What If

This “What If” post started as a reflection on the Tree of Knowledge series and in particular The Tree They Could Eat post.  However, as Christmas 2020 and Epiphany 2021 has come and gone my “what if” post started to look and feel different – it does help if you wait on God.  So, please read on as I either ramble or expound (readers’ choice) on the topic of – What If. 

Tree of Life – The “what if” here will require some imagination. What if Adam and Eve had eaten from the Tree of Life first?  Would the great religious term “original sin” have been draped on our necks? Following this thought would there have been a need for religion at all?

Proverbs 3:18 connects the tree of life with wisdom.  What Adam and Eve got was knowledge, not wisdom and we have seen how that worked out.  Would the serpent be able to temp them at that point?  Adam had imparted what he knew to Eve, how the “don’t touch” phrase got added is open to debate. That add-in became the first religious, not righteous, statement ever made – humanity has been adding their thoughts to God’s words and not doing His will ever since.

Besides living forever could the Tree of Life impart wisdom?  We can see that at the end of all things the “overcomers” in Heaven will be able to eat from the Tree and be healed forever.  Would Adam and Eve be able to ignore the temptation of the serpent and stuff a fig in his mouth thus changing history?  Well, that did not happen so let’s go to God’s Plan B.

Christmas – I am going to ramble first so please bear with me.  Because Adam and Eve ate the fruit we get to sing about figgy pudding at Christmas time.  On the bright side, we don’t have designer fig-leaf and accessory lines to deal with.  The Christmas Carol and most modern rom-com Christmas movies are really “what if” stories.  (Spoiler alert- Amazon Prime actually listed one older version of the Christmas Carol as a horror movie.)  Time-changing ghosts or angels, bumps on the head, or unusual “portals” allow people to change their lives and fulfill a “what if” in their lives.  Lost loves, missed chances, or bad attitudes and behaviors are some of the “ifs” that will get changed.  Okay, now I will expound some.

Jesus and the Christmas story had to happen because the fruit looked good.  Eve had no context to know if it would taste good or give her any advance mental abilities (Gen.2:6).  Well, the knowledge part could have come from the name of the tree (God said that) and a crafty, lying snake.  The “good for food” part is still very much up for debate in my mind because not all good-looking fruit tastes nice.

Israel’s history up to the time of Jesus showed God’s mercy, compassion, and love for His people and His willingness to give second chances.  Before you distort the “God is love” fact, please remember the fall of Jerusalem, the exile of the Northern Kingdom, and the horror stories that caused “judges” to have to arise and set things up for a “what if” story.  God did allow judgments to fall on the People because they followed their concepts of “good and evil” and not those of the Father.  Jesus’ life starting with His first coming (Christmas) and going to His crucifixion and ascension is the fulfillment of the types and shadows of the Old Testament.  Jesus’ life, teachings, and ministry speak of the history and feast of Israel.  They should shift our thinking back to the Father’s Kingdom and what it would have been like if Adam and Eve had eaten from a different Tree.

I believe Psalm 8:5-8 gives us a glimpse of our true position here on earth and why Satan tempted Eve and Adam.  Mankind had a place of his own, a job, authority, and (verse 9) was to praise God.  Satan wanted all of it, especially the praise.

The Gospel – The story of Jesus had to happen because Adam and Eve choose the wrong “if”. The Good News is a “what if” story in action- what can happen if I believe and follow Jesus.  The main problem here is that you have to choose Jesus as your Lord. (Adam and Eve choose a different lord.) 

I so wanted to somehow make faith into a “what if”, it is not!  Hebrews 11:1 ended that thought – Faith is being sure of what we hope (NIV).  This could easily go to a “big wheel” argument (it just keeps going in circles).  Stepping out into something new may be a “what if”.  Missing the perfect way can allow God to do a “what if”, so things surrounding faith may be or turn into “what ifs”. 

Ramblings – In the secular movie Letters to Juliet the protagonist “What-if” shows up early in the movie- hidden and screaming in silence but trying to catch its voice.  You don’t really see its full influence until the end, starting with the marriage feast.  The antagonist “Win-win” really steers the early direction of the film starting with the trip to Italy.  Win-win is a perfect hero for one character but leaves one gasping and grasping.  As the film ends, you know that Win-win lost but What-if’s final status looks good but hidden in the haze of a beautiful setting sun.  (If you watch the movie know it has some questionable themes.)   

Win-win has snuck into churches and is in a constant battle with What-if.  For 2000 years Win-win has taken Kingdom terminology, thoughts, and actions and have misused them.  Win-wins have twisted all sorts of Kingdom ways into paths that do not have JESUS AS LORD.  I have asked people if they are Christian.  The answer was not yes or no but what denomination they belonged to.  Some people might say they are saved, but they cannot tell you from what.  While other pew-sitters are sure that the Epistles are the wives of the Apostles (lol).  

Final Thought – You will have what-ifs when you are following the Holy Spirit as He leads you to Jesus.  Some will and some won’t be what you expect.  Grace, however, is our game changer.  Jesus is in the forgiving and second-chance business.  Mercy is new every morning, but you have to take it.  I am sure that the Father has a Plan A and a Plan B for you and all will work your “what if’s” together for your good. 

