Praying Within Relationship

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Archive for the ‘Who can pray?’ Category

History Repeats it’s self.

Posted by craig b on February 12, 2008

Here we have a story that has much in common with Adam and Eve and their shame in knowing they were naked. We read how the serpent twisted the word of God, causing them to sin, and how sin caused Adam and Eve to view each other with shame. We read before how God clothed Adam and Eve with clothes of skin, covering their nakedness. He didn’t mock them for it. He didn’t abuse them for it. Instead God clothed them and covered their nakedness covering their shame. Noah’s sons Shem, Ham and Japheth knew the story of their ancestors, they knew the mercy of God and they knew that God does not look down on our own nakedness with scorn. And yet Ham does so any way, and in his doing so treats with contempt Gods own method of his own salvation. And so his two brothers covered their father in a way that kept his dignity, respecting him, loving him for who he was.
Shem had learnt from history that Cain should have been Able’s keeper, meaning that he too should follow and do what is right, teaching, and showing his brothers and his sons the right way to live. Japheth had known the story as well and perhaps as both he and Able were the younger brothers in their families, he encouraged himself to walk with God in a similar way. They both recognised that sin was crouching waiting to devour them all. They do not answer their brother with words, they do not engage in his unwholesome talk, in looking at their father as Ham had done, instead they rebuke him with their Godly actions.

When Noah wakes up, he finds out about what his son did. As the head of the household he speaks judgement over his son Ham. His judge-ment is that his youngest son will rule over the older brother. No longer is Ham in seniority over Japheth as was the custom of the times. No longer is Ham second in charge to Shem in the family business. And no longer is Japheth considered the youngest and therefore the slave to his brothers. Noah pronounces his judgement on his son. He has lost favour with is father, he has lost favour with his brothers, and for the first time we read the words that the older shall serve the younger.

Not only does this affect Ham, it affects his whole family and his subsequent generations starting with his son, Canaan whose name means humiliated. What a name to be called, and yet apt in his description, humiliated, by his father.

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Found drunk and naked – a Godly conumdrum

Posted by craig b on February 11, 2008

After they finished Noah has a time of worship, he builds an altar and takes some of the clean animals and birds and sacrifices them to God, with a heart full of thanksgiving. God is pleased with the sacrifice Noah makes, enjoying the pleasant aroma of his sacrifice and worship. Personally I don’t think that it is the sacrifice of the animals themselves that God finds pleasing. For King David centuries later says about sacrifices, “…that of the sacrifice of animals, God is not pleased…instead it is worship with a contrite spirit and broken heart that is pleasing to God. (Psalm 51:16-17) It is the attitude of Noah’s heart and it is the attitude of genuine thanksgiving that God found pleasing.
In response God makes a covenant with Noah and not only with Noah, but also speaks to his sons. God tells them,“Though the inclination of mankind’s heart is evil from
childhood, never again will I curse the ground nor destroy all living creatures, as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” Gen 8:21-22

He then says to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, the animals and birds will fear you from now on. From now on they are given to you for food, in the same way that I gave you all the plants for food. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And you must not murder, for I will demand an accounting from both people and animals who takes the life of another person. I tell you that I will never again destroy all of my creation by flood, and after it rains I will place in the sky a rainbow which is the sign of my promise to all of my creation.”

