Nuggets for the Soul Sisters…
I was speaking with a dear friend of mine this evening – telling him about my invitation to work with and teach the Soul Sisters Bible study group that I have been a part of for the past several years. That relationship started when I was asked to provide some background on several theological concepts that are presented in the New Testament. Anyway, after two or three appearances, I was asked to become a regular and the group actually made me an honorary “Soul Sister.”
Since then, I have taught several different studies including the book of Hebrews, an Advent devotional last Christmas season and two or three other programs – including a year of study on Zoom when the Covid pandemic kept us from meeting in person. I love teaching the Bible – I can’t think of anything that I would rather do.
Anyway, I have been honored once again by being asked to lead a study of Genesis for this fall. It will start this coming Thursday and I can’t wait to get settled in with the ladies for another season. This will be especially rewarding because Genesis is probably my favorite book in the Bible and I have maintained for years that it holds the key to understanding God’s plan for His people. I really don’t think you can understand the New Testament until you understand the Old Testament.
I usually pepper my teaching with Biblical “nuggets.” By that I mean that there are things that we have read countless times and are so familiar to us that we fail to see the hidden gems that are right in front of us. For example, the Old Testament practice of sacrificing animals for the sins of mankind first started in Genesis. In fact, God seems to have offered the first sacrifice Himself. And so we see the birth of the practice of substitutionary blood atonement right in the first several chapters of Genesis.
We also know that the first reference to Jesus, the Word, also gives us a clue that Satan will nip at the heels of God, but Jesus will ultimately prevail. We are told that Jesus will eventually crush the head of Satan and we know from the picture of the endtimes in Revelation that good triumphs over evil – for all eternity.
These are but a few of the “nuggets” that are placed throughout the book of Genesis. Furthermore, these are the kinds of things that the Soul Sisters really appreciate learning about in their Bible study each Thursday morning. It is so exciting when the pages of the Bible jump to life with stories that help draw us closer to God.
Our verse for this evening highlights the verse when God offers up an animal sacrifice for the sins of Adam and Eve. After having eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve realize that they are naked and cover themselves in fig leaves. God, going through the Garden of Eden, calls to them and knows that they have sinned. The Scripture tells us that he covers them with animal skins. In order for that to happen, animals had to die – the first substitutionary blood atonement.
Moses, the author of Genesis, tells us in Genesis 3:21-22, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” God, in His infinite wisdom, forbade Adam and Eve to live forever, in the physical sense. The dying process started when they ate the forbidden fruit. So God planned a way, through His Son Jesus, so that mankind would not be eternally separated from their Creator.
My encouragement this evening is that God always intended to spend eternity with us. And we have the offer of eternal life from Him. My prayer is that we all may read the Bible with a keen eye and try to realize how special we are to God – special enough that He sent His only Son to die for our sins. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…