GOD’S BOUNDARIES SET AND CONTESTED

God has made the earth by His power—established the world by His wisdom—and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion (Jer. 10:12, Ps. 119:89-91).

                The sun rises and sets its course each day as God has designed (Gen. 1:16, 18, Ps. 19:1-6).

                The moon and the stars He’s created obediently rule the night (Ps. 8:3, 19:1-6, 136:9, 147:4, Job 38:33).

                The waters have been measured in the hollow of His hand and heaven with a span.

                The dust of the earth has been calculated, the mountains weighted in scales, and the hills in a balance.

                The Spirit of the Lord requires no direction, counsel, or instruction. He embodies perfect righteousness, justice, knowledge, and understanding. Nothing compares to Him and nothing can consist without Him. All things were created by Him and for Him so that in all things He might have the preeminence (Isa. 40:12-14, 25-26, Col. 1:15-18).

It’s clear when examining what God has created to have a sense of His eternal power and wisdom (Rom. 1:19-20). One only has to read Job chapters 38-41 to be reminded of this as well.  God gives life and breath to all things.

                He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the whole earth, and has predetermined their appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings. He has done this so mankind would seek Him in the hope that they might find Him (as He is not far from them). The bounds of mankind are to live, move and have their being ultimately in God (Acts 17:24-28).  Mankind’s ultimate joy and peace is found in Christ alone (Eccl. 3:11, 12:13-14). In God’s infinitude He surrounds the finite creation and contains it. His being does not have limits nor is confined (as man’s) in time (1 Tim. 1:17, Ps. 90:2, Rev. 1:8, Eccl. 3:11). “I know that whatever God does, it will be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him” (Eccl. 3:14).

                Sadly the created has stepped outside the boundaries that God has set.

Man has departed from his original uprightness and sought out many inventions (Eccl. 7:29).

There are always consequences (if not immediately then forthcoming, Galatians 6:7). When this occurs harmony becomes disharmony, function becomes dysfunction, order becomes disorder, and peace becomes chaos.

                The pioneer of rebellion (as recorded in the Bible) is Lucifer (aka the devil, the serpent, Satan, etc. Gen. 3, Isa. 14:12, Rev. 12:9, 20:2). Lucifer was an anointed cherub and perfect in his ways from the day he was created until iniquity (perversity) was found in him. He was given a free will to obey God and stay within the boundaries that He had set for him, but he wasn’t content with the exalted position that God had given him. He wanted more— God’s position (to be like God and be worshipped like Him as well). So he was cast out as a profane thing from the mountain of God. Lucifer fell and took some of the angels with him (Isa. 14:12-15, Ezek. 11-19, Rev. 12:4) He now awaits his ultimate destruction (Gen. 3:15, Heb. 2:14, 1 John 3:8).

                God chose to teach Lucifer a lesson. He made a creature out of the dust (in His own image) and gave him dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26-27, 2:7-8, 2:8, 15). God gave this creature the same free will that He had given Lucifer. He gave him boundaries as well. He told man that he could partake of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—if he did he would surely die (Gen. 2:17). We find that Lucifer (Satan) is already in the garden (Ezek. 28:13). Genesis chapter 3 opens up with, “Now the serpent (nachash, the shining one) was wiser than any other living being which the Lord God had made.”  He saw his opportunity to deceive man (through the woman) so they’d step outside the parameters God had given them. He knew the moment the man and woman disobeyed God they would die and he’d have dominion over the earth (Matt. 4:8-9, John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:2). Eve was naïve and didn’t realize that the shining and beautiful angel of light’s only mode of speaking was through lies (2 Cor. 11:3, 14, John 8:44). She was easily seduced into believing the lie that she could be as God (knowing good and evil) if she partook of the fruit from the forbidden tree. She gave some to Adam to eat as well (Gen. 1:26-28, 2: 15-17, 3:1-6). The consequence was death, but thankfully not imminently. God in His foreknowledge and wisdom already had another purpose for man, through the woman. They would not immediately die, but would bring forth children and a seed that would lead to a Redeemer (Gen. 3:15, 16-22). This seed would be at enmity with the evil seed. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, so that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Creation and Redemption are bound up in Christ Jesus (Rev. 4:11, 5:9, Prov. 8:22-30, John 1:1, 17:5, Col. 1:15-17). The great lesson to be gleaned is that no created being can stand (upright) apart from Christ the Creator.       

