1. Creation. Our day demands much preaching on creation because of the widespread prevalence of theorizing on evolution. Stress these points: the Bible our one source of information, almighty power of the Creator, pervading design of the six days work, and man the climax of God's creative energy.
2. The first Page of the Bible. Give a running exposition of Genesis 1, stressing the truth as above.
3. The first Verse of the Bible. Three introductory considerations: unique position of these words; unassailable certainty of these words; vast importance of these words. Three main points: the epochal beginning, time breaks out of eternity, or eternity breaks on the shores of time; the majestic person, God stands serene in eternity, existence of God is assumed for faith without argument, cluster of truths about God taught here: the unparalleled event, God works at time's dawn.
4. The creation of man, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). Turn the searchlight of revelation on theories of evolution.
5. The first sabbath, "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:2-3). Its origin; its first observer; its principle - one seventh of our time belongs to God for worship, etc.
6. The fall of man, Genesis 2:4-4:26. Broad survey as given in notes. Another development may discuss it theologically.
7. The notable gardens of scripture. First, the garden of Eden. Note: the multiform goodness of God; a place of unhindered fellowship with God; the scene of man's probation; the one perfect environment; the gate of all man's woes; first glimpses of God's redeeming love. Second, the garden of Gethsemane. Note: the dark shadow; the unspeakable agony; the undaunted courage; His complete surrender; the sleepy disciples. Third, the garden of Calvary. "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid" (John 19:41). Note: death and defeat, resurrection and triumph. Note: human cruelty, Satanic rage, sinful sin, matchless love, everlasting triumph, full blessing.
8. Man amidst creation, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26-28). At its head - the place God gave; at its foot - the place man chose; above all - though Christ's deliverance. Psalm 8.
9. The trees of Eden, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9). Natural charm of trees. "Four kinds: for beauty, for food, for life, knowledge of good and evil.
10. "And it was so" ch. 1. Note: God's word can be trusted, it works, it never fails. God's word, is powerful, He did not speak into empty space; His word when investigated is found true, you can check up on the Creator, His Word and works agree.
11. The creator his own critic, 1:31. "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" occurs seven times in chapter 1. God a qualified critic; show by a survey of His creation the fallacy of man's criticisms, as Ingersoll's "Mistakes of Moses"; the perfection of God's creation contrasted with chapter 3; "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).
12. The breath of God. In the creation of man. "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 soul" (Genesis 2:7). In the inspiration of the Bible. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16). In the regeneration of sinners. "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord" (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In the consecration of saints. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4). In the destruction of the wicked. "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:8-12). God's breath represents the life principle in God, and usually refers to the Holy Spirit.
13. The first curse on man's sin. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Those of chapter 3 are resultative of this original curse. First, the warning test. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat" (Genesis 2:16). Twofold goodness of God: "eat of every tree" and His forewarning them. Second, the willful disobedience. Note: personal responsibility, "thou"; federal headship; the act of disobeying, the wrong heart attitude preceded the outward act. Third, the certain curse. Note: immediate punishment, "in the day"; personal penalty; certain retribution, "surely"; the penalty itself, "die" spiritually in soul estrangement from God.
14. Man with God - God with man. Originally, enjoyed fellowship; fall severed fellowship; salvation super-effects fellowship.
15. Sin as it was, chapter 3. First, self, attitude toward our interests. Note: self-gratification, the essence of sin, considers the interests of neither God nor man, Christ's gift was the absence of selfishness and the height of selflessness, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28); the Christ-life is the selfless life, "And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again" (II Corinthians 5:15). Second, will, attitude toward our knowledge, wisdom, and ability. Note: the self-will of sin is anarchy; Christ is the embodiment of "not my will"; salvation leads men to do God's will, heaven's ultimatum, man doing God's will perfectly. "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). Third, pride, attitude toward intrinsic worth. Note: sin is a too high opinion of self and a too low opinion of God; Christ's humility forgot His own worth to redeem sinners; in Christian living we learn to think less of ourselves and more of God, to think highly of Him. Fourth, unbelief, attitude toward God's word. Note: sin is doubting, changing, and disobeying His word. Jesus magnified it in following its precepts in His life, in proclaiming its truths and fulfilling its demands and predictions in His death and resurrection. Salvation leads men to believe and obey the word. Fifth, desertion, attitude toward position of fellowship. Note: sin means the loss of the presence of God--man's act, he left God - God's act, He withdrew from man - sins act, it blinds and estranges man and hides God from his view; Christ indwells the Christian - incarnation objectively and potentially - regeneration, subjectively and really - indwelling, result of both; Christian living is abiding in Him; heaven's ultimatum we shall be forever with Him.