Scripture says that Noah was a man of the soil. He became a gardener of sorts and planted himself a vineyard. I think this statement is humorous, because after one year and eleven days of being cooped up in the ark, I doubt if he would have wanted to become a fisherman. After one year and eleven days of constant smell and noise and living so close to all those animals I doubt if he wanted to continue any kind of occupation involving animal husbandry. The one thing they lacked on the ark was a garden. They lacked fresh produce, the smell and aroma of flowers, the taste of fresh fruit, juicy apples, grapes sweet oranges and tomatoes etc. Is it any wonder that he was a man of the soil? And so he begins his task in planting his garden. He digs the soil, plants his vines, tends to his trees, and crops. His Sons are involved with him in this venture and some years go by and a son is born to Ham; Noahs second son. Noahs other sons have sons and daughters and soon Noah is a grandfather and then a great grandfather and finds that the years quickly go by from the time they first entered the ark.
It was during this time of Noah being a grandfather that he produced enough grapes to make wine. There could have been a celebration of the harvest, where the whole family gathered to celebrate, and in the course of the celebrations Noah become drunk and staggered to his tent falling asleep.
Think about the tent. It was years after they came out of the ark and Noah was still living in a tent. He didn’t live in a house, but in a tent. He was a craftsman of craftsman. He had all the skills to build a house, and a nice solid one at that. So what was it that caused this man to be still living in a tent? I think it was his experience of being confined in the ark for one year and eleven days that had a lot to do with it. He could have dismantled the ark and built a home from it. They could have stayed in the ark and continued to use it as their home. Did Noah and his family suffer from claustrophobia stemming from the long time on the ark? Perhaps his family continued to live on the ark and Noah stayed outside, living in the tent. Or perhaps they all lived in tents? Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened; we can only read between the lines. It is a story of real people, real problems, with a real past that is having an affect on the now.
Ham, Noah’s middle son was a hothead, someone who lacked self control, for his name means “Hot” as in the tropical sun. He not only discovers him lying naked in the tent, he looks upon his genitals, which most likely were frail and shrivelled, with contempt. He goes and tells his two brothers about it outside. Here we read a story about a young mans rebelliousness towards his father, a man who is showing the truth of his name. He doesn’t just go and say quietly to his brothers,

“Dads in a mess, look he got drunk and passed out on the floor, while trying to get undressed and we need to help him”


Instead he looks upon his father in contempt, he looks upon him in disgust, and while mocking his father he goes out to his brothers and says words to the effect.

“Look at that silly old goat inside, stupid bastard, got himself drunk and now look at him. He calls himself a man, humph, look at the size of him”

To his brother’s credit, they would have none of it. They did not join in his mocking, and his unrighteous anger; instead they rebuked their brother through their actions. They quietly spoke and working together picked up a garment or blanket and spreading it between themselves they walked into the tent backwards covering their father with it. They would not allow themselves to see their father’s state and they would not allow themselves to partake in their brothers shameful actions.

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A year and eleven days goes by

Posted by craig b on February 9, 2008

There they were, locked in this wooden boat for one year and eleven days. While the Scriptures do not speak of what happened in the boat, there was a story of humanity living in extremely close proximity with each other. There was a story of real human relationships happening on board that boat. Were there tensions? Were there arguments? Were they going stir crazy? Did they ever have real arguments? What were their living conditions like? Imagine what it was like being stuck on a boat three stories high. What were the practicalities of living on the ark? For it was full of animals both noisy and smelly. Animals that needed feeding, animals that needed their stalls mucked out, and even perhaps animals that both fell pregnant and gave birth to their young while on board. I have worked around animals for many years, mostly on dairy farms. And I can say they stink, though you do get used to the smell after a while. Think of the smell of the boat, the smell of the timber, the tar, the manure and the smell of each other. For one whole year the ark was their home, it was their prison and it was also their means of salvation and hope for the world.

It was here on the boat that Noah and his family learnt about Gods faithfulness. It was here that they learnt to relate to one another as family. And it was here that they learnt to worship God.

Every day for forty days as the rain came down they would have heard its noise against the roof of the boat. I wonder if they thanked God every day for the protection he gave them. Did they ever complain about the rain? Did they suffer grief for the loss of their family and community? There were Noah’s brothers, his sisters, his wife’s family, the daughter in laws family and perhaps their friends. How did they cope emotionally knowing that they would never see their loved ones again? Every day within the one hundred and fifty days that it took for the flood waters to recede, the ark was at the mercy of the winds and the waves. Scripture tells us that God sent a wind to dry the earth. What a mighty wind it must have been! We are not talking about a gentle breeze here. It would have been a howler, one that caused the ark to pitch and roll around. They were at the mercy of God; they had no method of steering it, or powering it. Did they suffer from sea sickness? Did God place a shield over them to keep the waters calm and the ark stable? We don’t know for Scripture gives us no insights into this. What was their health like? Were they eating properly? Did they suffer from jaundice from lack of sunlight?

Five months after the rain started they feel the bump as the bottom of the ark lodges on the top of the mountain. What sort of elation do they feel as the ark stops moving freely in the water? Do they have a sense that their confinement is nearly over? Yet their ordeal is not over. They have to wait for the water to continue to recede from the mountains, draining away from the valleys.

Another three months takes place before they can see the top of the mountains poking out from the water. How this ordeal must have tested their patience.

