I thank God that I live my life as per His guidance and not by human standards. I have lived by this maxim for as a long as I can remember, it has served me well. I try to ensure I walk a believers’ path although occasionally I find myself taking my eyes off my spiritual vision, and, like Peter, I falter and begin to drown.
I am a staunch believer in using the manufucturer’s manual to operate a device, as such I also believe that for one to really get it right in life, they will need to refer to their makers manual. Of course, if you are the product of the “big bang”, you got your work cut out for you.
Recently, as I pored over my Bible my attention was drawn to the book of Genesis. I was astounded at how much information there was in this book that I had not noted before. I was enthralled by my reading and spent several hours poring over the chapters and making notes. I came up with several key points to note about life in general.
CAVEAT: This is my interpretation; I am digesting this every day to see if it remains sound.
Life and death:
According to the good book, God created day and night, then heaven and earth, solar system, sea creatures, creatures on land etc. Then God says “Let US create man in OUR own image; after OUR likeness.
Food for thought:
1)This got me thinking…as far as I know God has no form, He is a spirit often described in the Bible as a light, a burning bush, wind, terrifying sound etc. Later on in the story, there follows a little bit more detail about the creation of man; “and the Lord God FORMED man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breadth of life; and man became a living soul”. To me this is the point man got his physical body, and soul. The dictionary tells me that “form” is ” to develop, constitute, bring together parts to create”. Therefore, my conclusion; We have God’s spirit in us which is our our blue print, the part in us that makes us lean towards all that is good and pure; call it the ‘little voice in us’ etc. It is the part of us that connects to God. Cause it is in His own image. Later on in the story, God says, that “My spirit can not continue to dwell in man because his heart conceives evil’ and it was at this particular moment that God proclaimed that man will live for only 120 Year before God’s spirit departs from his body. Death sets in.
Man as the bread winner
Of importance is the sequence in which the creation took place…that after creating everything including man (Adam), God said that, ‘it is not good for man to be alone and He created and brought Eve to Adam (of course, before God said anything, Adam spoke saying ‘she is bones of my bones, flesh of my flesh‘. This trait still beleaguers men whenever they see a single lady, they jump at the opportunity to be identified with her).
In this section, we see God ensures man has, a home, has food and a job (naming animals), before He brings in a woman -to help man.
Maybe we have been going about this business of courtship all wrong. Maybe men need to sort their business out first, ensure they are stable, and can provide for a ‘helper’ before getting into a relationship thus avoiding being on #deadbeatKenya. You see most of these men, if asked, would tell you that “I was too young’, I was not ready’, ‘I did not have a job’ etc Maybe our elders had it right when they denied a man the hand of their daughter in marriage especially if the young man was not seen to have some way of taking care of a family.
Again, one may argue that today’s women are materialistic etc and can’t or will not marry; well…when Adam had all he had, God said “it is not good for man to be alone”. And amongst all the animals there was none suitable to be his mate; please leave the chicken, dogs, cows etc alone!
GOD EXPECTATIONS OF/FOR US
God set out to bless man right from the beginning; Our God is a God of bounty and abundance. God orders man to “Go forth and be;
1) fruitful, 2) Multiply, 3) Replenish the earth 4) Subdue it (the earth).
Food for thought
What caught my eyes in this section was that term “replenish”, which according to the online dictionary means “fill something up again”. What can man replenish on earth? The answer is anything that dwindles in quantity that was given to man. My thoughts are that, God saw Adam and Eve sinning long before they were, and anticipated death, and thus as part of the blessing required them to “replenish” that which reduced including man.
–The term ‘subdue’ means ‘bring under control of by force’; this means that it was not going to be easy for Adam and Eve to just get quick results…they had to apply force at times to get results. So, even today, to get results, work hard, also invest.
DEPENDABLE LEADERSHIP IN THE FAMILY
Further on, the bible speaks of God planting in the Garden of Eden. In this Garden He planted two special trees; 1) the tree of life 2) the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Bible says, “and the Lord commanded the MAN, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Later on He made Adam sleep, as he made a woman, from Adam’S RIB. The bible states: “that is why a) a MAN leaves his father and mother and is UNITED to his wife, and they become one flesh”.
Food for thought
Adam was the one who received the instructions…woman was not yet in the picture. Likely, owing to the communication challenges that men today exhibit, this very important message was passed on to Eve in a ‘non-committal’ manner. Without conviction. This made Eve not stand firm in keeping these particular instructions. When one believes in something, they will do all they can to keep that something. When a woman senses lack of commitment in her husband, when she senses no leadership emanating from him, She will i) take up the leadership role without knowing. Once there is shift in roles, strife crops up.
Eve got convinced to eat the fruit; Moral of the story, Eve finds a leader in the serpent. Adam has forsaken his role to ‘go forth and multiply, replenish…subdue the earth’, Instead he takes up all other businesses leaving his house, wife/family un attended, someone else fills in that vacuum. There were complementary roles that were created as per God’s plan. Whether we like it or not, there will be a vacuum left behind when a role is not performed, ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’. When husband, wife, parents abscond duties…Someone/Something will fill that in. Most of the time, the results are unpleasant to both parties. They both suffer. Children suffer.
CERTAINTY OF DEATH
The one thing that human beings can be sure of is dying. God told Adam “…but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die...”. So, since they ate from that particular tree…death is certain.
Food for thought
What I am curious about is the tree of life…it was not proscribed until later when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge.
