JETS Article: “The Genesis of Resurrection Hope”

I contributed an article to the latest edition of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, JETS 57.3 (2014): 467-480. The article is called “The Genesis of Resurrection Hope: Exploring its Early Presence and Deep Roots.” Originally it was a paper presentation at the November 2013 meeting of the Institute for Biblical Research (IBR), and I’m grateful JETS accepted a revised version for publication. Here’s the outline of the article:

I. Introduction

II. New Testament Validation of Resurrection Hope in the Torah
1. The Words of Paul in Acts 24
2. The Words of Jesus in Matthew 22

III. Seeds of Resurrection Hope in Genesis
1. The Life-Giving God who Makes the World (Gen 1:9-13; 2:7)
2. The Tree of Life and Immortal Physicality (Gen 2:9; 3:22)
3. The Defeat of the Serpent (Gen 3:15)
4. The Death of Abel and the Birth of Seth (Gen 4:1, 8, 25)
5. The Unusual Departure of Enoch (Gen 5:24)
6. Lamech’s Hope for His Son Noah (Gen 5:29)
7. The Death and Resurrection of the World (Gen 7-8)
8. Life Granted to a Dead Womb (Gen 21:1-2)
9. Abraham’s Trust in God to Preserve the Seed (Gen 22:5)
10. The Burial of Bones in Canaan (Gen 25:9)

From the second paragraph of the Introduction: “By looking at certain passages in Genesis, we will be putting our ear to the ground to hear the faint but discernible rumblings of what will arrive later and louder in the words of the prophets. Even though some scholars insist that ‘there can be no suggestion that belief in resurrection was implicit in the Old Testament before Daniel,’ I will contend otherwise. The roots of resurrection hope go deep, and the seeds were sown early.”

Article for JBMW: “God’s Judgment on His Blessing: How Genesis 1:28 Informs the Punishments on Adam and Eve”

In the latest installment (18.1) of the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (JBMW), I wrote an article on pp. 16-21 about how Genesis 1:28 serves as an important backdrop to the punishments on Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:16-19.

The new installment of the journal is now live, and my article is called “God’s Judgment on His Blessing: How Genesis 1:28 Informs the Punishments on Adam and Eve.”

The outline of the article looks like this:
I. Introduction
II. The Creation Commission
III. The Context of the Judgments
IV. Echoes of Genesis 1:28 in 3:16
A. Pain in Childbearing
B. Domination in Marriage
Echoes of Genesis 1:28 in 3:17-19
A. Toilsome Work
B. Death in the Dust
V. Implications for Readers of Genesis
VI. Conclusion


The Glory of Genesis 1:1

In the beginning prepares us for an end not yet in view. History is heading somewhere.

God is the first name in the Bible, which is appropriate since this is His story on a global stage that showcases His glory. I am not the center, the substance, the chorus, or the climax.

Created is the uncompelled act that set things in motion, a sovereign display of unparalled power and majesty. God is God all by Himself.

The heavens and the earth covers the whole gamut, from everything above us to everything below us. We are derivative, not ultimate.

As Dan Phillips rightly observes, “The most offensive thing I believe is Genesis 1:1, and everything it implies.”

Enoch and the Shortest Long but Loyal Life in Genesis 5

Genesis 5 records ten generations of descendants through Adam’s son Seth, and seventh in the list is this guy named Enoch (Gen 5:21-24).  His story stands out for at least four reasons:

  • (1) The people listed before and after him all die, but he does not.  The narrator says “God took him,” and this was not a “taking” in physical death.  Hebrews 11:5 tells us Enoch never saw the earthly end of his mortality. 
  • (2) Those in Genesis 5 lived extraordinarily long lives, but among the whole lot Enoch’s life is the shortest. Granted, his 365 years (5:23) is still a long time, but not compared to his son Methuselah who lived 969 years (5:27)!
  • (3) We’re told Enoch “walked with God,” which doesn’t mean no one else in Genesis 5 did, only that Enoch’s devotion stood out.  The writer of Hebrews says, “Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God” (11:5b).
  • (4) Enoch, being seventh from Adam through Seth, contrasts with Lamech who is seventh from Adam through Cain (Gen 4:17-24). Lamech boasts in his wickedness, but Enoch is known as the man who walked with God.

