Friday, October 26, 2018

McGee and Me #1 Genesis 1-15

Thru the Bible: Genesis 1-15. J. Vernon McGee. 1975. 204 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: The Book of Genesis is one of the two important key books of the Bible. The book that opens the Old Testament (Genesis) and the book that opens the New Testament (Matthew) are the two books which I feel are the key to the understanding of the Scriptures.

I recently bought a complete set of J. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible commentary series. These books are loosely based on his popular radio program. I have read a handful of his commentaries in the past--including this one--but I plan on reading and/or rereading all of the commentaries (again). 

McGee is a very casual and conversational, very tell-it-like-it-is, very simple. He introduces the book of the Bible. He then goes through it practically verse by verse, chapter by chapter. The translation reprinted in the commentary, is, I believe, the King James Version. It is reprinted. Unlike some commentaries that provide Scripture references and outlines, this one does give you the Scripture text in the text itself. You don't have to have an open Bible in hand. (Which is very nice!) He likes to try to make connections between then and now, to point out ways that the text is relevant to you and me. 

His commentary on Genesis is broken down into three volumes. The first volume covers chapters 1-15. The second volume covers chapters 16-33. The third volume covers chapters 34-50. 

I agree with McGee some of the time, but, definitely not all the time. There were statements that I disagree with passionately in this one. 

Included in this commentary is his GUIDELINES on Bible Reading. (I believe these guidelines are included in most of his commentaries?)

  • There is only one Book for any man who is dying, but it is also the Book for any man who is living.
  • All Scripture is not to me, but all Scripture is for me. That is a good rule to keep in mind.
  • Do you want to know what the Bible has to say? Read the Bible. Over and above what any teacher may give you, it is all-important to read for yourself what the Bible has to say.
  • We need to read the Bible. We need to get into the Word of God—not just reading a few favorite verses, but reading the entire Word of God. That is the only way we are going to know it, friend. That is God’s method.
  • I want to mention seven very simple, yet basic, preliminary steps that will be a guide for the study of the Word of God. 1. Begin with prayer. 2. Read the Bible. 3. Study the Bible. 4. Meditate on the Bible. 5. Read what others have written on the Bible. 6. Obey the Bible. 7. Pass it on to others. You may want to add to these, but I believe these are basic and primary. Someone has put it in a very brief, cogent manner: “The Bible—know it in your head; stow it in your heart; show it in your life; sow it in the world.” That is another way of saying some of the things we are going to present here.
  • In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth [Gen. 1:1]. This is one of the most profound statements that has ever been made, and yet we find that it is a statement that is certainly challenged in this hour in which we are living.
  • The purpose of the Scripture is for instruction in righteousness. It was not written to teach you geology or biology. It was written to show man’s relationship to God and God’s requirements for man and what man must do to be saved. You can write this over the first part of the book of Genesis: “What must I do to be saved?”
  • Who created the universe? God did. He created it out of nothing. When? I don’t know, and nobody else knows. Some men say one billion years ago, some say two billion, and now some say five billion. I personally suspect that they all are pikers. I think it was created long before that.
  • I reject evolution because it rejects God and it rejects revelation. It denies the fall of man and the fact of sin, and it opposes the virgin birth of Christ. Therefore, I reject it with all my being.
  • “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This is a majestic verse. It is a tremendous verse. I am of the opinion that it is the doorway through which you will have to walk into the Bible. You have to believe that God is the Creator, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is.
  • “So God created man in his own image.” I want to submit to you that this is one of the great statements of the Word of God. I cannot conceive of anything quite as wonderful as this.
  • Do not miss the importance of the Sabbath day. What does it mean when it says that God rested from His work? When God finished His six days of work, He looked upon it and it was very good, and there was nothing else to do. He rested the seventh day because His work was complete.
  • Righteousness is innocence that has been maintained in the presence of temptation. You see, temptation will either develop you or destroy you; it will do one of the two.
  • Character must be developed, and it can only be developed in the presence of temptation. Man was created a responsible being, and he was responsible to glorify, to obey, to serve, and to be subject to divine government.
  • The thing that Eve did was to add to the Word of God. The liberal and the atheist take from the Word of God, and God has warned against that. The cults (and some fundamentalists, by the way) add to the Word of God, and God warns against that.
  • There are four great lessons that we see from the fig leaves and the fact that God clothed them with skins. (1) Man must have adequate covering to approach God. You cannot come to God on the basis of your good works. You must come just as you are—a sinner. (2) Fig leaves are unacceptable; they are homemade. God does not take a homemade garment. (3) God must provide the covering. (4) The covering is obtained only through the death of the Lord Jesus. 
  • Religion is something that you rub on the outside, but God does not begin with religion. May I make a distinction here: Christianity is not a religion; Christianity is Christ. There are a lot of religions, but the Lord Jesus went right to the fountainhead when He said, “Ye must be born again.”
  • The most prominent thought [of Genesis 3:15] is not the ultimate victory that would come, but the long-continued struggle. This verse reveals the fact that now there is to be a long struggle between good and evil.
  • When Cain brought an offering to God, he did not come by faith—he came on his own. And the offering that he brought denied that human nature is evil.
  • Cain’s offering also denied that man was separated from God. He acted like everything was all right.
  • This is what liberalism does today in talking about the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man. My friend, things are not all right with us today. We are not born children of God. We have to be born again to be children of God.
  • What does God say concerning man? God says that man is totally evil, totally bad. That is the condition of all of us. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). That is the estimate of the Word of God. If you will accept God’s Word for it, it will give you a truer conception of life today than is given to us by others.
  • We are in the world, but not of it. We are to use it, but not to abuse it. We are not to fall in love with it, but we are to attempt to win the lost in this world and get out the Word of God.
  • “And God remembered Noah.” How wonderful! God could very easily have forgotten all about Noah. Years later He could have said, “Oh my, I forgot all about that fellow down there. I put him in an ark and forgot about him!” That would have been too bad, wouldn’t it? But God did not forget. God remembered Noah. God never forgets. He remembers you. The only thing that He does not remember is your sin if you have come to Him for salvation. Your sins He remembers no more. What a beautiful thing this is!
  • Noah is engaged here in “bird-watching.” He sends out the raven, and the raven does not come back. Why didn’t that raven come back? You must recognize what that raven eats—it feeds on carrion. There was a whole lot of flesh of dead animals floating around after the Flood, and that was the kind of thing this old crow ate. He did not return to the ark because he was really going to a feast, and he was having a very wonderful time. The raven was classified as an unclean bird, by the way.
  • The dove recognized what kind of a world she was in, and she found no rest. She found rest only in the ark, and that ark sets forth Christ if you please.
  • Are you a raven or a dove? If you are a child of God, you have both natures—but which one are you living in today?
  • We have, I think, a wrong conception of life in this universe that we are in. For instance, our nation has spent billions of dollars to put men on the moon, and it looks like it’s not a good place to live anyway. But we spend relatively little on how to live on this earth. But God is concerned about training you and me how to live on this earth.

No comments: