Bible Study For Real For Eternity

I think most people agree that the devil has played his part in religion since the early stages of earth’s history. “And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?” (Genesis 4:2-6 KJV).

After Satan convinced Eve to eat fruit from the forbidden tree, Satan went after Adam and Eve’s eldest son. It seems Cain didn’t come with an owners manual. Adam and Eve had to learn with not much more than on the job training. We can see by a few simple text that God was still there with Adam, Eve, and Cain. God personally talked with Cain. God voiced his concern with Cain. But for some reason, Cain had his own ideas. Now we have to ask the obvious question. Did Cain invent a new system of worship on his own, or did Cain have help? Let’s look at the obvious facts. Satan and a third of the angels in Heaven were banished to this world. Their only past time, recreation, and goal was to work on two people, Adam and Eve, and convince them that their system and ideas were better than God’s. The devil and his army were bent on separating Adam and Eve from God and join their forces. When Cain came along, he must have looked like an easy target. Now Satan had a pupil he could teach his way. So Satan and billions of angels worked on Cain every minute seven days a week. What chance did Cain have? Of course by the Bible text we can see Cain still had God to talk to. We can’t imagine what life must have been like for Cain. He had direct contact with God and the devil. Cain had to make a decision. Maybe Cain was only testing God. Maybe the devil promised Cain riches, wealth, power, and glory. But over what? After a few years, Cain had a little brother. A brother he should have been watching over. Able choose to follow God and the few simple commandments he was given. Just follow the rules. Simple. But was it all that simple? Cain’s crops grew. Cain had no idea how he could plant seed in the ground, water it, and a new plant would sprout and grow. Later more seeds sprang from that one seed. He could eat those seeds and fruit to survive. God’s sun and rain made those plants grow. They were all working together as a team. Cain could have asked God how He designed those seeds and what made them grow. Cain had direct access to God and infinite knowledge. On the other hand, Satan also had direct access to Cain and who knows what Satan promised, or what lies Satan filled Cain’s head with. In the long run, Cain choose to follow one of Satan’s suggestions.

It seems Able had a much closer relationship with God. Maybe Adam and Eve saw the mistakes they made with Cain and adjusted their parenting skills to do a much better job with Able. But when you consider the fact Adam, Eve, Cain, and Able all had equal access to God, what could have went wrong? Maybe Satan discovered something new to work with. Was it pride, jealousy, or a lethal combination of the two? At any rate, Satan and his army were on their way to honing their skills in deception.

As time marched on, the population increased. And so did sin. It is sad to think the first son born to Adam and Eve, the first baby born into this world killed his younger brother. That broke God’s sixth commandment. Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13 KJV). But when we look at those commandments, we see another command Cain broke. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 KJV). There must have been a written set of laws before Cain broke them. Cain had to know about those laws before God could judge him guilty and pass a sentence on Cain. “And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me this day away from the ground; and from thy face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me.” (Genesis 4:10-14 RSVA).

There has to be a law to break before a judge can sentence a man. But here we only see the charge of murder brought against Cain. And we see something else. Cain was afraid of two penalties. Leaving behind the ground he worked on and cared for, and loosing contact with God. Did Cain loose contact with God at that point? Was God not only sending Cain into the wilderness, but into territory controlled by Satan?

We all know that God never changes. We know that God is always the same. We also know God is trying His best to reach each and every individual in this world. When we look at the text we see that it was Cain’s mind that told him, God would no longer be there for him. Is that what sin does to us? Was Satan telling Cain something that wasn’t true? Sure sin has a way of separating us from God. But is that God’s choice, or our choice? Is God still there for us, but our pride and ignorance create a void? Maybe Satan’s way of reaching Cain was to convince him that if God wasn’t there, his laws would also go away. Did Satan tell Cain, “you didn’t do anything wrong. The problem is that law. If you eliminate God, you eliminate His laws.” Isn’t that something sinners dwell on?

