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God’s Word supports both its’ reading and explaining its’ gist (or sense) of what is being communicated from the Divine so people will understand, as is done today with books, Churches, Bible Studies, with individual believers, online sermons, articles, audio, video, and blog posts. While explanations abound about scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit, recognize limitations to individual private interpretations to prophecies. To understand Divine Wisdom more fully, we are to aspire & to seek to advance towards spiritual maturity through learning, thoughtful reflection, and applied actions. It’s a process, so recognize the progress individually and collectively will vary.

Nehemiah 8:8-12 (ESV): 8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. 9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

1 Corinthians 2:6-7 (ESV): 6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV): For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:24-29 (ESV): 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Hebrews 5:11-14 (ESV): 11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Revelation 22:12-21 (ESV): 12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 is primarily a timeline showcasing the first 1,656 years after Adam was created, and before the Great Flood on the Earth, providing a genealogy ancestry slice from Adam to Noah and his three sons Sham, Ham, and Japheth. Like any history with many dates and people, understanding and picturing this can be a challenge. The Time-Spans Timeline^2 Squared chart presented here shows the timeline in a novel way to how it is usually depicted. This one-page chart highlights the (1) birth years (2) father & sons, (3) longevities (ages), (4) relative years since Adam was created, and (5) overlapping lifespans visualizations.

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

You can use the above timespan chart to answer numerous timeline based trivia questions, like the following:

Genesis Chapter 5 Trivia: // Besides other sons & daughters
(1) Who was alive when Enoch was on Earth?
(2) Who could Jared not get to know?
(3) Who was Enosh’s Grandfather?
(4) Who lived a longer lifespan than Adam?
(5) Whose disclosed lifespan was the shortest?
(6) Who died 1,290 years after Adam was created?
(7) Who was Jared’s Great Grandfather?
(8) How long after Enosh was Jared Born?
(9) Who would have had no chance to know Noah?
(10) Who lived at right time to know all mentioned by name?

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5, while primarily a written recorded textual timeline, also contains a few special verses outside the timeline.

Genesis 5:1 (ESV): 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

God re-iterated that humankind was created in his image, which means in the context of scriptures that people with God’s divine intervention, have the ability to be holy, loving, kind, generous, forgiving, and merciful like God. Jesus Christ who came as the Savior of the World, as the Son of God, who lived a perfect life, died to bear the sins of many people who are repentant and come to a living & enduring & growing faith. Jesus Christ is the way we come to know the truth about this life of ours, and come to know God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 5:2 (ESV): 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

Because God made humankind, starting with Adam and Eve, with the ability to reproduce, future generations of Adam and Eve are a result of the biological reproduction processes Our Creator established.

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 lifespans illustrate an untapped scientific & behavioral opportunity to increase our lifespans to hundreds of years. At the time of this writing, many people considered to live a full life have lifespans ranging from 70 to 120 years. Whether humankind will find out the secret to longer life spans is presently unknown, yet God illustrated the potential exists. At this juncture, it is speculation on whether humankind in following God and searching the sciences will be granted access to this door to longevity.

Genesis 5:28-29 (ESV): 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.”

The statement of Lamech who fathered Noah, foreshadows the the importance placed upon the birth of Noah. As history unfolded after hundreds of years, God sends a great flood upon the Earth. God spares Moses and his wife, and his sons, and their wives, and pointed to a brighter future for humankind.

Genesis 5:24 (ESV): 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

To better understand the mystery of how God took Enoch, please see the related presentation on the Bible Genesis Creation Account at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account and the related post at http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/, which covers Genesis Chapter 1 & 2 in the context of scriptures, and answers question about the time Our Creator used in designing, rending, and operating Our Universe. The key point is how Enoch walked with God can be thought of as similar to how digital application programs are ported from platform to platform. God is likewise able to port people to Eternal Life or Torment Forever, depending upon a righteous judgement based upon the life each person has lived. Like Elijah later, Enoch was taken & did not die. One wonders if all humankind, before our fall into sin with its’ death penalty, was originally to have this option to graduate from life on Earth to be taken by God to have a close relationship with God in Heaven.

You are welcome to download the Bible Genesis 5 Timeline Squared Presentation PDF, at http://bibleopia.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/bible-genesis-5-timeline-squared-pdf.pdf which also contains the answers to the trivia questions posed earlier.

The initial stages of human embryogenesis.

The initial stages of human embryogenesis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Celebrate the World’s Savior:

Christians celebrate the coming of the Savior of the World, the Son of God, who is Jesus, the Christ.

