Lamech’s arrogance

Lamech, a fifth generation of Cain’s dependents, (if I have counted correctly) follows the same pattern of ungodliness as Cain did.  There is so much to discover about Lamech that the six verses he is mentioned in the Bible almost make him seem like a “passover reading”, so to speak. But his fifteen minutes of fame have a lot to show us.

Genesis chapter 4 verse 19 begins with the phrase, “Lamech married two women…”. Okay, let’s start there because it caused me to wonder when did the marrying of multiple women come into existence?  It wasn’t as though one of his wives had died and the other was the second wife – verse 23 disputes that fact.  So it is stated as if the marrying of more than one woman had been a practice for a while because the writer of Genesis never comments on it other than to say “Lamech married two women” – sort of nonchalantly.   So logically,  somewhere between Cain “laying with his wife (singular)” in verse 17 and Lamech being married to two women in verse 19, life on the earth had changed quite drastically from God’s original plan of one man and one woman, as in Adam and Eve.  Now this “marrying of more than one woman” might not have been the practice every where on earth at the time, but it was certainly the practice in the Cainite civilization and the city of Enoch, which Cain had built.

And so we see that Lamech called his wives together in verse 23 and explains to them that he, like his ancestor Cain, is also a murderer.  He states, “I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.”  The Bible doesn’t tell us what type of “wound” it was.  Maybe it was a territorial argument and a physical fight.  Maybe it was a financial wound in that the “young man” stole a piece of property owned by Lamech, like a sheep or something.  The two important things here are that the man was “young” and Lamech had a foul temper – a temper so foul that instead of dealing with a situation as an adult, he resorted to murder and hatred for another human being – very similar to Cain.  And was the young man a teenager?  The writer made special note that it was a young man not an adult man.  Was the penalty for killing a “young man” different during those times?  I don’t know.

It is also important to make you aware that he told his wives about it.  Doesn’t it make you wonder why?  Men during those days did not value a woman’s opinion, nor were women treated like anything other than property and baby machines.  So isn’t it curious that he tells his wives about his crime? It is almost as if he is running or hiding in a way, like, “Quick come here, I have to tell you this before anyone else shows up or finds out.”  Was he expecting his wives to cover for him in some way?  Was he going to run away and he needed to tell them before he left?  We can only wonder.

But it is his arrogance in the next verse, verse 24, that I find incredible.  He states, “If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”  So first off, we are aware that God had placed a mark on Cain after Cain had killed Abel and God was sending him away so that if anyone attempted to kill Cain, then they would suffer vengeance seven times over – a vengeance decreed from Almighty God.  But at this point in the Bible when Lamech makes his statement, we are unaware of anyone who attempted to harm Cain, and furthermore, the knowledge of this “vengeance” had been passed down through multiple generations because Lamech knew of it.  Maybe the noticeable mark on Cain was a physical marking that somehow set him apart from the others and so when people talked about why Cain was different it became known what he had done to his brother Abel and the vengeance decreed against anyone who tried to “avenge” Abel’s blood.   Again, we do not know.  All we know is that Lamech knows about the vengeance if anyone were to harm Cain because Lamech mentions it in his statement to his wives. B124624A-3D36-45A7-9CE8-43E4CE051902

But here Lamech thinks that his own sin of murder isn’t possibly as bad as Cain’s and therefore he (Lamech) should have more vengeance if someone tries to harm him because of his sin.  Basically, he is saying, “Listen my wives.  While it is true I did something bad, it wasn’t nearly as bad as what Cain did.  I was JUSTIFIED because that man injured me, whereas Cain killed Abel when Abel did nothing to him to deserve it.  The man I killed deserved it.”  Doesn’t it amaze you how he tries to justify his sin of murder and make himself out to be the victim in the situation? And doesn’t it amaze you how he feels that he is worthy to pass judgement on anyone who tries to harm him because of his sin?

