Archive for the ‘Genesis’ Category

Are All Beliefs and Churches Equally Valid and Scriptural?

September 9th, 2007

“…for the ways of the LORD are right…”

(Hosea 14:9)

Abraham’s servant bowed his head worshipfully and said—“…blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way…” (Genesis 24:48). Later, Moses, himself, would articulate a theology of the right way:

A. The right way is not based upon personally drawn conclusions (Deut. 12:8; 13:1-5; 18:19-22).

B. The right way is grounded in obedience to the documented word of the Lord (Bible) (Deut. 12:28; Ps. 33:4).

C. The right way is known through the commandments (mitvah) (Deut. 13:18).

The Major Post-Modern Assumptions Deserving Biblical Refutation:

1. All religions, churches, and philosophical systems are equally valid (Prov. 12:15; Matt. 15:9,13).
2. God is a purely arbitrary choice on the behalf of the individual (Prov. 16:25).
3. There is no historical/factual basis for Christianity (Lk. 3:1-2; Acts 26:26).
4. Human experience is the ultimate factor in determining truth (Deut. 12;8; Prov. 21:2).
5. There is no room for an exclusive approach to truth (Jn. 14:6; Deut. 12:29-32; Jude 3; Acts 13:10; 2 Pet. 2:15).
6. Sin is merely an outdated view of environmental and social injustices (1 Jn. 1:8).
7. Ultimate issues (origin of the universe; human meaning; salvation; etc.) have little or no bearing on the real world (Heb. 11:3,6).

– Robert Housby

The Five Basic Religious Stories of Genesis

February 11th, 2007

“He [Christ] was foreknown before the foundation of the world
but was made manifest in the last times for your sake…”

(1 Peter 1:20, ESV)

Sometimes we need clarifying information. The five basic religious stories of the book of Genesis provide such a structure for understanding the Bible and the plan of God for mankind.

1. Genesis 1 – The story of creation: This Is My Father’s World (Genesis 1:31; 1 Tim. 4:4).

2. Genesis 2 – The story of Adam and Eve: Sin Had Left a Crimson Stain (Romans 5:12).

3. Genesis 6 – The story of Noah and the Flood: (Gen. 6:5- 8). Judgment.

4. Genesis 11 – The story of the tower of Babel: Social chaos (Genesis 11:9).

5. Genesis 12- The story of Abraham: Sweet Are the Promises (Gen. 12:3; ).

The first story is of one of paradise; the second, paradise lost; the third; judgment for wickedness; the fourth, further social disintegration and alienation; the fifth, hope through the coming Messiah.

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, religion, stories Tags:

Regarding the Re-Classification of Pluto

September 10th, 2006

“And God said, Let there be lights
in the expanse of the heavens…”

(Genesis 1:14; Ezek. 32:7,8)

Pluto has an extremely eccentric orbit. It is sometimes closer to the sun than to its neighbor, Neptune. Discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, Pluto has most recently (2006) been re-classified based upon two fundamental pieces of information: (1) Its mass is too small to be equated with the other planets. For example, it is only 1/500 Earth’s mass; 1/20 Mercury’s mass; and, 1/300 the mass of Jupiter. (2) Its diameter is also too small. It has only 9% the diameter of Neptune; 90% the diameter of Ganymede (Ganymede is a moon of Jupiter, the largest satellite in our solar system). So, it is not surprising that the likes of Sir Patrick Moore (and others) have recently re-classified Pluto, reducing the number of Milky Way Planets from nine to eight.

What are Christians to do with this new information? First, the Lord has never said that there would be either nine or eight planets in our solar system. Secondly, we can  still appreciate the similarities which Pluto shares with other planets: (1) At least one moon (charon) (2) A thin atmosphere of CH4 Methane, and (3) A density of about 1.0 g/cm3 (Jupiter and Uranus = 1.3). Thirdly, we are once again brought face-to-face with science needing to revise its thinking. Our faith does not rest on the laurels of science. We do appreciate scientific data, but we must also realize that it is subject to revision when and where it is inaccurately being affirmed.

Jesus once said to the intellectuals of his day, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matt.  6:3). Thank you Pluto!

– Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Ezekiel, Genesis, Old Testament, science Tags:

Christian Symbolism in the Story of Eliezer and Rebekah

February 5th, 2006

(Genesis 24)

When Abraham became old, he expressed to his oldest servant his wishes regarding a wife for his son Isaac, (Gen. 24:1-4). It is naturally presumed that this servant was Eliezer of Damascus (Gen. 15:2,3). However, since Genesis 24 does not identify this servant by name, perhaps this unnamed servant, whom we presume to be Eliezer, was meant to imply by prophetic typology–the Holy Spirit (Heb. 1:1; 10:1). This we know for sure: (1) Abraham, as a father, sought a bride for his son (24:4). (2) He sent his servant with a message (24:33). And, (3) the LORD “led” him (24:48; 24:7,40).

