Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Psalm 3 – Utter Confidence in the Yeshua of God

David one day found out that his son, Absalom, had swayed the hearts of the people of Israel away from him. 2 Samuel 15:12 says that “the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom.” So David was forced to flee from his son. Absalom and the people thought what they were doing was right in the eyes of the LORD. They supposed that they were right in taking away the kingdom from David and giving it to Absalom. The people thought Absalom to be a righteous and just man, for he had sat by the gate to intercept anyone going to King David to obtain judgment. He would flatter the person with talk about how he would listen to them and give them justice if he were king in David’s place (2 Sam 15:1-6). So more and more people were being swayed away from David, the LORD’s anointed, who was a man after God’s own heart. In the wilderness, surveying the situation, David wrote:

1 O LORD, how my adversaries have increased!
  Many are rising up against me.
2 Many are saying of my soul,
  “There is no deliverance for him in God.”

God’s people are often surrounded by many adversaries who would rise up against them and declare that God does not care for them. Religious apostates seek to strangle the truth as they gain power and influence. Because of their deception, they have a false confidence that God is for them. Saul of Tarsus thought he was fulfilling the will of God by persecuting and killing Christians until he met the Lord on the road to Damascus. It was then that he realized his own delusion and turned from being an enemy of the gospel to a believer and a preacher of that same gospel.

However, David is certain that there is indeed deliverance for him in God:

3 But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,
  My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
4 I was crying to the LORD with my voice,
  And He answered me from His holy mountain.

God is often depicted as a shield to those who believe in Him and who walk in His ways. Although there was a host of people seeking to harm him, David was confident of God’s protection. Those who worship God and walk in His ways always have God with them, though they lose all. It could be said that David had lost all glory. He was no longer in his palace or on his throne. He no longer was praised by the people. But he recognized that God was his glory. Those who trust God and keep His Word also know that though trials are unavoidable, they pass; and they look to God to give to them as He sees fit. David knew that it would be God who exalted him back to his throne to rule among the people in due time. He was confident in God, because God had heard his plea and had answered from on high. God had not been dethroned. He was still sovereign. And although David felt far away from the presence of God, he was rejoicing that God had heard him and answered.

5 I lay down and slept;
  I awoke, for the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
  Who have set themselves against me round about.

God had answered David by preserving him through the night in the midst of his multiplying enemies. He had laid down to sleep, trusting God to keep him safe, and he had woken in the morning and recognized that God had sustained him. Even though this seems like such a small victory in the face of overwhelming odds, David recognized that if he could trust God with one night, he could trust Him with anything. So he confidently asserts that he would not be afraid of even ten thousands of people setting themselves around him in opposition.

With renewed strength, he again cries out to the LORD:

7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God!
  For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek;
  You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD;
  Your blessing be upon Your people!

God desires His people to pray to Him. The first instinct of the believer must be to cry out to God for deliverance from the trials of life. He also desires them to trust that He will indeed deliver them. David expressed his confidence that God would contend with his enemies.

In the last verse. David expresses the main theme of the psalm: salvation belongs to the LORD. Primarily, physical salvation is in view in this context. But it is also true that spiritual salvation is from the LORD. God delivers the repentant from the oppression of sin and the devil, and He delivers them from the afflictions that present themselves to those who believe in Him. He is, first, the redeemer of the soul from sin, and, second, the deliverer of the redeemed from affliction.


Those who fear the Lord and walk in righteousness have always been hated by those who walk in unrighteousness. Because the unrighteous want to shirk the bonds of the sovereign and righteous God, they strike out at those who love Him. This was true of Abel. This was true of David. This was true of all the prophets.

This was true in the life of the Lord Jesus, whose enemies increased and gathered around Him to crucify Him, supposing that God would not deliver Him from their hand. What they did not know is that they were acting according to the plan of God. All of His life, Jesus entrusted Himself to God, for He knew that God’s plan could not be altered or thwarted. Thus, Jesus showed no fear as His enemies multiplied and cried out for Him to be crucified. He entrusted Himself to God, who would lift up His head and exalt Him to His right hand. In this way, salvation belongs to the LORD, and His blessing is upon His people. For they will not be condemned on the day of the LORD, but will be saved through their trust in the atonement of sin provided by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.