It is of further curiosity to see how the writer of Genesis leaves the story there.  He mentions it and then nothing further is noted.  Why even mention it?  It had to have some importance if it were to be mentioned and included in the Bible.  I think the lessons here are to show us that civilization had continued to degrade into a downward sinful spiral.  That only five generations removed from the first-born child of Adam and Eve,  man had continued to disregard God and HIS laws.  It also shows us that man had no reverence for God in that man thought he could place himself into the righteous seat of God and invoke a binding punishment on his fellow man.

We never hear from Lamech again, nor do we know what happened to him.  I do know this, however.  Lamech eventually died, whether by the hands of another or by natural causes.  Lamech’s sin will be judged and he will be held to account by the only One who can pronounce judgement – God – and this God sees all and saw the truth to what Lamech had done – just as He does with us.

 

The Trees of Eden

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Did you ever stop to think about the trees in the Garden of Eden?  We all hear about THE tree.  The one that Eve took fruit from and shared with Adam.  But what about the OTHER trees?

Take a look at Genesis Chapter 2: 9 – “And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.  In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Did you notice the adjectives that are used to describe the other trees:  pleasing and good.  Did you notice the placement in the Garden for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life?  Why do you suppose that God put these two trees in the middle of the Garden?  Why didn’t He place them in an obscure location, like maybe on a mountain?  Why did He make them so easily accessible?

I think it is very interesting that in order to get to the two trees in the middle of the Garden, Adam and Eve had to pass by all the other trees.  The ones that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.  In other words, those trees that they walked by were appealing to the humanness of the newly created man and woman.  They were beautiful trees to look at and enticing for nourishment.  There was no need for Adam and Eve to pass by them.  They could have stayed on any of the perimeters of the Garden and been satisfied for life.  But that isn’t what they did, is it?

Do you further notice that the Bible does not include the two trees along with the other trees when the words pleasing and good for food were used?  The Bible talks about the two trees separately.  I wonder why?  Were they not pleasing to the eye?  Hard to say.  Were they not good for food?  That I would say a definite no.  The food that was offered from these two trees was not food for physical nourishment, but a different kind of food. Food for wisdom, food for life, food that would lead to death.  These trees were never meant to be food for nourishment to the physical body.  These trees had other purposes, and obedience and free will were tied to them.

B8D2E817-FAD9-42DF-843F-B55AD4710DBENote that they co-existed in the center of the Garden.  I have always wondered –  why, after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, did they not just turn quickly and eat of the fruit from the tree of life?  They knew that God had told them that they should not eat of  the tree of the knowledge of good and evil “for when you eat of it, you will surely die”, and if God had told them they would die, wouldn’t the next natural reaction be to eat the fruit from the other tree that would give them life?  The tree of life was so important that God, in Genesis Chapter 3:24, placed a cherubim with a flashing sword to guard it because He did not want Adam and Eve to partake of the tree after they had eaten from the other. But God did not do this until after he banished them from the Garden.  So they had time to eat from the tree of life.  So why did they not do it?

I further think that once they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they must have had some kind of a noticeable physical or mental change.  Why do I say this?  Because the Bible tells us in Genesis Chapter 3 verse 7 that “the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked”.  I think this could be a partial explanation as to why they didn’t just turn to eat from the tree of life.  I think they were frightened by the change they had just experienced.  I think they ran away in fear.  After all, God finds them hiding later that evening.  So I can only imagine that something interrupted the thought process that would have logically said, “eat from the tree of life and counteract the death that God said would happen.”  Or  maybe it was God who caused the “fruit” on the tree of life to shrivel up.  The Bible does not go into explanation.  But one thing is for certain.  When they ate from the tree that they were not supposed to eat from, it began the countdown to their death.  Life for them would never be the same.

 

 

 

 

The Creation of Man

Just writing the title for this Blog stirred in me all the scientific hub bub I have heard thru the years about how man came into being.  From the Big Bang creating the earth and seeding the planet for life, from fish leaving the water to live on dry land, to alien beings experimenting with animals to create a race of slave laborers.  I have heard quite a bit!  And I believe none of it.