Light and Dark #3 – Darkness then Light

Matthew 10: 27 (NIV) What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

This verse is part of the instructions Jesus gave the disciples before He sent them out to be light! There will be dark times, they may be times of trial that we are enduring, or they could be chosen study times when you rise before the sun comes up.  Just because it is dark does not mean that Jesus is not with you.  Work to open up to Him and know what He wants you to get from the experience.  

In Light and Dark #2, I mentioned a pattern that God uses – dark then light.  He brought this into play when He created time.  Genesis 1 – the evening and the morning make up a day. (See Time and Biblical Calendar) This is how the Jews mark their day and one part of this concept is that we start our day with rest and finish with work.

FURTHER THOUGHT:  Exodus 10: 21 says that the darkness could be felt!  #6205 in the Hebrew part of Strong’s is used for “thick” darkness.  What would that feel like? Describe what that would mean to you.

∞Father, thank you for the dark times and the light times.  Help us to use them to know and spread Your Word. 

The Bible and Science – Light and Dark

Job 38: 19 – 20 (NIV)

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

Light and darkness! Two themes that are used frequently in the Bible.  I have written eight posts in this series on light (I will link them below.) but none on the two of them.  As I write this the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays will start in just a few days.  Our community has a “Festival of Lights” that they will begin soon.  Many religions have a time when they celebrate LIGHT. As Christians, we know that the light is Jesus.  The Apostle John starts his Gospel and 1 John with that thought – Jesus is the Light. John also warns about walking/fellowshipping with darkness.

In the passage, God is questioning Job and verses 19 and 20 contain questions 12 – 15 (Yes, I numbered God’s questions, by my count, there are 68 of them in the NIV.). The imagery is awesome!  God has a place/room where He keeps true light and true dark.  Now, we could conclude that the question is about day and night, but what if there is a room where “real” light and dark are stored.  Our day and night are just part of the “Shadowland” version of light and dark. (Shadowland is a C. S. Lewis concept.)  Okay back to my thought.

I will not presume to answer God’s question but our night is earth’s shadow.  Earth is the cause of our night.

  • Father, thank you for the times we have to rest.  May we not live in the shadow of earthly things but always walk in the LIGHT.

Other post about light:

Lighthttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/02/02/the-bible-and-science-light/

Light #2 https://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/02/13/the-bible-and-science-light-2/

Light #3https://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/02/27/the-bible-and-science-light-3/

Infraredhttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/03/02/the-bible-and-science-infrared-light/

Lightninghttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/12/29/lightning-consider-gods-wonders/

Lightning #2 https://ificouldteachthebible.com/2013/12/31/lightning-2-the-bible-and-science/

Lightning Then Thunderhttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2014/01/22/lightning-then-thunder-the-bible-and-science/

Following the Lighthttps://ificouldteachthebible.com/2018/03/10/following-the-light/

The Bible and Science – Acceleration

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Proverbs 25:2 (NIV)

This may be a strange verse to start a devotion about acceleration. You can find words like quick, distance, faster, and many mentions of time(s) in the Bible but not acceleration.  Starting, stopping, changing direction, and falling is concepts that are found in many stories and verses in Scripture.  So, I started with Proverbs 25:2 because it is clearly something “kings” have searched out as a foundational base of the science of motion.

Acceleration covers speeding up, slowing down, falling, and changing directions while moving.  Another way to think about it is changing velocity over time.  Velocity is speed with a direction, that thought is better when you realize that when you have speed and are moving, you are going somewhere.  That is why you can have positive (going faster and faster) or negative (going slower) acceleration.  Not moving or not changing speed means no acceleration.  (“Science Minds” please bear with me as I will be “wandering” a bit.)

Since acceleration is not a Bible term I will give three verses that show aspects of that motion:

  1. Psalm 46:10 Be still and know God. If you are to “be still” it would make sense that you were moving. So, to stop in the Lord you are decelerating.  After you have spent time with Jesus and are ready to move you will accelerate
  2. 2 Corinthians 3:18 We are transformed with ever-increasing glory(NIV paraphrased) Glory to glory(KJV) Jesus meets you where you are in life, but He wants you to be increasing over the time you are His. This is an example of acceleration; gaining more of Him as you continue forward, in life, in the “Jesus life”.
  3. Deuteronomy 28:7 Come at you from one direction and leave in seven directions. As your enemies move at from one direction they will turn to flee from you.  That is an example of acceleration (changing directions). I can see them hitting angels that are shielding us and being turned aside. You could bring in several other laws of motion here but that may happen later.                                                              ∞ Jesus, help us to continue moving forward as we are spending time with You.

Passover to Pentecost – Week 5

This week there are “second” chances that we are looking at.

  1. Passover to Pentecost – The Book of Ruth
  2. Passover to Pentecost – The Second Passover
  3. Passover to Pentecost – Hezekiah’s Passover
  4. Passover to Pentecost – John 21
  5. Passover to Pentecost – Moses and His Second Chance
  6. Passover to Pentecost – Ephesians 4:22
  7. Passover to Pentecost – The Great Commission