It seems that is what the world had in mind. Get away from God and his laws. But something had to replace God and His laws. “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7 RSVA). Satan replaced God’s laws with wickedness and evil. We are not given a list of every sin involved, but we can imagine. People broke every one of God’s commands. They created new religions, new gods, they murdered, stole, committed adultery, and took what they wanted. Sin took over so quickly, it broke God’s heart to see His creation break down in Satan’s hands. Of course this was the first world Satan tried to run. So he made a lot of mistakes. His main excuse was that, men just wouldn’t listen to him or follow orders. Satan wanted to be free of God’s commands and convinced this world they didn’t need any laws. That plan didn’t work. It didn’t take long for Satan to loose control of this world. God had to destroy sin, and unfortunately give Satan a second change to test his theory. God took Noah and his family, put them on a boat, and killed every breathing creature on this planet. With the exception of the animals that joined Noah inside the ark. That boat represented God’s saving grace in all the storms and troubles this world can bring.

When Noah got off that boat, he offered sacrifices to God. This world had eight human beings willing and able to follow God and His laws. Satan also gained a fresh chance. Satan saw where the elimination of all law led. He wasn’t about to try that again. This time Satan had to introduce a new system with new laws. His laws. What better way to control people than through religion? Instead of eliminating God’s laws and trying to get people to follow his directions, Satan needed to copy a few things from God, make a few minor adjustments, and see how that would work.

Building a new city and a new monument dedicated to showing how they could not trust God’s word was one of Satan’s first moves. “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Ba’bel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 11:5-9 RSVA).

Even though God promised never to destroy the earth in a flood, men got together to build a tower, just in case God broker His promise. The tower served two purposes. A few people could climb to the top just in case another flood came long. It also served to display their outlook on God. Because sin separated them from God, the new religion Satan introduced placed God and His kingdom in the clouds. It was a rather silly concept, but a concept that is still widely taught and accepted in some Christian religions. Men were convinced that by building a tower, they could be like God. Today we see similar beliefs. Build a bigger church to get God’s attention. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work today.

For some reason God gave those people many different languages. There may have been thousands or millions of people in that city at that time. So what did those mixed languages solve? It got the people to move and spread out. Today millions of people speak the same language. More people than the number that were scatted from that city. So what are all those languages pointing to? How many religions do we have in this world today? At least thousands. There are well over three hundred different Christian denominations scattered all over the world. Other major religions all have their differences, splinter groups, and off shoots. No one has any idea how many people die each year because of differences in religious beliefs. What does that have to do with different languages? Well maybe nothing. But those different languages do point to a misunderstanding on a larger scale. And a unified belief in the wrong religion did spawn the break up of a one world language.

So now the world had hundreds of different languages and dialects. Which of course broke in countless forms of religion. After some time, God had one person to call on, Abram. That marked the beginning of a new nation destined to follow God.

Most of us know how that worked out. Abram decided to listen to his wife instead of God. Abram’s first son came from an Egyptian slave. How is that for a turn about. Abram owned a slave from Egypt, and years later the nation of Israel served as slaves in Egypt.

Today Abram’s first son Ismael is given credit to spawning a number of nations and religions. “Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears. But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.” Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. (Genesis 21:16-19 NLTse).

If nothing else, we can still see how God watched over Hagar and communicated with her. Where has that communication gone?

We can see the fracturing and divisions among religions throughout the Bible. We know how every religion has its own rules, regulations, and doctrines. We have seen on the news how war breaks out between religious factions. We don’t know what those differences are. And most people doing the fighting and killing have no idea why they are killing other human beings. Did Cain know why he killed Able? It was over some religious dispute. Cain could have asked God to solve the dispute, but he chose to rely on his own judgment.

