Genesis 1-1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God.

In church this past Sunday, we began a study of the book of Genesis. I just love the first chapters of Genesis. Not because it is a cute bedtime story about how the earth came into existence, but because I truly believe this is how the earth came into existence. (I also, believe that science confirms it more than it disproves it. But that is a debate for another day.) 

Anyway, In the beginning GOD.

I don’t know how many times I have read these first chapters of the Bible, but isn’t wonderful there is always something new to glean from God’s word? I mean we can never know it all. God is always speaking to us and teaching us when we spend time with him. That is just amazing to me.

 This time I learned about when the book of Genesis was written. And this is what I want to share with you.

Most scholars agree that Moses is the author of the first 5 books of the bible. These books composed what the Jewish people called, “The Torah” or “The Law.” The word Genesis in its English context means, “The origin,” or “the beginning.”

The context in which the book of Genesis was written is so interesting and honestly I had never really thought about it before. You see, Moses lived quite a while after the creation of the world. He also had a very different formal education. If you know the story  of Moses, you know that he was born in Egypt into a home of Hebrew slaves, who where under a decree that all male children should be killed at birth. His birth was hidden as well as his early days of life. When he could be concealed no longer his mother hid him in a basket on the Nile River. There he was found by non-other than Pharaoh’s daughter. She adopted the baby and then hired a Hebrew woman to be Moses nurse (who was actually his real mother.) He was raised in the house of the Pharaoh and received his education in the land of Egypt and was raised to worship the Egyptian Gods. If you would like to read it for yourself, the story of Moses begins in the Book of Exodus.

So, Moses wrote the first books of the bible, but let’s also take note of when he wrote them. Without getting all bungled up in the theological debates, we can pretty safely say that Moses wrote the book of Genesis after the Israelite’s had left Egypt and where living in the wilderness in Sinai.

You may be wondering why is this important? Hang in there, I’m getting to that.

This is why it is important: Because the Israelite’s were living in very uncertain times.

Can we not agree that today, we also live in very uncertain times? There is much to concern us. We live in a time of terror both domestic and abroad, we live in a time of economic instability, we live in a time where even our own freedom to practice our faith and our person-hood is coming into question and under attack.

And it is here that we need comfort, we need assurance, and we need to have confidence. We like the Israelite people can find that in God’s word. And in the beginning.

I am just going to leave you with these first few words from Genesis.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Genesis 1:1-5

Think about this:

In the beginning God created.

In the beginning God spoke.

In the beginning God created light, and he separated it from the darkness.

I don’t know about you, but I get comfort in that. I get comfort in knowing that God was not only there before it all began, but that he orchestrates and reveals himself to us when we need Him the most. He is involved. He must care.



Declaring Crop Failure

Genesis 8-22

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” {Genesis 8:22}

Today I spent the early morning hours enjoying the songs of the birds, the rising of the sun, and the heft of the hoe in my hand as I worked in my garden. I enjoy gardening, but I am not a serious gardener. Not like my neighbor Cleo, who at 83 years of age still works three gardens by hand, cans and freezes the harvest, and feeds her family with the fruit of her labor. She does research into proven techniques, and she is always trying something new, even at 83, just to see what happens. But she is no fool; she steadfastly sticks with what has succeeded in the past – no sense in fixing what is not broken. Cleo is serious about her gardening.

I am not that serious, but I do know a thing or two, and like Cleo, I understand that there are basic principles that just work. Those are the things with which you stick. God’s word declares the principle of seedtime and harvest. He said as long as the earth exists, so will seedtime and harvest. Period. A promise from God. He also declares that we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). Sounds pretty good on the surface, right? I mean if I plant corn, I expect to harvest corn. If I plant carrots, I expect carrots to sprout. As I watch the peaches develop on our small fruit tree, I am not surprised. It is, after all, a peach tree. I was not expecting apples to grow there. As powerful as this principle is as it applies to food, it is equally powerful in other areas of our lives. Seedtime and harvest apply to our finances, to our health, and to our relationships. Not only do we plant seed with our actions, we plant seed with our words, and this is where we all run into trouble. A wise person once said, “What you speak about you think about, and what you think about, you bring about.” Read that once more. I’ll wait.

