Good News…Bad News

Genesis 18

Good news or bad news…which do you prefer to hear first? This episode in the life of Abraham highlights two essential aspects to God’s character represented by the two pronouncements…a message of hope and life to Abraham and Sarah and of judgment and death to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

In the first scene, Abraham dwelling in Mamre, the place of worship. The LORD announces a miraculous birth, is the Giver of life, shows grace to the chosen couple, is faithful to His promises…Seed of the woman, Genesis 3:15, He’s the Doer of the impossible. Immanent. Mercy.

In the second scene, Sodom is described as exceedingly wicked. The LORD pronounces  judgment, is the Taker of life, judges the seriousness of sin… seed of the serpent, Abraham is faithful to intercede for, the LORD’s the Just Judge. Transcendent. Justice.

God is both merciful and just. Merciful to those who cry out to Him. A Just Judge to those who reject Him. But notice even in His judgment the mercy He extends toward the wicked for the sake of the righteous. His desire is not to destroy, but that all will come to know Him. And to that end, Abraham intercedes for Sodom. Praying for the good of the city because of the potential impact that the righteous can and should have.

We have a similar opportunity to intercede…to pray for those who are far from God. To stand in the gap for our 8-15. Like Abraham, we too, are called to be a source of blessing to the families of the earth, all of us who have believed are a part of the people of God who are to faithfully bear His image to the rest of His creation. So if you are a believer, pray…pray for your 8-15. Pray for the city.

If you have not yet come to the place in your spiritual journey where you would say that you have a relationship with God…you can have that today. It’s as easy as believing that Jesus came and lived the life you were supposed to live, died the death you were supposed to die and was raised again so that just as He conquered sin and death, you too might conquer sin and death and experience life…life today in His kingdom.

And if you’re like Sarah, maybe you’ve crossed the line from death to life but are still struggling with trusting God in the day to day. Maybe you are worn out with waiting for God to “show up” in your situation. Maybe you’re not sure that He is able to help. Or maybe He can, but will He (or why would He?)? Remember the LORD showed up for Sarah…to strengthen and affirm her faith so that in Hebrews we’re told, “By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.” The LORD wants us to trust Him in the day-to-day, and not just for a secured future.

My prayer for us this week is that we would be a praying people…interceding for those who don’t know our Rescuer. And for those of us who are Sarah’s, that He would show Himself real in our day-to-day.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Kicking Down the Door

Genesis 16

­­­Why is it so hard to wait? And why is it so easy to take matters into our own hands…to kick down the door?

Tens years and no sign of movement. The promise is confirmed to Abram, but what about Sarai? It’s easy to see how and why Sarai gets to the place where she feels like she needs to kick down the door, you know, help God out. Names are key. God sees, and He hears. It takes the faith experience of Hagar to remind the chosen couple of what they should have already known. And although they should have known better…so should we.

But how many times have we done the same thing. I shared the story of my work experience last week. My journey out to California has some of those same elements. I knew God had gifted me to teach. I had a desire to pastor a church. So I began to test a few doors. As time went on, I became more and more desperate and pushed harder. And each time I pushed, I became more frustrated and bitter. It wasn’t until I stopped pushing and went through the door He had opened that I found peace and eventually my way here doing what I love to do.

A good friend of mine asked a very perceptive question…how do I know when to wait and when to take action? In other words, when is waiting just laziness or taking action kicking down the door? If we are honest with ourselves, I think we know when we are taking matters into our hands, when we are rushing in. God sees and hears, but He also speaks…He guides. Unless He’s clearly directing, it’s best to wait. But when He’s clear, it’s time to move…to go.

Bottom line: when we kick the door down, when we try to help God out, we are in effect saying we know better than God. We are doing what’s right, the good, in our own eyes. And there are always ramifications. Anger. Frustration. Job loss. Broken relationships. Etc. Abram and Sarai’s decision has far reaching consequences…conflict in the Middle East, Muslim and Jew/Christian even today. And many times the negative effects are the result of the comparison game that inevitably gets played every time we do what’s right in our own eyes…I put myself in the place of God. Instead of trusting that God sees and hears, that He knows, I become the one who sees and hears others, judging and condemning them.

