Archive for the ‘Genesis’ Category

Nineveh Spared   2 comments

Nineveh Spared I

Nineveh Spared II

Above:  The Original Documents

Images Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor



The Book of Jonah, contrary to what my great-grandfather preached, is ahistorical.  It is a satirical commentary on excesses of post-Exilic Palestinian Judaism, replete with exclusivism and too little concern for the goyim.  Thus the morals the text teaches are true and timeless, even though the story is purely fictitious.

God, in the Book of Jonah, succeeds despite–not because of–the prophet.  That, I think, functions as a commentary on how God continues to succeed despite–not because of–at least much of the time–many of us who profess to follow God yet care insufficiently or not at all about certain people quite different from ourselves.  If salvation is indeed ideally for all people, we ought not to block off certain populations as being beyond hope.








Jonah 1, 1-3


Nineveh, the great and wicked city, whose sins became intolerable until its doom was impending.


God cared, loved them despite their sin and sought to save them from doom.

God called Jonah to warn them.  What an honor it was, to even try to save the city!  But he ran from God (as he thought) and from his duty.  “He paid the fare” for passage on a ship to Tarshish (Spain).  Honest with man, but unfaithful to God.  Why not be glad to help men to higher things?


Jonah ran into serious trouble. Neglect of duty is a sin.  “He that knoweth to do good and doth it not, to him it is sin.”  The storm endangered all on the ship.  [Jonah,] cast overboard and swallowed by a great fish, for three days he faced his sin while “the billows and waves passed over him.”  Chapter 2 tells us how deeply he repented.


[Jonah] cast ashore by the fish.  God revived the call and Jonah went to Nineveh with God’s warning message.  The king and the people repented in sackcloth.  God heard and spared the city.


Will the church today carry God’s word to men in darkness?  Or will it dare neglect men and pay the awful price in future calamities?


Jonah, a Galilean, prophesied about 800 B.C.

Nineveh, capitol of the Assyrian Empire, one of the most ancient cities of the world, built by Asshur, son of Nimrod, the first monarch, who built Babel and other cities (Gen. 10, 8-12).

Above sixty miles in circumference.  Walls 100 feet high, broad enough for three chariots abreast, 1500 towers 200 feet high.

Inhabitants about 600,000

Repented and spared for 150 or 200 years after Jonah, “their iniquity came to the full” and then the prophecy was literally fulfilled, [the city] destroyed by the combined armies of the Medes under Cyaxares and the Babylonians under Nabopolassur about 625 B.C.


Genesis   1 comment


Above:  The Book Heading from The New Revised Standard Version:  Catholic Edition (1993)


Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

Chapter 6:

Chapter 8:

Chapter 1o:

Chapter 12:

Chapter 18:

Chapter 24:

Chapter 34:


“I Will Bless Thee and Make Thee a Blessing.”   1 comment


Above:  Part of the Original Document


Gen. 12, 2


God had great and far-reaching things in mind concerning Abraham–so great their influence would extend to all time & into eternity.  Hence his promise to bless Abraham.


No man is of himself equal to life’s opportunities & responsibilities.  At best he is weak and cannot see into the future.  He needs divine guidance and wisdom & strength.  He needs to have his proven developed & there to consecrate them to God.


God’s great purpose is service.  Men need help and God wants to make all who receive his grace a blessing to others.  “Then will tell to sinners round/What a dear Savior I have found.” “And ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the ends of the earth.”


Abraham’s name is one to conjure with till now, a power for good over men as they review sacred history.  He is “the father of the faithful.”

Of his race Christ came whose reign shall never cease.

Heed God’s call, follow him and be a blessing unto others.


Posted October 25, 2013 by neatnik2009 in Genesis, George Washington Barrett 1914-1956

Tagged with ,

Youth Dreams of a House   1 comment


Above:  Part of the Original Document


Gen. 24, 63

1.  Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac.  Meets Rebekah at the well and her kindness to him.  In the house he tells his mission.  She consents to return with him & become Isaac’s wife.

