Foundational themes in Genesis – Study 49

Theme: Expansion or increase

(Key verses: Gen 9:28-29; Gen 10:1-5)

The flesh and its carnal spirit in man is the enemy of the spirit of God:

Rom 8:5-7 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Naturally we reject the spiritual things of God, even the truth which comes through His Word (2Th 2:2-10-12; Joh 14:17; 1Co 2:14). From our natural perspectives we cannot even see that God’s spirit life is the extreme opposite to what physical life entails. The natural man cannot even properly understand or control his own physical environment, neither his own natural estate. Listen what Jesus told Nicodemus, who was “a ruler of the Jews”, concerning Nicodemus’s limited ability to understand “earthy things” when Jesus used an earthly explanation of a spiritual truth, and Nicodemus could not even grasp that…

Joh 3:9-12 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [the spiritual things of God] 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

The things of the spirit of God are therefore impossible to receive by the natural man within his natural mental abilities – it is all foolishness to our natural minds:

1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

It is only via the gift of faith that anyone receive any spiritual insight from God:

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1Cor 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Every detail given to us in God’s Word is what every man lives from, even the evil and darkness first which also proceeded from the mouth of God (Gen 1:2; Ecc 1:13; Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20):

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Evil and carnality, like all things related to spiritual death, are temporary creations of God which will all be done away with after they fulfil their purpose according to God’s counsel and will (1Co 15:26; 1Co 15:53-57; Rev 1:18). The earth shattering destruction caused by the global flood in the days of Noah typifies this (Amo 3:6; Psa 90:3; Pro 16:4; Rom 11:36). The new world which appeared in all its earthy splendour after that flood is a type of spirit life that will be given to all after the judgment of the flesh (Heb 9:27; Isa 26:9; 2Pe 3:10-13; Joh 12:24). Everything on the physical earth was very different after the flood. Within a short, but cataclysmic space of time the whole composition of the earth’s upper crust, which maintains earthy life, changed and looked vastly different (Gen 6:17). But the “scoffers” who focus on vain babblings and on knowledge (Greek: gnōsis = science) “falsely so called” rather deny that something of the magnitude of the global flood could ever have taken place (Hos 4:6; 1Ti 6:20). For those who can receive it, the Bible is the only source on which all true knowledge or true science rests. But this knowledge is rejected because it contradicts the calculations of those scoffers who oppose the truth as they want to believe that “all things continue as they were from the beginning” – whatever that “beginning” means to them:

2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

Noah and his other seven family members emerged with all the animals from the ark after the waters subsided. Noah lived another three hundred fifty years and died at the high age of 950 years, and through his three sons all the current generations and nations of men came into being (Gen 9:28-29):

Gen 10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

The three sons of Noah are the natural ancestors of all humanity since the global flood (Gen 9:1). These three physical lines of the human family are for most people a very interesting and fascinating study which gave rise to many diverse viewpoints of categories and distributions of nations and groups we have on the earth today. Some use these categories to determine each population’s superiority or inferiority in relation to each other which has led to much hatred and uncountable wars in history, as per God’s design. These destructive forces come from the vain, prideful imaginations and lusts of the carnal heart with all its natural envy and competitiveness (Jas 4:1-5; Jer 17:9; 1Jn 2:16). But all these things are caused by God to keep the nations of flesh occupied with vanities when they cannot see the true hidden purposes of God which He reveals to His elect in Christ, even as they themselves have only to look behind them to see and understand His works (Psa 25:14; 1Co 2:10; Amo 3:7; Rev 1:10-12):

Psa 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Psa 2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

Worldly debates and natural entanglements in the genealogies which we find in Scripture, for example in Genesis 10, are not the focus of the spirit of Christ and His church (1Ti 1:4). The spirit of God teaches only through the comparison of spiritual with spiritual, and also within that context a deeper inward application to these genealogies of the three sons of Noah become much more interesting (Gen 10; 1Ch 1; 1Co 2:13, 16). The Bible is quite unique as far as the detailed facts of the origins of nations on the earth are concerned – these are not mythical accounts as some want to proclaim in their error (2Ti 3:16; Psa 119:160):

