Dr. Allen and Dr. Karen Ranney
October 6, 2018 (Tishrei 27, 5779) -- B`reisheet (in the beginning)
October 6, 2018 (Tishrei 27, 5779) -- B`reisheet (in the beginning)
B`reisheet “in the beginning”
“B`reisheet bara Elohim et hashamayim v`et haeretz,” In the beginning “B’resheet #7225” God created the heavens and earth,” Genesis 1:1 (the Interlinear Bible).
God created for six days. He created, and at the end of every day He looked upon what He had made and said “ki tov #3588 and 2895” in Hebrew meaning “indeed good,” but at the end of the sixth day, God looked at what He created and said “ki tov meod,” accentuating what He had said previously with another word “meod #3966”in Hebrew meaning “very.” So at the end of the sixth day, God looked at what He had created and said “indeed very good.”
What did God make on the sixth day that made Him so happy? The answer is man!
Psalm 8:4 reads, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the Son of Man that you visit Him?” Amen. What is man? What am I? What are you?
God went to the garden every day to visit Adam and Eve, to walk in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8a). God fellowshipped and talked with them. Why? Was God lonely? No, there is perfect unity and harmony in the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Was God bored? No, He could have made something far superior than man, stronger, faster, smarter for sure. Why man? We get one clue in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His Own image in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” In His image. Image in Hebrew is “tselem#6754” meaning likeness, reflection, duplicate, copy of. We are an exact representation of God right down to our DNA, yes, scientists have found a genetic sequence encoded in that DNA.
They can’t explain it, so some scientists call it the God sequence.
God made us to be like Him. The only other way to make a copy of man is by conception and childbirth. We call that having a son or daughter, having children. So, God created us to be His children. Amen. You are a child of God, and one day we will take on the whole, or full characteristics of the Father that He has willed for us, to do His will, to complete His work, to be about His business. Do you want to know something great about the family business? It has the very best retirement plan on earth and in heaven!
Our Torah study takes us from the Creation to the fall of Adam and Eve, which I like to refer to not as the fall of man, but the destructive deception of Satan. It also takes us through the revelation of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I would like to clarify one point regarding these subjects. The Bible is a literal history, not just literature, so when it speaks of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that’s exactly what it was; the fruit thereof being good for food and desirable to the eye (Genesis 3:6). It was an actual tree whose fruit was the knowledge of good and evil, not an apple tree, pear tree, apricot, peach or any other tree that exists on the earth today. When Adam was exiled from the garden of Eden, cherubim with a flaming sword were to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). No man since then has ever beheld the sight of the tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as they both stood in the middle of the garden of Eden. We know the tree of life will be revealed to us in heaven as they line the banks of the river of life that flows from the throne of God (Revelation 22:2). As for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I suspect there was only the one, designed for a single purpose that has been fulfilled, and there will never be another like it ever again.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil revealed man’s fallibility rooted in his self-will. It exposed the pride of self, it exposed his jealousy, his covetousness, and his envy of others which led to tension, strife and murder, along with all the other rotten fruit that fell from that tree the day Eve took of its fruit. Greed, lust, gluttony, vanity, vengeance, hate and all the prejudice that still exists in this world today. These very same reasons caused the destruction of the earth by a universal flood (Genesis 7) and will be the catalyst for the next judgment fires to come (Malachi 4:1).
The Bible is a literal word, the history contained herein, and the stories are here for our admonition to learn from; to do as and not to do as. Consider the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, the fruit of that cursed tree being all too evident. Jealousies, contentions and strife leading to murder, that’s the way it was “B`resheet” in the beginning, getting worse until the day God judged the world. All of this is obvious in our modern world today, could the seed of that cursed tree still exist today? Yes. Is the cursed DNA from the lineage of Cain evident in every society on earth? Yes, and God will one day judge this world again, sooner rather than later as He is just and justifier of all.
Psalm 78:38-39 reads, “But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; for He remembered that they were but a breath that passes away and does not come again.” God delays, so that we would have time to repent and build again that right relationship with Him, maybe even walk with Him in the cool of the day.
This portion of reading glorifies the Lord of all creation and appeals to us to glorify, magnify and edify Him. Isaiah 42:10a reads, “Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth.”
The Haftarah and Torah study today parallel the story of creation, man’s fallibility and our glorious hope in the Redeemer of all mankind. Amen.