It’s no big secret that Satan uses religions to gain a toe hold in peoples lives. He has been doing that for a rather long time and has come up with some rather bizarre religions to control people. Today we only have to watch or read the news to see how wars are fought over religious differences. Religious genocide is still a part of this world and a tool Satan still pulls out of his work shed. What are those religious differences? Books have been written about those differences. Studies have been done on those differences. Government reports have been written about those differences. Billions of dollars have been spent trying to solve those differences as well as fight over those differences. Millions of lives have been lost over those differences. But no one has bothered to look at the obvious solution. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 KJV). The only solution is God. To honor God as the one true living God. The examples we looked at in this chapter have shown how God was always there to talk to people. And have shown how Cain and others decided to give Satan’s ideas a chance. None of those ideas or concepts have worked. We are still living in a world that believes mankind can somehow solve all those problems. This world still believes we are on our own and it is up to us to find solutions. But the world will not admit, Satan has a stronger influence over our decisions making capabilities. Satan controls minds. Satan controls leaders, decisions, laws, and wars. We are not in this world alone. Satan prefers to hide behind a mask, and make people think their ideas, concepts, laws, and actions are a product of their imagination and experience. But Satan has more experience than all the leaders in this world put together. Religious or otherwise, Satan has control over those leaders and is not giving up that control without a fight.

Romans 9:1-5 NLTse With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. (2) My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief (3) for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed–cut off from Christ!–if that would save them. (4) They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises. (5) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

How do people confirm that messages are indeed from the Holy Spirit? How is the Holy Spirit supposed to be our witness? It seems to me, when we are on the same team, there is a way to support one another in all facets of life. How do we get that ball rolling? Is it as simple as we hear in church, or on the Internet?

Let’s face it. Most messages we hear come from someone’s imagination. What spirit influenced that person? When we ask questions, we usually receive the standard answer. “Of course I prayed.” Or they may be defending their leaders by saying, “of course they prayed.” Then what was the answer? How did the Holy Spirit communicate with that person, group, or committee? If they received a direct communication from God, I doubt if it would quickly be forgotten. On the other hand, if the message came from human resources, I could see how a standardized answer would be offered.

David wrote a list of Psalms telling us, he prayed, and how he received answers. All of the prophets in the Bible did the exact same thing. Moses wrote about how he first met God, and a series of communications with God after that. Some times God would speak directly with Moses. As was true in most cases. Moses has a special relationship with God. On the other hand, David’s story contained another twist. As a boy, David had a great relationship with God. In the fields, David had no trouble hearing God’s voice. David found it a little strange to find other people lacked that communication with God. But something happened. Influences inside Saul’s palace, an endless stream of wars, battles, a marriage, and other factors drew David away from God to a degree. David had to leave, get out on his own for a while, get back to nature, and back to God. That began a retraining process for David that started with one priest, and a set of stones that answered yes and no questions. David eventually grew back into a relationship with God, that was on and off to say the least. There were times David listened to God, sought out God’s advice, and went to God as a type or refuge. And there were times David didn’t think he needed God’s advice on a subject. David was human.

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Daniel wrote a book that is one of the best sources of information about how God communicates with us. Daniel heard God in prayer, visions, dreams, and through messengers. Daniel played the part of a messenger, telling people what God thought about subjects, what their dreams were, and of course, all those messages about the future. Which brings up a good point to examine. All of the information written in Daniels books came from a direct revelation from God. No one can argue with that point. David’s book is the focus of study for many preachers, pastors, and teachers these days. If every word they are quoting is a direct revelation from God, shouldn’t each and every one of their explanations also be a direct revelation from God? If that was the case, wouldn’t each of their messages identify how and when God communicated with them? Why doesn’t that simple concept spread throughout the Bible seem to apply to the world today?

Paul is simply attempting to deliver a simple message, God loves the Jews and wants them to remain as His children. To deliver that message, Paul went out of his way to make sure the Jews knew the message was from God. If such a simple message in scripture required so much clarification, than why not other messages?

It seems that some of the Jews felt as if God abandoned them, because the priests and Pharisees killed God’s Son. It may seem rather difficult for us to share that type of guilt. If religious leaders committed a sin, would the entire congregation share in the guilt? And why, or why not? Maybe some of the Jews were more like Paul than what we generally considered. Maybe more Jews support Jesus’ death, and the persecution of His followers. Then in their own way, met Jesus while traveling their own roads. If it happened to Paul, it could happen to others. While Paul was blind, Jesus sent him to a Christian home to heal. There had to be a reason. That act of kindness and trust had to make an impression on Paul. When we look at the Gospels, we can’t argue the point, there were a number of Jews who called for Jesus’ death. People from all over the world were standing in Pilot’s courtyard. It was one of the most important Passovers in history.

