Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 117

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Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 117

(Key verses: Genesis 50:1-3)

God is the only Creator of all things, including the evil and the darkness:

Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [Hebrew: ra]: I the LORD do all these things.

Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil [Hebrew: ra].

Even the wicked were made by Him for Him:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked [Hebrew: râshâ] for the day of evil.

The belief that evil and death are not God’s creations is given to satisfy the idols of the unbelieving carnal heart which holds on to false doctrines such as the so-called fall of man and that God’s creatures can come up with evil on their own through their fabled “free” will. The scriptures are clear that man was never a perfect sinless creature, and there is only one free will, which belongs to the Father, who works “all things” 100% after His counsel (Gen 1:2; Gen 2:7; Gen 2:25; Psa 51:5; Ecc 6:10; Isa 63:17; Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20):

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

Since the scriptures declare God to be the only Creator of all things, including the darkness and evil, it is hard for many to understand how these works of God can also be classified under the words “very good” and “perfect”:

Gen 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Deu 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

God’s perfect plan for the first Adam is one of the best hidden mysteries in scripture, and few can see how darkness, evil, and even death, can be part of that “very good” plan. God is indeed not busy with a restoration plan, but with His original perfect plan. For those who are given the faith to grasp the truth in God’s word, it is clear that God is in the process of making the Adam in His spiritual image through Jesus Christ. God appointed Jesus Christ to be the Saviour (making whole/Completer/Finisher/ Perfector) of all who were made in the first Adam before the creation (Heb 12:2):

1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

It was not an afterthought or an emergency rescue plan of God that Jesus would come in flesh to be the Saviour of the world. It was part of the perfect plan of the Father that the first Adam would first live an earthy life in bondage to darkness and death, and through this evil experience learn obedience to eventually receive perfection (Joh 1:1-14; 1Jn 2:16; 1Co 15:45-50):

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.

God purposely established death to be an important part of our spiritual development to which most are still blinded:

Ecc 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

God is achieving this death and blindness through the spirit of the world in each person created in flesh, which is totally the opposite to the spirit of God:

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The earthy man was created a “wretched man” who lives with death, and this acknowledgement is vital to our salvation and peace:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25a I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…

In our last discussion we touched on this theme of death as it is used to conclude the book of beginnings, namely Genesis. God indeed declares the end from the beginning, and in this sense we know that death is part of God’s “very good” counsel:

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

Death gathers us to our people

The Hebrew word for death is “mûth”, and of all the books of the Old Testament it is in the book of Genesis where this word appears second most – 78 times following behind the book of Numbers with 81 times. Genesis ends by detailing the deaths and burials of two of its most important characters, Jacob and Joseph. First we read that Jacob was “gathered unto his people” in death:

Gen 49:33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

We also discussed how these details about Jacob’s death helps us to understand how we are all born spiritually dead within this marred physical existence and are gathered to the first Adam in that sense (Gen 2:7; Jer 18:4; Rom 5:12; Rom 8:20; 1Co 15:22a).

We also are gathered to Christ and His people through death, which makes death yet again such an important aspect in the salvation process. Dying daily (with Christ) to this physical Adam with all his attachments in us and putting the flesh under our feet is how God ordained that we can find Jesus Christ and also be gathered to Him and His people (Mat 16:24; Luk 12:50; Act 2:38; Act 8:16; Rom 6:1-4; Rom 13:11-14; Gal 3:27):

Mat 10:38 And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39 He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

We discussed that we, like Jacob, also “gather up [our] feet” to rule with Christ to “put all enemies under [our] feet” (Heb 2:8; Rev 1:17):

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We also touched on the truth that all physically dead people “are perished” having no knowledge or remembrance of anything:

Psa 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee [God]: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Psa 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Ecc 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Even those believers who have died already are still “asleep in Christ” and “are perished”:

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

It is only at the coming resurrection, the first resurrection, that God’s elect will also finally receive the fulfillment of being “gathered unto [God’s] people” when the fullness of God’s spirit and immortality is given (Rev 20:4-6):

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Another aspect of death is seen after the death of Jacob in Egypt:

“Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.”

Gen 50:1 And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.

Death is a devastating reality, but God in His mercy has devised means through which He works to give us victory over everything in this life, even death. One of the things God designed to help us handle the death of a loved one is the aspect of mourning. Throughout the scriptures we see how this is portrayed, and we also see different facets of mourning (Gen 23:1-2; Gen 37:34-35; Exo 33:4; Num 20:29; Deu 34:8; 2Sa 1:11-12; Job 1:20-21; Isa 22:12; Eze 27:30-32; Mat 2:18; Act 8:2). Mourning is a vital part of the healing process which God instituted after death or when other heart-breaking events occur in our lives. Just as the book of Genesis is full of death, it is also filled with mourning in various applications. For example, when Adam and Eve discovered their physical naked condition and that God’s sentence of death will be fulfilled in them, they initially thought they could hide from God and His judgments:

Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

It was King David who also confirmed this natural desire in us to hide or escape when our natural man is confronted with his earthy condition through pain and death:

Psa 55:4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
Psa 55:5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
Psa 55:6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
Psa 55:7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
Psa 55:8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