It isn’t that I am just closed minded.  I look and listen to the other theories and there are just so many things that don’t have answers in order for me to believe it.  For example, how many fish have you seen in your lifetime that suddenly decide that it is time to stop swimming and crawl or swim up to shore, take a deep breathe of that rich oxygen atmosphere and begin a new life?  I am 51 years old and haven’t seen it happen in my lifetime.

Besides, if the fish did decide to do that, and if it were even possible for them to breath until their little fish lungs evolved to accept oxygenated air, how would they have procreated?  Did their entire body suddenly morph into the bodies we have today? Not likely, in fact, not even possible.  The human body is so complex in each and every area that we have doctors who specialize in one particular area and still say they don’t know about some things.  And take the issue of human procreation.  Do you know how many things have to go right and match up exactly in order for a child to come into existence?  In fact, it is surprising there are not more miscarriages.  If you ever really studied how life forms, it would change you evolutionary view forever.  Everything works together in such a way that there had to be order to the design.  The only way to have order is to have someone put things in order – a Creator.

So in Genesis Chapter 1 verses 26-31, we see God’s creation of man.

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Michelangelo – The Creation of Adam – Sistine Chapel

 

I want to focus on the first thirteen words in verse 26.  ‘Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, …”   Do you remember one of my earlier blogs when I wrote about Genesis Chapter 1 verse 3?  If not, I focused on the first three words, “And God Said….”  We know from that verse that God was speaking to be heard by someone.  He was not alone.  And here we see God saying, “Let US, make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness…”

Most scholars believe this is an indication of the Trinity being present at Creation.  Do you notice the template that God uses for His creation of man?  –   “OUR image, OUR likeness.”

You are the descendent of the first man, Adam, who was created as a replication of God’s image and God’s likeness.  In fact, you are a replication of that same image and same likeness.  So what is the “image”?  What is the “likeness” ? Many believe this  means that man possesses the elements of personality similar to those of God, such as thinking, feeling, and having a will, and that man has a moral nature, and is made up of a body, soul, and spirit.  Others believe that is refers to the physical attributes of man.  I think it is a combination of both.  But is this really a point of debate? Whatever God’s image and likeness is, is better than anything I could imagine or create on my own.

It doesn’t really matter to me which is actually correct, or if either are correct.  I am not sure in our finite minds that we can even understand the wisdom that had to go into the creation of man with all his intricate parts, both physically and mentally. I know that there is not one person, living or dead, that can take dust from the ground and created a living being.  We can take from a living being and create another living being, but we cannot take from the non living and create the living. The fact that is important to me is that I was created, in some form, from the template of a Holy God and that He caused me to come into being and breathed the breath of life into me as Genesis chapter 2 verse 7 states, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, AND man became a living being.”

This conjures up an image in my mind of doing CPR on someone who is non responsive and not breathing on their own.  You use your breathe to circulate and oxygenate their lungs.  You are helping to keep them alive.  But God’s breathe created the life.  It brought it to life.  And that is an awesome thought!

I will leave you with a little joke I heard once that puts things into perspective for me.

So man, in his arrogance, decided to challenge God because man did not believe that God could create a better human than him.  So they both decided to start from scratch and create the “perfect” man.  So God reached down and grabbed some dirt from the ground and man began to gather some dirt from the ground.  Then God said, “Wait a moment.  Go create your own dirt first!”

Evening and Morning – The First Day

There is so much debate about the actual Creation timeline.  Some have said it is literal days – as in seven 24 hour days.  Some have said that the days are figurative and each day really indicates a 1,000 year period.  Still others think that the creative day was a period of time simply marked by a beginning and an ending or a cumulative period of time, not necessarily 24 hours.