Who is this World Savior Jesus?

Jesus is God and is the Son of God, and was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit when Our Universe was created.

John 1:1-3 (ESV): 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Genesis 1:1-2 (ESV): 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

World Savior’s Nature:

Jesus has the same character (the same nature) as God the Father.

Hebrews 1:3-4 (ESV): He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

World Savior Reveals:

The only way to know God the Father is through Jesus the Son, who reveals the nature & essence of God. God’s Bible scriptures testify to the eternal life that Jesus offers.

Matthew 11:27-28 (ESV): All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

2 John 1:9 (ESV): 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

John 5:39 (ESV): 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

Savior Lights Our World:

Our Savior Jesus Christ shines spiritual light towards people, with the goal for us to walk a righteous life.

John 8:12 (ESV): 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Savior’s Virgin Birth Prophesied:

Many generations ago, prior to Jesus’ birth, Isaiah prophesied Our Savior Immanuel (God with Us) Jesus’ birth will originate via a virgin birth.

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV): Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Savior’s Virgin Birth:

God sent the Angel Gabriel to Mary, who admitted she was a virgin while she was formally engaged (betrothed) to be married. The angel Gabriel revealed this pregnancy would result from God’s Holy Spirit intervention in her womb.  Scientifically this bears similarity to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) techniques.

Luke 1:26-33 (ESV): 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

As per the Universe Tools Paradigm (see http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/), it clearly follows God capabilities to make Mary pregnant while she retained her virginity. The virgin birth is the simple part, as even today’s science a couple of millennia later are able to create virgin births using techniques like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The challenging portion is creating a baby that will have the exact nature of God. This was divinely orchestrated by the Holy Spirit starting in the womb.

Luke 1:34-38 (ESV): 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Savior’s Purpose:

Our Savior’s purpose was live a perfect life without sin, and then to die as a payment for the world’s sins. This perfect life was unjustly crucified as the payment Jesus uses to pay for the sins of his repentant followers.

John 12:27-36 (ESV): 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

Savior’s Death:

The Savior Jesus laid down his life to die as a payment for the world’s sins. Consider this parallel to the love a Father has for a child, or that a husband has for his wife. It was the sin of the world that put Jesus in the situation of having to die on the cross, and the love of God for us, that brought Jesus with tears to be willing to die on the cross. Jesus’ death was a voluntary offering.

Luke 22:39-46 (ESV): 39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Savior’s Resurrection:

When Jesus was on the cross on a Friday, Jesus indicated that the repentant criminal would be with him that night in paradise.

Luke 23:39-42 (ESV): 39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Using the Universe Tools Paradigm as a lens to examine scriptures (see http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/), it follows that God the Father brought Jesus back to life in paradise (in Heaven) that very Friday night. Even before Jesus was in Heaven (in paradise) that night, Jesus knew he was granted the power to raise back up his physical Earthly body on Earth on the third day, that Resurrection Sunday.

John 10:16-18 (ESV): 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me,because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.This charge I have received from my Father.”

Acts 2:22-22+2 (ESV): “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God withmighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

On the third day, that Sunday, Jesus’ followers were not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead, despite God’s Son instructing them on this matter prior to being crucified & dead & buried.

Luke 24:1-8 (ESV): 1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Jesus’ resurrection was back to a regular human body that could see, touch, taste, and eat.

Luke 24:36-43 (ESV): 36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

John 20:24-29 (ESV): 24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus appeared many more times to his disciples, even to more than 500 people at once, in which his resurrection was an eyewitness event that was recorded in history.

Acts 13:30-31 (ESV): 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.

1 Corinthians 15:3-9 (ESV): 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

As we remember Jesus’ coming into our world, recommend you use your reason along with the Universe Tools Paradigm as a lens to examine scriptures (see http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/), to better understand what God was doing.

Further References:

John 1:1-13 (ESV): 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (see The Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%201&version=ESV)

Web References:

Does the Old Testament Predict the Virgin Birthhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/joeljmiller/2012/12/does-the-old-testament-really-predict-the-virgin-birth/

English: Picture of the Abraham Lincoln statue...

English: Picture of the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial. Italiano: La statua di Lincoln al Lincoln Memorial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world desperately needs freedom, the freedom they can only get from Jesus, the Christ, the Savior, the Son of God, the Word of God.

