Tag Archives: blessings

A New Look at an Old Book: Genesis 4-8

As I read through this section of the scripture, I find that rather than answers I am bombarded with questions. Opportunities to know more about the heart of God because of the things I do not understand. I am thankful that after 32 years in relationship with Him, I am still learning and challenged by the Lord.

Genesis 4:3

Time Passed. So much left unsaid here. What happened during that time?

Why did God not like Cain and his offering? What had transpired to result in such a negative reaction?
Also – I’m troubled by verse 7. This seems counterintuitive to what we know about God. These are the scriptures that are difficult to reconcile with a loving Creator.

Obviously, it was important to Cain and Abel to be pleasing to God. It’s clear from this very brief encounter that the brothers had a personal daily knowledge of God and were well acquainted with him in a way that we cannot understand.

Why does it have to be an “either/or” situation here? Why weren’t both offerings pleasing to God? There is so much here that goes unspoken and causes me difficulty.

Genesis 4:14-15

Is this the precursor to eternal separation from God – or Hell? Cain complains because he will never again face God. Was there any prior knowledge that taking a life would result in this drastic separation? God puts a mark on Cain…what was the mark? How would people know that it was the mark of God?

Genesis 4:26ff

Cain, even though separated from God and banished from His presence, raises his child to be a lover and worshiper of God. Again – so much that goes unsaid.

Genesis 5:3

Adam has a son who is like him in every way. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Adam was God’s first creation and proclaimed Good – but then he was cast out of the garden and made to toil and suffer. Hmmm. I don’t know what to make of that.

Genesis 5:1-32

Why does God spend so much time telling us about the geneology of this people? There is nothing remarkable about their lives other than their names, the age they are when they have children and the age they die. Man, I hope that God has more to say about my life than that!

Genesis 6

This part of the story has always been a little disturbing and seemingly out of place. What is a son of God? I always have heard that it means an angel or a supernatural being (according to the Contemporary English Version of the Bible), but aren’t we also referred to as sons of God? What is the purpose of this brief, seemingly unrelated tidbit of information? This definitely warrants more research!

I think more than anything else in reading this particular selection of scripture, I am moved by the lack of information rather than the content. There is so much here that is left unsaid! Kind of like the 21 years of Jesus’ life that we know nothing about. Makes me wonder what else there is to know. We go from the imagery of God being loving, protective, creative and physically present to Him being filled with regret at the making of humanity! But there’s little to explain the reason for His desire to erase His creation.

Genesis 4:3, Genesis 4:14-15, Genesis 4:26, Genesis 5:1-32, Genesis 6:1-22, Genesis 7:1-24 and Genesis 8:1-22

Things I Take for Granted

I’ve had a pretty crappy couple of days.  My car is in another money-sucking crisis and I’m in a sucked out of money state.  Meanwhile I am generally ticked off with anyone and anything having to do with my car, so needless to say my attitude, like my days has been pretty crappy.  Herein lies my predicament.  I am a card-carrying, extremely vocal Christian.  So when I’m having a crappy day compounded by a crappy attitude, I’m really giving Christianity a bad name.  Some times it’s easy to feel justified in the crapitude, but the reality of the situation is that no matter what – IT AIN’T THAT BAD!

You know it’s bad when you’re so foul that you start to smell your own funk – emotionally speaking.  Well that’s where I was.  Everyone is entitiled experience a bad feeling, a disappointment, sadness and even anger, but wallowing in the mire of negativity is counterproductive.  So I did a word search on giving thanks in www.biblegateway.org.  I was looking for James 1:3, but I wanted to make sure I quoted it perfectly…instead, I found this: 

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:5-7

And this:

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Colossians 3:14-16

and this:

Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God.   Hebrews 12:27

and if that weren’t enough, there’s this:

I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.  Philippians 4:10

You get the idea.  I could go on, but I think I’ll stop and take a minute to share what I take for granted:

That I’ll wake up in the morning.

That I’ll have running water and indoor plumbing

That I’ll have electricity

That I have a family who genuinely loves and cares for me

That I have friends who are concerned and praying for me

That I am able to work in a job that brings me joy and allows me to exercise the gifts that God has called and gifted me to use.

That I have beautiful neices and nephews who show me unconditional, unbounding love and acceptance.

That I am healthy.

That I am a child of Christ and as such, He wants what’s best for me.  He doesn’t want me to suffer any more than you want your child to suffer, but sometimes the only way to learn that something is hot and will hurt you is to let you find out for yourself.  That’s what God’s letting me do right now.  I can have the attitude of “poor me,” but the reality is that I’ve known there was a problem with my car since June.  I could have been putting money away to take care of it, but I didn’t.  I could have had the air suspension converted to a conventional shock system, but I didn’t want to do that – I wanted the BEST.  So now I’m suffering.  Not because God wanted me to suffer, but I needed to learn that the fire was hot.  I’m stubborn.  I can’t take your word for it that I’m gonna get burned, I’ve got to prove the point myself. 

That brings me to another thing that I take for granted – God’s patience with my insolence.  So today, I am feeling thankful.  My car is still broken.  I’ve been inconvenienced in my daily activities and in my pocketbook.  I’ve been an inconvenience to my friends and family, yet still – I am thankful.  I am thankful that God loves me enough to allow me to learn from my mistakes.  I am thankful that my family and friends are there for me to help out even when my problems are of my own making.  I am thankful for my sister, who loves me enough to kick me in the rear – and rightfully so, while at the same time being compassionate and helpful.

I love having a car.  I love the independence it provides me.  But that’s another thing I take for granted.  I don’t need a car, really.  What I NEED is to remember the blessings that God pours out over me regardless of my perception of them.  What I NEED is to be thankful for all the things and people that I HAVE in my life.  What I NEED is a good swift kick in the glutteal region.  What I NEED is to be thankful that I have people who love me enough to strap on their boots and prepare to pugilize my posterior.  The funny thing is, for all that I NEED, I really lack nothing.  God is good.  His love is complete and fulfilling.  That’s something I don’t want to take for granted.