Joh 5:46 For if ye believed Moses [the first five books of the Bible written by Moses], ye would believe me; for he wrote of me.
Joh 5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

In our last discussion the purposes of God through Canaan, Ham’s youngest son, were highlighted within the context of the prophecy of Noah regarding his sons. Unlike the immature actions of Ham, the maturity in the actions of Shem and Japheth was quite obvious because they did not look on their father’s nakedness when he was drunk within his own tent, but rather covered it. The mature in Christ will always cover sin through a respectful private admonition first (Jas 5:19-20; Mat 18:15):

Gen 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Gen 9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
Gen 9:23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

Noah was very upset with what Ham did, but also pleased with the love and maturity in which Shem and Japheth operated. He blessed these two sons, and in this blessing a few things should be noted within these prophetic words of Noah:

Gen 9:26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Gen 9:27 God shall enlarge [Hebrew: “pâthâh”] Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

This blessing on Japheth links to our foundational theme of “enlargement” or “expansion” in this discussion, as Japheth and his offspring are the first to be mentioned among the three sons of Noah. Japheth had seven sons:

Gen 10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
Gen 10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

An interesting correlation here is that Japheth’s name also means “expansion” or “enlargement” which connects with the prophecy of Noah. God’s will for everything He creates is to increase and grow into what He wants that thing to be in the end, and nothing can resist and change that will of God (Isa 46:10; Rom 9:19). All natural things are given to grow and increase, and that could also be the reason why Japheth’s name and his offspring are mentioned first in this list of genealogies. Japheth shall be enlarged in fleshly terms first, but the ultimate increase is not with the flesh but within the “tents” or covering of Shem. Shem was the forefather of a very important man who was also known as “the faithful Abraham” (Gal 3:9):

Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Jesus Christ is the Father of true faith and of the faithful (Isa 9:6). Abraham is the Old Testament symbol of what “the faith of Christ” is all about (Gal 3:16; Php 3:9; Gal 2:16). The theme of expansion or increase in terms of the offspring of Japheth helps us to see that immature fleshliness in all its vastness and earthly glory was never to be the ultimate habitation and glory for all in the generation of Adam (2Co 3:7-11). God is indeed working a beautiful process whereby all who were born within the limitations of flesh will be given “a large place” or increase in the spirit of Christ – an enlarged heart (Psa 18:19; Psa 118:5; Psa 31:8; Exo 24:34; Deu 12:20; 1Co 15:22-28; Psa 119:32; 2Co 6:11). This spiritual increase or enlargement is also typified in the prayer of the “more honourable” Jabez who was born in the genealogy of the Israelite tribe of Judah and is the focus of all the genealogies which surrounds these verses (1Ch 4:1-23):

1Ch 4:9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
1Ch 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge [Hebrew: “râbâh” = increase] my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

It is also how we all will enlarge spiritually when we can see and acknowledge that God’s hand is the only one that can withhold evil so that we do not grieve Him in our disobedience. This is when we accept that our old barren tent of flesh is our biggest hindrance to obtain spirit life (2Co 5:1-5). That is also when we give up the earthy wells over which the Gentiles strive – only then can we find “Rehoboth” when “the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land” (Gen 26:22):

Isa 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
Isa 54:2 Enlarge [Hebrew: “râchab” = broaden/make room] the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
Isa 54:3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

Here is Dr Strong’s explanation of the Hebrew word “pâthâh” which is translated as “enlarge”:

A primitive root; to open, that is, be (causatively make) roomy; usually figuratively (in a mental or moral sense) to be (causatively make) simple or (in a sinister way) delude: – allure, deceive, enlarge, entice, flatter, persuade, silly (one).

