Conclusion: Glory of God vs.Glory of man

(Selected from the conclusion to the study of Genesis-benny)

Ways of the World are to be determined on the single point: whose glory is in focus? Adam was allowed to eat of the fruit of the tree of life. Yet he chose to disobey God who had warned him of death ‘in the day that thou eatest thereof’ and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Ge.2:17) With his choice he created the ways of the world where it shall always be choice of good and evil at the heart of it. As an example consider man attempting to build the tower of Babel. The people with one speech and seized of the peril of another great flood lend themselves to set it up. Their aim: ‘Let us make a name.’ Is it in any way different from the statesman who declared at the end of the WWI that it was ‘a war to end all wars?’ Brave words and we have seen how many wars have since then been fought all across the face of the earth. When man has made choice of good and evil in defiance of God all that glory he seeks shall flounder on that choice. People who began as one found they did not speak even the same language. Language of the labour and capital shall not stand since the question of profits has come in.

We read in the story of Job that Satan is free to go about free on the earth. He is the prince of the power of the air (Jb.2:2; Ep.2:2) and he there in the Garden. When he tempted Jesus one of the things he asked was, ‘Worship me,’ (Mt.4:8-10). He is the spirit that animates ways of the world which in our time even assures us of fifteen minutes of fame. Progress is time- motion in practice and man invents ways and means to clone man or lengthen his life to hundred years or more. His stem cell research is to beat the scourge of incurable diseases that did not spring out of the earth by accident. Ways of the world are set on man’s choice to know good and evil. At every time it has led him on but as with the tower of Babel it shall elude him since glory of man ,-and not glory of God, is what he seeks.


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Annotated Book of Genesis

I took up writing this book since Dec.9, 2017. By God’s grace and according to whatever was revealed to me by the Spirit I have come, well almost to the end of my book. Each morning I had subject matter to tackle and it seems now from experience I can explain what this book is all about.

The Book of Genesis is literally a book of beginnings. When the Spirit gives an account it is an account of God, the Father and of the Son respectively. It is of the Sovereign Will of the Lord God as well as how it has been fulfilled.

The intent of the author in presenting the Annotated book of Genesis has been on the basis of two premises: God as the creator of the heaven and earth has revealed His Will in the Word. “..That which may be known of God is manifested in them(what is created)…” This includes man and the earth.

Secondly the Spirit in setting the two narratives from the Father and the Son respectively uses symbols connecting so the whole narrative is set in God’ Time. Thus the promise of God to Abraham that whole families of the earth shall be blessed through him runs parallel to one another. Consequently when the Spirit discusses the patriarchs, focus is on the nation of Israel and other nations serve as a foil to it. We shall understand this in the manner God places Joseph in Egypt so the nation of Israel could be helped in time of a great famine. Similarly at the birth of Jesus God secures a safe hiding place there for the Holy Family. God’s Will sees all as part of his divine Plan and time in which Joseph and Jesus were placed varies by more than a millennia. Yet these are all set in one timescale that is God’s Time. The Spirit resolves such variations by symbolic use persons. Adam is the son of God as Jesus Christ is the last Adam; In rounding of the first book with Joseph, who is tagged as a forerunner of Jesus Christ we are left with no doubt what is the intent of the Spirit. The mode of inversion renders the first book as a snapshot of the entire Scripture; It is further reinforced by the idea of new earth and the new heaven in the last book of Apocalypse. God created in the beginning the heaven and the earth and the Son made them new. ‘Behold, all things are new.’  In short the Salvation Plan of God is fulfilled in the Son whose testimony clues us in. He is Alpha and Omega. Naturally it is in God’s Time.

When the glory of God gave the earth a form it was not left to chance but according to the Word forever settled in the heaven. One might say it establishes the Constitution, which is the fulfillment of Core Will. When the Spirit begins the Bible, the creation of heaven and the earth is stated as finished as it was foreordained in the divine Mind. The Word was with God and ‘without him was not anything made that was made’. What would that mean for us? Each of us is part of divine Will.

