Seeking God's help while knowing He is present, here and now.
Author: Jeff Doria
I rejoice; I struggle; I give thanks; I get frustrated; I am a forgiven and free child of God who loves my family, friends, and the work the Lord has called me into. I'm humbled to live for God and share His Good News, for He has chosen to come to us and make Himself know through Jesus. Immanuel - God with us!
I know not one person who isn’t in awe of a beautiful rainbow. Extending across the sky, reflecting light in such a beautiful way, we wish we could reach out and take hold of its majesty. In our culture, however, the rainbow has taken on a very different meaning than the biblical meaning. While a rainbow in our culture seeks to signify ‘gay pride’, God designed the rainbow for a reminder of His mercy against the sin of the world. Sin of the world is not something we are to take ‘pride’ in; nor should we seek to justify sin based on our own desires. Sin is what brought on the flood, and thus, the rainbow in the first place. God knows the truth and nothing is hid from His sight.
Yet because of His love for His creation, both mankind as well as the animals and all the world, God promises not to destroy it all by a flood again. This promise is His covenant, where He establishes a ‘divine covenant’; one that isn’t dependent on mankind’s ability to keep our end of the bargain, but a divine covenant where this is simply God’s promise. God’s Word. Granted, there are times when covenants are made between two equal parties both needing to hold up their end of the deal. But here in Genesis 9, it is God’s covenant alone. All God’s. May we see His mercy and be humble and grateful for His compassion! And when we see a double rainbow, may we be that much more in awe!
PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, in a world where sinful pride raises its banner, may Your banner be ever raised, higher, stronger, full of grace and mercy. Not only the rainbow, but the cross of Jesus Christ, our ultimate banner of hope, forgiveness and peace. May we, like Noah, receive Your blessings humbly and live a life that honors You above all things. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.”
Ever feel forgotten? Wonder if your family or friends really give much thought about you? Ever wonder if your boss really cares about you as a person, or only the productivity you produce? Ever wonder if God really knows you exist? After all, we live in such a vast universe with billions of people.
Perhaps Noah (or at least his family) could have wondered similar things, especially being on an ark for such a long time. The first verse of chapter 8 tells us God remembered Noah. We might think that God had forgotten about Noah and then all of a sudden, He remembered, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got a little family in a boat they built!” No, but instead, God remembers, He connects Himself to them once again. The Keil Delitzsch commentary puts it this way, “God’s “remembering” was a manifestation of Himself, an effective restraint of the force of the raging element.”
There will be times in our life when storms come and we may wonder if God is with us in the storm. He is. He is Immanuel (God with us). There will also be times when God really moves, reallymoves in our lives and we experience His amazing work. Sometimes we may just be floating along while other times we may be riding the rapids of faith! May God bless you as He stills the waters of chaos, makes them recede ever so gradually, so that you can start again in His grace…just like Noah and his family.
PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, forgive me of my doubts of Your presence and Your care in my life. I humbly pray for Your help to guide me through these rough waters of life. May the moments of chaos be stilled and may I live in Your peace and grace. In Jesus’ strong and precious name, Amen.”
How would you like to go on a cruise when you’re 600 years old!? Ha! But that was the age of Noah when he and his family went on board the ark . . . the ark he built in his late 500’s! 😊 Most people have some knowledge of the ‘two by two’ account of Noah and the ark. Many people don’t realize though that the two by two is just a portion of the picture. Yes, one pair of unclean animals were brought on board; however, we see in v. 3 that there were also 7 pairs of clean animals brought on board…’seven by two’? Doesn’t have the same ring, now does it? But it’s true…7 x 2!
Also notice that in v. 14 that four of the five categories of animals mentioned back in Genesis 1:21-25 are brought on board. The fifth category, sea creatures, could remain alive outside the ark.
It took Noah a week to load up. Scripture states that after a week, the Lord shut them in. Great protection! Forty days and forty nights it rained. Notice in vv. 11-12 that water comes from both directions, below the ground on up, and from the sky on down. World wide disaster! Could this explain many issues regarding dinosaurs, fossils, sedimentary rock and other strange finds? Many scientists believe so. The waters flooded the earth for 150 days! All perished except those in the ark.
PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, protect us in Your love and grace found in Jesus Christ, our great ark of protection against satan and the evil in this world. Also. may the doors of our hearts be open to receive those You want us to share Your love with. In the strong and precious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”
When you think of men of great size, who do you think of? A football or basketball player? How about a wrestler? Do you think of Nephilim? Yeah, I didn’t think so. No one really does as we don’t know exactly who these folks were or how they lived. They were, however, men of great size (see Numbers 13:31-33). Yet in Hebrew, Nephilim means, “fallen ones.” To society, these Nephilim were amazing, but to God, they were sinful and due judgement.
At this point in time, the Bible states how God’s heart grieved. God’s heart was filled with pain. As we read in v. 12, it is not just mankind which has become corrupt; the earth has too. The sinfulness of man spread so that all of God’s creation is corrupt (see Romans 8:19-23). God tells Noah that He is going to put an end to all people because the earth is full of violence because of them. In other words, mankind has ruined God’s creation and God is going to start over with Noah and his family, for Noah found favor in God’s eyes.
Noah was a man who followed God’s commands (v. 22). He was a righteous man (v. 9) for he walked with God. Noah was a man of faith and God spared him. May we, who live in a world full of sinners, recognize our own shortcomings, repent of them, and walk with God.
PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, forgive me and those around me. Help me to resist the lures and temptations of the world and walk with You in truth and light. In Jesus’ strong name, I pray. Amen.”
930 years old!? Say what!? Beyond trying to say names that are difficult to pronounce, we see ages of the men that are difficult to comprehend. Could people really live that long? It is not until the time of the flood, when God purposely shortens the life span of man to 120 years, even though after the flood you’ll still see Noah, for example, live much beyond that. The flood though certainly marks the time when the days of man are shortened.
The father of Noah, Lamech, said an interesting statement that I think has double meaning, one he probably didn’t intend.
Speaking of Noah he said, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from our painful toil of our hands.” Lamech wasn’t alive when the flood waters came as he lived 595 years after Noah was born and the flood waters came when Noah was 600. Neverthless, one could say the people were indeed ‘relieved of their work and painful toil’ when the waters washed them all away.
So in this chapter we see the descendants from Adam to Noah. Do you know your ancestry well? Where they are from? Key events of their lives?
PRAYER: Lord, have mercy upon us. Help us value life, life of people of all ages. Help us appreciate our ancestry and know You worked in their lives as well as ours today. In Jesus’ strong and precious name we pray. Amen.”
Sin – Wrath – Grace – Providence
This seems to be a recurring theme in Genesis as we see the people of God sin, then experience an aspect of wrath, then an aspect of God’s grace and then God’s care. It happened to Adam and Eve in chapter 3, it is happening to Cain in this chapter (and keep an eye out for it in the chapters to come).
Here in this chapter more questions arise as we look at the text. For example, “Why was Abel’s offering accepted by God while Cain’s was not?” Many will say it came from a sincere heart. Others will say Abel’s offering was from his best stock, while Cain’s was just some grain from the earth, not necessarily the best grain (not first-fruits giving). Another question that surfaces is, “Where did Cain’s wife come from?” Some think that it was a sister from Adam and Eve. Some think that God had made other people, yet, the story of God follows just one primary family line.
In our culture today we cry “foul!” on imaging marriage of a brother and sister. However, if they were the only people on the earth, I don’t think it would mean much back then. We must always be careful not to read our culture into the culture of the biblical text. Let Scripture speak as it is. Afterall, this is an account of God’s action and work in humanity and in this world. Genesis is less an account of actual history and more of an account of His-Story. Enjoy His Story as you read about God’s saving work throughout the generations.
PRAYER: Father in heaven, keep me from being too confused about the things I don’t understand in Your Word while helping me focus and treasure that which is clear and concise. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
It is often referred to as, The Fall. First, Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent (Satan) by the simple and subtle use of words that cast doubt into the word of God. “Did God really say . . .?” Then, they are not only are kicked out of the Garden of Eden, but now have become aware of good and evil, and find themselves living in a broken relationship with their Creator.
