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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Genesis

The Reason for the Sabbath

Genesis 2.2

Genesis 2:1-3

There are probably some reading this that know a little bit about “burning the candle at both ends.” Many of us live lives of constant busyness with little or no concept of down time or rest factored in. Friends, this is not God’s plan at all, and the way we miss out on this is so sad.

Even today the idea of Sabbath gets wrapped up in a lot of legalistic and ritual baggage that destroys the reason God created a day of rest for His creation; in the beginning He showed us that to work six days and rest on one is honorable and pleasing to God. God certainly does not need rest; he is omnipotent! God rested as an example for us to follow.

Unfortunately, the Pharisees in the days of Jesus had really messed up the entire concept of a Sabbath rest, and made it about following their rules and meeting man made expectations. Among many Christians even today, the Lord’s Day is about what can be done and what cannot be done. As He did on so many things, Jesus told us the way on this as well, telling us And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” Mark 2:27.

Friends a day of rest, worship, service and fellowship is not a burden or an obligation. It is a wonderful gift from God, and The Father and the Son both showed us this by example. Will we follow it?

Just a Thought

Genesis 3 11_13

Passing the buck is as old as the ages

Jacob Blesses His Sons, Genesis 49:1-28

I usually post this study on Friday nights, but somehow I got out of sync! So, here is our latest from KD Manes’ great study of Genesis. Blessings and enjoy!

"All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him." -Genesis 49:28

Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.” –Genesis 49:1-2

Jacob’s final words to his twelve sons are recorded here in Genesis 49. Layman’s Bible Commentary notes: “Jacob’s prophecies refer to the distant future (49:1). The double exhortation to give attention to Jacob’s words stresses the importance of what he is about to say (49:2). The prophecies included here are not the spontaneous thoughts of a dying man, but the carefully prepared words of a prophetic poet.”

You may read Genesis 49:1-28 here: Bible Gateway.

Although the oldest son was supposed to receive a double inheritance, Reuben would not be granted this privilege. Jacob asserts: “Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it,” (vs. 4). Reuben’s former dishonorable ways cost him in the end (Genesis 35:21).

True to Jacob’s prophecy, Reuben’s descendants never produce a significant leader or inherit the promised land.

The next two oldest sons—Simeon and Levi—also disinherit the land due to their unfaithfulness and unwillingness to repent (vs. 5-7). Jacob characterizes these two as remaining angry: “Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel,” (vs. 7).….read the rest of the post here: Jacob Blesses His Sons, Genesis 49:1-28

Joseph Makes Himself Known, Genesis 45

It’s Friday night and time for our next installment of KD Manes’ study of Genesis. Blessings and enjoy!

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Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone leave my presence!’ So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. . . . ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’”        -Genesis 45:1-2, 4-7

While chapters 43 and 44 depict Joseph’s tender love and tough love respectively, chapter 45 display Joseph living out of God’s sovereignty.

You may read Genesis 45 here: Bible Gateway.

This account of Joseph meeting up with his brothers finally comes to a resolution when Joseph reveals his identity. Layman’s Bible Commentary notes: “The response of the brothers to Joseph’s revelation of his identity is a term translated dismayed or dumbfounded. This is a term used of paralyzing fear as felt by those involved in war (Exodus 15:15; Judges 20:41; 1 Samuel 28:21; Psalm 48:5).”

Joseph’s emotional display of weeping, embracing, and explaining finally convinces his brothers that he doesn’t intend revenge, but is actually favorable toward them….read the rest of this post here: Joseph Makes Himself Known, Genesis 45

When Dreams Appear to Die, Genesis 43

It’s time for our Friday night installment of this great study by KD Manes. Blessing and enjoy. This one she is sharing from yet another author, so be sure to visit them as well.

I’ve been reading different authors’ perspectives on Joseph’s life. This post is from thebrokenchristian2016. Enjoy!

***

Recently I’ve been reading the story of Joseph in Genesis. I’ve honestly read this story hundreds of times, each time with a different emphasis. This time through I noticed that I wasn’t really enamored by all of the suffering that Joseph went through. I wasn’t enamored by the fact that he was sold into slavery, […]

via When Dreams Appear to Die — thebrokenchristian2016

 

How To Use God Given Power, Genesis 42

We are picking back up with our following of this study in Genesis by KD Manes. Blessings and enjoy!

If God gave you a responsibility, what would you do with it? What is the best way to honor God with the power He gave you? As we look in Genesis 42, we see the right way to use authority as Joseph faces his brothers for the first time since they sold him to slavery….read the rest of the post here: How To Use God Given Power, Genesis 42

 

The Cupbearer and the Baker, Genesis 40

Here we are, Friday again and time for KD Manes continuing study in the Book of Genesis. Blessings and enjoy!

The reward for service is often delayed, but it will always come.”

