Going Green: not just for hippies, tree-huggers, or Al Gore

I’ve done a lot of teaching and promoting lately for this whole green/eco-friendly movement. My hope is that the church universal will keep up with the rest of the world. It’s well past time for us to jump on the bandwagon. This isn’t something just for hippies or “tree-huggers.” It is also a command that Elohim gave to mankind.

The first job (or command) that God gave for man to do was that of a gardener. Genesis 2:15 says that God placed man in the garden to work it and to watch over it. Man was to put the earth to work, to cultivate it and enjoy the produce. But he was also to take care of it, tend to it, serve it. This was the first command given to man. After the blessing to be fruitful and multiply, man was told to subdue the earth and rule over it. In other words, put it to work but treat it well.

The same applies to us today. All humanity has been given the freedom to use the resources given to us by our Creator, but as we know, great freedom requires great responsibility.

Is global warming real or not? I don’t care.

Are we on track to destroy all life on the planet? I don’t know.

Is anything going to go terribly wrong if I forget to recycle a plastic bottle? I don’t know.

But what I do know is that God has given all humanity the commission to work and watch over the earth. That’s motive enough for me. That command lets me know that I should take care of what YHWH has created no matter what. I hope it’s motivation for you as well…

Going Green: not just for hippies, tree-huggers, or Al Gore

I’ve done a lot of teaching and promoting lately for this whole green/eco-friendly movement. My hope is that the church universal will keep up with the rest of the world. It’s well past time for us to jump on the bandwagon. This isn’t something just for hippies or “tree-huggers.” It is also a command that Elohim gave to mankind.

The first job (or command) that God gave for man to do was that of a gardener. Genesis 2:15 says that God placed man in the garden to work it and to watch over it. Man was to put the earth to work, to cultivate it and enjoy the produce. But he was also to take care of it, tend to it, serve it. This was the first command given to man. After the blessing to be fruitful and multiply, man was told to subdue the earth and rule over it. In other words, put it to work but treat it well.

The same applies to us today. All humanity has been given the freedom to use the resources given to us by our Creator, but as we know, great freedom requires great responsibility.

Is global warming real or not? I don’t care.

Are we on track to destroy all life on the planet? I don’t know.

Is anything going to go terribly wrong if I forget to recycle a plastic bottle? I don’t know.

But what I do know is that God has given all humanity the commission to work and watch over the earth. That’s motive enough for me. That command lets me know that I should take care of what YHWH has created no matter what. I hope it’s motivation for you as well…

What’s in a name?

What is your name? What are you called? Why do you have that name? Why do things and people need names?

Giving a name is part of the creative process. Think about it. Your parents “created” you, so they gave you a name. People give names to their books and movies and products. It seems as if the creation isn’t complete until the thing has a name.

We see in the creation accounts that when God creates, he also names. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night;” he called the land “earth” and the water “sea.” But when it came to the animals, God let that job up to man. Whatever name man gave to an animal, that’s what it was called. God involved man in the creative process by letting him appoint names.

A name completes the creation. It is given by the Creator (or one whom the Creator appoints). A name gives purpose, meaning, significance, uniqueness.

Fast forward to the story of Moses when he encounters God in the burning bush. Moses asks God what name he is to give to the Hebrews. By what name should Moses call this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? The Egyptians had thousands of gods, each with his/her own name given them by the Egyptians (e.g. Ra, Amun, Annubis, Isis, etc.). Moses wants to know which god is sending him on this mission.

I AM. This is the name given to Moses. It is the verb “to be.” It’s not even just the present form. It literally means, “I was; I am; I will be.” Or as our Israeli tour guide said, “Is-was-will.” This is the name God gave himself. This is the name by which he was known to the Hebrews. This name was not given to him by anyone else. He was not created. He was. He is. He will be. This is the God, YHWH. This name, YHWH, contains the fundamental element of God’s nature.

What’s in the name, “YHWH?” Everything.

What’s in a name?

What is your name? What are you called? Why do you have that name? Why do things and people need names?

Giving a name is part of the creative process. Think about it. Your parents “created” you, so they gave you a name. People give names to their books and movies and products. It seems as if the creation isn’t complete until the thing has a name.

We see in the creation accounts that when God creates, he also names. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night;” he called the land “earth” and the water “sea.” But when it came to the animals, God let that job up to man. Whatever name man gave to an animal, that’s what it was called. God involved man in the creative process by letting him appoint names.

A name completes the creation. It is given by the Creator (or one whom the Creator appoints). A name gives purpose, meaning, significance, uniqueness.

