Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave, was the one who told us our God is the God who sees (Genesis 16). That may not seem like much, but the blind idols we construct to imitate God have no interest in us.
Those who think they can get by on their own might prefer blind gods, but it doesn’t matter what any of us prefer. All we have, given our experiences of bliss or despair in this wonderful universe, is whether we will choose to serve God or not. Those who are blessed to realize that they can’t get by on their own yearn for Him with repentance, praise and thanksgiving.
God sees you. God sees me. God sees.
I am grateful to Kathie Lee Gifford and Nicole C. Mullen whose oratorio The God Who Sees presented Hagar and to revivedwriter whose poemCall Me Hagar brought Hagar to mind.
We pray for God’s intervention in our lives, then congratulate ourselves rather than God for the results.
Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness, (page 101)
We pray to God for something to happen. It happens. However, since it is always possible to concoct some explanation for what happened that does not involve God, we forget about thanking Him. Do we think He wasn’t listening? Do we think He wasn’t involved in that event? If we do, why did we even bother praying?
Bridges adds, “Thanksgiving is a normal result of a vital union with Christ, and a direct measure of the extent to which we are experiencing the reality of that union in our lives.” (page 103)
If we are not thankful after something we explicitly prayed for, and we take Bridges seriously, does that mean we may not have a vital union with Christ?
Earlier I had no idea what to write for this post. I prayed. Afterwards much of what’s in this post came to mind as well as suggestions for revisions.
Now, finishing the post, I do not want to be thanking some sentimental imitation, some Greek muse, some forest faerie, some earth mother goddess, some pan-psychic cosmic consciousness for what happened. I hope none of them were involved. To the extent any were, I apologize for the results.
I prayed to God, Adonai, specifically, to Yehovah (the Father) through Yeshua (the Son, Jesus,) in Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) (Ephesians 2:18). I thank God over and over again with joy.
Even if nothing had come to mind for this post, and none of it did in the ways I expected it would, I would still thank God, because I prayed, grateful that I can pray, accepting responsibility for any mistakes I made.
The opposite of trusting in the Lord and listening for the Shepherd’s voice is autonomy. Autonomy is trusting in my own understanding and goodness. The delusion that I am doing something good is what drives me down the road to hell powered by those good intentions.
As C.S. Lewis pointed out in The Great Divorce, a tale of deluded shades who preferred hell to heaven, either we say to God, “Thy will be done,” or God says that right back to us.
The following video from Answers in Genesis Canada shows how human autonomy pervades our culture, and perhaps even our own personal worldviews, in rejecting the Lord by following our own understanding justified by a belief in our own goodness.
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Belief in millions or even billions of years of deep time, rather than thousands, rests on assumptions of uniformitarianism. These assumptions include asserting that no global catastrophes occurred in the past such as a high-energy global flood that would have accelerated change, that only low-energy processes built the mountains and carved out the canyons, and that currently measured rates of low-energy change were constant throughout time.
Assuming no global catastrophes and constant rates of change would allow these low-energy processes to be used like clocks extrapolating billions of years of deep time into the past. However, this extrapolation works just as well into the future. The rates of change coming from erosion and entropy give us a maximum age of how long current structures would survive. That means the age of the present structures cannot be older than the amount of time it would take to erode them away.
For example, if the entire fossil record would be eroded away in 10 or even 50 million years, the fossil record could not be older than that. It might be younger, but not older. If someone claimed that a fossil was over 100 million years old, the first question should be how did that fossil survive the effects of day-by-day, low-energy, uniformitarian erosion?
Although low-energy processes can effect a lot of change over millions of years they do not explain how the structures we see today, the mountains and canyons, got there in the first place. To explain them one needs high-energy catastrophes working faster than the low-energy erosion that would wash them all away.
Deep time uniformitarianism attempts to discredit Biblical events that explain why the earth is as it is and where it is going: Creation, Fall, Noah’s Flood, Babel, the Resurrection of Jesus and His Second Coming. When one begins to see that the present state of the earth confirms the view that it is young then a creation and global flood account as described in Genesis becomes plausible. When that becomes plausible the rest of the narrative does as well. When one realizes that all of this is more than plausible one’s whole life renews.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Of men aged 18 to 49, 67 percent say pornography is morally acceptable. And of all Americans who say religion is not very important, more than two-thirds (76 percent) find pornography morally acceptable.