So, where do you see yourself in the story? Abram…failing to trust God and lead well. Sarai…failing to trust God and taking matters into your own hands, helping God out, kicking down the door. Or Hagar…realizing, maybe for the first time, that God does see and hear you, that He knows you and wants to rescue you. Whichever you are today, God sees and hears and knows and cares. If we have learned anything about Abram so far, we know that he will be building another altar shortly. The consequences remain, but restoration is available.

My prayer for us this week is that we realize God sees, hears, knows and cares about us, and may that give us the freedom to love others unashamedly and run after Him.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

God’s Story

Genesis 15 – Resurrection Sunday

Easter. What’s in it for you? What is your hope today? A good job. A loving marriage. Well-behaved kids. Cool parents. Bright future. New romance. All good things. Maybe you have begin to think about your own mortality and your hope is in a legacy, leaving a mark on planet earth so that 100 years from now, folks know that you were here? But it’s clear…if your hope is based on earthy things, they are all destined to fail. Everything ends up in either the graveyard or the junkyard. The things of this world will pass away.

Abram’s hope is clear…the promises that God had made to him. Land. Seed, aka Jesus. Blessing. Blesser of the nations. Abram believes God, and He reckons it to him as righteousness. Abram’s faith made him righteous before God…not his obedience or lack thereof. His faith. Period. Hebrews tells us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. What was Abram believing…Genesis 3.15. That God would provide the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman, aka Jesus, to rescue and provide the way back to paradise, to restore the relationship with Creator God and life in His kingdom, that through Him all the families of the earth would be blessed. And ultimately Abram’s hope is resurrection. The promises that God had made…descendants, land, blessing to the nations were not realized in Abram’s life. He would only fully realize them in resurrection. Hebrews tells us he was looking for a better country, a heavenly city. Abram looked forward to Jesus.

The Son of Promise has come. The Genesis 3:15 Head-crushing Seed of the Woman, our Rescuer, Jesus rent the veil between heaven and earth, between time and eternity and stepped onto the world stage. Jesus, who came to do what we could not do….provide the way back to God. To conquer sin and death. To restore the image so that we might return to Paradise, to provide the promise of life. That by faith in Jesus, who lived the life that we were supposed to live, totally obedient and dependent on God, who died the death we deserved…the death that has been ours by birthright since the garden. The death that was surely required for our rebellion, that through faith in Him we could participate in the most absurd gift exchange in the universe…His righteousness for our sin…so that we can have life…a different kind of life, real life, eternal life with Father God in His kingdom. I don’t understand it, but am amazed by it. That is our promise, that just as Jesus conquered sin through His death and death through His resurrection, so sin and death for us are over and done with if we believe. Abram was promised a kingdom and a legacy for His faith. So are we. When God Himself, in smoke and fire walked between those bloody animals, He made that walk for you as much as He made it for Abram. He is preparing that kingdom even now, and has set another a day in the eternal calendar to return once more to this earth and set up a kingdom that will have no end. We have been called to set out on a journey, to a place He will show us, in an act of faith. Faith because we have no power at all to make that promise happen. We have no way in and of ourselves to go to that kingdom or to reign there. But that promise has been made to us.

Do you know the amazing love of God today? Do you want to?

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

A History-Making Decision

Genesis 11.27-13.1

“What is the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make? What made the decision so difficult?” Was it the cost…comfort, convenience? Was it fear of the unknown? Was it the stakes?

God gives Abram a simple (not easy) command…”Go.” Abram was to leave everything he knew – country, relatives and family – to go to an as yet undisclosed location. The blessings that follow are contingent on his going…on his obedience. But his obedience is predicated on faith. So what faith are we talking about? Genesis 3.15. But how does Abram know about Genesis 3.15. Don’t forget that Abram is a direct descendant of Adam through the line of Seth, and of Noah through the line of Shem. He comes from those with a spiritual heritage of calling on the name of the LORD, of walking with God, of believing the Seed promise of 3.15. Much like Noah who was described as righteous and blameless…not because he obeyed, but because he found favor in the eyes of the LORD…he believed the promise of 3.15…so he obeyed, now Abram will be called on to obey because he too has found favor, is righteous through faith. That’s important for us to keep in mind. There can be no obedience without faith.