What is the glory of God? It proceeds from God and reveals Wisdom and Power, what may be known of him from evidences in Nature and Word. Think of it as anything that inspires in man and nature to function as intended by God. For this reason whenever peoples across the globe create systems and ways to benefit themselves and which are not conducive to see God as the instigator it can be said as glory of man. For this reason ways of the world carry fads and fashions that only speak for man.

Glory of God is written in the Word beforehand for us to take hold of. When God divided the light from the darkness this glory shall determine what we are: children of light or of darkness. The thrust of the Spirit in narrating the lives of the patriarchs is to reveal how God has controlled the shape of the earth and given it a form. God judging the earth with a great flood was to purge the earth and as Sovereign Lord it was his Will to punish the children of darkness. The earth ‘was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence’. God found Noah as righteous before him, and commanded Noah to make an ark so he was spared from the coming catastrophe. The Spirit illustrates from the genealogies of what made them righteous or wicked. Quality of faith is set down as the key that made glory of God in its proper context. We see in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the self same quality with which He created the worlds. ‘Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (He.11:3)






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Jacob at Peniel

“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of dawn…I will not let thee go, except thou bless me (Ge.32:24-26).”

Often there are certain events in our lives that define us. For a child of God the day you surrender your life to God and accept Jesus Christ as your Redeemer Lord it marks what you are. You are translated for ‘heavenly places (Ep.2:6)’All that went before has been preparing for it. You might have heard the call while you were at a revival meeting or any other.

God has infinite agencies at His disposal. While your parents at the baptism vouch over your Christian living does anyone think God has not heard the call on your behalf? Hannah’s prayer over Samuel to lend him in God’s service was not in vain. He was a child of promise. Similarly when we make certain of our salvation by confession we have defined what we are. We are the children of promise. Gods promise to Abraham has come to us through His Son. The same God, the same promise.  There was nothing accidental about events however ordinary it might seem, before or after.

God let Jacob bring out his natural passions and inclinations that is human in his natural environment but as a child of promise he has another aspect as child of promise. He has a day of reckoning with God.

God’s claim on him was begun before birth, and not loosened for all his rascality. He could brazenly stand before his father pretending to be Esau but chains of events that had brought his grandfather out of Haran were still in a flux and God was in charge. He visited him in dreams and visions to encourage him. While he had to come to grips with consequences of his action, of which as we had discussed necessitated his sojourn in the House of Laban. We read that it was God who urged him to go back to where he had come from. Jacob just as he fled from Esau, and the scripture describes it thus,- ‘Jacob stole away unawares’ with his two wives sons and all his goods. However Laban and his party went after him in haste. God did not let it go unheeded and He warned Laban ‘Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad (31:24).’ One may wonder why considering that Rachel had stolen her father’s gods, and Jacob had no inkling of it He did not take Rachel to task. (Intent of the Spirit is to instruct us and the position of Jacob in divine Will is the focus. As for the gods of Laban it was a matter between him and his daughter who nursed a sense of injury that he had defrauded her (Ge.31:15) and it is not germane to the narrative at this point.)

It was time for God to confront Jacob. When it came the Spirit tells us that it was ‘until the breaking of the day.’ Jacob had wrestled with his failings and prevailed over them; At the breaking of dawn God accepts him as the one who prevailed with Him as well. As children of promise we need focus upon whom we have entrusted our souls. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn.1:9).”

What separates a person as child of promise from his carnal nature is the core value of a Christian. It is faith. Walk of Jacob revealed a marked difference before and after God named him Israel. It is also significant to note that God named him as Israel but confirmed it later (Ge.35.10)

We have been adopted to the family of God where Jesus Christ is the first born from the dead. Our confirmation comes with death. Till then we hold on to faith which changes us from within to walk not after our former conversation but as pilgrims and not so entangled with conforming to the world again. ‘I am among them but not one of them’ is my credo.