16. The original order of marriage. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). The origin of marriage, God, not mere human custom; the ground of marriage, therefore, "because woman came out of man and is the same kind as he; the twofold duty of marriage - negative, "leave father and mother", love her best - positive, "cleave unto his wife'' in faithfulness, loyalty, protection, etc., not to another woman, which forbids both adultery and polygamy; the result of marriage, "one" in ideals, efforts, love, etc.
17. Man as God made him. Man as God made him, in creation (see H.B. Taylor notes); man as man made himself, by sin; man as God makes him, in redemption. So you may work a sermon out of most every special subject discussed in ch. 3.
18. Satan and his work,
19. God's first question. "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9). "Where," the condition of sinner, saint, church, preacher, home, etc. "Art", present condition, not what strive to be or supposed to be. "Thou", personal, Negro hymn, "It's Me, O Lord, Standing In the Need of Prayer."
20. God's first picture of sin. ch. 3. The standard is God's word; sin is wrong attitude toward self, God, and descendants; the sin is the attitude, the sins are the acts; the curse.
21. Protoevangelium, The First Gospel Promise. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15).
22. The battle of the ages, 3:15. Trace the conflict through the centuries to final victory at the end. The devil sometimes wins the skirmish; God always wins the battle", Sir Robt. Anderson.
23. The first impulses of sin, ch. 3. How quickly sin overmastered their heart and showed it real hideousness! Shame. "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons" (Genesis 3:7). To hide their sin, v. 7. To escape God's presence, v. 8. To be afraid of God, v. 10. To shift responsibility, vs. 11-13. To avoid giving account. Contrast "The First Impulses of Grace" as developed in tile next outline.
24. Grace in Eden, ch. 3; "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). Here the eternal stream of grace first becomes visible. Note: the source - God; the scene where sin wrought its full work; the glimpses-God seeks the sinner, not to get something, but to give everything. God promises the Deliver - God clothes the guilty.
25. The first sacrifice for sin. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21).
26. A covering that covers, 3:21. Contrast their covering
27. The seed of the woman. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). Emphasize virgin birth and humanity of Savior.
28. The devil's first sermon. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:1-5). Method, message, audience, results.
29. The divine and satanic bruise. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). What is bruised is significant. "Head" speaks of dominion, gained through usurpation; "heel" reminds of service, performed through condescension. Openness, Christ faces Satan and strikes on the head; subtlety, Satan slyly strikes the heel of Christ's humanity.
30. The first picture of the cross. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). The prelude of conflict: the picture of bruising Christ's humanity at the cross: the postlude of victory. Victory comes out of defeat; the victim becomes the victor. The form of this verse is a curse; the ultimatum of this verse is a promise.
31. For thy sake. "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life" (Genesis 3:17). "Black clouds have a silver lining." "It is a long road that turns." "The darkest hour is just before dawn." This curse is a blessing in disguise. It keeps alive important truths: the fall into sin: the curse on sin: the necessity of Divine deliverance. The bitter makes the sweet sweeter. The pricked finger makes the plucked rose dearer. Be assured that ultimately God will work good out of afflictions. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
32. Unsafe hiding. "And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8). Unnatural hiding; man runs from God because sin has tampered with man's heart. Unsafe hiding: sin comes as an angel of goodness, but hides from neither the dangers nor the judgment. Unsure hiding: you cannot hide from God always. There is a safe and sure hiding underneath the precious Blood. "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
33. Man's First Sin. Sin touched heaven before it touched earth. How and by whom introduced. Its consequences. Sin is foreign and unnatural to our world.
34. Can God trust man? and will man trust God? This is the real test from Eden to the end. Man has proved a failure wherever God has placed him. See H.B. T[aylor] notes on Genesis 3 and "The Purpose of God" in notes on Exodus.
