The Beginning Of Conflict And The Promise Of Victory
“Created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26-27) - “God saw everything that He had created … it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
At the end of Genesis 1, things couldn’t get any better.
It looked so promising.
The future looked bright with hope.
It was bright with the light of God’s love.
Everything looked so good.
Could things get any better than this?
Sometimes when we feel like this, there can be trouble just around the next corner!
That’s what we have in Genesis 3. It begins with the question, “Did God say?” (Genesis 3:1).
This is asking for trouble – big trouble!
Before long, questioning becomes contradiction – “the serpent said to the woman, ‘You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4).
God says one thing.
The serpent (Satan – see Revelation 12:9) says something else.
He says the exact opposite!
From that moment, there was conflict – but there was also the promise of victory.
In Genesis 3:15, there’s a great prophecy.
It points forward to the death of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
The serpent – Satan – bruises our Saviour’s heel.
Jesus was crucified.
This is the bruising of his heel.
Beyond the pain of crucifixion, there was, for Jesus, the mighty triumph of resurrection.
Jesus triumphed over Satan.
It was not Satan’s heel that was bruised.
It was his head!
The heel and the head – what a difference there is between the two!
Jesus has the upper hand!
The victory belongs to Jesus.
The conflict is “fierce.”
The victory is “secure.”
While we are on this earth, we can never escape the conflict.
Satan will keep on badgering us.
He will keep on sowing his seeds of doubt – “Did God say?”
We are not alone in this battle.
God keeps on coming to us.
He comes with His grace – and He comes with His question, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” He’s inviting us to walk with Him on the pathway of salvation, sanctification and service.
He does not lift us above the conflict – but He does give us the victory: His victory.
When Satan comes to us, may God give us strength to say, “No.”
When Jesus comes to us, may we receive His strength, the strength to say “Yes”, the strength to say, “By Thy call of mercy … By Thy grand redemption, By Thy grace divine, We are on the Lord’s side; Saviour, we are Thine… Always on the Lord’s side, Saviour, always Thine.”
Great Sin And Even Greater Grace
"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth" (Genesis 6: 5) - This is great sin.
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8) - This is even greater grace.
God could have looked on the whole human race , and said, "Enough is enough.
That's us finished."
He didn't do this.
He didn't give up on us.
He kept on going - with His purpose of grace, His plan of salvation.
Beyond the flood, there was the new beginning.
God was doing a new thing.
This was the work of His grace.
It had nothing to do with human righteousness.
It had everything to do with divine mercy - the saving grace of God.
When you read about the flood, look beyond the destruction - and see the salvation of God.
God's Blessing - Given, Accepted And Enjoyed (Genesis 12 & 13)
The “land” was given to Abraham by God.
It was to be the land of His “blessing” (Genesis 12:1-3).
God’s gift of grace calls forth our response – “Abraham went, as the Lord had spoken to him” (Genesis 12:4).
God had spoken.
Abraham had acted upon God’s Word.
Was it all plain sailing after that?
No! There were trying times ahead of Abraham, times when he had to keep his eyes on the Lord.
Receiving God’s gift of salvation does not guarantee that we will always walk with the Lord.
We fall into sin – when we take our eyes off the Lord.
“Now there was a famine in the land.
So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land” (Genesis 12:10).
What are we make of this?
What was going on here?
Here are two different ways of looking at this situation – “Even when we are where God wants us to be, all will not necessarily go well for us materially – no matter what the prosperity gospel teaches.
Abram was in the land God had sent him to, but that land was afflicted by famine (Genesis 12:10).
The Lord does, however, guarantee to provide a way out.
While there was famine in Canaan, there was enough food in Egypt and so Abram went there to wait till the famine in Canaan was over (Genesis 12:11)” (Africa Bible Commentary); “During a time of serious famine, Abram left the place of God’s choosing and fled to Egypt, a symbol of the world.
This move bred trouble” (Believer’s Bible Commentary).
Was Abram led by the Lord to go to Egypt? or Did he take a wrong turning?
One thing we can say is this: When Abraham arrived in Egypt, he needed to be very careful.
There’s a lesson for us here: We are not to rest content with receiving God’s gift of salvation.
We are to press on from the beginnings of our faith.
We are to press on to a greater enjoyment of our salvation.
This growing joy in the Lord is more than looking back and saying, “There was a day in my life when I accepted Jesus as my Saviour.”
We look back with thanksgiving.
We say, “O happy day that fixed my choice on You, my Saviour and my God” – but we must not remain in the past.
The life of faith is for here-and-now.
The vow that we made to the Lord when we first came is to be renews day-by-day: “So God, who heard my solemn vow, in daily prayer shall hear my voice till in my final breath I bow and bless the day that fixed my choice” (P.
Doddridge, this version - Jubilate Hymns).
Abraham let the Lord down.
He had accepted the Lord’s will for his life, and then he had lost his way.
Did he lose his way by going to Egypt? or Did he lose his way once he had arrived in Egypt?
Whatever may be said about Abraham losing his way, there is something we must not overlook: Abraham found his way back to the Lord.
He learned from his mistakes.If his time in Egypt taught him anything, it taught him this: Be careful.
Abram saw that “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord” – and Abraham made sure that he kept well away from that place (Genesis 13:8-13, “Lot got grass for his cattle.
Abram got grace for his children”, Believer’s Bible Commentary – Lot plunged into worldliness.
Abraham progressed into holiness).
We are not saved by our great holiness.
We are saved by the grace of God – the God who gives to us His salvation.
We receive this salvation through faith in Christ – “it is not our own doing, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
We need, however, to be reminded, again and again, that our joy in the Lord will only grow strong when we are learning to walk with Him on the pathway of holiness – “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works … ” (Ephesians 2:10).
Let The Living Water Flow.
“And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away” (Genesis 21:25, King James Version).
As I read this verse, I found myself thinking about God’s Word and God’s Spirit.
Through God’s written Word, the Holy Spirit speaks to us His Word of “reproof” and “correction” (2 Timothy 3:16).
In His ministry of reproof, He says to us, “This is not the way you are to go.”