There is no doubt Satan and his angels were in that courtyard on the day Jesus was sentenced to the cross. Demons influenced people. Many of them from distant parts of the world knew little about Jesus, or what was going on. All they did was follow the crowd. Of course they were prompted on by demons. Those people may have heard a story or two about Jesus. But how accurate were those stories? Were they first hand accounts, second, third hand, or nothing more than rumors? Were those stories from Jesus’ supporters, followers, friends, or foes? How well did those people know Jesus?

There is a ton of information we would have to examine to get to the truth about every Jew Paul wrote to in Rome. People don’t think about actual events and how they shaped lives and beliefs in Paul’s day. People don’t stop long enough to consider how modern day events effect people today. We could learn so much from the letters Paul wrote, if we stopped long enough to consider how one of the world’s most important events shaped lives, effected people, and changed them in one way or another.

Paul had to send the Jews in Rome all the way back to Abraham so they could see how God chose one man to begin a whole new movement on earth. Jews should have known that history. Christians should also know that part of scripture. Paul took that line from Abraham all the way up to Jesus. Jesus was a Jew. For the most part Jesus was rejected by the Jews. Which was one of the points Paul was trying to make. Why should the Jews continue to reject Christians, or certain Christians?

How Does God Choose

Romans 9:6-16 NLTse Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promise to Israel? No, for not all who are born into the nation of Israel are truly members of God’s people! (7) Being descendants of Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children. For the Scriptures say, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted,” though Abraham had other children, too. (8) This means that Abraham’s physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham’s children. (9) For God had promised, “I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (10) This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins. (11) But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; (12) he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” (13) In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.” (14) Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! (15) For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” (16) So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

Paul dropped a bomb on the Israelites. Telling them, not all of them were God’s children, may have been blaspheme in the eyes of some of those Jews. That was not at all what they have been taught. Some Jews believed, they were born into God’s family based on their family line, which was traced all the way back to Abraham. There was nothing that could change that. But with that family line came responsibilities. They had to bring their sacrifices. The most important being the animal sacrifices. There was also the temple tax, first fruits from whatever business they ran, and a host of other donations to keep the temple up and running, and the priests employed. Along side the priests were a host of other people to interpret the laws, write books, explain just about every question people may have on scripture, and of course, enforce the laws, and provide security for the temple. The process required a huge amount of funds. Providing for those operations was part of being a Jew.

We should look back and read the entire story whenever an inspired author records a small part of scripture. The Christian mentality may be, that was only for the Jews, or they may think they know the scriptures so well, there is no need to review. But there is. As we’ve already reviewed, God’s Spirit communicates in various ways. Scripture may be the most important, and for many people, the first door to a lasting relationship with God. Be honest. Ask yourself, “was the Spirit really with me the last time I read that story?” Of course you may answer, “yes,” to that question. But consider this. Was the Spirit with you in the frame of mind Paul is trying to establish? God’s Word is a living word. Admit it. You open up the Bible, read a little bit, and there is little or no impressions on your mind. A few days or weeks later, you open the Bible, read the same passage, and guess what. Suddenly the story comes alive, and seems to center on your life at that particular moment. It is like you and God are in the same room, and He understands every detail in your life. Now why would you deny the Holy Spirit the chance to set the stage for a new and exciting lesson? Does the Bible always have to be about you, or are there dimensions you have been missing?

The LORD kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. And Abraham named their son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!” When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. But Sarah saw Ishmael–the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar–making fun of her son, Isaac. So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave-woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!” (Genesis 21:1-10 NLTse).

I just inserted a small part of the story. I would never deny you the opportunity to spend some quality time with the Holy Spirit, to see what He has in store for you. Based on what Paul wrote in Romans chapter 9, this story shows us how Sara rejected Ismael and his mother. Did God reject Ismael? Only to a degree. God actually blessed Ismael and his sons. Sara was the one who started all the trouble. Ismael was to grow up to be the leader of a nation, and his sons would be given nations to lead. Sara demanded that Ismael leave. How different things may have tuned out if Ismael had a real father figure in his life. Especially a father figure like Abraham.

