Why are you furious?

Genesis 4:6

 

In the account of Cain and Abel, we are informed that both brothers prepare an offering for the Lord. The Lord looked upon Abel’s offering with favor, but he did not have regard for Cain’s offering. This made Cain very angry, and he became despondent (Gen 4:5). The word despondent in Hebrew carries the meaning of being broken in spirits, to be depressed mentally, and to have nothing left in terms of hope. The interesting note is that Cain was both furious, and despondent. Furious is interesting because it is not just angry, though the two words are sometimes used interchangeably. The word furiouscarries the meaning of extreme and violent energy. So he was both full of extreme and violent energy, and yet at the same time, he had no hope.

            Just as soon as we are told about the mental status of Cain, we are told something beautiful in the following verse. Gen 4:6 accounts the Lord meeting with Cain and asking him why he is furious, why he appears despondent, and then the Lord provides encouragement!

Unpack this even more and it is an outright demonstration of the Love and Grace that the Lord extends to His creation. The fact that the Creator, the most powerful being, would even take a moment to consider man, in our complete insignificance of comparison, demonstrates the infinite grace He possess. And then to note that the Lord actually cares enough to ask Cain whyhe was upset, whyhis heart was heavy, and then to provide encouragement, and we see just how much God loves us!

When you get angry, stop and ask yourself: why am I angry?The question is powerful. Why was Cain angry? Was it that he brought an offering that the Lord had no regard for? Or was it that the Lord has regard for Abel’s offering? Or was this just the tipping point of a thousand other things that had built up over time? The same questions apply to us when we as ourselves:  why am I angry?Is it the event, or a person, or completely unrelated and yet this is the ‘straw’? Often if we journey through the why, then we will come to a conclusion that calms our nerves.

Take note of the encouragement of the Lord: if you do what is right, won’t you be accepted?This encourage takes place in a question, but the question is completely implicit on Cain already knowing that doing what is right leads to being accepted. God says that sin is crouching at the door and its desire if for him; and that Cain must rule over sin. We must rule sin, sin must not rule us. Ruling over sin means that it has no power over us, because we make the choice to act. If we do what is right, God will accept us.

In your week, when emotions are getting elevated, stop and ask yourself: why am I angry/feeling this way?Then remind yourself: is my action/reaction good or sinful?Or perhaps: is this action acceptable to God, or am I being ruled by sin?

 

 

In Christ,

Pastor Jacob


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A husband’s guide to the universe?

The last few posts have been about the proper order of things, and the importance of submitting ourselves to the proper order. Yesterday’s post was about wives submitting to husbands, and if you have not read that one, please go back and do so. God says that wives are to submit to their husbands, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.

 

Ephesians 5:23a

 because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church

Some like this verse a lot, and others not so much. The whole submission thing can be quite funny at a wedding, but we really covered the meaning and understanding previously. It is beautiful and eye opening. In order to truly grasp the meaning of the verses, we need to get the context correct. Context is derived from culture and the surrounding text. These words begin earlier in Ephesians:

Ephesians 5:18-21

And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.

We are told to be filled by the Spirit, and then told what that looks like. Notice the ways, and that the final is submitting to one another. The Word of God continues from these words into a deeper description of submission within a marriage and family. Since we covered wives, today we speak to husbands.

Ephesians continues

 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[f] her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Husbands are commanded: love your wives, just as Christ loved the church! Now real quick ask yourself this question: are you? Love is a choice, and God gives us a prime example of HOW we are to love our wife. Jesus gave himself up for His church. Husbands, we are called to go to the same extremes in our love. We are to lead, guide, cleanse her with the washing of the Word. This isn’t just leading in Bible study, it is praying for her. Jesus prayed for His church continually. Jesus spent time with His bride. Jesus protected her. It is an intimate image, Jesus and the church.

A husband is to pray for his wife. He is to cover the home in the Word of God. He is to protect her from the junk of the world. This one is especially prevalent. Consider the topic of venting. It is not okay to go and talk about your wife to other people. Now going to marriage counseling is acceptable, so long as it is constructive. A husband is to not allow or tolerate someone speaking ill of his wife. The love is a protective love, purifying love, unending love, exemplified in Christ, and imitating of Christ.

 

1 peter 3:7

Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

This verse does not say that the wife is a weaker partner. To paraphrase: husbands be gentle with your wife, like something delicate and precious. We need to remember that a marriage is to be intimate. This has little to do with physical, and immensely to do with psychological. In reality it is a two-way street here. The person to whom you are most vulnerable, can do the most damage with the least amount of effort. Husbands we are reminded that we are to love strongly, fiercely, and gently. And we are warned: so that your prayers will not be hindered. Make no mistake about it: this is a warning. The wife is given no such warning. God holds us to a higher standard. Since God says we are the head, then we are held to the highest standard. The higher standard means there is warnings, and warnings means there is righteous correction when needed. Husbands, humbly lead your family and love your wife as Christ loves the church.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Jacob


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What’s the deal with submission?

Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7

 

All the above scriptures tell wives that they are to submit to their husbands. Now I know that some husbands really like these verses; just like I know that some wives laugh at these verses. But what if I told you that these verses are the very Word of God and as such we must understand and obey them, not just laugh at them? And what If I told you that really understanding these verses would be eye-opening? If you have not read yesterday’s Pastor’s Pen: The Damage of the Wrong Order, I encourage you to do so.