John 8:31-38 (ESV):

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.
38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

God's Will, Our Style

Bible’s Lessons:

The Bible records many distinctive ways people lived God’s Will, even though at times rebellion, sin, and disobedience surfaced. God’s Will allows for personal style consistent with God’s Commandments, and requires repentance in response to disobedience. As you live out God’s Will, distinguish between these:

      1. God’s Will
      2. Our Style consistent with God’s Will
      3. Our Way opposing God’s Will
      4. Our Sin & Rebellion

The key point is that as people are called to follow God, that God is also calling you to bring your essential individually, and then to seek God’s help to live it out without your inner sin.

God’s Will Generally:

The Bible emphasizes the importance (a) to have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, (b) to repent from sin, (c) pursue righteousness, (d) to love & obey God with all your being, and (e) to love your neighbor as yourself. When selecting what to do in life, evaluate your decisions in light of God’s Will generally.

God’s Will Specifically:

Complimenting the already available guidance in God’s Will generally revealed, is the further knowledge that God works to bring believers through situations to improve them & help others. This is a process where our character, skills, and faith is meant to grow beneficially individually & collectively as life’s challenges are faced.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God’s preparing good works for people to perform is observable in scriptures in several instances. God prophesied to Abraham hundreds of years ahead of time the slavery & release of his people, in which Moses & Aaron played a critical role. The life of Queen Ester and Mordecai evidences God’s coordination of redemptive events to protect his people from genocide. What instances do you recall from your studies of scriptures?

God’s Will Directly Articulate:

On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via direct communication. One instance is when God asked Moses to rescue his people from EgyptPharaoh (Exodus 3).

Exodus 3:10 (ESV):  10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

God’s Will and Our Style:

God permits the way in which God’s Will is lived out to incorporate our personal & collective styles to some extent. This is illustrated when God preferred Moses to directly deliver God’s Word and lead God’s people. Moses personality & style was inherently shy about speaking directly to his people, so God provided Aaron to Moses to work out God’s Will to deliver his people from physical bondage & slavery.

Exodus 4:10-17 (ESV): 10 But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”

While God’s Will does permit Our Style, Moses’ illustration encourages people to also consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new skills God knows we’ll be able to handle with his help. God preferred Moses to grow skills speaking directly to God’s people, even though Moses feared it. Even today, it is often reported that people find public speaking frightful.

God’s Will Indirectly Articulated & Our Style:

People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is implicit rather than explicit. As an illustration, Queen Ester and Mordecai both recognized that Queen’s Ester intervention looked like God’s first & primary preference for intervention on behalf of God’s people.

Ester 4:12-17 (ESV): 12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Mordecai previously asked Queen Ester to petition the King to rescue their people. Queen Ester agreed to risk her life by going before the King without being officially summoned, and her style was to fast first before God prior to executing this bold maneuver. Mordecai respected Queen Ester’s stylistic approach to fast first. It is reasonable to infer God did too.

Our Way Opposing God’s Will:

When facing decisions in life, evaluate your inner desires, motives, and means, to ensure they are living up to the standards God set. While your conscience can provide guidance, as can good godly council, God’s revealed word in the Bible is the ultimate authority. As an illustration, when King David’s inner being became lustful for Bathsheba after seeing her bathing on her housetop (see 2 Samuel 11), King David needed to evaluate his inner desires carefully, even though typically King David’s inner being desired to know God’s Will and do the right thing.

While in some cases, a particular action is not in & of itself immoral in the general case of God’s Will, it is still immoral to do in instances when God specifically decreed that action was not permitted. For example, Jesus instructed certain people not to publicly reveal the healing he performed for their individual benefit. They disobeyed, which caused Jesus difficulty in his outreach mission in several geographic areas.

Mark 1:40-45 (ESV): 40 And a leperf came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesusg sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

Our Sin & Rebellion:

When evaluating our situational liberty & latitude, evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to repent & change. This analysis helps to distinguish Our Stylistic latitude from Our Wayward tendencies towards evil. In absence of accomplishing this effectively, sin & rebellion result. One sin has the dangerous potential to lead to many sins.

Consider how King David committed adultery, and then did not repent. This first sin lead to the first attempt at a “cover up” that did not work. King David still did not repent and instead resulted to murder in another “cover up” attempt (see 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12). In King David’s case, God’s Will revealed adultery & murder is wrong, so King David knew these actions were not stylistic discretions, yet rather sinful disobedient rebellious actions against God. King David “cleverly by worldly standards yet unwisely by God’s standards” (cleverly yet unwisely) made plans to disobey God’s commandments not to commit adultery and not to murder. God severely punished King David by allowing evil enemies to obtain sufficient power to repay King David for his immoral actions.

