Joseph: When Gifts Direct (or Misdirect)

~  I just read through a good bit of the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis.  As I read the story, its occurred to me that Joseph basically had three gifts and those three gifts of his basically directed the course of his life.

These are the three gifts and how they shaped the direction that his life took. His gifts either got him into trouble or out of trouble.

(1) Dreams: It is obvious that Joseph had a gift here. By way of dreams he could foretell the future.  His first two dreams had to do with how his father, mother and his brothers would some day bow down to him.  That is to say, he would somehow be over them some day.

Joseph naively went off and told it to them and this did nothing but stoke his brother’s preexisting jealousy and anger even more. The end result of this all was that they sold him off as a slave to the Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt and re-sell him to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officer.

the-sleeping-gypsy-by-henrirousseau

~ Now, what if he had kept mum about the dreams that he had had? What would have happened? Would he have continued his life in Canaan rather than Egypt?

(2) Good-looks: This is also a gift. Joseph was good looking.

“… Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”~ Genesis 39:6b

This was a gift that Joseph couldn’t help but “exercise” and unfortunately this landed in some trouble with Potiphar’s wife who tried to seduce him. To make a longer story shorter, the end result was that upon her best attempt and failure to seduce Joseph, Potiphar’s wife makes some false accusations about him and had him thrown in jail.

~ Now what if Joseph was just some plain vanilla looking kind of a guy? He was nothing special. A nondescript blah. Would this have a happened? Would his life have been different? Would he have continued to work for Potiphar for the rest of his life? Good-looks kill. No? Maybe not, but they can land you in prison at least.

(3) Managerial Skills: That Joseph was gifted in this way is very clear. The Bible repeatedly points out that whatever and wherever Joseph put his hands and feet, he found success. And his success was so noticed by his bosses, that he basically moved up the ranks. This did not simply just happen. It happened because God was with him.

~ This was the case while he was working as a slave for Potiphar:

“The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands … and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.” ~ Genesis 39:2-6

~ This was the case while he was in prison:

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.”  ~ Genesis 39:20b-23

~ This would continue to be the case later on when Joseph would miraculously leap up the ladder and becomes second to none but Pharaoh. Joseph was basically blessed with good managerial skills.

~Now what if Joseph had poor managerial skills? Would he have been put in charge of anything while in prison? And were that the case would he have ever met the baker and the cup-bearer later on? – the latter of whom would eventually get him freed from prison. Perhaps he would have continued the rest of his life in prison.

Joseph Dwelleth in Egypt by James Jacques Joseph Tissot
Joseph Dwelleth in Egypt by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

Evaluation: I think of the above three gifts, the best gift to have is managerial skills. These skills will be with you for the entirety of your life and take you far.

Dreams on the other hand – well, there is something involuntary and uncontrollable about their nature. You no have no guarantee as to when they will come about. You could also get bad dreams which horrify you.

And good-looks , well everyone ages. Your lose your looks over time.

*Aside: Note also that he started his life off as an extremely naive teen, but ended his life as one pretty shrewd guy.

Advertisements

Peculiar Questions in the Bible

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself,” (Gen. 3:8-10).

1 Kings 19:9
9Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

12 After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her. ~ Ruth 3:16

~Note: The KJV translates Ruth best.

 

Quick Note: Exodus to Exile

~ It is interesting to note that anytime the Israelites have a major journey to the Promised Land, God makes the people amongst whom they are living with favorably disposed to helping them by way of giving them gold, silver, etc. This happens when they leave Egypt for the Promised Land. This also happens after the Exile when they leave Persia (Babylonia) for the Promised Land (Israel).

So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.” ~ Exodus 3:20-22

Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.) ~ Exodus 11:2-3

The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. ~ Exodus 12:35-37

(2)
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm …

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings. ~ Ezra 1:2-6

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turns it wherever he pleases. ~ Proverbs 21:1

What is Zion?

Postmillennialism Made Easy

Ever wonder what the Bible is talking about when it mentions Zion?

