Thursday, 2 January 2014

TFTD - 02 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

02 January 2014

Genesis 3; 4
Psalms 3; 4; 5
Matthew 3; 4

DO WE BELIEVE GOD MEANS WHAT HE SAYS?

What we read in Romans 5:12, “sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin …” sums up the tragic story we read today in Genesis. Do we believe God means what he says, is the question that is asked of every generation. The sentence, sadly, is just; “you are dust and to dust you shall return.” [Genesis 3:19]

It is intriguing that scientists today cannot understand why our bodies stop renewing their cells, after doing so for 60 or 70 years.

It seems Adam and Eve had been enjoying daily fellowship with God, or “the angel of his presence” [Isaiah 63:9] in the garden until they saw the need [Genesis 3:8], after eating of the forbidden fruit (what kind we are not told) to hide themselves. So we all, in various ways, hide ourselves from God: it might be simply by stopping praying, when we do that which we know is not right.

This ancient record is intriguing; who wrote it? Moses? A prominent archaeologist (P.J. Wiseman) has pointed out the remarkable structure of Genesis. It is just like the cuneiform tablets that have been found dating back at least 4,000 years. The record is written on clay and then enclosed within a clay envelope on which there is a brief statement of the record within. It is suggested that Moses inherited these ancient records and faithfully copied them into one scroll.

At the end of each record, he added what was written on the outside “envelope” - thus in Genesis 2:3 you have what was on the outside envelope - and the words before then, all that was inside; then from Genesis 2:5, the contents of another tablet with Genesis 5:1-2 being what was on the outside envelope. Genesis 6:9 is another, then Genesis 10:1 and so on. Modern versions render “generations” as ‘written account’ or something similar.

It is suggested that the account could be that which belonged to the person(s) named - and may well have been written by him/them. But who wrote the first account? God - or an angel? We can never know, but what man has now discovered of the order of creation (which he now chooses to call evolution is so very parallel to the 6 days of creation).

Our reading leaves us with the personal question; Do we believe God means what he says?