It puts me in wonder, but the gospel is hidden, in several instances, in Old Testament names. We are going to look at that in several places over the next month, taking a couple of weeks just for the genealogy listed in Genesis. I think it will put you in awe of our amazing God who planned to rescue us from the beginning!
I have often spoken about my friends Ron and Debbie, who came to Christ three years ago. Though in their early seventies, their lives have completely changed. Ron said, “I never knew such joy was possible.” They see everything differently. They took me out to eat this week, and I told them about the new book I am writing, tentatively titled “The Jesus Who Surprises.”
Ron said, “Well, He surely has surprised me over and over and over again!”
I laughed, thinking of times when God has overwhelmed them by leaping out like a deer or revealing Himself through His Word. Then I told them how both Jesus Himself and His gospel is foreshadowed in every book in the Old Testament, Ron turned to me with shock and confusion and said, “Jesus is in the Old Testament?”
Oh — how they delight me. Seeing the Lord and His Word through the eyes of a baby Christian is like seeing the world through the eyes of a child. You see it fresh — and you again, just how amazing our God is.
Watching Ron and Debbie was like watching my grand-daughter Miabelle on her first visit to the ocean. Oh the wonder! She stood and gazed for the longest time…
We are going to begin this week with the ten names that are listed in the genealogy of Genesis 5 (and also 1 Chronicles 1) and at their Hebrew meanings. I think it is very probable that those who have seen a hidden gospel sentence here are correct. Depending on how you translate two of the more obscure Hebrew names, the “Gospel sentence” varies a bit, but it still teaches the same bad news and good news of the gospel. We have been appointed judgment — but God sent a rescuer. Here is one translation:
And here is another (less than 5 minutes) shown from the organization Pilgrim’s Light:
I know most of you are back in the busy season of fall: school, church programs, and Bible studies starting back up. So I’m going to lighten the homework from now on this fall in hopes we can keep this fellowship going. We also will be sharing our regular God sightings!
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. How has God caused you to WONDER recently?
Monday: Naming Your Child
Before we look at biblical names, I want to make the point that names are still important to God. We saw just recently how our own Lizzy and Jon were in wonder to find out that their son Philip’s Chinese name meant: Glory. What a confirmation to them for they want the chief end of their lives and of Philip’s to be to glorify God!
I have written name stories on this blog four years ago when my grand-daughter Lily was born (If you didn’t see it, or want a quick review, here is the link: https://deebrestin.com/2013/04/when-god-names-a-child/
In capsule form (but there are other great name stories on that post) God gave my daughter Annie the name Lily Grace so clearly when she was seven months pregnant. No one expected Lily to be born on Easter, but she was late — and arrived Easter morning. I sat in church, surrounded by the fragrance and sight of lilies lining the steps when I got the text:
Lily Grace is here, Mama!
We are so full of joy.
Bring Miabelle and come meet her right after church!
I thought, in wonder, You really did name her, Lord.
Here is Lily at two and just this week, tuckered out from pre-school. Oh, be still my grandma heart!
3. Do you have a story of God naming a child? Do you have comments on the above or the fact that He does name children?
THIS WEEK: MAN [IS] APPOINTED MORTAL SORROW
Could also be translated (Mankind is appointed to mortality, a fixed place.)
Tuesday and Wednesday: Adam
When I first heard about this gospel sentence, I was skeptical. It was my Pentecostal son J. R. who first showed it to me, quoting Chuck Missler. I said: “Who is Chuck Missler?”
J. R. said, “He’s not a Pentecostal.” (And we laughed. I have told him Pentecostals see meaning in everything, and I know he feels evangelicals look right at something hidden and miss it. But if we listen to each other, we can learn from each other, being as iron sharpens iron. How beautiful is the diversified body of Christ.)
But I did research, as we are told to be like the Bereans, checking things out. I talked to a Hebrew scholar. I also found many respected scholars believed it from Pentecostal to Reformed. Sometimes you have to go to the root of the word, but even with my limited Hebrew knowledge, I could see it using online concordances. Here is one good article on it if you are interested. http://wesleyhuff.blogspot.com/2016/12/genealogy-of-genesis-5-christmas.html
We begin with Adam, and we know from the New Testament that he represents fallen man, for Jesus is the second Adam, who succeeded where Adam failed and thus made rescue possible.
4. What is the first name given in the genealogy listed in Genesis 5:1?
5. Read Genesis 3:20-24
A. Who named the animals and what do you think this signifies? (Hint: Genesis 1:26)
B. Who named Adam and Eve and what do you think this signifies?
C. What does the name Adam mean? (Here’s a link: http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/0120.htmlD.
D. What does the name Eve mean? (See text)
E. Challenge question: When God created Adam, He knew He was going to create Eve, and what He
would name them, so what does this tell you about men and women?
6. Can you think of an instance where you exercised dominion over the animals and God helped you? If so, share this God sighting.
7. Why did Eve choose the name Seth according to the text of Genesis 4:25?
(Seth comes from the Hebrew word shiyth — the root is twot, meaning to appoint, to lay upon, to put) You can check this out online with websites like Bible gateway or Blue Letter Bible.)
8. Challenge Question: Why couldn’t the line of Abel die out?
9. No child can replace a child who has died, for he or she was unique and cherished. I used to grieve for Job, for when God gave him more children at the end, I thought, But oh, that can’t make up for the deaths of children he loved. But there is something wonderful in that account that I hope you can see. And yes, I guess this is another challenge question. If you compare Job 1:3 and Job 42:12, you will see God doubled all the animals he once had. But he did not double the children. Do you know why?
Thursday: Enosh and Kenan
10. What does the name Enosh mean? http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/0582.html
Read this from Chuck Missler. I think he makes a strong case that mortal sorrow is a better translation than “mortality, a fixed place.” But you see what you think — and in any case, both carry the same idea.
Friday: Man [is] appointed mortal sorrow. (Or Mankind is appointed to mortality, a fixed place)
Knowing God appointed sorrow for us can chill our bones, yet I have also found it brings comfort. Why? It was not Satan who appointed the sorrow, but God. What does this mean? He appointed sorrow for our good – first, to awaken us to our need for a Savior.
Back in the 1970’s the distinguished psychiatrist Karl Menninger wrote a book that would become a classic: Whatever Became of Sin? He noted how the word “sin” had become politically incorrect. It was Abraham Lincoln who instituted The National Day of Prayer to honor God and to address the problem of sin in America. But the last president to actually use the word “sin” during the National Day of Prayer was President Eisenhower. Since then words like “short-comings,” or “mistakes” are used instead.
Yet we haven’t just made a mistake, we have rebelled against a holy God, going our own way instead of His. And unless we realize that God’s wrath is real, unless we realize how desperate we are, we will not respond to the only One who can rescue us, not only from the penalty of sin, but from the power of sin in our lives. Instead, He also appoints sorrow for running to our idols, to awaken us to our need.
12. Comment on the above.
13. Sometimes a God sighting occurs when He brings sorrow into your life for good. Can you share such a time?
14. What is your take-a-way from this week and why?