East of Eden

Genesis 4-14

From Working the Angles to Trusting God

May 21, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 12:10–20

You follow God. You are building altars for his name. Everything is going well. You are feeling blessed which makes altar building easy. Then... you hit a wall. A famine. Work is not going well. There are tests for following God. All of a sudden the promises of God seem fuzzy. Then crisis. You are put in a situation to use your smarts, money, time, and power to avoid a potential game-ender. Or, while God may use those things, you could stop and trust Him. You stop and go to the Word and see again that he says he will keep you. You remember that He is faithful, so you can obey and watch as he deals with the consequences. That is our story in Genesis 12:10-20.

From Chasing a Name to Declaring a Name

May 14, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 12:1–9

The three essential ingredients in the basics of the faith are covenant, discipleship, and mission. Those three ideas are introduced to us in even clearer form in our passage this week, Genesis 12:1-9. God makes a covenant (promise) with Abram. That promise is the foundation of faith and faith is the fuel of discipleship. And, once faithful disciples rest in God's promises, they joyfully go on mission with and for God as he calls us to go and make His Name great.

Looking Forward to the City of God

May 7, 2023 • Martin Shin, Jay Thomas • Genesis 11:10–32

This Sunday, we gathered with our CHBC en Español family for a bilingual service to lift up our voices collectively in two languages to honor Jesus. In addition, Martin and Jay preached from God's Word from Genesis 11.

From Tower to Temple

April 30, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 11:1–9

Have you ever tried really hard, built something complicated, it took a long time and a lot of effort only to have it all crashing down? And, did you suspect that God had something to do with it coming crashing down? I have had that happen. I also confess that I initially got mad at God. I accused God of ruining my life - all that hard work, time, expectation - God, what were you thinking? Then, it became clear. God broke my tower for my good. God was not threatened by my tower. God was not jealous of my tower. God saw how pitiful it was and he loves me so much he did not stand by and let it keep going. God often breaks our towers to build our lives, lives based on the real temple, Jesus. The story of Babel is a story of God's gracious wrecking ball and confusion-creating grace.

A Prophetic Table

April 23, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 10

What's in a genealogy? A lot more than just names and families. I have never been more excited to teach from a genealogy than this text! Genesis 10 sets the state for Revelation 5, the throne room of heaven where God's people from all nations worship the Lord Jesus. This text is often overshadowed by the Tower of Babel story of a rebellious people that needs to be judged, dispersed, and replaced. There is a layer of the story that is judgment, but the other layer is that God is going to start a new nation, Israel, not to ultimately replace the 70 nations, but to be one of them, set apart to show them the way - and the way is ultimately Jesus.

A Drunken World

April 16, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 9:18–29

Our world is intoxicated with disunity, especially among the people groups. We watch the nightly news as bombs explode, as people march in lament and anger, and we know the pain of broken relationships in our own families. How did we get here? Why does sin go after relationships and what fuels it? Our passage this week is sad, for sin enters the story right after the purifying flood. But it is also hope-giving. We find a drunken righteous man, a drunken family unity, which leads to a global intoxication of nations fighting nations. And yet it is a story of the covering of shame and we see in it, in seed form, that God will do the same to ultimately bring honor and glory back to his people - as individuals, as families, and as people groups who are co heirs of Jesus. All of that in Genesis 9? Yup.

Re-Creation by Grace

March 26, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 8, Genesis 9:1–17

The Noah's ark story is an interesting thing. First, the ark is part of the story, but it's not really the main character. Noah is certainly a main character, but we often focus on how much of a hero he was and so we must emulate him as the take-home of the story. Just keep reading. Once Noah got off the ark, worshiped for a bit, he then relaxed and was not quite the man we should want to be. Yes, Noah was righteous. Yes, he obeyed God in life changing ways. Yes, God noticed Noah and favored him and his family. But, what is the full take home of this part of Genesis? Check out Genesis 8:21. Read it. It is kinda crazy. God was pleased with Noah's post-flood worship, even though God sees that humanity is still broken all the way down to the heart. What? Well, let's see what that means on Sunday.

A Flood of Faithfulness

March 19, 2023 • Geoff Grant • Genesis 6:9–22, Genesis 7

In the first 3 chapters of the Bible we hear of God's marvelous creative work as He brings chaos into order and breathes life into the dust. But, 3 chapters later, He is actively "de-creating" what He created as He opens the floodgates of the heavens to destroy all life and mankind... with exception to a small remnant. In today's passage, we explore the story of Noah and the ark and God's faithfulness in judgment, mercy, redemption, even through the process of de-creation, and how all of this points to Jesus.

Noah Finds Favor

March 12, 2023 • Ryan McKee • Genesis 6:1–8

On the brink of the flood account, Geneses 6:1-8 reveals the utter depth of the heart of humanity and the heart of God. With sin and death at its all time worst, God holds humanity to account for their sin, but God never loses sight of His promises.

Walking with God from Adam to Noah

March 5, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 5

Genesis 5 is one long genealogy. But that does not mean it fails to be pertinent. It is pertinent in a special kind of way. Genesis 5 is the story of God‘s faithfulness, to keep his Word and his promises as we get ready for the story of Noah and the flood. And in the middle of the story is a departure from the pattern of the genealogy, the story of Enoch. It is a strange story. A wonderful story. And a story that points us to Jesus, the ultimate man who walked with God, and was taken to be with God, so that we could be taken to be with God as well.

The Brook that Leads to Babel

February 12, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 4:17–26

When sin is not repented of, it intensifies and even enculturates. But grace is too stubborn to give up. 

East of Eden

February 5, 2023 • Jay Thomas • Genesis 4:1–16

This Sunday, we kick off the next section in our series in Genesis - chapters 4-11. Now that we've looked at all the layers of Genesis 1-3, it is time to see how the story plays out East of Eden, in exile. Unfortunately, the curses of Genesis 3 begin to weave into the story of Adam and Eve and their descendants. Genesis 4:1-16 is the story of sin's first actions, involving distrust in God, envy, lies, and even murder. The ugliness of sin is on full display and yet...yet...grace is still at work and will have the final word, even in the story of Cain and Abel.