Fear is such a powerful emotion.

"Do not be afraid, Abram" (Genesis 15:11). Fear is such a powerful emotion. It can have such a negative effect on us. Abram needed to hear this word from the Lord. We need to hear this word from the Lord. There are times when everything seems to be so out of control. We wonder, "What's …

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A life-changing decision

What's your idea of God? Some people would say that God is an idea. Others would ask the question, "Did the idea of God come into our minds because God put it there?" Going back to the beginning, we are faced with a decision. We read the first verse of the Bible, "In the beginning, …

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God so loved the world – not only the important people, but all people.

Genesis 10:1-32 What a lot of names! Why is all this included in God’s Word? It may describe the historical conext of God’s unfolding purpose of providing salvation for sinners, but what does it say to us? The inclusion of so many obscure names emphasizes that everyone - however obscure - is important. ‘God so …

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Going God’s Way Is Better Than Getting Our Own Way.

Genesis 29:1-30 The tables are turned on Jacob. The trickster is tricked! The ‘trick’ was according to the ‘custom’ that the elder daughter should be given in marriage before the younger one (23,25-26). Seven years became fourteen years (18-20,27,30). Jacob did receive his heart’s desire, but there was a lesson to be learned: Going God’s …

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A true prophet gives the glory to God alone.

Genesis 40:1-23 God gave Joseph power to overcome temptation (chapter 39). Now, He gives him power to interpret dreams. Here, Joseph the dreamer (37:5-11) becomes Joseph the interpreter of dreams. Joseph may be viewed as a prophet: 'Surely the Lord does nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets' (Amos 3:7). As a …

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The grace of God reaches us and changes us.

Genesis 22:20-23:20 There are a lot of names (22:20-24) and a lot of details about Sarah's burial (23:1-20). Is there anything that stands out? Yes! - "You (Abraham) are God's chosen one among us" (23:5). This sentence speaks to us about the grace of God. Was there something special about Abraham? No! - but there …

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Up on the mountaintop with God, and back down to the valley with God

Genesis 22:1-19 From verse 2 - "Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you" - we look ahead to God's words concerning Jesus: "my beloved Son" (Matthew 3:17 & 17:5). The second time …

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The Word Of God Does Not Benefit Us When We Do Not Receive It With Faith.

Genesis 18:1-15 Is anything too hard for the Lord? (14). We need to hear these words as God’s call to greater faith. Sarah, like Abraham, had heard God’s promises, yet ‘she laughed to herself’(12). We can hear God’s Word, and still remain, in our hearts, men and women of unbelief. The Word of God does …

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The laughter of unbelief and the laughter of rejoicing

Genesis 18:1-19 Abraham's three visitors - This was an appearance of the Lord to Abraham" (1). Abraham bowed down and sought favour from the Lord. He asked that the blessing would not pass him by. Everything about this visit indicates that the Lord was in it. He was preparing Abraham for the next stage in …

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Can Paradise Lost become Paradise Regained? (Genesis 3 and Revelation 12)

'All things, bright and beautiful ... The Lord God made them all' - this is the great, positive message that comes to us from Genesis 1 - but things are very different when we get into Genesis 3: things are not so bright and beautiful. What are we to do? Are we to listen to …

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"Africa Bible Commentary" on Genesis

Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary Written by 70 African Scholars --The Africa Bible Commentary is unique. Written by African theologians and produced in Africa, it is the first one-volume commentary ever created to help pastors, students, and lay leaders in Africa apply God’s Word to distinctively African concerns, yet its fresh insights will have …

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Despite our many failures, God remains faithful.

Genesis 12 Before starting to comment on chapter 12, I want to say something about the second part of chapter 11, verses 10-32. These verses provide us with the background to the events which begin to unfold in chapter 12. The message of this long list names is this: God is moving on. He is …

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From our dark past to God’s future, a future that is filled with the light of his love

Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’ (Genesis 4:6-7). Does our situation seem …

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If there is to be delight in God’s Word, we must overcome doubt.

