Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Bible Study: Discussion

Pleasant good day. Instead of the regular Bible Study of Genesis, I want to take the time to find out:

1. Which book of the Bible are you currently reading?

2. Your favorite book altogether?

3. How has the Bible been impacting your life?

You don’t have to answer all of the questions, but feel free to share anything that you like about God’s Word. Happy Sabbath!

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Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Genesis cont’d: The original sin

In case you missed it:

The Making of mankind and the Sabbath

Genesis: in the beginning

Welcome back to our studying of Genesis. I apologize for moving at a snail’s pace, but I’m trying to figure out the next direction in which to take the blog. I’ll talk about that in a future post. Anyway, the last time we looked at how God made man in His image, the Garden of Eden, and the Sabbath. Today, we look at the original sin.

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Scripture in focus: Genesis 3 

The serpent’s deception

In 2:16-17, Adam was commanded not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and his helper was not yet created, hence the argument that Eve didn’t know when the serpent tempted her in the garden. Wrong, the command was also made to her as well as evidence of what she told the serpent in 3:3

God made it clear that they weren’t to eat of that specific tree but after some sweet talk and coaxing from the serpent with the promise that she wouldn’t die (3:4), Eve looked at the tree in a different way (she saw that the tree was good for food). How did she know that it was good for food? Did an animal or the serpent by chance eat of the tree to prove that the fruit was good? The serpent was the most cunning of all the creatures God had created after all. Do note that gaining wisdom to discern between good and evil was not based on eating the fruit, but on visualization: SHE SAW that the tree was good for food (3:6). There was no way she was starving and started to imagine pizza hanging from the branches, wondering how it’ll taste like. Please don’t take my word for it, though, it was just an observation I happened to make while reading.

I guess it was safe to say that Eve was enlightened.

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via jw.org

Eve then offered the fruit to her husband and he partook in it. Their eyes were suddenly open and they realized that they were naked. What did they do? Sewed fig leaves and made themselves aprons. Hey, fashionistas! 😃

Banished from paradise

Imagine living in the garden of Eden and hearing the voice of your Creator as He took His evening walk (3:8)! When the couple heard His voice, they hid (because of their guilt) like children hiding from their parents when they know they messed up and don’t want to face up to the pending punishment. When God interrogates them, Adam blames the woman for giving him the fruit and tries to implicate God at the same time (3:12). The wife, however, blames the serpent (3:13). After the blame game, God dishes out suitable punishments:

* The serpent has to crawl, it will be stomped on, and in turn, they will bite people in the heel (3:14-15).

* The woman has to bear children (painfully) and the man will rule over her (3:16).

* The man has to work the soil. He’ll have to sweat and after when all is said and done, he’ll die and return to the very dust from which he came (3:17-19). 

Eve with her children outside of Eden

via jw.org

Even after God was disappointed in Adam and Eve, He didn’t leave them hanging when he clothed them (3:21). He banished them from paradise to a life of sorrow and appoints two Cherubims and a flaming sword to keep the way of the tree of life (3:24). 

Mankind’s fall shows why it is best to obey the voice of God and to resist temptation and flee from it. We inherited sin through Adam and Eve specifically through Adam for it was through him that sin entered the world (Romans 5:12). 

Because of the fall, we’ve lost sight of the purpose for which we were created. 

Additional Notes/Recap

^ This may not be important, but read 3:3 again. Note that Eve said that they’re not allowed to touch the tree for they may die. Now, go back to 2:16-17. This stipulation is absent from God’s first and only command. He said that the day they ate of the tree, they shall surely die. Eve, did you not pay attention?

^ I’ll have to add this to my list of first: The First Debate. This took place between the serpent and Eve as they debated over God’s rule (3:1-5).

^ Adam and Eve had everything that they could’ve ever wanted, yet, they fell for enticing lies. God made it clear that they will die if they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet, the serpent said that they will not die but become god-like. 

^ Eve cannot entirely blame the serpent for its trickery. She had a mind of her own, yet, she refused to listen to God’s command. It was of her own actions and desire to eat the fruit. Cross-reference with James 1:14-15.

