Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Genesis and relationships

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Well, true to form I have been slow off the blocks with beginning my read through the bible again.  But as I am reading through Genesis this time the Lord is quickening my thoughts about relationships.  So many collisions of people have occurred so far and I am only up to Chapter 13:

  • Adam and Eve disobey God – and suffer the consequences of sin,  Just imagine being in the most perfect, pristine garden.  All of your needs are met, but that slippery serpent speaks into your ear, and you want what you cannot have.  But we never seem to want to go there alone.  Sin does have consequences on relationships and affects more than just me.  It was a slippery slope from perfect garden in perfect relationship with God to a thought and mistruth whispered to Eve – Eve thought about it, and involved Adam and together they took action.  Thought grew and they gave birth to the act of disobedience resulting in the consequence of death.  When they disobeyed sin was introduced to humanity- and death was a merciful gift to prevent us from living in sin forever.  But until eterity we are all affected by the stain of sin, and our relationships are too.
  • Cain was jealous of Abel – and his thoughts lead to actions and the first murder.  Cain lost sight of how important caring for and being the keeper of his brother was.  Jealousy is defined by wikipedia.com in an interesting manner:  “Jealousy typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety that occur when a person believes a valued relationship is being threatened by a rival. Jealousy often contains a mixture of emotions such as anger, sadness, and disgust. While jealousy and envy are similar, they differ in that jealousy is about something one has and is afraid of losing, while envy is about something one does not have and either wants to acquire or to prevent another from getting.”  Scripture seems to indicate Cain felt like his brother was better, did better, was the preferred by his parents.  Cain could have chosen to learn from this and strengthen his heart and his relationship with Abel, but instead he let it eat him alive until the anger escillated to uncontrolled actions.  I am so sensitive to this issue, perhaps because it comes up.  With t he economy worsening people are growing more insecure and more tense… and insecurity is giving way to more. 
  • Adam and Seth – Seth, the third born, became the substitute for Abel.  I just love how the scripture speaks first of Seth that he is a man of God. “Adam knew his wife again, and she bare a sone, calling his name Seth: for God “has appointd me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.  … then began men to call upon the name of the Lord” Gen 4:25-26  Set renewed the promise of a god fearing man teaching future generations to look to God and worship him.
  • The sons of God and the daughters of men – In chapter 6 we begin to see the creep of sin into the culture… wickedness was great on the earth.  While we know that the earth’s population began with Adam and Eve, something happened as each generation multiplied… and wickedness multiplied too.  The influence of relationships can lead us to strengthen our faith, or to weaken it.  In this passage the impact was to weaken it.
  • Noah and God – In contrast to the wicked culture, Noah maintained clear lines of communication with God, and was willing to obey at any cost.  How very odd it must have looked to build a huge boat in the midst of dry land.  But Noah heard and obeyed.  And they never knew rain – but Noah trusted God at his word and prepared.  Seeing by faith, believing without sight is a very good thing.
  • Noah and his sons – After the ark settled down, and Noah moved everyone out onto dry land he started a vineyard, and celebrated far in excess.  Drunkeness leads to unacceptable behavior, and there was Noah, naked and exposed.  But the curiosity is what his sons did with that news.  Two of them were respectful enough to walk backwards with a blanket, not looking at him, but covered him up.  Caanan looked and laughed.  So the question I walked away with is do I laugh at the exposure of other people’s sin, or am I respectful enough to not look at it.  I struggle with the concept of covering sin, but I understand that some sin needs to be addressed by the person.  For example, until God draws one out of an addiction the person cannot see any other way and will not listen to any options to change because the addiction has preeminence in their life.  Putting a blanket over someone has come to mean not enabling the behavior, but not letting them become the public spectacle of derision. 
  • God and Noah – With the devistation of the flood over, and the knowlege that all creation was destroyed except what was in the ark, God knew that Noah would be fearful when rain clouds fill the sky.  As a promise that destruction would never come from flooding, God gave a visible symbol of his promise and placed his “Bow” or rainbow in the sky.   God backed his word with a visible symbol for everyone to see and remember his promise.  The rainbow was for noah, for me, for you, not for God.
  • People , language and intent (tower of babel) – After the flood the people began to build, pull together, and planned to build the tallest structure to reach to God.  But their intent was not to worship God, but to overpower with their technology and knowlege.  Isn;t that odd that just a few generations after the flood people had reverted to wickedness and drew the attention of God, resulting in the formation of multiple languages and difficulty with communications.  This always causes me to ask myself if the intentions of the group are to honor God or not… if not, run.  Unfortunately that is not always clear cut.
  • Abraham and Lot – Chapter 12 opens with both traveling together, working side by side with their families and their flocks and by Chapter 13 there are disputes and fighting that deeply divides their relationship.  Abraham is wealthy, and very wise.  He asks Lot to not permit strife between them, and realizes they cannot live together any longer.  He looks across the vast expanse of land and offers Lot first choice of the land and the direction to head to and he will go the opposite direction.  Lot picks the then lush and fertile land of the Plains of Jordan, home of Sodom and Gommorrah.   In relational terms Abraham is benevolent, giving part of his land, and offering a fresh start for Lot.  Lot, on the other hand is taking the best of what he can get.  But sometimes the best is not what it seems for Lot chose the land inhabited by dreadful wickedness and abominations where we will learn he slowly desensitized himself to the wickedness and lived among it.

I want to keep looking at Genesis with an eye for relationship issues, and plan to make my next post a continuance of this discussion. 

Lord, you knew us before we were born, and you love use even before we are conformed to the image of your son.  Help us today to take heed to the lessons of your word, to the examples you have given us for how to live, and may our lives always honor and glorify you as

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Written by Barbara Bloom

January 8, 2009 at 1:08 PM

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