The words we allow to come out of our mouths direct our thought life and put into operation the God-designed principle of seedtime and harvest. That’s why the person who always talks about how sick he is, continues to be sick; and the person who always talks about financial lack, continues to have financial lack; and the person who talks about difficulty in relationships, continues to experience difficulty.
When I plant my garden, I pray over what I have planted. I declare my seeds and plants blessed in the name of Jesus. I declare the land in which I planted blessed. As I water the garden, I continue to declare blessing over it. And every year, without fail, His principle has worked and I have had plenty to harvest, can, and share with others. Even my harvest becomes a seed. As I share with other people the produce from our garden, God makes sure that my family lacks no good thing in our cupboards. My constant battle with a waistline that wishes to expand is evidence that I do not suffer from lack in the food department. But sometimes, instead of declaring a hundred-fold harvest, we ought to declare a crop failure. Instead of watering newly planted seeds, we ought to rip them out of the ground and declare them dead.

For most of us, this declaration of crop failure needs to be spoken over many of the words we’ve set out as seed. When we speak about the bad that we see or experience, we are putting into operation that principle of seedtime and harvest. If left long enough, those seeds sprout. Then when we see what we seeded for and speak about what we see, we are watering that seed. If we continue to ignore the results of what we are doing, we may well receive a hundred-fold crop, but it will be a hundred-fold crop of pure disaster. I would suggest we change our gardening techniques, and do what my friend Cleo would do. Try something different.

I would suggest that we use the words of our mouth to rip up the ungodly seeds we planted. How? We might need to start by repenting of planting those seeds in the first place. Then, we need to declare a crop failure! That’s right! speak death and destruction over those ungodly seeds. Then speak words of life in those areas instead. Speak the kind of words you would like to harvest, and declare what God declares concerning your health, your finances, and especially the people with whom you come into contact. You see, even if you are not getting along with someone, even if you see no good thing in that man or woman, boy or girl, God created that person. And His word declares that He loves him/her. If you cannot think of anything else to declare over a person with whom you are having difficulty, declare the love of God over him/her and watch as the harvest comes in.

As I worked in my garden today, I ripped out the “ungodly” seed, all those weeds that threaten to steal the life out of the food producing plants I am cultivating. While those weeds lay withering in the sun, I declared death over them; then I declared crop failure over any weed seeds that were released into the good soil of my garden. Finally, I rejoiced and spoke a blessing over the good seed that is growing and producing a harvest in my garden. I expect a hundred-fold harvest over the good seed in part because I have declared crop failure over the bad seed. Not all crop failure is bad.


A Controlled Fall

Isaiah 55-11

There was the constant drone of the chain saw as the old Ford maintained tension on the pull rope. And then, suddenly, a powerful “Crack!” as the remainder of the mighty tree crashed to the ground. A successful, controlled fall.

As I watched my eldest son, commander-in-chief of this project, I couldn’t help but think that my father would be pleased with his grandson. The two were so much alike! Like his grandfather, my son can tip back a few adult beverages and he enjoys having a good time. But also like his grandfather, he knows the value of hard work; how to not just get a job done, but get it done right. There is a difference you know.

The point of this project was to execute a controlled fall of an old, partially rotted tree on the boarder of our property. In the past six months, two large sections of this tree had fallen into the neighbor’s yard during windstorms. Our goal was to remove the rest of the tree on our terms instead of waiting for the winds of chance. Careful planning and the appropriate use of our available resources – the truck, the pull rope, and the chainsaw – made this possible.

Spiritual things can be like that as well. Sometimes a controlled fall of something old and rotted in our spiritual life needs to happen. The once mighty “trees” rooted in the ground of the world eventually decay; all things rooted in the world decay – no exceptions. The rotted material – habits, mindsets, faulty belief systems, even demonic influences – need to come down. Don’t misunderstand, most will eventually fall of their own accord, like the sections of our tree, but the damage of an uncontrolled fall can be costly and messy and even painful. Controlled falls are better.

Praise God! He has given us the appropriate tools and the directions for using them. By speaking the word of God and mixing it with our faith, we can safely remove the rotting junk before it crashes down around us in piles of devastation. Please note that both are required, the word and faith, just like we needed both the tension provided by the rope and truck as well as a chainsaw to fell our tree. One without the other would not be good enough.

God said that His word would not return unto Him void, or empty. When He speaks something, He considers it a done deal. We can and should apply the same principle. Got something rotten in your life that needs to be removed? Ask God to show you His word regarding that situation. Then speak that word often and loudly and with boldness and authority, like you really expect something to happen. And it will!