Enoch’s story is remarkable not only for the quality of his devotion which the biblical text highlights and underlines, but also for its duration. The Lord took him at age 365 (Gen 5:23-24). Enoch didn’t walk with God for mere months, a few years, or several decades. He walked with God for hundreds of years.

Year in and year out, Enoch walked with God. Decades turned into centuries, and he walked with God with relentless devotion, commended for faith that pleased the Lord (Heb 11:5). What loyalty and love! A man after God’s own heart, Enoch followed his Maker until one day “he was not” (Gen 5:24). Suddenly at a precise latitude and longitude, God suspended the law of gravity, and just like that, Enoch was gone.

Lamech’s Hope for His Son Noah

Amid the long list of ten generations recorded in Genesis 5, a father full of hope chooses a name for his son, and it’s the only name in the list explained for the reader–which means we should lean in close here and not blink.

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands” (Gen 5:29).

The words of Lamech should sound familiar. The “ground that the LORD has cursed” refers to God’s punishment on Adam in Genesis 3:17, and his remark about “painful toil” is found there as well: “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”

Let’s marvel a moment at how God’s judgment on Adam was faithfully transmitted nine generations later to Lamech. Remember: these people didn’t have the book of Genesis to reference. The reason Lamech knew about the judgment from 3:17 is because his father told him, and his father heard it from his father, and so on it goes.

Do you see what’s happened, then, with the judgment on Adam? It has been communicated to successive generations, and thus Lamech knows about it.

But Lamech said something else too. He hoped Noah would be the “one” who “shall bring us relief” from the curse. Now where did Lamech get the idea that someone would come to reverse the curse?

Since the first part of Lamech’s words connect to God’s judgment on Adam in Genesis 3:17-19, we should look first at that same context for any reference to a promised individual. And indeed, in God’s words to the serpent, we find such a promise.

When God judged the transgressors in the garden (Gen 3:16-19), he first spoke to the serpent (3:14-15), so the couple overheard the merciful promise folded into that first judgment: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (3:15).

Like the curse in Genesis 3:17, this word of hope in 3:15 was also passed down from generation to generation. Nine generations later, Lamech hopes his son Noah is that promised one, the one who “shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands” (5:29).

Notice the beneficial effects of the promised one’s work: he will bring us relief. What that one does will be for those under judgment, and his act will reverse the curse. The rest (“relief”) that was lost in the Fall will be restored in the promised one of Genesis 3:15.

Lamech believed this. Because of generations faithfully passing down the words of God’s judgment and deliverance, Lamech knew the curse and the promise of a head-crushing individual who will come from the woman’s seed. Lamech also knew his son was in the line of the woman’s seed, so he named him “Noah” because it sounds like the Hebrew word for “rest.”

But soon the reader will realize Noah was not the promised one. His role is significant and memorable, but he doesn’t turn back the curse, nor does he bring deliverance to us. After the flood, sin continues, and the curse persists.

Lamech doesn’t know it yet, but Jesus–the one who will fulfill Genesis 3:15 and restore the rest that was lost in the Fall–is still a long way off. In the fullness of time, though, he will come, and he will crush the serpent’s head.

Who Are the “Sons of God” in Genesis 6:1-4?

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose….The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them.  These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown (Gen 6:1-2, 4).

Few passages in the Bible are as perplexing as this one.  The following is a series of arguments in support of my take on it, though I have friends and mentors who conclude differently.

As specifically as it can be stated, here’s the problem: who are the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6:2 and 6:4? Two main views exist, though others or even variations of the two have been proposed: (1) the “sons of God” are angels who marry and procreate with women or (2) the “sons of God” are people in Seth’s line who marry women in Cain’s line.

