Monday, October 19, 2009

Genesis 26: 34 - 27: 45

Missed worship last week, so there's a gap in the Genesis notes, but here's where it picks up again. Pastor Paul spoke more on the unraveling narrative of Issac, Jacob and Esau. He spent a lot of time more so on the topical side of things, addressing themes of God's election and various viewpoints of God's interaction with the world, then touched on the passages more specifically.

Genesis 26: 34 - 27: 45 talks about the stolen blessing. Isaac had planned to bypass God's will and just give Esau the blessing, but Rebbecca schemed to have Jacob get it instead. It's all a big mess, but as pastor said, God's will is accomplished in spite of us. God's election is at work here, and in Gen. 25 we God's election at work in the two nations in the womb, Jacob and Esau.

Pastor Paul went on to elaborate some of the misconceptions of God's role in the universe. Some of the worldviews that he pointed out and spoke about were:

  • Deism - God created everything and left it all alone.
  • Pantheism - God is in everything and not distinct from the creation.
  • Everything just by chance (as opposed to providence)
  • Impersonal faith - "Things just happen. That's just how the world is", etc.
So Pastor spoke about the errors of these various views, and identified how God's providence means that He is continually involved with all things. He also identified the idea of preservation, that God holds all things together. All things are created through Him and for Him. If it wasn't for this, the rules of the universe wouldn't be constant and things would just fall apart.

Another question addressed was that, if God in in control, then why is there evil? Pastor Paul pointed out that often bad things, or things that seem bad to us at the time, are there as part of God's direction leading to good. He pointed out the example of Joseph, who was taken from his family and brought into slavery. From this "bad" situation, Joseph, given the ability from God to interpret dreams, was able to rise in prominence to being second in command of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh, and from this position, he was able to not only save his family but also ultimately the people of Israel.

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