Monday, February 27, 2017
Friday, February 24, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
When Abram sinned and was ousted from Egypt in great embarrassment, notice what he did. He went back to where he had started and worshiped the LORD there. This land that God gave to him is where he should have been all along.
The next test of Abram's faith came in the form a family conflict. God had blessed Abram and his nephew Lot so much that they needed to separate. In the culture of the day, being the patriarch of the family, Abram could have pulled rank and made certain demands. But to his credit, he viewed this challenge in a much larger perspective.
As the leader of the family, he immediately put an end to the fighting. "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen." (v.8)
Next, this leader was willing to let Lot make the decision about where to live. The Jordan River valley appeared to be the prime place for his herds. What he did not consider was the spiritual environment. "Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD." (v.13) What appeared to be the best choice will turn out to cost Lot dearly.
In verses 14-17, the LORD encouraged Abram for the way he handled this test of faith by repeating two of three parts to the covenant made in Chapter 12. God promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants. His descendants would be innumerable. And then he built an altar to worship God.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
With the confusion of languages the people could no longer easily communicate. They were forced to separate. "And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth." (11:9b)
Thursday, February 16, 2017
One timeless lesson to be learned from the opening chapters of Genesis is that the God of the Bible is a God of justice and judgment. His word is to be respected and He is to be feared when there is disobedience and rebellion against Him. At the same time, the Lord is also compassionate and loving, even providing the means of atonement for a broken relationship with Him. At every turn, God made a caring provision for those who responded to Him.
Friday, February 10, 2017
The vast reservoirs of water beneath the earth's surface and the waters in the atmosphere were all unleashed in torrents to flood the entire earth. This involved much more than the 40 days and nights of rain. Not only did Noah have to wait until the rain stopped, but he had to be sure that the earth was dry. Genesis 8 records the 1 year and 17 days that Noah's family and all the animals were on the Ark.
All who entered the Ark did so on God's command (7:16) and the LORD shut them in (7:17. It was not until the earth was completely dry that the LORD commanded them all to leave the Ark (8:16). From the mountains of Ararat, all air breathing life began to disseminate on earth.
In an act of thanksgiving for their safety, Noah worshiped God. He built an altar for offering sacrifices to the LORD. Blood sacrifices had been mentioned since Genesis 3:21, but this is the first mention in the Bible of a formal altar. God had prepared for this in advance by having these particular animals enter the Ark in seven pairs, rather than just two (7:2-3).
God then made a promise. He had destroyed the earth because the overwhelming evil of human intentions and actions. The LORD said He would never again "strike down every living creature as I have done" (v.21). That part of the promise protects the earth. The second part of the promise provides for the earth. To this day God sovereignly regulates "seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night" (v.22). Indeed, our food sources and life itself depend upon the LORD being faithful to this commitment made to Noah.
"Summer and winter, and spring-time and harvest,
His trustworthiness and faithfulness to us are evident every day, all around us, if we will only take notice and respond in worship and obedience.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
"If there is a God in heaven why doesn't He do something about the evil in this world?" The answer is He has, He is, and He will. Such interventions by God may come immediately or may be implemented later at the final judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). The absolute truth is that no sin goes unnoticed by the Omniscient God of heaven. There is abundant evidence of this in the Bible.
God does not overlook the evil behavior in the world. In Genesis 6, the sinful condition of the world reached a point of being ripe for God's intervening judgment. For an unspecified period of time, the LORD endured the corrupt condition of the culture (v.3) but no more."The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (v.5) "Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence." (v.11)
"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD."In a world that was totally corrupt, one man stood out from all the rest of the world's population.
4. He "did all that God commanded him" (v.22). Noah had respect for God's word and obeyed it completely.
Insights for believers.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Here we have the third recorded sin and the first murder on earth. How did this happen? And, the greater question is why do people do evil?
What is self-evident in this chapter is that the LORD had made clear that to worship Him involved a blood sacrifice. Such an understanding establishes the rest of the Bible's teaching regarding forgiveness and one being accepted in a relationship with God. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness sins." (Hebrews 9:22) "But as it is, he (Jesus) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Hebrews 9:26)
However, Cain wanted to his conduct life and his worship on his own terms. The results were disastrous and they still are today.
1. Cain disregarded what God said to do.
2. Cain decided to do what he wanted instead. And, to add insult to injury, he actually expected God to accept his wrong behavior.
3. Cain became angry at God when his choices were rejected.
4. When God pursued Cain and confronted his anger and his wrongdoing, Cain refused to repent.
5. Cain became jealous of Abel and turned his hatred of the LORD on his brother. Instead of dealing with his sin, Cain compounded it by taking evil action against an innocent person. Why did he murder Abel? "Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous." (1John 3:12b) This, then, is the first mention of the persecution of those who are accepted by God.
6. God pursued Cain again, giving him every opportunity to repent and experience forgiveness.
7. But Cain lied and his refusal to submit himself to God brought about a curse on his life.
Do it yourself religion has never worked. God's statement in verse 7 is key: "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" How different life is when one simply responds to God's word and His promptings.
Friday, February 3, 2017
In the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given complete freedom. Then Satan slithered in as a serpent. Revelation 12:9 calls him "the great dragon...that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan." Jesus called him a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Do not miss here is Chapter 3, Satan is the source of all questioning of God and His word. Satan is the one who casts doubts, who creates disparity, who presents wrong desires, and finally outright disagreement with what God has said. The temptation is there but the choice to obey or to disobey God is human responsibility.