Fast forward to the story of Moses when he encounters God in the burning bush. Moses asks God what name he is to give to the Hebrews. By what name should Moses call this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? The Egyptians had thousands of gods, each with his/her own name given them by the Egyptians (e.g. Ra, Amun, Annubis, Isis, etc.). Moses wants to know which god is sending him on this mission.

I AM. This is the name given to Moses. It is the verb “to be.” It’s not even just the present form. It literally means, “I was; I am; I will be.” Or as our Israeli tour guide said, “Is-was-will.” This is the name God gave himself. This is the name by which he was known to the Hebrews. This name was not given to him by anyone else. He was not created. He was. He is. He will be. This is the God, YHWH. This name, YHWH, contains the fundamental element of God’s nature.

What’s in the name, “YHWH?” Everything.

Get Behind Me, Satan

So I was thinking the other day about this idea of personified evil in the figure of “Satan.” I have a difficult time understanding this concept. There is no mention of “Satan” or “the Devil” in the Old Testament as we see him in the New Testament. Each time the Hebrew word for satan is used, it is in reference to the accuser, which was most likely a position in the heavenly court. Read Job again with this understanding, and it makes a little more sense.

This idea of personified evil was not developed until the Babylonian exile when the Jews were exposed to the new religion of Zoroastrianism. The religion is still around today, though it is not widely practiced. The religion is not monotheistic, rather it is dualistic. There are two gods, one good, one evil, and they battle each other over the souls of mankind.

The Jews took this dualistic concept and Judaized it. They remained monotheistic, but they developed the concept of Satan as personified evil. He is not as powerful as God Himself, yet Satan does hold much sway here in the earthly realm.

Then along comes this man named Jesus, whom we know as the Son of God. We read stories of Jesus encountering Satan who takes him around to different places to tempt him. We read in some of the epistles that Christians are to take up the armor of God so that we can stand against the Devil who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. These passages are extremely dangerous, however, when they are coupled with a misunderstanding about Satan.

The point of these passages is not to make us afraid of Satan, but to give us confidence that his power is no match for the power of God. In fact, many Christians are so focused on what Satan is trying to do to us that we lose sight of what God is trying to do through us!

The point of including this Satan figure in the gospels is to show that Jesus has destroyed whatever power Satan might have had! The gospels do not necessarily give proof that Satan is a true entity, but they reassure those who did believe that way that evil no longer has any hold on us if we are in Christ!

Stop using the excuse that “Satan is attacking me.” Instead, dive head-first into the loving grace of the Almighty God and He will protect you from what evil there may be.

Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT saying the devil isn’t real. What I AM saying is that God is infinitely more powerful.

Get Behind Me, Satan

So I was thinking the other day about this idea of personified evil in the figure of “Satan.” I have a difficult time understanding this concept. There is no mention of “Satan” or “the Devil” in the Old Testament as we see him in the New Testament. Each time the Hebrew word for satan is used, it is in reference to the accuser, which was most likely a position in the heavenly court. Read Job again with this understanding, and it makes a little more sense.

This idea of personified evil was not developed until the Babylonian exile when the Jews were exposed to the new religion of Zoroastrianism. The religion is still around today, though it is not widely practiced. The religion is not monotheistic, rather it is dualistic. There are two gods, one good, one evil, and they battle each other over the souls of mankind.

The Jews took this dualistic concept and Judaized it. They remained monotheistic, but they developed the concept of Satan as personified evil. He is not as powerful as God Himself, yet Satan does hold much sway here in the earthly realm.

Then along comes this man named Jesus, whom we know as the Son of God. We read stories of Jesus encountering Satan who takes him around to different places to tempt him. We read in some of the epistles that Christians are to take up the armor of God so that we can stand against the Devil who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. These passages are extremely dangerous, however, when they are coupled with a misunderstanding about Satan.

The point of these passages is not to make us afraid of Satan, but to give us confidence that his power is no match for the power of God. In fact, many Christians are so focused on what Satan is trying to do to us that we lose sight of what God is trying to do through us!

The point of including this Satan figure in the gospels is to show that Jesus has destroyed whatever power Satan might have had! The gospels do not necessarily give proof that Satan is a true entity, but they reassure those who did believe that way that evil no longer has any hold on us if we are in Christ!

Stop using the excuse that “Satan is attacking me.” Instead, dive head-first into the loving grace of the Almighty God and He will protect you from what evil there may be.

Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT saying the devil isn’t real. What I AM saying is that God is infinitely more powerful.