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)”
We dined at the old Guildford on Friday: not so much for its food as its story. Continue reading “Restoration — the Guildford Hotel”
The kingdom of God has been re-established in Noah. In fact, the sovereign has given more power to Noah that he did to Adam. In the beginning, Adam and Eve ruled only the animals on God’s behalf. Now God has authorized human government, so Noah is the first person with divinely appointed power over the lives of others. In the framework of the ancient near east, that gives Noah great honour. How does he use the power entrusted to him?
Continue reading “Why slavery? (Genesis 9:18-29)”
After the flood, God gave humans power over the lives of other humans. Because they had not respected his governance, he authorized human government. Does that mean he’s abdicating? Continue reading “God’s commitment to reign (Genesis 9:7-17)”
The month of Ramadan has begun. For the next 30 days, Muslims throughout the world will be fasting during daylight hours, and seeking God.
Would you join with me in praying for them? Continue reading “Praying for Muslims during Ramadan”
Genesis 9:6 (NIV)
Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.
In re-establishing his kingdom after the flood, the divine sovereign made some concessions designed to head off the anarchic violence that wrecked the previous world: Continue reading “Capital punishment? (Genesis 9:6)”
Seen in a movie theatre in Perth, Western Australia. 🙂 Continue reading “Calvinist sign?”
Genesis 9 is as least as important as Genesis 1-3 for our understanding of life on earth now. Continue reading “Earthly government (Genesis 9:1-6)”
If you can only buy one book to give you background for your Bible study, buy a Bible dictionary. You can then look up all sorts of things as you read, e.g.: Continue reading “Resourcing your Bible study”
God warned that he would bring a flood (6:17) and send down rain (7:4). But when the flood actually comes, it is not attributed to God. The language is entirely impersonal: rain fell (7:12); the flood came (7:6, 10), the waters prevailed (7:18, 19, 20, 24). This change is obvious in English, but it is decidedly odd in the Hebrew worldview where everything that happens is attributed to God. The narrator has changed perspective: the flood is not seen as an act of God but as an attack on God’s kingdom. It is as if evil is attempting to overturn everything God established, to return his creation to the shapeless abyss it was before he spoke order into his realm (1:2). Continue reading “The kingdom is a partnership (Genesis 7–8)”
“Hey Allen, we’re doing the story of Noah in Kids’ Church. We’ve been reading the story. It’s terrible! All those people drowning, and animals too! We can’t tell that to the children! What are we missing?”
Continue reading “Is there any justice? (Genesis 6:5-22)”
Genesis 6:2 (NIV)
The sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
Who were the sons of God? Who were the daughters of humankind? Why did their intermarriage corrupt the world?
Continue reading “Who corrupted God’s world? (Genesis 6:1-6)”
Do you keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, prayers, hopes, disappointments, challenges, uncertainties, joys, tears, and your attempts to follow God’s promptings? Continue reading “Do you journal?”
We felt the despair of Cain’s version of humanity—away from YHWH’s presence, run by human power, offering greater violence as the answer to violence. We felt the contrast when Seth’s renewed humanity began calling on YHWH’s authority as their hope of survival. The narrator now leads us into this godly community. Continue reading “Who will represent the sovereign? (Genesis 5)”
For too long we have read Genesis 3 as a story about individuals, and Genesis 4 as a story about some other individuals. Genesis 3–4 is a communal story. It describes how human society sinks to something that is less than human when it resists God’s authority. Adam and Eve grasped power that belonged to God. Their son grasped power over his brother. The society Cain founds is a long way from God’s intentions for humanity. Continue reading “How far does the kingdom of God extend? (Genesis 4:16-26)”
It’s a shame we have chapter divisions. Genesis 4 belongs with Genesis 3. We saw how the wise sovereign spelled out the conflict his subjects would experience as a result of grasping his power. That’s exactly what happens. In conflict of the worst kind, Cain grasps power over his brother’s life.
If you read Genesis 3 as a story about our personal sin (our need for personal salvation), you missed the bigger picture. Continue reading “What kind of world is God running? (Genesis 4:1-15)”
When humans attempted to oust God and decide good and evil for themselves, they could not have imagined the chain of conflict their rebellion would unleash. Genesis 3:9-19 is the transcript of the investigation of their crime. The sovereign’s words are presented in poetic form: it slows down the narration so we hear him.
By any measure, their sovereign is absurdly lenient with these rebels. His judgement is not so much a punishment as it is an explanation of the trouble (curse) they have brought on themselves. In each case, he explains what conflict/struggle they will face as a result of introducing rebellion into his realm: Continue reading “What changed with the rebellion? (Genesis 3:15-24)”
Update 2016-05-31: Today is the last day the free subscription accompanies this resource.
Christianity Today (CT) is one of the significant magazines discussing issues from an Evangelical perspective. You can read some articles on-line, while others require a subscription. Continue reading ““Christianity Today” magazine”