So let’s start with the 1,000 year period theory of time for creation days.  Where are people getting this from? Take a look at 2 Peter Chapter 3, verse 8.  It states, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”  So people who hold to the theory that the seven day creation listed in Genesis is actually 7,000 years based on the verse in 2 Peter.   But, in my opinion, to believe that it to take the verse in 2 Peter out of context.  Read the entire passage in 2 Peter chapter 3.   It is not talking about creation days.  It is talking about God’s patience when it comes to the destruction and punishment of man.  It is almost as if the writer is trying to convey the idea that God is giving the people every possible chance to turn away from their wickedness and turn to God for repentance and salvation.

But if you look at the actual account of creation in Genesis Chapter 1, verse 5.  It states, “God called the light “day” and the darkness he called “night,” and there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.  Well, I think that is pretty clear.  We have a day and we have a night, and they are referred to as evening and morning, the first day.  When you and I refer to evening and morning, we understand that to be a 24 hour period of time aka day and night.  We don’t think anything other than that.

Now some debate this and state that it couldn’t be actual days because the sun wasn’t created until Day 4 and that is when time began to be documented.  But what the Bible actually states is that the sun was created to mark the seasons and days and years, and to give light to the earth.  The sun was given so man could track time, not for God to track time.  And why would man need to track time?  Well, if you think about it, the earth was going to rotate around the sun causing changes to occur on the earth.  With the markers of the sun and the moon in the sky man would be able to relate the rising and the setting of the sun with different changes that were to occur at different times, affecting life on the earth.  It states that the light was to “serve as a sign to mark seasons……”.   Let us not forget what Adam’s job was going to be.  He was going to care for the Garden until his fall and then he would work the ground wherever he went.  Any farmer knows that there is a time to plant and a time to sow.

And God Said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years……….”

And God saw that it was good………

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“Let There Be Light”

6F0FBEA2-E1AF-4D69-B40F-4F5A03BCD5A0And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”  Genesis Chapter 1, verse 3.

To look at this verse at face value, we immediately create a picture in our own head that is similar to standing in a dark room and flipping on a light switch.  And this is partly true.  But before we get to this part of the verse, did you notice that you completely skipped over the first three words? – “And God Said’.  Have you ever stopped there and contemplated those three little words?  Does that make a difference to you?  Did you ever give though to God speaking at Creation?

Let me ask you – Who was God speaking to?  Was he just speaking to Himself?  Why does the Bible record the fact that God was speaking?  Certainly an all powerful God could have simply “thought” something into creation, couldn’t He?  Those three words are extremely important, yet most people gloss right over them.  They are important because as we get further into the study of God’s word, we will come to find out that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all present at Creation, and God was speaking because He was not alone.  How can I be sure of this?  Jump ahead to Genesis Chapter 1 verse 26.

Here we see those same three words, “And God Said,”  ….but pay careful attention to the next two words, “Let us…..”  So, if God was alone at the Creation, he would not have said anything to anyone.  He would have simply went about the business of creating.  Isn’t that interesting how three little words can have so much meaning?

Now, If we go back to Chapter 1 verse 3, ‘And God Said, “Let there be light.”  This kind of gives me the impression tht He spoke and boom – there was light.  How awesome is that?  Bu what was that light?  Was it Him and His glory as some have suggested?  Can or does God turn Himself on and off like a firefly?  I don’t believe that is the case here.  I don’t believe God flipped His “internal switch” to light the heavens.  I think it is more of God spoke the light into existence by causing the darkness to depart.  How?  I have no idea.  But there was a light source, because the Bible tells us there was.  It was not the sun, because the sun had not yet been created.  That wouldn’t occur until creation day 4.

Some claim that the sun was there “at the beginning” and it was hidden by vapor.  I don’t believe this either.  That is not how the Bible reads.  It states that the sun was clearly created on day 4.  It doesn’t say that God caused the “vapor” to clear revealing the sun.  It says, he created the lights in the expanse of the sky .  Verse 16 says, “God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.”  This was on day 4.  So the claim that the original light in verse 3 is the sun is, in my mind, not accurate.

What I also find disturbing about all these “other” theories in creation is that some are willing to acquiesce to the fact that God created man from dirt, but cannot believe He could speak or create light into exsistance.  It is kind of limiting Him to what his powers can and can’t do, in my mind.

