prevail upon Abram's life both before and after his redemption. His fear causes him to do all manner of regretful things, and in this case, his fear causes him to encourage Sarai to tell a partial truth on his behalf because he fears the Egyptians will kill him for his beautiful wife. When Abram's lie comes to light, he and his "sister" are asked to leave Egypt. What a fiasco right? Well consider. They weren't supposed to be in Egypt. God used Abram's failure to get him back on track--back to Canaan where he was supposed to be. I can't help but think how often God has used my failures to put me BACK into the middle of His will. Oh yes, the experiences have been chastising and painful, but effective!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gen 12-Abraham, A Moral Man Who was Redeemed and Transformed

It has been a while since I made Bible study comments here, ironically enough, because I got caught up in too many Bible studies. Looking back, I found that I was enjoying this one the most (and learning the most), so I'm back pursuing it where I left off. I admit, I kind of got stuck on chapter 12. I have always been troubled by the account of Abram and Sarai going into Egypt and telling a half-truth to Pharoah. I had all kind of moral conundrums with this encounter. If Abraham was such a good guy, why did he lie? Why didn't Sarai stand up to him? Should she have, or was that part of the whole "submission to your husband" bit?

Finally, after a lot of thought, the Lord was good enough to show me some things about Abram and Sarai; and I suppose, something about people mentioned in the Bible in general. God includes the stories of people for a couple of reasons. First of all, the stories of people help us understand how He has worked His will for humanity throughout time and history. Second, God does not intend for us to think these Bible "heroes" were perfect. He desires that we learn from their victories and errors, and how God worked and glorified Himself through their lives.

Realizing this, I am starting over with the story of Abram and Sarai. Abram was a good guy--a moral person. He was a good son, and husband, and citizen; however, it is not mentioned until Genesis 15:6 that "he believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness." Abram was not even a saved individual until nearly 15 years after he obediently followed God away from home and kindred. Even then, he wrestles with the old nature--fear, doubt, and disobedience. Yet, despite these struggles--whether Abram did right or succumbed to poor choices--God still kept His promises.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Times lines--Post-deluvian

I took the time to map out the years following the flood, and the study was definitely worth it. I really gained some perspective for my future readings in Genesis and Exodus.

To begin with, Noah was 500 years old when God told him to start building the ark. After he started the project, his sons were born. Shem was 100 years old three years after the flood started. I am considering the first day of the flood the beginning of year 1 of the Post-deluvian world.

Day 0-Flood begins
Day 40-Rains end
Day 190-Waters prevail upon the earth
Day 191-Ark rests on Mount Ararat
Tenth month--Tops of Mountains visible
40 days more--Noah sent out a raven and a dove
7 days more--the dove departs again
7 days more--the dove goes out and does not return
First day of year one--the water was gone, Noah removes the arks cover
Year 1,Month 2, Day 27--the earth is dry, Noah and his family leave the ark
1--Shem (101) Elam b.
2--Shem (102) Asshur b.
3--Shem (103) Arphaxad b.
138-Arphaxad (35) Salah b.
168-Salah (30) Eber b.
102-Eber (34) Peleg b. Year of Babel
132-Peleg (30 Reu b.
164-Reu (32) Serug b.
194-Serug (30) Nahor b.
223-Nahor (29) Terah b.
393-Terah (70) Abram, Nahor, Haran b.
341-Peleg dies (239)
342-Nahor dies (119)
350-Noah dies (950)
371-Reu dies (239)
379-Abram (86) Ishmael b.
393-Abram (100) Isaac b.
394-Serug dies (230)
428-Terah dies (205)
451-Arphaxad dies (438)
468-Abram dies (175)
471-Salah dies (433)
503-Shem dies (600)
532-Eber dies (464)
573-Isaac dies (180)
583-Israel (Jacob) comes to Joseph in Egypt
600-Israel (Jacob) dies (147)
1000-400 years later, the Israelites leave Egypt (a millenium after the flood)

Genesis 11A--Babel

The tower of Babel would have been located in the plain of Shinar, Nimrod (son of Cush, son of Ham) probably orchestrated its construction.

The attitude, both expressed and perceived, was very prideful. Those involved were seeking to be the masters of their own destinies. The Godhead perceived their intent perfectly and they conversed amongst themselves: "nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." Humanism is not a new philosophy. "Can we do it? Yes, we can!" Sounds familiar, huh?

