Once again, The Bible Project video that accompanies today's chapters was beyond helpful. This might just be the element I've needed all along to make it through the entire Bible. It always helps to have background cultural information to put the text in context.
Day 3 - Genesis chapters 8-11 and Psalms 3
But today I had so many questions that I decided to just list them according to the verse I was reading as they popped into my head. So, here goes...
Genesis chapter 9, verse 3 (9:3) says every moving thing that lives shall be food. God placed no dietary restrictions on them. But, I noticed in the Garden that they were told to eat of the fruit of every tree except one. They weren't told to eat animals. So if Noah and his family could eat every living thing, did that include unclean animals like fish without scales, or animals with cloven hooves? Pork, shellfish, etc? If so, then I wonder why, by the time of Mosaic law, all these restrictions were placed.
Gen. 9:18 - So Ham (via his son, Canaan) was the father of the nation whose land God later gave to the Jews, I suppose?
Gen. 9:25-27 - Was Canaan cursed to become a slave just for his own brothers (Ham's other sons), or also for Shem, Japheth, and their descendants?
Also, why would Noah curse Ham's youngest son who did nothing wrong? Why didn't he just curse Ham, since he was the one who offended his father? What kind of grandfather does that? Noah was the one who got drunk and naked after all. Whatever happened to his walking with God?
Genesis chapter 10, verse 19 - Canaan's descendants ended up being the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? If so, then Noah's curse resulted in him not just being a servant to his brothers, but it looks like his descendants were destroyed when those twin cities went up in flames. Then later more of his descendants were wiped out when God gave their land into the hands of the Hebrews as their promised land. Is that right?
Genesis chapter 11, verses 6-7 - I don't fully understand why God wanted to halt man's progress in ancient times, yet he hasn't halted ours in the modern era. Was it too soon for people to build skyscrapers? Was it because of their ego that he halted them? Isn't this what's going on in modern society? People seeking fame, power and recognition. People building structures and systems that seem to defy physics. And then putting their names on them in dedication and honor of themselves, instead of giving God credit. What's the difference between then and now? Is it because we are living in a period of grace?
I also noticed that God uses the word Us again, when he says let us go down and confuse their language. Who is us? I've always felt that Us means God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Gen. 11:11-13 - Why are people still living so long after that 120 year lifespan was imposed? Or did I entirely misunderstand that verse a couple of chapters ago?
Gen. 11:29 - Did Nahor marry the daughter of his brother Haran, or of a different Haran? In verses 27 & 31 it speaks of Haran, their brother, is the father of Lot; and in this verse it says Haran is the father of Milcah and Iscah. So it seems to indicate a different Haran, but I'm not sure.
Gen. 11:31 - Was the place already called Haran, or did they name it that in honor of his deceased son? And why did Terah leave Nahor and his wife behind in Ur?
So, I'm often left with a lot of questions after reading the Old Testament. This does not change my faith or my belief that God is God. I know, as a human being, that my understanding is limited. His ways are higher than my ways. Just like in a physics class, I could never know as much as the professor. I could never fully understand everything in the textbook. But, I trust that the professor knows what he's talking about since it's not just his job, but his expertise. In the same way, I trust the intention and wisdom of God, however flawed we may be in interpreting that wisdom.
What questions did you have after reading these chapters? Feel free to comment below, or by visiting my Facebook page.
*Welcome to my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
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