No? Never? Really? . . . Wow. Well I have quite often and now finally I have found a really good explanation of it in Kenneth Gentry’s book, Postmillennialism Made Easy.  Here is the relevant blurb from page 18 of his excellent book:

“But what does the Psalm [89] mean when it speak of this installation “on Zion”? Zion is an historical site: it is the Jebusite fortress David captures and renames the “City of David” (2 Sam 5:6–9). Since David’s bringing the Ark to Zion, the hill becomes sacred (2 Sam 6:10–12). Because of its significance in old covenant history, the name “Zion” gradually applies beyond the historical site to include Mount Moriah where Solomon builds the Temple (Isa 8:18; Joel 3:17; Mic 4:7). Eventually it covers all of Jerusalem (2 Kgs 19:21; Psa 48:2, 11–13; 69:35; Isa 1:8), even representing the whole Jewish nation (Isa 40:9; Zech 9:13).

Because of this, Zion becomes an image of God’s rule in the world. In the New Testament the images of Zion and Jerusalem transcend Old Testament realities, reaching to heaven itself (Gal 4:25–26; Heb 12:22; Rev 14:1). Thus, the New Testament sees the center of divine rule being transferred to heaven, where Christ currently rules over his kingdom (John 18:36; Rev 1:5).”

The Law of Christ & The Law of Moses

There are two major laws discussed in the Bible. One is the Mosaic or Sinaitic Law and the second is The Law of Christ.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he was given 600+ commandments. This we call the Mosaic Law. What formed the core of the Law  were the 10 commandments.  The New Testament tells us that this Mosaic Law has been fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ and is no longer applicable to us.

For example,
~ You no longer need to sacrifice bulls, pigeons or goats.
~ You no longer need to worry about wearing clothes with mixed fabrics.
~ You no longer need to worry about eating pork.
~ You no longer need observe the Sabbath.
~ You no longer need to observe the penalty for Sabbath breaking – i.e. the Death Penalty!

Does this mean that we no longer need to worry about telling lies, or murder or coveting?

~ No.

Why?

It is because the Law of Christ is still applicable and it contains commands against coveting (Colossians 3: 5), fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18), etc..

While the Mosaic Law with the 10 commandments were fulfilled by Jesus so that you do not need to observe them, you still need to observe the Law of Christ. The contents of the Law of Christ are found all thru the New Testament. The Law of Christ comes to us with one key difference from the Sinaitic Law. What is that?

It comes with the provision that if you repent from your sins and turn to Christ making Him your Lord and Savior, then God will send the Holy Spirit to you, Who will help you keep His commandments.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” ~ Colossians 1:27

Return of Eden

. The New Eden …

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope…” ~ Romans 8:20

(1) As a result of disobedience, Adam was driven out of Eden.

(2) As a result of obedience, the 2nd Adam (Christ) returns to Eden Eden returns to the 2nd Adam.

* And its really New Eden.

2 Samuel 19 & Positive Amil

I am still processing the Millennial views and have not made up my mind on this issue.  However I have found 2 Samuel 19 interesting to think about in relation to the issue.

In 2 Samuel 19 David has just won his war against Absalom and he stops at the Jordan river to collect his people. Then in the whole chapter a big deal is made about “who will bring the king back” – who will meet the king at the Jordan and then return with him to a semi-devastated Jerusalem.  The over tenor of the passage is as though this is a big event – this going back.

So you get one set of people coming with David – his army – who are are already with him. And you also get another set of people who come out to meet with him at the Jordan and then return with him.

It is almost rapture-like. Just before David returns is a world – Jerusalem – where there are still plenty of people who are loyal to him, and yet still there are plenty of disloyal people. In addition, the powers in charge of the social and governmental structures consists of Absalom & his ilk.

Like so with Positive Amil. Jesus will return to a world devasted by evil and where the unholy trinity of Politics, Media and Academia will be ruling center-stage. Yet still the Gospel will be going forward and those loyal to him will be in good number.

*Note: This is just speculation – I could be wrong. Take what I say with a Berean grain of salt.

To Think About Later – A Note Concerning Matthew 21 – Jesus’ Return to Jerusalem riding on a donkey and a colt

A Note taken from the Matthew Commentary at Soniclight.com. Thanks to Dr. Constable for providing these.