So God confounded their languages. As I read this account, I can't help but wonder if God's about to confound the money of the world system--the U.s. especially--for the same reason, but that's beside the point. When God did confound their languages, the event brought they proud progress to a grinding halt, and the project was forgotten in the wake of the new crisis.

The imagination can go wild in this scenario. We're not given many specifics, but it will be interesting to have perfect knowledge of this event someday in heaven. In the meantime, I can note, after carefully mapping out the generations, that the account of occurred between 102 years and 341 years after the flood. I tend to lean in the 102 year direction, as Peleg's meaning implies division. If Peleg was born and given his name because of the division of languages, the tower incident would have been 102 years after the flood. This timing would also be about right for Nimrod's generation (fourth from Noah) to be doing the building.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Genesis 10, 11B--Genealogy

I think these genealogies are just so interesting because they are the second start of all civilization! All of us came from these three guys!

1) Japheth was the eldest, and his children made up the isles of the Gentiles as they became divided by land, tongue, family, and nation.

Japheth's children were GOMER, Magog, Madai, JAVAN, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.

Gomer's children were Ashkenaz, Riphath, Togarmah
Javan's (Gomer's brother) children wer Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

2) Ham was the middle son, who looked on his father's nakedness and received the curse of servitude to his brethren.

Ham's children were Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan

Canaan's sons mentioned by name are Sidon and Heth. After that, his descendants are detailed as peoples: the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgasite, the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Gen 10:19 says, "And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha."

Cush's sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, Sabtecha, and Nimrod

Nimrod's descendants are noted as cities, rather than children. He was responsible for Babel, Erech, Accad, Calneh (in the land of Shinar), and Resen (between Ninevaeh and Calah).

Mizraim (Nimrod's brother) son's were Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim (father of the Philistim), and Caphtorim.

3) Shem was the youngest son. From his descendants would spring Israel, God's chosen people. I will insert details from Genesis 11 here, to amplify my understanding of the passage of time.

Shem was 100 when he begat Arphaxad. Since the flood kept his family on the ark roughly a year, and Noah was warned of the flood 100 years before it happened, Shem would have been three years old when his father started building. Shem lived to be 600.

Shem's sons were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.

Aram's sons were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.

Arphaxad's son was Salah. Arphaxad was 35 when he begat Selah. Arphaxad lived to be 438. His father Shem would have been 539, so he preceded his father Shem in death.

Salah's son was Eber. Salah was 30 when he begat Eber. Salah lived 433 years. Shem saw his son and grandson die before him.

Eber's sons were Peleg and Joktan. Eber was 34 when he begat Peleg. Eber died at 464. Peleg's name must have special meaning, as it is implied that the incident of Babel divided the tongues and nations during his lifetime.

Joktan's sons were Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab.

Peleg's (son of Eber) son was Reu. Peleg was 30 when he began Reu. Peleg lived to be 239.

Rue's son was Serug. He was 32 when he began Serug. Rue lived to be 239.

Serug's son was Nahor. He was 30 when he begat Nahor. Serug lived to be 230.

Nahor's son was Terah. He was 29 when he begat Terah. Nahor lived to be 148.

Terah's sons were Abram, Nahor (named after his father?), and Haran. Terah was 70 when he had his sons. There would have been at least two wives involved, as Abram married his half sister, Sarai.

Haran's son was Lot. Haran died before his father in the land of his nativity, Ur of the Chaldees. His daughter was Milcah. His son was Lot.

Nahor married his niece Milcah, who was Haran's daughter.

Together, Terah, Abram and Sarai, Nahor and Milcah, and Lot went from Ur of the Chaldees into the land of Haran. Terah lived to be 205.

Abram's sons were Ishmael(of Hagar) and Isaac (of Sarai). Abram was 86 when Ishmael was born. He was 100 when Isaac was born. After Sarai's death at 127, Abram married Keturah and she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Abraham lived to be 175. Of course, the info on Abraham and Isaac is in later chapters, but by the time I got this far, my curiosity was killing me.

Isaac lived 180 years.

Alchohol and Drunkenness

Now here's a big topic for today. The opinions sure do fly, and I admit, I've vacillated, though I don't actually drink. I want a strong and understandable position on this subject, so I can pass good answers and discerning stand points to my children.

