Rethinking Genesis: Is God Really Threatened by Us?

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Joe brings your friend Rachel some flowers.  When Rachel tells you about it, she says, “Guess what?  It turns out that Joe is attracted to me just like I’m attracted to him!  Look, he brought me flowers! Obviously he is hoping to date me.”  This is Rachel’s interpretation of the flower event.  And you assume that her explanation of Joe’s motivations is accurate.

Well, later on that day, you run into Joe at a coffee shop.  You say, “Hey, Joe, I heard about how you gave Rachel flowers.  So you really like her, huh?  When are you planning to ask her out?”  Continue reading

Ezekiel 20-21: The Sword of Yahweh


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As he compiles a collection of prophetic messages from Yahweh, the prophet Ezekiel occasionally slips in a clue as to what year it is.  Just as prisoners often mark time by how long they’ve been incarcerated, Ezekiel often dates his messages by referring to how much time has passed since he was personally dragged out of his homeland by the fearsome Babylonian army and forced to relocate to the capital city of the empire that is slowly destroying what’s left of his beloved Israel. Continue reading

Ezekiel 19: Yahweh Laments Two Lions & A Vine


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When people think of Old Testament prophecy, they often think of Yahweh predicting the coming of Christ.  And yet Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament are far outnumbered by political prophecies—ones in which Yahweh is predicting how individual nations and politicians will do in the future.  Will they thrive or tank?  Will they conquer or be conquered?  Will they be exalted among their fellow humans or utterly humiliated? Continue reading

Ezekiel 14: Yahweh Stands Alone


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In our lesson Ezekiel 13-14: Yahweh Condemns False Prophets, we made our way through all of Ezekiel 13 and the first half of Ezekiel 14.  In that passage, Yahweh was focused on the issue of Jewish false prophets and the folks who were keeping them in business.  As we learned in our previous lesson, it’s a very dangerous thing to turn the concept of Divine prophecy into a game.  When we misuse Yahweh’s Name and Authority, we end up on the wrong side of His wrath. Continue reading

Ezekiel 13-14: Yahweh Condemns False Prophets


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In Ezekiel 13-14 we find a very intense speech from Yahweh which gives us some fabulous insights into how He views false prophets.  Since most of the prophets you come across in the Church today are complete phonies, this passage of Scripture is very relevant to you.  It’s very dangerous business to go around speaking messages for God which He hasn’t authorized you to speak.  Even when you’re spreading sunshine and cheer by promising everyone that brighter days are coming, you are personally heading towards some very dark days if you’re speaking without God’s Authorization.  God’s Name isn’t some toy that we get to play with.  When referring to Him is just some clever marketing strategy we’re using in order to boost sales and gather customers, we’re getting in line for some very nasty discipline.  When you’re messing with God, you’re messing with the Originator of concepts like vengeance and wrath.  You’re dealing with the Creator of both Heaven and Hell—a Being who has no qualms about torturing you forever if you get too attitudinal with Him.  Given the fact that God controls your quality of life, your location, and your capacity for suffering, how stupid is it for you to intentionally provoke Him?  You can’t war against God and win.  Continue reading

Amos 2-4: Yahweh’s Wrath in Context


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The prophet Amos lived and preached during the lifetimes of the prophets Hosea and Isaiah.  While Isaiah was hanging out in the southern part of Israel (aka Judah), Amos and Hosea were in the north.  Amos was a shepherd, and in his short little book Yahweh prophesies disaster for eight different nations: Israel, Judah, and their surrounding neighbors.  It’s bad news in the book of Amos, and in Chapter 2, Yahweh stops talking about neighboring kingdoms and focuses in on His chosen people.  As usual, they’re wallowing in spiritual rebellion. Continue reading

Isaiah 58-59: Rebellious Jews & Warrior Yahweh


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Ever feel like there is hardly anyone left in your country who really cares about God?  Ever feel like evil is winning the day while God is off in another universe not even noticing how bad things are?  This is how sincere believers in Isaiah’s time felt.  The vast majority of Israelites were entrenched in spiritual rebellion and Israel’s society was a cesspool of immorality.  Crime was out of control.  All of the law enforcers were corrupt.  And while evil doers were partying on, true believers like Isaiah were feeling totally bummed.  Where was Yahweh? Continue reading