“This is the only record of Jesus riding an animal. He was
preparing to recreate the return of King David to Jerusalem in peace and
humility (2 Sam. 19—20), and the entrance of Solomon into Jerusalem for
his enthronement (1 Kings 1:38-40; cf. Gen. 49:10-11). On each of these
occasions, a king rode either a donkey or a mule.” ~ pg 304

Also:

“Rulers rode donkeys in Israel during times of peace (Judg. 5:10; 1 Kings
1:33). This was a sign of their humble service of the people. Warriors rode
horses. Jesus was preparing to declare His messiahship by fulfilling this
messianic prophecy. By coming in peace, He was extending grace rather
than judgment to the city. He was coming as a servant now. He would
return as a conquering King riding on a war horse later (cf. Rev. 19:11).”

Jonathan & Gideon – Noting Some Parallels

1 Samuel 14  Judges
 Jonathan is accompanied by only one servant (v.7).  Gideon is accompanied by one servant (Judges 7:10-11).
 Jonathan looks for a sign (vv. 9-10).  Gideon puts out a fleece (Judges 7:13-15).
 A panic breaks out among the Philistines (v.15).  A panic breaks out among the Midianites (Judges 7:21).
 Confusion breaks out among the enemies and they kill themselves using their own swords (v.20).  Confusion breaks out among the enemies and they kill themselves using their own swords (Judges 7:22).
 Reinforcements come from the hill country of Ephraim (v.22).  Reinforcements come from the hill country of Ephraim (Judges 7:24).
 The enemy is pursued (v. 22).  The enemy is pursued (Judges 7:23).

~ I got my notes from the 2 Samuel Commentary from Dr. Thomas Constable’s SonicLight.com website.

Then there are opposites:

(1) Jonathan is willing to take a chance, a risk. Gideon is not.

(2) God does not demonstrate anything supernatural in Jonathan’s life prior to the war being initiated with the Philistines. Gideon meets with the angel of the Lord. Gideon also puts out the fleece.

(3) Jonathan is full of courage and faith.  Gideon was full of fear even after the fleece incident, so much so that God had to give him a sneak preview of what was to come:

That same night the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. 11 And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” ~ Judges 7

(4) Jonathan is the son of a King. Gideon’s admission is the following:

“Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” ~Judges 6:15

Beauty, Brains & Brawn – Kingdom Values?

Its interesting to note that in the Bible, certain values such as beauty, brains and brawn are not held up as premium values. You can have all of these and more and still fail to have character. You can see this by looking at certain individuals.  I’ll start in reverse order to my title up above and start with brawn.

1. Brawn

Samson – That God does not prize brawn over everything else ought not to surprise us. Samson was the muscle man extraordinaire in the Bible yet his life was basically a series of collision courses with trouble and it ended with a pathetic suicide.

2. Brains

Solomon – Solomon is described in the Old Testament as having been blessed with an incomparable knowledge, wisdom and understanding. The description is quite effusive. 1 Kings 4:29-34 reads:

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, 30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.”

~ Yet Solomon also had a sordid end. He apostatizes in the end. In spite of all his God-given wisdom, he still turned away from God.

3. Beauty

Esther – The Bible describes Esther as being a beautiful woman – and when the Word of God declares that someone is beautiful … trust me – she is beautiful.

“The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. ” ~ Esther 2:7

However Esther is not without her problems. In fact she has some serious character issues.  This may come as a surprise to many – I mean after all, wasn’t Esther a paragon of a godly god-fearing woman?

Let me say this first. There is no person in the Bible who is perfect and who does not have issues at one point or the other. Not Abraham during his Ishmael episode, not David when he was sleeping with Bathsheba, not even Job when he was charging God with being unjust (Job 34) and not Paul when he fought with Barnabas over John Mark. And so … so while Esther does display courage and character at certain critical moments in her life, she is not without issues.

So to see that Esther had issues, lets start by first asking this: Who did Esther marry? And why? Let us continue on and ask: Who did God say the Israelites were supposed to marry?

Ans: The Jews were only supposed to marry other Jews. They were not to inter-marry with folks from the nations around them. This was so that they would not be led astray into worshiping other gods. Esther married the Zoroastrian King, Xerxes.