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In the House of Laban

“Wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? (Ge.29:25)”

Jacob’s flight to Haran and his sojourn in the House of Laban were foreordained. While at Bethel God had visited him and also blessed him thus: ‘..In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ Sounds familiar is it not? We read it the chapter 12 when God called out Abraham from Haran. God’s promises are not scaled down because Jacob was deceitful and had unfairly won the birth right from his elder brother. God introduces Himself as ‘the Lord God of Abraham, thy father, and the God of Isaac:’ Predestination does not mean that man is not responsible for his actions good or bad. Having deceived his aged father and won the blessing reserved for Esau, he met his match at last in Laban. He slaved for seven years for the hand of Rachel. What are seven years or seventy, for that matter? (By the way the number seven is significant, meaning a period that would in the lexicon of the Spirit mean adequate under the circumstance, and perfect). His love for Rachel was such the years seemed unto him but a few days. This love like his earnestness to covet blessings that birth right carried, is not a trifle but required time to be placed in proper perspective of God. Man calls it suffering when his expectations are dashed. In Jacob’s case Laban played the bait and switch game of a con artist and it worked. Jacob in his own way had set it up. God let him mature in hard service under one who ever kept changing his word. When God had taken over his life (even before he was born) he compensated the seven years stint with love for Rachel. It took the sting out of it. Later his son Joseph would suffer in the hands of his siblings and would land in the Egyptian gaol. He was preparing Joseph for a special role. Here also we see God sustaining him to survive his ordeal.

What we call as sufferings is often our own making. Thus it was with Jacob whose expectations were dashed and also sweat of his labour was only to keep the wily father-in-law in luxury. So at human level we reap what we sow but for a child of God there is post script written by God namely: “All things work together for good …who are the called according to his purpose (Ro.8:28).”

The world is like the House of Laban where labour skill and integrity do not make a decent man prosper. Before Jesus called out Simon Peter to be his disciple we have this verse: “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net (Lk.5:5).” Like many streams are made out of drops of water running into each other and these having run for length of time are lakes. Such are nations like seas always churning up and throwing about effluents that run into it. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt (Is.57:20)”. We can understand how Lot was deceived by appearances. The cities of the plains well watered everywhere spoke fertility and comfort. What he overlooked was the fact those who do not have scruples as to live decently but to step with the times find such easy living attractive. Gradually the citizens reworked the moral fabric of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot had no inkling of it.

Man’s injustice and dishonesty are personal faults which when settled make it difficult for Lot a man whose knowledge of God was not as personal as of Abraham, Laban similarly a man who had a form of religion but no deep experience to fear God as Abraham had. His son Jacob in order to avail the blessings of his father now had to grow unto the measure God wanted. Laban repays Jacob in a way he shall understand. In short the House of Laban was to be his testing ground for the higher purpose of God.

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Genesis: God compensates

“And when the Lord saw that Leah has hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived…Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me…(29:31-33)

Whenever God chooses His instruments He sets the bar ever so high that without implicit faith they cannot fit divine Purpose. When God called Patriarch Abraham to be the father of many nations he had to grow to the stature God had in mind. By shutting the womb of his wife Sarah he wanted his wisdom not to be at par with of the world but learn of God instead. Wisdom that is from above,- which is free, can only be availed by faith. In the case of Jacob God had reserved the House of Laban for his apprenticeship. As a heel catcher he had to learn some home truths about his humanity. While he dealt with them in his own way God made sure that he was not disheartened unduly. His love for Rachel was special. From this instance we understand how God compensates His children. It is always made to order and how he compensated Joseph was different as he was. As a man for whom guile was second nature, God had set the stage to which we shall come anon.

At the end of seven years his wage was the hand of Rachel but Laban had a surprise for him. In the morning he realized that it was not Rachel but Leah who shared his bed. It did not merely raise the hackles between two men but also drew the entire household into their one-upmanship. We can naturally guess the toxic domestic politics that breach of trust in men caused. A toxic family politics would ensue drawing naturally Leah Rachel and their personal handmaidens as well. God compensated Leah whose only fault was she was the older daughter and not fair as her sister was. Rachel and Leah would learn in their own way God’s hand while Jacob as the Father of the nation of Israel learn to prevail over his own human failings and prevail over God. He had to fill in the shoes of Israel.




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Genesis: Bethel

“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not (Ch.28:16). ”

This well known story throws up some important theological concepts.

Firstly sleep is a symbol for death.

What is sleep? God caused Adam a deep sleep and he slept (Ge.2:21) The Spirit used it in the sense mentioned above.

