Saturday, March 12, 2011

I love questions that make me dig

During a Wednesday night Bible Study, one of our college students asked the question: what OT verse speaks of salvation?
Did God make the way of salvation clear to Adam and Eve but forget to include John 3:16??
God created the heavens and the earth. God provided Adam everything he needed to live, learn, obey. God created a living being. God gave him everything except one warning: “in the day you eat from it you shall surely die.”
Die? God introduces the idea that not only are there consequences, but what exactly had Adam seen die? Maybe the daylight “died” each day, but so far, none of the plants or animals died.
Genesis 2:16,17 God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man saying—from any tree of the garden you may eat freely, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it: dying you shall die.
Before the woman was taken from the man and formed from his rib. It was just Adam. Why put a tree in the garden that caused death? Why tempt? Why give EVERYTHING but one thing? Why not Ten Commandments?
In Genesis 3, the crafty serpent says: “you shall surely not die.” So, whom do you trust? God or Satan?
Remember Genesis 3:22? I’m not sure Adam and Eve heard this, but surely God explained when/if they saw the cherubim and were driven out of the garden.
Cherubim: (plural) a huge, winged angel armed with a fiery sword. The fact that the cherubim existed, and were visible was visible proof that Adam and Eve were not alone. They were not the only creatures. Adam and Eve just saw an animal die and its skins made into fabulous clothing. Here is an angel stronger, capable of killing them if they tried to re-enter the garden. Whoops. What happens when they die? Would they cease to be? Would their soul go somewhere?
Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become LIKE one of us knowing good and evil and now lest he stretch out his hand and take from the tree of life and eat and live forever… God sent him out from the garden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. God drove the man out and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.
The tree of life. Whoa. Wait. Okay to eat of it before the fall . The tree of life was different from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Why not just remove the trees? Why post a guard? Will the next generation ask about the 24/7 cherubim? Why is living forever a BAD thing? Why is eating from the tree of life now, after the fall, a bad thing?
Genesis 4:10 first hint of an afterlife?
In Genesis 4:1 Eve named her firstborn, Cain, and she said: I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.
Did she think he was the promised one? The one who would strike the serpent on the head? The one who would punish the serpent that deceived her in the garden? The serpent God cursed?
Genesis 4:2 Abel (means breath) was a keeper of flocks while Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Why the offerings? In verse 3: So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground.
Verse 4: And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. Why? When has your child ever desired to bring an offering to God? (I raised three sons, and they imitated driving cars and trucks, but I never recall them playing offering). Were they taught to worship this way back when the Lord made them garments of skin? Genesis 3:21
God appeared to Adam and Eve and and talked to Cain. Salvation is not believing God existed. They knew that. God had given them a promise of a future “seed”.
Genesis 3:14 The Lord God spoke to the serpent (Satan) but in front of Adam and Eve: Because you have done this—cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go and dust shall you eat and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed—He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise HIM on the heel.
Back to Genesis 4:25 And Adam had relations with his wife again and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth for she said: God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel: for Cain killed him.
She knew. She acknowledged Seth as FROM GOD. A gift. Grace.
Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also a son was born—and he called his name Enosh. THEN MEN BEGAN TO CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD. (curious phrase, eh?)
Genesis 5:1- This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.
(We were made in the likeness of God. What does that mean? We were made with an eternal spirit? Soul? Mind? Body?)
He created them male and female and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. When Adam lived 130 years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image and named him Seth. Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth—800 years. Other sons and daughters. Verse 5: Adam lived 930 years and he DIED.
Remember in Genesis 3, the crafty serpent says: “you shall surely not die.” So, whom do you trust? God or Satan?
Throughout chapter 5, the line, the lineage, other sons and daughters, but a record of the father and son--- was very specific. What did the fathers teach the sons and daughters? To live 930 years, Adam saw six or seven or maybe eight generations. It is not recorded, but surely Adam told the story of the fall, and repeated the promise, and we don’t know how long the cherubim stood at the garden. Until the flood?
What did they do for almost 900 years? What did Adam do for 930 years?
Trick question: What did Adam and Eve DO for salvation? What did they do for eternal life?
The first ten generations lived long, long lives. One guy, Enoch, lived 365 years and walked with God and God took him home to heaven one day. Enoch did not die like the others. 365 years must have been enough to mentor the next generation.
Who was the first to die? Abel was murdered by his brother. In Genesis 4:10 God told Cain that your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Was this the first hint of an afterlife? Even if you were murdered, and even if your brother denies doing it, God sees and knows.
Once Adam died, it was not long before Enoch joined Abel and Adam. What a trio—the first man who lived and died, the first murdered, and the first to go to heaven without dying.
In Genesis 3, the crafty serpent says: “you shall surely not die.” So, whom do you trust? God or Satan?

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