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Happy 2024!

It’s a wonderful new year as we start reading the Bible in the book of Genesis.  With the book of Genesis comes new beginnings, we see God’s creation of what we know as earth, His creation of all living creatures on earth, His creation of man (which includes woman…remember when there was a time that was automatically understood?) 

We also find the fall of man, sin entering into this perfect world that God created.  Why?  Because they were not content with living in the perfect environment, having everything they would ever want or need, having a close relationship with the Creator Himself.  Can you imagine?  Not content and they just had to disobey God’s instructions to find a more perfect environment. 

Now, let’s think about that a little further.  What are the environmentalist saying?  If we drive electric cars, give up our gas stoves, stop eating meat, and the list goes on, then we will have a perfect or, if not perfect, a better environment?  But let me ask you this, if Adam and Eve were not satisfied with the perfect environment, how do you think sinful man will be when man is the one who messed it up.  Through sin…the sin of not being content!

So, Adam and Eve listened to a serpent and fell for his deception.  Believing the lie that they would be better off.  How God was holding out on them.  And all too often we listen to those who are more educated, more deceptive than we can ever imagine.  We have the Word of God at our fingertips with all the answers and yet, we want to believe the lies being told to us.  Deception doesn’t look much different today than it did with the serpent but because we are not walking with God, we are so willing to believe the lie and fall into sin. 

Words the experts use today—self-actualization, self-confidence, self-seeking, self-will—we can solve the worlds problems by our self but they are all knowing and will tell us how to do it.  Really? Don’t fall for the lie. 

As we go through the genealogy of the first few generations after creation, we see that Cain followed his parent’s footsteps by having his feelings hurt (self) when God accepted Abel’s offering and he kills his brother. 

Things go so bad with sin everywhere that God was sorry that he’d created mankind.  Genesis 6:5, the “wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thought of his (man’s) heart was only evil continually.”   The earth was full of corruption and filled with violence (see Gen 6:11). 

Noah was chosen as a righteous man, blameless.  I can hear some of you reminding me that Noah sinned too.  Yes, God has always used imperfect people to fulfill His goals.  As you read the Bible this year, notice this fact and then know that He can also use you, an imperfect person as well. 

And after the flood, God makes a promise “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”  (Genesis 8:22)   With this promise from God, we can be made aware of man’s deception that we are experiencing right now…man will not destroy the earth.  We are to follow God’s commands, the first of which is “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1) And who can be fruitful?  Man and Woman, which God told Adam and Eve the exact same thing in Genesis 1:28.  He created male and female and no matter how people are trying to deceive us today, it is only male and female who can “be fruitful and multiply”. 

The other thing that struck me is the lie we have been hearing since October, that the land of Israel has belonged to the Palestinians since…when?  Actually, the book of Genesis give us a history of Abram’s calling to this very land.  “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:8

Get an old map out, one from an older Bible and you will see exactly where Canaan is…it is being occupied by the enemy.  The very ones who want the Israelites in the Mediterranean Sea.  The lies of evil go deep!

Another thing that struck me this year as I started my journey through the Bible once again, is that Lot chose to live in Sodom, an evil place, shown by their behavior.  Again, we are seeing the same thing today.  But after Sodom is destroyed, we continue to see disobedience first from Lot’s wife, who was instructed not to look back—she did and was immediately turned into a pillar of salt.  Then Lot’s daughters chose sexual immorality with their father to get pregnant.  Tell me that living in such an evil place as Sodom didn’t have its influence on Lot’s family! 

And today, how we raise our children and allow them to be exposed to so much evil will have an influence on them as well. 

We now jump ahead to Jacob and Esau, the two brothers who God promised their mother that “the older will serve the younger”. (Gen 25:23) 

It seems that Esau was more interested in quick, self-satisfaction rather than being honored as being the oldest and fulfilling God’s wishes.  But God knew that from the beginning, that’s how He could tell Rebekah this before she even had these boys. 

Life Lessons from Charles Stanley’s Life Principles Bible, p 39, helps us to understand Gen. 25:34, “In despising his birthright, Esau proved himself “godless” (Heb 12:16) because he considered filling his empty stomach more important than the spiritual promises of God to Abraham.  To avoid making Esau’s grave mistakes, always remember the H.A.L.T. principle.  Whenever you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, be very careful because you are especially vulnerable to sin.  Before making a decision, stop and seek God.  The more you give in to your feelings of weakness and look for ways to fill your needs apart from God, the more you’ll reap the terrible consequences of it.”

Now, those are words to ponder! 

I look forward to God blessing you as you read the Bible daily.  I look forward to hearing from each of you, whether you are reading the Bible from cover to cover for your first time or more times than you can count.  God will teach you each step of the way.  I am excited for you!

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