#DailyDevotion Have You Been Blessed By The Seed Of Abraham?
Lent day 8 Thursday
Gen 12:1-3 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. (2) And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
As the numbers of people increase upon the land God narrows down through whom the blessing spoken about the Woman in Gen. 3:15 would come about. The seed of the Woman would come through the seed of Abram (Abraham).
God sends Abram from his home in Ur with his father and brother further west to the land of Canaan. Canaan you might remember is the son of Ham who was cursed for his father’s sin. Canaan would later be mostly exterminated but also subjected to the Israelites, Abraham’s children 400 years later in Joshua, Judges and Samuel. God gives the land of the Canaanites to Abram but it will take some time to fulfill. Just remember that when you are waiting on God.
Now the most important part of this scripture is the second half of verse3 “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” It is a promise to be reiterated a number of times to Abram and his family. “In you” that is in your seed (singular) all nations will be blessed. Because this seed we are told is Jesus. Jesus is the great blessing not only for the Jews and the Israelites but also for all peoples everywhere at all times and places. Jesus is the seed who opens the gate of heaven for all people, Jew and Gentile, male and female, rich, poor, slave and free.
Well you can hardly be a better blessing than that. We see the fulfillment of that as we look back over the last 2000 years since Christ ascended into heaven. Romans, Asians, the Germanic hoards, Celts, Nubians, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Russians, and even Australians and Kiwi’s have all had the good news of the seed of Abraham, Jesus brought to them and many have come to faith to receive and believe in the blessing of the seed.
Today the blessing is brought to you. God has provided you this day a key, a ladder, and open gate to heaven. It is Jesus. Trust and believe he is your divine gift to eternal life and you will possess not just a piece of Palestine but the new heavens and the new earth, the heavenly Jerusalem.
Gracious Father, grant us such faith in your son Jesus Christ that he is the promised seed that we may possess the land promised to our father Abraham. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
#DailyDevotion There’s A Reason We Like Looking At Trees
Lent Day 7 Wednesday
Read Gen 8:13—9:17
Gen 8:21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done…9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, (15) I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Here we see the kindness of God despite our sinfulness. Our true, fallen nature is told us here. If God did not reveal it to us, we would not believe it. He tells us, “the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” The Lord is just repeating what he said a couple of chapters previously, “Gen 6:5 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.” It is a rather bleak picture of man. This isn’t the only place the Scriptures speak like this. David writes, Psa 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” From the moment of conception we are sinful. Our every intention, our every desire is to do evil continually. The New Testament confesses the same thing. Paul tells us, Eph 2:3 “…we …were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Jesus doesn’t help our self-image either. He tells us, “Mat 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
In God’s great kindness and love for us, he preserves mankind despite our sinfulness. He gives us a promise, a promise he doesn’t have to give. He promises he will never kill every creature on the earth, including mankind, like he did here in Genesis. He gives us a sign to look to whenever we may fear that, a rainbow. It is a sign of the covenant God has made with us that he will never flood the whole earth again.
The Lord has also given us another sign that he desires to be merciful to us. That sign is Jesus. As weird as it may seem, the sign of his love for us is Jesus hanging on a tree, on a cross. Jesus tells us, Joh 3:14-15 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15) that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” Jesus lifted up is God’s sign of mercy to us. Whoever looks to Jesus’ cross and believes there God has made peace with us need not fear the wrath God when he destroys the earth again but with fire. 2 Pet. 3:7 Any time of day you think God has abandoned you because of your sin, look to a tree, a telephone pole, if you are desperate, any two intersecting lines and remember that God, in his great love for you, gave his son Jesus as a peace offering. He no longer counts your trespasses against you. God is please because of the aroma from the sacrifice of the cross.
Heavenly Father, give us always the faith to believe in your covenant of peace you made with us by Jesus’ crucifixion that our hearts may find comfort wherever we look and see the sign of the covenant of your great love for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
#DailyDevotion We Are Horrified Because We Don’t Know The Nature Of Sin
Lent Day 6th Tuesday
Read Gen 7:11—8:12
1Gen 7:13 On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark…23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark….Gen 8:1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.
Many unbelievers and a few believers at that, look at this event from Genesis with horror. What kind of God would kill every man, woman and child and every beast of the earth just because they were sinful. They may understand every man and woman, but child and beasts? What a cruel God, they think. They have heard God is love but where is the love in this?
But they and we sometimes do not understand the true nature of sin. It has corrupted all people and all creation. While we may look around and see good stuff happening around us, we cannot see into the hearts of people and we can just turn on the TV and see how it affects our world. We must look at this lesson and look at our world and repent before God comes again in judgment but not by a flood but with fire at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
But God is love and God is merciful and kind. It is not kind and loving to let sin continue to rule people’s lives and to let them to continue to debase themselves, others and the world. God is merciful and kind because as we see in chapter 7 he preserves mankind, eight people in all to continue humanity. He could have decided, and rightly so, to wipe us all out and just start over with a new lump of clay. But we are here because of his mercy, kindness and love towards humanity. He preserved the animals of the earth by saving 7 pairs of clean animals according to their kind and one pair of unclean animals according to their kind.
