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Abraham was chosen for a purpose. In Genesis 18.19, God took counsel with Himself concerning Abraham,
“For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has promised him.”
God did not say this about Sarah, though she was an essential helper to Abraham in this mission. God spoke to the fathers, and the fathers, then, carried the responsibility of teaching God’s word and God’s ways to their households.
God wants a righteous and just people, and Abraham’s responsibility was to guide his family along that righteous way. But it was for a singular purpose: so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has promised him.
What Had the Lord Promised?
A Multitude of Nations!
Part of the promise is found in Genesis 17.4: “Behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.” And in 17.6, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.”
Another part of the covenant is found in Genesis 17.8: “And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
A third and the greatest part of the covenant is found in Genesis 22.18: “And in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
How Does Circumcision Fit?
In Genesis 17, God gave Abraham the sign of the covenant—circumcision.
Often I have wondered why God chose this as the sign. Noah’s sign was a rainbow in the heavens. Abraham’s sign was trimming the foreskin off the male organ. The first seems wonderful, grand, and glorious; the second seems a tad barbaric.
But observe the significance of the sign; it has to do with the male organ which passes the seed along. All the promises to Abraham had to do with bearing a son, who would bear more sons, who would eventually become a great nation. God desires godly offspring (Malachi 2.15).
In the New Testament, Paul writes of circumcision being a “putting off the body of the flesh” (Col. 2.11); in other words, the cutting of the flesh symbolized purification, a removal of sin. To Abraham and the Israelites, circumcision signified keeping the seed-line pure, anticipating the growth of their nation and eventually their coming Messiah.
Circumcision also points back to God’s original mandate to mankind in general: be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
In Deuteronomy, twice God speaks to Israel about circumcising their hearts.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. (Deut. 10.16)
And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deut. 30.6)
The New Testament continues the idea of circumcising the heart. In the face of intense opposition, Stephen bravely dressed them down, saying, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you” (Acts 7.51). Paul wrote of those who were truly Jews: “But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God” (Rom. 2.29). In Philippians 3.3, he distinguishes between those who simply mutilate the flesh and those who walk by faith: “For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” Colossians 2.11 may be the clearest of his teachings on the spiritual nature of circumcision today:
“In Him [Christ] also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God who raised Him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Col. 2.11–14).
So there remains a parallel sign today for the Christian, and that sign is baptism, the sign of the New Covenant. Baptism signifies a washing away of sin (Acts 22.16; 1 Cor. 6.11) and a death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Rom. 6.1–4; Col. 2.12).
The sign of the Old Covenant pointed forward to the Seed of Promise, to Christ, and the sign of the New Covenant points backward to the work of Christ in the cross and His resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins.
In every case it’s about Christ Jesus our Lord!
Most everyone believes animals, plants, and humans change over time within species. The kind of evolution I’m addressing here is the theory that billions of biological changes over immense amounts of time produced all living things from a common ancestry. That is the “conventional wisdom” of our day.
Our schools have been teaching this for years as fact, and rarely will you find a biology or earth science show which does not use Evolution as its starting point. Many diet and sociology books depend upon the theory of Evolution as their philosophical starting point. Man has fight or flight instincts that were built into him over millions of years… Man eats plants because of the way he evolved… We are totally and completely a product of billions of years of biological tweaking (unguided, blind, random tweaking) that seems to have produced a rather startling number of positive results.
If Evolution Were True…
If you and I are simply bags of cells with nothing spiritual about us, what is the point in saving the planet? None of the other animals seem to care that much. They are just worried about their own personal survival. Did you know mother kangaroos sometimes drop their joeys when fleeing from predators? They can make another one in a few more months, so why not sacrifice the one they have to slow down their attacker and let them escape?
Male lions kill off all the male cubs in a pride when they defeat another male lion king.
If you want to see an ultimate picture of selfishness and literal animal-nature, observe the elephant seal. The male is sometimes seven or eight times the size of the females, and he lives to bellow at other males, fight, and breed with the 30 or 40 females he protects. Frequently, you’ll find these seals with nasty scars and gashes from these violent males.
Why do humans not live this way? Rather, why do we view humans who do act this way as immoral beasts? Are we better than the animals? In the theory of Evolution, we wouldn’t be here if it were not for those “lower” life forms – those are our evolutionary ancestors. Shouldn’t we look to them for guidance on how best to live? They’ve been doing it longer than we, right?