When we open the pages of the New Testament, we are immediately confronted with terms like: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Bible speaks in terms of a mission to take a spiritual bride for his son. The apostle Paul explains this mystery in terms of the church of Christ (Eph. 5:31,32). Recall, in the story of Eliezer and Rebekah, that Abraham gave all that he had to his son Isaac (24:34-36). John 3:35 states that God the Father has given all things into the hand of the son. There is unmistakable similarity between the story of Eliezer and Rebekah in Genesis 24 and the gospel. But, then, isn’t that one of the purposes of the Old Testament (1 Cor. 2:7; 15:46-48).

As Abraham sent his servant to seek a bride for Isaac, God seeks a bride for his son. The Bible says that Rebekah was a maiden, “very attractive in appearance” (Gen. 24:16). God would comfort Isaac after his mother’s death through the love of Rebekah (Gen. 24:67). God will comfort you today through the love of Christ and his church.

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, symbolism Tags:

“Why Was the Flood of Genesis 7:10 Delayed by Seven Days?”

July 24th, 2005

“And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth”

(Genesis 7:10)

The Jew, Philo of Alexandria, Egypt (c. 20 B.C. – 50 A.D.), asked this question: “Why, after the entrance of Noah into the ark, did seven days elapse, after which the deluge [flood, RMH] came?” (Questions and Answers on Genesis II (13), from The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition, translated by C.D. Yonge (Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody, Massachusetts, 1993), p. 819.
We offer several reasons for the relative delay. First, according to Genesis 7:4- 9, these days may have been given for the marching of the animals into the ark. For, Genesis 7:10 seems to intimate that once Noah and the animals had entered the ark, there was a space of seven days. Genesis 7:16 indicates that God, himself, shut the door of the ark. Perhaps, God spared Noah of this sorrow-laden action, namely, the closing of the door of hope. Second, Philo offers the possibility that this may have been a reflection of the seven days of creation, except in reverse. A third possibility is that this delay was yet another opportunity for man to express his remorse and acknowledgment of God the Father; not that he would be admitted into the ark, but that his faith would be duly noted. 1 Peter 3:20 reads, “…while God’s patience waited in the days of Noah;” and again, “…not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
It is written, after those seven days, “… all the fountains of the great deep
burst forth”
(Gen. 7:11). “But God remembered Noah” (Gen. 8:1).

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Genesis, Old Testament Tags:

Some Attitudes About Action

January 9th, 2005

“Don’t Stop Now!”

“Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley”

(Genesis 19:17)

The December heavens of 2004 dropped over 10 inches of snow on our City of Roses recently. It was a cold gray afternoon, with temperatures dropping fast. I was enroute to the church building and approaching the south entrance. As I came up the little hill the car began to bog down and slide in the deep snow. I hesitated briefly to reassess my position; the tires began to spin; and I knew that to stop now would surely get me stuck. So, I gunned the engine! The back-end swerved and the engine roared, but we made our way through it.
In the Bible story of the Rescue of Lot (Genesis 19), we may observe that Lot’s wife, “looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). In the New Testament, it is related that Demas stopped too soon (2 Timothy 4:10). In these examples, and others, certain characteristics seem to appear:

1. Too much hesitation.
2. Too much concern with the cost of going on.
3. Too much concern with leaving the safety of what’s behind.
4. Too little determination to give-it-all for the cause.

Inactive Christians are lingering in the valley. Now, that may not sound too bad. But, this isn’t just any valley (Joel 3:14). All for Christ, and nothing is lost that shall not be restored. Make your way. Make your way right now (John 14:6).
“Don’t stop now!”

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Genesis, Old Testament Tags:

“The Four Winds of Heaven”

July 25th, 2004

(Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 37:9; Daniel 7:2; 8:8; 11:4;
Zechariah 2:6; 6:4,5; Mark 13:27; Revelation 7:1)

“Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these my lord? And the angel answered and
said unto me, These are the four winds of heaven, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.”

(Zechariah 6:4,5)

Sometimes the people of God need a reminder that their work really matters. The apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). The Bible communicates that God, himself, is very interested in what happens on earth. One such figure of speech expressing God’s interest and participation in what happens on earth is, “the four winds of heaven”. This is a universal expression of cosmological vastness.

“Wind” is from the biblical word, ruach. The wind is a creation of God (Amos 4:13). The Spirit of God uses physical breath and wind to fulfill his great purposes for mankind (Genesis 1:2; 2:7; Ezekiel 37:5,6, 14).
1. The north wind (ruach tsawphon) – is associated with cold conditions (Job 37:9)
2. The south wind (ruach darom) – is often destructive, sultry and withering (James 1:11; Job 37:9)
3. The east wind (ruach qadim) – is portrayed as strong, gusty and scorching (Jeremiah 18:17; Hosea 13:15).
4. The west wind (ruach yam) – associated with storm and rain (1 Ki. 18:44,45).

The churches of Christ are involved in a universal mission (Eph. 3:10,11). This universal sense may be seen in Acts 2:2,5,6,17. Although difficult to conceive (John 3:9), Jesus is reassuring about this kingdom (John 3:8). May the four
winds of heaven, which loom large in Scripture and in Space, find their place in us as well. The church must see herself as involved in the awesome and universal power of God

–Robert M. Housby