But I want to argue that the sexual revolution is not actually about expanding the bounds of sexual behavior. It’s about fundamentally challenging the notion that there is such a thing as wrong or right sexual behavior. It’s about blowing apart the whole notion of sexual morality.
Paul wrote in Romans 1:28 that God gives the disobedient over to a depraved mind. He wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 that God sends a strong delusion so the disobedient will believe the lie.
What lie might that be? Perhaps the lie is that there is nothing morally right or wrong with our sexual behavior nor how we deal with the consequences of it such as abortion or divorce. That means we don’t think we have to repent. That suggests that we don’t believe that there is any God to Whom we owe repentance. And all of that makes us forget about the “pursuit of holiness” that Jerry Bridges rightly pointed out is not an option.
The lie confuses us about repentance, God and holiness. The lie affects our beliefs and our beliefs affect our behavior.
If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.
The half-life of carbon-14 is under 6,000 years. No carbon-14 should be detectable in fossils claimed to be over 100,000 years old. But that is what has been found. Carbon-14 has been found in both dinosaur soft tissue and also in diamonds claimed to be many millions of years old.
Ian Juby shows how the presence of carbon-14 undermines the reliability of dating methods in the video below.
Weekly Bible Reading:Luke and John Commentaries: David Pawson, Luke, Part 4, John, Part 5Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Luke 1-9, Luke 10-24, John 1-12, John 13-21 Weekly Torah Readings 6 Shevat, 5782, Bo: ParashatExodus 10:1-13:16; HaftaratJeremiah 46:13-46:28
The evolutionary view claims that some transition from animal to man occurred over millions of years. There are four general objections to this view: (1) the small amount of fossil evidence allegedly confirming the transition is contested even by evolutionists, (2) radioactive dating of the age of those fossils exaggerates the amount of time between fossil layers, (3) genetic evidence shows we have less in common with animals than previously suspected, and (4) genetic entropy shows that random mutations filtered through natural selection, the supposed mechanism of evolution, leads to extinction, not evolution.
The following video is a presentation by Christopher Rupe, co-author with John Sanford of Contested Bones discussing the contested fossils.
The other author, John Sanford, added genetic entropy as evidence showing that there could have been no evolutionary path from animal to man through random mutations. Genetically we are too different from animals. Furthermore, random mutations are deleterious. What they lead to is mutational meltdown which precedes extinction.
Only from a Christian perspective is there any hope out of this mutational meltdown scenario for life on earth. We look forward to the second coming of Jesus, the new heaven, the new earth and our resurrection bodies.
After rereading this I wondered: Aren’t we already “animals”, even if evolution is false? To make sure I have a biblical worldview let me check what Genesis 1 says about creation order.
There I read that we were a separate created kind made in the image of God and specifically made as male and female on day six. We (adamאָדָם) have the same Creator as animals (behemahבְּהֵמָה) and we were made to live on the same earth where plants are food for both animals and us. This accounts for the similarities we have with them, but we are not animals anymore than we are birds or fish.
Weekly Bible Reading:Matthew and Mark Commentaries: David Pawson, Matthew, Part 2, Mark, Part 3, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Matthew and Mark Weekly Torah Readings 28 Tevet, 5782, Va’eira: ParashatExodus 6:2-9:35
אדם ADaM, Aleph-Dalet-Mem, means man, Adam, man of earth or earthling.,דמ דממה Dalet-Mem means silence [DUMB]. A +DM could mean the one species (Man) that is “NOT silent,” as the world’s only speaker.
Isaac E. Mozeson and Edenics.org, E-Word: Edenics Digital Dictionary 2021, page 27
Men and women did not evolve from animals over millions of years of either random or guided-by-God evolution. Genesis 1 makes it clear that we were a separate creation from animals made in the image of God on the sixth day. Genesis 2 shows that Eve was created from Adam and they were given dominion over the plants and animals. We also learn that God spoke with Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3 we learn how the Fall happened which brought a curse on all of the universe. Counting the generations recorded in the Old Testament we can estimate when these events occurred. It wasn’t billions or millions of years ago, but only a few thousand.
After creation and the global flood a major event for our ancestors was the confusion of language at Babel (Genesis 11) making them spread around the post-flood Earth. Prior to Babel only one language was spoken (Genesis 11:1). Traditional Jewish commentators, including Isaac Mozeson, claim that the original language is best found today in Biblical Hebrew, the language in which Moses wrote the Torah.
Men and women were created with the ability to use language. No other creature has that ability. Other creatures might communicate with each other and understand something of the sounds we make, but they do not communicate through language.