Why should we care about the poor and weak? An observable fact of nature is the principle of the survival of the fittest. Plants and animals only last if they are the strongest in the environment. The weak are quickly weeded out. The runt of the litter cannot find a teat from which to drink while all his stronger brothers and sisters push him out of the way and hog the food. The weakest and slowest of the herd succumb first to the lions, as the swiftest race away. Why do humans spend so much time and money caring for children born with various maladies, frail folks who cannot defend or feed themselves, orphans and widows who have no family to care for them? If Evolutionary theory is correct, the strongest among us shouldn’t really care about the weak.
If Evolution is correct, human males are the very top of the evolutionary pyramid. Stronger than women, men should be able to take from them whatever they are able. If they want to breed with ten or twenty women, why shouldn’t they?
If Evolution is correct, then racism makes sense. Allowing for an evolutionary chain, it makes sense that some human families are further evolved than others. Does it not follow that the stronger and smarter among us should rule the rest? And if we can convince a whole nation they are the pinnacle of the evolutionary pyramid, perhaps they would be emboldened to either kill off or subjugate the rest of the races around them. Come to think of it, wasn’t Darwin’s theory of Evolution a foundation for Hitler’s “Arian race”? If Evolution is true, why is Hitler remembered with such disgust and hatred? He was only practicing survival of the fittest.
Problems with Evolutionary Theory
We should remember that Evolution is theory; it has never been proven by factual data. In fact, Evolutionists are still searching for Darwin’s hoped-for transitional fossils which would connect his biological tree. Periodically some paleontologist will present some missing link between the apes and humans, but those always tend to be mistakes or fakes. With fossil records allegedly reaching back into the billions of years, scientists expected to find tons of evidence for the gradual evolution of living things. Rather, they continue to find distinct animal groups—no transitions. A passing comment on the “Missing Link” entry on Wikipedia states, “The scarcity of transitional fossils can be attributed to the incompleteness of the fossil record.” Indeed.
As we discover more about the incredible complexity of living things, such as how DNA and cells work, the idea that living things could have evolved one tiny change at a time becomes more and more ludicrous.
Evolution theorizes that all things today proceed pretty much as they always have in the past. The theory overlooks the idea of catastrophism (at least when convenient for the theory).
An amazing event happened May 18, 1980—Mt. Saint Helens blew its top off! Hundreds of vertical feet of strata were laid down in just a few hours or days from this event, which shows that this earth sometimes undergoes catastrophic events which can cause massive changes to the landscape in short periods of time. Evolutionary theorists conveniently overlook this fact; they reject the idea of a world-wide flood and how such an event can explain the incredible strata and fossil record found all over the world.
All things do not happen today as they always have.
Interestingly, Peter considered this in 2 Peter 3.3-6:
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
These mockers claim all things are as they have always been. They reject events of “biblical proportion” as many dismissively refer to the flood. First, there was Creation itself, in which God did amazing things such as gathering up the land in one place and placing boundaries for the waters. How did He do that? Were there lots of moving parts and placing them just so? Second, there was a global flood which would have radically adjusted the landscape of the time, laid thousands of feet of debris in places, and then washed out massive gullies (canyons) as the waters receded.
The mockers cannot accept these events because it would mean there is a God, and if there is a God they are accountable to Him as their Maker. They must come up with other theories, such as the theory of Evolution, to explain this earth, its billions of organisms, and the universe at large.
Science and the Bible
Despite the world’s “conventional wisdom,” many scientists are also creationists because they do not mock; they accept what they see, and it fits snugly with what the Bible declares in Genesis 1. They accept the Bible, generally, and Genesis 1-11, specifically, as real history given by the Witness who was there at the time.
If you come home and your house has the front door ripped off and your stuff strewn all over the front lawn, what happened? You are observing the evidence before you, but you didn’t see the event. You can come up with several theories for how things got to be the way they are, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if your neighbor came over and said, “I saw what happened, let me tell you”? After you hear the account, you can then fit the details of what you see into that account. Evolutionists do it backward; they have an eyewitness telling them what happened—all they have to do is fit the details of what they see into the history that has been told. Instead, they make up stories that seem to fit the evidence. Speculation may be a fun mental exercise, but it’s rarely the way to truth.
God’s warning stands:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1.18-22)
Let us resolve to hold fast to the word of God. It’s a platform that cannot be shaken. Theories of men come and go as more data arrives. Years ago, the scientists of the day thought the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. But that was way back when we didn’t know as much. Right. And 100 years from now humanity will look back on this generation and shake their heads at this generation’s ignorance and stupidity.