Biblical Knowledge

This entry is part 254 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds
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What does the Bible say knowledge is based on?

Proverbs 1:7 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. So knowledge is based on the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is to revere and be in awe of God. It is to worship him for who he is and what he does.

Only when we properly understand our place in creation compared to God’s place over creation can we begin to understand and have knowledge about the world or any other pursuit. Without revealing God for his transcendence over us, we will always rely on ourselves to gain knowledge.

The first knowledge gained in the Bible was a moral knowledge when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3). Before they ate from this tree, the only command God gave them which they could not resist breaking, they had no fear about good and evil.

Genesis 2 ends by telling us that the man and woman were in the garden naked and they did not feel any shame. But immediately after the eight from this tree, they felt shame about their nakedness. Suddenly there was a moral barrier between seeing a human being naked and clothed.

Now we have to rely on our consciences to tell us what’s right and wrong, and they can be improperly calibrated. We became our own moral compass. But because our consciences can be wrong, we still need to go to God for moral understanding. This is the biblical understanding of the first bit of knowledge that was gained by humanity.

But there are other types of knowledge in the Scriptures. The Hebrew word for knowledge in which we use, “To know a person biblically,” means an intimate knowledge gained through experience. This is usually through the sexual relationship or is often used as a reference for it. –

The other major type of knowledge in the Bible is a factual knowledge. For instance, I know things about the president, but I do not know the president personally. This is a factual knowledge. You can know about someone or something. And then the experiential knowledge is to know something or someone based on personal experience and interaction.

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Enough Evil in the Day

This entry is part 253 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds
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What is meant by “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”?

The reference for this phrase comes from Jesus’ teaching about anxiety and is the conclusion verse (Matthew 6:34). He has just finished teaching about not being anxious because God will provide for all of our needs (Matthew 6:25-33).

He has concluded that we should make it a priority to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all of these things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33). He says there’s no need for us to be anxious about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself.

How many of us worry about the future so much so that we don’t even live in the present? This is what Jesus is getting at. We should instead live in the moment of provision for today. God sees the future and the road ahead. We can trust in him to provide everything we need before we even know that we need it.

This phrase comes up, which I believe you are quoting from the KJV. In other versions it may be rendered, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” It simply means that there is enough trouble in this day that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow.

We’ve got enough to worry about today. And we shouldn’t worry. God will take care of all of the issues that come by today. The amount of evil and trouble in one day is more than enough to concern us. But even those concerns should be put on God. He has promised his provision in every situation.

Each day, including today and tomorrow, brings all of its own concerns, evils, troubles, and everything else that we must deal with. The reason we worry and concern ourselves is because we think it is up to us and our own resources to take care of these things. But God takes care of us and these things. We must trust in his provision and providence.

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Seventy-Seven Times

This entry is part 252 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds
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Why does the Bible say we must forgive seventy seven times? Is 7 a holy number?

This question comes from Matthew 18:21-22. Jesus has been talking to the disciples about forgiveness, and so Peter raises a question about personal forgiveness of a brother (believer). Here are the verses in question:

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21–22, ESV)

the question Peter asks is not about personal gain through forgiveness or really about the person offended at all. It is a more pastoral approach to trying to forgive so that the relationship between believers may continue.

Peter even goes all out, giving his brother seven times in which he forgives him for an offense. This is how we know Peter is trying to be pastoral and forgiving rather than concerned about himself. The rabbis recommended only three times for forgiveness.

So Peter’s seven times is extreme compared to that standard. Not only this, but the number seven in Hebrew culture and literature is an extremely significant number. It represents the number of perfection. Peter was probably in 10 to say that he would forgive his brother unto perfection.

But Jesus answers unconcerned about the number of times that we forgive one another. It should be an infinite amount of times. Jesus instead tells him he should forgive 77 times. The Greek could be rendered 490 (70×7) but Matthew is referring to Genesis 4:24 in the Septuagint (Greek version of the Old Testament).

There, Cain’s revenge is seven times and Lameh’s revenge will be seventy-seven times. Jesus is basically saying that we should not keep count of the offenses of our brothers and sisters in Christ. He is more concerned that we unanimously and openly forgive them instead of counting the number of offenses.