2.  Before they reach home Isaac goes into the field alone.  Of course he is dreaming of what the future may bring–of his house to be.  And well might he thus dream.

3.  What sort of house shall it be?  Of course everyone desires a happy home; else life were a torment.  But this does not just happen; it must result from causes and conditions that bring happiness.

4.  How make for a home?

(a)  By making proper business preparation.  The groom-to-be should seek establishment in business that gives confidence in his future.

(b)  Take the best care of one’s health.  The bread-winner will need health.  Homemakers find illness a strain on happiness.

(c)  Become noble & good in every aspiration of the soul.  What one is is the chief factor in happiness.  To stoop to folly in anything is as evil seed whose harvest will rob life of much sweetness.


Regeneration   9 comments

John 3, 7

1.  This is an important doctrine.  One’s ideas here will influence all his other views.  Its relation to experience is of great moment.  Be correct in opinion and experience of it.

2.  The ground of the doctrine is that scripture reveals man as a sinner.  His sinful nature necessitates the experience.  All have sinned.  Gen. 6, 5 & 8, 21; Ps. 5, 15 & 58, 3; Jer. 17, 9; Isa. 1, 5-6; Rom. 3, 23.  That Christ died for all Paul uses to prove that all have sinned.  Else why should Christ die for all?

3.  What is regeneration?

Not mere reformation, or good resolutions.  “To cause to be born anew, to bring forth again.”  The change in man (Gal. 5, 6-6:15) wrought by the Holy Spirit dethroning sin and enthroning Christ.  A complete moral change (see Ezek. 36, 25-27).  Depravity and uncleanness acquired by transgressions necessitate “the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

4.  How is it received?  By faith.  God’s grace is conditional; He does not impose it upon those who do not want it.  “Ask and receive,” but ask in faith.  Man’s first step in sin was through unbelief.  His last step in finding mercy is faith.  The terms are simple and so easy [that] anyone can meet them and be saved.  Are you thus saved from your sins?


Continuity and Economy: “How Many Loaves Have Ye?”   2 comments


Above:  Site of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, Between 1900 and 1920

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-21987



Galileo Galilei, that great scientist, devout Roman Catholic, and frequently blunt man, said it best (in Italian, of course):

The Bible tells us how to go the Heaven, not the way the heavens go.

That principle applies also to cosmology.  But on a major point I agree with my great-grandfather:  something comes from something else.  Creation, according to Jewish theology, was not the making of something from nothing.  No, it was the creation of order from chaos.  Read the earliest words of that myth, which contains much spiritual truth, closely.




Matt. 15, 34

Herein are embodied two principles:

(1)  Continuity–that which is to be must spring from what is.

(2)  Economy, naturally resulting from the former.

1.  In six days God completed creation.  He then ordained that everything itself and of itself should produce after its kind (Gen. 1, 11).  Two or seven of everything were saved in the ark.  Say to nature, “Feed me” and she’ll answer “give me something with which to begin and I will.”  Crops are not created but from seed.

2.  This law obtains in the growth of character–progress in the good and triumph over the evil.  God casts out the evil and quickens the good.  “Washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”  Man receives no new faculty after natural birth.

3.  In obedience to this law the missionary goes out.  God wants to feed the people, but some one who has it must take them the Bread of Life.  He multiplies the loaves in existence.

4.  Thus it is in the resurrection.  It is sown  a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.  Not a creation but a resurrection.

Hence results economy.  That what is already is made to contribute to what comes.  Let everyone who is saved reach another and what a work is done!


Equality Granted and Denied   2 comments


Above:  Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama, April 7, 2010

Photographer = Carol M. Highsmith

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-07312


God created human beings in his own image;

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

–Genesis 1:27, The Revised English Bible (1989)


All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

–The Constitution of the United States, Amendment 14, Section 1


If each person bears the Image of God,

with all the natural rights inherent thereof,

nobody has cause to discriminate against another

for a characteristic which one cannot change.