Was that the point Paul was trying to make? When we get back to Romans, we can see how family, and God the Father is a larger than life figure in the story. Isn’t Paul trying to explain how one child from Abraham grew up without the benefit of a kind and loving father? How does that apply to our lives with God? Do we really have the influence of a kind and loving Heavenly Father in our lives?

See how the Spirit can influence the way we perceive simple ideas, concepts, and lessons in scripture? One day we have no idea that lesson was in the story. The next day, we are asking why we never way that before. It happens all the time when you invite to Spirit to study with you, and when you learn how to let the Spirit lead in your studies.

As Paul gets into the story about Isaac, he sends us back to another story in scripture. Once again we have another story to relate to in ways we have never seen before.

But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. “Why is this happening to me?” she asked. And the LORD told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau. Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel. So they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born. (Genesis 25:22-26 NLTse).

Imagine children in competition before they were born. There has to be a lesson in that. And how does it relate to the world today? All of us live in different places, have different jobs, environments, issues to deal with, and of course, follow different faiths at different levels. In certain parts of the world people are greatly effected by Ismael’s descendants. Some may be effected by Esau’s descendants. We will all view this story and its lessons in different ways. Sticking with the subject of the father, and his influence on his children, we can see how children can and will cling to certain aspects of their parents, be influenced by the world around them, and make good and poor choices. That is something we see in this world all the time.

Another aspect of this lesson is, how the events listed, and all the events that stemmed from the birth of Ismael and Esau effected this world. But the main point still remains, how the birth and death of God’s Son effected this world. With the help of the Spirit, we can have a look at how they effected the world immediately following Jesus’ ascension into Heaven.

Paul faced a group of Jews in Rome he had to remind about the origin of God’s children on this planet. Paul had to encourage those people to go back and review those stories. Not in the way they have been taught those stories, but examine them in the new light they received. Of course that light came in varying degrees to different people. Some people left Jesus. Some people followed Jesus for years. Some people saw and listened to Jesus for only a day. Some people witnessed the miracles Jesus performed. Some people were in fact healed by Jesus. Because few people in Rome actually saw any of those events, the Book of Romans gives us in in-depth look at how one inspired writer teamed up with the Spirit to reach a small number of people in the world capital.

Imagine the influences Rome had on people. It was a republic led by an emperor. Quite a strange combination showing how man made governments don’t work, and won’t last. How was Rome as a whole effected by Ismael and Esau? To my knowledge, not very much. I could be wrong, but I am not using history books to bring out the essence of the Bible. The question should be, how did the children of Ismael and Esau effect individuals? Did any of those children down the lines of either of the two spawn the gods found in Rome after Jesus’ resurrection? They may have had more influence than we can imagine. The facts are not important. The main message is, not all of those people associated with Abraham had a good influence on this world. They were not a part of God’s family. As a matter of fact, they often stood against God’s children.

There has always been a division between God’s actual children, those who choose to follow Him, and those who choose to follow their own paths. It began with Cain and Able, and continues today. The Lord started over with Noah. Then over again with Abraham. Finally God took a group out of Egypt. This world never seems to get the simple message. Paul sent the Romans back to another story to review.

One day Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” The LORD replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest–everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me–on me and on your people–if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The LORD continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” (Exodus 33:12-23 NLTse).

What did we learn from that part of the story, and how does it relate to Romans? There is one line that should draw our attention. God’s presence is what sets His people apart from the rest of this world? Isn’t that what Paul has been teaching in this chapter?

There was no doubt Moses shared a special relationship with God. They were close to each other. Moses moved as close to God as he could get. That was what that story was all about. But that wasn’t the same for every Israelite. For the most part, those people were descendants of Abraham. They should have known God and talked to God like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But did they? Did they miss that aspect of being with God? What happened to it?