                The Bible is the record of God’s purpose in the Ages and how it centers in the seed of the woman, which leads to Christ (Rom. 1:3, Gal. 3:16, 4:4, Eph. 3:11, 2 Tim. 2:8). As this purpose of God successively unfolds so does Satan’s state of opposition to it. Throughout the pages of Scriptures, it becomes a fascinating chess match as God moves and the seed of the woman is revealed and the efforts made by Satan to destroy it are recorded. References to the seed form the link between Adam and Abraham. The attack by Cain (Gen. 4:8, 1 John 3:12) upon his brother Abel manifested the enmity that existed between the two seeds, and the birth of Seth became the substitute channel for the woman’s seed to continue (Gen. 4:25). The line of Cain is given in Genesis 4:16-24, a line containing names identical in some cases, and similar in others, to names that are found in the true line through Seth. This is an indication and a warning, that deception and misdirection are the methods adopted by the enemy to divert the testimony of the Scriptures away from the true seed, to the false. So the game begins and here are some of the main moves.

                •SATAN MOVES to prevent the coming of the seed of the woman by corrupting the earth with the ‘sons of God’ (fallen angels) (Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7). Jude 6, 7 and 1 Peter 3:19-20, 2 Peter 2:4-7 all refer to the angels that went outside the habitation that God set out for them and left their first estate (principality). The progeny of this union between the fallen angels with the daughters of Adam are referred to as Nephilim (fallen ones) or giants. Their express purpose was to contaminate the seed of the woman. There was only one family (Noah’s, Gen. 6:8-9) that wasn’t contaminated.

•GOD MOVES BY STEPPING IN to preserve mankind from a total overthrow, causing a flood that wipes out all except what was in the Ark (Gen. 6-9). The seed of the woman continues through Noah’s son Shem (Gen. 11:10-27).

                As soon as it was made known that the seed of the woman was to come through Abram (Abraham), there was another irruption of fallen angels. Genesis 6:4 says that there were giants (nephilm) not only in the days before the Flood, but after that as well (Gen. 13:7, 14:5, 15:18-21, Ex. 23:23, Num. 13:32-33, Deut. 7:1-4, 20:17, Joshua 12:8).

                •SATAN MOVES NEXT to occupy Canaan in advance of Abram to contest its occupation by his seed as well as create strife (Gen. 12:6, 13:7). His attempts to destroy Abraham’s seed through his wife Sarai (Sarah) are thwarted by God (See also: Gen. 12:10-20, 20:1-18). Satan’s evil seed grows through the different tribes of the Canaanite people (Gen. 15:18-21, Ex. 3:8, 17, 23:23, Deut. 2:20-21, Josh. 3:10). Israel is warned to stay away from them (Ex. 34:12-16, Deut. 7:1-3, Ezra 9:1-2). It was for the destruction of these Canaanites (after the days of Noah) that the sword of Israel was necessary, as the purpose of the Flood had been before (Deut. 13:13-15).

                God establishes his covenant with Abraham: ”To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates—the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadomites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaims, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites” (Gen. 15:17-19). These people were to be cut off, driven out, and utterly destroyed (Deut. 20:17, Joshua 3:10). But Israel failed in this (Josh. 13:13, 15-18, Jdgs. 1:19-20, 28-36, 2:1-5, 3:1-7). The seed of the woman (and God’s promise) continues through Abraham’s son ISAAC, through Isaac’s son JACOB, and through the tribe of JUDAH (Gen. 21:12, 25:20, 26:4, 28:1, 13-15, 49:8-12).

