Bible Study

Genesis: an origins recap

After completing the study of Genesis last year, I wanted to dive straight into Exodus, but the timing was not right. I’ve since moved on to restudy other books and I’ve discovered so many gems, but they’re not to be shared until the Lord permits me to. So, let’s recap where it all started.

Meaning: Genesis comes from the Greek word meaning “origin”, “source”, “generation” or “beginning”.

Author: Moses

Penned: 1450-1410 B.C.

Position: the 1st book of the Bible, Old Testament, and Pentateuch 

Chapters: 50

The Book of Genesis opens with the story of creation. It is followed by the fall of man, the spread of civilization, the Great Flood, the call of Abraham, promises of salvation through the Messiah and Joseph in Egypt as a type of Christ.

Genesis relates to the beginning of the universe, life, time, mankind, the Sabbath, marriage, sin, death, family, redemption, prophesy, language, and sacrifice. This book covers more time than the remaining books of the Bible combined.

It has 3 sequential geographical settings:

(1) Mesopotamia (chapters 1-22);

(2) The Promised Land (chapters 12-36); and

(3) Egypt (chapters 37-50).

The time frame of these 3 segments are:

(1) Creation to ca 2090 B.C.;

(2) 2090-1897 B.C.; and

(3) 1897-1804 B.C.

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I’ve learned a lot since I’ve restudied Genesis. From creation to redemption plans. However, there is an analogy that stood out for me besides the typification of Christ, and that is when God clothed Adam and Eve. After the couple is banished from the Garden of Eden, God clothed them (3:21; also cross-reference Matthew 6:25-34). This scene typified Christ’s death for in order for God to clothe the pair, He had to sacrifice an animal to create the garments. That means blood had to be shed and in this early scene, we see God’s desire to save mankind, but first, someone had to die for our sins. And in 22:13, a ram is provided for a sacrifice. Christ arrives on the scene later to fulfill every Messianic predictions from Genesis: 

3:15 – Christ is the seed of the woman.

4:25 – From the line of Seth.

9:27 – From the line of Shem.

12:3 – The descendant of Abraham.

21:12 – The descendant of Isaac.

25:23 – The descendant of Jacob

49:10 – From the tribe of Judah

After the fall of man, God could’ve ended mankind and declared the end, but He had us in His heart, and thus, we’re just at the beginning of the greatest love story ever told. Although we grieve Him, He still loves us very much.

Genesis covers more time than any other book in the Bible. It opens with the words: “In the beginning God created” (1:1), and it ends with “in a coffin in Egypt” (50:26). Thus, it covers the whole plight of man, who was created in God’s image to live forever, but because of sin became destined for the grave. The book leaves the reader anxiously anticipating the redemptive intervention of God (via bible-studys.org).

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Have you read this wonderful book where our history begins? What’s your favorite verse or chapter? Which character did you identified with the most? What was your favorite lesson, discovery, or analogy?

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Who is the Holy Spirit?

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Zechariah 4:6 

Who or what is the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit a personal Being? A separate entity? A part of God? To you, who or what is this Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit seems to be the least understood of God’s character. The scriptures personify the Holy Spirit at times, just as it also personifies wisdom, sin, and death. In John 16:7-15, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “He” for the Greek word for helper is a masculine noun and according to the Greek grammar rules, it requires a masculine pronoun. 

How to pronounce Paraklētos in Biblical Greek - (παράκλητος ...

250 years after the last of the apostles had died, the Trinity became a thing thanks to Constantinople in AD 381 thus causing division among religions. However, we know how God feels about taking away and adding to His Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Revelation 22:18). When it comes to the Holy Word, we’ve been led astray by men for we’re too lazy to sit and read/study the Word on our own. Besides, God promises that we’re never alone for we have a Helper to guide us (John 14:16;26)

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:4

Throughout the Bible, Jesus speaks of the relationship between God the Father and Himself (Matthew 26:39; John 5:18-22). In visions of God’s throne, we read recordings of the Father and Christ being seen, but not the Holy Spirit (Daniel 7:9-14; Acts 7:55-56; Revelation 7:10). In Revelation 21, we see that “a new heaven and a new earth” is soon going to replace this corrupted earth. Verses 3 and 22 explicitly states that God and Christ will dwell with men, but there is no mention of the Holy Spirit. I believe that this is because we’ll constantly be in His presence. However, I’ll admit that I’ll have to do some more study and research in this area.

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The Holy Spirit is a gift (Acts 10:45), it can be poured out (Acts 2:17, 33) and it can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We are baptized with it (Matthew 3:11), we can partake of it (Hebrews 6:4), drink of it (John 7:37-39), and be filled with it (Ephesians 5:18). This Spirit is ONE Spirit for it’s not only the Spirit of God, but also of Christ (Romans 8:9; Philippians 1:19). This is the same Spirit that the Father imparts to true Christians through His Son the Christ (John 14:26; Titus 3:5-6) that enables them to be “partakers of the divine nature” (Peter 1:4). The Holy Spirit is represented by various symbols such as a dove (Matthew 3:16), oil (Psalm 45:7), God’s hands (Psalm 8:3) and wind (Acts 2:2). 