The first mention of drunkenness is in Genesis 9. Noah, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, whom God chose to preserve mankind through, is drunk. Because he is drunk, he finds himself caught in an indiscretion. Now nobody is perfect, but I think what we can learn here, is that even the best of men, can be made unwise and foolish through the effects of alcohol. God does not issue a reprimand to Noah for his drunkenness, but Noah's children are adversely effected. No commands are issued here, but there are some principles.
1) When a good man drinks, he can's always think. Drink responsibly? Well, that's kind of hard to do when your senses are impaired!
2) What you can handle, your children might not be able to. Is it really worth the risk?

Genesis 9

Genesis 9 covers three things.

First, it elaborates on God's covenant between Himself and all living--that He will not destroy all life with a flood again. He sets a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of promise to all generations.

Second, the chapter records God giving dominion over all living creatures to man. I will be noting this passage under "Significance of Man."

Thirdly, world history after the flood is begun with an account of Noah in an awkward situation and how his children respond. I will start a new post to deal with alcohol and drunkenness and make note of this early passage.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Worship is a hot topic in my day--how it should be done--what's appropriate and what's not. I know there are a lot of opinions and a lot of man made books out there. I want to study God's word and discern for myself. I just want to start noting occurrences of worship as they come up in my readings.

1) Before the fall. Adam and Eve had fellowship with God daily. All was open and innocent. There is no mention of worship until man and woman sinned, and their shame caused them to fear God's presence. (Gen 3:8)

2) Cain and Abel offer sacrifices. (Gen 4) Obviously someone must have taught them the need to do so. Whether God taught Adam and Adam taught them, is not explained. There is no mention of a commanded type of offering. As I've mentioned before, Hebrews 4 implies that Abel's sacrifice was approved, not necessarily because it was a lamb, but rather because he offered the lamb with faith.

3) Genesis 5 says that in the days of Seth, men began to call upon the name of the Lord. In my mind this would imply prayer; however, we are not given any kind of indication as to what types of specific instructions people may have been given about the worship of God. However, by Genesis 6, the clear thing is that the majority of mankind is not seeking to please the creator.

4) After Noah and his family come off the ark, they build an altar and offered "clean beasts and clean fowl" to the Lord. Now here, I find myself unsure of something. Did Moses, as he authored the Pentateuch through the Holy Spirit's inspiration and having been given the law, recognize the animals that Noah offered as clean and record them so; OR, did God give instructions about sacrifice to his early civilization. Did Noah know the animals were clean (or unclean) or did Moses recognize them as such?

It doesn't really matter, of course, it's just one of those brain-benders. Either way, I return to my lesson from the specific construction of the ark. If God intends for us to do something in a specific way, he will give specific instructions. That's what I'm looking for as I study.

5) Gen 12:7. Abram built an altar and worshiped God when he arrived in the land of Canaan, and God appeared to Him and re-affirmed that Abram was where God wanted Him to be. "And the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him."
Gen 13:4 This time Abram builds an altar and calls upon the name of the Lord. God does not speak to him first, but rather He is called upon. At this point, Abram is rich in goods, but He still hungers for God.
Gen 13:18 Abram has heard Gods voice, and God's promise for the land has been reaffirmed again. In addition, Abram has obeyed God and walked through the promised land. It is after this exploratory journey, that he builds and altar to worship, one assumes to praise and show thanks with anticipation of what is to come!

6) Genesis 14:18--Abram comes into contact with Melchizedek, priest of the most high God, and offers tithes.
7) Genesis 15:9--Immediately after Abram's conversion, God responds to his question ("whereby shall I know?") with instructions for a sacrifice. Sacrifice by this time, has been well established as the normal mode of worship. How is this worship executed? Here, God gives specific instructions about the sacrifice and those instructions are followed. Again, Abram seems aware of a certain protocol as to how the animals are to be divided, but we don't know how this knowledge was attained or passed down. Then Abram has to wait. He has to keep circling scavengers from devouring the sacrifice. At sundown, God comes to Abram while he sleeps, and in the midst of fear and darkness, God reveals Himself.

When Abram wakes up, night has fallen, and before his eyes adjust to the dim light, a smoking lamp passes among the sacrifices. While he is fully conscious, God affirms that the incredible events of that day have not all been a dream. Abram worshiped and waited obediently, and God's Will for his future was affirmed in his heart, in his mind, and before his very eyes. God used worship to create certainty in His servant, both of His Will and of His promises.