How we can rest assured in the finished work of Christ. We can entrust ourselves to God to watch over us and keep us from harm. And most of all, we can trust His promise of salvation from sin and a citizenship in the coming Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will reign forever and ever, smiting all of His enemies on the cheek and shattering the teeth of the wicked.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Genesis 4 – Two Ways

This article is part of a series of articles that resulted from my time preaching through the book of Genesis. The commentary on the passage is my own, resulting from hours of research and exegetical study. It is my intent to draw a biblical theology chapter by chapter through the book of Genesis that places the events of the narratives into the broad picture of the entire Bible, demonstrating the progressiveness of theology and the sufficiency of every Word of Scripture. It is my prayer that these articles are helpful to those seeking a better understanding of the book of Genesis and of the Bible as a whole. The sermon series and other resources can be found at

Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, plunging the entire world and the human race into sin. It is hard to imagine the guilt and sorrow that Adam felt as he watched sin dominate his descendants for the 930 years of his life. How he must have anticipated the fulfillment of the promise of God! And how disappointed he must have been by what he surely perceived as the slow fulfillment of the prophecy of the coming Redeemer. The narrator blanks most of this, following two strands of Adam’s line of descendants. The line of his son Cain ended up being a line filled with hatred and violence. The line of his son Seth began to call upon the Lord and walk in righteousness before Him. The line of Cain would end up being wiped out at the judgment, but the line of Seth would be saved.

top view photography of forest
Photo Credit: Tom Parsons

4:1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” 2 Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Eve must have thought that Cain was the promised seed. When he was born, she recognized the Lord’s hand in giving her this child. Eve believed the promise of God, and expected the fulfillment of the promise of a redeemer from sin. While Eve was caring for Cain, she must have come to realize that this new baby boy had been affected by their sin. She must have been heartbroken by the rebellious and selfish tendencies that are evident even in small children. So when she gave birth to another son, she named him Abel, which means ‘vapor’ and came to mean ‘vanity.’  

And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” 8 Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

The text says that the Lord did not regard Cain, and since He did not regard Cain, He did not regard his offering either. Likewise, God had regard for Abel, and since He had regard for Abel, He had regard for Abel’s offering. Even in the Law of Moses, which would come thousands of years later, there was a provision for the offering of first fruits of the ground. However, the text does not specify that Cain brought the first fruits. The text implies that Cain just brought some fruit from the ground. But Abel brought the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. He gave the first and the best to the Lord. This is indicative of his heart and his reverence for God in contrast to Cain’s casual approach to God.

We do not know what statutes God gave to Adam and Eve about sacrifice. God clothed Adam and Eve with an animal skin, sacrificing the first animal as a demonstration of the coming sacrificial lamb who would clothe them in His righteousness. If this was a demonstration of the sacrifice they were to make, then Cain failed by not bringing a bloody sacrifice to symbolize the propitiation of sins by the coming Redeemer’s shedding of blood.

Either way, Cain was extremely angry about the whole situation. God told him that he should not be angry but obey from the heart. If he did well in this way, then he would not be angry and dejected. God warned Cain that sin was waiting for him like a predatory animal, but Cain must master it. Cain met Abel in a field and told him all of this. Then he murdered Abel.

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Whereas Adam and Eve had affirmed that they had indeed sinned but shifted the blame from themselves, Cain pretends ignorance of his sin before God.

10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! 14 Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.

Since it was from the ground that his sustenance came, Cain was forced to become an outcast upon the earth. When Cain expressed the greatness of his punishment and his fear that his family would seek him out to kill him, God had mercy on Cain and pronounced a curse against those who would slay him as a deterrent against his murder.

16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son. 18 Now to Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael became the father of Methushael, and Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took to himself two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron; and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

Cain moved to the East of Eden to the land of Nod (meaning “wandering”), and fathered Enoch. Many struggle with the fact that Cain’s wife must have been his sister, but this should not be a stumbling block since all people descend from Adam and Eve. There were not yet any harmful mutations in their genetic makeups, having descended from the pure DNA of Adam and Eve. Only as time progressed did incestuous relationships become dangerous and unlawful.

Cain built a city in the land of his wandering, and named it after his son. Over the years, the city was filled with inhabitants as the genealogy traces a line through seven generations from Adam through Cain. There were no doubt many more sons and daughters born to Cain and to the subsequent generations.