 

Submit. It is a simple enough word right? What does it mean? Not in English, but in Greek! The word being translated here is the Koine Greek verb υποτασσομαι (hupotassomai). This word translates into a military idea in the usage. Proper UsageI place under, subject to; mid, pass: I submit, put myself into subjection. This means that the word submitmeans to voluntarily place yourself into a position of subjection. The key here is voluntarily. One cannot be forced into biblical submission! The idea is that of the military, where order is paramount to successful operations, regardless of how we personally feel about it.

 

Back to the verses: Each say wives voluntarily submit to your husbands for proper order. Who gave the order? Ephesians 5:22 says, “as to the Lord”. So the Lord gave the order, as described further in Verse 23: “For the husband is thehead of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.”

 

Now let us build upon this a little more. 1 Peter 3:1 references being submissive even to husbands do not obey the word, so that they may be won over to Christ without a word, by the wife’s conduct. This is a powerful verse, that speaks volumes about the power of obeying the Word of God, even when we are not fans of the commands we are given.

 

But we are not through building! Since the word has a military usage ideology, let’s think further about what God is telling wives to do. Word usage also supports using the Greek word to mean support! Now isn’t this a little easier to understand? Wives support your husband! Not necessarily in what they are doing (because what they are doing may not be biblical, as exemplified in 1 Peter 3), but rather support them by praying for them and leading them by your example (1 Peter 3)!

 

Sometimes there is something lost in translation. Sometimes our initial reaction when we read something will lead us astray if we fail to dive in and understand what God is trying to communicate to us. Now you will read those words differently! Notice also that is says that husbands are to do some things. We will visit that tomorrow!

 

In Christ,
Pastor Jacob

 

 

 

 


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The damage of the wrong order.

In Genesis 3, we read the account of the temptation and the fall. Now most Christians can tell the story in their own words, and it comes to something such as:

The serpent tempted Eve, asking if God really said that they could not eat form the tree or they would die. Eve said they could not even touch the tree. Then seeing that the fruit of the tree was desirable, she ate the forbidden fruit.  Then got Adam to eat the fruit. And then they hid from God.

When you thought of the story, was that near what you were thinking?

 

Well I want to take that story and point out something interesting. Perhaps interesting is not the correct word; because, perhaps, the correct word is eye-opening. Follow me:

 

Gen 2

God created Adam, and placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to “work it and watch over it” (Gen2:15). God tells Adam that he is free to eat from any tree in the garden, but not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day he eats from the tree, he will certainly die (Gen 2:16-17). God creates a helper, whom we know as Eve (Gen 2:18; 22). Now we also know that God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it; and to rule over it. (Gen 1:28).

So notice the order: God <-Man <-Woman <- creation (beasts)

 

This is the same order repeatedly described in the New Testament.

 

Now let’s go back to Gen 3. The beast (serpent), tricks Eve (woman), who then go to Adam (man), who then hides from God because he realizes that they are naked. Did you catch it?

Beast<-woman<-man<- God. The devil worked everything in the reverse order! His chaos was to reverse the order that God established! The fall was a reversal of the proper order of things!

 

We will build upon this tomorrow, but for now: consider what other ways the devil works to disrupt and reverse the order established by the Creator. When you look at it from this perspective, the results are eye-opening!

 

In Christ,

Pastor Jacob


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Cain’s Wife

A question that is common when reading Genesis is this: where did the people of Nod come from? The land of Nod is mentioned after Can murders Abel and is punished by the Lord. But, where did these people come from?

 

First, we have to remember that the Bible is the story of Jesus. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation (BF&M2000). SO, this tells us there is a focus, and if the information does not have to do with the focus, then it is omitted. It is omitted because it is not important for our Salvation, which comes through Jesus Christ.

 

Second, we can make an educated decision as to how these people came into existence. In order to do this, we must look logically at a few points made in Genesis. Let’s start with the punishment of Eve. In Genesis 3:16, God says: “I will intensity your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort.”  Logically this punishment is only a punishment IF Eve had known labor as painless, which would mean that Eve had given birth to children other than those named in the Bible.

 

Take this thought process and proceed to Genesis 5. In verse 3-5:

Adam was 130 years old when he fathered a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Adam lived 800 years after he fathered Seth and he fathered other sons and daughters. SO Adam’s life lasted 930 years; then he died.

Notice that there is no mention of Cain or Abel in this account. Why? Because we trace the lineage of Jesus back to Seth. Remember, the Bible is about Jesus. So there is no record of Adam’s children other than Seth, and a brief mention of those through the line of Cain.

 

Scripture doesn’t tell us how many children were born to Adam and Eve, but considering their long life spans (Adam lived for 930 years—Genesis 5:5), it would seem logical to suggest there were many. Remember, they were commanded to “be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

 

So what does this mean? Obviously it means that Cain was related to the people of Nod, and yes that means he was related to his wife. This seems strange in today’s time, but things were different back then. It makes perfect sense, being as Adam was the first man, Eve was the first woman, and in order to make more generations it would have to work in this manner.

 

For more reading on this, check out Answers in Genesis article: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/cains-wife-who-was-she/

 

In Christ,

Pastor Jacob


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