The call of Abram in Genesis 12.1-3 is a key event in the biblical story. It ranks up there with Genesis 3.15 in the OT. It ties together both creation and redemption…it echoes the creation mandate and carries forward the plan of redemption, the search for the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman. It showcases God’s grace and reveals His heart for His creation. And it’s fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus’ charge to His early followers to “make disciples of all the nations” is a reflection of “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” It would be hard to overstate the importance of this passage.

But God’s call required a response. To experience what God had in store for Abram, he had to step out in obedience. He had to go. He had to be a blessing. For the Israelites to experience the blessings of the covenant at Sinai, they too would have to walk in obedience. That would cost them their comfort and convenience…they too would have to leave what they knew. They would have to embrace the unknown. They would have to risk everything. They would have to give up their definition of good…of doing what was right in their own eyes and trust that what God was calling them to really was good…that it was life. They had to believe that God truly loved them and wanted their good. And they would have to love Him in return.

What would have happened to Abram if he would have refused God’s call? Would he have lost his salvation? Not at all…but he would have lost his destiny. He wouldn’t have experienced the good that God had for him. The trip to Egypt illustrates this truth…Abram was to be a source of blessing to the nations, but he ends up being a source of cursing to Pharaoh. Thankfully not the last word when it comes to Abram.

I appreciate the honesty of a friend of mine who said, “God calls us away from our life and to His life. Something twinges when you say ‘leave comfort and convenience’ I don’t know what it is in me yet, but I need to. I know that fear, jealousy, pride – will keep me living my life. I’m tired of the cliché ‘comfort zone’, but it’s accurate. I need comfort. I need predictability. The life I am drawn to meets my expectations and has very few surprises. Does this sound like the life God calls people to? Noah, Moses, the judges, the prophets, the disciples? God called people to be kings and slaves, warriors and shepherds. But He called them away from themselves. I am convicted that I am, for the most part, living my life, proceeding with my plans, doing what seems right in my own eyes. I don’t want to go blindly after whatever seems to be the opposite direction. I do want to obey. I do want to move in faith to the life God is calling me to. I have set out on journey of faith, but what do I keep dragging around with me. What tethers me to peace? Is is faith or is it my inability to let go completely? Am I creating my own peace and not trusting God’s?”

But what about you? As important as Abram’s call was to the working out of God’s plan in salvation history, Jesus, the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman, calls us all to “Go” or better yet to “Follow”.  And that call is every bit as important on a micro-level as Abram’s call on a macro-level. Jesus calls us to leave our comfort and convenience, to leave what we know, our old life, and follow Him. A simple command, but not an easy one. It means that we have to embrace the unknown. We have to risk everything…but only in this sense: we have to die to defining good in our own eyes and trust in what He has revealed as good. Maybe that’s a new job…maybe building a relationship…maybe making a kingdom investment that financially doesn’t seem to make sense…maybe it’s a call into ministry… Whatever it is, experiencing the good that God wants for you requires obedience. It means taking the risk.

And like Abram…and the Israelites…you will fail. But God is still faithful, and He is patient. Proverbs 24.16: “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” Churchill said “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

My prayer for us is that we would the courage, like Abram to take the risk, and enter into the wild adventure of a life spent with Jesus in His kingdom.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Confused

Genesis 10-11

Why are we so fascinated with making a name for ourselves? As I thought about this passage, I wondered why Moses included this story about the tower. Is it simply to explain where the different languages and people groups come from? Surely there is a bigger purpose. He wants to teach the ancient Israelites something about God. So what is Moses trying to teach them and us from this account?

When we try and make a name for ourselves…it is rooted in pride…and what is pride but giving ourselves the worship that God deserves, it’s worshiping ourselves as god. It’s rooted in pride, is often expressed in rebellion and leads to confusion. It confirms our own sinfulness…the truth that every intent of the heart of man is only evil continually. The first recorded group project does not turn out so well…it is a monumental act of rebellion with far reaching consequences. It echoes the sin in the Garden, and the promise that you can be “like God”. The sin of Babel is both pride and rebellion, the making for ourselves a name so that we might be famous. It’s the throwing off of the yoke of obedience and even dependence to declare ourselves sinfully independent. And it’s a refusal to obey God…defining good for ourselves apart from what God has revealed…”Let’s build a tower and a city so that we are not dispersed over the face of the earth.” The effects of the fall from Genesis 3 continue. The root cause of sin was not dealt with in the judgment of the flood, only its effects on people and creation at that time. In addition to Noah and his family and the animals, sin hitched a ride on the boat and continued its reign over mankind and all of creation through Noah and his descendants.