Genesis 8

Today, the headlines have been full of disaster. An 8.9 earthquake struck Japan this morning, killing hundreds. Tsunamis have effected not only Japan, but also Hawaii, and more than likely California before the day is over. Throughout the year there have been freak occurrences of dead birds and fish, and just yesterday, there was another story about millions of dead anchovies on the west coast. Again, I am feeling a little more able to identify with old Noah.

How does the godly person, the one who finds "grace" in the eyes of the Lord, respond to disaster, impending or present? Genesis 7 showed me that the godly person first responds with obedience. Genesis 8 shows me that the godly person trusts God and waits on him. In this chapter, Noah is waiting for the waters to "abate." This process took 150 days, but Noah and his family weren't exactly given a count down calendar. Even then, they weren't done waiting. Now they had to figure out when they should leave the ark.

I want to note Noah's waiting process.
1) First, the ark rested on Ararat. They'd been on the ark more than six months; still Noah did not go for instant gratification. He didn't hear the voice of the Lord, so he waited.
2) Then, after another couple months, Noah could see the tops of the mountains. His eyes told him things were improving, but he didn't trust his own senses, he waited for the word of God.
3) Noah sent out a dove. He experimented, and eventually received positive confirmation that things were improving; however, he didn't trust the outside source. He waited on the Lord.
4) Verse 15 says, "And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth . . . "

Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't make a move in our Christian lives until we have a vision experience with God, in which we're given detailed instructions. Today, we have the benefit of the Word of God, and through Christ's redemptive work, the presence of the Holy Spirit within to guide us. What I can learn, is that as I face a waiting situation of mild or disastrous proportions, I can learn from Noah's example. I can obey and avoid fleshly impulse. Though good counsel and good sense are gifts from God, I must rest in the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit above all!

The end of chapter 8 shows Noah, his family, and all those upon the ark preserved. They emerge to a new life, which they begin in a spirit of gratitude as Noah offers a sacrifice. God covenants with Noah that he will not destroy the whole earth with a flood again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Genesis 7

I'll admit. Initially, I was guilty of apathy due to familiarity in regards to this passage. I've read it in the KJV a million times, and I've read several children's versions to my kids many times. I didn't think I was going to take away much that was new. Ah, pride does come before a fall.

This week, I saw a lengthy report on the coming demise of the dollar. Gas prices have been rising, unemployment is getting worse, and our government is printing dollars like monopoly money. I was filled with dread as I realized that we probably are on the edge of a second depression and that my children will likely grow up in a very different world than I did. I lost sleep over it several nights in a row. Then on Sunday, upon returning to my Bible study, I was struck between the eyes with what I had been missing.

Genesis 7 finds 500 year old Noah doing right and blessed by God, but suddenly faced with the apocalypse. God gives him instructions to prepare for the disasters. He tells Noah what to build and how and who to take along, but that's all he knew for 100 years. For 100 years he obeyed by faith, knowing the disaster would come, but not when exactly--knowing that he and his family would survive, but not exactly knowing what life would hold for them after that.

Seven days before the flood, God gave Noah warning and told him how many days and nights the flood would last, but not how long it would take for the waters to abate. Still there was an unknown future and a need to just trust God.

Now I don't pretend to compare my family's current experience to Noah's, but what I can understand from Noah's story is that God has always, and will always, prepare and care for His children. When disaster looms, and when disasters comes, we can trust God to take care of us and carry us into the future!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Obviously, God's perfect plan for this world did not include sin and violence. However, is violence always a sin? Yes and no. God lays out some laws which specifically prohibit some acts of violence--murder and rape are pretty clearly forbidden.

But what about the context of war? Today, some groups express large objections to the violence that takes place within a war situation. In this case, one must consider, that though God did not ever want violence, violence is the natural result of a society in the grip of sin. Peace has not been a naturally occurring process or an attainable state since the fall of mankind. Also, as I continue my study, I know I will come across situation that God will command his people to war--to accomplish his redemptive purpose on the landscape of history. War also takes place to judge sin. In addition, we are instructed to live under authorities and laws of the land. This obedience to authority sometimes involves acts of war.

I want to go back and note situations in which violence has already occurred in the past five chapters.

1) Animals killed to make clothing for Adam and Eve.