35. A gracious contrast. Adam; the fall; self exploited; Christ; the cross; self humbled. Man's self-exaltation brought sin. Genesis 3:1-15. Christ's self-humiliation brought salvation. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:5-11).
36. The headship of Adam. This phrase is true in various senses; first, natural, Adam had dominion over the animal and plant kingdom. Second, marital, Adam was head over Eve after the fall. Third, federal, Adam was the head of the human race as the representative of us all, in these particulars: in natural matters, physical, etc.; in spiritual matters. When Adam sinned, we all sinned, therefore we all became guilty through his sin; in moral matters we inherited his depraved moral nature; in that we reap all the consequences of the fall.
37. The first confession of sin. "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Genesis 3:12-13).
38. The first man who went to heaven, Abel. First of long line; first proof of Christ's redemptive work; the way he went is typical of the way millions of martyrs have gone; the cruel work of religious prejudice still continues; contrast the scene here, unwanted by his brother, with the scene over there.
39. The faith of Abel. "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh" (Hebrews 11:4).
40. The better blood. Cf. Hebrews 12:14. Both speak a strong message. Abel's was innocent blood; Christ’s was sinless blood. Abel’s was human blood; Christ’s was the blood of the God-man, Acts 20:28. Abel’s was unwillingly taken; Christ’s was voluntarily shed. Chiefly, Abel’s was the blood of a martyr; Christ’s was more, it was the blood shed for atonement, the blood of the sinner’s substitute. Thus, Christ’s blood is better in its intrinsic value, its message or significance, and its glorious effects. Even the martyred Abel went to heaven through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
41. The way of Cain. "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core" (Jude 11). Compare H.B.T. notes on Jude.
42. God's Love for Cain. "And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" (Genesis 4:6-7). First, Cain's unaccepted offering. Second, God's gracious pleadings. Paraphrase of v. 7, "If thou wilt do well in offering the same kind of offering as Abel offered, thou shalt without doubt be accepted as Abel has been. The offering of blood is sufficient for every one; My grace is not circumscribed. If thou wilt not do well by not heeding My voice to offer an offering of sacrificial blood, yet know that a sin-offering, even a lamb couching there ready to leap on the altar, lies right at hand. Thus easy is the way of grace." The closing sentence of this verse demands this explanation. Third, Cain's insolent rejection. Unwilling to follow God, Cain, as he felt it, could not get even with God but could take it out on one God honored. Maladjustment with God is the precursor of maltreatment of man.
43. The shirker's two questions. "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9). "What shall this man do?" (John 21:21). One shirked responsibility through crime, the other through apparent interest in his brother.
44. Men began to pray. "And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD" (Genesis 4:26). First, a sad background. Adam was 130 at the birth of Seth; Seth was 105 at the birth of Enos. That makes 235 years; say Enos began to lead men in public worship at 15, which may be unlikely. What a world of prayerlessness for 250 to 300 years. Second, a happy crisis. So it is in any man's life when he seriously begins to pray. Public praying may be meant. Third, a glorious sequel. They began but did not exhaust the limitless possibilities. What a story since then! What unexplored territory lies ahead of him who prays conqueringly.
45. A mother's hopes and her three sons. The hopes of the first pair were definitely related to and embodied in the names of the three sons named in Scripture. First, Cain means "gotten, acquired, possession." She thought "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15), was being fulfilled. All children are gifts of God and should arouse holy desires, but our misdirected aspirations may hold too high hopes for them. Four millenniums stretched before them before this hope was fulfilled in Christ. Second, Abel, probably meaning "vanity, a breath, a vapor," came much nearer measuring up to her original hopes than wicked Cain. She had learned that Cain was not the promised Deliverer and embodied her disappointment in the name of Abel. We are inborn extremists; pull the pendulum of overzealous desires too far one way and it will swing too far the other way into disappointment. Third, Seth, "appointed, put," came as a substitute for Abel. Crushed hopes once more faced forward. Since Seth is of the Christ line he may be said to point definitely to Him as rebuilding on the ruins of sin. Hope misdirected, crushed, and jubilant! How often have our souls gone through this threefold cycle!