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Describing the Holy Spirit

This entry is part 50 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds

How many of us have a close relationship with the Holy Spirit in our lives? I grew up in Pentecostal churches. All my life pastors and teachers have talked about a vibrant life in the Spirit. So I am very familiar with the third member of the Trinity.

As I have learned from others and watched other Christians, I have realized that most Christians walk the path with Christ and don’t fully engage with the Holy Spirit. Some of them don’t understand him as well as they understand the Father and the Son.

Others aren’t taught about the Holy Spirit and don’t know how to have a relationship with him on a daily basis. It’s my goal as you read about holiness that you see the great possibilities a relationship with the Holy Spirit brings as we chase after God and his holiness.

To that end, let’s dive into the descriptions of the Holy Spirit from Isaiah, Jesus, John, and Paul. We want to see what they have to say about the Spirit and what he does in our lives. Most of all, we want to develop and cultivate a vibrant relationship with the one who guides us every day of our lives and connects us to Jesus.

Isaiah’s Descriptions

In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah spoke about God’s Spirit in seven ways (Isaiah 11:2). The number seven in Hebrew culture represents the number of perfection or completeness. To describe the Spirit in seven ways is to describe his perfection and completeness.

John also refers to the “seven Spirits of God” (Revelation 3:1). This is another reference to the Spirit. Looking at the different descriptions of the Holy Spirit from Isaiah’s point of view gives us insight into his Person and works.

First, Isaiah calls him the Spirit of the Lord. Most people might see this as a general term for the Holy Spirit. But there’s more to it than that. The Spirit of the Lord shows that he has authority from the Lord.

The Holy Spirit is authorized to do whatever the Lord wishes in us. He works within God’s will to produce holiness in our character. Everything he does in us is part of what God has predestined since we became saved (Romans 8:29-30).

Next, Isaiah refers to him as the Spirit of wisdom. Especially in wisdom literature, there are two types of wisdom. There is godly wisdom and earthly wisdom. God’s wisdom centers on making the choices that glorify and pleased him.

When we practice biblical wisdom, it’s not some kind of Eastern mysticism. It’s not a few sayings that make little sense. It’s down to earth, rubber meets the road, practical decision-making based on consulting God’s Word and Spirit.

As the Spirit of wisdom, he directs our paths so that we experience godly success. The success that God approves of happens when we make decisions that please him. Success in God’s eyes is when we reach the destination he has planned for us from the beginning.

Third, he is the Spirit of understanding. Understanding and wisdom are close in meaning, but understanding gives us more insight into God’s Spirit. The Spirit of God has insight into who we are personally. He lives inside of us and he understands us completely.

He uses this understanding to further holiness in him. Because he understands who we are inside were no analyses us, he is able to apply his program of holiness in our character. He knows exactly what needs changed and how.

Fourth, the Spirit is called the Spirit of counsel. He offers his counsel to us every day that we ask. But we must ask and seek God’s counsel. The world wants to speak in one ear and out the other. But we must choose to listen to the Spirit’s voice.

As we listen to the Spirit’s voice, we grow closer to God and do his will. We make choices that bring us into his presence. We live and walk by the Spirit. We listen to God’s voice. We will never receive better counsel from anyone else. The world follows its own path that leads to destruction. But we live in the blessings and promises of God.

Next, he is the Spirit of might. The Holy Spirit has all of God’s power and exercises it in our lives. He uses it to move us closer to God’s holiness and to demonstrate through us what God desires to see happen in our world.

We carry the power of the Holy Spirit with us. His might is the strength that gets things done. Because he is all-powerful, he can to the impossible. When we stay connected to him, we will see the great works of God and glorify him. And he wants to use us!

Sixth, he is the Spirit of knowledge. This word for knowledge can be used for many things in the Bible. But it especially talks about knowledge gained through experience. Therefore, it’s a very intimate type of knowledge.

We’ve already talked about the understanding the Spirit has because he dwells within us. But this type of knowledge as it is understood in the family of wisdom is a skillful knowledge. The Holy Spirit enables us to know how to serve God and to do his will.