Fine – Ok… so she made this one mistake. It does happen. She still is overall a good woman.

Well, lets ask one more questions: How did she win the King’s favor?

“12 Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women— 13 when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.”

Question: What was she doing from evening to morning that resulted in the King being “delighted”? And this prior to being married?

Quick Note on King Xerxes (Ahaseurus): The Greek historian described Xerxes as being a lecherous individual – that is that he was a man given to excessive sexual activity. He would eventually be assassinated by Artabanus, the commander of the Royal bodyguard in 465 B.C. He was 54 years old at the time.

So – so while physical beauty can help one rise to even the top tier of a nation as in the case of Esther, it will not help you rise to the very Heavens itself, because God does not place a premium on it.

So what does God look at?

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

Isaiah 66:22-23 & The Sabbath

A friend asked me about the Sabbath to Sabbath issue mentioned in Isaiah. The following is my response. I could have done more research in replying… but anyway… here it is.

Let me begin by commenting on Isaiah 66:22-23 in this email and reply to the rest in other emails. You asked,

> what do understand if you read Isaiah 66:22-23 – the sabbath will be observe in the new heaven and earth?

Isaiah 66: 22-23 states the following:

22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.
23  From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord.

(1) Isaiah is using both, the expressions “new moon to new moon” and “Sabbath to Sabbath” as figure of speech to describe something happening continually.

– For example, when I say that I studied “day and night” for my exam, I do not mean literally day and night – 24 hours straight, but what I mean is continually.

Isaiah used this language because the Jews of his day would understand what it meant.

(2) In the New Heavens and the New Earth, we will not be worshiping God 1/7th of our time. We will be worshiping God all the time, everywhere. There are 24 x 7 = 168 hours in a week. We will worshiping God all of those 168 hours. In this world we have secular worldly work and duties to do 5/6 days a week. In the New Heavens and New Earth we will not have such work.

(3) We need to ask what the “new moon to new moon” meant. What does Isaiah mean by this? I know that David, Saul, etc., seemed to meet together for a mean on the New Moon. See 1 Samuel 20. If this verse is telling us that we must observe the Sabbath, then ought we also to observe the new moon also?

(4) Revelation 21: 23-25 describes the New Heaven and Earth in this way:

23 And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the splendor and radiance (glory) of God illuminate it, and the Lamb is its lamp.
24 The nations shall walk by its light and the rulers and leaders of the earth shall bring into it their glory.
25 And its gates shall never be closed by day, and THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE.

~ If there will be no night, then how can one observe the Sabbath?  I wonder if we will even sleep then. Our resurrected bodies will be changed and glorified so there may be no need for sleep.

NHNE

Abraham’s Promise

Now the Lord said1 to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” ~ Genesis 12:1-3

“There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring” ~ Genesis 28:13-14

As far as I can see the Promise made by God to Abraham consisted of three basic things:
1) numerous descendants,
2) land
and
3) blessings on Abraham and his family and on others through them and curses on their enemies.

It seems to me that these can be reduced in the simplest terms to
1) family
2) home and
3) security

This is what everyone wants . . . in a non-Abrahamic sense

More Notes on the Temple

Genesis Notes:
E1. The Cosmos is the Temple of God.
E2. The Temple is also the House of God.
~ He “lives” in the Temple.
E3. God worked for 6 days in creating the Temple, and on the 7th day rested.
~ We work 9-5 and then go to our house to rest.
E4. If the Cosmos is the Temple of God, then Eden was the Holy of Holies within this temple.
E5. Adam was the Priest/King of the Temple of God.
Other:
E6. You entered Eden through the East.
E7. Four rivers flowed out from Eden: the Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and the Euphrates.
E8. With the Fall, the temple is ruined. See Romans.

Pentateuch Notes (esp. The Tabernacle during Israel’s Wilderness Years):
T1. You entered the Tabernacle through the East side.
T2. Lots of water was there, from the Basin to other things.
T3. The Menorah and lampstands mark the Greater light and the lesser lights as per Genesis 1.

