What is the function for Israel of Genesis chapters 1-11?
Israelís function is to show Godís love and salvation over and for His people. Before the Fall and afterwards, God continually showed His people how much He loved them and cared about their wellbeing. Israel was also used to show the nations around her that God was sovereign over all nations by allowing them to overtake the Jews time and time again, and then the nations would see Godís great power as He took His people back into His arms and gave them peace. Godís demanding Law for the Israelites showed them that He expected His people to separate themselves from the Gentiles who had no law per se. Still, if they broke a law and sinned against God, God showed the Israelites and the other nations of the earth that He would forgive them if they came back to Him and follow His ways once again by giving up their idols and consecrating themselves back to His Holiness. So, Israelís function was to show the world that their God is the one and only sovereign God of the universe, Creator and Judge of all things.
How would you respond to the idea that Genesis 3-11 presents us with the ďhuman problemĒ and the remainder of Genesis provides the solution?
In these chapters we see man pulling away from God in pride and sinfulness. Adam and Eve decided for all of mankind whether we were going to love and honor our God or not. Their sin brought us all down to the level of evil because of the free will God gave to us to love Him or not. The problem is not Godís, it is ours. We willingly walk away from God instead of towards Him. Even we as Christians from time to time turn our eyes away from our Savior and end up suffering consequences we were not created to go through.
Throughout Genesis 3-11, God continually shows us that, even as traitors of God, we can be forgiven and brought back into the relationship we first had with God in the Garden. From the beginning, God has shown us that salvation was possible though Him long before Jesus became one of us. He gave Israel every chance to turn back to Him time and time again, as He does for us. Yes, He had to confuse our language and scatter us around the earth, but, even there, God showed us that it was for our own good, so we would not destroy ourselves, or cause Him to destroy us yet again because we were beginning to become all evil for a second time. Thankfully, no matter what we do, Israel especially, God will always welcome us back into His mighty arms.
Comment: "So it is then, that faith in my opinion, is the solution."
Author Response: When I hear people say, "All I have to do is have faith" without qualifying what their faith is in, I have to question their faith. I know where your faith is placed, Shari. I'm talking about all of those who don't know Jesus. If they don't have faith in Christ, then what or who do they have faith in? If faith alone was the solution then why aren't more of people's problems getting solved? Many people put their faith in a government, other people, even celebrities, and are let down each and every time they see their objects of faith do what is not right. When that happens they turn to another place to put their faith, and then another, and then another times infinity. But when God is in someone's life they find that, even if they make mistakes, God will get them through and teach them something in the process. Abrahm was not perfect, and neither are we, but because our faith is in Jesus Christ, we will stumble but never fall. It's sad to think of those who put their faith in something or someone other than Jesus then fall and have no one to pick them up. Too many people in our world put their faith in the wrong things. Faith can be a solution. It all depends on where, and in whom, you place your faith.
Comment: "I would respond by saying that I agree that the Sin all started in Chapter 3 with the serpent."
Author Response: If by this statement you mean that sin started because of Satan, or even if you mean that sin itself started by his deceiving Adam and Eve, many would disagree. Some believe that sin was always there it was just that humans didn't fall in to it until Satan brought disobedience to their minds. Remember that Satan is a fallen angel. If there were no such thing as sin until he fell than what convinced Satan to disobey God in the first place. For Satan to become sinful, the choice to sin must have been there all along. Some say that it was Lucifer's pride (which in most cases is a sinful emotion) cause him to think too highly of himself. It is believed that Lucifer himself chose his destiny. Adam and Eve were given a choice they didn't know they could exercise until they were tempted by Satan who, thereby, laid the choice before them. Remember, God didn't give Adam and Eve a choice about eating from the tree, they were given a command NOT to eat from the tree, which in their love for God they followed. Isn't it the same for us today? Don't we have to make choices that may impact the people around us? Has there ever been a time in your life when you were told about a choice you didn't know you could make until someone presented it to you? I know I have, and, thankfully, God took away the shame, guilt, and regret those choices would have me still suffering.