                •SATAN’S MOVES to destroy the chosen family by famine as well as the male line altogether both backfire as GOD USES THEM for His own purposes (Gen. 50:20, Ex. 1:10-22, 2:6, 14:30-31, Heb. 11:23, 28-29).  He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot carry out their plans.  He catches the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them (Job 5:12-13).     

                •SATAN NEXT MOVES to thin down the woman’s seed by breaking up the royal line by which the seed was to come. On the death of Jehoshaphat, his son Jehoram killed all his brothers with the sword (2 Chron. 21:4) and the royal line was reduced to one life. He had children but the Arabians came, killing all his sons except for one, Ahaziah (also known as Jehoahaz). When he died, all the royal seed was gone except for one lone babe (Joash) who GOD PROTECTED for 6 years (2 Chron. 21-22, 22:10-12, 23:3).

                •SATAN MOVES with another full frontal attack on the whole nation of Israel. God MOVES BY STEPPING in to frustrate Satan’s attempt through Haman (Esther 3:6, 12-13, 6:1-3, 7:6-10).

                •SATAN, not easily discouraged, MOVES before the woman ready to devour her child as soon as it’s born (Rev. 12:4-5). The time comes when the seed of the woman enters the world (Luke 1:31, 2:7, John 1:14, Rom. 1:3, Gal. 3:16).

                •HEROD IS USED AS A PAWN to destroy the child and God MOVES BY STEPPING in again to thwart his plans by warning Joseph in a dream (Matt. 2:3-8, 13, 16, 19-21)

                •SATAN MOVES to attack through temptation and devour the seed of the woman (Jesus Christ) but his plans are blocked when JESUS COUNTERACTS HIS LIES WITH GOD’S TRUTH (Matt. 4:1-10).

                •END GAME:  When Satan sees Jesus on the cross, laid in the tomb, and the stone sealed, he thinks he’s finally achieved victory but GOD MOVES by miraculously raising Jesus from the dead. The enemy over-reached himself in the death of Christ for in that lay the purpose of God eventually “by death to destroy him who has the power of death” (Heb. 2:14).  SATAN AND HIS SEED ARE DEFEATED and will ultimately be destroyed for good (Rev. 19:20, 20:10, 14, 21:4, 22:3, 1 Cor. 15:25-26, 28, Heb. 10:13).

                    Even though the endgame is clear and Christ has ascended into heaven, our opponent Satan is still an active player. He knows he’s on the clock. He’s realigned his pawns and is trying to do all he can to prevent or hinder God’s purposes in Christ (through believers today) from being accomplished (2 Peter 5:8, Eph. 2:10, 3:10, Col. 2:8-10, 18-19, Phil. 2:13, 3:14). For reasons beyond our finite comprehension God has allowed the whole world to lie under Satan’s influence, but He uses all things for His good purpose (1 John 5:19, Rom. 11:33, Prov. 16:4). He, however, has not left us defenseless. We can stay standing as a knight clad in the spiritual armor of God where the wiles of the devil and his wicked pawns will not be able to cause us to fall (Eph. 6:10-13, 2 Cor. 10:3-5). We can trust God’s Word and the hope He’s given us through His Son (Heb. 6:13, 17-18, Titus 2:2). The game will resume when the true King of kings and Lord of lords comes upon the scene (Rev. 19:11-16). God will resume His program and fulfillment of His promises to Israel, through Christ the King, and finally put an end to the devil and his cohorts for good (Rom. 9:4, 11:26-29, 1 Cor. 15:24-28, Heb. 2:14, Rev. 22:3).  So don’t fret because of evil doers (which are growing more each day) (Prov. 24:20, 2 Tim. 3:13). Play by the rules, stay ‘hid in Christ’ and within the boundaries that God has set and stay focused on ‘things above’ in anticipation of His glorious appearing (2 Tim. 2:1-5, Col. 3:1-4, Ps. 119:105, 133, Titus 2:13).

Come Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Laura

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