Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like everyone around you is...how do I put this delicately?...Intellectually challenged? Like you're the only one who gets it? And all you can do is throw back your head and yell...I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!!
As a disciple, do you ever have one of those days when everyone around you is morally challenged? Where you feel like the second you put your feet on the floor in the morning, that you're trying to avoid stepping in the black sludgey puddles left behind by everyone walking around you? Ok, maybe a little extreme but you get the idea. Most of us have days where we feel alone and isolated in our world. And honestly it's difficult to continue to do what's right when it feels like no one around cares.
Most of those feelings are slightly dramatic, but for Noah it was FACT. Literally the Bible says he was the only one who was righteous. THE ONLY ONE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. That's slightly overwhelming, for anyone. Here's what it says about what was going on on the Earth around Noah.
"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6.5 ESV
That's rough. People's hearts were evil, all the time. And we find out in v.11 that they were also, violent and corrupt. Not a pretty picture. So God is "grieved" (v.6) that he made people. The sad part is, remember back to Genesis 1 and how all of God's creation was GOOD? In just five short chapters his noble creation, created in his own image has fallen to this. You can hear God's heart breaking as he tells Noah that he will "destroy them with the Earth" (v.13). And yet the one bit of shining hope in this masterpiece of catastrophe is, "[the] righteous man, blameless in his generation, [who] walked with God," (v.9), Noah. And here, we see the foreshadowing of another man who was the only one blameless, righteous, and walked with God--Jesus.
I have two younger brothers whom I love deeply. They were my best men at my wedding. So this story always managed to freak me out a little. I'm four years older than my younger brother and sometimes, like every once in a while, I might have employed mental warfare on him in order to get him to get me a cookie...but nothing that bad. Which is why this story always freaked me out a little bit.
Cain and Abel. The first set of brothers. Cain the farmer and Abel the shepherd (Gen 4.2). And then they both make offerings to God, and something not great happens
"In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell" Genesis 4.3-5 ESV
And Cain gets mad, but not normal mad, but mad like even The Incredible Hulk would say,"Bro..." He ends up killing his brother over his own jealousy. Humanity doesn't even make it two generations before there is murder. Dark. Just dark. So where is Jesus in all of this? Well, sometimes there is a shadow of what Jesus will do. Sometimes, like here, it is a shadow of what Jesus WILL REVERSE. I see him in this verse, which is God's follow-up talk with Cain after he murdered his brother.
"Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand." Genesis 4.9-11 ESV
So where is Jesus? Abel's blood cries to God to CONVICT sinners. Jesus' blood will later cry to God to REDEEM sinners.
Happy New Year everyone!
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There is something awesome about new beginnings. It doesn't matter if its a new school year, new car smell, or a new pair of socks new is usually pretty sweet.
And so, with a new year beginning it's fitting for us to look at THE BEGINNING in Genesis.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.
Genesis 1.1-4 ESV
Everyone knows this verse. I think I read this and there is already so much Jesus in this verse, even from the very beginning. The obvious parallel comes in John 1.1-5 which was clearly written to show how Jesus has been there from the beginning.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1.1-5 ESV
How does this work? Well, in Genesis 1 the word used for God in Hebrew is "Elohim" which is by far the most common term used for God in the OT. "Elohim" can also be translated as "Gods" meaning gods in plurality. Now, this doesn't mean there are many Gods, but even here in the opening verses of the Bible we see hints and shadows of Jesus. Sure, it doesn't get cleared up fully until John 1, but that is the nature of Jesus fulfilling the OT. He's always there but we don't always see him right away...kinda like a spiritual Where's Waldo.
Three things I will look at in more depth
1. Jesus Creates 2. Jesus DESIRES to create something from nothing 3. Jesus brings Light