Hidden Royalty

for such a time as this

Genesis 3 and the Big Fat Lie

If you are familiar with the Bible or grew up going to Vacation Bible School, you may be able to immediately point to Genesis chapter 3 when someone says “The Fall.” This is the pivotal moment in Mankind’s story: the history of when we exchanged glory for shame, life for death, and relationship for rules. What strikes me now in reading this passage is the depth of deception in the Serpent’s big fat lie. And what really blows me away is to realize how he is still using the same lie and how deeply it has been woven into the psyche of the world and even the Church.

The story opens up with telling us plainly that “the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made….” And here is the part that makes me angry; “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (v. 4-5). Big. Fat. Lie.

Why is this a lie? After all, what he says comes to pass as far as Adam and Eve knowing they were naked and also not immediately physically dying that day. This is why he is cunning, and why his lies continue to entrap people every day.

Let’s skip to verse 8: “And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden.” At Creation, Adam and Eve were given the garden to lovingly tend, they were given each other to love and cherish, and they were given intimate access to walk daily with the Creator God. Discipleship was always God’s idea, not just a part of His Redemption plan. Don’t you think that walking daily with Love Himself would produce in Adam and Eve a life of righteousness, peace, and joy? They didn’t need the knowledge of good and evil to be like God. They had a daily, intimate relationship with Him.

An apprentice learns from a master because they are hands on together; it is an experience. Knowledge is passed on through relationship. If given the choice, would you rather learn from your hero by reading books about them or by living life with them?

This is the real point when law became the way of life. Many Gentiles think of Jews as the ones who are slaves to the Law, but anyone who is attempting to sort through good and evil by any means other than walking in relationship with God, is living (or dying) by the Law. Now I am thankful for the law, both that as laid out in the Bible and also through civil government, because it is mercy for us in our brokenness and it points to the way; but it will never produce righteousness. We must come to the Way, the Messiah Yeshua, and find that great miracle of the Redemption Story—the veil has been torn!

This is what Salvation is about, God coming down to us and defeating death and restoring that open access to our Creator, our love, our life, our righteousness. And there is more to come, when He creates the New Heavens and New Earth and we are once again walking together in glory.

So now we’ve read the beginning and we know the end, so let’s jump into the Story!

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May 12, 2015 Posted by | Journal through the Bible | | Leave a comment

Genesis 2

Wow, there is so much depth to explore in Genesis 2! Since I am not attempting here to write a Bible commentary, I won’t—but wow!

Verse 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 being.” I would like to just point out here that God created man both body and spirit from the very beginning. This was not Adam’s fallen state, but God’s original intention. Why is this important? There are so many reasons, reasons with implications for our theology, eschatology, and our view of ourselves and others. One simple reason is that it proves how much God cares for our whole person. He designed us with purpose, intention, and love. When we love God, we do it with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. That includes not just our emotions and “inner man” but also our brains and our bodies. We are His temple. OK, I am really challenged now and have to seek the Lord on what this means for me today.

Verse 9: “And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food….” When I read this verse, I immediately thought of how Yeshua taught that we are to bear fruit, and that we are called trees of righteousness. This means that the fruit of our lives, and our personhood itself, should be both “pleasant to the sight and good for food.” I’m not talking about being “good looking”; rather, being the light that attracts people to the Lord. At the same time, we don’t want to be sugar coated and empty. We must have real “nutritional value” in what we say, how we interact, and how we live. There will be times for righteous anger and zeal, but what is the constant and consistent fruit of our lives? Let’s not compare ourselves to others; let’s look at the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7); let’s look at Jesus.

Verse 15: “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” Work was not part of the curse due to the Fall. Toil was the curse. God always intended that we should partner with Him and that we should have meaningful responsibility. He gave Adam the privilege and responsibility to tend the Garden. This was a gift. What is the Lord asking each of us to tend and to cultivate? Are we thankful for the gift of responsibility and purpose? Are we thanking God for His blessings but neglecting to tend and cultivate those blessings? Let’s ask ourselves these questions: Has God blessed me with a family, with a talent, with a property, with a vocation? Am I sitting back and enjoying it, or am I tending and cultivating it to grow into all its God-given potential?

These are just a few thoughts. I hope they encourage you to read the Word and listen to the Spirit today.

May 2, 2015 Posted by | Journal through the Bible | | Leave a comment

Genesis 1

Creation blog

Genesis 1 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible and of any book. I love its poetry, the rhythm, and the amazing wonder of it all. I like to read it slowly and let it play out in my imagination; then meditate on the fact that its grandeur so far exceeds my imagination. 

I have been blessed to have traveled and seen many amazing sites–from German forests to tropical waterfalls, the Grand Canyon to the strange beauty of an expanse of desert; this world amazes me and delights my heart. It astounds me that such beauty exists in a fallen world intermingled with wars, injustice, and greedy misuse. I wonder at how God’s original Creation would compare to what we can see today. Then I get excited because, if His original handiwork excites my imagination, what will be when He restores all things. Isaiah 65:17-18 says, “‘For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.'”

So, I love the Creation account in regards to poetry and nature, but there is so much more. As I read today, I was drawn to verse 2, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” From the very beginning, Creator God has been bringing definition, purpose, and value. Just as he took a shapeless void and brought forth the complex and beautiful world we live in, so too He desires to draw us out of the confusing void and emptiness our flesh is drawn to sink into and give us meaning, identity, and purpose. It is such a beautiful picture to me. 

The last thing I will journal about today in regards to Genesis 1, though certainly not all there is to say, is that beginning in verse 11 and throughout the rest of the chapter, He is constantly creating things to produce after their own kind and whose seed is in itself. Then we arrive at the magical (yes, it just seems the best word to describe at the moment), magical verse 26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….'” When I read the chapter slowly and get caught in the pattern of the preceding verses, this change stands out and shouts to me. And this is why:

Growing up, one of my favorite things has always been to hear retold the story of how my parents met and came together. The foundation and genesis of our family. Somehow their story adds meaning to my life and makes me realize that I am special, that had things not happened the way they did, I would not exist. That’s what Genesis 1 is to me, and the fact that we have access to a first-hand account (all Scripture being inspired by God) to make sense of our world and discover meaning in our lives, is a gift that we should hold dear in our hearts. The memoir of our Father, choosing to create us, to make us in His very image and likeness, to provide for us, and to give us purpose on the earth. It truly is a beautiful story–and it’s only the beginning. 

August 5, 2014 Posted by | Journal through the Bible, Uncategorized | Leave a comment