We learn as he guides us through holiness how to glorify God with every fiber of our being. He teaches us how to first know God and then to practice the actions that glorify him. Every step of the way we gain insight and skill into pleasing God in all we think, say, and do. We learn how to become pure before the Lord.

Last, he is the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). Fearing the Lord is about honoring, revering, and being in awe of him and his works. It’s the beginning of wisdom because honoring the Lord first means that everything else will follow.

The Holy Spirit teaches us the fear of the Lord. We walk with God and obey him because we revere him. Because we worship him and honor him, he brings many blessings our way. Our lives become a great witness of God’s goodness.

Jesus’ Descriptions

During the Olivet Discourse when Jesus gathered for an intimate Passover dinner before he would go to the cross, he gave some descriptions of the Holy Spirit, his purposes and plans for the disciples.

One of the things he called the Holy Spirit was the Helper or Comforter. The word in the original language means, “One who comes alongside” (John 14:16, 26). The Holy Spirit walks with us on this journey of holiness. He is our Guide because he has done this before.

We can trust his guidance because he knows exactly what we need to look like as we take on the character of Christ. Trusting the Holy Spirit in our transformation toward holiness relies on the fact that he is the Spirit of Truth (John 15:26). He always leads us toward Jesus and honors him.

The Spirit tells us the truth about ourselves. He isn’t shy in warning us of returning to sin, confronting us with any sin or character traits that don’t honor Christ, and disciplining us. Ultimately, he is our Teacher, because he teaches us all things pertinent to growing in Christ (John 14:26).

John’s Descriptions

John tells us in his first letter that the Holy Spirit can be trusted. We know that he is God’s Spirit because he confesses the truth about Jesus (1 John 4:3). The Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, is greater than anything we encounter in this world (1 John 4:4).

John expands on the Spirit of Truth that Jesus mentioned. We can test the spirits because he is the Spirit of Truth and all of the other spirits that we encounter in this world tell lies (1 John 4:6). He gives us the discernment to tell the difference.

The Holy Spirit always testifies the truth about Jesus. He is one of three witnesses that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:7-8). For these reasons, we can always trust God’s Spirit to be truthful and to guide us away from error and the dangers in this world and the spirit realm.

Paul’s Descriptions

Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit was given to us at the moment of salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14). We were sealed in the Spirit, and he is a foretaste, a down payment to show us the glories of our inheritance in Christ.

Paul reminds us that the Spirit not only testifies the truth about Jesus, but he also testifies the truth about us, that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). He leads us in an intimate relationship with God (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).

We received salvation by God’s grace by the power of the Spirit, and just as we received the Spirit, we must not try to do works of our own to achieve holiness (Galatians 3:2-5). We must continue with the Spirit instead of thinking we can gain godliness on our own. He is our Guide.

Paul shows us that the Holy Spirit equips us for good works in God. He gives us gifts to minister to God’s people and to the world (1 Corinthians 12-14; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11). He ministers to us by providing the character and deeds that glorify God in the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit is one of our greatest allies on our road to holiness. The Father and the son sent him to us when Jesus left the earth. Through the Holy Spirit we can have intimacy with God and be ushered into his presence.

He never leaves our side as we grow in Christ and walk with him. He reminds us of the things that are coming. God promised him to us, and he delivered on yet another of his promises. Most Christians do not realize the intimate relationship they have with the Spirit.

It’s my hope that you will not only have a great relationship with the Spirit that you will know all of the great things he is doing in your life. Don’t neglect the Holy Spirit or ignore him. He wants to speak to you and declare God’s goodness in your life.

Leave a comment and tell me about your relationship with the Spirit. Have you ever thought about how close of a relationship you could have with him? Is he just a force in your life or is he the third Person of the Trinity, helping you every step of the way to become more like Christ?

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Proverbs 1

This entry is part 251 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds

What is the interpretation of Proverbs chapter 1?

Proverbs 1 can be broken into three sections. The first section is the opening of the book and lays the groundwork for understanding what the beginning of wisdom is. The book of Proverbs is all about godly wisdom that leads to success in life.

Most of Proverbs is full of short sayings of wisdom that can be applied to different situations. But the first couple of chapters flow like most of the Bible. From verse to verse it makes sense as a unit as you read straight through.