2) Cain killing Abel out of bitterness. This murder had great consequences for Cain, but he was allowed to live. God had not yet set out the "life for a life" standard for mankind.

3) Lamech kills a young man to his hurt.

By chapter 6, God saw that the "wickedness of man was great in all the earth." Violence is clearly the natural consequence of sin. God did not create it, we released it when we disobeyed God.

By chapter 9, there's a development in the discussion on violence. God says in Genesis 9:6, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

I think here are some early thoughts on the topics of MURDER and CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. However, again, I think some would return to the question, how do these issues translate to the war situation for the Christian? What is the mind of Christ on these issues? I intend to continue to study them out. I feel I know how they will come out; however, I want the final comment to come from God's Word and not me!

Genesis 6

The gist of this chapter is that mankind got evil, and they got evil quickly. We sure didn't need long to "evolve" in our sin natures. Barely ten generations of recorded history in, and our creator God was sick at heart. He was ready to take it all back to the drawing board.

I take two things from this chapter. First of all, history repeats itself. Today's society does not differ much from Noah's. People "take them" intimate partners "of all they choose." Either through divorce or outright immorality, people defile themselves within themselves without much thought. In addition, man had become increasingly violent, which is a natural result of the strong presence of sin and a strong absence of the Spirit.

Second, though you may be alone in doing right, it is still important to do that right. God notices, and it thrills His heart! The earth's entire population was in sin, yet Noah "walked with God." Those are the same words used to describe Enoch, who God saw fit to translate without the experience of death. Noah's obedience saved him, and it also effected the salvation of his loved ones!

1) on Violence--Given it's own post heading.

2) On the "Sons of God." Nothing theological here. I just found it interesting. I remember hearing in a Bible class, that the "sons of God" might possibly have been the angels that joined Satan in his rebellion and were then cast from heaven. The result of their unions with human women produced children of remarkable size, strength, ability, and reputation. I can't help wondering if it was offspring of this nature that gave rise to the Greek and Roman stories of gods and demi-gods.

3) Specific Instruction--When God wants something done a specific way, he takes the time to give the details! On the other side of that coin, if God takes time to give us the details in regards to something, we had better pay attention and obey to the letter. Just as I love my children as they are, but expect them to obey me when I instruct them; my Heavenly Father loves me as I am, but expects my obedience. Partial or half-hearted obedience still falls below par!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Genesis 5

Actually, this post is a continuation of Genesis 4. The end of this chapter details the descendants of Cain and introduces the line of Seth. I want to place these two lines side by side and make an observation.

1) Cain bore
2) Enos (namesake of Cain's city), who bore
3) Irad who bore
4) Mahujael, who bore
5) Methusael, who bore
6) Lamech, (who also committed murder)
who bore through Adah
7) Jabal (father of nomads and cattlemen) and
Jubal (musician)
and through Zillah
7) Tubalcain (brass and iron smith)
and his sister, Naamah

1) Seth to bore
2) Enos, who bore
3) Cainan, who bore
4) Mahalaleel, who bore
5) Jared, who bore
6) Enoch (who walked with God and was not), who bore
7) Methuselah (the oldest man recorded), who bore
8) Lamech, who bore
9) Noah (who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, built the ark), who bore
10) Shem, Ham, and Japheth (fathers of post-flood civilization).

I found it interesting that six generations after Cain murdered Abel, his sin was still affecting his descendants. Cain's great (x5) grandson Lamech killed a man, and harked all the way back to God's protective curse over Cain to defend against his own actions.

On the other hand, when Seth bore a son, the time is marked as when men began to "call upon the name of the Lord. Five generations later, Enoch walked so closely with God that God took Enoch into his presence without the natural occurrence of death! Enoch son must have been influenced by his father's good life, because he lived the longest life recorded. Methuselah's son (ironically, another Lamech), must have been influenced, because he raised a son who found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The point? What we do in this life does effect the generations to come for the good or for the bad. This has been true from the beginning! I take it as a challenge to raise my children for the Lord, both what I teach them and in the example that I offer everyday. Lord, help them to see me calling on your name and living every day for you!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Genesis 4

Bitterness. I've read this chapter so many times, so I think it surprised me to see this theme emerge, but I don't know why. Bitterness is the result of disappointed pride; I know this first hand. The Lord has had to deal with me and forgive me in regards to the root of bitterness this year, so perhaps because I've finally been able to see my own root, I'm more easily able to see it elsewhere.

