Why does Abram have sex with someone other than Sarai his wife? Why do they have a slave in the first place? And why does Sarai blame God for her childlessness?
What are we to make of a passage like this? Continue reading “Why couldn’t they see it? (Genesis 16:1-3)”
How should we feel about having this car parked at our church? Continue reading “Pleased or disturbed?”
Who is Holy Spirit? How do we relate to him?
These are live sessions (not blog topics), over the next six Monday evenings: Continue reading “Free course: Holy Spirit and You”
Abram has persistent questions. How can he know that YHWH will establish Abram’s descendants as his nation in this land when Abram will be long dead before this ever happens? YHWH responds by offering to commit himself to Abram with a covenant: Continue reading “Covenant with Abram (Genesis 15:7-21)”
Genesis 15:6 (ESV)
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
This verse is quoted in Romans 4, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:23. If you’re familiar with how the NT uses it, you may find it difficult to see how the verse functions in its original setting. Continue reading “Faith as righteousness (Genesis 15:6)”
Throughout the Old Testament, the word of the Lord came to prophets—both the former prophets (such as Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha), and the writing prophets (Isaiah – Malachi). But it is Abram who first hears the word of the Lord: Continue reading “Was Abram a prophet? (Genesis 15:1-5)”
The Book of Acts opens with a key phrase in the mouth of Jesus, and closes with the same phrase in the mouth of Paul.
I was recently in a small group that asked, “So what’s the theme of the Book of Acts?” There are many ways to answer such a question, but let’s just look at how it opens and closes. Continue reading “Theme of Acts”
So what is the significance of Abram’s meeting with two Canaanite kings, Melchizedek and Bera? Continue reading “How will the nations respond? (Genesis 14:21-24)”
Melchizedek has always fascinated readers and fuelled the imagination of heretics and secret societies. As long ago as the second century, Theodotus of Byzantium venerated him above Christ. Even before Jesus’ time, some of the Qumran texts treated him as an angelic figure. So who was Melchizedek? Continue reading “Who was Melchizedek? (Genesis 14:17-20)”
If you love high-drama action stories, you’ll love this! Abram left everything for the land where God promised he would establish his nation, yet the whole project is constantly under threat: Continue reading “The threat of war (Genesis 14:1-16)”
What would it take to distract you from the hope of the restoration of God’s reign over the world? Continue reading “Lot’s distraction (Genesis 13)”
YHWH called Abram to found his nation. Abram obeyed, leaving the Babel region behind, travelling to the land YHWH chose. There Abram constructed altars—symbols of YHWH’s authority.
But there are constant threats to the fulfilment of YHWH’s promise. A famine drives Abram out of the land, into the jaws of Egypt—the most powerful kingdom of the region (12:10). Abram knows that the rulers of earthly kingdoms take whatever they want, even if they have to kill to get it. He fears they will kill him to take Sarai (12:12). Continue reading “What if we’re unfaithful? (Genesis 12:10-20)”
Abram is now the representative on earth of the heavenly ruler’s kingdom. His descendants will be the great nation through whom YHWH will restore his rule to all the families of the earth. Continue reading “God shows up (Genesis 12:4-9)”
Now that YHWH has given authority to the nations to rule themselves, how will he ever bring them back to recognize his authority? That’s the question to which Abraham and his family are the answer. Continue reading “YHWH launches a nation of his own (Genesis 12:1-3)”
Before we resume our series in Genesis, would you like a taste of how a familiar text jumps to life when read from a kingdom perspective?
John 3:16–17 (ESV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
This text expresses God’s love for his world, i.e. the gift of his Son who changes everything. Jesus is indeed the central character of the entire biblical narrative, so let’s situate this familiar text within the story of God’s kingdom. Continue reading “John 3:16 — a kingdom perspective”
What is the relationship between the kingdom of God and the church?
If you’re interested in kingdom topics, you will know this one generates considerable debate. We’re in Genesis where there is no direct reference to the church. Nevertheless, if you miss the significance of the early chapters of Genesis, it can undermine how you read the rest of Scripture. Continue reading “Kingdom conspiracy? (Scot McKnight)”
Have you been surprised at how the plot of Genesis develops when you read it as the story of the kingdom? It has not been read this way in recent times. Why? Continue reading “Have we lost the plot? (Genesis)”
Would you like a summary of all we’ve discovered?
Let’s pause our Genesis series here. Before we begin the Abraham story, it would be good to review why we are using a kingdom perspective, and how the story sounds so far. We will then provide a taste of how this perspective reshapes the way we hear familiar texts like John 3:16.
Why are we reading Scripture from a kingdom perspective? Continue reading “The kingdom story in Genesis 1–11”
Give people power, and they will see how far they can take it. Noah abused the power God gave him—instituting slavery. God gave them the authority to take the life of a murderer, and Nimrod twisted that power into war—the seed of empires. YHWH did not stop slavery. Nor did he stop war.
So how far can people go? Will YHWH let them take authority over everything and rule the earth in his place? That’s what humans attempt next. Continue reading “Can the nations take over God’s reign? (Genesis 11)”
Honesty moment: do you skip over the genealogical lists when you read the Bible? Can’t see the significance? Genesis 10 lists the names of 70 nations, but there’s an intriguing message right in the middle. Continue reading “Why war? (Genesis 10)”