^ Eve was known as ‘the woman’ until 3:20 when Adam first calls her ‘Eve’.

Posted in Bible's Most Asked Questions

Bible’s Most Asked Questions #3: What fruit did Eve eat?

Everybody knows the story of Adam and Eve and how they had to leave the beautiful Garden of Eden because of sin. And everyone knows the name of the fruit that they ate of, right?

Image result for Adam and eve

via jw.org

Wrong!

Over the years, I’ve seen people argue over which fruit Eve ate and while many assume that it’s a pomegranate; almost the entire world would tell you that it’s an apple. We can also thank the movies for this. Why argue when you can pick up the Bible and read the truth?

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via jw.org

Let’s consult our Bible:

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3:6 (KJV)

The Bible did not mention that the forbidden fruit was an apple, pear, pomegranate, or orange for that matter. It was a fruit that came from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and we don’t know what it looked like, either. And because Eve failed to focus on her relationship with God, she fell victim to sweet talk from the devil’s sugar coated tongue. Next Sabbath, God’s willing, I hope we can dive into the fall of man.

Don’t let the devil cheat you out of your victory like he did Eve and Adam. Keep your eyes on God.

Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Genesis cont’d: The making of mankind and the Sabbath

In case you missed it:

Genesis: in the beginning

The last time we looked at how the world began and how many days it took for God to create the world and all that there is in it. Today, we’re going to pick up where we left off, but let’s go back to Genesis 1:26-28 as we look at the first human.

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Scripture in focus: Genesis 1 & 2

GOD, THE FATHER: “Let us make man in our image”

The origin of the human race is recorded in the story of Adam and Eve for they were the first human beings to ever walk the earth. In 1:26 God is speaking to the heavenly court when he said, “Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness”. Humans enjoy a unique and special relationship with God and they represent Him as His ambassadors here on earth. Now, the term “likeness” can sometimes get lost in translation so if we can quickly go to 5:3 we’ll find an example of children being described in the “likeness” and “image” of their parents. Before words such as “resemblance” existed, the mentioned terms (image and likeness) were commonly used in the ancient world to show that the child bore the look and features of the parents. 

Therefore, God is the Father of humanity. 

CROSS REFERENCE: Deuteronomy 32:6 & Isaiah 64:8

After creating man in His image/likeness, I guess it’s safe to say that God makes beautiful things out of dust. 

via Unsplash

MAN & THE GARDEN OF EDEN

The garden of Eden sure sounded like a paradise I wouldn’t have wanted to leave (2:1-14)! God put the first man in the garden of Eden. The first man or father of the human race was to take care of this beautiful paradise and he wouldn’t have wanted for nothing for he had everything. In 2:18, God came to the conclusion that man shouldn’t be alone and decides to make a helper. In 2:19, we finally learned that the first man’s name was Adam and he named every living creature which was his first recorded act (2:19-20), but still, there was no help meet for him, so God creates woman as a helper for Adam.

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Adam was made to deep sleep while God took one of his ribs and made woman. I call this event the first surgery (2:21-22). When God brought the woman to Adam, one can safely say that this was the first marriage hence the comments made in 2:23-24. It was like a vow. A beautiful one, too! I wish I was at that wedding! 😃So God gives Adam his bride (yes, He gives the bride away to the groom. He was the divine witness of the marriage covenant) and it is the man who leaves his parents to join to his wife. God created them as sexual beings for they were meant to populate the earth (1:28). 

THE FIRST SABBATH

Now, God did not need to rest. It’s highly unlikely for an all-powerful being to become exhausted after creating the world. But he led by example when he carefully planned and structured the world showing that we must know how to manage time wisely and He led by example when He rested from all His hard work showing that we weren’t created to work 24/7. 

Over the years, there have been major arguments over which the day the Lord called the Sabbath and rested upon. In 2:2-3 we can clearly see that God rested on the seventh day from all His work and He sanctified it which means we are to follow after our Father and rest on the seventh day. Also, it is the ONLY commandment in which God tells us to remember in Exodus 20:8.