It is interesting to note that this word “pâthâh” also means to be deluded and deceived as it is also translated as such in numerous verses in the Scriptures (Deu 11:16; Job 31:9; Jer 20:7; Eze 14:9; 2Sa 3:25; Pro 24:28). How many can believe that God sends strong delusion on all deceivable and unrighteous flesh, even in its belief of having prosperity and increase – even doing many wonderful works in His name (Eze 14:9; 2Th 2:10-11; Mat 7:22-23)? The word “pâthâh” is also frequently translated as “entice” or “enticed” in the Scripture (Exo 22:16; Jdg 14:15; Jdg 16:5; 2Ch 18:19-21; Pro 1:10; Job 31:27; Jer 20:10; Pro 16:29). Our natural heart is indeed secretly enticed by its own lusts to follow after deceitful self-righteousness as Job found out afterwards (Jer 17:9; Jas 1:13-15):

Job 31:27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand.

The Greek Septuagint equivalent of the Hebrew word “pâthâh” is “platunō” which has a root word “plassō” and this is Dr Strong’s explanation of this word:  “plassō” = a primary verb; to mould, that is, shape or fabricate: – form.

God is shaping everything of humanity from start to finish, even the evil and corrupt vessel of clay of the first Adam which very few can see or accept in this age:

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

The flesh in all its various expansions is in actual truth just a very limited and temporary spiritual prison of death with an “evil eye” that is not satisfied with seeing and an “ear [that is] uncircumcised” and never “filled with hearing” (Isa 61:1-2; Luk 4:18; Heb 13:3; Pro 28:22; Jer 6:10; Mar 7:21-22; Ecc 1:8; Ecc 4:8; Mat 13:15):

Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

This expansion or enlargement of Japheth is intimately connected to God’s commandment to all the sons of Noah to fill the whole earth and replenish or repopulate it (Gen 9:1-2). God will never expect us to do anything if He did not supply all the provisions needed for the task. But we also know that humans do not naturally do what God commands, as in the case of all the offspring of Noah and his sons. It was actually only after God confounded their one language at Babel that these families started to fulfill God’s command to fill the earth (Gen 11:6-9) As master artisans, and in particular skillful shipbuilders, all of the sons of Noah were given the provisions and authority by God to do His commandments. Even as God delivered every beast of the earth, fowl of the air, every moving thing on the earth and the fishes of the sea into their hand. Not one part of this new looking earth (with all its new continents, islands, mountains, etc., which were formed during the deluge) was not accessible to Noah’s offspring. Wherever they went they took the provisions of God with them (including the plants and animals for food) to fulfill their God-given mandate to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the whole earth:

Gen 10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
Gen 10:3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
Gen 10:4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Gen 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

Only God determines the exact place where everyone and everything must be at any specific point in time as God directs each step of each moving creature on this earth from the beginning (Psa 139:16; Jer 10:23; Pro 20:24). This place that God gives is not limited to terrestrial geography only, but ultimately refers to our spiritual “expansion”, as when the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob with her unfulfilled lusts for companionship met the real companion in Christ (Rom 1:20; Joh 4:5-30). But the fleshly offspring of Japheth, as with all flesh of all men, is not let loose by God to do their own thing, but is always in God’s hand and will all be drawn back with hooks in their jaws to go through God’s judgment to receive their spiritual enlargement:

Eze 38:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 38:2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
Eze 38:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
Eze 38:4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Eze 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
Eze 38:6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

By Japheth and his offspring shall the “isles of the Gentiles [be] divided in their lands”, even under the covering of Shem, the forefather of Abraham who was the type of Christ in whom all the earth, Jew and Gentile, will be blessed (Gen 9:27a; 1Ch 1:17-19). And between all the lists and names of the sons of Noah and their offspring these three verses in Chronicles zoom in on the man of faith through which God typifies His elected seed in spirit (Heb 11:6):

1Ch 1:24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,
1Ch 1:25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
1Ch 1:26 Serug, Nahor, Terah,
1Ch 1:27 Abram; the same is Abraham.

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Next week, God willing we will look at the others sons of Noah and what we can learn through their generations.

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