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

Murder 1

Genesis 4.

So…“Why is the world so fascinated with/prone to violence?” As I reflected on this passage this past week, I was reminded over and over that ours is a culture of violence. Not only the seemingly senseless acts like that of mall shootings, school shootings, drive-by shootings, violence in the schoolyard, the workplace and behind the closed doors of many homes, but also the violence we celebrate in movies, at sporting events, in music, on TV… Like we said last week, God created a perfect world. All that He made was good, including the man and his wife. It was paradise…heaven on earth. What happened? Again, it’s difficult to describe the catastrophic results of a single act of rebellion. Welcome to life as we know it. Every act of violence, every natural disaster, every awful thing that has happened since is a direct result.

Cain’s act of violence…murdering his brother Abel…was just the first in a series of acts of violence that have colored the history of mankind blood red. Death would be a natural result of the curse, but murder is a microwave version that exposes the darkness of sin. It’s a direct result of the enmity, the hostility that the seed of the serpent (wicked) have toward the seed of the woman (righteous).

What is violence? It’s an affront to the image. Every act of violence is a physical attempt to eradicate the image of God. It flows from the serpent who is the enemy of God and of what’s good. And the ironic thing is, that the enmity is not just between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, but also between seeds of the serpent (and if we are honest, between seeds of the woman as well). When we celebrate violence, you can bet the serpent’s pleased.

But the good news…the bookends of this entire episode both include reference to the LORD and the hope of Genesis 3.15, that LORD would send the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman to defeat the serpent, to rescue us and all of creation, to provide the way back to Creator God. And He did just that in the Person of Jesus who absorbed every act of violence from the murder of Abel to the last violent act that will be perpetrated on planet earth when He was nailed to the cross. The innocent died for the guilty, so that we might be reconciled to our Creator by His grace through faith in Jesus.

But what about you? Violence is one aspect of suffering that is the result of sin. Along with pride, it reflects the character of the serpent, who we are told, was a murderer from the beginning. He likes nothing better than to see the image destroyed. Those of us who have trusted in Jesus…the seed of the woman…are at war with the seed of the serpent. Yet, as Paul reminds us, our struggle is not against flesh and blood…our warfare is against an unseen enemy and not against the captives he’s taken hostage. We are on a rescue mission – braving the horrors of hell to pull folks out. We are our brother’s keeper. Hope is possible because the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman has already 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 war against a culture of violence in our own lives…that we would see others as image-bearers, that we are our brother’s keeper, and that we would join God in His grand rescue mission of pulling folks out of the flames of hell.

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