46. After Adam's image. "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth" (Genesis 5:1-3). First, the marred image. Note: the original image; man's willful disobedience, the spoiled image. Second, the inherited image. Note: Seth was not born after God's image; a sinful nature was all Adam could impart to his child: this was all that Seth had, God did not add a spiritual nature in the natural birth. Third, the continuing image. Note: parental responsibility; the inherited image: elements of the likeness. Or, develop this under the head of "Inherited Depravity."
47. Walking with God. "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:21-24). See B. H. Carroll's development of this theme. God did not have to reach far to take him; Enoch walked so close to God that he just stepped up into His presence.
48. The testimony of Enoch. By life, by lip, by death. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude 14). "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5). He is called the first prophet or preacher.
49. God took Him. "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24). Suggested for funeral. First, the pleasing life. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5). Second, the poignant absence, "he was not" with earth scenes and fellowships. Third, the assuring explanation, "for God took him." He must have needed him: why should our hearts covet him back?
50. Work, Toil. "And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed" (Genesis 5:29). First, the disturbing present "work", "toil", "cursed ground". Second, the up looking heart. Lamech longed for rest and looked to God for it. Third, the God planned life. A father's prayer and a sovereign God blue printed Noah's career.
51. The faith of Noah. "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" (Hebrews 11:7).
52. Noah's day over again. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 24:35-51). "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-27). "As-so" in unbridled sin, in impending judgment, in the waitings of patience divine, in commercialization and exploitation of women's beauty, in overweening importance of women in civic and political life, in materialistic living, in divergent reactions to the preached gospel.
53. Sin as God sees it. "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). Telling descriptions of it, "wickedness", "great," "every", "only," "continually". Awful punishment of it. "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (Genesis 6:13). This flood typifies a flood of fire to come. Costly atonement for it. Or, develop on this order: sinful man cannot set it aright; God is fully qualified to see it as it is; sin as He sees and describes it; God likewise is the only one to assign the proper remedy; conviction is God's method of bringing man to see sin as it is (this is continued in the growth in grace).
54. The sin of mixed marriages. "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose" (Genesis 6:2). Cf. notes on marriages of Isaac, Esau, Jacob and Joseph.
55. The ark a type of Christ. "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21). Add to H.B.T. parallels between Noah and us. First, a divine refuge. Noah did not originate the plan. Second, only one door. No two ways of salvation. Third, without destruction, within safety. Waters of flood are type of waves of sin; they came gradually, so deceptive sin. Other means tried for protection failed, however good they appeared in early stages of the flood. So with works for salvation. Fourth, food was within. We feed on Christ because we are in Him.
56. The message of the flood. Typical of hell for sinners: deliverance from judgment, etc.
57. The rainbow covenant. "And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth" (Genesis 9:8-17).
58. The prophecy of Noah. "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant" (Genesis 9:24-27).
59. Capital punishment. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (Genesis 9:6). First; the sin of murder, "whose sheddeth man's blood." Second, the authority for capital punishment, "by man shall his blood be shed." Third, the strongest reason for capital punishment, "for in the image of God made he man."
60. Man's vain effort to get to heaven. "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth" (Genesis 11:1-9).
61. Babel and Pentecost, cf. B. H. Carroll.
62. "Half-Way Haran" (George Ragland). "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there" (Genesis 11:31). "And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came" (Genesis 12:5).
63. The call of Abraham. "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:" (Genesis 12:1).
64. A converted idolater, Abraham. "And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods" (Joshua 24:2).
65. The First Missionary Command. "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing" (Genesis 12:2).
66. Worldwide Missions. "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). The background of need: the channel of missions, "in thee"; the ground of missions. "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Genesis 22:18). "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ" (Galatians 3:16); the universality of missions, "all families of the earth"; the fruit of missions, "be blessed."
67. The faith of Abraham. "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8).
68. The prayer life of Abraham. His altar; his prayers; the results - a praying son, Isaac, and a praying servant, Eliezer.
69. Moving our Religion. Abram moved his altar; contrast the habit of not moving church membership.
70. The backsliding of Abraham. Halting at Haran; going to Egypt; lying about his wife; listen to Sarah in taking Hagar to wife.