Solomon begins by explaining what wisdom is in Proverbs 1:1-7. Solomon gives himself as the author of the book (Proverbs 1:1). He outlines four goals of the book (Proverbs 1:2-4). These goals are:

  1. To know wisdom and instruction – to understand wise sayings and practice practical wisdom for life.
  2. To understand words of insight – a skillful knowledge and grasping of what wise people teach for daily application.
  3. To receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity – after understanding wise sayings, to demonstrate righteousness toward everyone, enact justice in every dealing, what everyone deserves in the situation, and equity, the straight path that leads to success..
  4. To give prudence and knowledge – to the simple and to the young people. This is the roadmap to glorifying God with our actions.

Proverbs 1:5-6 further explains that those who read this book will gain guidance in life through understanding these wise sayings and Proverbs. Proverbs 1:7 describes the fear of the Lord, or revering and worshiping him, as the basis for all knowledge. Only fools don’t want to grow in these areas.

The second section of the chapter is wise instruction from the father, Solomon, to one of his sons. We can take it today to be the wisdom passed down from parents to children. The child, the one who must learn wisdom, should listen to his parents because they want to pass down this wisdom to him so that he will do well in life (Proverbs 1:8-9). We often don’t listen to our parents until much later in life when we become parents ourselves and realize that they were trying to help us all along.

He warns this son that sinners will attempt to bring him over to their side. They will entice him to do the evil things that they want to do in the world (Proverbs 1:10-14). They want to provide a shortcut to life but this shortcut doesn’t work. It will not benefit them or this son in the end if he chooses their path.

So the wise father tries to warn his son not to follow in their footsteps (Proverbs 1:15-19). Their end is destruction and if the sun goes with them he will share the same fate. It is better to be wise and to not listen to them at all.

To this end, the father shows wisdom as a Lady calling out in the streets for people to follow her instead (Proverbs 1:20-23). Then we see the results of those who do not listen to Lady Wisdom (Proverbs 1:24-33).

As the foolish did not listen to wisdom, even wisdom will laugh at them when their calamity comes upon them. She will be scornful because they did not listen when they had the chance. It will be too late when they are in the midst of their own destruction.

The last verse tells us that anyone who listens to wisdom and practices it will have security and live well in peace. They will not dread the disasters and the destruction of the foolish. This is a wonderful promise from the Lord that if we walk in wisdom he will bless our obedience.

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Trusting the New Testament

This entry is part 250 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds
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How can we trust the New Testament when we have no idea who most of its authors are?

There’s only one book in the New Testament we don’t know who the author is. The writer of Hebrews does not give his name anywhere in the letter at all. All of the other books of the New Testament have an assigned author.

Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew, John Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke and Acts. John the apostle, the Elder, wrote five books: Gospel of John, 1-3 John, and Revelation. Paul wrote 13 books: Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. James wrote the book of James. Peter wrote 1-2 Peter, and Jude wrote the book of Jude.

Traditionally throughout church history the church has taken these authors to be the true authors of these New Testament books. There are first-hand accounts from first century Christianity, as well as the second-generation of Christian disciples who were disciples of these original apostles who verify that they wrote these books.

The Church has been meticulous to make sure that all of these 27 books were inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by the hand and a human being, an author, prophet, or someone writing by the eyewitness of one of these in the first century.

It has only been recently, since the late 19th century that anyone has questioned the authorship of these books. All of this has happened since the critical methods from form to textual to literary criticism have come about.

It’s not that these methods don’t have warrant or 6 contribute to theology and exegesis. But they tend to be practiced by unbelieving scholars instead of people trying to understand the New Testament and help the Church apply it.

It’s up to these critical methods and those who propose them to defend their position. The text clearly tells us who the authors are for all but one book. History is on the side of these texts. And if we take away who the text clearly says it was written by, we challenge the inspiration of Scripture.

We can trust the New Testament because we do know who the authors were and we have verification from first century eyewitnesses, as well as second century disciples of the original apostles. We have no need to question these things or challenge what the inspired text has told us about itself.