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The Holy Spirit is God’s active force or divine power and it shouldn’t be misunderstood. The Spirit is there to guide, teach, and comfort us. It has attributes of a Person and IS treated as a Person. I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about the Holy Spirit while reading/studying the Word:

^ Jesus began His ministry “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14-15).

^ We cannot gain a spiritual understanding on our own or through man; it is through God’s spirit within us that we gain spiritual wisdom and insight (John 14:26).

^ Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the power through which the Father begot Jesus as His Son. In short, the Holy Spirit is God’s divine power (Matthew 1:20).

^ Paul wrote many books, but only in 2 Corinthians 13:14 is the Holy Spirit mentioned along with the Father and Christ.

^ The Holy Spirit is the Source behind the books of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21) for ALL scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).

Matthew 3:2) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand ...

In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our Helper/Comforter!

COMING SOON: What is the Bible?

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Who is Jesus?

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Deuteronomy 6:4

Sit for a moment and reflect on what the words “Jesus Christ” mean to you? What emotion/s does your heart evoke when you think about Him? Are you filled with joy at the thought of His imminent return? Do you get a glimpse of God in Him?

Jesus was there. He was with God at the beginning (John 1:1-4), God loved Him before the creation of the world (John 17:24) and the New Testament reveals the God of the universe in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). The words Jesus Christ are not a first and last name as some are led to believe; they’re actually a name and a title. The name Jesus means “the Lord saves” or “Jehovah-Savior” and Christ means “anointed one”; it was derived from the Greek word for Messiah. 

“I am the true vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:1;5

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Jesus willingly and humbly came to earth to be sacrificed for our sins (Philippians 2:5-8). Had it not been for Him, we wouldn’t have had a chance at salvation, and we wouldn’t have had a chance to be a part of the God family (Hebrews 2:10). When Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies that were written before His arrival here on earth, many people had no idea Who He was (John 8:53). Sadly, it is the same situation today. Many of us still have no idea Who our Savior is. 

Jesus is the preexistent Word (John 8:23), Who later became Christ, and was sent to earth by the heavenly Father (John 3:17). He came here to do the will of His Father (John 4:34) and He now sits in glory and majesty with His Father (Hebrews 8:1; 12:2). He is the Mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5). He is the reason why we can confidently approach God’s throne (Hebrews 4:14-16). He is the Son of Man (Matthew 16:13) and the Son of God (Matthew 16:16) and through Him, we can understand God for He reflects the Father (John 14:9; Hebrews 1:2-3).

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I love talking about our Savior at any opportunity that presents itself. I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about Christ while reading/studying the Word:

^ Jesus is THE ONLY means in which mankind can approach the Father (John 14:6).

^ He is Eternal Truth and the Source of eternal life (John 6:50-51; 11:25-26).

^ Jesus not only died for our sins, so we could be reconciled to the Father, but He is our Creator given that “all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16).

^ Jesus was sent to earth by the heavenly Father (John 3:16-17; 34).

^ He is returning as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! (Revelation 19:16). Revelation 20:4-6 paints a clear picture of what the first 1,000 years reign with Christ looks like, but His reign will continue even past the Millennium as it’s a forever one (Isaiah 9:6-7). If you haven’t repented as yet, now is the time to do so for God doesn’t want you to be left out of His family.

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In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our awesome amazing Creator!

COMING SOON: Who is the Holy Spirit?

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Who is God?

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Deuteronomy 6:4

Lisa: There is only one God.

Joe: Huh? But the Bible says that God is three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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When I was little, I couldn’t comprehend the nature of God until I started to read the Bible the book in which God reveals Himself to us. The number one is very important when talking about God’s oneness (1 Corinthians 8:6). Just as there’s one human race, the Bible teaches that there is only one God (John 10:30).

Throughout the scriptures, we’ve seen God appear in the form of attributes. We’ve read about Him rescuing His people from bondage and famines. We’ve read about His awesome indescribable love for us, sending Angels to guide, and providing the ULTIMATE sacrifice for our sins. Yet, we come away without fully understanding God. He is the great “I AM” and this scripture sums up His all-mighty and powerful nature:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

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Here’s the thing I gathered from this scripture: There is a reason why God’s ways and thoughts are HIGHER than ours. We’re puny unworthy mortals compared to Him and if we could get on the same level as our Creator, then we’ll make ourselves equal to Him, and He wouldn’t be worth worshiping. A few years ago, a friend posed the question: Wouldn’t you like to know EVERYTHING? Back then, my simple reply was no, hers was yes, and she veered into so many reasons why. Now, I am able to say that I don’t have to comprehend everything, just enough of what God wants me to know.

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Our job isn’t to fully understand God, but to trust Him and to know Him and it’s not impossible to get to know Him. I don’t like discussing topics as these, for we tend to downsize God to our limitations. So don’t take my word for it. If you want to discover the true God, crack open the Bible and get to know Him for He reveals Himself in the Holy Scriptures.

I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about God while reading/studying the Word:

^ God is the Creator of the universe and all that is in it; He’s not just “some deity” that created the world for fun for He put a lot of detail into it (Genesis 1).