We shall consider sleep now in normal sense. The idea here is that sleep is from God. It is a blessing. It is a rest that is a shadow of God’s Rest from his labours. He sanctified end of His Creative Day as a Holy Day. The Preacher has this verse to observe what man may rightfully claim as his due at the end of each working day. “The sleep of a labourer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep (Eccl5:12-NIV)”. In contrast to what God has provided for man, what is wealth but what he generates by his own efforts. This boils over even after the day is done so much so it is insomnia that he has to cope with.

Secondly it gives us an insight into God’s Time, which is how the Spirit correlates God’s Will with life of man. Time and space do not make sense for eternal God. When God visited King Abimelech in a vision and warned him on account of Sarah it was for the present. When He gave Daniel a series of visions (Dan.10-12:9) it was for ‘the time of the end.” The vision of the ladder with each rung going up to the Lord must be several events hinged on one another. Angels going up and down signifies a door has been opened for the sleeper. It is reminiscent of St John’s vision (Re.4:1-2). The Spirit gave him a foretaste of the Salvation Plan of God as it were, which in narrating is for our benefit. As soon as he woke up he realized where he was. He exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.” This indicates our foreknowledge comes from God who equips each man for His service. Gift of prophecy is a gift. Gift of interpreting is yet another. Such are gifts the Spirit distributes to each accordingly so glory of God must be set as paramount.

Thirdly we need address an often-overlooked piece, namely the stones that served Jacob as pillows.

“…He (Jacob) took stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep (28:11).”

These stones serve as a memorial. This act is to be seen as a symbolic act very similar to Joshua at the crossing of Jordan (Jos.4:23). Jacob was a man fleeing for safety and was in a strange place settling down for a night’s rest. God’s vision was a private and it was to assure His protection.

Like the Shekinah glory of God separated the mercy seat and the Ark of the Testimony from surrounding areas the vision was a memorial to him. From what Jacob did following day we get the idea as to what it meant to him. Each of us is Bethel meaning the house of God. This idea is transferred to stones that served for pillows in the night. He set the stone up and poured oil upon the top of it. ‘He called the name of that place Beth-el; but the name of that city was called Luz at the first (vs.19).’This holds spiritual significance for us. Born again experience in a child of God marks a change over from serving the world. Pouring oil over the stone naturally indicates the infilling Spirit. The following verses are of help to us.

“Know you not you are the temple of God?

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;(1 Co.6:19;3:16-NIV)”

We can well appreciate the seven churches in Asia minor were such stones as Jacob found; these local churches were not the Church of Christ but indicative of God’s Will concerning the Body of Christ.


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Parable of the Two Sons: free will

Predestination is conditional. If God’s promise to Abraham was foreordained, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed God ‘ would not have necessitated God to renew the same blessing to the son. He commanded Isaac ‘Go not down into Egypt..(Ge.26:2).’Interestingly enough God had let Abraham move to Egypt earlier in a similar circumstance ‘when there was a famine in the land’ (Ge.12:10). Consequently Isaac dwelt in Gerar in obedience to His commandment.  After Abraham was buried by his sons, God appeared unto Isaac and renewed his promise to his father. It was conditional where faith of Isaac like his father had to match with His faith. It is personal . Misconception of predestination as taught by some sects makes Atonement a feeble copy of God’s glory. SFor the same reason denying free will would be heresy. We have its perfect example in Jesus. He was God the Son and yet he obeyed God. Free will was not his personal glory but laying it for the greater glory of his Father. He did so he fitted the expression, ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re.13:8)’. So predestination of God is Obedience on the part of the Son for the glory of the father. It must be thus with every one who would be called child of God. Hunting with the dogs may be activism of the evangelicals and on Sundays running with the hares cannot be called as the hallmark of Christians.

In the parable of the Two Sons (Mt.21:28-31) the elder refused to go to the vineyard. His free will allowed him to say no to his father. But he regretted of letting down his father so he went to the vineyard after all. In his obedience he glorified his Father. His younger brother paid lip service to his father but exercised his free will. From this we have the significance of predestination and free will.

For those who are interested may I suggest a few books: Marginalia in 2 volumes The Immanuel Factor.Under Bible Study Helps I recommend these to my readers.



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