I’m going to give seven reasons why the second view is more compelling to me.


(1) “Sons” and “daughters” refer to people in Genesis 1 – 5. The word “son” appears in 4:17, 25, 26; 5:3, and the phrase “sons and daughters” appears in 5:4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 26, and 30. Given this immediate context from Genesis 5, it seems likely that the opening verses of the next chapter refer also to human “sons” and “daughters.”

Moreover, in Genesis 6:10 Noah’s three “sons” are named, and those are human sons too. For the “sons of God=angels” view to work, “sons” would have to mean something in 6:1-4 that it didn’t mean in Gen 1 – 5 or in 6:8ff.  I don’t find such a shift warranted in the context of Genesis 6.

Yes, “sons of God” can refer to angels (like in Job 1 or Psalm 29), but God’s people are also called “sons” in Deuteronomy 14:1. And more importantly, I think that the context of Genesis 1 – 5 prepares us to read 6:1-4 with human “sons” in mind.

(2) The qualifications “of God” and “of man” reflect the division established after Genesis 3:15. God judged the serpent with the promise of enmity between “your offspring and [the woman’s] offspring” (Gen 3:15). This division of those who are against God and those who are God is glimpsed in the first story told outside the garden. Cain, who was of the serpent’s seed (cf. 1 John 3:12), murdered Abel (Gen 4:1-8). Abel pleased God; Cain didn’t.

Then in Genesis 4:17-26 there are two lines of descent. The divide between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent is seen starkly when Cain’s line (4:17-24) is marked by the murderous Lamech (4:19-24), and Adam’s line through Seth (4:25-26) is marked by people who call on the name of Yahweh (4:26).

The ten-generation genealogy in Genesis 5 is a contrast with Cain’s in 4:17-24, especially because the seventh person in each chapter (Lamech in 4:19-24; Enoch in 5:21-24) are clear contrasts with one another.

With the division between the seed of the woman and seed of the serpent (Gen 3:15), between Abel and Cain (4:1-8), and between Cain and Seth’s respective genealogies (4:17–5:32), the division between people in 6:1-2 being “of God” or “of man” seems to cohere nicely with what started in Genesis 3:15.

I think this kind of division is present in Jesus’ words to Peter when the latter rebuked him for teaching of his coming suffering, death, and resurrection: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matt 16:23, emphasis mine).

(3) God gives the blessing of marriage and procreation to image-bearing humans. There’s no indication outside Genesis 6 that angels marry or procreate, so I find the “sons of God=angels” view especially difficult to square with what we see happening in Genesis 6:1-4. The sons of God marry women (6:2), and those unions bear children (6:4). Let’s unpack this further.

In Genesis 1:28 God gave the commission of procreation to engendered persons, male and female (1:27). The Bible nowhere teaches that God made angels in his image, but he did make men and women in his image to be fruitful and multiply. In Genesis 4 the offspring come from two humans, as do the offspring chronicled in ten generations of Genesis 5.

Therefore, when we see more marriage and procreation happening in Genesis 6:1-4, this is most likely the “sons of God,” as human persons, availing themselves of the commission in 1:28. The problem lies in whom they married, for the objects of their affection were not followers of God.

If the “sons of God=angels” view is true, consider what that would mean for Genesis 6:4. Angels, who are not made in the image of God, would be engaging in sexual relations with women and fathering children. Doesn’t this very notion, however, go against what we find in Genesis 1 – 5? God made humans in his image, and he made them male and female (1:26-27). An angel cannot choose to incarnate himself, or somehow assume the status of an image-bearer with the ability to procreate. Procreation is something humans do. An angel has no power to reconstitute its essential nature.

“But what about the Nephilim?” you say. “Doesn’t the view that angels intermarried with women best explain the rise of these ambiguous mighty men?” Let’s deal with these figures next.

(4) The Nephilim are not the offspring of the “sons of God” and “daughters of man,” so there is no need to explain the characteristics of the Nephilim with the view that the “sons of God” must have been angels who fathered them. Yes, that’s a long point. But consider this verse carefully:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown (Gen 6:4).

Did you see what the verse doesn’t say? It never equates the Nephilim with the offspring of the “sons” and “daughters.” This observation is important because some advocates of the angel-view contend that the seemingly-abnormal traits of the Nephilim must be explained by something extraordinary, and what could  be more extraordinary than angels marrying human women?

But the Nephilim (literally “fallen ones”) should probably  be understood as a time-reference that would’ve helped the first readers of Genesis hang their hat on a historical hook. Nothing else is said of the Nephilim, so clearly what the narrator has written would’ve been sufficient for the first readers. He was probably helping his readers answer an implicit question like, “Now when did these marriages take place? Oh, during the era when the mighty men, the Nephilim, were on the earth.”

The characteristics of the Nephilim (“the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown”) may mean something as simple as this: they were ancient and intimidating human warriors. There need be nothing supernatural about them at all, nothing freakish or abnormal that demands an angelic interpretation of the “sons of God.” In any event, I don’t think the identity of the Nephilim is related to, or is meant to help us identify, who the “sons of God” are.

One last word about the Nephilim. In Numbers 13, the spies returned from their forty days of spying the land and reported, “The people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there” (13:28). That last statement matters because of 13:33: “And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

Why did the spies report the presence of Nephilim in the land? Because those inhabitants seemed like strong and mighty warriors who intimidated on-lookers as an animal would a grasshopper. In light of all this, I see no reason why the Nephilim must be extraordinary offspring of angels and women.

(5) The literary parallels in Genesis 6:1-4 and 6:5-8 support identifying the disobedient ones in both cases as humans, not angels. There are three important parallels to observe here:

In Genesis 6:1-4

  • There is a report of “seeing” (6:1-2)
  • There is a response and declaration by God (6:3)
  • There is a statement about a person or people (6:4)

Now consider that in Genesis 6:5-8

  • There is a report of “seeing” (6:5)
  • There is a response and declaration by God (6:6-7)
  • There is a statement about a person or people (6:8)

How do these parallels relate to one another? My suggestions are: (1) The sinful marriages undertaken by image-bearers in Genesis 6:1-2 are part of the escalation to the comprehensive and constant wickedness described in 6:5.  And (2) God’s judgment in 6:3 that shortens the lifespan is the first step toward the greater judgment he announces in 6:6-7 about blotting out everything he made. Finally, (3) in contrast to the dark and ominous tone struck in 6:4 by the intimidating Nephilim and the sinful marriages bearing children, Noah is one man in 6:8 who is a glimmer of hope.

In sum, the parallels between Genesis 6:1-4 and 6:5-8 indicate that the two passages should probably be read together. And taken together, 6:1-4 and 6:5-8 relate the sinful actions of humans that provoke the judgment of God.

(6) The actions of the “sons of God” echo the temptation of Eve. The words in Genesis 6:2 are carefully chosen: the sons of God “saw” that the daughters were “good/attractive,” and thus they “took” any they chose. These three words (saw, good, took) reinforce that we should be reading 6:1-4 in light of what has come before. In 3:6 Eve “saw” that the tree was “good” for food, and she “took” of its fruit and ate.

What is the message of Genesis 6:2? The sons of God are image-bearers who are going the way of the first sinner who “saw” what appeared “good” and then “took.” The actions of the sons of God are human actions cast in the mold of the first transgressor.

(7) The early chapters of Genesis show the antiquity of practices and events established later in Israelite life and law, and Genesis 6:1-4 illustrates God’s displeasure with sinful intermarriages. Already in Genesis 1 – 5 we see the precedence of the Sabbath’s importance (2:1-3), of bringing offerings as acts of worship (4:1-7), and of the sanctity and subsequent perversion of marriage (2:22-25; 4:19). All these elements will be very important in and for the life of Israel.

