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Thursday, February 5, 2009

The end of Genesis

Reading: Genesis 23-50

Firstly, I would like to welcome anyone new to this blog who found it through the Salt and Light newsletter sent out yesterday. I recommend you start at the bottom of this page with the first entries then work your way up. An understanding of the first few chapters of Genesis is important for the rest of our study

Although there is not anything specific I wish to focus on about today's passage I would like to point out how often God uses the environment to bless his people. In Genesis 30 God blesses Jacob by making Laban's sheep and goats conceive streaked, speckled and spotted offspring. In doing so He makes Jacob a rich man. Later, when Joseph is in Egypt; God uses a famine and a dream predicting it to make Joseph the second-in-Egypt and allowed him to save his family (who were also reunited with him through the famine). Lastly, when Jacob blesses his sons (Genesis 49) he uses the imagery of nature; "unstable as water", "a lion's whelp", "a strong donkey", "a serpent by the way", "a deer let loose", "a fruitful bough", "blessings or the deep that lies beneath blessings of the breasts and womb", "a ravenous wolf".

All of nature is God's servant, and though He often chooses to bless us through it; as we will see later he also uses it to punish us.

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+