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"Africa Bible Commentary" on Genesis

Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary Written by 70 African Scholars
Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary Written by 70 African Scholars
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The Africa Bible Commentary is unique. Written by African theologians and produced in Africa, it is the first one-volume commentary ever created to help pastors, students, and lay leaders in Africa apply God’s Word to distinctively African concerns, yet its fresh insights will have a universal appeal.
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'Scripture is not just a holy book from which we extract teaching and biblical principles ... it is a story in which we participate ... Scripture speaks to us because Scripture speaks about us ... Scripture is the living testimony to what God has done and continues to do, and we are part of that testimony.'

'Comment on the authorship of the Pentateuch (Genesis - Deuteronomy)' - ' ... it is not the author who is important. What matters is the existence of a message that is relevant to the community.'

'...'at that time men began to call on the name of the Lord' (Genesis 4:26b) ... Seth and his line feared God and called on his name. Lamech, Cain's descendant, called only on his wives to hear his boasting (Genesis 4:23).' (p. 19).

'Though everything that was not in the ark was destroyed (Genesis 7:21-23), the ultimate goal of the flood was not to destroy all life but to destroy the stranglehold of sin ... the flood did not aim to wipe out creation but to preserve it ... Destroying all creation would have signified the defeat of the Creator ... Not even the initial sin of Adam and Eve had derailed his plan, for he had immediately announced the future coming of the Saviour to crush the devil and bring in a new community that would celebrate his glory (Genesis 3:15).' (p. 22).

'As long as the sins we have committed are not recognized, confessed to the Lord and abandoned, they will continue to be a great burden, no matter how much we try to hide our suffering. Only Christ's forgiveness relieves us and restores to us the strength and the joy of living to continue our service of faith.' (p. 22).

'The God who is to be feared because of his devastating judgment of evil is also the one who 'blessed Noah and his sons' (Genesis 9:1).' (p. 24).

'God provided the rainbow as a sign that he would keep his 'covenant for all generations to come' (Genesis 9:12-13) ... This sign is needed not because God may possibly forget his covenant - that is not his nature (Psalm 105:8; Psalm 111:5; Luke 1:72) - but an assurance to humans that God will not forget. Some have arg...ued that God has broken this promise, for there have been floods of various kinds that have claimed many lives. But what is promised here is not protection from all floods, but rather protection from a catastrophic flood that will 'destroy all life' (Genesis 9:15b).' (p. 24).

'Scripture ... records both the victories and the failures of God's people. readers are constantly reminded of the need of God's grace. None of us ... can claim to deserve God's acceptance.' (p. 24).

'Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master (Genesis 24:10). If we relate this to our being sent out on a mission by our heavenly master, the focus all the time should be on our master and not on ourselves. We owe nothing, and our entire mission is on behalf of our master.' (p. 44).

'Though the New Testament stressed God's free choice of Jacob over Esau (see Romans 9:10-13), this incident highlights the other side of the story - human responsibility. It cannot be denied that 'Esau despised his birthright' (Genesis 25:34b; Hebrews 12:16-17). There is a tension between God's choice of Jacob and Esau's responsibility for freely selling his birthright. In the same way, God's grace draws us to Jesus for salvation (John 6:44), but at the same time, it remains our duty to believe (John 3:16).' (p. 48).

'I am the God of your father Abraham (26:24a). God is not just identifying himself; he is also reaffirming his commitment. As the Lord was with Abraham, so he will be with Isaac. As his power was seen in the life of Abraham, so it will also be seen in the life of Isaac' (p. 49).

“The Bible records both the good and evil that men and women do. And not all evil was punished, for if it were, none would have survived. God graciously overlooks some evil.” (p. 68).

“Elders pass harsh judgments on people who have committed the same sins that they themselves are guilty of - except that they have managed to keep it secret. This is nothing less than hypocrisy!” (p. 68).

“Once a wrong act has been repented of and confessed, it should not be repeated.” (p. 68). “The Lord's presence always brings blessings. These will not always be material things, for the joy of communing with God is in itself a blessing.” (p. 68).

“... it does not matter where we serve the Lord. We may serve in a high position or in a low one. God can bless us in either position.” (p. 69).

“... the chief cupbearer remembered Joseph. He began by acknowledging his failure to remember Joseph earlier (Genesis 41:9) and then went on to tell how 'a young Hebrew' who was in prison had accurately interpreted his and the chief baker's dreams (Genesis 41:10-12). What mattered to Pharaoh was not what the young Hebrew was called but what he did ... what matters most is not whether people remember our names, but what they remember about us. How would they describe us to someone else? Do we simply have the label of being a Christian, or would people describe us as acting in Christian ways?” (p. 70). 

'When Joseph had asked the cupbearer to mention his case to Pharaoh, he was hoping that Pharaoh would listen and respond to his needs. But God's plan was that the needy one would be Pharaoh, and that Joseph would listen to him and meet his needs!' (p. 70).

'It is important to pray, but it is equally important to know that God will respond to our prayers in his own time and in his own way' (p. 70).

'Often those who claim that the Lord has given them gifts place God in a secondary role while they display the gift as if it were their very own. This is a very bad mistake. the gift can never be greater than the giver.' (p. 70).

'In Africa, many preachers ... have tended to speak to please the king, rather than to honestly declare the word of truth. In some cases, they have even become so involved in the politics of the day that they have compromised their role as servants odf God. we need more people of Joseph's character and courage to stand before our presidents if Africa is to move towars establishing systems that care for the needs of ordinary people. Fairness to all should be at the centre of the counsel our presidents receive from preachers.' (p. 71).

'As long as the sins we have committed are not recognized, confessed to the Lord and abandoned, they will continue to be a great burden, no matter how much we try to hide our suffering. Only Christ's forgiveness relieves us and restores to us the strength and the joy of living to continue our service of faith.' (p. 73).

'... at each step, it must be remembered that regeneration, the basis of all godly authority, begins with God working in the individual and extends to every facet of life' (p. 79).

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