Monday, January 4, 2010

TTB: Genesis 6-9

Addendum to yesterday: Tim pointed out something the other day that I think needs mentioning. He highlighted the verse known as the protoevangelion (first-gospel). In Genesis 3:15 God is alluding to the fact that Jesus Christ will crush Satan's head and reign over him in power. While it's amazing just to see that God's plan for Jesus Christ as Savior is evident from the beginning, there is another interesting element to this verse. Tim mentioned that God spoke to the woman regarding her seed and the future production of the Messiah. Isn't it fun to see that God spoke of the woman's seed, not the man's. This may be a subtle hint that the virgin birth was God's desire from the outset of humanity. The use of seed regarding procreation in the Bible is obviously a reference to the male semen (L.-seed; as in disseminate or seminary), however, in this verse it is used in regards to the woman only. Calvin offers the idea that the seed (a plural noun here) refers to all Christians who are victorious over Satan, and his thought is supported by Paul. (Rom. 16:20). I also found an article from Jim Hamilton of Harvard Theological in regards to Genesis 3:15- check it out for more thoughts. I also found this Jewish scholar who counters the Messianic prophecy, to me his logic seems flawed (snakes as simply pests?), but you can read it for yourself =) (1 Corinthians 2- but especially verse 14)

Now, on to today:

Standout verse: "So he said, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brothers." He also said, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japeth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant." Gen. 9:25-27

Little Insights:
*God wasn't surprised at man's wicked state- He knows we are dust (Psalm 103- my favorite verse)
*God is emotive! He feels grief over His creation. (Gen. 6:6)
*Noah was saved through faith. Wouldn't it take some to build an ark for 120 years and convince your family you weren't crazy? (Hebrews 11:6-7 & 2 Peter 2:5)
*In all those 120 years of Noah's ministry, no one came to a saving knowledge of God.
*Noah took more of the clean animals because they were needed for God-honoring sacrifices.
*Just as in Gen. 1:28, God told man to multiply over the face of the Earth- He never said worry about planning your family ;) (Gen. 9:7)
*The descendants of Canaan are the Canaanites who harassed the Israelites- can you see why there will never be peace in the Middle East until Christ reigns? The descendants of Japeth are the Greeks and Europeans. The descendants of Shem are the Israelites and through Shem's seed Christ came. Therefore, Noah's proclamation in 9:23-25 is actually prophetic in regards to salvation through the Jews to the Gentiles.
*Every culture has a myth about a flood, but then, every culture was from Noah!
*40 is numerically associated with testing (40 years of wandering, 40 days in the desert, etc)
*God develops governing laws associated with lifeblood regarding eating and conduct. (Gen. 9:6)

Just for fun: Close up your house and turn every faucet and the washer on and let them run for 40 days and 40 nights and see how high you can flood your house. Just kidding, but seriously- spend some time thinking about the phrase "fountains of the deep". A beautiful picture of the ability of a powerful God to call up the mysterious places and hidden aspects of this world. Think of all the crushing black of the ocean's floor being doubled or even tripled as God brought about His justice and mercy. So as you shower, wash your hands, water the flowers or drink some tea...think about God's use of water, not only to flood the world, but to then create misty particles that diffuse the light into a lovely rainbow- a signal of His covenant to never flood this Earth again.

Love, Lauren


Sarah said...

That is interesting...I have been consumed for the past half hour with the verse Tim pointed out and the links you provided. I admit that I didn't read all 25 pdf pages of the Harvard guy, but when I skimmed through most of it, I found that he makes the argument I was thinking: the word "seed" could refer both to ONE individual (the literal and singular) and the group of people descended from or following that person (the plural of "zera" and metaphorical). I found the Jewish scholar's argument to be engaging, but I wasn't able to figure out how all of his examples refuted the use of "her seed" in the passage 3:15... It is interesting that so much of the spirituality in the Bible is under the care of women, even those who transgress like Eve.

Love, Lauren said...

Oh I would love to know what you were thinking about the verse =)
I agree with you- women are given a huge responsibility. That is why the opportunity, privilege and blessing of training of our children should be given to no one else!

Many women are listed in Christ's geneaology and many are considered "sinners" (though all have sinned- Romans 8:28). Rahab was a prostitute; Bathsheeba an adulteress.
God uses ordinary sinners- even the patriarchs - Noah, Abraham, Jacob, etc. did horribly stupid and faithless things- even after God had appeared to them! That is why Paul exhorts those of us who have not seen Çhrist to press on in faith, because even when God appears to humans- we still are faithless. Good thing we serve a FAITHFUL God- even to a thousand generations!