Join me as I journey through the Bible cover-to-cover and record the insights that I gain while doing so-

Would love for you all to follow along!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Genesis 3:1-6; The Power and Pattern of Satan's Subtilty; God: "Infinitely Good"? Or "Infinitely Gruesome"?

My first inclinations in reading this chapter this time around are that my questions about The Fall and how exactly it happened, why, what it means, etc. seem to outweigh anything else. I've been thinking/praying about it the past few days, though, and put together with what I do know and have been taught prior, here's what I've brought together so far.

A premises:

If Genesis 2 is about the Physical formation of what was created Spiritually in Genesis 1, perhaps Genesis 3 and the "allegory" of the fall is something similar. Perhaps it is a Physical Parable given to us to help us understand the Spiritual Reality of what happened once Human Life was placed upon this planet.

A Thought to support this premesis:

  • Those with Biblical knowledge Know It was Satan who tempted Eve, not a serpent. Does this mean that Satan used his power as Prince of this World to posses a snake and thus tempt Eve? Perhaps so. Could it also though, be a Physical symbol given to us as a representation of Satan and his abilities? -Christ talked in parables All the time in the New Testament. Perhaps the story of The Fall was His very first parable.
 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. [...]
The story of the Life of Man on Earth opens with the Very first sentence telling us that "the serpent" was more subtil than any beast which the Lord God had made. -What a testimony to His power!

He is Less than Adam and Eve in the fact that he does not have a physical body, but He is more subtil than any beast of the field. In other words This serpent is much more than just a serpent. This serpent has the Reason of man, but whether literally or allegorically, takes on the form of a snake.

The next verses go on to further explain "the serpent's" subtilty;

The first thing out of Satan's mouth is an Attempt at Reaching Over God's authority and God's WORD (Big Surprise there- Isn't this why he Fell from Heaven in the first place?), and trying to make it look like God said something that He didn't; That God has Given them No Rules; But Only Free Reign;

1 [...] And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
But Eve doesn't fall for it. Eve Remembers the Word of God,

 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Darn! She remembered!     Plan B...

"4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

And in case you didn't catch it there, Plan B was this: 
1. Lie. ("Ye shall not surely die")
2. Never Lie without Also including a very closely tied Truth along with it (vs. 5).

Okay, so then we move onto verse 6, which I'm going to break apart to help illustrate my point:

"And when the woman

(1.) saw that the tree was good for food,

and (2.) that it was pleasant to the eyes,

and (3.) a tree to be desired to make one wise,

[THEN] she (4.) took of the fruit thereof,

and (5.) did eat,

and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

 This can be used as a pattern of how Satan tempts each of us in this life,

(1.) Eve sees that the tree was good for Some other purpose than what God had Spoken. Food is a good thing, it nourishes us and strengthens us and so on, but it Does not matter how Good a thing Something is for our own purpose IF it goes against The Word of God and His purpose.

(2.) Not Only is this fruit "good" for her in her own purpose, [rationality in her mind] but it Also Pleases her eyes.

(3.) Not ONLY does it Please her eyes, but it is Also desirable to her Own Purpose [to make her wise] - (both coupled together= LUST! )

Well, now that it's okay for her to eat it because it is good for her own purpose, is pleasing both to her eyes and her desires (lusts), She (4.) "takes of" it- accepts it into her life.

Once she has justified her actions, the fruit has become an object of lust, AND has been accepted it into her life, she Then (5.) Defies the commandment of the Lord, and "eats of it". 

Up to (5.) Eve had not yet defied the commandment of the Lord.  Steps 1 through 4 were Not Bad in Themselves; perhaps the tree was 'good' for food all along, but that Never before to her outweighed the goodness of God's command not to eat of it, I am sure the tree was Beautiful and Quite pleasing to the eye all along as well, but it was So in Purity- not in justification of it as an object of lust.. and So on down the list..  It is The End Purpose of THOUGHT in her mind that leads to the End result of disobeying God.

And, All of this takes place in the Garden of Eden, in man's "innocence", BEFORE the fall! How much More Power then, Now, After Years and Years of Fallenness must Satan have to tempt us in similar ways, with this Same Pattern!

So, Adam now faces a conundrum in Keeping the two commandments of the Lord, 1. "Cleave unto your wife and multiply and replenish the earth" 2. "Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, lest ye die."

 Faced with this conundrum, Adam chooses The consequence of partaking of the fruit and "dying" Over being separated from Eve and not being able to bring to earthly form "all the hosts of heaven" which had already been Spiritually created in Genesis 1. 

Adam is not beguiled; Adam acts in Full knowledge of the consequences of each decision, and He decides, perhaps with the help of his wife's now "Opened" eyes?, which is the Better option of the two. (Though, I am myself wondering right now, why the option of Calling upon God for His assistance in the matter Never occurred to him).

Okay, okay, so that's All well and Good, but What Kind of Omniscient, Omnipotent God gives two conflicting commandments like that to children who He "loves"? And especially with such dire consequences!