Genesis 4 covers the birth of the first two children recorded, Cain and Abel. Then the first child grows to become a murderer. He is punished by God, though shown mercy; and the entire course of Cain's life is altered. Another child is given to Adam and even to replace the legacy that would have been Cain's as the first child of the line of Adam.

The story begins with two young men. Cain is a farmer--a tiller of the ground. Abel is a herdsman--a tender of the sheep. Their parents must have told them about God and their beginnings, because there comes a time that they both come to offer a sacrifice related to their professions.

Now growing up, I had heard that Cain's offering was rejected because it wasn't a lamb, but I'm not sure that was the case. The shadow of the Lamb of God had not yet been set forth through the Israelites system of sacrifices. There is not indication that there had been any such commands yet. However, Hebrews 11:4 offers us a clue. "By faith, Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice . . ."

The fault of the offering did not have to do with the offering itself, but the spirit in which it was offered. Cain offered in pride; Abel offered in faith. Pride was rejected; faith was accepted. When Cain's pride became disappointed, he became bitter. When God challenged his bitterness, rather than repent, he murdered his brother.
Bitterness destroyed the very first family. Bitterness separated Cain from what was left of his family and from God (though his choice, 4:16, "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord").

The consequences of bitterness left Cain with a life that was void of the things that were initially precious to him. God showed him mercy, in that he lived, but in regards to the profession that had filled him with pride, that life was cursed. He founded a city and fathered traders, nomads, herders, musicians, and metal smiths; but neither he or his mentioned descendants returned to farming. He lived, full of bitterness, but empty of all else; and his bitterness would effect the generations to come.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Satan is first introduced in the form of a serpent. Of course, one could ask many questions. Did Satan take over the body of the serpent, and that's why it could talk? Wouldn't have that seemed weird to Eve though? Did all the animals talk before the fall, and that just made it seem normal that the serpent came up to her and started talking? Most of the question are irrelevant really--someday I'll know in heaven. What I take from this first mention, is that Satan presents himself in many reasonable, attractive, acceptable forms. We must be vigilant.


Genesis 3:25 says, "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." Before the fall, God's creation was without flaw, both in condition and perception. Unfortunately, this situation was shortly to change. In fact, one of the first results of Adam and Eve's sin, was that they hid themselves from God because they realized they were naked, and this made them afraid.

This response of Adam and Eve, is an early indicator, that in our fallen condition, it is no longer comfortable or normal for us to be uncovered. Adam and Eve created clothing immediately (Gen 3:7), and God reinforced this behavior (3:21). They created themselves "aprons" which in the Hebrew is like a belt, hanging from the waist and covering what's below. God make them coats, a more complete covering.

In Genesis 9:18-24, Noah has suffered an awkward moment. Of course, if he hadn't gotten drunk, he could have saved himself the embarrassment and his family the grief of consequence; however, in regards to the topic of modesty, I feel it important to note the different responses of his sons.

Ham discovered his fathers nakedness, and not only did he not turn away his eyes, but he made a joke of the situation. Then he tried to get his brothers to do the same. Shem and Japheth showed much more discernment and respect. They refused to share their brothers impropriety, and even at their father's worst moment, they showed him respect.

In our society, nudity is a big joke. We are used to seeing people run around half dressed. In modern entertainment, nakedness is often made attractive, desirable, or laughable. I know that I have been guilty of laughing, and this passage makes me realize that God's NOT laughing. Lord, forgive me for my insensitivity to what You call pure!

Genesis 3--The Fall

I think this must be one of the saddest chapters in the whole Bible, and I can't help but think how different history might have been if mankind just would have OBEYED God. Ironically, that's still the issue that defines a large number of our problems today. What would happen, how would things change, if we would just OBEY God!?

Two notes that I copied from my old Bible into my new one, were the following:
1) Satan inspires doubt (3:1 "Hath God said . . .")
2) Satan mixes lies with the truth (Ye shall not surely die . . . your eyes will be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil)

Satan tells a good story, and so often we believe it. We must consider our situation carefully if we are called to doubt, or if elements of truth and falsehood are intermingled! The result of doubt and delusion was sin. The result of sin was fear and separation.

