Monday, February 11, 2019

Continuing the dialogue on Genesis

Genesis 9.  From Noah's sons came the people who would repopulate the Earth and continue God's creation, Man and Woman.  Noah's life span was 950 years.  Noah's descendants developed into various named clans and tribes.  It appears as if the continuity of God's message through Noah was being lost. Their is no indication that God's message is being passed on to guide the lives of these descendants.  Different spoken languages developed, placing another barrier to effective communication between people.

Then in Genesis 11, apparently after some passage of time, the people in the world somehow began to speak one language.  Where was the direction to follow God during this period? It seems strange that after God saved Noah's family, none of the story of God's destruction of all life on Earth, except Noah and his family was passed on to Noah's descendants to guide them to correct behavior in God's eyes?  If they had known about the prior destruction of life by God would misbehavior and people idolizing themselves, not God, have followed?

At this point the need for guidance was critical.  God's response in Genesis 11:7 is to confuse the people so they no longer speak the same language and can't effectively communicate with each other?  People were then scattered all over the world.  My reaction to this passage was how is this method effective in teaching the people the principles  God wanted us to follow?  How was this method effective in bringing the people closer to God?

What follows in Genesis 11 seems to be a period where people seemed to be wandering, with lack of effective guidance.  We were back to our own means, which meant progress into what God wanted us to be was hopeless.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Genesis: The Flood and the Reboot of Earth

Genesis 6:11 states that the Earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.  What had Adam and Eve and their descendants passed on to people in terms of knowledge about God?  Whatever was passed on was not enough to keep the entire world from becoming corrupted.  Imagine if everyone today were doomed to be destroyed due to widespread corruption and violence.  God had decided to destroy all people and whatever walked on the Earth.  Among all the people was the family of Noah who he decided were worthy of saving and leaving on the destroyed Earth to restart what God had begun with Adam and Eve.  But, God did decide to save the animals that existed on Earth by having Noah collect every kind of animal for storage on the Ark that God directed Noah to have built.  Since the Earth was to be flooded with water there was no need to save the creatures in the seas, oceans and other watered areas on Earth.  Their lives would continue.

The flood waters came and every living thing on Earth except those protected in the Ark perished.  After the flood and when the waters receded Noah, his family and all the animals in the Ark were released back onto the Earth.  It was an Earth which had been purged of all evil, supposedly. In Genesis 8:21 God acknowledged that every inclination of human heart is evil from childhood.  But he promised to never destroy all living creatures by a flood again.  God did not say he would use other forms of destruction at His means.

This was God’s first attempt to correct the deficiency in His creation, Mankind.  But as history has shown that deficiency appears to be permanent.  Nothing can be done to save Man from our ultimate fate.  The repetitions of human acts of violence and the atrocities we create are part of what we are.  Yes, we are capable of performing great acts of kindness.  But nowhere in Genesis prior to the flood is there any mention of the kinder gentler side of Man that impressed our Creator enough to not destroy 99.9% of the people on Earth.

The comparison of the actions of God and those of his son Jesus Christ does show that God evolved over the years.  It seems as though a way for Man to improve and correct his nature was developed.  The old covenants of Genesis and the old testament, were replaced via the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Genesis does not present a sense of hope for mankind.  It creates the view that we as people are hopeless and raises the question why would God want to continue our existence?