Monday, October 29, 2012

Noah's Ark

Anyone who has ever been in either my office or my home knows that I love Noah's Ark and collect ark's in all shapes and sizes.  So it was fun to cover that story in Bible study - and appropriate given the weather right now.

A few points - if you want to read along the story is found in Genesis 6:5 - 9:17

First notice that God is sorry that he created human beings at all - and decides to get rid of not only them but all animals - but then God thinks about Noah and decides to save him.  This is one of the first places in Scripture that God changes his mind.

Then notice that Noah takes not only the "two by two" that we are familar with but seven pairs of the "clean" animals, that is the ones we can eat.

The main part of the story you are probably familar with - it rains for 40 days and nights and finally stops.  But after it stops raining there is this wonderful sentence.  "And God remembered Noah"  In Hebrew the word for life and the word for remember are very closly linked and in Hebrew thought - as long as you are remembered you continue to exist.  So for God to remember you is a big deal.

At the end of the story God sets out a fresh Covenant with Noah and his sons and begins the process of distinguishing between human justice and God's justice.  God makes a promise that he won't destroy the earth with flood and uses the rainbow as a sign.  Notice that word remember again.  God will remember his covenant with Noah every time a rainbow appears in the sky.

Monday, October 15, 2012

From Adam to the flood

Chapters 4 and 5 of Genesis are the ones that usually stop people who are trying to read through the Bible from beginning to end.

In the beginning of Chapter 4 you have the story of Cain and Abel - where evil really enters the world.  Then we have the listing of the descendants of Cain - and how some of them became hearders and others musicians and others metal workers.

Then we get the 10 generations from Adam to Noah - it's an interesting list - note especially that of all 10 - only Enoch "walked with the Lord" and while all of the others die, Enoch is taken by God.

It ends with the odd paragraph about the sons of God - that is "Elohim" which Hebrew uses for both the God of Israel and all other gods - having relations with the daughters of men and spawning the Nephalim- the giants. 

All of that gets us ready for the flood story - that is coming in two weeks, stay tuned.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reflecting on Creation Stories

Some additional questions about the two creation stories:

1. What does it mean that human beings are made in the image of God?
2. What does it mean to have dominion over creation?
3. What does it mean that God says "it is not good for the man to be alone?"
4. Why would God want to keep human beings from knowing good and evil?

Bible study is taking a break next week - we'll be back in two weeks with the Cain and Abel story.