Crossroad Bible Study

October 31st, 2008

Ruins of the Tower

Posted by Alan Collins in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 11:1-9

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This story hits really close to home for me. Mankind had once again turned his back on Gods plan for him, and instead started living for themselves, the things of this world, and their pride (Don’t forget that throughout the Bible God seems to have a particular hate for pride). In effect they were making themselves Gods as they worshipped themselves. In every wrong turn I take in my lifetime this seems to be the principle behind my mistakes. I lack the faith to believe in Gods plan for me and the world, so instead I follow my own crooked paths. We seem to think that our plan is often better then Gods.

They say that money is the root of evil; I say its the suspicion that God isn’t good.

On another note some of you may be interested to know that if the historical dates of the Old Testament are true (Which I most definitely do) Then the building of the Tower of Babel would have been carried out during the Assyro Babylonion empire, predating the Egyptians by over a thousand years. In the ruins of Babylon just south of modern day Baghdad there is a stone foundation of what was once a huge tower. Its called Mergut Zigguret in Arabic. It stands besides the ruins of Nebuchadnezzers Babylon (quite young in comparison). The tower is mentioned in many of the ancient texts of the time including the epic of Gilgamesh, The book of Jubilee, and I believe Genesis. It is also mentioned in records from the time of Daniel which say the tower, although it had never been completed was still standing and still in use. Its intersting to note that Genesis 11 says nothing about the destruction of the Tower, just that the building ceased. Most of the records give the tower a height of 2.5km in our money. This fits the scale of the babylonian hieroglyphs when compared with the foundation width there today. This goes way beyond what we can achieve today with even our highest scyscrapers. So often we think that Mankind is gaining more and more knowledge and wisdom then we ever had before. We certainly believe that our generation is better educated then any before us. Yet history and archaeology seem to show that human knowledge has been lost and gained over time. Only 100 years ago the tallest buildings in the world were still the 3000 year old pyramids. The Maori navigated the Pacific and measured their longitude with nothing but the stars. The methods for doing this have now been lost because it was never written down. Only the southern cross on our flag stands testament to their wisdom which is now forgotten.

So often in our Pride we put a lot of faith in our own wisdom and understanding of things. Yet History shows that the only thing that lasts and is constant is Gods Word and His Grace.

Trust in the Lord with all your Heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov 3:5-6

October 31st, 2008

Separation in Pride, Unity in Christ

Posted by Richard Venable in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2

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At Babel, men were trying to be united under their own strength, working together to achieve their own goals by their own power. What they were doing almost sounds good: they were working together in unity. But it was their purpose that was evil: glorifying themselves rather than God.

And so God introduced a language barrier into all of mankind, so that we couldn’t work together. It seems like this would hold true to this day. Certainly we still have language barriers, but with new technology, all of mankind is getting closer together. Globalization is bringing us back to the times before the Tower of Babel, when all humanity could cooperatively work together for one goal.

But without Christ, how can we escape the same outcome that occurred at the Tower of Babel? If we bring unity and peace to the world, can we escape the pride and arrogance of that early civilization? Everything may seem to be good, but be tainted by our desires to glorify ourselves rather than God. It seems as if any attempts to unify all of humanity should be brought to ruin by God because of our sinful pride.

But Christ has changed all of that, and saved us from our sin and pride. Shortly after Christ’s ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, and reversed the power of the curse at Babel. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak… When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language.” (Acts 2:4-6).

At Babel, everyone spoke the same language, but God caused them all to speak different languages so that they couldn’t understand each other. But Acts 2 is a reversal of Babel, because everyone spoke different languages, yet they somehow could all understand each other.

In Christ, our sin and pride are overcome, and we can truly seek to glorify God rather than ourselves, so that with his Holy Spirit, we can unite the world to glorify God.

October 30th, 2008

Rainbows in Your Life?

Posted by Hannah Venable in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 8-9:17

I have always loved the story about God showing Noah His covenant through the symbol of a rainbow.  I remember when I was a little girl I had never seen a rainbow before and I wanted to so badly.  I decided to pray and ask God to show me a rainbow.  I prayed every day for a while and then one day, after a rain, God put TWO rainbows in the sky.  I was so excited!  God answered my prayer and He gave me double what I asked for.  So, rainbows have always had a special meaning to me as a reminder of God’s love.

What are some rainbows in your life?  What are some things that are put in your life as reminders of God’s love?

Here are a few for me:

my husband

my family

God’s word (where would I be with out it?)

God’s presence (invisible yet felt)

opportunity to study what I love (philosophy)

the Tab

What about you?

October 29th, 2008

Following God

Posted by Hannah Venable in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 6:5-7:24

I was struck in reading this passage about the righteousness of Noah.  What made him righteous?  I liked what the devotional said, “And why was God pleased with Noah?  Because he was willing to listen and to obey God’s word.  That’s the definition of righteousness.”

I know that I often talk about how hard it is to follow God.  And in a way, that’s true.  We have to go against the values of the world and be aliens.  Noah probably had to endure mocking and ridicule during those seven days of building the ark when there was no sign of rain.

But on the other hand, following God isn’t really as complicated as sometimes I make it out to be.  It is simply listening to God and obeying Him.  The Devil often wants me to make that really confusing and complicated in my head so much so that what is right and wrong is hard to distinguish.  And certainly there are situations that are tough!  But, I think for the most part, the Lord is asking us to simply obey Him.  He wants His laws to be clear and not confusing.  Look at the specifics He gives to Noah on how to build the ark!

This encourages me to face life with excitement:  All I’ve got to do is listen and obey God!