                               Wendell P. Bloyd

THEY first charged me with disorderly conduct,
There being no statute on blasphemy.
Later they locked me up as insane
Where I was beaten to death by a Catholic guard.
My offense was this:        
I said God lied to Adam, and destined him
To lead the life of a fool,
Ignorant that there is evil in the world as well as good.
And when Adam outwitted God by eating the apple
And saw through the lie, 
God drove him out of Eden to keep him from taking
The fruit of immortal life.
For Christ’s sake, you sensible people,
Here’s what God Himself says about it in the book of Genesis:
“And the Lord God said, behold the man 
Is become as one of us” (a little envy, you see),
“To know good and evil” (The all-is-good lie exposed):
“And now lest he put forth his hand and take
Also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever:
Therefore the Lord God sent Him forth from the garden of Eden.” 
(The reason I believe God crucified His Own Son
To get out of the wretched tangle is, because it sounds just like Him.)
(Edgar Lee Masters, "Wendell P. Bloyd", Spoon River Anthology, 1915.)

I would be apt to say, along with C.S. Lewis in his defense of Christ, that there is no middle ground on the Doctrine of the Fall, either.   Either you must believe as does Masters' "Wendell P. Bloyd" That God is That Cruel towards the Human Family, or Else you must believe that He is the Exact Converse of That Cruelty in Love towards the Human Family instead. But you cannot, in light of the Instance of the coming about of the Fall, in Any way assert that God is ambivalent towards us; unless of course you are discounting the Entire Story of the Fall, and thus the Bible altogether.

So let's you and I both let that brew for a while- Is God's conflicting commandment an evidence of His outright Cruelty towards us? Or is it an evidence of His outright Love?, 

and Let's take what we Find with us into the Remaining 2/3rds of the Chapter next time I post. :).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In conjunction with my "Genesis 2" post, I feel prompted to link to another blog I've authored:


Love to all!


Genesis 2- The blessing of the 7th day; Spirit is "The breath of Life"; An help "meet" for man

Genesis 2!

The first thing that Strikes me in Genesis 2 is that on the 7th day God rested from all his work which he had made, and therefore "God blessed the 7th day, and sanctified it."

-Wherein does the blessing of Keeping the Sabbath day holy come? In the fact that God's WORD (see blogpost for Genesis 1) blessed and sanctified it Above all other days.

The second thing worth noting in Genesis 2 is that I feel like the Entire chapter- or at least a large majority of it is pointing to the fact that Everything that was created was created Spiritually first, and in Genesis 2 the physical, earthly matter of it All is then being formed.

vs 1: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and ALL THE HOST OF THEM."

vs 5: ""And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew..." "For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground."

In Genesis 1 we read about the creation of All these things, plant, animal, man. So how is it that they were created and seen that they were good Then, but now are uncreated?  Is Moses confused? I don't think so.

7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Genesis 1 is the Spiritual Creation and Formation of All things; Genesis 2 is the Earthly coupling of Earthly matter with the matter of the Spirit of man, animal, plant that has already been formed.

vs 7 says "And man became a living Soul". Soul meaning body AND Spirit joined together. And is it possible that "The breath of life" which God breathes into man in this verse is maybe Something as simple as putting the Spirit He has already Created into the Body which he has now formed?

"The breath of life" is indeed Spirit, after all. Dust turns to dust and earth can crumble away. But Spirit is what Stays.

Which now brings me to the third, and to me lately, Particularly significant part of the Chapter:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
The word "meet" has had particular significance to me lately each time I come across it in scripture. To me, it means Something along the lines of equal, but it means equal in the things I lack. It doesn't mean perfect, It actually contains within it the meaning that it is NOT perfect, but it is Perfectly sufficient in its purpose. It means "meet" me at the point where I can't do it myself.

A quote I got handed in an Institute class for church a little over a year ago (and oh! it's SO good!) says This about the meaning of the phrase "help meet"; -In reading this remember what it says in verses 19 and 20 of Genesis 2; "Every beast of the field, fowl of the air was formed "but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him": 

"Society would have us believe that a help meet is a person of lesser stature—a subject, a subordinate.

An examination of the word itself yields an altogether different meaning. The Oxford English Dictionary lists its meaning as "even with or equal to." The original Hebrew text is even more enlightening. The word that has been translated as "help meet" is a combination of two root words: ezer and k'enegdo.

The word ezer also combines two roots: the first meaning "to rescue" or "to save" or "as a savior," sometimes coupled with the concept of majesty, and the other meaning "strength" or "to be strong."

The second Hebrew word, k'enegdo, is identified as meaning "equal."

Suppose we all, male and female alike, had been raised to read Genesis 2: 18 as follows:

"It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a majestic, saving power, equal with him, to be his companion."
 (Beverly Campbell, "Mother Eve", April 2, 1993, at the 11th annual conference of Collegium Aesculapium in Salt Lake City, Utah).

I would add to her rephrasing of that verse, the "strengthening" aspect of  the word ezer which she refers to as well, and also reiterate that rescuing aspect; therefore the verse would read:

""It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a majestic, rescuing, strenghtening power, equal with him, to be his companion." 