The common grace of God was evident even upon the ungodly line of Cain. His descendants were intelligent, cultivating livestock, inventing musical instruments, learning to forge bronze and iron. God often blesses the ungodly with many abilities and talents which they should recognize as coming from Him. However, the sinful nature of even the extraordinarily gifted lead them to do foolish things:

23 Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah,
Listen to my voice,
You wives of Lamech,
Give heed to my speech,
For I have killed a man for wounding me;
And a boy for striking me;
24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold,
Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

The genealogy ends with a descendant of Cain named Lamech who demonstrates the advancement in depravity by the time of the Flood. Lamech murdered a young man for something superficial. And he pronounced himself to be free of guilt and deserving of ten times the protection that Cain had. This is but a small glimpse of the violence that filled the world before the Great Flood. Cain’s line ends after these seven generations, because it was wiped out by the judgment of God.

25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.

Now the narrative shifts back to Adam and Eve, who are given another son named Seth. Adam and Eve recognize this as God’s gift to them in place of Abel who was murdered by Cain. Seth grew up and fathered Enosh. At this time, the line of Seth began to call upon the name of the Lord.

Cain’s line was be wiped out by the Flood, because neither he nor his descendants trusted in God or His promises. They were not characterized by faith, but by rebellion. They did not walk in the path of righteousness, but in the path of wickedness. However, the line of Seth was spared from the judgment of the waters, for they feared God and walked in His ways. God raised up a deliverer for them: Noah, who would obey the voice of God in building an ark. And he would preach the coming judgment and the need of salvation. But only he and his family of eight would be saved.

How this needs to instruct us today! The judgment is coming, and we are to be calling all people everywhere to repent and trust in the redeemer and deliverer, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The world is quickly looking like the world depicted in Genesis 4. And there are still only two options: to rebel against God and walk in the way of wickedness, or to believe God and walk in the way of righteousness. Let all people everywhere call upon the LORD through His Son Jesus Christ and be saved.

Read Chapter 5

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Genesis 3 - Paradise Lost

This article is part of a series of articles that resulted from my time preaching through the book of Genesis. The commentary on the passage is my own, resulting from hours of research and exegetical study. It is a joy to review each chapter with the goal of highlighting the theology of the text and showing how each chapter fits within the overall framework of Scripture. It is my prayer that these articles are helpful to those seeking a better understanding of the book of Genesis and of the Bible as a whole.. The sermon series and other resources can be found at

Before considering this crucial third chapter of Genesis, I encourage the reader to ponder long upon the first two chapters, for only then will the tragedy of the third chapter be appreciated. It is unknown how long the man and the woman experienced the bliss of the Garden of Eden, the garden that was planted by God Himself for the first couple to enjoy and tend to. The writer of Genesis, Moses by the inspiration of God, wrote in chapter 2 of the splendid beauty and nature of the earth prior to the Fall and Flood. We have trouble picturing what it must have been like in the Garden before the Fall, because a world without sin is so alien to us. Also, the cataclysmic world-wide Flood changed the earth in many ways, so that all who have ever read Genesis have been aware of their inability to fully imagine what it was like for the first couple to live in the Garden of Eden.

Having read of the perfection of Creation, we are suddenly jarred by these next events. The man and the woman were perfectly innocent and pure, so that they were in no need of clothing. But now we are introduced to a ‘crafty’ character:

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

A mysterious creature steps onto the stage of Scripture, questioning the Word of God. The serpent is unmasked in later revelation as “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev 12:9). He may have appeared to the woman who was tending the garden fairly close to the forbidden tree while the man was far enough away to be out of ear-shot.

 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

The woman answered the question, seemingly undisturbed that she was talking to an animal, telling the snake that they were supposed to leave the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil alone. She stated that the consequence of eating the fruit would be death. The serpent seized upon this:

4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So far in Genesis, the LORD has proclaimed what He is going to do, and it has been completely fulfilled and it has been very good. Now, for the first time, the word of the Lord is brought into question, being cast in a bad light. The serpent was suggesting that God’s Word was not true, that God had withheld an important piece of information from the man and the woman when He commanded them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He is making the woman wonder if they could trust the Creator and take Him at His Word. He wants her to think that God is selfishly keeping something from them that would make them like Him.

selective focus photo of black and beige snake on branch

So the woman looked closer at the tree:

6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

In this way the serpent deceived the woman into eating the fruit of the tree. Wherever Adam was, he must have seen that the woman ate and was unharmed. So he took the fruit and ate in open rebellion, calling God’s bluff. But they quickly realize it was not a bluff.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Now they realized their nakedness, and sought to hide their shame. They made loincloths out of fig leaves that would have been awkward and uncomfortable.