No doubt God judges sin. But even in His judgment we still see His mercy, His amazing, undeserved love. In the shadow of the flood of Genesis 6–8, God could have chosen a much more severe punishment for their sin. Instead He puts a halt to it. Man’s rebellion does not thwart God’s purposes. God acts in sovereign ways to accomplish what He wills. God’s plan for man after the flood was that they multiply and fill the earth. Now they will fill the earth. 

Babel once again highlights the consequences of man’s attempts, through sinful independence, to be his own god.

The cycle continues. God’s faithfulness…our rebellion. The image-bearers failing to image Him, to reflect our perfect, benevolent, beautiful Creator God to His creation. Yet God continues to pursue…the Seed of the Woman. Genesis 3.15.

But what about you? Where do you find yourself building towers, looking for fame, rebelling against God, making a name for yourself? The desire for selfish independence and for god-status is still alive and well. We’re still building towers. But God hasn’t given up on us. Moses reminds us once again that the Seed of the Woman is coming…that He has come in the Person of Jesus, the Son of God, to do what we could not do…provide the way back to God. To conquer sin and death. To restore the image so that we might return to Paradise. That by faith in Jesus, who lived the life that we were supposed to live, totally obedient and dependent on God, who died the death we deserved to die, that through faith in Him we could participate in the most absurd gift exchange in the universe…His righteousness for our sin…so that we can have life…a different kind of life, real life, eternal life with Father God in His kingdom. I don’t understand it, but am amazed by it. I can’t explain it except for God’s incredible, amazing love.

My prayer for us this week is that we recognize our own tower-building tendencies and turn them over to Jesus, the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Brave New World

Genesis 9

So…“Where is your hope found?” As I thought about this passage, I was struck with the two different pictures presented in this chapter. The first picture we have is of God re-upping with His creation. Having destroyed the world with the flood, He makes a covenant with those emerging from the ark never to use the waters of the flood to destroy the earth again. Judgment and mercy…mercy and judgment. God rescuing. God’s faithfulness. Just look at the rainbow.

The second picture is of us blowing it…again. I know. I know. It was Noah’s fault…or maybe Ham’s…no, no, no it was Adam’s. Whatever…given the same circumstances…there but for the grace of God go I. Noah is presented as a second chance…a second Adam. The possible Seed of the Woman. Lamech said it. I mean he’s blameless, he’s the only one righteous in his time, he walks with God… Like Adam, he will be the father of mankind, he will cultivate the ground, and … he will be tripped up by fruit, he will sin and he will be naked and ashamed. The cycle continues.

God’s faithfulness…our rebellion. The image-bearers failing to image Him, to reflect our perfect, benevolent, beautiful Creator God to His creation. Yet God continues to pursue…the Seed of the Woman. Genesis 3.15.

But what about you? Where is your hope found? Even the best of men disappoint. Ultimately they cannot save. They will fail. They will fall. But there is One who can save…One who can rescue. The Head-crushing Seed of the Woman. God will do what we cannot. He will send His own Son to rescue us. The Perfect One who will lay down His life in crushing the serpent. The only One who can bring hope in a brave new world where fear and terror and the fight for survival are the new norm. The only One who can right the wrongs and restore God’s original creation purposes and the good world He made.

My prayer for us this week is that we would not trust in mankind or make flesh our strength, but that we would know that our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…that He is our Solid Rock.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

The Great Deluge

Genesis 7-8

“­­­How serious do I take sin?” As I reflected on this passage, I couldn’t escape the seriousness and the severity with which God deals with sin in this story. He created a good world…perfect harmony, perfect peace, naked and unashamed, heaven on earth, paradise. And then that world is devastated…it is crushed by man’s rebellion. And sin infects all of creation.