Judges and Kings Notes, esp. Solomon’s Temple:
ST1: The Gihon Spring was located south of the temple.

Prophets Notes:
1. Ezekiel

Christ:
1. Jesus Christ. finishes the Temple Restoration process. “tetelestai!” “It is finished!” The curtain of the temple rips.
2. Just as God rested on the 7th Day, so too Jesus Christ rested in the tomb on the 7th Day.

Revelation Notes:
1. Spring of the Water of Life.
2. New Jerusalem, City shaped like a square.
3. No more sun or moon – Jesus Christ is our light… almost as if He fulfills even these.

G.K. Beale on the Temple

The following consists of some notes from G.K. Beale’s article, EDEN, THE TEMPLE, AND THE CHURCH’S MISSION IN THE NEW CREATION in JETS 48/1 (March 2005) 5–31.

~~~ Begin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“The garden of Eden was a temple in the first creation.”

(I think Walton refers to the entire first creation as a temple.)

Anyway Beale will go on to list some reasons why Eden is to be regarded as a temple.

(1)
In the OT, the temple was where an Israelite or the priest went to experience God’s presence.
(1′) Eden was the place where Adam walked and talked with God.

(2) God placed Adam, the first priest in the Garden “to cultivate it and to keep it.” ~ See Gen 2:15. The words used are abad and shamar.
(2′) Later on in the OT, the priest were to “serve and guard it.” Abad and shamar crop up again.

~ When Adam fails in his priestly role, two cherubim are placed in Eden to guard the tree of life. Likewise, Moses will make 2 statues of angels to guard the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.

(3) ” … the “tree of life” itself was probably the model for the lampstand placed directly outside the “Holy of Holies” in Israel’s temple: it looked like a small tree trunk with seven protruding branches, three on one side and three on the other, and one branch going straight up from the trunk in the middle.”

(4)
“Israel’s later temple had wood carvings which gave it a garden-like atmosphere and likely were intentional reflections of Eden.”

(5)
” … the ark in the Holy of Holies, which contained the Law (that led to wisdom), echoes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (that also led to wisdom). The touching of both the ark and this tree resulted in death.”

(6)
“Sixth, the ark in the Holy of Holies, which contained the Law (that led to wisdom), echoes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (that also led to wisdom). The touching of both the ark and this tree resulted in death.”

(7)
A river flowed out from Eden (Gen 2:10),
(7′) Likewise in the so the post-exilic temple and the temples described in Ezek. 47:1–12 and Rev 21:1–2, we find rivers flowing out from their center.

Thought in passing: In the NT, Christians are described as being temples of the Holy Spirit. It is interesting to note that Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him”( John 7:38).

(8)
& lastly (9) SKIP these ones as they are a bit involved.

John Walton’s 18 Propositions on Genesis ~ A quick jot

Walton, John H. The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2009. 192 pages)

Proposition 1: Genesis 1 Is Ancient Cosmology
Proposition 2: Ancient Cosmology Is Function Oriented
Proposition 3: “Create” (Hebrew bārā’) Concerns Functions
Proposition 4: The Beginning State in Genesis 1 is Non-Functional
Proposition 5: Days One to Three in Genesis 1 Establish Functions
Proposition 6: Days Four to Six in Genesis 1 Install Functionaries
Proposition 7: Divine Rest Is in a Temple
Proposition 8: The Cosmos Is a Temple
Proposition 9: The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Relate to the Cosmic Temple Inauguration

Proposition 10: The Seven Days of Genesis 1 Do Not Concern Material Origins
Proposition 11: “Functional Cosmic Temple” Offers Face-Value Exegesis
Proposition 12: Other Theories of Genesis 1 Either Go Too Far or Not Far Enough
Proposition 13: The Difference Between Origin Accounts in Science and Scripture Is Metaphysical in Nature
Proposition 14: God’s Roles as Creator and Sustainer Are Less Different Than We Have Thought
Proposition 15: Current Debate About Intelligent Design Ultimately Concerns Purpose
Proposition 16: Scientific Explanations of Origins Can Be Viewed in Light of Purpose, and If So, Are Unobjectionable
Proposition 17: Resulting Theology in This View of Genesis 1 Is Stronger, Not Weaker
Proposition 18: Public Science Education Should Be Neutral Regarding Purpose

Interesting Parallels in Genesis

Currently, I am going through Genesis doing my quiet times. I am also using Bruce Waltke commentary as a help. Waltke points out some interesting parallels (//) in the book.

I. Parallels between Adam & Noah

  • Both worlds emerge from a watery chaos.
  • Adam & Noah are both involved in special work with animals – Adam in naming and Noah in preserving
  • Adam & Noah are both “farmers” in that they both work the ground.
  • Adam sins by eating. Noah by drinking.
  • The result of both their sins have to do with shame and nakedness.
  • As a result of their sins, both have to be covered up by someone else.
  • On account of Adam’s sin, humanity incurs judgment. On account of Noah’s sin, Canaan incurs judgment.

II. Parallels between the Creation and the Re-Creation (after Noah disembarks from the Ark)

  • Both worlds get their starts from a watery chaos.
  • God’s Spirit hovers over the surface of the deep. // God sends a wind over the waters to renew the earth.
  • God divides the waters. // God regathers the waters.
  • God separates the land from the waters. // The dry ground emerges and separates from the receding waters.
  • The sky teems with birds. // The raven and the dove are sent out.
  • Animals/creatures that move on the ground emerge. // Creatures that move on the ground emerge from the Ark.
  • Humanity is blessed (“be fruitful”, “increase in number”, “fill the earth”, etc. Gen 1:28) // Humanity is blessed (“be fruitful”, “increase in number”, “fill the earth”, etc. Gen. 9:1-2)

III. Parallels between Noah and Lot

  • Both are involved in sexual sin.
  • God remembers the elect.
  • God saves the entire family – physical salvation.
  • Warnings do precede the judgment.
  • God rains down judgment – water & fire
  • Lot, like Noah finds grace in God’s eyes.
  • Only one family escapes.
  • Both Noah and Lot sin by getting drunk and further family sins follow.

IV. There are several genealogies that structure the sections of the book of Genesis.

There are others… but I think I’ll leave this be for now…

V. Abraham & Pharaoh episode // Abraham and King Abimilech episode.

VI. Abraham’s hospitality // Lot’s hospitality

VII. Sarai/h and Hagar runs – Gen. 16 // Gen. 21

  • There is friction between Sarai and Hagar and Hagar runs away. // There is friction between Sarai and Hagar and Hagar is sent away.
  • The angel of the Lord finds Hagar. // The angel of the Lord finds Hagar.
  • Hagar is asked “…where have you come from, and where are you going?” // Hagar is asked “What is the matter, Hagar?”
  • God tells Hagar that she will have numerous descendants. // God tells Hagar that Ishmael will become a great nation.

There is something touching about the story of Hagar. You cannot help but feel for her as your read. I sympathize with her more than with Sarah. God is always with them though… “God was with the boy as he grew up… ” ~ Gen. 21v.20

VII. [X] Abraham/Pharaoh // [Y] Abraham/Abimelech //[Z] Isaac/Abimelech (Gen. 26) episode

  • [X//Z] Abraham goes to Egypt on account of a famine. // Isaac is about to go to Egypt on account of a famine;God stops him.
  • [X//Z] Abraham “lied” about Sarah being his sister. // Abraham “lied” about Sarah being his sister.
  • [Y//Z] Abraham “lied” about Sarah being his sister. // Isaac lies about Rebekah being his sister. ( = flashback scene btw)
  • [X//Y//Z] Abraham’s ppl have conflicts with Lot’s ppl. // Abraham ppl have conflicts with Abimelech’s. // Isaac’s ppl have conflicts Abimelech’s.
  • [Y//Z] Abraham makes a treaty with Abimelech and Philcol // Isaac makes a treaty with Abimelech, Ahuzzath and Philcol.
  • [Y//Z] Well problems exist btwn Abraham’s ppl and Ahimelech’s. // Well problems exist between Isaac’s ppl and Abimelech’s ppl.
  • [Y//Z] Beersheba is the location for some of these talks. // Beersheba is the location for some of these talks.And so on . . .