Isaiah 42:5 reads, “Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it: I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles.” God gave us Yeshua Messiah as that covenant. Amen.
In the beginning “B`reisheet #7225” God “Elohim #430” created all the heavens and earth and everything in them and He created man. He blew His breath into us, He placed His spirit into us, we were part of that grand design from the beginning, He created us with a will of our own and man has paid a high price for that freedom as our past so pointedly shows. Adam paid for that choice with his life, that is his physical life on earth only, because God sent Adam from the garden of Eden, the tree of life, the tree of eternal life that is, was then out of his reach, and really we can all thank God that it was, as we would have had to live eternally condemned, but, Isaiah 43:1 reads, “now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He formed you, O Israel: “fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.”
In our Torah portion these questions were raised, what is man? Who am I? Who are you? And now we ask, why were we made? Isaiah 43:7 reads, “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
Wow! God made us for His glory! Everything we do, everything we say, should bring glory to God then. Just something to think about, and when I think about my own life and how far I had veered from His purpose I am ashamed, but God, in His mercy, grace and wisdom has used all of the foolish decisions I made in my past to glorify Him now. Again, wow!
Our Haftarah portion ends with Isaiah 43:10, “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed nor shall there be after Me.”
B`resheet, in the beginning God, throughout all of history God, into all eternity God.
Now God invites us to worship, praise, magnify and glorify Him forever, choose the tree of life which is through Yeshua Messiah of whom the prophets of old foretold, through Him alone can we enter into everlasting covenant with the creator of the heavens and earth.
John 1:1 reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
The meaning could not be more clear, when we read this text we are told in no uncertain terms that “in the beginning was the Word,” Ev`en #1722 arche#746 en #2258 logos #3056, which is a mirror image of the Old Testament text from Genesis 1:1, B`reisheet #7225 “in the beginning.” We understand God created by His Word, and He spoke all things into existence.
We are encouraged, no, compelled from the very first words printed in the Bible to believe, to accept this truth with nothing less than wholehearted faith, God created. We are not given all the details, nor can we comprehend all of them anyway, but we are compelled to believe in an Omnipotent, Omnipresent creator, our God, Elohim #430.
Elohim in Hebrew is a plural word connoting a multi-ism, dualism, even many faceted but one being, not a polytheistic pantheon of many gods but, our One God in His many different characteristics or attributes if you will, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, God the Provider, God the Healer, God our Shepherd, God our Peace, God Almighty, God Everlasting, God of Righteousness, our Living God and so many, many more. He is Spirit, Truth, the Word and Life. When you read the Bible, believe from the first page in God and He will open the Scriptures to you.
John 1:14 reads, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word became flesh, that is Yeshua #3444 Messiah # 4899. Jesus Christ, Creator of the heavens and earth, became flesh to reconcile fallen man back into Himself, to redeem the image Adam lost in the garden that fateful day when he partook of the forbidden fruit. God wants desperately to have a relationship with us. God wants us to know Him personally, not just know about Him and have a religion about Him. He loves us so much that He has been waiting thousands of years for us to cry out in repentance.
People, beloved of God, do you want a relationship with the Creator of the World? Do you want to live as His child with an inheritance forever? Even though you were wayward and afar off, He waits for you, He calls to you and He’s as easy to find as A.B.C.
A. Admit you have sinned and ask forgiveness.
B. Believe Jesus died for that sin, then rose from the grave three days later.
C. Confess with your mouth Yeshua, Jesus is Lord and make Him King in your life.
Romans 10:8-13 reads, “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (Deuteronomy30:14) that is, the word of faith which we preach; that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame’ (Isaiah 28:16). For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” (Joel 2:32)
If you want to pray for your own salvation or the salvation of another, you can pray the following prayer or one like it, being sure that it lines up scriptural.
“Father God, I admit I have sinned, please forgive me. Father God, I believe Jesus died for that sin, then rose from the grave three days later. Father God, I confess with my mouth that Yeshua is Messiah, Jesus is Lord and make Him King in my life. Father I pray now, fill me with Your Spirit, that I too can live as Your child. In Jesus’ name I pray Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, go tell a Pastor, a Messianic Rabbi, or a Christian friend. They will know what you should do next.
Bibliography for B`reisheet “in the beginning”
Interlinear Bible, the, Hendrickson publishing, 2006
New King James Version of the Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2007
Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson publishing, 1996