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)”
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?”