They waited for another forty days Noah opened the window and let a raven go, where it flew in the sky for a week. He then sent out a dove, which came back to him, meaning it had no dry ground for it to land on. Another week went by and Noah sent the dove out once again. This time it returned with an olive leaf in its beak.

Here is another story waiting to be told. It was the story of creation recovering from the flood. Note that the dove returned to Noah, this meant it still had no place to settle. Yet it had an olive leaf in its beak. Think about the olive tree, still immersed in water, its branches reaching skyward bound, struggling to get air, having the need of the warmth of the sun shining on it and suddenly the tip of its branches break forth. Just enough of the branches for a few leaves to sprout, yet not enough for the dove to land and make its nest. This tells the story that all of creation suffered from mans sin. It shows a picture of patience as creation still groans with the weight of sin, waiting for God to restore it once again. The branches of the tree lifting up higher than the flood waters shows a picture of how Gods creation can lift their hands high towards their creator, worshipping Him, as they reach to Him, the only one who can provide for them in the midst of the floodwaters of life.

Another seven days takes place and Noah lets the dove out once again, but this time it does not return. Three weeks have taken place before the dove found a place to land, a place to call home, and a home it found for it did not return. Imagine the sorrow Noah had when the dove returned the first time. Then his reaction as it brought him an olive leaf and his elation when the dove did not return. What was the reaction to his news each time he shared it with his family? What was their reaction when he showed them the olive leaf? Did they eagerly grab it off one another to touch and smell it? Did they rejoice when they realised the dove was not coming back? Did they have real sense of anticipation that they too could be released from the confines of the ark? Yet in the ark they stayed.. Three months after they first felt the ark go bump and lodge against the mountain top, Noah removes the covering over the top of the ark, and sees that the surface of the ground was dry. Listen to the silence in this story. Suddenly there was no wind. The wind stopped howling, and it was in the silence that Noah was finally able to remove the covering over the ark. What was his reaction as he looked around, twelve metres up from the ground, on the top of the ark looking at the ground? Did he itch to jump off and run around? Did he have to restrain his sons from doing the same? Yet they still had to stay on the ark as the ground was still muddy.

Creation must have been rejoicing madly, its grass growing and its trees blooming, their leaves and branches reaching upwards soaking in the sun.

Then God says to Noah and his family. It is time. It is time to come out of the ark. This happened one year and eleven days after they first went into the ark. What was it like for them? Did they hoop and holler? Did they leap around like a bunch of hillbilly’s having a square dance? Or did they in dignity walk out of the ark as God opened the door for them? I doubt this very much. I think there would have been a mad scramble to be first between the brothers, wanting to explore their surroundings.

But they still had work to do. They also had to bring out the animals from the ark. It took them a week to get them into the ark, how long did it take to get them out of the ark? Did the animals want to leave, or had they become so used to their pens and confinement that they had become used to them, and needed a lot of coaxing and prodding to get them out? I like what Scripture says, that the animals came out of the ark, one kind after another. Picture the mad rush, the noise, the thunder, the stampede as they rushed out, eager to get out, eager to munch on some fresh grass, to eat some fresh leaves, chew on some real bark and tree roots. As the animals dug in real dirt, scrambled up real trees and flew high into the sky. And for some maybe just laying down in the shade or warming up in the heat of the sun basking on a heated rock.

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Who can pray 8- The story of a ship at sea

Posted by craig b on February 7, 2008

But the story does not end there. For there is the story to tell of what went happened in the ark during the extended time they were locked in it. There they were locked in this wooden boat for one year and eleven days. While the Scriptures do not speak of what happened in the boat, there was a story of humanity living in extremely close proximity with each other. There was a story of real human relationships happening on board that boat. Were there tensions? Were there arguments? Were they going stir crazy? Did they ever have real arguments? What were their living conditions like? Imagine what it was like being stuck on a boat three stories high. What were the practicalities of living on the ark? For it was full of animals both noisy and smelly. Animals that needed feeding, animals that needed their stalls mucked out, and even perhaps animals that both fell pregnant and gave birth to their young while on board. I have worked around animals for many years, mostly on dairy farms. And I can say they stink, though you do get used to the smell after a while. Think of the smell of the boat, the smell of the timber, the tar, the manure and the smell of each other. For one whole year the ark was their home, it was their prison and it was also their means of salvation and hope for the world.