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The Sabbath is to be observed on the seventh day and it doesn’t matter how many times man has modified the calenders, Saturday stays the same: the 7th day. In French, Samedi which is Saturday also means Sabbath. One can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, but one would not find any authorization of the Sabbath changing days for no other day has been sanctified as the day of rest. God instituted the Sabbath in the very beginning and His Word is law for we were created to worship Him. Over the years, we’ve been misled and went astray, but Jesus will set everything right once again when He returns to reign as the ultimate King of Kings. 

Next, we’ll look at chapters 3 and 4 and if possible, 5. 

Additional Notes/Recap

^ The Hebrew word for earth is adama. God formed man from the dust of the earth, therefore, the connection here is strong with the first man. Adam means ‘red’ and it can be a reference to either the red skin or the red earth of Eden. 

^ Eve’s name means ‘living’ for she was the mother of all living.

^ God could’ve made Eve from the ground just as he did Adam, but everything He does is symbolic. When He made Eve from Adam’s flesh and bone, God illustrated that through marriage, man and woman symbolically becomes one. This is the unity that God intended for man and woman in marriage.

A couple holds their fists against one another, showing off their wedding bands

^ No one knows exactly where the Garden of Eden was for sure, but it doesn’t stop many from speculating. The Bible mentions a spring in the garden which parted into four major rivers (2:10-14). Today, many researchers and scholars are convinced that southern Iraq was where the prosperous garden once stood. The Bible does not mention where the garden was exactly, but it was most likely destroyed in the Flood.

Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

Genesis: in the beginning…

Book #1

55 chapters

Genesis is the foundation on which the remaining sixty-five books of the Bible are built. 

The purpose of Genesis is to trace the beginnings of history.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And so it begins…

The book of beginnings: of sin and its disastrous effects, of humanity, and of God’s plan to restore the world through His chosen people, the Israelites. Genesis covers the creation and fall, the descendants of Adam and Eve, the flood, the tower of Babel, Abraham’s call, right down to Joseph’s death. In short, it is about creation, fall, and redemption.

Genesis is intended to be read as an account of the family history of the Hebrew people. “This is the account of” (Hebrew elleh toledoth) occurs eleven times in the book. These accounts include family histories and family genealogy. The first section (1:1-2:3) does not have the elleh toledoth heading given that it’s the account of the creation.

Moses is attributed as the writer of the Pentateuch or Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy) by both Scripture and historians. His intimate communion with God gave him the spiritual understanding to write God’s Word. Yes, regardless of what non-believers might say, the Bible is God’s inspired Word. Had it not been for God, we wouldn’t have had this spiritual guide.

The book is a source of instruction and edification. We’re going to explore blessings and curses, good and evil, God’s plan, Israel, and why it’s important to be faithful to your heavenly Father.

Do you have your Bible in front of you? Good. Open it with me to Genesis 1.

Rays from the sunset burst through the Daytona Beach clouds and reflect perfectly on the calm sea waters

via Unsplash

THE CREATION

Scripture in focus: Genesis 1

Science asks: Who created the world? Where did it come from? How did it come about? What is the age of the earth? When did humans first come into existence? How were they created?

Instead of relying on Science, you can find the answers in the Bible. Genesis 1 does not offer any clues to the age of the earth for the Divine Designer does not have to account for everything under the blazing sun. Who are we puny beings to question His Supremacy?

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Gen 1:1) so begins Genesis and a key question is already answered: WHO created the world? No beating around the bush there. This cements and affirms God’s role in creation. The earth was formless (Gen 1:2) before God’s master plan to fill that was empty.

Let us take a closer look at the six days of creation:

DAY 1: Light & Darkness 1:3-5

DAY 2: Sky & Waters (the Firmament of Heaven) 1:6-8

DAY 3: Land (Earth), Sea & Vegetation 1:9-13

DAY 4: The Sun, the Moon & the Stars (Lights in the Firmament of Heaven) 1:14-19

DAY 5: Fish, Fowl, Beasts & Cattle 1:20-25

DAY 6: Man in the image of God & Animals 1:26-31

I marvel at His creation.

via Unsplash

With light (day and night), God fills it with the sun, moon, and stars, thus creating TIME, something we take for granted. With the waters above (rain) and waters below (seas, rivers, lakes etc.), God fills it with birds and fishes thus creating WEATHER. Isn’t He amazing? He then fills the dry land (Earth) and vegetation with land animals thus creating AGRICULTURE.