So who's fault was it anyway? Adam blamed God and Eve (3:12 "The woman whom THOU gavest to be with me, SHE gave me of the tree . . . and I did eat). Eve blamed the serpent and ignorance (3:13 "The SERPENT BEGUILED me . . . and I did eat). The verbose serpent suddenly and strangely had nothing to say. God didn't let the blame-game work. In God's perfect eyes, He knew that both the man and the woman had sinned. He called each one into account, and each one knew separate consequences. Rather than perpetually and eternally enjoy his work, man would struggle to earn a living. Rather than basque in a role as helpmeet and find fulfillment in tending the garden of her home, woman would bristle under the rule of her husband and know pain along with joy in regards to her children.

I am very challenged by this account, because I know that I've been guilty of the blame game in many situations. When I am wronged especially, I take the liberty of responding in an ungodly way, indulging my feelings; rather than a godly way that follows Christ's example. Then I blame the one who did me wrong for my sinful response. But the sin and the consequence are mine.

1) Fear (3:10 "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid . . .)
2) Effects those around us (3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them). Adam had probably named the animals that now covered his body.
3) Separates us from God (3:24 So he drove out the man . . .)

Before God even laid consequence upon Adam and Eve, He presented the prophesy of their deliverance in his curse of the serpent (3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel"). He left them with what could save them, faith that God had said. Faith that someday, God would keep his promise to them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mankind's Significance

Mankind's Significance was established early. Though God created both animals and men from the earth, animals did not receive the breath of God's nostrils, the image of God or a soul!

Contrary to current trend, animals do not take precedence over people. In Genesis 9: 2-3, God gave mankind dominion over all living things on earth for food. So much for today's "if it's got a face, I don't eat it," philosophy. Now this doesn't mean we should be cruel to animals. Anyone exercising the fruits of the Spirit is going to show gentleness, even in a situation of dominion. But God made mankind special. Saving the babies is so much more important that saving the whales. Animals are a resource over which we should exercise wise stewardship. People are made in the image of God, capable of housing the spirit of God, and should be valued and directed to behave as children of Creator God.

God also laid down a harsh penalty for those who would shed man's blood. Genesis 9:6 says, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

Women, God's Perfect Plan

In a day of feminism, I really want to map out God's good intention for women throughout history. I believe that women are mightily blessed in design and in God given roles. This blessing started at the very beginning.

First of all, we were different from the beginning. Eve was created to be a help meet for Adam. I did some research into this word (or words), so I would be sure to understand correctly.

Help-Hebrew 5828-"aid" to from root 5826, to surround, protect, or succor
Meet-from the same etymology as above.

Though the words are stated separately, they are presented in the Hebrew as one NOUN. The words are not separate in nature or usage; for instance, "help" as a noun and "meet" as a verb, which would more imply a qualified match. In today's society, when feminism bucks hard against God's good intention for woman, it is important to note the implication of the original language! God created women to assist, defend, and nourish the men in our lives. As wives we should "have our husband's backs"!

Also, God created woman in a unique way. Adam was made from the earth, and to this day, it seems that the nature of man is more rugged and earthy. Woman was made from man, yes, but more significantly, from his flesh. Is it really any wonder that we are more sensitive (a strength) and also more prone to sensitivity (a weakness)? Truly God is wise! We compliment one another perfectly--man's strength making firm our sensitivities, our sensitivities tempering man's coarseness!

REGARDING ABUSE (future topic I would like to explore Biblically.

I. Men to women

A. Verbal
B. Psychological
C. Physical--woman were taken from man, making them one flesh. It is not natural for either one to physically abuse the other!

II. Women to Men

A. Verbal
B. Psychological
C. Physical

III. When children are involved
IV. The church's response

Monday, February 14, 2011

Creation Concepts

Up to this point in my life, I've always just taken creation for a literal account of 7, 24 hour days. However, I've had opportunity enough to be exposed to ideas ranging from evolution and the big bang theory to the gap theory and theistic evolution. I still hold to my first beliefs for three main reasons.

First of all, my God is the God of the impossible. Second, most of the time God says what He means in His Word. Outside of some poetic, symbolic, or prophetic passages, He means what He says literally. Third, does it REALLY matter. Whether God made the world in 7 literal days or 7,000 years, each depicted as a day; He still made it, He's still all-powerful, and He still did an incredible job!