It was here on the boat that Noah and his family learnt about Gods faithfulness. It was here that they learnt to relate to one another as family. And it was here that they learnt to worship God.

Every day for forty days as the rain came down they would have heard its noise against the roof of the boat. I wonder if they thanked God every day for the protection he gave them. Did they ever complain about the rain? Did they suffer grief for the loss of their family and community? Noahs brothers, his sisters, his wife’s family, the daughter in laws family, how were they coping with their emotions knowing that they would never see their loved ones again? Every day within the one hundred and fifty days that it took for the flood waters to recede, the ark was at the mercy of the winds and the waves. In all the pitching and rolling around, did they perhaps suffer from sea sickness? What was their health like? Were they eating properly?

There is a history of eight lives living together for a year and eleven days being told here, one that we can easily skip and miss out on for scripture only records the bare basics of the story. For it’s a story of humanity, it’s a story about real people, living in a real situation, in a new situation where the old has passed away and a new unknown future awaits them.

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Who can pray 7. The ark is built, the message is preached

Posted by craig b on February 6, 2008

Not only did Noah have to cop flack from his neighbours, he also had to cop it from his family; his brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunties, nephews and nieces. Not only them, but also his in-laws – though most likely they were all related any way. I wonder what Lamech thought of it all. He died about two years before the flood; did he come alongside and help Noah build the ark? Did he encourage him by telling him stories about his grandfather Enoch as well as what he knew about Adam? Perhaps Lamech was a typical boy who loved his grandfather and trailed him about wherever he went? Was Lamech there when God took Enoch? Was he a witness just like Elisha was a witness of God taking Elijah? We don’t know, in fact we don’t know any thing about their relationship. We do know however that someone told Noah about the past, for it is recorded for us today, and that most likely would have been his father. And in the same way Noah passed it onto his sons.

Imagine the conversation that could have gone on between his wife and her mother if she was alive, or her siblings.

Mother – I’m worried about you dear… Is Noah alright? … I think he needs to see someone…

Wife – Don’t worry about me mum…Noah is fine mum… He is seeing someone; he talks to God every day…

Mother – That’s just what I mean dear…don’t you think he has gone to far with this God stuff?… I mean it’s all a bit of a mythical story about God and how he made Adam and Eve, and kicked them out of the so called Garden of Eden…

Sister – I’m worried about you as well sis; don’t you think you are taking it all a little bit too seriously about this God stuff? … I mean who believes you? … Surely God would have spoken to other people about it as well, if it was really going to happen … if he really does exist that is…

Brother – Sis, this has gone far enough, who does Noah think he is? … Why would God pick him? … Look at him, Mr Goody two shoes… Does he think he is better than us?…

Wife – Come on mum, you know full well that God is not a mythical leg-end! …. You all know the history of Noah’s great grandfather, the history of Cain and Able, and that Adam and Eve were real… You really know that the Garden was real…. You only have to look around at what is happening today to know that sin is prevalent in today’s society… Noah believes God, he knows God, and I believe God as well… Come on guys, don’t get left behind, come help us build it, and you too can be saved…

Mother – What will the neighbours think?…Nothing is going to happen dear… just wait and see…Rain, what an imagination…I wonder what he will think of next…I just hope no one will think to badly of you dear…

While the above conversation is fiction, we do know that only 8 people boarded the ark, Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. There was no one else. No neighbours, no extended family; only Noah and his family. So perhaps there could be some truth to what I have written after all?

In speaking of Noahs family issues, lets turn to our own walk with God and ask ourselves some questions about where we stand with God.

1. What does your neighbourhood think of your faith?
2. What does your family think of your relationship with the living God?
3. How do you cope with criticism?
4. What has God asked you to do?
5. What have others said to about that?

So Noah and his sons built the ark, which took them one hundred years to do so. The ark was 136 metres long, 22.7 metres wide and 13.6 metres high. I live on a quarter acre block of land, which is 50 metres long by 20 metres wide. The ark was over two and a half times the length of my block of land and slightly wider. And it was about 3 times the height of my house, which is a normal single story home.

One hundred years of sawing, cutting, nailing, chopping and sanding. They didn’t have the luxury of being able to duck down to the local hardware if they needed something. They didn’t have the luxury of power tools nail guns, and chainsaws. Nor did they have a local timber mill to go to, and give them the order for all the timber they needed, pre cut into all the different lengths and sizes that they needed. If they needed a plank; they had to cut a tree down to make it. If they needed tools, they had to make them themselves, or perhaps there turned to their distant relatives who were tool makers and had them make them for them.