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Foolishness

This entry is part 249 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds
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What is Ecclesiastes 10 verse 3?

Ecclesiastes is one of the books of the wisdom literature genre in the Bible. As such, it is always demonstrating the difference between godly wisdom and earthly foolishness. The writer of Ecclesiastes, probably Solomon, explains that he searched the earth for the most important things and settles at the end of the book on the fear of the Lord and knowledge of God.

One of the continuing refrains of the book of Ecclesiastes is that everything that the writer puts his hand to ends up turning out vein or worthless. It is empty of all eternal success. So in Ecclesiastes chapter 10, he focuses on how just a little bit of foolishness taints any wisdom a person has.

Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool. If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.” (Ecclesiastes 10:1–4, ESV)

Ecclesiastes 10:1 opens us up to the idea of how much foolishness can ruin any kind of wisdom we have. You could have a beautifully scented perfume that is ruined by the smell of death from flies. You can be extremely wise but practice foolishness and ruin it all.

Just one little folly can ruin years of wise choices. Next, Solomon introduces us to the idea of a wise person and a foolish person walking along the road. The wise person makes the right decision, in this case, to turn to the right. That is the right way to go. That is the wise way to go.

The foolish person decides to do his own thing and turn to the left instead. He makes the wrong or unwise, foolish decision (Ecclesiastes 10:2). The foolish person even trumpets his foolishness as he goes to folly (Ecclesiastes 10:3).

This verse means that you can spot a fool coming down the road. He’s going the wrong way and he’s telling you he’s foolish. It is the epitome of foolishness as an image. It’s almost like the full takes pride in foolishness instead of wanting to be wise.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 adds another principle that when we are calm in a situation, we bring down the level of anger and frustration around us. The fool exacerbates the situation and makes it worse. A wise person seeks to make everyone at ease.

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Trinity Worship

This entry is part 248 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds
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Do Christians worship God or Jesus, the son of God? My Catholic priest pal tells me he worships Jesus, not God. What is the difference?

The quick answer is yes. Christians worship God the Father, Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe in the Trinity, that there are three Persons who contain the same divine substance, and are therefore God. Full worship of God includes worshiping the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Throughout Scripture you see these three divine Persons shelling up and being part of the redemptive process. But the substance that makes God the Father divine and Jesus divine and the Spirit divine is all the same.

No one can truly and completely define and explain the Trinity. It is one of those things about God that our finite minds cannot fully comprehend. But because we see God in three Persons throughout the Bible, we worship him for who he is.

We can worship and praise God as a divine Godhead, addressing all three Persons as one or we can focus on one of the three Persons. None of this violates the worship and praise of God. We can pray to all three members of the Trinity as one in general, or we can pray to specific Persons. God accepts our worship, praise, and prayer and it pleases him.

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Images of Heaven

This entry is part 247 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds
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What is Isaiah 11:6-9?

This is a messianic prophecy about Jesus, the Lord and Messiah. But the passage you mention talks more about his kingdom, whether here on earth or in heaven. It may be both. But let’s take a look at the whole passage.

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:1–9, ESV)

The first verse tells us that the Messiah is coming. The Messiah will come from the root of Jesse, beginning with the line of David. God promises David in the Davidic covenant that he will prosper his family line and that a son of David will always sit on the throne of Israel (2 Samuel 7).

Jesus comes from the line of David, born in the city of Bethlehem to two Bethlehemites in the line of David (Joseph and Mary). Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy in Isaiah 11. He comes from the line of Jesse and David.

And he sits on the throne of David forever over God’s people Israel. So this is a messianic prophecy about Jesus and his reign forever. Further, Isaiah 11:2 tells us that he will rule with the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon him. Isaiah gives seven descriptions of the Holy Spirit, the number of perfection in the Bible.

Isaiah 11:3 tells us that Jesus will rule and judge, not by his own ability but by the ability of the Holy Spirit and God. He will delight in the fear of the Lord because it is worship and reverence for his name as he rules.

Isaiah 11:4 describes his reign as ruling with righteousness and equity (justice). He will roll with wisdom and will judge properly because of the insight of God in him. His judgments will be pure, impartial. Everyone will receive exactly what they deserve. But he will also judge with mercy.