***

“Good morning. What’s with the sad faces?” Joseph set a tray of food before the king’s cupbearer and baker. The only other time he had seen both of them this upset was after they had been thrown into this dungeon. While he was being unjustly punished because Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of rape, they were partners in something that greatly offended the king.

The cupbearer grit his teeth while clawing at his bald head. “We had dreams. But no one can tell us what they mean.”

Joseph gently lifted his chin as he spoke to him at eye level. “Don’t interpretations come from God? What did you dream?”

The head cupbearer told Joseph his dream: “In my dream there was a vine before me with three branches on it: It budded, blossomed, and the clusters ripened into grapes. I was holding Pharaoh’s cup; I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and gave the cup to Pharaoh.”

Joseph’s eyes lit up. “The three branches are three days. Within three days, Pharaoh will get you out of here and put you back to your old work—you’ll be giving Pharaoh his cup just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. Please remember me when things are going well with you again—tell Pharaoh about me and get me out of this place. I was kidnapped from the Hebrews’ land. And since I’ve been here, I’ve done nothing to deserve being put in this prison.”

The head baker perked up after hearing Joseph’s interpretation. “Listen to my dream: I saw three wicker baskets on my head; the top basket had various pastries from the bakery. Birds were picking at them from the basket on my head.”

Joseph looked down. Why did the truth have to sting sometimes? “This is the meaning: The three baskets are three days; within three days Pharaoh will take off your head, impale you on a post, and the birds will pick your bones clean.”

Two days passed uneventfully. But on the third day, Pharaoh threw himself a birthday party and invited all his servants. He placed the cupbearer and baker up front in seats of honor.

“Cheers!” Pharaoh bellowed. “I officially restore my head cupbearer.” He extended his hand toward him.

“And for my baker . . . may he be disgraced as he has disgraced me!” He signaled his soldiers. They immediately seized the baker and impaled him on a post, exactly how Joseph had said.

But though the cupbearer was exonerated, he didn’t give Joseph another thought.

***

You may read Genesis 40 here: Gateway Bible.

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God used Joseph’s hardships to prepare him for the future position He had for him.

Even though Joseph would have to wait 12-13 years before being released from a crime he didn’t commit, God’s presence and blessing continued to be with him. As the warden entrusted all of the prisoners to Joseph’s charge, Joseph used his position to serve them. Has God placed you in a position where He wants to use you to serve those around you?

 

 

 

Read the rest of the post here: The Cupbearer and the Baker, Genesis 40

 

Esau’s Descendants, Genesis 36

After a short hiatus, we are now resuming our following of this study in Genesis by KD Manes. Blessings and enjoy.

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Oholibamah. Try saying that 10 times fast! Who was Oholibamah? She was one of two Hittite women that Esau—Jacob’s twin brother—married according to Genesis 36.

Even though intermarriage with the Canaanites was strictly forbidden by his family, Esau defies his parents’ religious principles when he marries two idolatrous Hittites. Isaac and Rebekah are miserable with this arrangement (26:35). So Esau decides to add a third wife. But this time he’d marry Basemath, an Ishmael descendant (28:9).

You may read the list of Esau’s descendants here: Bible Gateway……read the rest of the post here: Esau’s Descendants, Genesis 36

In the Image of God?

throw back thursday

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Originally posted January 2015

What does it mean to be created in the image of God? We learn in Genesis 1:26 that God made the decision to create man “in our image, after our likeness.” So, it is important to discuss what it means, really, for us to be in the image and likeness of God. Theologians and scholars have spent years trying to discern precisely what it means to be in the image of God, and use many words and complex explanations to explain it. This explanation will hopefully be far from complex, and will be a description we can all follow and understand.

First of all, to be created in the image and likeness of God does not mean that we are formed in His physical image. God Himself does not have a physical body, as John 4:24 teaches us. There, we learn that “God is a spirit…..“, not a physical body. We also see in Luke 24:39 that “…… a spirit hath not flesh and bones….” Of course, God did become incarnate as a man in the form of Jesus Christ, but God the Father is not flesh and bones.

The idea of mankind being created in the image and likeness of God begins with the very way God created man. God, when He created all other living creatures, simply created them from nothingness. They were not there; God spoke, and they existed. Genesis 2:7  tells us something very important about the creation of man.

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.”

When God created man, He formed us with His hands, so to speak, from the dust of the ground. God then personally breathed life into the nostrils of the first man, Adam. Adam then became a living soul, eternal in existence. When God created animals, they were just spoken into existence; when God created man, He breathed life directly into His first human creation. David recognized this difference between humanity and the animal world when he wrote Psalm 8: 4-6.

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:”

Being created in the image and likeness of God does not mean that we possess God-like attributes. We are not omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent. We do not possess other attributes normally associated with a Divine nature. We already covered that we are not in God’s image physically, because God is spirit and not flesh. We understand that we are not gods, and do not possess Divine natures. How, then are we in the likeness of God?

Our creation in the image and likeness of God, then, refers to the immaterial, not physical, parts of our nature. In many of these immaterial attributes we have things in common with God’s nature. In a nutshell, we are in the likeness of God mentally, morally and socially. We also share God’s image in the sense that we are eternal beings. Below, we will break those ideas down some.

We bear the image of God mentally. This is critical in understanding the one of the key differences between mankind and the animal world. Although many animals appear quite intelligent, they are not in the image of God mentally. Man possesses the ability to engage in reason and highly complex thought. Man possesses the ability to come up with ideas independent of instinctive compulsions, and then the ability to put those ideas into action through creation of things, inventions and so on. Art, language and literature are all manifestations of some of the ways we were created in the image of God mentally.

Mentally, we are in the image of God in the sense that we make volitional decisions. The animal world certainly makes decisions, but they are primarily driven by biological imperatives, not true volition.
Mentally, God clearly made man to be superior to and rule over the world and all other life in it. Genesis 1:28 teaches us God created us in His image, to then have dominion over all the earth.

“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.”

We see both this dominion and man’s superior mental nature when Adam named all the animals in Genesis 2:19.20.

“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. 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.”

God created man in His image mentally in the sense that we have free will and the ability to go in whatever direction we choose, just like Him. We are not simply bound to go in whatever direction our biology and instincts drive us; we can choose to do whatever we choose to do, even if it is contrary to our biological natures. The best example of this is the fact that we were created without sin and in innocency. Adam then made the choice to disobey and rebel against God. Even though God created us sinless and perfect, the free will He had given us enabled us to make that choice.

We bear the image of God morally. Despite what many would claim, animals do not possess a moral compass of any sort. While they certainly appear to love us and even desire to please us, this not due to a moral nature of any sort. Animals will always simply act in accordance with what supplies their biologically driven need to live and propagate themselves. Man, on the other hand was created as a moral being; we all have within ourselves the moral nature that God both possesses and that He instilled in us when He created us.
God is Holy and perfect. God has certain standards which we call the Law of God. Not the law, in the sense of the Old Testament Law, but the Law of God. These are things that God clearly sees as wrong and sinful. God Himself always lives by His own standards, as He is perfect and holy. Additionally, God created us in the beginning in a state of holiness and perfection.

Adam chose to exercise the free will God had given him and disobey and rebel against God. As a result, all of us are sinners and no longer measure up to God’s standard. Romans 3:23 teaches us this; “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. “However, our free choice to rebel and reject God does not mean that our basic God instilled morality has gone away. It may be deadened by sin almost to the point that it seems as if it is gone, but it still remains. In every society and culture that has ever existed, there are seemingly universal moral standards people adhere to. Murder, stealing, and other things are considered wrong no matter where one wanders in the world. People may not adhere to these standards, but they know they are there.

We all are born with a conscience and knowledge of morality. Romans 2:14-16 shows us the concept that we all know morality, even if we do not have the specifics.

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”

Here Paul was making the point that while the Gentiles did not have the law, they still knew the law, because it is written on their consciences and hearts from birth. That passage clearly shows that we all understand moral standards. Our understanding of universal moral standards also leads to the conclusion that we each also know that there is a moral law giver, which is God. Romans 1:18-20 shows us clearly that we all know God exists, because He created us that way, to have an understanding of His existence.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

We bear the image of God socially. God Himself in His triune form, has existed since eternity past as a social being. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have always existed in fellowship with one another. The decision to create humanity was made as a community effort by the persons of the Trinity. We can see this in Genesis 1:26 when the Triune God said He would create man in “our image, according to our likeness.”

God created us for His joy and His glory. He also created us to love and fellowship with Him. One thing to clearly understand is that God did not create us because He was somehow lonely just sitting around in eternity past with nothing to do. God is self contained and self sufficient and has no needs whatsoever. He does, however, enjoy being loved, worshipped and fellowshipped with.

A reading of Genesis 3:8 shows that in all likelihood God had a habit of walking in the Garden and fellowshipping with Adam and Eve.

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”

Genesis 2:18 shows us that God understood that He had created man to be a social creature as well; He created Eve for Adam because He could see it was “not good” for Adam to be alone.
We bear the image of God socially in terms of the emotions we feel towards each other. God loves, God hates, and God gets angry. The most obvious reference to how God loves is, of course, found in John 3:16 where we learn just how God loved us. God hates sin; the Biblical references to God being angry, jealous or hurt are too numerous to even mention.

We are in God’s image spiritually. God is Spirit, and in an eternal sense, so are we. Obviously we are not eternal from eternity past, only God has existed forever. On the other hand, God created us to exist eternally after our creation. This was true from the very beginning when God formed us from the dust of the earth. We became a “living soul.” Some might debate the difference between soul and spirit, but for the intent of that particular verse, the implication is that we are a soul which lives forever. Scripture clearly teaches that we will all exist somewhere for eternity.

Many words have been written about how man is in the image and likeness of God, and they are well worth more study. The above few words, however, capture the essence of how we were created in the image of God.

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