^ Although powerfully great, He is very much approachable (Hebrews 4:16).

^ God is the very essence of love (1 John 4:8; 19-21).

^ God will ultimately hold us accountable for He knows EXACTLY what we do (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

^ It is better to fear God rather than man (Matthew 10:28).

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In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our awesome amazing Creator!

COMING SOON: Who is Jesus Christ?

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A to Z

The Crane

I thought about discontinuing this challenge earlier when I realized that I haven’t been updating it as I should, but timing is everything. I plan to see this challenge to the end no matter how long it may take me.

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These birds got rhythm in their feet and wings!

🐦 The 15 species of cranes are placed in four genera. The Japanese cranes (pic above) are my absolute favorite!

🐦 Cranes are large birds with long legs and long elegant necks. When they fly, their necks are often outstretched. 

Black Crowned Crane, Uganda

Image: Black Crowned Cranes

🐦 The cranberry got its name from Dutch and German settlers. They called it “crane berry” because of the plant’s crane-like stem and flower and the berry grew in marshy areas where cranes hang out.

🐦 Cranes dance to attract a partner, and they mate for life. 

Other birds with the letter ‘C’ I considered were the elegant Courser, Cockatoo, and the Cormorant. Now, go watch these majestic birds dance. It’s the best thing you’re going to see today, if not for the week.

Images: Pinterest

Reference/s: beautyofbirds.com; teachervision.com; YouTube

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The Anhinga

The Blood Pheasant

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Musings

We’re supposed to be taking care of God’s beautiful creatures. 🐕🐈🦉

When God created everything and declared it “good,” they were placed there to be enjoyed and not destroyed. Unfortunately, we litter everywhere causing deaths of not only flowers, trees, and sea creatures, but also wildlife. As we see in Genesis 2:15, God commands us to keep and care for the earth. We’re stewards of the earth and therefore, we must protect it. Throughout the Bible, we read of God’s compassion and love for His creatures, yet, we tend to find so much animal cruelty by our hands.

If we’re using and abusing the earth, we need to stop for God will not leave us unpunished (Revelation 11:18).

The fires in Australia were unfortunate, but how the locals came to the rescue of surviving wildlife, was also a reminder of how we should be caring for His creatures. 

We have dominion over the earth. Let us stop misusing it and care for it as God intended when He placed man in Eden. The earth is not ours to do as we please. God is the Creator and Title Holder (Psalm 24:1) and He’s going to hold us responsible for how we care for it. Remember, the earth is our home, too. God didn’t create a earth so beautiful for us to pollute, plunder, strip, and burn. 

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Bible’s Most Asked Questions #5: But who created God?

In the beginning, there was NOTHING to see, hear, smell or even feel. It was only emptiness and darkness. But God was there, and He had a great plan: to create something out of nothingness. He spoke the world into existence and everything He made was declared good. He saved the best for last: people. We were to be His children and the world our perfect home. 

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God is the Creator of so much beauty in the world including you and me. This can make us stop to wonder: But who created the Creator? I’ve heard this question time after time, sometimes innocently asked by a child. Did God create Himself? How did He come into existence? Do you know the answer? Let’s consult His Word.

God is eternal meaning that He has always existed. He inhabits eternity and the Bible stresses on His eternal Being (Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; 1 Timothy 1:17).

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Scriptures show that God did not come from anywhere (John 1:1). He was not created for He has no beginning and will have no end. He is the great “I AM”. Before the universe was breathed into existence, He existed for He is not restricted to time as we are. 

“In the beginning…” is also when time began. There was no time before time was created and because God is timeless/eternal, this task was achieved. Before creation, there was God, and He was always existing in eternity for He was not created. He did not create Himself for He is eternal. For the world to be created, God had to already exist in order to bring forth this action. Had He never existed, He wouldn’t have been capable to create anything, therefore, God did not create Himself.

He is uncreated, He simply exists, and will continue to exist for He is eternal. 

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✈ Travel Tuesday ✈, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Maracas, Trinidad (part deux): postcardesque!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Two of my favorite snapshots from my Maracas trip! I think they’re very postcardesque! 

Pretty soon, I’ll post about the entire trip so stay tuned! 😀

✈ Travel Tuesday ✈, Trinidad & Tobago 💙

Maracas Lookout, Trinidad

Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:3

For both locals and visitors, the lookout before heading down the north coast road is a popular stop. The view is magnificent on either side of the lookout. I even managed to capture this beauty…

…it was a late evening and the sun was just right, I assure you that I did not tamper with the photo in any form for God’s splendid creation needs no filter. In a future upcoming Travel Tuesday episode, I’ll share more photos from this trip.

Song Sunday 🎶🎷

Song Sunday: Morning Has Broken

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

God’s sweet mercies are new every morning and it’s one of the reasons why I’m always grateful to see a new day. A new dawn also means that I can do all the things I couldn’t do yesterday. That I can continue to seek the Lord with all my heart and to do His will.

Another day is another chance to do things right, to make amends, so let’s give thanks for this brand new day.

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Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day