In Conclusion:

Whether you receive God’s Will via direct commands or via God’s generally revealed will, carefully evaluate your inner being & decision-making process to ensure your thoughts & actions align with God’s Will. Just as God provided a lot of variety in nature, and this variety is consistent with God’s Will, so too God provided a lot of variety in people’s styles that are harmonious with God’s Will, Another way to understand it, is that in work positions, there are certain responsibilities & expectations that come with the role. Yet, within a given role, people find ways to contribute that brings out their own personal style, background, and vision through their contributions.

Review:

1. God’s Will allows for personal _______ consistent with God’s Commandments.

2. On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via ________ communication.

3. People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is ________ rather than _________.

4. Consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new _________.

5. Evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to ________ & ________.

6. Distinguish Our Stylistic _________ from Our Wayward _________ towards evil.

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God's Will, Our Style

Decision Point Do Right Do Wrong
One way God intervenes in our lives at times is by keeping us from sinning out of ignorance until there is a “Decision Point” where it is our choice to decide whether to sin or to do what is right. This class of Divine Intervention is clearly illuminated after Abraham and Sarah kept their marriage hidden, which almost caused King Abimelech of Gerar to sin by taking Abraham’s spouse Sarah as his wife due to this significant omission. Even though God in this instance revealed in a dream having leveraged this intervention type behind the scenes in King Abimelech of Gerar’s case, there is no requirement for God to reveal each instance when The Almighty intervenes in similar ways to protect each of us.

Genesis 20:1-7 (ESV): From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

God's Sovereignty Control Chance ChoiceAcross the world, people wonder how much is predetermined & predestined (see related Ephesians 1 Audience article). What must happen that we can do nothing about? What is fate? Where does our free will come in during this life? The answer to these questions significantly impacts one’s world view and even how God‘s own scriptures are understood. In the Christian community, people agree that God is Sovereign, yet what does that mean in terms of God’s control, our choices, and chance itself? While there are over-simplificiations out there, what does the Bible have to say?

Chance Under the Sun:

What does the Bible say about Chance? Does it exist? Even if it exists, is it marginal? Does chance impact people’s life?

The Wise King Solomon shares in our Biblical Scriptures that chance happens to people in many areas of life.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (ESV): 11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

The scripture shares from our viewpoint, from observing how the world works, that chance does exist, chance is not marginal, and chance impacts people’s lives.

Chance impacts the outcomes of battles within a war, who wins competitions, the food you have to eat, how wealthy or poor you will be, and whether you’ll be treated favorably in this life.

Chance Under the Son of God:

What did the Son of God say about Chance?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is one with God, who existed before Our Universe was created, who is greater than King Solomon, speaks to us about being a good neighbor, and about the presence of chance, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:29-37 (ESV): 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

The Son of God revealed God the Father‘s divine message, and God’s divine message recognizes chance. Clearly Jesus could have revealed any other message, like that by the Divine Providence of God, the Priest was made to pass by there. Jesus clearly acknowledges chance was the reason. The Divine perspective by the co-creator of Our Universe is that chance is real, that chance definitely exists, and that chance influences who is in & out of our lives.

Chance under God’s Sovereignty:

Do you find the Wise Revelations of King Solomon and the Divine Revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God concerning the presence of chance as disturbing? Even the highly respected scientist / theorist Albert Einstein found it unpalatable, saying:

“God does not play dice with the universe.” – Albert Einstein, The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-55, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2669-god-does-not-play-dice-with-the-universe

Does chance undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of chance?

Let’s consider a thought experiment, which is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how chance exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you made random moves, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No randomness in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Choice in Our Universe:

The Divine Word of God illustrates many choices people have, as already elaborated upon on the topic of “What Choice Do You Have?” .  To Summarize, People have Choices like the following:

God tells the truth and does not lie. God gives you legitimate choices. God wishes for you to pick blessings, but will let you pick curses. Pick Wisely!

Choice under God’s Sovereignty:

Does choice undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of choice?

Let’s consider the other side of that same thought experiment, except this time with choice rather than chance. A thought experiment is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how choice exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you use your intellect to makes the most intelligent move choices, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No deliberate choice in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Control under God:

What are ways in which God institutes control in our world, to optimize the outcomes that result in the midst of chance, choice, and the fallen character & fallen culture of humankind?

The entire Bible’s testifies into the ways God has intervened with promises and with actions in the 66 Books of Bible. God promised to send his Son Jesus Christ into the world to bear our sins. Jesus Christ came and offers to bear the sins of all who become true believers & followers of his.