In this chapter we see temptation, giving in and doing things against God’s commands, and then God’s wrath, justifiably so. But God doesn’t leave Adam and Eve in the broken state without hope. Two things happen: God promises them the Savior (Genesis 3:15) as the first foreshadowing of Jesus. Second, God makes Adam and Eve garments from skins to be worn. They didn’t have a need for such clothing, but now, because of the Fall, animals are now killed and their skins are used for protection. God promises them hope (Jesus) as well as provides them clothing as they go forth in this world.
How are you going forth? Do you recognize, trust in and feel the wonderful sense of hope found in Jesus the savior? Do you have a grateful heart for the provisions God provides you? Even though sin separates people from God, we still see God desiring to be with His people.
Also notice the curses God gives Adam and Eve. Childbearing pain and the pain of working the land. We still see those today. But we also still see God’s goodness as well.
PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, forgive us of our sins. Help us not to doubt Your word, but to recognize Your goodness to us. Help us use the gifts You’ve given us to testify to Your goodness. In Jesus’ strong name…Amen.”
The Seventh Day begins this chapter. The day God rested, the Sabbath, the final day of the week. It becomes holy (i.e.. set apart for God). Then, we basically have another creation account, this time focused in on the creation of the first man and woman. While chapter 1 focuses on an overview, chapter two focuses on the pinnacle of God’s creation, mankind, in a very personal way.
You may have noticed that in Chapter 1, the word, God, was used. In Chapter 2, the word Lord is used. In Hebrew, God(Elohim) is a more generic term while Lord (Yahweh) is much more personal. These different names used coincide with the focus of the chapter. Chapter 2 offers a more insightful, personal account of creation than chapter 1.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I thank You for creating a beautiful world. Help me slow down my busy life so that I can take notice of Your creation. In Jesus’ strong name I pray. Amen.”
In the beginning we find God actively at work, “in the beginning.” There is no origin of God; He is already in existence; and already at work creating the heavens and the earth. In six days God created it all with significant design, structure and order. Each day God calls His creation, “Good.” Did you notice when He says His creation is, “very good?”
Many questions have arisen about God, time, this world, etc., simply based on this text of Genesis.
Are these days actual 24 hours?
If so, is God creating an aged earth? After all, the winged birds and great sea creatures seem to show fully grown animals (which takes time from our perspective). Therefore, could God’s creation of the earth exhibit portions that had been ‘developed’ with age?
Who was God talking to when He said, “Let us make man in our image?” (Himself; Trinity?)
Why did it take God six days to create everything? He could have simply done it in one day, right?
These are just a few questions that often arise when people read through this chapter. Volumes and volumes of books and commentaries have been written to describe and explain these wonderful works of God. This lil’ blog could not examine these thoroughly; however, if a person asked my what my basic, brief answers would be, I’d say, “Yes, Yes, Yes, and yes, He could have, but He is giving us a structure (the week) to live by. So, enjoy the journey through Genesis and remember how God’s creation was originally “very good.”
PRAYER: “Creator of the universe, help us to trust in You, in this world, and the next. In Jesus’ strong name I pray. Amen.”
Before I begin the book of beginnings, I ponder that I’m not just reading a casually written, ancient book that has no connection to us today. Instead, I realize that I’m reading a book that has been inspired by the Holy Spirit and cherished by billions of people over many, many generations. I feel so small compared to its author, its stories, its application to the lives of mankind. I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me connect with our amazing creator and heavenly Father, see the foreshadowing of Jesus, His Son, and then, through His precious word and His compassionate love for His creation, be inspired to live for Him each day. I welcome you on this journey of reading through the book of Genesis. I pray God’s blessings upon all who join in the journey. ~ Jeff
PRAYER: “Gracious Father, help me to make time for You in my busy life. Let me start at the beginning, with the treasure of Your Word in Genesis. In the strong and precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”