We might ask “Why must all creation suffer for our sin?” Because we were supposed to be the caretakers. We were responsible. And our sin tainted everything. And when we were cursed, so was our dominion. So why the flood? Violence filled the earth instead of the image. Loss of the sons of God. And sin has consequences…serious consequences. End of the world kind of consequences. So much so that God chooses to destroy the good world He had created and start over.

But God remembered Noah. What a powerful statement! In the midst of horrific judgment, mercy still prevails and the search for the Seed will continue. God is not done with His creation. Even when it seemed that all hope might have been lost.

Noah saw first hand not only the devastating effects of sin on his society, he also saw the severity of God’s judgment on that sin. And that glimpse of the consequences of sin against the backdrop of God’s mercy prompted worship.

But what about you? How seriously do you take your sin? Are you aware of its consequences? I believe that it’s only when we see the severity of our sin that we begin to understand God’s amazing grace, and only then can we fully worship. A low view of sin = a low view of grace and vice versa. But my sin and your sin is serious. Its deadly and it necessitated the death of God’s Son…Jesus…the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman. Sin required a death…and not just any death. In order for the guilty to be rescued, to be redeemed, the innocent would have to die in their stead. And so the Perfect One, willingly did just that, He laid down His life so that we could be rescued. He fully took care of the sin problem so that we could have a different kind of life, and so that we could fully represent God’s image as He intended.

My prayer for us this week is that we would take our sin seriously…and that we would take God’s grace seriously…and that that would cause us to worship.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Prelude to Disaster

Genesis 6

“­­­­­Have you ever gotten carried away, you know, caught up in the moment, followed the crowd? Why was that? Good outcome?” As I reflected on this passage, I was reminded of the LORD’s warning to Cain…“And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Sin’s desire is not for our good, but for our destruction.

Sin always takes us further than we want to go. It wants to master and enslave us. It over-promises and under delivers. It seduces and lies to us. It captures us. And it can easily become contagious. The whole premise behind peer pressure or mob mentality. Folks will do things when caught up in a crowd that they would never do alone. Just ask those who had called on the name of the LORD, who walked with God…the descendants of Seth, called the sons of God.

A couple of weeks ago we talked about violence in the context of the first capital murder trial. We said that violence is a physical attempt to eradicate the image of God. And instead of the image of God permeating the earth, violence attempted to erase it. And so God will take drastic measures.

I love that in the midst of the chaos, Noah shines as a beacon of hope. That even in the midst of a world gone haywire its possible to walk with God…that through faith in the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman…he could be considered righteous and blameless. That his unquestioned obedience will lead not only to his own deliverance, but also the rescue of his family and of the animals. It is possible to live a kingdom life in a fallen, corrupt and violent world.

But what about you? Where do you find yourself conforming to the world? Where do you find yourself compromising? What happened to those who once called on the name of the LORD in Noah’s time, the sons of God? They compromised. They began to focus on the earthy rather than the heavenly. They saw that the daughters of men, the daughters of Cain, were beautiful/good. Just like the woman, who looked, saw and took from the forbidden tree, they looked for what pleased them, rather than what pleased God. And the results were disastrous. The most violent, the most cruel, the most powerful become the most famous. Realize that conformity to the world, compromising your walk with God never ends well. But I love that Moses continually reminds us of hope…the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman who will one day come in the Person of Jesus to defeat the serpent, to right the wrongs, to restore the image and lead us back to Creator God.

My prayer for us this week is that we would so walk with God, as Noah did, that we too can resist the allure of the world that invites us to compromise and experience the joy of living lives as kingdom citizens.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

The Family Tree

Genesis 5

So…“What kind of legacy are you leaving?” As I reflected on this passage, I was reminded of the importance of legacy. What am I passing down to my boys? Will the generations to follow be those who “call on the name of the LORD”? If someone were to read my genealogy years from now, what would stand out. This week’s passage is easily overlooked, but we should consider the important implications of it.

Adam had several sons…two are highlighted. Cain and Seth. Same parents, but very different destinies. What made the difference? Surely not upbringing or environment. Each made a choice. But that choice had ramifications for those who followed.