In Genesis 1 at the end of the post I said that God was telling us that we are All the same,

In Genesis 2 God is telling us that one of the things we are All the Same in is that we need an "help meet" for us; and not Only that we need one, but that He has created One for us as well.

God is telling us not only that it is not "good" for man to be alone, but perhaps Even more Significantly the reason it is not "good" is that we Cannot do it being alone.

Even prior to The Fall God sees that man does not have a help meet for him and that it is not Good for him to be alone. How much more then, after the fall, do we need this "majestic, saving, [strengthening] power, equal with us to be our companion"?

And is it possible, that God forsees the additional need as soon as He gives the caution to Adam that in eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil "Thou shalt surely die." And in the next verse, directly following, seemingly without a beat, God then says It is not Good for man to be alone, I will make an "help meet" for him.

'T'was Eve that ate the apple"
"T'was a he-devil who tempted her."
And who's to say what would have happened had Eve not been in the picture altogether? Perhaps Adam would have taken of the fruit himself at some point in time and then Been Lost Forever. God Paves the way for the human family to Be Saved through bringing Eve into the picture.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Man, animals, plants were physically formed "out of the dust of the ground", but Woman was "taken out of Man"; thus a companionship between the two, which is not there amongst any other companionship on earth, is set from the Very beginning of the world.

Man needs woman, and woman needs man, and God sets a physical symbol of being "taken out of man" as an indicator of that Spiritual Reality.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Genesis 1- The Power of God's Word; The Trust He Has Enplaced in Man

The truth is that I feel slightly overwhelmed by typing all of this out, so I might have to split it up into smaller sections, and I'm not quite sure about the style or formatting etc. that is best, but I want to make my first entry so I can check it off my list, and I Trust everything else will evolve over time from there!! So here goes!:

Gen 1:  How many times have I read Genesis 1 in my life? Too many to count. And actually that applies for the entire Creation story.

But Always what Stands out to me about Genesis 1 is this:

1. The Power of the Word of God. Over and over and over again we read "God said... and it was so.. and he saw that it was good." God's WORD is So Powerful- True, Honest, Pure, Faithful, That All He has to do is Speak Something and it Brings it into Being! And not Only does it bring it into being, but it is GOOD. And just look at the Earth and Everything we have.. Good is an Understatement.

  • What I draw from that insight personally is that I want the Power of MY Word to be even some small semblance of That. And I think that starts simply by meaning what we say and then bringing it into fruition in accordance with what we've said. 
God says "Let there be light: and there was light, and God saw that it was good." God says "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters and let it divide the waters from the waters." And God makes the firmament, and divides the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above it, "and it was so."  There seems to be a distinction between what God can Speak and bring into being Just through the Power of His word Alone, and what God Speaks and then WORKS to FULFILL and bring into being on His own. But what is the same in both instances is that What God Speaks Happens. That is wherein His Power lies.
Obviously, we are imperfect beings living in an imperfect world where we can follow the pattern God has Given in Giving our Word Similar Power on our own and Not Always have it come to fruition the way we'd like. But I think when we say something and then plans get changed, or whatever, it is important to communicate that with our Word.. to be as Honest as Is Possible, especially when things change.  
    The Step Beyond That is to Strive to be unchanging from the beginning. To Strive to be Able to Fulfill Everything we Speak from the Time we Speak or else Not to Say it at All. This is a process, and maybe within our fallen earthen life it could Never Be Completely Perfect. But I do Believe there is Power in Striving for it and Doing the Best we can to get there. And I do believe we can become Perfect in it in the things we do have control over. Doing So Will Prepare us for a Time when earthly restraints and limitations are No longer in the way, and Then we will be That much more Advanced and Ready for it when the time comes. 

    What stands out to me particularly when reading the chapter This time around is this:

    The Power that God has entrusted to man in Giving him dominion over All his other creations.
    26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
     27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
     28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
    It Strikes me in Such a way that I'm not Even sure how to Get it out into words. That is a Huge Trust to enplace in us.

    And I think the lesson for me in that is a few things:

    1. Our potential as sons and daughters of God; Beings created in his own image or 'likeness', is So Great. God's knowledge of That enables Him to Place Such Trust in us. Which then makes me wonder, how many times have we betrayed that trust? And not taken care of All he's given us dominion over and Created for OUR benefit with the Respect and Reverence and Regard for it we should?

    2. Our Responsibility to Live in Respect and Reverence towards and be accountable for our treatment of Every thing in which we have had that Trust placed in us.

    How many of us betray that "likeness" of God that is in us for the "likeness" of our own will and image instead? How many of us forget that the Same God that Created us Created All Other Living and Natural things with which we Share this world? I think if we think of Things That way our perspective and thus our attitude towards the Things around us shifts. We feel Reverence Surrounding us in animal life, plant life, even in the rocks which have No life but Still Share that Same piece of Creator that we do. We are All the Same Seems to be God's lesson to us Even in the Beginning of the Beginning... why do we allow earthly influences to shard that away from us?

    -And that, my friends, is Genesis 1. What are your thoughts?

    (First post Completed! *woot! woot!*)

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Join me as I journey through the Bible cover-to-cover and record the insights that I gain while doing so- Would love for you all to follow along!