Resident Evil, Part 2 – Genesis 4:3-7

good_evil“Some time later, Cain presented an offering to the Lord from the land’s crops while Abel presented his flock’s oldest offspring with their fat. The Lord looked favorably on Abel and his sacrifice but didn’t look favorably on Cain and his sacrifice. Cain became very angry and looked resentful. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful? If you do the right thing, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do the right thing, sin will be waiting at the door ready to strike! It will entice you, but you must rule over it’” (Genesis 4:3-7, CEB).

Evil is a corruption of good and seems to be a necessary condition of God’s love and plan for redemption (see Part 1).  There can’t be a love relationship with God if there’s not a choice to love Him, or not!

God has given people the choice to do good or not do good.

Then, maybe evil isn’t all bad?

In the Old Testament evil is sometimes directly attributed to God. For example, “Then an evil spirit from the Lord came over Saul” (1 Samuel 19:9, CEB).

From the perspective of the Old Testament writers, all actions and events in heaven and on the earth emanate from God. In other words, God’s “will” rules over His creation.

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It’s A Boy! It’s the Messiah! – Luke 2:1-20

incarnation_shepherds“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’…they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds” (Luke 2:10-11, 17-18, NASB).

A new father wants to tell somebody about the great event. Imagine a proud new father excitedly telling his friends and even people he doesn’t know, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!”

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What? – Exodus 15:15, 31-32

“When the Israelites saw it, they asked one another, ‘What is it?’ because they didn’t know what it was. Moses told them, ‘It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat’… The house of Israel named the substance manna. It resembled coriander seed, was white, and tasted like wafers made with honey.” (Exodus 15:15,31-32, HCSB)

The word manna is the anglicized form of the Hebrew word man, which is the interrogative “What?”

God sent manna in response to the Israelites complaining that began not long after escaping from Egyptian bondage. The Israelites complained that in Egypt they had all the bread they wanted (vs. 3).


God continued sending manna and Israel continued eating it for forty years until the day following the first day they ate food grown in the promised land (vs 36; Joshua 5:12).

“What?” was probably a pretty good name for manna because no naturally occurring substance matches the description, constancy, and duration of manna well enough to account for it other than as a supernatural phenomenon.

During the earthly ministry of Jesus the Jews were still questioning “What?” and alluded to manna and these verses when they asked Jesus what sign He would show them to prove He was the Messiah. (John 6:30-31).

Jesus reminded them that it wasn’t Moses but God who gave the Israelites the manna and that manna typified the giving of eternal life.

In contrast to the manna, which lasted only during the Israelites’ forty-year wilderness wandering, Jesus said He was the real Bread of Life because He gives eternal life to those who believe and follow after Him!

Jesus is the answer to our “What?” He will save us and provide His loving care to us, not just for a while, but for all the days of our life on this earth and for eternity!

“For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:60, HCSB).

The Historical Reach of the Cross – Hebrews 11:39-40

“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” The examples of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 all anticipated a greater future hope, but saw only preliminary glimpses of what God promised. Specifically, their faith anticipated the new covenant realities of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Son of God, with his superior priesthood and the consequent eternal perfection of the faithful. The perfection of the faithful (believers) is the goal that was accomplished through the work of the perfect Son of God on the cross. The believers of the new covenant along with the faithful saints of the Old Testament partake together of the same end-times perfection: redeemed people in resurrection bodies. So the cross of Jesus that has power to reach forward two thousand years into the future to save you and me also has the power to reach thousands of years into the past to save those who believed the promises of God.

The Place Where Hopelessness Becomes Blessedness – Isaiah 61:1

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” The message of deliverance and salvation for the marginalized that is expressed in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11) is also expressed in Isaiah 61 and other Old Testament writings. Jesus inaugurated His own ministry in Luke 4:16ff by reciting this passage from Isaiah. In the Beatitudes Jesus spoke the same message of hope in the deliverance and salvation of the Lord for the dispossessed as proclaimed by the Old Testament prophets and patriarchs. However, Jesus proclaimed that all the Old Testament promises of blessedness for the desperate and hopeless found fulfillment and accomplishment in Him and His Kingdom. In Jesus, what was formerly distant or out of reach to humanity, became close, accessible, and available to every individual human being. Jesus lowered the standard for admission to His Kingdom to the level of human need. Now, we who are the formerly hopeless of this world are the blessed ones of God’s Kingdom!