Cain’s rebellion and murder would mark his family line. Not all are painted to be the worst of the worst, but the literary markers that Moses gives us show that they are no less seed of the serpent, focused on the earthy, living in rebellion against God. Lamech is just the worst of…murder, polygamy, pride, twisted good. So what identifies the seed of the serpent today? Same kind of things. Focus on the earthy. Rejection of the heavenly. Rebellion against God.

And Seth’s (Enosh’s) choice to “call on the name of the LORD” would mark his family line as well. Not all are painted to be the best of the best. In fact we are given very little detail even of the heroes…Enoch and Noah. But again, the literary markers that Moses gives us show that they are no less seed of the woman, focused on the heavenly, seeking to live in relationship with God. Enoch is the best of…walking with God. So what identifies the seed of the woman today? Same kind of things. Walking with God, which is only possible through faith in Jesus, the Head-crushing Seed of the Woman.

But what about you? What kind of legacy will you leave? Much depends on where you are right now. Are you walking with God? Are you pursuing a life with Him in His kingdom? Have you trusted in Jesus? Do you have a heavenly perspective? If so, teach your kids. Introduce them to the story. Remind them often. Pray for them and with them. Show them what it means to join God’s grand rescue mission of pulling folks out of the flames of hell.

But maybe you are not walking with God. Maybe you’re not pursuing a life with Him in His kingdom. Maybe you haven’t trusted in Jesus. Maybe you are totally focused on the earthy. If so, beware. The path that you are heading down leads to destruction. Building earthly kingdoms is a hollow pursuit. The tragic death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a somber reminder. Fame, fortune, success…heroin, overdose, death. He was a captive in need of rescue. So are some of you. But hope is possible because God delights in plot twists…to rewrite our stories. Only He can change your legacy because the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman has already come in the Person of Jesus and has defeated the Adversary. And by believing in Him, you can be reconciled to Creator God and have a new destiny, a new legacy.

Until next time…stay salty.

The Wages of Sin…Is Death

Genesis 3.

“Why do bad things happen to good people…in other words, How did we get into this mess?” God created a perfect world. All that God had made was good, including the man and his wife. It’s paradise…heaven on earth. What happened? It’s difficult to describe the catastrophic results of our first parents’ single act of rebellion. Welcome to life as we know it. Every instance of violence, every natural disaster, every awful thing that has happened since is a direct result.

What was the sin of the garden? It was rebellion. It was pride in its purest form. The Image-bearers were not satisfied with merely bearing the Image…they wanted to be the image. Instead of trusting their loving Creator who had so “fearfully and wonderfully” made them, who had entrusted them with imaging Him to His creation, who had made them king and queen on planet earth, they rejected Him and spurned His love. They sought to oust Him and take His place. They wanted a shot at the title.

As readers of the story, we want to shout, “No! Don’t do it! You don’t know what you are doing!” But lest we too quickly fault our first parents, we see that same act of rebellion repeated legion in our own lives. If man and woman in a perfect environment fail to follow God on their own, what hope would the Israelites have being surrounded by peoples who only sought their ruin. What hope do we have? Our only hope is God. Only He can give us the desire and the follow-through to follow Him. I love that the LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) shows up.

That’s why I love Genesis 3.15…what we couldn’t do for ourselves, God will do, when He sends His Son as the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman. Whose dying words, will be, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!” It’s the key to the entire Bible, the proto-evangelium, the first gospel, the beginning for the search for Messiah. The OT chronicles the search for the Seed and Israel’s failure in following God. The NT tells of us coming and the implications thereof for those who would follow God.

But what about you? Do you find yourself asking like Job, why is this happening to me? Why do bad things happen to good people, and why do good things happen to bad people? Our expectation from the garden is suffering. Those of us who have trusted in Jesus…the seed of the woman…are at war with the seed of the serpent. Guess what side the culture is on? Adam gave up not only his innocence in the fall, but also his right to rule. He gave that to the serpent…“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”  So those who follow God suffer both the effects of a fallen world, and the attacks of the enemy who is hell-bent on destroying us. But hope is possible because the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman has come and has defeated the Adversary. And now we wait with all of creation for the time when He will come back to set all things right…for the new heavens and the new earth.

My prayer for us this week is that we would recognize the amazing love of God who didn’t give up on us even in our rebellion, but who has pursued us and did what we could not do, provide the way back to Himself through Jesus, the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster