Archive for December, 2011

Genesis 2:2-3 The Sabbath

Posted in Creation with tags , , , , , , on December 27, 2011 by paulthepoke

Genesis 2:2-3 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

God has set the pattern of the work week. This pattern of a seven day week is wired into our being. The other facets of how we mark time have astronomical markers; the day (sun), month (moon), seasons (equinox) and year (completed monthly cycle). The week does not have an astronomical marker, it is different.

Our calendars work with seven day weeks, not five or eight or whatever. Man has tried to alter this concept of the seven day week. One example is the Soviets during the 1930’s. The comrades tried calendars with five day and six day weeks. The idea was for continuous work, 24 hours a day, non stop. The plan was for improved economic output. Somebody was working at all times, every day. The result was decreased productivity and more mechanical breakdown.

God did not rest because He was fatigued or exhausted. That tired argument is put to sleep in Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. The Sabbath is a notification that the creation is completed. His work is finished.

The pattern of rest on the seventh day is repeated over and over throughout the history of Israel. Here are just two of many examples.

Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.” Note all people and animals are included. It is a universal concept.

Exodus 31:16-17 “So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” Due to the everlasting nature of this covenant, one gets the idea that the Sabbath will be reinstated in the future when Christ returns. Based on this verse, we should be observing it today.

By the way, God takes the Sabbath very seriously. This is not a warm, fuzzy McDonald’s jingle “You deserve a break today” mentality. Exodus 31:15b …whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death. By this standard, how many of us would be around to read this? I know I would be gone. God is not asking us to do hard, physical labor or some unreasonable task. We are being asked “to rest” one time in seven days.

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God Is In Control and Omnipotent

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 18, 2011 by paulthepoke

Every day we make multiple decisions. We are given free will to make our own way and choose the things we want. For example, I chose to hit the snooze button when the alarm clock went off this morning. I had oatmeal instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast. I put on brown pants and a sweater. I did not want to shave but I chose to brush my teeth. You get the point.

On this planet there are billions of individual wills who have this same capacity. People acting on their own behalf, governments with interests and etiologies driving their decisions. Religion influences and dictates behavior on a global scale.

There are unseen forces such as Satan and his followers, the fallen angels. God has His angels acting on His behalf. Needless to say, there are billions of entities trying to exert their free will into affairs on earth. Some have chosen sides for either good or evil. Some have not chosen sides and just drift. Despite all of these wills pulling in all different directions, God is in control. No matter what any one does, God’s plan for history will not be thwarted. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

God does whatever He pleases (Psalm 135:6). God is the single supreme ruler of the universe. He exerts His will over and towards nature; see the global flood in Genesis. He is in charge over man (1 Samuel 2:6-8).

God directs the course of history (Psalm 115:1-3, 135-5-12). Satan is under the will of God (Job 1:6-12, 2 Corinthians 12:7). God is sovereign over sin (Acts 4:26-28, 7:9; Genesis 45:5-8).

Excerpts taken from Systematic Theology, The Doctrine of God, Chester McCalley.

http://www.wordoftruthkc.org

God is also in control over the nations. For example, God chose Israel as His people. Romans 9:11 tells us that God chose Jacob (Israel) over Esau in order that His purpose might stand. It was His choice. He chose Israel not because they are better than other nations; or not because they are larger or smaller. It was not because they (Israel) are good. Israel did not earn their selection. It was His choice and purpose.

This is taken a step further. God states, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse (Genesis 12:3). A nation’s course of history is determined by their interaction and response toward nation Israel. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s judgment toward the enemies of Israel. Likewise, nations who show favor towards Israel are blessed.

In Psalm 2, God makes it perfectly clear who is in charge. After He laughs and scoffs at the nations, it is stated that He (Jesus) will rule with a rod of iron and shatter them (the nations) like clay pots. A warning has been issued and homage to the Son is expected.

Now just because God’s will is supreme, this does not mean that individuals do not have choices. Suppose we did not have the freedom to make choices. Without free will, would there be a need for commandments? NO! We were not created to be mindless robots or taskmasters of an all powerful God. Commandments were written by God to appeal to our sense of volition. We can choose to obey just as well as we can choose to disobey. With choice comes responsibility and consequences to a just God.

Genesis 1:31 – Genesis 2:2 Creation Completed

Posted in Creation with tags , , , , , on December 7, 2011 by paulthepoke

Genesis 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Look at the word all or “kol” in the Hebrew. As defined by Strong’s, it means: all, the whole, any, each, every, anything, totality, everything. Who made it all?

Notice, it is God who made it. The grammar in the Hebrew is stated as a simple action verb. God made it, straight forward and no tricks. It is just not complicated. This did not occur by random chance. This was orchestrated by God. The creation account is complete at this point. Species do not mutate from here. There are no transitional species noted.

“Not one change of species into another is on record… we cannot prove that a single species has been changed.” –Charles Darwin, My Life & Letters, Volume 1, p. 210.

All of this is “good” or “towb” in the Hebrew. It is defined in Strong’s Concordance as: good, pleasant, agreeable (to the senses); pleasant (to the higher nature); rich, valuable in estimation; appropriate, becoming.

The completion of this day is not just good but very good. Previous days in the creation week were “good”, but at the end of day six, it is exceedingly good. See the word “very” or “m@`od” in the Hebrew. It means: exceedingly, much. In today’s vernacular, amazing, abundant, or awesome would be possible descriptions.

And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. The sun sets and the next day starts.

Genesis 2:1-2a Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; …

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