So to hatred, indifference, and fear one should not even nod

in assent, for divine love

us should not bother

or even enrage.


The divine command

is not to understand

but to grant respect, dignity,

and, of course, equality,

despite the prejudices we might have learned,

which contradict divine love unearned.


O that we humans would

cease from using the name of God

to justify cruelty, inequality,

and other forms of perfidy,

but instead open our arms

and begin or continue the healing of those we have harmed!





God or Satan; Which?   1 comment

Gen. 2, 17 & 3, 4

God or the devil; which?  Constant warfare is between the two;–Truth–Goodness and Holiness vs. lies, deception, and wickedness.

1.  God warns man of the awful consequences of sin, lest he sin & die .

Satan denies it flatly and slanders God’s motive in declaring it.  Now he says it is out of date and belongs in the Dark Ages.  Gives perverted views of nature and of sin.

2.  Who affirms and who denies?

God, the Creator & preserver of all things and Redeemer of all men, who established the laws of the physical and moral world, affirms the laws He has ordained.

Satan, the father of all lies, deception and evil, denies what God affirms.  His design is to deceive and destroy; God’s is to enlighten and save.

3.  Experience demonstrates the truth.  Sin blights the life and destroys the soul just as God said it would.  Who makes shipwreck?  Who believes & obeys Satan.

4.  Whom do you choose, God or Satan?  Whom will you obey?  Choose you now whom you will serve.


Cain’s Offering Rejected   4 comments



The great mythic tale of Cain and Abel does not explain why God rejected Cain’s offering, although one might surmise that attitude might have had something to do with it.  Or maybe it is a story about agriculturalist versus pastoral societies.

I do detect in my great-grandfather’s notes upon which I base this post his antipathy for formal worship.  As I have written already in this series, I adore ritualism.




Gen. 4, 7

1.  God is no respecter of persons–is without partiality.  Is of great mercy unto all who call upon Him.

Who can doubt his good will?  When one pleases Him he smiles?  His approval is man’s joy & peace.

2.  Cain is conscious [that] God is not pleased with his formal service, and is in an ugly mood about it.  God shows him the reason.  Heb. 11, 4.  1 Jno. 3, 12.  Matt. 15, 8.

3.  He need not be mad at Abel, nor complain at God.  Sin–his own sin–is the trouble.

What a truth is here.  Rid of sin, rid of all disturbance of one’s peace.  Would men really believed it.

Cain should be mad at himself, for he is the guilty one.

4.  Cain could yet remedy the trouble and all would be well.  If he offer a righteous sacrifice God would accept him.

Men need not go another day without peace (1 Jno. 1, 9).

Do you have peace, is all well with your soul?

If not, get right with God now and you too shall rejoice in Him.


My Brother’s Keeper   3 comments

Gen. 4, 9

1.  Am I in any way responsible for the welfare of my brother?  The query of the text a negative reply, originated in sin and a murderer was the first preacher of it.

2.  I am my brother’s keeper, because:

(a)  God created us both social beings with a common destiny.  What affects him touches me.  Each helps make the other’s environment.

(b)  I so conclude because I shall be judged for my conduct toward him.  “Inasmuch as ye did it to one of these ye did it to me.”  In serving my brother I serve Christ; in neglecting him I neglect my Lord.

3.  Then I am duty-bound to him to do him the good I can.

(a)  By trying to put evil out of his way.  “With thy meat destroy not him for whom Christ died….If eating meat cause my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh forevermore.”  (1 Cor. 8, 13 & 10, 33)

(b)  By helping him over the rough places of life.  “If a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual restore such a one,” etc.  (Gal. 6, 1-2)

I must do what I can for his good.  Less than this is short of my plain duty not to mention my privileges.