8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

O the grace of God! He did not storm in with thunder and lightning. He did not rain brimstone and fire upon the garden. He walked in the garden, gently and compassionately calling to Adam, giving him a chance to confess His sin. But how sin had already worked upon the minds of the man and woman, for Adam passes the blame to his wife who likewise passes it to the serpent. How devastating are the effects of sin!

The serpent is never given a chance to speak for himself. God lays down punishment for the three individuals.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

It has long been surmised from this passage that the serpent once possessed some other form of transportation than slithering through the dirt, although the details can only be conjectured. In verse 15, God spoke to the entity behind the serpent: Satan. He Himself would put enmity between him and the woman as well as the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman. This would result in the seed of the woman bruising Satan on the head and Satan bruising the seed of the woman on the heel. The seed of the woman will become known as the Messiah, who would be born of a virgin and crush Satan’s head by His death on the cross (which would only be a bruising on the heel).

16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

God told the woman that the consequences of listening to the serpent’s word over His own would be great pain in childbirth and an unfulfilled desire to rule over her husband.

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19 By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

God pronounced a curse upon Adam and the dust from which he was formed. Mankind would toil in the dust for their food all the days of their life. The man found out that the consequences of disobeying God was indeed death, but he would have to live in a dying body for 900 years before finally succumbing to death and returning to the dust.

20 Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

Adam renamed his wife, trusting in the promise of God that she would become the mother of all the living (Eve = חוה = life/living). Having demonstrated their belief in the promises of God, God slaughtered an animal to make garments of skin to clothe Adam and Eve, foreshadowing the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus to die in the place of sinner and clothe them with His righteousness.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

We are again brought into the counsel of the Trinity who discuss the need to protect the man from eating from the tree of life to become immortal in his cursed estate. So the couple were driven out of the garden to a place where they would have to learn to cultivate the ground in order to eat. God placed a cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life. Again, how great is God’s grace to keep mankind from living forever in their wretched estate.


In this way, Paradise was lost. Sin came into the world through Adam, who openly rebelled against the commandment of God, plunging his descendants into utter depravity. We cannot comprehend the man and the woman’s life in the garden, because we cannot imagine even a moment that is not tainted with sin. This is the condition that all mankind suffers from, for all die. The only remedy is the seed of the woman who was born to crush the serpents head. This is the focus of the rest of Scripture: the coming Seed of the woman who will break the curse of sin and restore the perfection of Creation.

Jesus, the Son of God, was born of a woman several thousand years after this fateful day in the Garden of Eden. Being the Son of God, He lived a sinless life, and was therefore undeserving of death. But He was delivered over to death, according to the plan of God, so that the sin of those who believe in Him would be credited to Him so that He would die in their place, satisfying the wrath of God against them, and that God would credit them with His righteousness. All who trust in Him will be legally declared righteous in God’s sight, and there will not be any condemnation against them on the day of judgment, for it was all poured out on Jesus. Jesus paid it all.

God raised Jesus from the dead, validating Jesus’ atonement of sins. God exalted Jesus to His right hand, where He is now to intercede on behalf of those who believe in Him. And one day, He will return to set up His kingdom where there will be no curse, and He will reign forever. The final chapters of the Bible (Revelation 21-22) prophesy that these things will happen. We know the end of the story! The curse will end, and God will reign in righteousness over the New Creation.

Read Chapter 4

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Psalm 2 - The Inescapable Sovereignty of God

By Tim Miller
First Baptist Church of Roxana

These articles are the product of a labor of love. I write these in the fear of God and the love for the church. Since God has spoken and acted in history and has left us the inspired record of these events, it is our solemn duty and pleasure as His children to study to be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as workmen who do not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (cf. 2 Tim 2:15). Find more resources at

The Psalms are full of Messianic expectation. Psalm 2 sets the tone for the Messiah as the future ruler who will reign over Zion. There is also an expectation of mercy for those who repent and worship the Son of God. Those who find refuge in Him will be eternally happy in His presence, for not only is this victorious Messiah a King, but according to later revelation, He is also a propitiation, having died once for all in the place of those who call upon Him. However, the hopeless condition of those who will not believe and who shake their fist in the face of God is highlighted, for they hope against hope that they can find a way to be free of Him; but none will be able to escape God on the day of judgment. Their fate will not be a happy one.