71. The laugh of faith and the laugh of unbelief. "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?" (Genesis 17:17); "Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh" (Genesis 18:12-15).
72. What is right? Whatever is, is not right - those who think so should never feel mistreated; might does not make right, no force in religion, only voluntary; end does not justify the means. "And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin" (Romans 3:8-9). Will of sovereign people not infallible, minority may be right; reason is not right, so many reason differently, so many change reasonings; custom does not make right, voice of fashion smiles at free love, etc.; what I think individually is not right, it may infringe on rights of others. What God says is always right because He is the foundation of right, it may infringe on rights of others, both man and God. What God says is always right because He is the foundation of right. "That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).
73. The Holy Spirit in Genesis. Creating. "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2). Striving. "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years" (Genesis 6:3). Interpreting. "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it" (Genesis 41:15). "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? (Genesis 41:38).
74. Things God remembers. "And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged" (Genesis 8:1); His own people. "And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt" (Genesis 19:29). His own word. "And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth" (Genesis 9:16).
75. Stepping stones to Sodom. "Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom" (Genesis 13:12). No altar. Walking by sight, wrong choice from wrong sense of value; guided by wrong life principal, things seen. "And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar" (Genesis 13:10). Moving closer to Sodom. "Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom" (Genesis 13:12). Some results: trouble. "And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed" (Genesis 14:12); lost influence on sons-in-law. "And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law" (Genesis 19:14). An old age of fear, afraid to obey God's command. "Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live" (Genesis 19:19-20). Ruined children. "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father" (Gen. 19:34). Or, "The Mistakes of Lot", by M.E. Staley; see News and Truths. 1924, p.132.
76. Four great crises in Abraham's life.
77. Lot, the worldly Christian. Lot's environment; Lot a righteous man; worldliness of Lot.
78. "Thou God seest Me," (Genesis 16:13). Who? God. Whom? Me. What? Seest the experience: comfort, protection, joy, searching, warning.
79, The son that was spared. "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba" (Genesis 22:1-19); "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). Here is a story for the story hour; a trial for the father of the faithful; a message of mercy for condemned men. First, Impending Destruction. God (Elohim) demands the sacrifice; justice calls for the death of the guilty. The sinner is helpless, Isaac was bound. Justice was ready to slay, as it is sinners today, v. 10. Second, Glorious Rescue. The one condemned to die was spared to live. The bound one was set free. Sword of justice was withdrawn. Third, Perfect Satisfaction. Divinely provided, LORD (Jehovah), v. 14. Through a substitute "in the stead of his son", v. 13. Through sacrifice.
80. Grace in the great crises when the world was young. General theme for five sermons on great judgments in Genesis. Driven from Home, on the expulsion from Eden. Second, Drowned in the Flood, on the deluge. Third, Man's Vain Effort to Get to Heaven, on Babel. Fourth, The Way of A Great City, on destruction of Sodom. Fifth, A Famine of Bread, on the famine in Egypt. The evidences of mercy manifested before judgment clear God of the Modernistic charge that the God of the Old Testament is a whimsical and cruel Despot. The God of these crises is the God of grace we meet in the New Testament.
81. Sodom a type of wicked Capernaum. "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day" (Matthew 11:23). Of conditions at Christ's return. "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (Luke 17:28-33); Of God's righteous judgement. "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly" (II Peter 2:6).
82. "Remember Lot's wife." "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26).
83. Ishmael and Isaac, the two covenants. "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free" (Galatians 4:21-31). First, types of the new birth and spiritual abortion, vs. 23,28. Promise vs. flesh. Natural vs. supernatural. Second, types of freedom of grace and bondage of works. vs. 25f, 30f. Slave vs. Son. Third, type of attitude of legalists (works for salvation) toward those saved by grace, vs. 27,29. "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking" (Gen. 21:9). Persecution of saints. Forth, types of future of each. vs. 30f. Heir to all vs. cast out, sent away with bread and bottle of water. "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba" (Gen. 21:14). "And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac" (Genesis 25:5).
84. Jacob and Esau.
85. What price religion? Esau bartered away the birthright when he needed its benefits most of all, at the point of death. The birthright included the promise of Christ. Esau had no sense of spiritual values, no sense of preparation to meet God, and only a materialistic view of religion. Our day crucifies the spiritual on the altar of the material and physical.
86. Two great experiences of Jacob. "And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee" (Genesis 28:10-22). "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank" (Gen. 32:24-32). Twenty years apart. They represent salvation and consecration.
87. Tithing or Jacob's vow to tithe. "And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee" (Genesis 28:22). The Tithe of Gratitude. "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all" (Genesis 14:20).
88. Christ, The Ladder,; "And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven" (Genesis 28:11-17). "And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:51).
89. The primacy of need. "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it" (Genesis 28:12); "And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:51). The divine order is "ascending" angels before "descending" angels. In God's purpose, the redemptive purpose forsaw man a fallen sinner. In providential gifts, God gives more bountifully to those that realize their need. In the coming of Christ, He came to save lost ones, not ones to be lost. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk. 19:10). In conversion, conviction precedes repentance and faith: He especially calls those that feel their need of the Physician. In Christian growth, realization of need turns in trust and makes the soul fat. Hence, the angels take to God our needs and return with the blessings.
90. The God of Beth-el. "I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred" (Genesis 31:13). Jacob's Ladder, Genesis 28:10-22. "And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee. And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked. Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled. And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred. And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money. For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do" (Genesis 31:1-16): "Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Beth-el, and there he spake with us" (Hosea 12:4). God so names Himself in His appearance to Jacob. First, God of revelation. This is needed because of the ignorance and blindness of sin. Note: God of grace, self revealing: God of Promise; God of redemption; God of Christ, LORD (Jehovah). "Seed ". "And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:51); Present God. "And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not" (Genesis 28:16). Second, God of experience. Must be made personal; hearing of ear not sufficient. Note: a personal God, Abraham, Issac, Jacob: living God. "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Matthew 22:32). God of great experiences, truth brought home to him when least expected. "I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred" (Gen. 31:13), is the key between his two great experiences, truth brought home to him. He had none of great significance while with Laban, this was the "best nights sleep he ever had", (Henry); an unchanging God, kept promise and covenant, God names Himself after original place, not a new one. Third, God of worship. God revealed and experienced are the two stays of worship; Jacobs response turned these into personal application. Note: he reverenced God; he was humbled, "I knew not": his altar and sacrifice, Luz means "an almond tree" but Beth-el means "the house of God"; he strongly engages himself to abide in him, "be my God"; tithe of gratitude.
91. Conversions that reach the pocket book. Jacob, Zacchaeus. "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham" (Luke 3:8). Bro. Taylor noticed the pocket book of a candidate he was ready to baptize and cautioned him he would get it wet. "That's what I want; I want my money and my all consecrated to my Savior" was the ready reply.
92. Jacob faces God. "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank" (Genesis 32:24-32). Peniel means "the face of God". First, alone with God, v. 24. God comes in fullest way when human supports removed. Second, the wrestling angel; the rebelling Jacob, vs. 24f. Third! the crippling touch. It may be financial crisis, sickness, death or friends. "Jacob never walked straight until he limped." Better Jacob go limping, depending on God, than strutting, depending on self. Fourth, broken, now holding, v.26. Fifth, a new name Jacob literally means "to catch hold of the heel"; hence, a trickster, a supplanter. Israel means "prince of God."
93. From Jacob to Israel. "And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (Genesis 32:28). "And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel" (Genesis 35:10). First a fact. Note: the suppanter first, his works as supplanter, tricking his fainting brother. "And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob" (Genesis 25:29-33); Isaac and Esau "And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?" (Genesis 27:36), and Laban made prince at Peniel. "But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's" (Genesis 30:42). Second, an ideal. The struggle of his life to catch up with what God called him. Note: He fears to follow Esau but erects an altar. "And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord. So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-aram; and pitched his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money. And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel" (Genesis 33:12-20); sent back to Bethel, he puts away their idols. "And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Beth-el, he and all the people that were with him. And he built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother. But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Beth-el under an oak: and the name of it was called Allon-bachuth. And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Beth-el" (Genesis 35:1-15). Respecting Joseph, he refused to be comforted. "And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him" (Gen. 37:35). Became pessimistic, "And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me" (Gen. 42:36), thought he would be bereaved of all but prayed that God Almighty would show mercy. "And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved" (Gen. 43:14). Third, a prophecy. Note: as a prince with God, he blessed Pharaoh, "And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh" (Genesis 47:8-10). The sons of Joseph, "And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, ...And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed ....And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day" (Genesis 48:3, 11, 15), and all his sons, "And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days" (Genesis 49:1). The sequel to the change of name; he was usually thereafter called Israel; his descendants are called children of Israel: an Israelite indeed, "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" (John 1:47).