At first Noah worked on the ark by himself, perhaps with the aid of his wife and father. Two years after God asked Noah to build it; his wife gave birth to his first son Shem. Picture Shem, following Noah about as he chopped, hewed, heaved, carried, and nailed or tied every thing together, and asking his father questions about what he was doing. Can I help you dad? What’s this for? What was it like for him to grow up in awareness that the community around him did not share his father’s enthusiasm nor heed his warnings? Then there were his other two sons who were born afterwards, and not only them, they met and married their wives. What was their reaction to father in-laws antics? Did they have the same kind of discussions with their families like I wrote of Noah’s wife having with hers?

The time came, when God had them cover the inside and outside of the ark in pitch to seal it from leaks. They started the gathering of food, both for them-selves and for all the animals who would come on board. What sort of questions do you think Noah was going to ask God while he created and gathered? How much food do we need? How long will we be on the ark for? And his sons as they helped him asking, “Have we made enough hay dad?” How much longer dad? And yet for one hundred years they kept at it, gathering, cutting, heaving, making, storing. Talking to God as they went about doing what he called them to do. And then the rain started to fall, and God brought the animals to them, two pairs of every kind of unclean animal, and seven pairs of every kind of clean animal. Finally Noah and his family entered the ark and God shut the door on them.
I wonder what the community’s reaction about the rain was. What was it like to suddenly realise that Noah was right after all, and they were wrong? To late to board the ark for it had been sealed shut by God. Do you think perhaps they would have been asking questions, crying out,

“Why God why?”

only for their cries to go unheard. For one hundred years, Noah was warning them of what was to come. For one hundred years his community ignored his message of hope, and instead of turning back to the Lord their creator, walking in right relationship with Him they continued to ignore Him and went about their own ways.

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Who can pray 7. Noah is ridiculed

Posted by craig b on February 6, 2008

Not only did Noah have to cop flack from his neighbours, he also had to cop it from his family; his brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunties, nephews and nieces. Not only them, but also his in-laws though most likely they were all related any way. Imagine the conversation that went on between his wife and her mother if she was alive, or her sister…

MotherI’m worried about you dear… Is Noah alright? … I think he needs to see someone…

Wife – Don’t worry about me mum…Noah is fine mum… He is seeing someone; he talks to God every day…

Mother That’s just what I mean dear…don’t you think he has gone to far with this God stuff?… I mean it’s all a bit of a mythical story about God and how he made Adam and Eve, and kicked them out of the so called Garden of Eden…

Sister I’m worried about you as well sis; don’t you think you are taking it all a little bit too seriously about this God stuff? … I mean who believes you? … Surely God would have spoken to other people about it as well, if it was really going to happen … if he really does exist that is…

Brother Sis, this has gone far enough, who does Noah think he is? … Why would God pick him? … Look at him, Mr Goody two shoes… Does he think he is better than us?…

Wife – Come on mum, you know full well that God is not a mythical leg-end! …. You all know the history of Noah’s great grandfather, the history of Cain and Able, and that Adam and Eve were real… You really know that the Garden was real…. You only have to look around at what is happening today to know that sin is prevalent in today’s society… Noah believes God, he knows God, and I believe God as well… Come on guys, don’t get left behind, come help us build it, and you too can be saved…

MotherWhat will the neighbours think?…Nothing is going to happen dear… just wait and see…Rain, what an imagination…I wonder what he will think of next…I just hope no one will think to badly of you dear…

While the above conversation is fiction, we do know that only 8 people boarded the ark, they being Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. There was no one else. No neighbours, no extended family; only Noah and his family. So perhaps there could be some truth in it after all.

What does your neighbourhood think of your faith?

What does your family think of your relationship with the living God?

Noah would have known about his great grandfather, though he had never met him. He certainly would have heard a lot about him as well as the full history of Adam and Eve. Perhaps he was caught up with the tale of Enoch walking with God? Perhaps he thought, if Enoch could do it, so can I? Noahs father Lamech, named him Noah, for it means comfort. And at his birth, Lamech says,

“He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the
ground the LORD has cursed.” (Gen 5:29)

Noah was five hundred years old when God spoke to him about what he wanted him to do, those around him knew his name, they would have known what Noah meant, and still they did not believe him.

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Who may pray 6. Noah

Posted by craig b on February 6, 2008

Leaving Enoch, we continue to read how the earth was increasingly filled with wickedness, violence and the inclinations of men’s hearts were evil (Gen 6:5)

We could be talking about today.

We read of another man who was righteous and who walked with God (Gen 6:9) and who also did every thing that God commanded him to do (Gen 6:22.) A man called Noah. Who by the way was a descendant of Enoch!
Let’s truly think about Noah, what it really meant to obey God and do what God had called him to do? Imagine your-self in Noah’s position. Up till that time there was no such thing as rain, the earth watered itself from springs of water that bubbled up out of the ground. Imagine the conversation God and Noah had.

God – “Noah, listen up, I’m going to make it rain.”

Noah – “Rain, what’s that?

God – “Rain is water that comes down from the sky, instead of coming up out of the ground.

Noah – “Oh OK then, you want me to build a what?

God – “I want you to build a boat Noah; I want you to build it according to my plan, and on this boat I want you to take two each of unclean animals and seven each of clean animals as well as any one else who wants to join you”

Noah – “So let me get this straight, you want me to make a boat, to hold a heap of animals of every kind, gather enough food and water for them, for you are going to send, what’s that stuff called again? Rain out of the sky and so much of it you are going to flood the world and put an end to all this wickedness?

God – “That’s right Noah, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, and that’s exactly what I want you to do.”

Noah – “Well OK God, I’ll do it for you, because you have told me to do it, if you say it will happen, IT is going to happen …HELP”

God – “Of course I will help you Noah, you better get cracking.”

Neighbour – Hey Noah, what are you doing there…Your what?…Its going to rain…what’s that? Water that falls from the sky and is going to flood the earth…Noah, you are crazy, Gods not going to do that.

Noah – God are you sure about this rain and flood stuff…I’m sure copping a lot of flack from my neighbours who think I’m a crazy ole coot.

God – It’s OK Noah, keep doing what I have asked you to do, it will be OK, you will be saved from the floods, trust me.

Shut your eyes for a moment; think about your own reactions and dialog you would have with God if you were Noah. What do you think your conversation with God would have been like during that time and as you built the boat? What sort of flack do you think you would have to cope with in building that boat?

Since I first wrote draft of this, a movie has come out called “Evan Almighty”, which is a modern day tale of the story of Noah, where God calls a man called Evan to build an ark, though with a few major differences. If you have seen the movie, think of the flack he copped, yet because of Gods faithfulness, his obedience though reluctant was truly rewarded.

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Who can pray 5. Enoch walked with God

Posted by craig b on February 6, 2008

A few short verses later, though historically many years have passed, we read of Enoch walking with God and then he was gone! Taken away! No longer here! Scripture says he was taken by God. (Gen 5:23-24) The Bible doesn’t say what this walking with God meant, it doesn’t tell us much about Enoch, apart from the fact that he walked with God and then was gone.

I personally believe that Enoch walked with God in the same way that Adam and Eve used to walk with him when they were in the Garden in Eden. For while it is true human beings were banned from the Garden, that did not, and does not prevent God from walking any where through out his creation with his creation. How did God take Enoch? We don’t know, perhaps he took him like he did Elijah with a chariot from heaven. Or perhaps he just walked with God one night into eternity, stepping from one creation into the next. A bit like a scifi movie where someone steps through a portal into another realm….Or perhaps it is just a colloquialism to say he died.

What ever it means, those few verses pack a powerful punch, it speaks a powerful message that breaks up the history of sin, for where up till now only one other person had walked a pleasing walk with God and who had been murdered by his brother, this person lived a Godly life and God took him to himself.

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who can pray 4. Cain and Able

Posted by craig b on February 6, 2008

God tells the woman she would begin to suffer more pain in childbirth,
reflecting the groans of creation, though denying the serpents goal with the promise that one day her child would crush once and for all the serpent’s head; though after it had struck his heel, promising that Man will have dominion once again.
Adam’s punishment was to work the ground, combating against weeds and thistles, eating by the sweat of his brow having to work hard at making the land be productive.
God did not completely cast them away from himself; for he tenderly clothed them, and then placed them outside His garden guarding it in case they took upon themselves to eat of the tree of life.