Mourning expresses our natural inability to confront our old man and all the evil associated with it. It is through God’s judgment, His “terrors” to the flesh, that God actually brings His life, truth and righteousness to us (Job 31:23; Isa 10:33; Isa 26:9; Jer 32:21; 2Co 5:11):

Deu 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

For the natural man it is impossible to understand and to accept that God’s perfect works include His judgment. All things are from God, and our flesh wants to avoid God and His judgment because it cannot see the road to true happiness and joy. Flesh believes it deserves blissful pleasures, glamorous entertainment and constant thrills as if that is not also a gift from God which He gives freely to them who can give Him glory in all things (Ecc 6:2). Mourning and weeping is something the flesh wants to avoid at all cost. Jesus sounded the warning for all to hear:

Luk 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

It is also the wisdom of God through Solomon who wrote these words when he also was in mourning over a wasted life:

Ecc 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Jesus came to earth to show us the way to life, because even Jesus was not unknown with sorrow and grief when He walked in His earthy house of flesh:

Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Recognising and acknowledging our spiritual poverty in flesh

The words of Jesus concerning the blessedness of mourning confuse the natural mind:

Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Mourning associates with the initial shocking revelation that the flesh is a temporary creation and needs a spiritual conversion when our old man is replaced by the new man in Christ. This conversion is initiated when we are shocked, and we mourn when we find out that our spiritual Bridegroom is not in the bride chamber when we follow “Christ after the flesh” (Act 2:16-20; Act 9:1-9; 2Co 5:16):

Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Mat 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

We mourn because we discover we are guilty of the blood of all the prophets and even the blood of Jesus:

Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Mat 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it.

The revelation of Jesus through His spirit starts with this unveiling of our old man and the complete understanding of our flesh with its earthly connections and deadly convictions and beliefs (2Th 2:1-4). As we did not choose our physical condition, we also do not choose this conversion process, but the Father in His love drags us to see the Christ, and that road goes through much tribulation and groaning (Joh 6:44; Joh 15:16; Act 14:22; 1Pe 4:12; Rev 15:6-8):

Psa 31:9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
Psa 31:10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

2Co 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

“Godly sorrow” versus “the sorrow of the world”

There is a type of mourning that is not acceptable to God:

Deu 14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

When we have a lack of spiritual insight, we also have no idea of the estate of the sons of man or what death entails (Ecc 3:18; Rom 8:5-8). We will also not know how to mourn properly for one’s dead. Job, who suffered the death of his ten children together with all his physical riches, could not see the stumbling block of self-righteousness and death in his own heart. He did not know how to mourn properly as he was contending with God and wanted to disannul God’s judgment which actually, in the end, revealed this sad state of his heart to him (Job 40:1-8). Those who know the doctrine of Christ, also know that it takes a long time of contending with God to finally reach the point where we learn how to lay our hand upon our mouths. Then we learn that “the end of a thing [is better] than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecc 7:8-9):

Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Pro 14:16 A wise man feareth [God], and departeth from evil [his dead old man]: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

There is a difference between how the world mourns and how the child of God mourns as we also see in the way the Egyptians mourned the death of Jacob. First, we see the need for embalmment of a corpse:

Gen 50:2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
Gen 50:3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.

In its negative application, embalmment is a type of preservation of the flesh, and this is how the world also remains attached to their dead. Even some disciples of Jesus prepared Jesus’ body after His death for burial (Mat 27:57-59; Joh 19:39-40). Naturally we cannot let go of the fleshly shadows and the images of the world. Although the carnal mind also has limited spiritual insight, having a heaven or mind which can make abstractions, even making “fire [to] come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men”, the carnal mind cannot move to the level of applying the spiritual things in themselves (Luk 21:17-19; Rev 1:1-3; Rev 13:13-14):

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The time period for embalmment of Jacob’s corpse in Egypt lasted for forty days, which again shows our natural attachment to flesh – the number four, which indicates the whole, combines with the number ten which signifies the “perfection” of flesh or our faith in our own works (Eze 1:5; Mat 7:22-23; Rev 7:1; Deu 4:13). It is also said that the Egyptians mourned the death of Jacob for seventy days:

Gen 50:3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.

Joseph later called for a seven-day period of official mourning for Jacob’s families when they reached the borders of Canaan. This difference in the number of days is very insightful, as the world’s mourning shows so much more pain and affliction because of their blindness:

Gen 50:10 And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.

The positive application of this embalming process and the preparation for burial is seen in how we treat the body of Christ, the church, in their time of dying to self (Mat 26:6-13; Joh 12:3-8):

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

It is indeed the “meek in heart” which are “poor in spirit” that will mourn truthfully as they hunger after righteousness:

Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

The sorrow of the world indeed “worketh death” but Godly sorrow brings about a change in our hearts and in our actions:

2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.


Detailed studies and emails relating to these foundational themes in Scripture are available on the website, including these topics and links:
Live While We Are Dying
Rev 14:13-20
Ecc 7:1-9 “The Day of Death”
Gathered Unto His People
Is The Flesh Being Sown Our Physical Death?
The Meaning of The Power of Death

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