94. "Back to Bethel," "I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred" (Genesis 31:13); "And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went" (Genesis 35:3). Abram "And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hai" (Genesis 13:3).
95. All these things, "And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me" (Genesis 42:36). "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). Optimist vs. pessimist.
96. Judah, the surety, "For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever" (Genesis 44:32). Pictures Christ's substitutionary work. Voluntary; to bear the blame. Twofold: surety to Jacob that Benjamin would return, so Christ is surety that all the Father gave Him will be saved: surety to Benjamin that he would get back to Jacob, so Christ secures the believer.
97. Too good to be true. "And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not" (Genesis 45:26). Cf. Stories' of Christ's resurrection; message of the gospel; Peter's release from prison.
98. The man prisons can't hold. Cf. Joseph Samson, Daniel, Joseph, Peter and the apostles, Paul and Silas.
99. "The God who fed me", "And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day" (Genesis 48:15). "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). No glory to self. God gives material things. He saw behind human gifts and means. Or group around two points, God's tender care and our attitude toward His care. Jacob displays humility, faith and gratitude. We ought to testify of God's care.
100. The pilgrimage of life, "And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage" (Genesis 47:9). A noble confession. "And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles" (Matthew 10:18). What Pharaoh and the world regards as mere "life", Jacob the saint designates "pilgrimage." A pilgrim in wandering in Canann, Mesopotamia, and Egypt; also, a pilgrim on earth away from home with God. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13). "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (I Peter 2:11). Humility "few and evil."
101. The redeeming angel, "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (Genesis 48:16). Who? The "Angel" is a Christophanic Theophany: Old Testament manifestation of Jehovah, Christ in human form, "And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur" (Genesis 16:7), "And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD" (Genesis 18:22), "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day" (Genesis 32:24). What? Redeemed, "Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel" (Isaiah 44:23). From what? "All evil."
102. Shiloh: The Prince of Peace, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:10).
103. The sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20); "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance" (Genesis 45:5, 7), "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23). Joseph's faith in God's overruling mans wicked acts.
104. The first and last books of the Bible. Make comparison and contrasts. Genesis and Revelation may be considered as two golden pillars of divine revelation each edging into eternity and connected by supporting, and adding strength to a golden chain of sixty four (the other books) links of redemption truth. Creation of the heavens and the earth vs. the new heaven and new earth. Book of beginnings. Book of consummation. Time breaks out of eternity past vs. time breaks into eternity future. Creation cursed along with guilty man vs. creation crowned with the renovation of the earth. The story of sin and strife, war and worry, sorrow and suffering, jealousy and murder, sickness and death begins vs. the end of the reign of death and despair, sorrow and sighing, tears and heartaches, distress and disaster finds record. Trials, persecutions, and martyrdom of saints begin vs. these are climaxed in glory. The first revelation of grace and atonement. Christ and faith, justification and redemption vs. these consummated in the host of the redeemed ones dwelling with God. Paradise lost through man's sin vs. paradise regained through Christ's atonement. "The first man and his wife set over all creation" vs. "the Second Man and His bride ruling over the redeemed world" (Entzminger). The first cities vs. behold the city of God. The rise of Babylon vs. the doom of Babylon. "Man hiding from God" vs. "God dwelling eternally with man" (Entzminger). The first sacrificial lamb vs. the great Lamb of God in the midst of the throne. The first murderer, the first polygamist, the first drunkard. etc. vs. all such cast out into hell forever. The old Serpent begins his work vs. the old Serpent cast into hell.
[H. Boyce Taylor, Sr., Studies in Genesis, book edited and the "Supplement" by Roy O. Beaman. Republished by Bryan Station Baptist Church, Lexington, KY, nd. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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