God is loving, merciful and kind because he remembered Noah, his family and the beasts aboard the ark. He dissipated the water so they could have a new life as God renewed the face of the earth. When Christ comes, he too will remember his people who live in the ark of the Church. He shall raise them bodily and change our lowly bodies to be like his. He will renew the cosmos as he takes all wickedness from it. It will be a world where righteousness reigns. He promises this to all who repent of their sins and trust in for their salvation. It is for who are baptized and believe on him for eternal life.
Are you going to be like those outside the ark and mock God’s people or are you going to trust Christ’ word and join his people in the safety of the ark, the Church?
Heavenly Father, ever give us true repentant and faith in Jesus’ words of promise that we may be held safely in the ark of your Church until his revelation on the Last Day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
#DailyDevotion Are You Going To Be In The Ark On The Day Of Judgment?
Lent Day 5 Monday
Read Gen 6:1—7:5
Gen 6:5-9 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. (6) And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (7) So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (9) These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
It’s unfortunate I guess that nothing changed after the flood. Jesus said, Mat 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” The natural man since the fall intends only evil continually. Jesus tells us what we want to do. Because this was the case before the flood, God decided to wipe out most of mankind. I guess it finally got too much for God and his patience had finally worn out with them. It grieved God’s heart that he had made us. Not only mankind but even all the birds and land animals He is going to wipe out.
But God is also merciful towards His creation. One man finds favor with the Lord and that man is Noah. God describes him as “a righteous man, blameless in his generation.” What made Noah righteous and blameless? Faith. Among all the people on earth only Noah that we know of, had faith in God. We don’t know about his wife, kids or daughters in law. But Noah had faith.
The Bible says, Heb 11:6-7 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (7) By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” The world was condemned because they did not believe his preaching.
The Lord has told us the end is coming again, this time with fire. The ark that God has sent to save us is His Church. Jesus is the new Noah. He has preached and he continues to preach salvation to all who are changed in their minds and believe in His name or His works will be saved. These people are those who are blameless and righteous in God’s sight.
Lord God, heavenly Father, grant us ears to hear the Noahs you send to us that we may repent, believe the gospel and escape the coming fire. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
#DailyDevotion God Is Merciful Even To Murderers
1st Sunday in Lent
Gen 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”
Gen 4:15 Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.
In the Hebrew it is apparent that Eve believed the threat God made to the serpent. The literal reading of the text reads, “I have given birth to a man, the Lord.” She believed Cain was the promised seed who would crush the head of the serpent. Unfortunately this would not be the case, though she certainly still thought this at the birth of Able naming him worthless. There was no need for another male child. Eve understood a seed from her womb would be the Messiah who is also her Creator.
Now a woman’s seed would be the Messiah. It would be without the help of a male. Isaiah prophesied he would be born of a virgin. Indeed the Messiah has been born of a Virgin, the Woman’s seed. Her name is Mary. His name is Jesus. Jesus means ‘the Lord saves.’ That is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus on the cross was struck by the serpent at the hand of the Romans and the Jews. But in that act, Jesus crushed the head of the serpent. He took the devil’s power away to accuse us before God and to compel us to sin. By his resurrection Jesus defeated death and the one who has the power over death, the devil. Now all who put their faith in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary, the Son of God, possess eternal life.
But what about Cain? Cain was worried he would be killed by others for killing his brother. The Lord assures him this will not happen. He places a mark on Cain so he would not be attacked. Just what was that mark? Many believe it was a Tau, a Hebrew letter which resembles a cross. When we baptize people, we place the mark of the cross upon the heart and head of the baptized to mark them as one who has been redeemed by the crucified one. Cain received a mark of life which is a sign of death. Was he repentant? I think so, which is why God showed this mercy to him. What have you done that perhaps you fear reprisals from your fellow man? What have you done that perhaps you fear the judgment of God?
God does not want to punish you. He does not want you to die eternally. He has provided a Seed of a Woman to redeem you, to ransom you, to atone for your sins, your guilt and your shame. Place your trust in God’s promise that he has done this for you and you too shall receive the mark of the one crucified, Jesus Christ. Then you will no longer fear death or the devil. He cannot permanently harm you. You will have eternal life and will have gained immortality.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for providing for us one who has had victory over sin, death and the devil. Grant us faith always to trust in this one, Jesus Christ, that we may not live in fear but in faith your goodness, mercy and kindness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
#DailyDevotion It’s Not The Magnitude Of Who We Hurt But The Who We Sin Against That Matters
4th day of Lent Saturday
Read Gen 3:1–24
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (14) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. (15) 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.”
First we ought to note how the devil works. He tries to get us to doubt God’s word and he does it by quoting God’s word. We of course don’t want to sound like dolts and so we try to reason with him, or our hearts or the person we’re talking with. You will lose if you engage beyond what God said. It is probably better to do what Jesus did and simply say, “Get behind me Satan!” And then move on.