  • God intervened with the flood, saving Noah and his immediate family
  • God used Prophets to warn Kings
  • God intervened in battles & wars
  • God appointed & disciplined Kings
  • God sent Prophets who delivered God’s message and performed miracles to help people
  • God performed miracles to heal others, feed people in need, bring people back to life, and to teach deep theological lessons about forgiveness
  • God transforms the personal & eternal character of those who diligently seek him with all their heart, mind, body, soul, and strength
  • God reminds us of our choices & responsibilities
  • God determines the bounds of the length of our days & the locations of our journeys, though is open to change those bounds upon request, under the right circumstances
  • Jesus Christ came back to the Earth after his death to testify again to the Divine & Eternal Truth & Life found in The Way

Even though God rested from adding new physical rules governing Our Universe after the 6 days of creation (see Bible Genesis Creation Account), God still intervenes in Our Creation for the benefit of our souls.

The Wise King Solomon also acknowledges that although chance exists, God is able to intervene in chance.

Proverbs 16:33 (ESV): 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

This verse does not preclude God from deciding that the outcome is to be determined by chance, yet rather asserts God’s ability & right to intervene in a way that looks like it was just chance.

This means that just as many people have seen God acting in the world through what seemed like chance fluke outcomes, that at least in some of those cases, it was God acting, even though it’d be difficult to prove at times.

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”, Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/14140-coincidence-is-god-s-way-of-remaining-anonymous

Even though much encouragement can be gained from observing these events, make sure your faith rests on the firm foundation of God’s Word. Likewise, looking back at the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus does not reveal whether the Samaritan was there by chance, or by God’s intervention.

Control under the Son of God:

The ultimate control over all is in the process of being handed over by God the Father to God the Son, Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (ESV): 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Because all people have sinned, except for Jesus, all deserve death for their wrongdoing. Jesus’ life & death provided a way for those who were enemies of God, to become God’s friends, and to obtain forgiveness of sins and everlasting life (reference Hebrews 2 (ESV) at BibleGateway.com and Romans 6 (ESV))

God is Sovereign in the Midst of Chance & Choice:

The analogy to use Tic Tac Toe provides a simple way for people to understand these very complex and robust concepts about God’s Sovereignty & Control in the midst of Chance & Choice in our life.

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am optimistic that many who are presently secular will be able to understand this mystery, since a very similar analogy is present in the 1983 science fiction movie War Games. The basic premise is that a self-aware computer gets the codes necessary to start nuclear war, and only by running several simulations of Nuclear War and Tic Tac Toe does the self-aware computer grasp finally that there is no guaranteed way to win.

In the context of religion, understand that there is no way to win against God, yet the way to win, is with God, through his Son Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 54:16-17 (ESV): 16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

God ran the necessary calculations & setup the appropriate controls & contingency plans ahead of time to ensure it, even though the calculations are more complex than Tic Tac Toe or Global Nuclear War scenarios. To understand more how creation & calculations are intertwined, refer to the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm.

Games like Tic Tac Toe and even more advanced games like Chess are generally understood to lead to ties, if neither side made any mistakes. Satan the Devil will  will face final defeat, having already made a mistake by rebelling against God (Ezekiel 28 (ESV), and by tempting humankind to fall away from God (see Genesis 3 (ESV)). God is Sovereign, and worthy to receive all the honor, power, and glory (see Revelation 4 (ESV))

For those who find chance and choice distasteful, rest in this assurance, that God is Sovereign whether or not you accept the realities of chance and choice. You can also comfort yourself, knowing you are in well-respected company, as even the honored scientist Albert Einstein found that concept distasteful, despite investigations of Our Universe pointing to the conclusion that God does play dice with the Universe. The thought experiments introduced complement scriptural illustrations to show God plays dice with the Universe responsibly. 

Each person has the responsibility to seek God and his righteousness to live in faith, being faithful to God.

Romans 5:1-4 (ESV): 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Seeking always to do what is right out of faith is expected of everyone, regardless of your viewpoints on God’s Sovereignty, Chance, Choice, Predestination, Election, and Calling. While people might want to debate these Paradigms, never miss your own personal responsibility, so you’ll accompany fellow believers in the New Heaven and New Earth for eternity.

The Wise King Solomon recognized that many aspects in life are subject to time & _________________.

Jesus, the Son of God, revealed that ______________ exists in life.

You have the responsibility to ___________ good or evil.

You have a ___________ to seek God’s righteousness.

God plays dice with the Universe _____________.

There is no way to ______ against God, yet the way to ________, is with God, through his Son _______ _______.

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