His lips and the breath of his mouth refer to his decrees, the things he speaks as king. They will be righteous decrees that will make the wicked wish for the days that we live in now. No longer will the wicked be able to get ahead with unjust means.

He will act and walk (live) in righteousness and faithfulness to God’s people (Isaiah 11:5). He will demonstrate the one thing the kings of Israel could never get right. One may be good at this part or another at this part, but only Jesus will be the king that the Israelites wanted from the beginning.

The passage from Isaiah 11:6-9 speaks of the innocence that Jesus restores through his rule. His kingdom will be one that returns to the pre–Fall of Man time. It will be the Paradise of the Garden of Eden once again.

The violence and retribution that sin has brought into the world will once again be removed. We often hear of the lion lying with the lamb, but the Bible says that the wolf will lie with the lamb. Usually the wolf is the hunter and the Lamb is its prey. But no longer (Isaiah 11:6).

Isaiah continues with prey and predator images for animals. Each one represents the reversal in the kingdom of Jesus from the kingdoms of today. More than anything, the little human child leading all of these animals shows that they are all living in complete peace.

Isaiah 11:7 continues the imagery of prey and predator alike. Even the young of these predators and their prey will live in harmony together. And the lion, a carnivore in our age, will eat straw and no longer long to chew up his prey.

Isaiah 11:8 introduces the human child who will be able to be around snakes, poisonous ones, then no longer harm human beings. This is a reversal of what the serpent did in the Garden of Eden, where it led humanity astray.

The knowledge of God will fill the entire Earth and it will act accordingly. Creation responds to the knowledge of God. God will finally have the peace and harmony between all of his creatures. Everything that sin stole, it will be reversed.

As I said earlier, Isaiah 11:9 spells out the imagery we have seen throughout the chapter so far. There is no destruction or harm that comes to anyone in the kingdom of Jesus. Whether this refers to his earthly millennial reign or what it will be like in heaven, anyone who knows Jesus will be able to find out for themselves.

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Pre- Deluvian Age

This entry is part 246 of 257 in the series Inquiring Minds

How would a person account for the ages recorded the book of Genesis from Adam to Isaac?

All the people you suggested are considered part of the pre-deluvian, or pre-flood, age. The only thing that tells us how old these people were is the genealogies. It may be surprising to modern readers to see how long people lived before the flood.

So let me start at the beginning with the Garden of Eden. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long between the six days of creation and the time of the Fall of Man. The first indication we get of time passing or the ages of human beings is from the birth of Seth (Genesis 5:3). Adam has Seth when he is 130 years old.

But we know from Genesis 4 that he had at least two other sons, Cain and Abel. Why does the Bible start with Seth? It’s almost like a restart after the problems with Cain and Abel. Genesis is the book of starts and restarts.

While he was in the garden, and we don’t know how long he was, there was no understanding of death. We have no indication if those 130 years started in the garden or after he was kicked out of the garden and death was now a factor.

The ages of humans from Adam onward are quite large sums. The reason for this is that other than the proclamation of death beginning with the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden, humanity was gradually becoming more sinful.

Sin was not a large enough factor forgot to change the age of man until the great sins happening right before the flood (Genesis 6:3). There may be an indicator that God’s Spirit also prolonged the age of humanity until God declared the 120 year limitation.

He never limits the age of humanity again. And it takes a while before that 120 years becomes the norm among human beings. Even after God declares this, Noah lives much longer. He was already on his way before God made this declaration.

Until humanity transgressed God’s laws to the point that they did in Genesis 6, where Angels were crossing God’s line with human women, God allowed humanity to progress into longer lifespans. The longer lifespans also helped grow the population of the earth. People lived much longer and had many more children.

No matter how long people lived on the earth before the flood, only Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives, are the only ones to survive. Everyone else, no matter their age, dies in the flood. I consider the pre-flood era to be a time where God allowed humanity to live longer until they crossed the line. Then he not only ended the long lifespans but their lives.

The Bible has a hard-line principle that sin leads to death. The beginning of Genesis is no different. People lived long until their sins caught up with them. And when sin crossed God’s line he reduced the age and started over.

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