Personally, I believe it as I have written it.  God Said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, some kind of light, some kind of illumination that was there until He created the sun to rule over the day.

I don’t know about you, but this amazes my finite mind.   I read the words and they make no logical sense to my simple human brain, but the God I serve is not human. And just because I can’t understand it, doesn’t mean it didn’t occur or doesn’t exist.

There are many things in creation that are inexplainable, like the earth hanging in a solar system in the middle of a galaxy, surrounded by other planets, never colliding, but circling the sun, without being drawn into the gravitational pull of the sun.  I could go on…..it makes no sense, but nevertheless it exists.

PATHWAYS

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READING WITHOUT SEEING –

Have you ever read something, almost mindlessly, and then when you got to the end, thought, “I have no idea what I just read?” Then you went back and re-read it?

For many people, the Bible is just like that.  First of all, it is a huge book with very tiny print.  There are no graphics jumping off the page at you.  There are no hyperlinks, unless you are on a website, and honestly, it takes a great deal of mental effort to think through it.  In addition, don’t forget all the different versions, and if you attempt the King James Version with the old English, it could be even more mentally taxing. I believe those are among the biggest issues people have with really reading and studying the Bible.

I like to teach others to take a few words at a time and really thing about what is being said.  Take for example the second verse in Genesis Chapter 1.  It states, ‘Now the earth was formless and empty, …’  Big deal right?  Do you know that by the process of critical thinking, you can break that up into segments and really put into perspective its parts?22885260-FB23-4535-829B-4A3ADD4EC84E

For example, think about the adjectives – formless and empty.  Break it down further, just think about the word “formless”.  What does that mean when it states, the earth was “formless”?  The exact definition states, Without a clear or definite shape or structure.  So, to me it means that there was not a giant ball or globe or mass of rock floating in space just waiting for God to come along and plant things and add to it.

Why do I say that?  Because the current Earth is round, and round is a form.  So if the earth was “formless” that means it had no form or no shape.  It was not there – period.  It was nothingness – a large vast space.  The second word, ‘Empty’ is also a state of being.  It means containing nothing, not filled or occupied.  So empty is well…empty, containing nothing, having nothing, no life, nada, zip, nilch.

So here we see the writer of Genesis stating, in effect, ‘There was nothing out there, only emptiness and darkness, not one single solitary thing, and from THAT God created the heavens and the earth.”  So out of nothingness, it was created.  Is there any other situation, ever, that you can come up with, that from nothingness something was created?  Of course not!  You have to have materials or building blocks on which to create something.

In addition, there has to be order to a created thing.  Take for example, lemonade.  It is not sophisticated or intricate in its design.  I could add refined sugar, filtered or purified water, and the juice of fresh sliced lemons, in any order, in a glass and the end result is still going to be lemonade.  However, if I wanted to make that same glass of lemonade, and I just threw an oblong unsliced and unpeeled lemon along with a piece of sugar cane into a glass of water drawn from a pond, your end result is not going to be too thirst quenching.

So it is with the creation of the world.  The right things had to be put together in such a way, and placed at the exact location from the sun, with the exact atmosphere, with the right nutrients in the soil, etc., in order to sustain any type of life.  God had to create things systematically.

So when reading that the earth was formless and empty, you get a greater sense of the creation of something from nothing, and you get a deeper insight into the immense power of a Holy God.

In order to really serve this God, you have to really understand this God.  You have to know who HE is and why He does what he does.  The only way to do that, is to really think about the words that are written in the Bible.  Join me for an in-depth study in the book of Genesis, where we will look at the Bible thru a fresh perspective.  You can learn to know God in a deep and intimate way.

You can follow this blog or you can go to my website, marysfingerprint.com and look at the section titled “Pathways”.  Here you will find the Bible study we have just started.

Take ten minutes a day to learn like you have never learned before.  In this way you will begin to know the awesome power of the Creator and the God we serve.