Skip to content

Babel

August 24, 2011

The people of Babel were walking again in the footsteps of Adam and Eve – trying to be like God in the prideful way of Lucifer – dependent on themselves, believing they could do it without Him. It is interesting to notice that though in previous cases when He acts as judge over the earth He is called Elohim (God), in this case He is called Jehovah (Lord). He understands that this is the worst thing for them and they will only bring harm to themselves. So in His mercy – the mercy of a merciful Jehovah – He saves them from themselves. And in such a beautiful and creative way. Who else but a creative God would have used language? Looking in to various languages of the world, I am constantly amazed at the variation of expression – the alphabets, the word arrangements, the differences in meanings, the sounds, and ways words relate to each other. Only such a creative God would come up with something that ingenious, beautiful, and varied. Only the Lord our God would so merciful with such brilliant creativity.

Gen 11:1-8

The man who walked with Jehovah Elohim

May 20, 2011

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with Elohim.”

The phrase “walked with Elohim,” gives me a shiver of significance every time. To walk with the great and awesome Creator and Judge of the universe is something I believe should never cease to be earth shattering. It is also a form of redemption. Adam and Eve walked with Him in the garden. But once they are expelled therefrom there are precious few mentioned that “walk with God.” The first is Enoch.

“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with Elohim 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with Elohim; then he was no more, because Elohim took him away.”

This is all we see of Enoch, yet his life is breath taking. For 300 years he walks with Elohim on the earth and then, in a moment of groom-like jealousy, Elohim captures him up to Himself.

It’s both thrilling and inspiring. Oh Elohim, I want to walk with You as Enoch as did.

Noah is the second man mentioned, after the fall, who walked with God – and in a time of great unrighteousness.

“Elohim saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So Elohim said to Noah ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is full of violence because of them….So make yourself an ark of cypress wood….” 6:12-14

The Creator and Judge judged the harlot earth yet in His justice made provision for the righteous man, Noah, the one He walked with.

“So Noah did everything just as Elohim commanded him.”

“Then Jehovah said to Noah, go into the ark, you and your whole family, beacause I have found you righetous in this generation. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kid of unclean animal, a male and its mate,…to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.” 7:1-3

The personal and merciful Jehovah preserved them and kept them.

“And Noah did all that Jehovah commanded him.”

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.”

Noah, his family and all the animals called by Elohim rush onto the boat the day the chaos begins.

“Then Jehovah shut him in.”

As the rain of judgement falls from the sky, Jehovah closes the great door, protecting and preserving the man who walked with Elohim.

blood brothers

May 11, 2011

“Jehovah looked with favor on Abel and his offering , but on Cain He did not look with favor.”

Abel gave the best of what he had and the Lord looked with favor on him because of it. Cain, however, did not give his best. He was holding out on God, and in the end we see what was truly in his heart. Jehovah is ever merciful and gives Cain a warning, just as he gave Cain’s mother and father a warning in the garden:

“Jehovah said ‘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 master it.” 4:6,7

But Cain does not master it. In the verse directly after this warning, Cain lures his younger brother out to the field and kills him in cold blood. And then, Jehovah comes to Cain.

“Where is your brother Abel?” 4:9

Perhaps Cain was too cold to take the brunt of a question, but I don’t think he was. I think Jehovah was very specific when he reminded him that Abel was his brother. Cain responds bitterly with:

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”  4:9

Jehovah’s response (v 4:10) pushes past this retort and cuts straight to the heart of the sin, the murder, and the soul of Cain, in words that are simply chilling:

“What have you done?

Listen!

Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

These are the first of many strange and impressive words about blood, but by far some of the most personal. The Jehovah who, in mercy, warned him, must now issue the curse He so longed to keep him from:

“Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 4:11,12

But Jehovah is merciful, and though Cain is forced to wander the earth, his life is saved, and he is fruitful and multiplies.

Remember now the mother of the brothers, Eve:

Eve, has just lost her son to the Death she invited to this world.

Yet Jehovah is faithful.

He grants her another son.

“she… named him Seth, saying ‘Elohim has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.'”

Once again, the name of God used in this place is significant. She lost her son to murder, but Elohim – her creator, the Judge – has brought forth life and administered justice.

Redemption, yet again.

And not just for Eve.

“When Elohim created man, he made him in the likeness of Elohim. He created them… and blessed them…and called them “Adam” … When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.”

Through Seth, Elohim revealed himself to Adam, and let Adam partake in His divine nature. Remember, one of the definitions of Elohim is “divine being”.

Seth was living symbol for Adam of what Adam was to God.

But it doesn’t stop here. Jehovah Elohim brings this all around to His glory, His good, and to draw his people closer to Himself:

“Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time

men began to call

on the name of Jehovah.”

Terrible and Tender

May 11, 2011

“In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.”

The name of God that is used in chapter one – wherein the creation of the world takes place – is Elohim. “In the traditional Jewish view, Elohim is the Name of God as the Creator and Judge of the universe.” [reference here] It implies power, strength, and justice.

“YHVH Elohim formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” 2:7

In chapter 2 something changes – He is not just Elohim: He is YHVH Elohim. YHVH (Jehovah) is the proper name of the God of Isreal – it implies His closeness to humans, while referencing his being, his “I-am”ness. Consider what it is for Him to be Elohim… consider what it is for Him to be Jehovah  — then combine those two. When God breathes the breath of life into newly formed man, when He creates woman to be his Ezer Kenedgo, when God walks in the garden with them, when they force themselves from Eden by their disobedience, when He both judges and shows mercy… He is Jehovah Elohim.

“The woman said to the serpent…’Elohim did say…'” 3:2,3

It is interesting to note, that when Eve and the serpent have the discussion that shapes history, they refer to Him only as Elohim. I wonder if, for that time, Eve was forgetting that the great and mighty God who judges was also her personal God, her close companion and friend, that one who walked in the fresh new garden with her – the One who “was” and was everything she needed. Perhaps it was easier to believe that the Mighty Creator was cheating her out of a blessing than her Jehovah.

“Jehovah Elohim made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And Jehovah Elohim said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So Jehovah Elohim banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.'”

Jehovah Elohim gave them everything – their existence, each other, a perfect garden, and even Himself. He asked only one thing of them, something that could be summed up in a phrase we know so well: “love, honor and obey.” The one and only thing He asked them not to do was eat from the tree. And they did it anyway. With that one action they brought on their own shame, their own punishment, their own deaths. With that one action they told the Jehovah Elohim that had created them, loved them, given them everything, even Himself….that it just wasn’t enough.

But after they were cast from the Garden of Eden, I believe Eve realizes the part of God she was so woeful to neglect before. When she has her first child she says:

“With the help of Jehovah, I have brought forth a man.”

This gives me shivers. There is something doubly personal about this statement. She recognizes Him, at last, as her personal God, and at the same time experiences what she must have recognized as a sort of redemption:

The woman who brought death into the world, has now, in a tender and personal act of God, brought forth a life.

For Elohim our judge, is Jehovah our mercy.