But of all the beautiful creations, only one was created in the Father’s likeness: Man (1:26-27). At each stage, God declares His work “good” so next, we’ll look at the seventh day on which God rested after creating the world in six days and how it ties into mankind serving Him.

FUN FACT: God is the only name mentioned 30 times in Genesis 1.

END NOTE: We’re not clones or replicas of God. We were created in His images and likeness to worship Him. Although God is all-knowing, holy, perfect and all-powerful, we share certain common characteristics with Him: emotions, spirituality, and communication. 

ALSO NOTE: I’ll like to know in the comments down below, if you prefer this method or if you’ll prefer an overall summary. Also, let me know if this method is too slow or if it’s okay. Until next time, God bless and keep you.

Posted in Bible Trivia/Study

We’re going to study the Bible!

Reading and studying the Bible has been an immense blessing and joy in my life. Although I have read a few books twice, the Bible is the only book that I take pleasure in reading cover to cover over and over again whenever I come to the end of Revelation. As I write this, I am currently reading Exodus, 1 Chronicles, and Philippians.

When I started to do book reviews, the Bible was the first book I reviewed, but I didn’t go into details knowing that one day I’ll be writing in length about all 66 books for I’ve been taking notes.

Beginning next Sabbath, we’ll start exploring Genesis. Although it contains just 50 chapters, it’s a big book and I’ve sectioned it off at the moment so I’ll see how best I can make it work. At the end of each post, we’ll pause and ponder until the next one. I also hope to have a discussion as my main goal is to get people excited about reading the Bible and/or understanding it better. I’ll also be including my favorite verses probably at the end of the study. 

I hope you’ll join me in exploring our Father’s Word next Sabbath. And we’re here to learn, so if you have a burning question on your mind, feel free to ask it during the study. Happy Sabbath!

Posted in Bible's Most Asked Questions

Bible’s Most Asked Questions #2: Who cut Samson’s hair?

Samson and Delilah could’ve been a beautiful epic romantic story for the ages, had Delila felt the same way love-stricken Samson felt about her. Talk about unrequited love to the max!

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via Free Bible Images

The strongest man who ever lived was a Nazirite* who possessed great strength. His source of weakness was Delilah, a cunning and deceitful Philistine woman who used her powers of deception and seduction to wear down and eventually destroy Samson.

The chief of the Philistines saw that Samson had a schoolboy crush on the beautiful Delilah and recruited her to find the source of his strength. After three failed attempts, Samson finally gave in and spilled that the secret of his superhuman strength was in his beautiful locks. Hair has always been a symbol of beauty and power in the Bible and I’ll love to look into hair sometime in the near future.

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Upon realizing that Samson spilled his heart to her, she put him to sleep on her lap and the seven locks of his hair were shaved off, thus making him weak and subdued. But who cut his hair? Many people argued that it was Delilah because he was sleeping on her lap when his hair was cut. Let’s consult our Bible:

After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.

Judges 16:19 (NIV)

So it was not Delilah, but a co-conspirator who cut Samson’s hair. I remember some people arguing that it was Delilah who performed the big chop because of some Hollywood movie they had watched.

Don’t let the devil cheat you of your victory like he cheated Samson. Keep your eyes on God. 

*A Nazarite is an Israelite who was consecrated to the service of God and took on the vow prescribed in Numbers 6:2-21. The Nazarite’s vow included abstinence from alcohol, forbearance from cutting the hair off the head, and avoidance of contact with the dead.

When the period of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite will then present himself at the door of the sanctuary with 3 animals: a he-lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin offering, and a ram for a peace offering. After the priest accepted these sacrifices, the Nazarite then cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace offering.

A Nazarite’s vow lasted only 30 to 100 days, but they were left at liberty to fix his own time. Only 3 men mentioned in Scripture were Nazarites for life: Samson (Judges 13:4-5), Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11), and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15).

Sources: The KJV Bible and the Easton Bible Dictionary.