January 11, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 8:1-22

Noah and his family, along with all the animals God had sent to Noah to put on the ark, are now all that is left. God has wiped out the world and every living thing on it. This should cause us to see that God is serious about sin. Sin angers God because He is holy and righteous and longs for us to be like Him.

Noah, and all the passengers of the ark, have been floating around now for 150 days (see Gen7:24). God has not forgotten them. He brings about a strong wind and the flood waters begin to recede. As the waters disappear Noah begins to see tops of mountains, one of which is Mount Ararat, where the ark settles on the top. After a few more months more mountains begin to appear. By this time Noah and his family have got to be getting a little restless in that boat.

After 40 more days Noah has decided to take some action. He lets a raven out to see if it will land somewhere, to show him that the land is dry. Instead, the raven flies all over the place until the ground was dry. Then Noah decides to send out a dove. The dove comes back because it cannot find a good spot to land. So, Noah gives it another shot a week later and the dove returns late in the evening with an olive branch in its mouth, showing them all that the ground is almost dry. Noah waits one more week to see what might happen if he sent out the dove again. This time the bird flies off and doesn’t return. Noah and the ark passengers had to wait at least 2 more months before God finally said to them, “leave the boat.”
So, Noah, his family, and all the animals got off the ark. Then Noah built an altar to praise
God for His goodness and mercy.

We have to remember that God did not owe it to Noah to save him and his family. God, because of His mercy, chose to save Noah. We need to have the same attitude toward God saving us. There is nothing we do that saves us… only God’s mercy and grace save us from a Christ-less eternity. Worship is a more than fitting response in this situation. Noah sacrifices some animals to God and God responds by declaring that He will never again destroy the earth at this magnitude.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

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January 10, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 7:1-24

Today’s reading is a story of God’s love and God’s justice. The God we serve is a perfect balance of both. As we read yesterday, the world had become so wicked that God had to act. His justice demanded it. Most of us would have simply annihilated humanity – but God loved us – His creation, and constructed a plan that would preserve the life He had made a few chapters earlier.

God looked for someone who was righteous – someone He could bless. He found Noah to be righteous in his generation (v.1). In other words, Noah lived right among a people that practiced the most heinous of wrong. It’s not easy to live right among wickedness. Many of us are faced with that every day of our lives at school, work, – or even at home. God looks for people He can bless – people who will obey Him (v.5) even when it’s not popular.

Micah 6:8 says it well, “o man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Ask God today to make you a man or woman that He can bless – one that follows God and seeks Him with all your heart. God is looking for “Noahs” today, too – to use to rock the world for His glory!

Questions to Ponder…
• In what ways do I practice righteousness amidst the wickedness around me?
• In what ways have I been compromising?
• What would it look like for me to practice Micah 6:8 today – to humbly walk with God?

Posted by: Tim Parsons

January 8, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 6

“Who built the ark? Noah! Noah!”

That’s the song I grew up singing to tell the story of Genesis 6 & 7. You might recognize it from your Sunday school days.

“In come the animals two by two…”

It sounds so pleasant and fun. Much better than the live nativity you may have just seen over the Christmas season. This is a full-blown aqua zoo! Such a happy scene.

The only problem with looking at it this way is… well… the Bible.

This scene may have been happy for Noah and his family because they enjoyed the salvation that the ark would bring, but to the rest of the world, this was God’s stern and righteous judgment on sin. No one else would be happy about this ark. They would eventually be left outside to face the wrath of God and be swept away in the flood. They weren’t “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly.

Genesis 6 is a stark contrast to Genesis 1 & 2 when God created everything — including humans — and said that it was “good”. In this chapter, God is sorry for ever creating mankind.

Why?

There’s no better description than this: “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” (Genesis 6:5). The goodness of humanity was completely tainted because of sin. It’s like the old preacher mantra I’ve heard time and again: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay.” Sin did just that. And the earth deserved God’s fierce wrath.

But God saw something in Noah worth preserving. Noah found favor in God’s eyes, and the Lord chose to redeem humanity by keeping him alive. He was a man after God’s heart, unlike the rest of his people. While the instructions for the ark were clear, the task was no easy one. It would take years to prepare this oversized yacht. Noah didn’t waver. In fact, Genesis 6:22 says that “he did all that God commanded him.”

This passage should cause great reflection for all of us. It shows God’s displeasure with sin. It shows God’s ability to use a humble, upright person in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation. My encouragement to you upon reading this chapter is simple: be Noah. Be the one that God can use. Be the upright person in our world of wickedness.

Pray today for a passion to make war against sin as you strive to be like Noah.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

January 7, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 5:1-32

This genealogy is to record the promised seed, the godly line that leads to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Many individuals take genealogies for granted, but the mere fact that this genealogy sets the stage for the coming Messiah is reason enough to not take it lightly. The secondary purpose of this genealogy is to help us realize that life begins and ends as stated in the passage, “and he died.” This phrase should drastically impact the way we view life on earth. We have a limited amount of time that is not to be wasted.

A beautiful phrase we see in this passage is “in the likeness of God.” Do we as believers truly take this in? I know I don’t. If I did the insecurities I have would be cast to the wayside, because I realize that as a born again believer I am made in the LIKENESS OF GOD! WOW!

In verse 1 of chapter 5 the author makes clear that man was originally created “in the likeness of God.” In the next generation we see that Adam becomes the father of Seth and passes the likeness of God through his line, however, this line is tainted. The reason Seth’s nature is twisted is because of Adam’s “original sin” now inherited by all people.

One might ask how someone is born into sin if he has done nothing wrong. Because of Adam’s sin not only do all people die, not only are all people cursed, but we are all by birth held accountable for Adam’s original sin. As stated by Currid, “no black crow ever produces a white dove, nor does a ferocious lion produce a gentle lamb.” The only hope we have? Jesus Christ would save us not only from our original sin, but also from the power of sin to control our lives.

In closing, we see an extraordinary hope in the man Enoch. It is stated of Enoch, “he walked with God.” Matthew Henry says this means…to set Him before us, to act as if we are always under His eye, make God’s Word our rule and His glory our end in all our actions.” This connection is equally possible for the Christian today. “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus walk in Him.” Colossians 2:6

Posted by: Zach Monroe