If there is to be delight in God's Word, we must overcome doubt. Satan is always saying, "Did God really say ...?" (Genesis 3:1). We must learn to say, "God did say" (Genesis 3:3). We must stand by this confession of faith in God and His Word. Satan will not give in easily. He will …

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Creation Has Been Completed. Salvation Will Be Completed.

Genesis 1:26-2:3 We now come to the creation of humanity, male and female. Our creation is described in a distinctive way - created in the image of God (26-27). We are different from the rest of creation. We have been given dominion over ‘all the earth’ and ‘every living creature’ (26,28). We are different from …

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The laughter of unbelief and the laughter of faith

Genesis 21:1-34 There are two very different kinds of laughter in the story of Sarah. There is the laughing in Genesis 18:13-15. This is the laughter of unbelief, laughing at the Lord, with the proud attitude that God's Word cannot be taken seriously. There is the laughter of faith, the laughter which rejoices in the …

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In Christ, we must take our stand against Satan.

Genesis 3:1-5 We have read about the beginning of creation (1:1). Now we come to the beginning of sin. In these verses, we have temptation. Note that temptation is not sin. It only becomes sin when we do what the tempter suggests (6). Temptation comes from 'that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan' (Revelation …

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God’s greatest gift – Jesus

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 or Jeremiah 20:7-13; Psalm 69:7-10, (11-15), 16-18; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 19:24-30 Let us rejoice in God’s greatest gift – Jesus. We have here the contrast between Isaac, the child of promise, and Ishmael, the fruit of unbelief. Ishmael was born as a result of impatience, the …

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It’s not the beginning of the end. It’s the end of the beginning.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). Is everything that happens to us good? How are we to answer this question? Should we answer a question with another question? Will the final outcome be good? When we look on to the final outcome, everything changes. …

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Praise, my soul, the King of heaven.

“Joseph is a fruitful bough,    a fruitful bough by a spring;    his branches run over the wall.The archers bitterly attacked him,    shot at him, and harassed him severely, yet his bow remained unmoved;    his arms were made agileby the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob    (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),by the God of your father who will help you,    by the Almighty who will bless you    with …

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Sometimes, we wonder, “Where is our life leading us?”

Genesis 5:18-32 Lord, help us to walk with You. Sometimes, we wonder, “Where is our life leading us?” That depends, Lord, on who’s doing the leading. Are we being “led by the Spirit of God” (Romans 8:14)? or Have we allowed the devil to slip into the place where You alone should be? Lord, lead …

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Jesus – what a great Saviour he is!

"But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Saviour except me" (Hosea 13:4). Here, God is saying to the people, "Here's something you must never forget. I brought you out of Egypt the land of bondage." He's saying to them, "Never forget how much …

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In life’s hard times, God keeps on loving us…

"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23:6). "Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life" - What does this mean? Does it mean that only good things will happen to us? …

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Less concerned with our own name – and more committed to exalting the name of Christ

Genesis 11:1-9 "Come - let us ... Come - let us build ourselves ... Come - let us make a name for ourselves" (3-4). This is all about us - not God. This is the way of man-centred pride - not the way of God's salvation. We do not begin with what we have ("bricks") …

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The long journey, through the Old Testament, is leading us to Jesus Christ, our great Saviour.

Genesis 17 "Your wife, Sarah, will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac" (verse 19). Abraham was given a glimpse of the future. For Abraham and Sarah, Isaac would be their immediate future. God was looking beyond the immediate future. He was looking toward the long-term future. God told Abraham that he would …

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God is leading His people towards a time of great blessing.

Genesis 18-19 Abraham lived through tumultuous times. As we read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, let us not lose sight of where things are going: "Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him" (18:18). When terrible things happen, and we …

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Let there be light.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now, the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the …

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"Jurassic Park" – a modern ‘Tower of Babel’

Genesis 11 * "Scientists can become so fascinated by what they could do that they do not even stop to think about whether they should." (Dr Ian Malcolm). * "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs" (Dr Ian Malcolm). * "I was overwhelmed by the power of …

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From a self-centred life to a God-centred life

They said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth’ (Genesis 11:4). Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!  Take words with you and …

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