Now look at the seriousness of what sin does. It doesn’t matter what sin, of how much you think it doesn’t really hurt you or hurt your neighbor. You are not the one to judge whether not something forbidden or commanded by God is serious or not. What did Adam and Eve do—on the surface? They ate a piece of fruit! THAT’S IT!? All this misery and death and the world is because they ate a piece of fruit?
Well no. But that is what the devil, the world and your sinful heart would want you to believe. No what brought this misery upon creation was that they DISOBEYED God and didn’t TRUST Him. You see all sin is not trusting God at his word and disobeying him. THAT is a big thing because your sinning against a BIG guy. You see, I could punch you and not much would come of it. I punch the POTUS and I land in the jail. What’s the difference? The president is more important than you. God is the most important of all. It doesn’t matter how small the offense you think it is. It is against God. That’s all that matters. The other thing we ought to note is the blame game. Adam blamed the woman and God. The woman blamed the snake and the snake didn’t have leg to stand on. Take responsibility for your own sins.
There is good news here. God promises to send a savior born of the Woman’s seed. That Woman is Mary and that Savior is Jesus. By his death at the hand of Satan, he defeats Satan by quashing his head. Trust this and God will cover you not with animal skins but the righteousness of Jesus.
Lord God, heavenly Father give us such faith in Jesus that we listen, trust and obey and ignore Satan, death and our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
#DailyDevotion Marriage Is A Gift From God
3rd day of Lent Friday
Read Gen 2:4–25
Gen 2:16-24 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, (17) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (18) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
We have two major things happening in this section of Genesis and the creation account. First is the set up of man’s ultimate fall. We really don’t know why God decided to place in the garden two trees of which the man could choose to eat and forbidding him to eat one of them. So it is of no use speculating why. What we do know is all God wanted Adam to do was not eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil. We note God didn’t say he couldn’t chop it down. He didn’t say he could build a tree house in it. Nor did God say he couldn’t have a food fight with the fruit. He simply could not eat the fruit.
There is then the grave threat that if he did eat it, on that day he would die. Now we read this and knowing the rest of the account know Adam does eat it and he lives another 900 years. What gives? Just this, God doesn’t view death like us. The death he is referring to is the removal of his life, his spirit, his soul dies on that day.
The second major part is the creation of woman. Like in this whole account of the creation of man in chapter 2 it is a very personal and hands on creation of mankind. Just as God creates man from the dust of the earth and breathes his life into man, now he takes a rib out of man and forms from it woman, a suitable helper. God had brought all the animals to the man first to see what he would name them. There was no suitable helper among them, not even the dog. Even a six-pack of beer isn’t suitable for the man.
So God takes a part of man from him and actually makes something or rather someone suitable for the man. Adam upon receiving this wonderful gift from God names her-demonstrating his superior position (but not in a sinful way but in an order of creation way) and calls her woman because she was taken from man. While I do not know every language of mankind it is interesting to note of all the languages I do know, every word for woman contains the name for man.
Man really appreciates and glories in this gift that he breaks forth into poetry. And we receive this principle here for marriage we in our culture need to take to heart. A marriage is between a man and a woman. Secondly, when you are married you become one flesh even as God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit yet one God. What this means is you are to stick to your spouse and defend your spouse even above your own originating family. Parents, family and friends are not to come between a married couple and married couples shouldn’t let them interfere in the marriage.
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of creation and for the gift of marriage. Help all married couples honor their marriage bed and keep all single people chaste until such time as you joined them to another. In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.
#DailyDevotion Need A Rest? Trust In Jesus.
2nd day of Lent Thursday
Gen 1:31-2:3 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (2:1) Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. (2) And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. (3) So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
When God had finished creating everything he declared it very good. Every day when he ended his work, it was good, but the whole thing together is very good. Kind of makes you wonder what happened sometimes doesn’t it. Believe it or not, it is still very good for St. Paul writes, 1Ti 4:4-5 “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, (5) for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” God is not the author of evil. In fact evil has no existence of its own. It is an accident. It is like a dent on the car. My fender can exist without a dent, but the dent, unfortunately, cannot exist without my fender…and too often it does exist.
Now God rested from his work. It was the seventh day. Now does God need a rest? No. this rest is for our sakes. It is written, Heb 3:11 “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.'” It has been noted there is not an end to the Sabbath day in Genesis two. God’s rest is eternal. He intends for humanity to enter that rest. Hebrews tells us, Heb 4:1 “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” And again, Heb 4:7 “… he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
We enter that rest in repentance of our lack of faith and trust in God. We confess that we have either set ourselves up as God sometimes or look to created things to play that part and have sinned against God. Even more so we look to Jesus who was tempted for our sake yet overcame the tempter. Jesus’ victory is our victory. So we look to Jesus as the one who atones for our sins and as the one who victorious over temptation as well.
God has a rest planned for you. Even now, with faith in Christ, we already begin to rest from our works and rest in the works of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Heavenly Father, grant unto us such repentance and faith in your Son Jesus Christ that we may rest from our works and enter into your rest today and for eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.