October 29th, 2008

The Fall of Man and the Grace of God

Posted by Alan Collins in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 3

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Its interesting reading where God curses Satan and says He’ll put enmity between him and the woman, and between his seed and her seed”. This is intersting because as far as I’m aware a woman doesn’t provide a seed with reproduction. Its the man who has the sperm which is the seed. The only man to ever be born of a womans seed was Jesus Christ, son of God, born to the virgin Mary. Could this be the first prophecy of the coming Messiah in the Old Testament. The passage goes on to say that Satan will bruise his ankle (the crucifixion?) and He will crush his head (The resurrection and the second coming?). It blows me away to think that the first words to come from God after we rebelled against Him was “Where art thou?” He was searching for us, calling us back to Him. When he saw us in our shame and nakedness He took an animal and killed it, sacrificed it, to cover over our shame and guilt. I think this is a typology of Jesus Christ who was our final sacrifice. The Bible doesn’t say which animal God killed in the first sacrifice in Genesis 3, but I’m willing to put money on it being a Lamb.

October 28th, 2008

The Vast Array

Posted by Richard Venable in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 1-2

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“The heavens and the earth were finished, and all their vast array.” (Gen 2:1)

God created the vastness of the heavens, which expand beyond our comprehension. He lit billions of stars, clustered them into galaxies, and tossed them into the deep darkness, painting it with fiery colors.

But this “vast array” isn’t limited to the heavens, but the earth as well, and the infinite expansion seen in the vastness of space is not greater than the infinite depth we see in the “dust of the earth.” The infinity of fiery stars we see looking into the telescope appears again when looking into the microscope; as we search deeper and deeper, discovering the cellular and the atomic and the subatomic.

God creates in all directions.

October 28th, 2008

The impact of Genesis 3

Posted by shireen in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 3

This passage has really challenged me to consider the impact and consequence of that decision that Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden.  Too often when we talk about sin… its in little letters and rather understated.  But the SIN as the notes say caused the perfect relationship that man was to have with God to be broken.  Without that perfect relationship with God from which all things flow, there is no longer perfect relationship with each other as well as perfect relationship with creation.  It changed the course of history!  The world we live in today is far from Adam and Eve’s time.  Reading the news, looking at the world around me and seeing my heart brings me to reality how broken and fallen this world, man and me have become.

But this History is now His Story… and in understanding in my little mind this huge impact has led me to understand the greatness or the reality of what the Cross has meant!  It wasn’t to undo that decision, but to restore to us what was lost!!  What a God we worship and serve!

Thoughts to ponder…

The question for me is…. we do live in a fallen world.  Do we need to know where the brokeness and falleness begins and ends?  Is it easy to understand what a fallen world looks like without understanding what it fully means… and if we did understand what that meant, what should or could we do about it?  Thoughts?

October 27th, 2008

what? no mutated babies?

Posted by feebs in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 1-2

as a science student, the bizarreness of Eve being made out of Adam’s rib, thus having the same genetic structure (no wonder there was no rejection of the tissue transplant!) and then managing to procreate and produce perfectly “normal” kids (unlike what would happen if i made babies with my brother) is just amazing! and confusing. I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that since Adam was the first human, made in God’s image, there were no micro-mutations of DNA or chromosomes that would cause autosomal dominant or recessive or X-linked diseases in Adam and Eve’s children.  But still..i wonder, did God make some more people after Adam and Eve to create a sufficiently heterogenous genetic pool? or did Adam and Eve have kids who all married each other?   What do you think?

October 27th, 2008

Stumbling Around

Posted by Hannah Venable in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 3

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After Crossroad on Sunday night, some of us walked outside to see a drunk man stumbling about.  He had such a lack of control that he fell into the street.  Providentially, there were no cars coming on Queen Street and he was able to pick himself up and get out of the street before he was run over!  Several of us waited around and few brave souls (Matt and John) talked with him as we waited for the police to come.  We were worried that if we left him he would be a danger to himself!

In seeing him stumble about, part of me felt annoyed that he would be so careless as to drink so much and as a result put himself and others in danger.  But another part of me thought, “That could be me.”  I know that with my tendency for sin and without God’s protection, I can be just as selfish as that drunk man.  In reading Genesis 3, we are reminded of how much sin truly effects us.

Before the fall and before Adam and Eve are banished, we see the close communion that they have with God.  God talks to them as friends and directly in an audible voice.  After they are banished as the devotional points out the biggest consequence of sin was that “it caused a breakdown in our relationship with God”.  That is why you and I and that drunk man stumble around.  We are no longer reconciled to Our Creator and thus, we can live selfish, incontinent lives.

Certainly, we can cling to the hope of Christ.  And we will see the redemption story, I am sure, as we read more of the E100 passages.  But sometimes, for me, it is good to pause and remember how awful sin is.  I think about how much I have stumbled and how much more I would stumble without the Lord.

October 27th, 2008

Creation

Posted by owenjohn in Uncategorized
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 Tagged Genesis 1-2

Does God have to act outside of scientific understanding to gain our respect?  In the past it may have been considered a miracle that rain fell on the earth and while we understand the process and its components more thoroughly today, should it give me any less of a sense of wonder?  Mountains erupting from the ground and the movement of tectonic plates coupled with erosion have produced such beautiful landscapes yet through understandable physical processes. However, the more I understand the more wonder I have for God. God has set complex systems such as the hydrological cycle and the human body in motion and although they operate by principles we are beginning to understand, they are no less a direct creation of His.  Genesis is not an exhaustive account of creation by any means and by whatever process and over whatever time; the earth was created from nothing. Natural selection and evolution (at least on a micro scale) occur and the rocks show a history far beyond what is explained to us.  I believe God wants us to open our eyes to his word which is written not only in the pages of scripture but in the rocks he has put under our feet.   The miracle is the one God brings about in our hearts and minds by opening them through faith to recognise him in his creation.

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