Our use of language has a moral component. We should not confuse this with a sense of justice we might see in the actions of some animals. By our words we will be justified or condemned according to Jesus in Matthew 12.
34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Weekly Bible Reading:Malachi and Matthew Commentaries: David Pawson, Malachi, Part 60, Matthew, Part 1, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Malachi and Matthew Weekly Torah Readings 21 Tevet, 5782, Shemot: ParashatExodus 1:1-6:1; HaftaratIsaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-29:23
Ian Juby’s recent video linked below also summarizes some of this.
For over a hundred years naturalists have attempted to undermine Genesis as history. Christians who accept the naturalist’s worldview think they can add God to deep time, abiogenesis or evolution leaving their Christianity unharmed. What they do, however, is undermine Christianity from within making a similar mistake the Trojans did when they accepted that horse given to them by the Greeks.
Weekly Bible Reading:Zechariah and Malachi Commentaries: David Pawson, Zechariah, Part 58 and Malachi, Part 59, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Zechariah and Malachi Weekly Torah Readings 14 Tevet, 5782, Vayechi: ParashatExodus 47:28-50:26; HaftaratI Kings 2:1-12
When I was about ten years old, I recall reading how chickens evolved from dinosaurs in some publication for children telling me about “science” to help improve my reading skills. At a party I told my aunt all I knew about it which wasn’t much. She thought I was funny, but played along. My uncle with more concern over what I was reading corrected me, but he didn’t have the authority in my child’s mind that the publication I could now read did.
Today, decades later, I still have to trust authorities, but I am more skeptical realizing these authorities serve an underlying set of presuppositions. They explain observational data to support their presuppositions. That is really what “explanation” means. Given a set of presuppositions and some facts come up with some rationalization so that the presuppositions do not have to be falsified. Then try to convince others that those explanations are plausible.
If one’s presuppositions are true, there is nothing wrong with that. So one has to be careful not to throw out true presuppositions for false ones. One would be deceived in rejecting one’s original presuppositions if they were true.
For a Christian, the Bible should be the way to test one’s presuppositions and one understands the Bible through the Holy Spirit. Realizing this I am wary of any argument that attempts to undermine either the Holy Spirit or the Bible. As I’ve come to realize, they are more consistent, more coherent, and in line with more operational science than evolutionary alternatives.
So, what about those chickens that allegedly evolved from dinosaurs?
The evolutionist presupposition is that species evolved from non-living chemicals building up their genetic diversity over hundreds of millions of years. This allows them to either reject a creator God entirely or assign God a role of guiding this evolutionary story. They believe that mutations and adaptation, not creation, are the mechanisms allowing life to build up its genetic information.
The biblical creationist presupposition, based on Genesis, is that God created mature baramin. These baramin, or created kinds, can be seen as loaded with genetic diversity at the time of creation. Adaptation allows them to diversify into the various species we see today. These adaptive changes occurred within each baramin, not across baramins. In contrast to the evolutionist view, mutations drive a species to extinction by eroding away genetic information. They do not increase it.
To justify the speculation that the chicken evolved from the dinosaur, the evolutionist needs to find intermediate fossils showing creatures that look like both birds and dinosaurs. They have tried to describe some fossil data, such as Archaeopteryx, Scansoriopteryx, and Microraptor, as “feathered dinosaurs”. However, not even all evolutionists find those explanations plausible.
From a creationist perspective Jonathan Sarfati and Robert Carter remarked, “Scripture explicitly teaches that God made birds (and other air creatures) and sea creatures on Day 5 of Creation Week. He made land animals and man on Day 6. Since dinosaurs were land animals, they have a different origin from birds, and indeed came after birds. Therefore the Bible contradicts dino-to-bird evolution.” Any “feathered dinosaur” would be interpreted as a bird or a land animal, not some mixture of both.
As I see now my uncle was right. I regret I did not realize that when I was ten years old. I could try to excuse myself pointing out that I was still young, but I am tired of making excuses. Besides, it is repentance, rejection of the “wicked way”, that leads to the “way everlasting” of Psalm 139.
Weekly Bible Reading:Haggai and Zechariah Commentaries: David Pawson, Haggai, Part 56, and Zechariah, Part 57, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Haggai and Zechariah Weekly Torah Readings 30 Kislev, 5782, Mikeitz: ParashatGenesis 41:1-44:17; HaftaratI Kings 3:15-4:1