Wednesday, December 4, 2013

keep & kept

Jude 1.24
(by Pastor Joe)
The Word for Today: Jude 17-25
mark this: v. 24-25 --
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
God is in the keeping business.
The entirety of Scripture records not only His relentless pursuit of mankind, but also His consuming desire to keep us as well.
Two words: "shamar" and "tereo" litter the Old and New Testament, respectively. They both carry the same basic meaning; they mean to:
- attend to carefully, take care of
- guard
- keep one in the state in which he is
- reserve
From the Garden of Eden, to the restoration of all things, God remains in the keeping business--
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard (shamar) the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
Whereas I once saw the flaming sword as a huge "stay out" sign, I now see it as I should, "keep open." God has mercifully left that angel and that sword not only to keep pollution (sinful man) out, but also to keep the way open to redeemed man. Despite our rebellion, God has made sure the way to eternal life stays attended, guarded and reserved.
The rest of the Bible tells the story of God attending, guarding, and preserving, first a man (Abraham) and then a nation (Israel) until the time of the One to come. Jesus Christ is given to mankind to actually reopen that path to eternal life (John 14:6).
He then promises His presence and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to act as the ultimate Keeper in our lives, and that's what leads us to the verse we started with, Jude 24-25. You and I may be lots of things-- dictated by the times and events and circumstances of our lives. But one thing that is even more true of everyone who is in Jesus Christ: we are guarded, we are preserved, we have eternal life reserved for us. We are kept.


  1. Franklyn: It has occurred to me in the past that the name ADOM in the Hebrew seems to mean ( RED) as in blood. The name EVE in the Hebrew seems to mean ( giver of life or breath of life. To me, and maybe only to me, it seems that since the fall took place at a TREE, that man and the tree became cursed. As the scripture says "cursed is everything that hangs on a tree." When they were driven out of the garden it was for their own good as part of HIS plan. They all may have died in that garden, including the tree. God later provided a "new breath of life" that came through Mary the new EVE and JESUS became the RED ADOM through HIS blood, and that old cursed dead tree that was in the garden? Well that became the cross. As I read scripture it seems to me trees and wood became prominent, even in the ark of Moses, the ark of Noah and the Ark of the covenant and the Temple.

    Anyway its just a thought that works for me!

    God Bless,


  2. Hi, Don! You've set out a lot for us to contemplate...

    When man sinned all of creation came under the curse as well, and awaits redemption (Romans 8:21). So as part of creation, the tree comes under that general curse, just as you noted.

    Scripture tells us that Jesus is "the last Adam" (whose imputed righteousness will justify us; see 1 Cor. 15:45) in contrast with "the first Adam" (whose sin nature alienates us from God.)

    You are absolutely right that, in a sense, it was merciful for God to cast them from the garden (or else they might live forever in their degraded condition; see Gen. 3:22-23).
    The central truth concerning their banishment is that, having eaten from the forbidden tree, they were spiritually dead on that very day, as God had warned in Gen 2:17: "On the day that you eat from it, you will surely die." Spiritual death is separation from God; so their banishment from the presence of God is an unmistakable picture of their sinful condition. It is very helpful for Bible students (like you and me!) to think of it not so much as banishment from Eden (the place is actually incidental and unimportant) but as banishment from God's Presence.

    I would like to (gently) caution you about ascribing any position to Mary which scripture does not support. Mary is the last in the line of the human genealogy which fulfills Genesis 3:15 -- that "the seed of the woman" (a human descendant of Eve) will ultimately defeat evil. As Mary herself attests, she is remarkable in no other way, being just as much in need of salvation (and the Savior she will bear bear) as any other sinner. See Luke 1:47.

    ~~~It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow "Berean" on the road to Emmaus! (Acts 17:11; Luke 24) God bless you as you search His book and seek His heart.