Once Adam and Eve had babies, sibling rivalry cropped up, and with deadly consequences. Later on we see Abram imploring his nephew Lot saying “let us not have quarreling between us for we are close relatives“. Moral of the story is that, disagreements in families are not always destructive but they should be contained in love and understanding.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE’S ACTIONS
The rivalry between Cain and Abel simmered. God spoke something that frees man of the dis-empowering notion that man cannot rule over sin; When Cain saw that God was better pleased by Abel’s offering he became angry and jealous. But God tasked him asking “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you MUST RULE OVER IT“. What does this scripture tell us?
When you do wrong and you suffer the repercussions, kindly understand that it is self-inflicted. No one to blame for it.
That when you do something wrong, you may not be socially accepted either.
That sin, like a bounty hunter follows you around all the way to your doorstep. All you have to do is make a wrong choice and sin will “have you”
However, you have the power to rule over sin and get to do that which is right, desirable. No excuse. God says, “…BUT YOU MUST RULE OVER IT”. “MUST” is the word. Not, “should”, or ‘could”. Therefore we all have to be aware that sin will follow us as long as we do that which is wrong, it will ‘have us’. However, we must rule over it.
POLYGAMY IS NOT GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE
It remains clear that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam, Eve and Ivanka. It was from Cain’s lineage that polygamy crops up in the Bible when, Lamech, a 5th generation descendant of Cain marries 2 women (Adah and Zillah). The bible leaves Cain’s lineage at that in this particular book of genesis and pursues the lineage of Adam’s 3rd son Seth who becomes the forefather of Noah. We then see Abram being given a second ‘wife’ by his wife Sarai but strife between the two women crops up forcing Abram to leave Hagar (his maid servant turned wife) to Sarai’s mercy. This second ‘wife’ is not recognized as such by God as the angel of God continues to refer to her as the ‘slave of Sarai. The angel commands Hargar who had run away from Sarai’s mistreatment (endorsed by Abram) to “go back to your mistress and submit to her“. My interpretation…whatever the arrangement, polygamy, traditional, etc a MWK remains that even with a ring on her finger. Because God always has good intentions for the family unit even where there is strife, emotional turmoil, physical limitations etc. That the family made of two people, husband and wife be honored and the marriage bed kept pure. Further on we see King Solomon taking up more than one wife in contravention to God’s word. The wives succeed in turning his heart away from God.
In the same breath, polyandry is not how a marriage should be conducted.
GOD OF COVENANTS AND BLESSINGS.
Whenever God wanted to use man for His glory, He required total commitment: When God wanted to bless Abram, He commanded, “Go from your country, your people, your father’s household to the land I will show you“.
Meaning leave everything that you may deem as important to you and commit to my vision for you. God values commitment to a given word. He can require anything from you so as to show your commitment to the same including; all that is familiar to you, including your social ties. He is saying, trust me to show you my vision
THE BEGINNING OF THE ‘PIMP’ CULTURE
Abram had a beautiful wife, Sarai, and he was sure if the soldiers in Egypt know she is his wife, they might kill him. So he says to her “say you are my sister; so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” Further on, the bible says “…the Egyptians saw that Sarai was very beautiful woman…He (Pharaoh) treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants and camels.”
GOD KEEPS HIS WORD AND HIS VALUES
God was unhappy with Pharaoh for taking Sarai as his wife; He punished Pharaoh and his household for this. God had a plan for Abram and Sarai and yet they were digressing from this plan. After being inflicted by a serious disease, Pharaoh summoned Abram demanding “what have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? …so that i took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and Go!”
Points to note:
1) Sarai was a beautiful woman, no man could resist her; fit to be wife to a king…but in the face of God’s wrath, the king chose God’s way over his own lust. This shows that men can make the choice to be right not to be weak.. It is not impossible for man to choose right over lust. We can now stop dis-empowering men by saying it is in their nature to cheat or rape etc.
2) God punished Pharaoh and his household despite the fact that Pharaoh did not know Sarai was a married woman:
– Lesson learn’t ‘ignorance is not an excuse
– Pharaoh sent her away despite her celebrated beauty. Man can make a choice.
GOD IS A GOD OF VISION AND POSSIBILITIES
God shows Abram land He is to give him and his descendants asking “what do you see? …all the land that you SEE. I will give you and your offspring”. Meaning, whatever Abram laid his eyes on, it was his. Therefore, have a vision for your life, however big, God is able to provide. Know what you are working towards. It is not possible to ‘muddle through’ life aimlessly and expect success.
Again, God tells Abram who is too old to have children that “…I will give to you and your OFFSPRING”. God sees what man’s imagination cannot conceive.
GOD HAS A PLAN ON HOW TO DELIVER HIS PROMISE TO YOU
As God works on delivering His promises to us he uses means that may not be clear to us or straight forward. E.g As Abram goes out to rescue his nephew Lot who had been captured by king Kedor Laomer and others, he ends up conquering them and consequently the promised land which they possessed. Abram might have thought he is only going to rescue his nephew and might not have anticipated conquering the promised land.
Moral of the story; While an event in our lives may seem too much to bear, too hard, too insignificant, the Lord might be using this as a building block to the “promised land” whatever your promised land is.
The book of Genesis was a fun book to read. I am soldiering on to the next.
To be continued….
Picture credit: belmont.blogspot.com; damascusian.wordpress.com; skepticalblo.com; thyblackman.com; madeinslant.com