What would Israelites see and learn from Genesis 6:1-4? One lesson would be that disaster has always resulted when faithful image-bearers marry those who do not know God. As the apostle Paul later wrote, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14).


Thus stands my case for the “sons of God=the line of Seth” view. The previous seven reasons aren’t exhaustive by any means, but they represent what I think are the best arguments in favor of seeing the “sons of God” as humans in the Sethite lineage.

I’m under no delusion that my view is objection-free. Quite the contrary, two good objections must be answered for the “Sethite lineage” view to withstand effective criticism:

  • (1) Beyond a doubt, the oldest interpretation is that the “sons of God” in Gen 6:1-4 are angels who intermarried and procreated with human women. Why then should we trust an alternative view that does have antiquity in its favor? 
  • (2) Peter and Jude’s letters contain statements that must be seriously addressed. In the view of many scholars, those New Testament writings require that the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:1-4 be angels who rebelled, intermarried with women, and procreated the infamous Nephilim.

Alas, though, this article is long enough. I’ll deal with these two objections in a future post. Until then, are there reasons you would give in the context of Genesis 6 that undermine any of the seven arguments I’ve provided?

The Origin of Species: Plants, Animals, Humans, and Important Distinctions in Genesis 1-2

Humans aren’t animals, animals aren’t plants, and plants aren’t humans. Those (obvious) distinctions are clear in the opening chapters of the Bible, and seeing how phrases like “breath of life” and “image of God” are used can highlight the distinctions made in the text itself.

Ever wondered, like Darwin, about “the origin of species”? Your answer is in the Bible’s first two chapters, and the answer isn’t what he suggested. In Genesis 1–2  plants, animals, and humans are created by God. God creates plants on Day 3 (1:11-12), animals on Day 5 (1:20-21) and Day 6 (1:24-25), and humans on Day 6 (1:26-27). Origin solved.

But more can be said than that.

In Genesis 1:30 God tells the first couple that animals have “the breath of life,” something not attributed to plants. In fact, God says everything that has the breath of life can have every green plant for food! So in whatever ways plants are alive and undergoing complex processes at microscopic levels, this is not the same thing as saying they have the “breath of life” as animals do.

In Genesis 1:26 God makes man and woman in his image, something never said of animals. Also, in 2:7, God forms the man and breathes into him the “breath of life.” The woman, likewise in the image of God (1:26), certainly receives the “breath of life” when God forms her out of what he took from Adam (2:21-22). While animals and humans both have “the breath of life,” only humans are made in God’s image. As God’s image-bearers, humans must exercise dominion over the animals (1:28).

Here’s a bullet-point summary:

  • God Created: Humans, Animals, and Plants
  • God Gave the “Breath of Life” to: Humans and Animals
  • God Made in His Image: Humans

What are some implications of these realities laid out in Genesis 1-2?

  • As those made in God’s image, humans are not animals, nor did they evolve from animals. Macroevolution doesn’t fit with the Bible’s creation account. 
  • As those made in God’s image, humans are more important than animals. Supporting abortion and wanting to save the whales is a theological and philosophical travesty. The tiniest baby in the womb is more valuable than the rarest creature in all the world.

How the Judgments on Adam and Eve Relate to Genesis 1:28

Before the fall in Genesis 3, God gave Adam and Eve a creation mandate:

Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1:28).

Then, after the fall, God judged Eve (Gen 3:16) and Adam (3:17-19) with language that should be viewed in light of the creation mandate.