After they were sent outside in the world, outside the garden, their relationship continued with the Lord. Eve gave birth to Cain, after which she worshiped the Lord, worshipping him by thanking and acknowledging His help in giving birth toCain. (Gen 4:1) Then sometime after gave birth to Able. The story now continues with Cain and Able, We see they have continued having a personal relationship with the Lord. Though there were a few distinct differences. For;

Able walked with the Lord, as the Lord required.
Cain walked with the Lord as Cain wanted to.

God was pleased with Able for the offering he gave and was displeased with Cain for his. We need to make a note here; that God wasn’t pleased with Able because he offered up animals and was displeased with Cain because he offered up the fruit of the soil.

God was pleased with Able because he offered up quickly the first and best portions of his flock.
God was displeased with Cain, for he took his time bringing some of his produce; instead of the first and the best he had.(Gen 4:3)

The scene now shifts from the relationship Able had with God, and focuses on Cain. Here we see God’s compassionate all seeing nature, for he sees that all is not well with Cain. He see’s his anger, his depression, and his jealousy towards his brother and perhaps towards Him as well. God speaks frankly to Cain, asking him questions about himself and why he was feeling that way? Finally God gets to the point that Cains real trouble was sin and that it was crouching at his door, wanting to devour him. And again God tells him that he must master it. Yet Cain ignores Gods warning, instead takes his brother out to a field, and kills him. The Lord speaks to Cain once again, asking him about his brother, to which he replies,

“I don’t know…Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The Lord again gets right to the point, challenging Cain directly as to what he has done. Telling him straight as he knows what it is he has done. As a result of his sin, he tells him that the very ground he loved is not going to produce any produce for him, and that he will be a restless wanderer for the rest of his life.

Cains response is one of woe is me, as he complains about the consequences of his actions. I believe that the restlessness that God speaks of, which is to happen in Cains life, is not only about his physical status as not having a home to live, for Scripture tells us that Cain went on to build a city. (Gen 4:17) Rather it speaks about his brother’s murder being on his conscience and that he cannot avoid the continual stabbing pain of unresolved guilt, which causes him much shame. This same guilt causes Cain to add words to what God has told him will happen, in that “Now someone will kill me, and I will be driven out from your presence” The Lord tells him that it will not be so, for he will put a mark of his protection on him, and he will watch out over him. (Gen 4: 15)

Notice the similarities between the sin of Cain and his parents.

  • Both were warned by God not to do something, yet both did. Both were told to have dominion over sin, yet both failed to do so.
  • Adam failed in shutting up the serpent.
  • Cain failed in conquering the sin that was whispering into his soul.
  • Both were asked, “What have you done”?
  • Both were guilty of not facing up to their guilt, rather unsuccessfully trying to hide their actions from the Lord.

And both suffered the consequences of not doing what the Lord had asked them to do.

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Who can pray 3. creation is shattered

Posted by craig b on February 6, 2008

Yet perhaps the relationship between God and His creation is not as perfect as we thought, for we read of Gods creation adding to Gods word, twisting Gods word, and in doing so losing sight of the clear truth of Gods word regarding life and death. It would seem that not only is the serpent guilty of manipulating Gods word, so is Adam. For it had to be him who told Eve they were not allowed to even touch the tree, yet alone eat from it? In the fullness of this conversation, the truth of Gods warning was forgotten and they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And for the first time in history creation had felt shame.

1.the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonourable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame. 4

This very shame caused fear to move into the emotions, replacing intimacy and trust. Imperfection had taken hold, intimacy and trust had been destroyed; not only between Creator and created, it had also been shattered between creation itself. For we see creation trying to hide from God; filled with a fear that they had not known before. Blame taking the place of accountability, Adam now blaming both God and Eve for their problem, declaring…“That woman you placed here” (Gen 3:12.) Eve in turn found fault with the serpent; saying, “It was he who had deceived her.”

As God declares the payment for sin, all of creation began to groan under the weight of it. (Rom 8:20-21) Beginning with the serpent, God declares enmity between it and the woman. The woman would begin to suffer more pain in childbirth, reflecting the groans of creation, though promising one day that her child would crush once and for all the serpents head, and it would strike his heel. Adam’s punishment was to work the ground, combating against weeds and thistles and they were placed outside Gods Garden in case they took upon themselves to eat of the tree of life.

4. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=shame

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