See the source image

2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”

David observes the common factor that unites the secular nations together: hatred of God and His Messiah. The picture is one of tumult, from the national governments to the individuals who comprise the state. They are all of one mind, crying out that they desire to be free of the bonds of God. They want no connection to Him. They do not want to be under His authority. They do not want to answer to Him. So they are seeking to break their ties to Him and to His Messiah and to be independent of Him. In Acts 4:27-28, the early church saw fulfillment of this, praying, “truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.” Among the nations in an uproar, we find that the unbelieving Jewish nation was even among those shaking their fists at God.

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

God is not frightened by the violent plans men devise against Him. He does not pace back and forth in Heaven hoping He can win. Instead, He is seated confidently on His throne, knowing that everything that He purposes will come to pass. So He laughs at the futile efforts of men to free themselves of His rule. He scoffs at them. Then He speaks, and terrifies them in His anger and righteous fury. He declares that it is set in stone: He will install His King (His Anointed) upon Zion. The Messiah will reign victoriously in the midst of His enemies (cf. Psalm 110:2).

In the Tribulation, the sixth seal will bring a “great earthquake; and the sun [will become] black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon [will become] like blood; and the stars of the sky [will fall] to the earth…The sky [will be] split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island [will be] moved out of their places” (Rev 6:12-14). On that day, there will be great terror as “the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man [will hide] themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they [will say] to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Rev 6:15-17).

Sometime after this, the twenty-four elders will worship God at the sound of the seventh trumpet, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came….” (Rev 11:17-18).

People would like to think of God as a little god. One who able to be avoided and appeased with trifling things. One whose power is limited and whose sovereignty is finite. One whose knowledge is incomplete and whose righteousness is diminished. How we must proclaim the majesty and the glory of the big and infinite God of Scripture who is seated on His throne, in absolute control of all things.

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

Here is the Anointed of the LORD, the Son of God Himself, Jesus, testifying to the decree of the Father to Him, claiming Him as His Son. As God’s only begotten Son, He receives as His inheritance the possession of the earth. The very nations that struggle against Him will be given to Him as a possession. God tells the Messiah to break them with an iron rod and shatter them like clay pots. So great is the power of the Messiah that His victory will be swift. The might of the nations is nothing compared to His.

With this information in hand, the psalmist now turns to the inhabitants of the earth with a warning:

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

He implores the people to show discernment and take warning, knowing that they could never win this battle against God. He pleads with them to worship and reverence the Lord, rejoicing in His favor with great trembling. He pleads them to kiss the feet of the Son so that they will not perish when He becomes angry. He warns them of the urgency of their repentance, for the wrath of the Son will quickly come. However, whoever does show discernment, whoever does take warning, whoever does worship, whoever does rejoice, whoever does kiss the Son and takes refuge in Him will be delivered.


The depravity of man has led him to reject God ever since sin was brought into the world in the Garden of Eden. However, God promised a redeemer who would deal with the sin problem and restore all things to their pre-cursed state. As revelation progresses, there is revealed the coming of the Messiah who will be born of a virgin, be rejected by His people, and be slain. It is also revealed that He will rise again and ascend bodily to heaven to sit at the right hand of God until the time when He takes up the ruler’s staff over the earth.

This is fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. The New Testament looks forward to His return to establish His kingdom upon Zion and reign forever in fulfillment of all that has been written.

God has written the end of the story so that we will look forward to what is to come. In this way, we rejoice even as we sorrow in the midst of this perverse world. Let us not be disheartened, for we look for our Savior in the clouds, knowing that our future with Him is better than anything we ever dreamed. So let us be faithful to obey our Master, taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, even though depraved man shakes with rage against it. Let us call all people to discern the truth and worship the Father and the Son, knowing the power of the gospel to save sinners and transform their hearts and minds into conformity with the truth.

Genesis 2 - A Closer Look at the Creation of Man

This article is part of a series of articles that resulted from my time preaching through the book of Genesis. The commentary on the passage is my own, resulting from hours of research and exegetical study. It is a joy to review each chapter with the goal of highlighting the theology of the text and showing how each chapter fits within the overall framework of Scripture. It is my prayer that these articles are helpful to those seeking a better understanding of the book of Genesis and of the Bible as a whole. The sermon series and other resources can be found at

The addition of chapter and verse numbers have been a great aid for students of the Bible, but sometimes the chapter breaks are in odd places. The first three verses of this chapter finish out the account of Creation Week:

2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Having finished the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days, God rested on the seventh day from all the work He had been doing. God set the pattern for a week: six days of work and one day of rest from that work.