In Genesis 1 and 2, there are several verbs that tell us HOW God created. "In the beginning, God . . ."
1)made (Gen 1:7, 16, 25, 26)
2)said (Gen 1:3)
3)divided (Gen 1:4)
4)called/named (1:5)
5)created (1:21)
6)formed (2:7,19)
7)planted (2:8, Eden)

These verbs imply a miraculous creator, an involved craftsman, and a busy gardener. Again, I am still not to the point of changing my mind about LONG days of creation (Day-Age Creationism), but usually gardening, crafting, and creating are not rushed processes. I do NOT; however believe their was any evolving going on, primarily for this reason. God's command to all living things was that they bring forth after their kind (Gen 1:24). It's a pretty long stretch (theistic evolution) to say that God created early life and it metamorphosed into all other forms of life, if God commanded that early life to bring forth after its own kind. Amebas having amebas having amebas having lions, and tigers, and bears? That idea just doesn't work at all!

I want to comment on a couple of words I noticed that might "support" Day-Age Creationism (the idea that each day of creation may have been thousand or millions of years). Both words occur in Genesis 2:4 which says, "These are the GENERATIONS of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the DAY that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Though I don't think Christians need to find a way for evolutionary process to take place (which was the major thrust behind the idea), I think given the wording here, it's not impossible. Again, my God is the God of the impossible; my God is usually literal; and does it really matter? In later scriptures, when God speaks of generations of men, he means generations as laid out over many natural years. Also, II Peter 3:8 says, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." I don't think we can entirely rule out that God took His time to create, not because stuff needed time to evolve, but because God was enjoying His work!

Genesis 2

Genesis 2 explains that on the 7th day God rested from his creative labors. The Jewish people modeled their observation of the sabbath after God's example, and later His specific command, that no work should be accomplished--especially that work which was "creative" in nature.

Genesis 2 also goes into detail on the creation of man (from the earth) and woman (from Adam). The chapter explains their environment, their state of perfection, and their God-given boundaries.

Question: What does this word(s) really mean?

Help-Hebrew 5828-"aid" to from root 5826, to surround, protect, or succor
Meet-from the same etymology as above.

Though the words are stated separately, they are presented in the Hebrew as one NOUN. The words are not separate in nature or usage; for instance, "help" as a noun and "meet" as a verb, which would more imply a qualified match. In today's society, when feminism bucks hard against God's good intention for woman, it is important to note the implication of the original language!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Genesis 1

Genesis 1 is a detailed overview of God's creation of our world. I will list mostly facts here (and a few random observations), though as I was reading, I had sundry thoughts come to me regarding the creation versus evolution argument. Those thoughts I will reserve for a separate blog, as no doubt, I will add to them in days to come.

Genesis 1:1--In the beginning GOD. I have always felt it important to stop here and consider. I have a not written in my Bible which states, "The conduct and lifestyle of the individual and society as a whole is determined by their concept of God." Today, as I begin a chronological study of God's Word that will take me at least 7 years to accomplish, this statement expresses the desire of my heart. I want a right concept of God. I want to know His Word. I want to be able to share Him with others. In addition, I also want this concept to be primarily guided by the Holy Spirit. I will be using man-made sources (whether books or internet) minimally.

The basics:
God created the Heaven and the Earth. The earth was without form and void.
Day 1-Light
Day 2-Water and atmosphere
Day 3-Land and plants
Day 4-Sun, moon, and stars
Day 5-Fish and Fowl
Day 6-Land animals, man and woman


1) FALLEN SATAN--I have in my margin notes that some people believe the fall of Satan occurred between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. I suppose this is possible, as it would make sense for this to happen before God created Adam and Eve and set them in the garden. God treasured the people created in his image. If he had an evil, rebellious servant AFTER he created them, why would he toss Satan anywhere NEAR them. Then again, if God did cast Satan there, He knew that He was STILL there as He was making improvements on the earth. This thought isn't that troubling. If he expected Adam and Eve to be obedient in regards to the forbidden tree, He likely expected them to resist the presence of Satan. I know there is more written in regards to this topic, so I will add notes later!

2) DARKNESS--I have always loved the thought that God created darkness before giving us light; it makes light ever so much more marvelous. Think of fireworks. We don't watch them during the day, because the darkness amplifies their beauty.

3) CAUSE AND EFFECT--I also have written in the margin, that "only our God could create the effect before the cause." It's true! God created the light (effect) BEFORE he created the "lighters." Light was created on Day 1; while the sun, moon, and stars, were created on Day 4.