  • God said to Eve: “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16)
  • God said to Adam: “…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:17-19)

Let’s note how the judgment language for each one reflects the preceding creation mandate of Genesis 1:28:

  • God told them to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28), but he judged Eve by multiplying pain in such fruitfulness (3:16). She will indeed begin to fill the earth (1:28), but it will be in pain (3:16). She should exercise dominion over creation (1:28), but her judgment includes the desire to rule over her husband, to exercise dominion that undermines his headship (3:16). 
  • God told them to subdue the earth (Gen 1:28), but he told Adam the ground is now cursed and gleaning its fruit will mean pain for him (3:17).  The exercise of dominion (1:28) will now be toilsome and wearisome (3:18-19). And though he may work to subdue the earth (1:28), in the end he will succumb to the dust in death (3:19).

Clearly, therefore, the language spoken to the man and woman in Genesis 3:16-19 is not without precedent. God issued the creation mandate in 1:28 before the fall, and the later punishments in 3:16-19 did not rescind that mandate. Rather, they ensured that the mandate would now be accomplished through difficulty, frustration, toil, and pain.

In summary, to understand why God judged Adam and Eve the way he did with the language he used, we must first consider the creation mandate in Genesis 1:28. The punishments become inseparably linked to that divine command to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth.

Blessings and Curses in Genesis 1-4

In Genesis 1–4 the language of “blessing” appears before the fall, followed by occurrences of “curse” after Adam and Eve disobey God’s command and eat the forbidden fruit.

The blessings and curses can be grouped like this:


  • On the Water and Sky Animals: “And God blessed them” (1:22a)
  • On the Image-Bearers: “And God blessed them” (1:28a)
  • On the Seventh Day: “So God blessed the seventh day” (2:3a)


  • On the Serpent: “…cursed are you above all livestock” (3:14a)
  • On the Ground: “…cursed is the ground because of you” (3:17b)
  • On Cain: “And now you are cursed from the ground” (4:11)

When you look at these groupings, four further observations can be made:

  1. In Genesis 1–4, “blessing” and “curse” each occur three times. And, significantly, they don’t occur in mixed fashion. The blessings come before the fall, and the curses come afterward.
  2. The blessings occur on the fifth, sixth, and seventh days. On Day Five God blessed the water and sky animals (1:22), on Day Six he blessed the image-bearers (1:28), and on Day Seven he blessed that day (2:3).
  3. There are animals blessed in 1:22, and in 3:14 an individual animal is cursed: the serpent. [Side Note: I don’t believe God has actually cursed reptiles, because the words of judgment in 3:14-15 pertain to the defeat of Satan who possessed a serpent and deceived Eve. However, the serpentine imagery is retained with the words “on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life” (3:14b). Again, though, the language is aimed at Satan (snakes don’t actually eat dust!). Also, God speaks of the serpent’s “offspring,” and wicked human offspring is in view, not actual snakes. God is promising Satan’s defeat.]
  4. The image-bearers are blessed in 1:28, and in 4:11 an individual image-bearer is cursed: Cain.

What else can be seen from the groupings of “blessing” and “curse” in Genesis 1–4?

Adam Named His Wife “Eve”

The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living (Gen 3:20).

Adam’s name is mentioned prior to the fall, but the name “Eve” doesn’t appear until after God’s judgment outlined in Genesis 3:14-19. Prior to that she is known as “the woman” or “his wife.” But in 3:20 she receives her name, and her husband is the one who gives it.

The significance of Adam naming his wife is twofold:

  • (1) An exercise of headship. Adam named the animals he would exercise dominion over (Gen 2:19-20), and now he named his wife as her covenant head and leader.  Prior to Adam naming the animals and his wife, God showed authority by naming the light Day, the darkness Night, the expanse Heaven, the dry land Earth (1:5-10), and so on.
  • (2) An act of faith. Adam’s act of naming is the first response recorded after he heard the specifics of God’s judgment. God told the serpent that the woman would have offspring (Gen 3:15), and he told Eve she would bring forth children in pain (3:16). What did Adam do with this information? He believed it. He believed God’s word and “called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (3:20). Her name wasn’t chosen for no reason. This act was an act of faith in God’s promises.