After the account of Creation Week, Moses returns to the sixth day for a closer look:

4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. 5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. 

Plants of the field (cultivated plants and grains) had not yet appeared on earth, because there was no rain or man to cultivate the ground. Shrubs of the field (thistles (cf. Job 30:7)) were “not yet in the earth,” because this is Pre-Fall. Since there was no rain in the time before the Flood, it seems that subterranean water would spring up in several places on the earth and water would flow all around the earth.

body of water surrounded by pine trees during daytime
Photo Credit: Luca Bravo

7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God formed a man from the dirt and breathed into him the breath of life. He planted a garden in which the man would dwell, causing fruit trees to grow, of which also were two special trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The Garden of Eden had a spring that watered the garden and flowed out of it as a river. There was so much water produced that it split into four rivers that flowed around rich lands. It follows that the Garden of Eden was elevated for the river to flow.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

God placed the man in the garden to tend to it, giving him unlimited access to every tree except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If the man transgressed this one restriction, he was told that he would “surely die.” The man was not wanting for trees that were “pleasing to the sight and good for food,” for there was an entire garden of such trees. God’s restriction of this one tree was a test of obedience. The tree itself was not evil, for God observed at the end of the day that everything was “very good.”

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

For the first time in the text, God declares that something is “not good.” God formed a pair of each living creature of the field and sky and paraded them before the man. He allowed the man to name the creatures (demonstrating the man’s authority over the creatures), but what the man realized from this (and what God already knew) is that there was no corresponding mate for him. So God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep so that He could take part of the man’s side and fashion from it a woman. God brought her to the man, who spoke a poem, the first recorded words of man, naming her “woman” because she was taken from his own flesh and bone.

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Moses comments that this is the origin of the institution of marriage. A man and woman shall leave the shelter of their parents to be joined together into one flesh. He closes with a note that the man and his wife were naked and were not ashamed. They had nothing to hide. They had no sinful impulses they needed, so there was no need for concealment.


The Pre-Fall world depicted in Genesis 1 and 2 is utterly different than the world that exists after the Fall (which brought sin into the world) and after the Flood (which changed the topography of the earth). This Paradise was rich with life and beauty. It was a world that God was able to say, “It is very good.”

Throughout Genesis, we are awaiting the redemption and reappearance of this perfect and sinless creation. However, the book ends without a return to paradise. Instead, the family of promise will flee the Promised Land because of famine and become enslaved by a godless people.

Even by the end of the Old Testament, the redemptive plan of God seems to be on hold. The Jews had returned to the land, but their hearts were far from God. They did not possess or inhabit the entire Promised Land. There was no king on the throne of David.

The New Testament opens with the seed of the woman, the promised redeemer and king, Jesus Christ. For a time, it seemed as though He was going to bring about the restoration. But He was cut off, crucified. He was raised by God from the dead, and ascended into heaven. His apostles were sent into the world to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom, calling all people to repent and believe that Jesus is the Promised Messiah. The New Testament closed with The revelation of Jesus Christ, foretelling that He will come again to conquer the earth and restore it to Paradise, where He will reign forever in fulfillment of the Creation Mandate of Genesis 1:26-28.

Read Chapter 3

Monday, June 11, 2018

Proverbs 1:8-19 - The Importance of Parental Instruction

By Tim Miller
First Baptist Church of Roxana

Proverbs 1:8-19 begins one of several admonitions that Solomon wrote to his son. This first message follows directly on the footsteps of the introduction. In these messages to his son, he seeks to provide wisdom and instruction for his son (cf. 1:1a). He wants his son to be discerning and understanding (cf. 1:1b). He urges his son to receive instruction in wise behavior and righteousness and justice and equity (cf. 1:3). He wants his son to be prudent and not naïve (cf. 1:4a). He wants him to have discretion (cf. 1:4b). He wants to instill the fear of the LORD in his son, which he has just written is the beginning of knowledge; and he constantly urges his son not to foolishly despise the wisdom and instructions that his parents give him (1:7).
Image result for running away stock image

Solomon writes...

I. A Reminder
8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
  do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
                              ornaments about your neck.

Parental instruction is a wonderful thing. Solomon compares it to adornments about the head and neck. He is concerned first that his son hear his parents' instruction. He wants his son to receive his wisdom and obey it. Second, he wants his son to remember it and keep it. He does not want his son to walk away from it. So he reminds his son how these instructions and teachings benefit him: they adorn his character in the same way that a wreath does his head or ornaments adorn his neck. They add beauty and grace and stateliness to him.

II. A Warning
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
                                     Do not consent.
11                  If they say,
                               “Come with us,
                                 Let us lie in wait for blood,
                                 Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12                                    Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
                                                                   Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
13                                   We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
                                We will fill our houses with spoil;
14                                   Throw in your lot with us,
                                We shall all have one purse,”

Having reminded his son of the importance of his instruction, Solomon gives his son a warning: do not listen to the enticement of sinners no matter how tempting their proposal is. In the face of his friends pressuring him to commit murder on the highway to get rich together, Solomon simply says not to consent. 

III. An Exhortation
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
                  Keep your feet from their path,
16                         For their feet run to evil
                               they hasten to shed blood.
17                  Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
                                                             In the sight of any bird;
18                  But 
                  they lie in wait for their own blood;
                  They ambush their own lives.

Instead of consenting to the ridiculous proposals of sinners, Solomon exhorts his son to run from them. They are about a fools errand, and God will bring their plans crashing down upon them. They sought to ambush and innocent passer-by with a large purse, but they end up ambushing themselves by their foolishness and greed.

IV. A Principle
19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
     It takes away the life of its possessors.

Solomon ends with a principle: all of those who seek to gain by violence will have their lives taken away by violence. If one lives by the sword, one will die by the sword. He instructs his son to be wise and not live in this way, but to avoid those who do.


Solomon calls his son to hear his father’s instruction and not forsake his mother’s teaching, because they are truly beautiful adornments to him. Solomon urges his son not to give into the enticement of sinners. He tells his son that when they tempt him with vile and vicious words about murdering the innocent and plundering their wealth, he must flee. He should not walk in their way, because they run to the evil path with murderous intent. He further tells his son that their scheming will come to their own destruction, just as do all those who gain from violence. They will lose their own lives due to it.

God has given parents the place of instruction and teaching in the life of a young person. How important it is for parents to urge their children to avoid the wrong crowd, and not to get mixed up with those who will lead them to destruction. How necessary it is for parents to urge young ones to not give into peer pressure. And how much parents need to warn their children of the consequences, not just from themselves, but from God: that those who consent to evil and walk in the ways of the wicked will “ambush their own lives” and have their lives taken away by their own evil deeds.

As parents, let us seek to impart to our children the wisdom and instructions of the Word of God. Let us teach them to be discerning. Let us teach them to live wisely and righteously and justly and prudently. As Christians let us seek to impart the same wisdom and instructions of the Word of God, teaching those whom we disciple to have discernment and to walk in the ways of righteousness.

What a ministry the local church is given in aiding parents in instructing their children in the Word of God, coming around parents and families to encourage them and build them up and urging the children to walk in the ways of the Lord and not to be mixed up with those who hasten to do evil. How we are called to walk in such a way as not to tarnish the testimony of the gospel, giving the children an example of the transforming work of God in the lives of those who trust in Him. What an opportunity we have to proclaim that the consequence of sin is death, but trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ leads to eternal life.

We do a disservice to our children when we do not teach them the Word of God. What sort of practical wisdom and instruction can then be imparted? How can these children then be expected to walk in righteousness and justness? How will they learn the fear of the LORD? They will be easy prey for those who entice them to turn away from the paths of righteousness. When they are not taught the reverence of the LORD, they will have no foundation to flee the temptation of the ungodly.

So, if the Word of God is neglected in the home and in the school and in the church, how will the next generation learn the statutes of God? How will they ever be expected to understand the nature of sin and depravity? How will they ever see their need for a Savior? How will they ever understand the purpose of the church? How necessary it is for Christian parents to disciple their children in the fear of the Lord, urging them to remember the instruction they are imparting, exhorting them to flee those who would drag them into sin, and to warn them of the destructive consequences of sin. At the same time, we hold out the truth of the gospel: that Christ Jesus died in the place of sinners to take their penalty so that they may not be condemned but have everlasting life.